i have been comparing things a lot lately. here versus there. i know it isn't comparable and try to take an anthropological approach. like analyzing the use of space. Americans are used to having a lot of space (in cars, houses, buildings, etc etc) and Koreans are not (and almost seem to prefer a smaller space). use of space is an expression. Americans use space as a buffer for privacy. Koreans seem to ask private questions (how old are you? are you married? how much money do you make?) but those are just normal questions for them. *shrug* I have actually started making verbal comments and I wonder if it makes people uncomfortable. Like... when watching TV, "that hat is hideous!" and just comments on appearance.
My big secret... sometimes now.. I see someone with a really small face and I can't help but look twice, thinking how small their face is.
i feel like a bum here at my parents' house.
i take care of things like watering the plants outside, washing dishes, and i've vacuumed the entire house (7 hours of vacuuming. i got every spider. yes. and even found a place where mold was growing! >.< ).
when mom's at work, i go to the basement and sort through things. we have a lot of.... stuff we never use. i'd like to say i got rid of everything we don't use, but i'm afraid that would be noticeable. and i can't in good conscience throw out things that i know belong to someone else... not without asking. there were some things i did - only because i know no one will use them or even miss them. like 2 bags of plastic containers. i think they were the ones i had at college. they got bagged up and sent to the basement when i moved back from college. mom said she wanted them. *shrug* but that was 6 years ago. so i put them out in the trash last week. along with some random stuff.
but there's stuff down there i'd like to get rid of, but it's not mine and not something i could just toss. like my dad's plane building kits and the old couch sham pillows. why did we keep those? there's a glass lamp that is supposed to hang from the ceiling, and my brother's legos and lego table...bionicle.
i am actively sending off to goodwill/salvation army all the usable stuff. clothes i won't wear. photo frames my gram gave us that still just have the stock photos in them. (i dunno why she gives us frames. it's not like we don't have pictures up) ACTUALLY - funny thing - one frame she gave us did not just have a stock photo in it. We assumed it was a stock photo because it's a girl we don't know in a track suit type outfit. But we opened the frame and found the stock photo was behind the photo of the girl.... It's a real picture of some girl.... and we aren't really sure who this child is.
Best assumption is that she's some godchild of my gram's... My gram has a few godchildren even though she's not Catholic. Just some friends' grandkids or something I guess....
at first i wanted to vent about just meh-ful things in life. but i can't. it's not bad.
i view this time as a mini vacation.
that makes studying hard. lol.
i should be studying japanese.
but i just want to watch korean shows. and speak korean.
i almost feel like i've betrayed my inner self.
maybe my coteacher was right and my past life was korean. HA. or dirtiest of all words - half. i was half korean half japanese. (my ancestors would shudder. let's hush this all up now.)
anyway. i just felt like writing because i used to write a lot and i haven't actually written anything in months. i used to have a blog for my life in korea. but i haven't written on it in.... i don't know how long. i think i stopped around last november because i was so tired.
i had this lingering feeling starting around mid october of last year that something would happen to my job. normally at that time they send you the request and you sign a paper, go get a medical check-up and you're set for the next year. but it didn't come. and i got nervous. and then the email came out about the budget cut. i had a slight chance to "win" a spot based on some bullshit grading system. having a linguistics degree, 2 years previous experience, 2 open classes and a contest judging.. and i forgot to include after school... and should have mentioned the pro-bono extra class I taught as a favor to my school....i'm stupid...
they pretty much gave my spot away to a girl who had only 1 year experience there, and may have had a degree in teaching, but i think actually her first degree was in women's studies, so i'm not sure if she did have a teaching background...someone later told me she was teaching classes on saturdays as community service or something.
they basically told me i lost my chance because i said i wanted to stay at my school.
*sigh* but you know.. being there, i could have been sent back to the school i transferred out of, and that would have been unbearable. what's more, that position's housing is now in Goesan. whole lot of nope. lol. actually, i forgot. that position did improve because i told the boss-boss it needed to be 2 schools. so the person who got that job only had to spend 2 days a week in the school with the insane coteacher (who should have been severely reprimanded but they didn't) and the undisciplined kids.
i think i could stand living in Goesan if I didn't have to go to Sosu. actually. Jeff lives in Goesan. I miss Jeff. He's kind of like family... he's actually from the same area in the States I'm from, so we know what we're talking about. He loves Korean food and culture and we would go to Korean class every Saturday. It was nice to have someone to ride with again. I think of him as a real dongsaeng (little brother). I hope he's doing okay. I think they added another school to his load (so 3 now).
Everyone got more schools. It's bad.
I can understand the province wanting to give the more rural schools a chance at having a native teacher, but it's just really no good to add schools on like that. It would be better to cut them out of their original places and just send them into the countryside.... but then they'd miss their old schools... So yeah... *shrug*
If only the budget had not been drastically cut.
I forgot to tell you how bad it was cut.
There were 130 February contracts. They only could afford to keep 23 contracts.
There you have it. If you want to get an ESL job in South Korea - make sure you go to a rich province, or get signed on as a teacher who is part of the school's budget (aka you get paid directly from the school, not from a disbursement from the office of education) or you work at a private academy (hagwon).