Terrible! 5 weeks since my last post, PLEASE DON’T RIDE THE ELEPHANTS! Time flies when you’re… having fun? I suppose some of it has been fun, but mostly it’s a matter of being swamped at work and too tired to blog during my free time.
As always, things continue to change at EV. Let’s see… in the past 5 weeks, we’ve lost a few more teachers, but gained some as well. We now have 5 new Korean teachers and 4 new foreign teachers (3 Americans and 1 South African). Unfortunately, the new ones are too few in number to replace those that have left as well as those who will be leaving… including myself and Glenn! Our last day of work is exactly 3 weeks from today (Wednesday) and we leave Korea the week after.
But I digress; changes at EV…. Well, there is no longer a “Special Programs” department, as every program has been combined into one. What does this mean for OWP, ODP, and SP (Special Programs)? For OWP and SP, it means that we are all one team now and that teachers are randomly assigned to the OWP classes and the other programs that we get (supposedly, though favoritism towards those who were in SP before continues). What this means for ODP is that, since they are now technically part of OWP but continue to work weekends and are off Mondays and Tuesdays, they teach with OWP Wednesday-Friday and do their regular ODP (One Day Programs) on the weekends. Also, since they work for OWP during the week now, all the ODP packages that they used to get during the week are now offered only on weekends, meaning the number of people they’re getting on weekends has greatly increased, which then means they are working more hours and with larger class sizes.
Speaking of class sizes, that has been another change at EV. With barely 30 teachers, admin continues to book programs of 400-600 students. This has led to the average class size increasing from 15 to 20, and changing from having a co-teacher in most cases to teaching lots of double classes. In summary, we’ve gone from the average class having 2 teachers and 30 students to the average class having 1 teacher and 35-40 students. Needless to say, our devo time has significantly decreased and we are all exhausted and scarce on motivation and enthusiasm. Having new teachers has helped a bit, but it’s easy to see that they, too, are starting to feel as we do.
An interesting change that is taking place is the transformation of teacher apartments to hotels. 3 of the 4 new teachers that have moved in within the last 2 weeks were kicked out of the apartments they had just moved into, and relocated to different buildings. Two of our apartment buildings are being renovated – not because they are infested with black mold or have heating systems that don’t work – but because they are being made into hotels for teachers and student overflow. I don’t know what this means for EV; whether it means they plan to book even larger programs in the future, not having enough space in the current hotels, or whether they wanted to provide hotels for teachers that are not infested with rats and mice. Either way, that is what’s happening and we will have to wait and see how they’re going to be used.
Other changes? I suppose, the weather. It went from very cold to about 3 weeks of lovely, warm-ish springtime weather, and this week it’s back to being cold again. It’s been nothing like what North America experienced this winter, but it’s awful just the same when one’s heat doesn’t work. (We’ve had maintenance here to fix our heat 6 times in the last 2 months; it works fine for a day before it stops working again. We’ve given up and now just resort to sitting in front of the space heater, wrapped in our electric blanket.)
Besides all the changes, and being so busy at work, the only other news is that we will be leaving Korea soon. We had originally planned to do Malaysia and Indonesia after leaving Korea and before going home, but due to incompetence on others’ parts (I can’t say any more about that here), we were told at the last minute that this was not possible. So, we were allowed a 4-day stopover in Hawaii instead. (Oh, darn!)
As of right now, this is our tentative plan:
May 7: Last day in Korea
May 7-11: Honolulu, Hawaii
May 12-June: Canada
June-early August: USA
August 4-11: Canada (going back for Glenn’s friend’s wedding)
August 11: Move to Puerto Rico
I’ll do my best to keep my calendar updated so that you can see where we are and what we’re doing. Pictures, of course, will continue to be uploaded!
4 weeks until we leave Korea! Let the countdown begin…!