Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hangups for Halloween

“It is when you are sick that you get home sick the most” people say. Actually, I have heard this more than once since coming to Korea and probably have said it a couple times myself. Well, I work at a school with little kids that face me all day long and from time to time cough right on my face. I teach 20 different classes a week, which exposes me to lots of little kids and lots of little coughs. The weather also changed here and I went outside in the cold for a couple hours one night and so it was bound to happen sooner or later. For the last five days I have been sick. Just the average cold I think. I am handling it better than most and I should mention that quite a few people do have it too. At my work, all three of the guys are sick right now and possibly a couple of the girls too!

I had run into some other difficulties in addition to this. Seems like one of my classes hated me. Three middle school girls that didn’t speak English very well, that also couldn’t understand me, that were also using a book that was way above their heads complained about me. I complained about the girls and the book and so my class was transferred. I say I have failed in one class but it is much better to look at it like I have succeeded in 19. After all, teaching is a tough job, and working at a cram school (hagwon) is not the easiest job as far as teaching goes.

Despite losing the class and a few other problems here and there like being cussed out by one of my students topped off with being sick, I am getting by as well as can be. Also, for anyone who knows me well knows that October 30th is not my favorite day, in fact the exact opposite. Despite all this, I am not as homesick as what I thought I would be. Homesick? Yes, but not dying to go back but gladly would if I had too. Some days are actually pretty good here, like the weekends.

I have been here three months now. I can really feel like I can say, “I live in Korea”. Shorter than three months, just seems like an extended stay away from home. After three months, I really start to feel a part of the community but yes, also miss America. Three months is enough time to make some friends. Enough friends to fill a cell phone up with numbers. Three months is enough to go on a couple dates and have a girlfriend. Three months is more than enough to get use to Korean food and even start to learn how to cook it. Three months is even enough time to get use to living in a small studio apartment (officetel). Three months is enough time to learn how to use the subway and even learn enough Korean to do necessary small talk. Well, most of the time anyway. And lastly, three months is enough time to work at a hagwon to already start planning my long and extended stay in Thailand when I am finished.

Hope everyone had a nice Halloween. Here is a spooky picture of me on the subway.
October 31, 2006


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