Some Sorta Korean's Daily Life

Wishes, whims, and whatever.

Work obligations.

This morning, the first grade teacher came with buckets of japchae.  Now, I like japchae a lot, and had I not eaten a giant breakfast this morning, I would have gladly annihilated the contents of the paper bowl placed at my seat at the teachers’ office meeting table.  Unfortunately, I always eat almost as soon as I roll out of bed: I always feel like I haven’t eaten in days in the morning, so I tend to shovel oatmeal and cookie shakes into my face as soon as I possibly can.  Thus, after being ordered to sit down at my spot at the meeting table, I didn’t touch anything except my iced americano, which I only drank in small sips.  And I was perfectly content to sit, run out the clock until the bell rang, and mind my own business while not touching any of the food placed before me.

But suddenly, I heard a voice from the other end of the table.

It was the principal suddenly asking in a crisp, stern voice, “Why isn’t Kimberly eating anything?”

I have never wanted to kick someone in the shins under a table as much as I did at that moment.

For the record, I wasn’t eating anything because what I do or do not eat is none of anyone’s damn business.  And I really wanted to say so, but since that’s not very polite, I awkwardly mumbled my Korean reply. “I ate a big breakfast today.”  This prompted the secretary to remark, “I guess she doesn’t like japchae.”  To which I sheepishly replied, “I do, but I’m really full.”

I’m just sick of having to make excuses for not always eating the mountains of food provided at work.  What I eat is a decision that should be mine and no one else’s.

T-minus six hours until freedom.

Thursday is the new Friday.

Or at least, for this week, it will be.  Tomorrow is National Foundation Day in Korea.  According to Wikipedia, the holiday has existed since 2333 B.C.E: it’s literally the day that ancient Korea came into existence.  And since this day is red on the Korean calendar, it translates into a three day weekend.  I couldn’t be more relieved.  All I need to do is complete this work day and I will be free for three glorious, glorious days of frumping.

Wednesday hasn’t felt like this much of an oncoming train in a while.

It’s funny how one class can completely ruin your entire day.

The foreign English teacher’s position in this school isn’t the greatest in terms of well… almost every negotiable aspect of the contract.  I have zero power over what goes into my schedule, I don’t have a classroom, and despite there being a law in place against my teaching first and second graders, I see them four times a week, and most of the time, I teach them without any assistance.

Twice a week, I have to oversee day care for forty minutes a day.  Officially, this is supposed to be an English class, but I can’t really call it that at all.  The kids in this class are different every single time, so I can’t even build a curriculum for it.  The banshees students are always late, the assistant is never there, and they basically do whatever they please.  Even if it’s so poorly managed, I’m expected to try and teach a class of young children that rotate through this class at random significant amounts of English.  It’s impossible, so I mostly just pray and pick out easy things that I know they’ve done in their regular after school classes.  Even with this, there’s no guarantee that the students will go along with anything I put on the table.  They’re children.  They’ve just finished recess.  They don’t pay the English monster any attention because they’re children, they’ve just finished recess, and punching each other while jumping on desks is a much more entertaining way to pass the time.  Nuts to this ABC business! 

Ugh.  I was really happy that October was starting, too.  I’m incredibly, incredibly angry.  I love fall, I love October, and I’m so angry that those monsters were allowed to ruin the first day of this month that I could spit like an ajeosshi.  I’ll still try my best to make the regular after school classes good, but I’m as done as meat carbon with day care.  


Final Fantasy Explorers adds Cloud, FF “Legends” ⊟

We have a new trailer for Final Fantasy Explorers, Square Enix’s multiplayer action-RPG coming to the 3DS in Japan this December. Along with showing off various classes, the video demonstrates the previously announced Trance / Legends Characters feature, which allows you to temporarily transform into popular characters from the mainline series like Final Fantasy VII's hero Cloud.

You can also see Lightning, Squall, Terra, and silhouettes for other characters in the clip. Watch the new Tokyo Game Show trailer after the break:

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I’m sure that one day, I’ll miss this job. It’s been an unusual ride so far, but I can’t really say that life here is unbearable. Sure, there are a lot of things that could be a lot better. I wouldn’t be leaving if I didn’t think I could be significantly happier in another place. But life could definitely be worse. I could still be working at an English kindergarten. Or worse, I could have no job at all. But I get to work here, a place that allows me enough free time to take dumb snaps of dumb work things (exhibit A is pictured above).

In a little over five months, this contract will be complete. This is really exciting. And a little scary.