Wasted Time Part I
I went to school at 10am. I knew it was going to be another teacher’s meeting in Korean. Today though, they all were meeting in the adjacent computer room. For a second I thought about going in, even stood near the door. I enjoyed the fact I’d be in the meeting room free to go over lesson plans made for the next two months. So, I went back inside, and made a to-do and shopping list. After an hour or so, the teachers, vp and p came back. The meeting continued, some awards were handed out to teachers, and lots of talking ensued (first time I used that word and I’ve known it forever!).
Very nicely I was told I’d be getting a new co-teacher. What I heard was the teacher from 6-2, but then from Jong Ae herself, the former 6-5 teacher! For a split second I was really happy. She has the best English of anyone at Ochi. Then I though what if she wants to go through all the textbook lessons? I have three days at the school and can’t possibly do listen and repeat or sing a song ever again for three days straight. I know I’m opposed to the textbook, but I think there are better ways to teach some of the material in the book. Some of the material isn’t bad–it’s the way that it’s presented. In Korea, kids don’t start learning to read in English until the fifth grade–that’s a problem. So I tried and am trying my best to change that for those the fourth graders I had last semester and will have this coming semester. Also, the book gives the kids answers with easy fill-in-the-blank sentences where paragraphs are two, three sentences long. That’s something I would love to teach my students this year. Getting them to be able to write in paragraph at the end of the semester would be superb.
…Once the meeting ended, my liaison co now my new English co, told me everyone was going out for lunch. In response I said “I hope it’s not hae mool (seafood)” Jong Ae said she didn’t know. And guess what I saw when I opened the door? A fish tank, with a huge fish in it. I sighed and thought well, maybe they’ll have rice or something I can actually eat and don’t dislike. And –the big one–I hope nothing’s moving. Sea penis would really have ruined it… Here’s what there was:
I was pretty disappointed when the choices were sweet potato–which isn’t that awesome and salad. I just opted not to eat much. All the raw fish and the smell of seaweed soup with shelled fish (clam or oyster) made me lose my appetite. That’s when the rice was served. I told Jong Ae not to worry, I’d eat later. Her and a male teacher told me to try the fish. I knew I wouldn’t like it. I never liked sushi, and have tried fish raw during EIC. I nodded no. At one point, I told Jong Ae to tell the male teacher to I don’t like seafood. She said what was on the plate in front of me (in front of other side dishes) was fried sweet potato. I think I tried it all, and don’t like anything except for the meat, rice and sauce. Lunch is really good at Ochi, but going into a seafood restaurant doesn’t have the same effect. Today I wasn’t excited about eating, I felt disconnected from the table–from the food and people eating it. At one point I took out Gwangju News and started leafing through it. What a crab I was–man that was bad.
Sitting there unable to enjoy my food or the people around me, I became angry. I was angry because I agreed to go, I put myself in the situation. The last time it was seafood, and the first time when I was vegetarian, it was eel. I think it’s best that I opt out of group lunches for good. I don’t want to be rude by saying no, but I’m never happy when I’m there/can’t eat anything/become a serious crab. I don’t like seafood and can get grossed out by people picking at an entire fish with the eyes and head still on or by dead sea creatures that still move.
Wasted Time Part II
…Then my pay check didn’t come. It’d didn’t come at 2:30, 3, 3:30, 4, 4:30, 5pm–which is pretty standard, or 5:05. I was pissed. I waited downtown, walking outside and underground for two hours to get nothing. All the wasted time made me feel cranky. Finally though, it came after 5::30pm. It was odd. Ochi is always on time with my pay but I didn’t think I’d have to wait so long during the day for it to show up. I took out some change and decided to wait till tomorrow to do the stuff I had planned to do today.
While going home, before finding the check did come, I had a massive headache brought on by not eating lunch and being worried about my check. This type of headache meant one thing– I waited too long to eat. I ate pizza because it was the only option after having been away from home for 3.5 or more hours. I also got some tools to fix my guitar:
The cranky crab was me. Now I’m back to my normal, happy self. 🙂