I just finished my second day of teaching. This is a fucking nightmare.

I was supposed to get a week of training – two days at the very least. Instead I was given two hours, simply observing Jack’s class. After that I was tossed in with a bunch of ramunctious kindergardners and did my best to take them through their exercises and stop them from running around and climbing on the table and such.

The kids are okay. They’re really cute and some of them speak English better than my sister of the same age. When I run out of syllabus materials it’s hard to figure out what to do and I generally resort to letting them draw on the whiteboard or playing hangman, which I doubt I’m supposed to do (and there’s a camera in every classroom, with a monitor behind the secretaries’ desk). So the work itself isn’t too bad.

But there is waaaaaaay too much of it. Yesterday I started at 9.00 and wasn’t walking upstairs to my apartment until 7.30. And I had a handful of textbooks under my hand, to do the next day’s lesson planning with. I had an atrocious headache and felt like shit.

Today I didn’t have late classes so I knocked off “early” at 5.30. Coming from university and casual employment, a 9 to 5 schedule would have been hard enough to adapt to, but a 9 to 7 working day is just fucking insane. Technically I get breaks, but I’m expected to do lesson planning in them. And the whole lesson planning/syllabus/curriculum thing is really, really tedious. And that’s when it’s fresh and new – I can’t imagine what it will be like down the track.

It’s not that I wish I hadn’t come to Korea. It’s that I wish I’d planned it a little more carefully. I was so desperate to escape Perth that I only heard what I wanted to hear, and figured that “9-10” to “5-7” wouldn’t be so bad. I was a stupid idiot.

There is not a snowball’s chance in hell of me sticking out this contract. The thought of even sticking it out for the rest of the month is bad enough. At this stage I’m planning to wait until I get my first paycheck, or my flight reimbursed – whichever happens first, because I just need to break even – then bailing.

And even that will suck. I can either go to London, hang out with Georgie and try to find work, then traipse around Europe with Mike for a bit before going home stone broke – which subsequently destroys any chance of me and Chris backpacking around the world together, which is my #1 life goal at the moment. Or I can go directly home, which means I wouldn’t lose too much money at all (worst case scenario, I leave before either getting paid or getting my airfare back, in which case the entire sorry venture leaves me $1500 out of pocket). Then I continue working at Coles, or find some other crummy job, and maybe go with Chris to Japan early next year? Plus I have to deal with the shame of coming home. There’s no point sticking it out in a job I hate, but at the very least I’ll feel kinda stupid about amping myself up for Korea so much and then leaving so early.

I just want money so I can travel. Travelling is amazing because you have your freedom. It doesn’t matter so much if you get homesick or don’t like a place, because you’re your own man and you can do whatever you please. You’re not accountable to anyone. I didn’t realise until I came here just how much I valued that.

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