It's amazing what a week will do when it comes to the weather. As I've mentioned before, the weather here is very consistent. Gradual warm up, gradual cool down, with no erratic temperature ups or downs in between. When I wrote my last post (about a week ago) it was hanging around the mid 70s. Fast forward a week and it's hitting 80 every day with the "feels like" temperature escalating to near 90 some days. What my phone doesn't say is that the "feels like" inside my school is nearing a boiling point.
Koreans are weird when it comes to heating and air conditioning. This topic is another blog post entirely (and some things I've written about in the past, like their aversion to insulation) so I'll spare the details for now, but let's just say that they won't turn on either until it's absolutely necessary. The heating and air conditioning is controlled by some main operating system. Each classroom can turn it on and off and control the temperature, yes, but to save energy it's automatically switched off at about 5pm. But that's if it's even on at all. The heating is usually functioning from November-mid March and the air con from June-September. The months in between when it's off contain a few weeks that are extremely comfortable, while the rest you just freeze to death or broil like a steak. My after-school program ends at 6:35 in the evening, meaning that my last two classes do not have heat or air con. (I actually have to wear my gloves in class in the winter because it's so cold). I remember a time last winter, maybe around November, when the heat still hadn't been switched on for our office, the Vice Principal (who is new, viciously mean and who hates our English program) told us, "You don't need heat" while I'm hovering over the steam coming from my cup of coffee to keep warm. I don't think it was turned on for another few weeks. (absolutely necessary)
All that to say that despite the stuffy, baking conditions I've been dealing with the past few weeks, they've only now allowed the air con to be switched on. It's worked in a handful of my classrooms for a few days but only yesterday did I finally walk from the sweltering hallway into a pleasantly cool office...and proceeded to exclaim, "AHHHHHH AIRCON!!!!" while the Koreans laughed because they probably weren't even hot to begin with.
Now begins the struggle of hot teacher vs.cold students.
"Teacher! Cold!" "Teacher! Air con off!" "Teacheerrrrrrrrr!!!"
Sorry kids. Teacher is dying of heat stroke while trying to teach you what a past participle is. Deal with it.
Lots of strong thunderstorms heading this way tonight. I haven't heard a good storm in a while, I hope it's a doozy and doesn't fizzle out like they always seem to do. We don't get many here and it's one thing I miss about summers at home, a good storm. It's starting to cloud up pretty good, we'll see.
Off to school!