I find myself sleeping much better here at Lisa’s apartment where there is air conditioning, though she has no curtains so I wake up pretty early from the light. I wish this were my apartment and not hers, but hopefully in the process of repairing the collapsing wall in my apartment building they will also use that time to renovate it as well.  By the time I move back in, the lack of air conditioning will not be an issue, thankfully, but I would love to have some improvements in the apartment, like wallpaper without huge patches of mold. I’m in this apartment until Sunday morning, when I move up to Damyang for two weeks to teach teachers that are, on average, about 15 years older than I am. Awkwarrrrrd. After I get back, I move to the house in Gunnae, though what I am doing between August 22nd and September 1st (when school starts back up again) I have no idea. It could be anything between having that time completely off and sitting in the office from 9-5. I obviously am hoping for the former. Hopefully the annoyance I have caused my supervisor this week will sway things in my favor. I wish I knew when the estimated date is to finish repairing my apartment building is, but here in Korea, even if I could find out such a date, it would likely be wrong, sadly.

I’ve been hanging out with Erin in the evenings, as her husband is away in Seoul working at a hospital (he’s a doctor) this week, and I have been feeling a little lonely since Marc left on Sunday. Plus, this means that I don’t have to worry about buying food while I’m here at Lisa’s (since I am only here for 3 more days).

I have been having to revise my lesson plans every day, often on the fly, as the energy level of the students seems to vary from day to day far more than it does during the school year. I got them interested yesterday by providing candy as a reward for “winning” the lessons, but that always feels like cheating to me. I am somewhat comforted by knowing that most other foreign teachers, even those in Seoul, get the same uninterested response from their kids (well, the middle school kids anyway), so I am able to remind myself that it does not mean I am a bad teacher. I wish I didn’t feel quite so much like I am merely here to entertain the kids while teaching them a modicum of English, but since I only see each class once every 2 weeks, it’s hard to make progress with them outside of what they get with their Korean teacher. They mostly do traditional school work with their Korean teacher, so when they do see me, all they want to do is play games. Makes me feel somewhat devalued, but it also makes my job easier, as when I am feeling low energy, I can just play hangman with them or something.

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July 2008

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