Thursday, July 19, 2012

Old & New

I seem to always be starting my posts out by saying something along the lines of "...sorry I haven't written in a while..." but, again, sorry. I feel like I have to go through many, many mundane days just to get a few even worth writing anything about.

I have completely settled into life here. Everything I do and go through on a day to day basis is now normal and any novelty has definitely 100% worn off. Just this past semester at school I feel like I've finally gotten the hang of every single thing that goes on around there. The girl I replaced really did not do a good job of preparing me and helping me transition into what I would be doing for a year. Any questions I had weren't answered well and she truly did a horrid job of trying to clarify what actually happens day to day and semester to semester. I'm sure she's a lovely person and all but was really awful at helping me get to know my job...seeing as how it's 7 months later and I'm just now understanding everything. Just the other day I had an "OH! That's what she meant..." moment when my mind flew back to December when she mumbled something or other that has just now clicked.

Granted, my days are not hard. I am actually in my school building for just under 6 hours. And roughly an hour of that isn't even teaching. It's walking between classes, short break and writing my report. This semester is even better and I have an hour thrown in that I don't have a class so I read my kindle or sit on Pinterest until my eyeballs feel like they're going to fall out. It's not a bad day at all.

My kids are starting to surprise/impress me more and more. Though with all the happy glowyness that comes from me actually teaching them something there is always one dreadful child to counter the good one. I really and truly like and enjoy the company of about 50-60% of my kids. The rest I wouldn't shed a tear to see the back of them. The littlest ones and the oldest ones are the worst. The little kids (they are about 4-6 years old) don't seem to understand that quiet=games and loud=no games. It's been the same since I got them all in March. I don't know what it is about little children and quiet. They just can't seem to handle it if there is no noise, so they MUST make some.

The older kids are worse. My oldest ones that I have very little patience with are spread over two classes and they are 12-13 years old. First let me say that Asian children have the worst lives ever. I may not have the brain capacity the size of Texas nor was I able to play the piano like Beethoven before I hit the 3rd grade but I thank my lucky stars every day that I grew up in good old North America. I have normal social skills (theirs can be a little shoddy) and I can look back on my childhood (and teenagerhood) and know that I had a pretty good one full of sleepovers and friends and shopping and playing outside and NOT studying until my brain melts. That being said, the older ones are soooo burnt out that they just don't want to be there. They've had school, after school study class, music academy, math academy, Chinese academy, English academy and studying at home after. Every day. Even Saturday. Even the little kids. So my heart goes out to them, it really does. But I don't know if they are so rude and snappy and whiney because they are so tired? That they are hitting puberty so already at an annoying stage? A combonation of both? Whatever it is, I hate them for rolling their eyes at me, huffing when I ask them a question, not doing homework and so on and so forth. Their rudeness drives me mad and I'd like to give them a good smack in the head.

Moving on from complaining about students...IT'S HOT. And HUMID. WV is a pretty humid place but not compared to the summer's I've had in Asia. It's still not as hot as Japan but it's still only July. Let's see how August and September play out. All I know is that by the time I walk my 25 minutes to work I'm already drenched in sweat (and I'm not really a sweater, per se). It's known to the foreigners that, for some reason, we get hotter faster than Koreans. We're dying of heat stroke and they're covered from head to foot. Up until a few weeks ago the women in my office just kept the windows open and didn't turn on the AC. And not only that but they are all wearing these cute fluffy cardigans while I'm fanning myself with my roll sheet and trying to catch my breath. Even now I'll walk to work (and with the humidity it's got to feel like it's well over 100 degrees) and get there and some of the other women walk in after me from outside with sweaters ON. As in they were wearing it outside. Now that the AC is running in the office they definitely wear cardigans. Al said at his work it was so hot in his office that he and a few coworkers stole the AC remote and keep it in their desk so they can control it. Mind boggling.

Thinking of AC, I got a minor cold recently. The hallways at school aren't air conditioned, only the classrooms/offices so like 6-7 times a day I'm going from the 100 degree hallways to the 65 degree classrooms. Luckily I nipped it in the bud and it seems to be dissipating fast.

One week three days until VACATION. I'm so excited. It's Thursday night and this week couldn't have gone by any slower. Fridays are cake days so I just need to get through tomorrow and then once next week hits I can start packing and getting things ready to go. We're taking one of the last trains out of Busan on Monday the 30th and heading up to Seoul for the night. We leave out of Incheon for our 7 hour flight to Kuala Lumpur the next morning. We'll take another short flight and then hang around a small Malaysian town, Kota Bharu, for the evening/night then go an hour to the coast the next morning where we'll take our ferry to the island. STOKED.

I always think of really interesting things to write about when I'm not near a computer...and then once I get here to write it turns into boring rambling...