I’ve not been doing too many touristy things. Mostly I’ve just been riding my bike around, trying to keep my apartment clean, and watching as the weather slowly gets colder. (It’s nice and warm these days though, back up to almost 55.)
Yesterday I went shopping and bought some new clothes… boots with fuzzy insides, a sweater that shocks everything it touches, and a cute little black shirt with a bow tie around the neck. I feel like a real teacher, haha, buying all these teachery clothes.
The past couple weeks have been a struggle. I don’t want to lie about that. I also don’t want to let it overshadow the things that I am liking, and the fact that I finally feel like I’m making some solid friends. Everyone tells me that the 3-4 month mark is the hardest, and that once you plow through it, things will lighten up. Even though I had a good sociable weekend, I am still frightened to go back to work. I feel exhausted even thinking about it.
This week made me want to throw in the towel. I am having issues with a few of my classes, but I am so reluctant to get angry with students. I always feel very ashamed with myself when I get angry. But I feel ashamed with myself if I do nothing, and then the students start to think that they can push me around whenever they want. I start to let a few difficult classes overshadow my whole day. And truthfully, now that I’m sitting down and writing about it, I don’t have too many bad classes. It’s just that they’re not NEW anymore, so controlling them isn’t like a new and interesting challenge. I just get tired. In one class in particular, I have a difficult student. I’ve tried my hardest to be good to him, and be patient, and calm, and blahdeeblah, because I know that he has a mental disorder. But now I can’t ignore his bad behavior anymore. Disciplining this child makes me physically sick, but not disciplining him, letting him behave terribly, also makes me sick–because then I am letting the other students down. I’m siding with a difficult student at the expense of the other students, just because I *think* he is sick. Nobody even told me he is. That’s terribly shameful in this country.
I know that when I come out the other side of this, I am going to have one serious backbone. But I am terrified of doing the work. I don’t know if I can. I feel weak a lot. The comforting thing, though, is that at least I don’t feel like my work is pointless. I am growing as a person out here, even if it’s not the way I expected it to be. I don’t know if I’ll want to be a teacher ever again after this year, but I do know that my inner self will be better for it.
And I feel better now that I’m writing about it. Lately, it’s been all Nanowrimo, and burying myself in episodes of Private Practice. But Saturday and Sunday were good sociable days. I discovered a small coffee shop, where I could get a cup for 1000 won (about 80c), and I had a friend over for chicken noodle soup (which I can now make on my own.) Then I had a good time partying, and danced my little heart out with a Korean friend. I met her through some of my coworkers and their group. She’s a lot of fun and she can dance really well… and even though her English is pretty weak, she still has a great personality, and you don’t need to talk to bond on the dance floor, haha.
On Sunday I met up with a guy who is also doing Nanowrimo. There are three of us in Daejeon, and this guy is a pretty interesting fellow. We had a good long chat about the different places in the world that we’ve been, homesickness.. the like. It helped me out. Then he showed me around one of the downtown areas (the one farther away from me) and I did some serious shopping after that. Now I have fuzzy warm boots and my feet won’t be cold!
So I’m struggling through the fall… as I always do, but I get the feeling that things are going to pick up. I’m thinking about looking up one of these planned ‘weekend trips’ that some companies offer here. Might be a good way to see some of Korea and not have to do it alone. 😀