The new job
I need to start by saying this: my dreams are haunted by the voices of children saying “Jodi Teacher… Jodi Teacher… Jodi Teacher help…. Jodi Teacher finished…. Jodi Teacher I can no do…”. Haunted.
Yesterday was the first day of teaching, and seeing as how I lived and all the children lived, I think I did okay. Don’t know if the little buggers learned anything or had any fun, but they lived.
I start the days teaching kindergarten. Firstly, this is nothing like our kindergarten and secondly, everything is done in 15 minute increments (even math) so if you have the attention span of a gnat, this is the work for you. These kids are so smart. They all know their alphabet, they are starting to read, they can do math and can converse. Now, you are probably thinking… I could do that in kindergarten. Not like this. And not in an EFFING FOREIGN LANGUAGE. Try this: add trois and cinq. See? I mean, you can do it, but you have to think about it for a second. And you aren’t FIVE years old. These kids rule. And they are really cute. And just so you know on my first day one of them got a nosebleed. Just because that is fun to do to the new teacher.
Kindergarten is mostly the kids saying “Jodi Teacher” over and over and over again to get my attention, and Jodi Teacher saying “Yes yes yes… yes… now sit down. Sit. Is that how we sit in our chairs? Look everyone how nicely Grace is sitting… can everyone sit like Grace? Now if you can all walk to the bathroom without screaming or running everyone can have a sticker.” These kids are obsessive-compulsive sticker-collectors. It is insane, but it works. So does taking them away if they act like little bastards. So I teach these wee monkeys from 10:00am until 2:30 every day with an hour off for lunch.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I teach three classes in the afternoon, ending at 7:00pm (remember I start at 10:00am so it ain’t bad). These guys are coming to LCI (the school I work at) in order to do extra practice. Poor bastards. You can see how tired they are sometimes so it is important to keep their attention. They are really smart though and it is cool to teach them stuff. My five o’clock yesterday read a story about Alexander Graham Bell. It was interesting to try and explain what “inventors” do. There is so much English in my head that is just there and I don’t know what the meaning is. Inventor was easy compared to explaining “still”… as in “My family is still in Korea”. I feel like saying “It means… you know… “still”. As in “they are STILL there”. Still.” Poor kids, they’ve got an idiot teaching them who is seriously considering becoming a practicing alcoholic (sorry moms, but beer is cheaper than Pepsi so what’s a girl to do??) I was exhausted at the end of the day, but I got to run home and get ready to move into my new house (that is why no blog yesterday).
The new apartment (pictures coming soon!)
It isn’t as bad as I thought. It is like a dorm room, not a prison cell. I was worried because people kept saying “you have the smallest apartment” (which I do) but it isn’t that bad. And besides, it is just me. If I had a roommate or a pet it would be hell on earth, but I don’t, so I like it. Another teacher at the school (who is a wealth of information and has a wicked-fun attitude) named Amelia lives upstairs and is in the biggest apartment. I checked it out and it is three times the size of mine. But I’m not fussed, even Amelia says she does most of her stuff in the one room anyway. So I’m not all that concerned about the size. What does concern me is how dirty the shit was.
I’ve seen dirty and this wasn’t the worst. But it was close. I got in there at 7:30pm, and cleaned until 2:00am. This is the best part. Please remember that this is a one-room place that isn’t even 300 square feet. In those four hours, all I did was the following:
- Make the bed
- Clean the fridge (and it is a little fridge. Made by Samsung. But fucking everything here is made by Samsung, including the plug in my bathroom sink and my gas range.)
- Clean the floor and wall behind the fridge. And then cleaning up my blood from the floor because I stepped in glass.
- Bag up the “left behinds” (from the last teacher)
- Wipe out the wardrobe and hang up /some/ clothes (I’m not fully unpacked yet…)
- Wipe out the medicine cabinet
- Scrape the soap off of the soap holder
That’s it. And that is how long it took. Oh, and I vacuumed out the vents in the a/c because it was also gross. GROSS GROSS GROSS. But it is starting to come together. I should have the internet at home early next week, so I will be available for chatting more often. A few people have asked for my mailing address, and I was waiting until I moved. Now that I have moved, I learn that the best place to send shit is the school (duh). So here is Jodi Teacher’s address in Korea:
C/O LCI KIDS CLUB
6 FL. GARAM B/D 1084-14
I have a cell phone too, but it is in Korean and I can’t figure it out. If it were to ring, I could answer it though. If you leave voicemail, may the Lord help ya ’cause I can’t. I did figure out how to get into voicemail (same as you do here)… but I don’t have the four digit code I need and I’m going to wait at least one more week to ask the Korean teachers (I hate that I have to bug them every time I need any little thing). Anyhoo… here is my number: 010 3980 0523.
The new job – Day 2
I’m too tired to type about day two. The wee bastards tried to get me to quit today. It was all about a battle to see where the boundaries are. I don’t know if I’m winning, but once again we all made it through the day alright (well, alive at least). I didn’t have afternoon classes today so I was done by 2:30 (sweet). Now I’m going to Lotte Mart to pick up more cleaning shit and tackling the kitchen cupboards. Tomorrow is Friday here, and we all get to work late. But I’m promised that everyone goes out crazy-style Friday nights and I’m looking forward to it.
Keep in touch… getting emails from everyone is keeping me sane. The people here are really, really great but not as great as you guys (of course). Let me know what’s shaking with you.