Well, it’s Thursday night, which means I go back to work tomorrow. I’d been thinking that working the weekend shift is going to be a piece of cake, because Friday is a half day (kids go home after lunch and we just have meetings the rest of the day), Saturday and Sunday will just be bobbing for apples (or whatever activity they have planned for this weekend), Monday is another half day since we’ll get the new group of students and start the day with orientation, so Tuesday really is the only “real” day of work for us. Then I got to thinking and I’ve come to the realization that I’m going to get bored very quickly. I am someone who needs to constantly be challenged in order to be engaged in my work, and that is my main concern regarding the weekend program. Especially since I’ve spent the last 5 years teaching, and have actual skills I could contribute to the OWP and other programs, whereas a lot of the OWP teachers aren’t really teachers (meaning their background/experirence is in something other than teaching). I’m not saying that they aren’t good at their job; I’m just saying that as a teacher, I sort of expected to… um, I don’t know… teach?
On the other hand, I may be able to get switched to Special Programs and be involved in developing curricula and activities for adults and other special groups that come to GEV (“Special Progras” is basically customized programs for groups that can’t do the One Week Program). I’ve already talked to the Coordinator of Special Programs about this, and she is very interested in having me join their team in a couple of months after some of their teachers leave, BUT I have to be already scheduled to work Monday-Friday, not the Weekend Program.
The newbies met tonight to discuss how we’ll approach the Head Teachers about the unfairness of sticking us on weekends “permanently,” though I know they’ve already gotten it down to 6 months. Everyone has his/her own reasons, and the main thing is that is just isn’t fair that we are the ONLY ones who have been put on weekends “permanently,” when there are at least 10 more newbies arriving within the next month. I know that some of the higher-ups have already complained to admin on our behalf, but they aren’t seeming to budge on this. Whether or not they take our complaints into consideration, at least we will have stood for up for ourselves.
So, all that being said, let me tell you about my day:
I had planned on taking a ton of pictures today, but can you believe that my camera broke?! I have no idea how it happened, but it must have happened sometime between downloading the pictures from Seoul and putting the camera away afterwards. I don’t know if I dropped it (I don’t think I did; I would’ve remembered it) or maybe I accidentally banged it against something, but the screen is totally shattered and I can’t even see part of a picture through it, rendering it useless to me. I’m really upset because that was a gift from my parents on my 22nd birthday, which sounds really long ago now that I’ve typed that out…. I’m also upset because it’s the only camera I’ve got, and I really want to take some more pictures of things that I do and see, but can’t afford to get a new camera until payday! AND I had just bought batteries for it on Saturday! Oy….
Despite my discovery of the broken camera, I had an awesome morning catching up with friends and stayed in bed until noon (I woke up at 7:00am). I got to Skype with Glenn, Silvia & Renato, Dhaval, and Sabrina, and chatted with countless others on Facebook. I’ve been making a real effort to keep in touch with friends on a regular basis, and so far, they’re reciprocating… which has been really nice, since that isn’t always the case. Anyway, around 1:30, Rene and Zaaid came by and we set out to go hiking! We found the trail and hiked to the top of the mountain (though we debated whether it was a mountain or just a hill; I’ll have to re-watch “The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain”). It was a gorgeous day, in the sixties, with blue skies and enough sun to keep us warm despite the chilly breeze, so the hike was quite pleasant… even when we got to a really steep spot and were breathing heavily by the time we go to the top of it. We could see Paju below us, which isn’t anything special to look at, but the surrounding mountains were beautiful. Across the river was, of course, North Korea. In fact, throughout the hike we saw ditches that I’m sure had been dug years ago, and that were/are used by South Korean sniper soldiers (seeing as North Korea is just across the river, literally a few miles away). Rene took some photos and I’ll post them up as soon as she sends them to me.
We stayed up at the top of the mountain/hill for a little while, then headed back down. Once we were back on the road, we decided to stop by the Emart since we all needed groceries. Zaaid put their groceries in his backpack, but I came unprepared and had to purchase a plastic bag for my groceries. It was a bit heavy, since I stuffed everything in there, and ended up toting it around all day because we then decided to get some kimbap (Korean sushi rolls) because we were hungry. The kimbap place was around the corner from the Emart and it was cool to walk around there since I hadn’t explored it yet, but it would’ve been more fun if I wasn’t carrying a bag of groceries! The kimbap we ordered was really good, though I had a moment of “I don’t like this very much” when I first tried it. You will all be happy to know that it had tuna in it, and was wrapped in seaweed, and I still tried it! AND after the first few bites, I decided I liked it! Knowing I like tuna from a can, I was able to convince myself that I liked this tuna as well. Hey, don’t get excited… this doesn’t mean I’m going to like other seafood!
On the walk back to GEV, Rene offered to help me carry my groceries (sincere thanks, Rene) and I almost took her up on it, especially when Zaaid got us turned around and we ended up walking an extra 10 minutes (sarcastic thanks, Zaaid), but I managed to carry it all the way back myself. I figured that was the closest I would get to lifting weights for a while, considering I can’t afford a gym membership at the moment. We ran into Jennifer on the way back and she asked if I could bring all the unwanted stuff from my apartment to the supply closet. So, I went to my apartment, put down my groceries, then made the 3 trips to and back from the Exhibition Center (where the supply closet is) carrying all the junk I didn’t want. I got in quite a workout today and I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow!
I had dinner at the Cafeteria and then met with the newbies, as I mentioned earlier. It turned into a busy/eventful day, and I’m grateful because now I don’t feel like I wasted my days off. I really missed Shanti and Chris these past few days! We newbies had grown so close last week and then we were torn apart due to our different weekend schedules. It will be nice for us all to work together again tomorrow and over the weekend!
Tomorrow is the first meeting of the Spanish Club, which I’m joining in order to keep up my Spanish. I don’t know how well the others speak it but I do know there will be a couple of people starting from scratch. I may end up teaching it more than practicing it at a higher level so I’ve gotten in touch with my Spanish teacher in Chile who I adored, and we are going to have weekly Skype sessions in Spanish. Tomorrow night, if nothing is going on, I’ll probably go play piano again (did I mention in my other post that I played piano Tuesday night?) since I’m accompanying Caleb for an upcoming audition. I’ve really hit the ground running, haven’t I?