First let me state that the school I work for is weird. I can't really say the name of the school because, well, teaching here is some kind of top secret mission.
It was weird when I worked here before, and my hopes for things being better when I came back are... well, things are better. But the systemic issues that make me want to beat my head against a wall until I pass out are the same.
"Breath," I say to myself. "You have six months to go." And then a voice in my head weeps.
So, last week, T and I were working together on a PowerPoint for summer camp, a PPT she needed to present that day. She was asking for my help because I'm excellent not only at animating PPTs but also, knowing how to make complex ideas palatable for all levels of ESL learners whom may or may not know much English, but must teach or appear to teach for 40 minutes while avoiding any injury.
This is harder than you might think since half the time "sit down" is not understood or much else. Nevertheless, it's the path I've chosen. So T and I were hard at work when my boss of sorts wandered over. Either R. or D. sent her a message that they couldn't work. By work R. means watching birds and D. means, well I don't sit next to him, but he keeps saying this job is so easy and he has too much free time so I'm positive work does not mean the same thing it does to me or you.
Anyway, boss told us to stop working. I thought that she misunderstood because T and I have been guilty of having a warm up the day conversation with the neighboring teacher. When it happens its from 8:30 to 9:00 and then classes start at 9:20. Because D. and R. are such awesome coworkers and completely self-unaware, they complain about any noise they don't make. I can't remember if I wrote about the keyboard or not, but to illustrate this point, let me tell you about it...
One day I was typing madly-- mostly I do PPTs here so I don't usually have much cause to type madly. But this day required about 1000 words in a row. R. is always typing on chat rooms because, well, like many ESL teachers, he's not here to teach. He's here for an easy paycheck.
And in the public schools you can choose to work a little or a lot. This particular English Center located in yeongju-- if you can't figure it out, them I'm very good at keeping my place of employment top secret. So, in the schools attempt to cut down on free time, there is a lot of pointless paperwork that comes with this position. And during one of these paper work times, R. eaned over and said, "Can't you type more quietly?" He then gave me a rubber keyboard cover.
Add then went back to slamming on his uncovered keyboard. I politely told him he can't ask me to do be quieter than himself when typing, and I bet you can guess how bunched up his panties got.
So anyway, the two least industrious teachers demand silence and because sometimes life is 100% nonsensical, my boss asked my coworker and I stop talking.
"We really are working today," I said.
"I know," she said. "But you've been at it for forty minutes."
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and 17 chickens.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018