Sunday, 23 October 2011

Someday you’re gonna look back at this week and cringe.

I was basically a basketcase for my first week here. I was tired and jet-lagged, dehydrated, starved, but too much of a nervous wreck to put anything with more flavour than an egg in my system. The idea of eating anything at all made me feel nauseous, but meanwhile I was so hungry that I felt sick. Stupid body. Really I needed a week to just recover before I started working, and had I gotten my papers in order a bit faster, I suppose I could have wrangled it. However, it is entirely too late for that now, and despite spending a week feeling like a weepy wreck and feeling ashamed for how poorly I felt I was handling things, I’m still here. I’m in Korea.

I still miss Canada like crazy though. I still keep half-expecting to wake up.

Anyway, have some stuff I wrote during my first week when I was bordering on certifiable.

October 9, 2011

So, awesome news. Turns out I’m gonna get two whole hours of training before I start teaching tomorrow. I’m somehow oddly calm and terrified at once. Just have to remind myself that I did voluntarily sign up for this. I have brought tonight’s inevitable lack of sleep on myself.

October 10

Not entirely over my jet lag yet it seems, and I still have one more class to teach tonight.

First class went okay (with help), second went pretty well, my third was bordering on chaos, and my fourth was rather quiet because it had three girls who all looked as sleepy as I felt.

My last class tonight is a writing one and I remember nothing from my instructions at all.

New friend D is my hero. She gave me a hug when I was basically freaking out before my first class. Information overload combined with no chances to observe or anything or practice, ack. Furthermore, my head is beginning to ache and after work we’re apparently all supposed to go out to say farewell to M, who I am replacing, and to say welcome to me.

Supposedly I am expected to drink. It’s a thing. And it’s rude to not. And I’m already fried so it’s gonna knock me flat after like, a sip.

I highly doubt my next group will be a lively bunch, but it’s a writing class so I’m kind of looking forward to it. According to one of my fellow teachers, it’s a writing class for essays, but according to another it can be creative too. Try and see if I can get them writing stories, or at least about something that interests them. Describe a place, an emotion…

At least the classes are only 50 minutes. None of this hour and fifteen stuff I did in high school.

Better get ready. Nearly showtime.

[edit: here’s where I get really nice and basket casey…]

October 12

I really, really, REALLY need to stop crying. It’s stupid how on edge I am today. I was still teaching new classes and my brain kept deciding to abandon me when I needed it most.

I’m so drained that it doesn’t even begin to resemble funny. I had better sleep like the dead tonight or I’ll be joining them tomorrow. Technically I’m teaching seven classes tomorrow because we’re doing some monthly practice evaluation before my boss and other teachers tomorrow, plus a full, full, FULL (six classes back to back to back etc) day. Friday looks comparatively calm but still full of stuff I haven’t taught yet.

In other words, tomorrow I’m gonna be just as bagged but at least I’m no longer dehydrated. I think I consumed about four litres of water today and none of it made a bid for a escape, if you catch my meaning.

Also, this morning when I went shopping I spent three dollars on a single apple. It was the single most delicious thing I’ve eaten since arriving here. I actually started bawling when I took the first bite.

It tasted like home.

October 13, 2011

This has been the longest damn week of my life. And it’s only Thursday. Today also gets to be the longest day of my life.

I teach six classes, plus a practice class in front of my bosses today, and I get a 15 minute break today in which I can wolf down a Clementine and some chips because they’re all I can stomach right now.

…Um, so yeah, that was basically my first week. There was a lot of crying, being a homesick wreck, and leaning almost too heavily on my new coworkers. They were super about keeping me reassured and reminding me that I had only been in the country for a few days and things would soon improve.

I spent most of my first full weekend here wrapped up on my bed with my laptop, talking to friends and family, doing some lesson planning, and sleeping like a fox. I was very nervous about the impending Week the Second, but suddenly it’s Saturday again, and here I am. Killing some time before going out with coworkers for some dinner and drinks, and then tomorrow I will do some lesson planning, buy some more things I need for my place, and begin the countdown to week three.

Fifty weeks to go.

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