I decided to give my two months notice today. In our contract, we’re only required to give 30 days notice, but for a lot of reasons, two months is better. There are many aspects that are negotiable and giving the school more time to find a replacement, means they are more likely to be generous in their dealings with me (about my apartment contract, repayment of airfare, etc.)
Many reasons. Foremost is physical and mental health. Teaching and being with the students is magical, really! But the schedule is really exhausting and frantic. Add that to being in a country where you don’t speak the language, and where people are often very busy, stressed and/or a little more distant, it’s just hard.
I’ve started having some physical problems and think my body is voicing its opinion. So I’m listening. I’d hoped to make it 12 months, ending June 1. Dec 29th will be my last teaching day here, completing 7 months.
Since most people live in high-rise apartments, Koreans spend a lot of time riding elevators. And the rules for what’s allowed and not allowed are a bit different here. They are almost all reflective surfaces, so it’s like a big mirror all around you.
Usual or Allowed:
- Checking yourself out …looking at your reflection. You don’t have to be shy about this. You can fix your hair, remedy any blemishes on your face, check your teeth, your butt, anything’s ok. It doesn’t matter how many other people are in the elevator.
- Carrying your recycling and compost. Most of your life is private, but your decomposing food, empty beer cans, plastic wraps of your Ghana chocolate moon pies. That’s all out in the open on display for 20+ floors while you awkwardly balance five different types of recycling categories from your apt to the recycling center on the ground floor.
- Answering your phone. It’s fine to answer your phone and talk loudly. And you can even utter some surprised words when it cuts you off, as it does always around the fifth floor.
- The elevator itself will greet you when you walk in. A woman’s voice announces “going up” (olahanmida), “going down” (melahanmida). Also she has helped me learn my numbers. i-ship-i choen (22nd floor). ship-pahl choen (18th floor).
- People don’t talk to each other unless they are friends and are talking as they walk on.
- Even if you get off on the same floor and walk down the hall together, nope.
I get it now. You spend a lot of time riding, with a lot of people. Maybe it’s too much to greet everyone all the time. And, who needs a 3-way mirror. You can check out all sides of yourself in the elevator, and adjust anything that needs adjusting. ha!
I took a few deep breaths,
Then took off running and leaped off the edge
Now I’m floating, flying,
Some might say flailing
My arms are wide open
I’m swirling and flipping
If faith and trust Expand you
I’m on the edge of bursting
As a blur I see them clinging tightly to the sides of the cliff
Going up and down carefully steadily
Are they crazy or am I?
Today we received our teaching schedules for October. It’s Saturday and classes start Monday! Another new class this time …Reading! How can one prepare with such short notice?! Just being calm and centered is about all I can do. I’ll spend much of tomorrow getting as organized as I can.
6.50am M-F hot topics
7.50am T,Th 1-1 Student
9am M-F Reading Intermediate
10am M-F hot topics
7pm M-F level 4
8pm-10pm MWF level 4
10am – 2 pm Saturdays