American [no longer] In Korea

The New Jersey of Asia


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Last Minute Society / Sick Days

I remember being told many times by pretty much everybody that Korea is a last minute society. You get told there won't be work tomorrow, or this class is canceled with very short notice. I'm sure part of it is due to communication issues with the administration remembering to tell the Token Korean That Speaks English to tell the foreigner. But part of it is also because Korea truly is a last minute society where things change fast. Often my teachers have been kept out of the loop until a phone call 15 minutes before a cancellation. I don't know why this is, it could be higher ups keeping this opaque intentionally, absentmindedness, or just the madness of the method. I have a feeling its mostly just how things work around here.

Class cancellations happen quite frequently, at least for elementary schools. These are the reasons I've heard for my cancels:

Some foreign teachers get frustrated and stressed out about the super-short notice thing. Maybe because they are used to less chaos and have trouble adapting. My dad is a doctor (former transplant surgeon, actually), so I asked my dad what you should do if you are having such difficulty. Here is what Dr. Dad said

Elevated levels of stress are normal for people starting a new job in a foreign environment. If you are experiencing elevated levels of stress and are having trouble adapting, try to limit your caffeine and sugar intake, drink more water and get a good night's sleep. If in the morning, you find that you are still being a whiny little faggot, kill yourself.

I've had so many cancellations that I believe my average hours of classes taught per week has been 17. Today is Labor day so yesterday (Monday) I asked my CT if I come in tomorrow. She told me school will be held as usual, despite Labor day.

Birth of an Ajumma

On The Best of Sett

I remember the first day I met her, when she took me to orientation. I got in her car and she was all smiles, but I couldn't figure out her English ability. What better way to do that then to crack a few jokes about cheating on her husband, fuck me right?

“That's a nice ring. It looks heavy.”

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