You have failed and now you must Daegu!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Well, another year is essentially in the books.

The last official day of school was on Tuesday. I came in for a meeting on Wednesday(only in Korea, seriously, I just sat there and watched the clock until the other teachers stood up) and I've been off for the past two days. In full Cliff Huxtable style I am wearing a Hawaiian shirt and eating a giant sandwich. I also have Monday off, but then it's off to a 3-day summer camp at another school. Then, I have to come in for another meeting on Friday at my school. Then it's time for summer camp at my school. It's going to last 4 days and its going to be hell I'm sure.

The principal has different ideas about teaching English than, well, everyone else. None of us really want to listen to his, erm, "advice," but we have no choice. He's retiring in two months and wants this to be his, uh, "legacy." He's demanded that we not teach reading or writing. ONLY SPEAKING! He doesn't want to see pencils or books. ONLY TALKING! IN ENGLISH! Who cares if the kids actually know what they're saying. Part of me dies every time I hear him discuss his ideas for English camp.

I finally got access to the new English room at my school. It has a lot of stuff I don't need and won't use. They paid a moderate sum of cash to buy these massive electric talking posters with the worst speakers I've ever heard. Everything sounds like a subway announcement. As soon as I move in there I'm unplugging all that shit and plugging in an industrial size air conditioner. We did win our battle for desks and chairs. The room looks great and I couldn't be happier.

Last week we took a teacher's field trip to the nearby port city of Pohang. First, we went to a temple/forest preserve to relax for a few hours. I watched some of the other teachers try to catch tadpoles for about two hours while relaxing. High comedy.

Then we hit a Korean sushi restaurant. The fish was really fresh, but everything was painfully spicy. I also got a lecture from the leader of my office. Each grade has a designated "Senior Member." The subject teachers also have to elect a "Senior Member." Ours is a douche. I can't stand the guy and he can't stand me. He only speaks Korean, fine, but I wish he'd realize that I know what he's saying. I don't like it when he criticizes how I eat or what I eat and I'm not afraid to let him know about it. I realize, different culture and different country, but he needs to keep his beady fucking eyes off my plate. Either way, this time I was told not to put my hands in my pockets or blow my nose in the presence of the Principal. Thanks for the tip dickbag. Now it's my turn, don't make nasty comments about me not liking squid.

Then the beer and soju started flowing. Everyone got ripped. Everyone. One dude threw up. It was the ancient "maintence guy." I thought he was made of sterner stuff. On the busride back they broke out the karaoke machine. I'm convinced that this is actually an ancient form of torture. Seriously. Locking 50 adults on a bus and forcing them to sing badly. After an hour of that I was ready to surrender my country's national secrets, but the Principal just wanted more drinking. I saw the "Senior Member," of my office pretending to sleep. I thought this was a good idea, so I did the same thing. The Principal kicked me. Twice. Then a female teacher hit me. Twice. I'm sure I didn't keep a straight face, but they left me alone and allowed me to escape as soon as we pulled up. I needed a bathroom. Badly.

Not much else has happened. We had a bit of a miscommunication on Monday. Apparently, we had an Opening Ceremony of sorts for the English Room. No one told me beforehand, so I showed up to school in a t-shirt and jeans without shaving. So, after lunch, I sprinted home to put on proper attire. I even wore a Star Wars tie(around my head) so I knew Zwirb would approve, but my co-teacher didn't tell me when the ceremony started, so I waited. And waited. And waited. And finally she bounced into the office. "Matt! You changed your clothes!" She thought I went to the bank or something. It would have been nice to have been there and it did hurt my feelings a little, but I'll get over it. It would have probably been more of a headache than anything.

There's a dog restaurant in my neighborhood. I just found this out last week.

About fucking time. Savages.

Less than 3 weeks until my vacation. I can't wait. I need a break.


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