So, I have news. Kind of big news.

I had gotten this job offer from this school in Korea and I was seriously considering it, going so far as to fill out the employment contract. But lucky for me, I didn't fax it or sign it or send it to anyone. The day I was about to fax the contract to the school, my friend Claire (oh Godsend Claire!) emailed me a link to about 50 posts criticizing this school and basically telling everyone considering applying there to run for her life. Had the evidence not been so overwhelmingly abundant, I may have brushed it off as spoiled Americans expecting Korea to be America, only cheaper and without English. But the complaints were plentiful. And some of the posts were directed against the exact school I was going to be teaching at. In light of this information, I informed the school that I would have to think it over and sent them the link so that they could see what was being said about their school.

So, that night, I spent about 3 hours applying for other jobs and searching the internet (Dave's ESL Cafe to be specific) for better opportunities. Well, all that paid off. I have now accepted a job at Haba Playschool in Seocho, Seoul. The hours are so much better than at the other school and I'm getting paid the exact same amount. I have spoken with the principal and she is extremely cooperative and kind. She is communicating regularly with Kenny, who took the liberty of calling her and asking her all sorts of questions to make sure I wasn't getting into any sort of mess! The job is kindergarten from 9:20 am to 4:00 pm. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, gets off work at 4:00 pm in Korea. Kenny's day "officially" ends at 6, but you don't leave until your work is done, so he's there until 7:30 or later some nights. And it takes him 2 hours to get home. See? In Korea you work until your work is done. Then you go home. So I got extremely lucky teaching younger kids because their schooling ends earlier in the day. Ages 2-5 at the school! I have 10 children in each class and I'm so excited. The first day of school is March 3rd, so I am trying to leave the beginning of the last week in February in order to get there and get used to the 15 hour time difference and adjust to life in a new country. And maybe I'll have a bit more time with Kenny before I start working.

It is all happening so fast and in a whirlwind sort of way. But that's how my life usually is. Time creeps by where nothing much is happening and then BOOM! It's time to go. Like when I decided I'd move to England to get my Master's, all of a sudden the day before I was supposed to leave was upon me and I realized I needed to pack! This time, since I'm going a bit further, I think I'll pack a few days in advance, but I'm not making any promises. Anyway, I only have a small bit of time left. I hope to spend that working (I got a new substitute job that is kind of steady. I'm working at LaVergne High in the Special Ed classes. It's a wonderful experience that is so incredibly rewarding) and spending time with my family and friends. I need to make a lot of phone calls and see a lot of people and give and get a lot of hugs.

I never feel I'm participating in my life when things like this are happening. I feel that I haven't orchestrated a bit of it, that the decision to go to Korea was chosen for me in some way and now it's just happening to me. Some may think that this feeling of "otherness" pushing me into new countries and new experiences might feel funny, but it's really the most comfortable way for me to deal with big changes. I simply let it happen. So, I've been watching tons of things happen to me in the past week and that's my news. I'm leaving for Korea soon! Woot.

1 comment:

  1. Hey. I'm not sure if you remember me from Shorter or not. Just saw this post. I spent last year teaching English in Taiwan. It was such a great experience. It's great that you're going to Korea. Don't take any crap from your employer. Schools can be pretty shady. Have a great time!


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