Friday, 2 January 2004

New Year and My First Week of Teaching

Happy New Year everybody. Or as they say in Korea... um, Happy New Year. I don't have a clue what the Korean is, they all use the English.

So, my first week of teaching is over, although an easy week to break me in as I only worked Monday, Tuesday and today. And although I think it dubious I'll be picking up the "Outstanding English teacher in Korea of the Year award 2004", it's gone mostly ok.

New Year was a low-key affair intentionally. I was very tempted to just stay in for the evening, but I ended up going out for a few hours with my fellow Scottish teacher John, and weird American paedo David. I must stop calling him a paedo actually, it's really unfair. I don't think he is at all, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that he really is very boring. He has nothing to say about anything, and no real sense of humour. John isn't really on my humour wavelength either. Maybe I've just worked in kitchens too long, where the humour is bleak and brutal, but when just mild jokes about international terrorism seems to silence them then I know that if they ever heard me talk about whores or running over babies in my car then they probably wouldn't laugh.

Going out with these two was a surefire quiet night because they both don't drink, or John only in moderation. We went to some park in the centre of town where a giant bell was, and loads and loads of people. At midnight the giant bell was rung with a huge wooden stick/beam/ram thing and tons of little but noisy fireworks exploded all around us for ages.

A drink in a quiet jazz bar then back home for about 2am.

New Years day was unremarkable. There'd been a vague plan to go out with this English guy Mik and some others for a meal, but I couldn't go due to him living in some very obscure location, and my finances being in dire straits. I've actually got about 30,000 Won left (#15) but that's only because I found an extra 10,000 in my pocket about an hour ago. That's got to last me till February. So January is going to have to be an extremely tightly budgeted month. I'm going to spend money on eating, but little else. No luxuries for Nev.

I'm due to meet up with Mik on Tuesday instead now. He even said that he'll treat me to a meal. Now, that's the sort of friends I want. I bet I could even joke about stabbing children to him.

There are a couple of children I'd happily stab and then watch as their bodies crumpled to the ground and the tears mixed with blood as they gasped their last. That may be a little harsh but my M7 class is a bad one. I've got about 12 different classes and the 11 others all seem like nice kids. Even if they're easily distracted they still listen and make some effort. But M7 have got a few boys, about 11 years old, who are lazy and cheeky. I know they're saying stuff about me in Korean. It doesn't help that the book they are all on is too easy for them, and that they find it stupid and patronising (which reflects on me as I'm teaching them it), but I also get them 3 times a week at about 5.30pm, and by that time both them and me are tired from a day of school. So I don't blame them for not being bothered, but their attitude is bad.

Corporal punishment IS allowed in Korea. Bring on The Nev Beating Stick. And maybe The Little Box of Pain.

Any other brutal physical punishments welcome. Actually, off the top of my head I think I can probably list quite a few.

The Toaster

The Flammable Balaclava

The Meat Hooks of Horror

The ScissorFight Challenge Bonanza (involves 2 children)

The Jabbing Rod

The 20 Year Waking Coma of Agony

and many, many others.

I wonder what the director of my school would think if she saw my list of how to injure children? Is this a sackable offence?

At least I'n not looking up porn on the school computers. One of the teachers is, and you don't have to guess three times to whom I think it is...

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