Mar 04

Day One on the Job in Korea: Diary Style

My computer, my classroom key, and my class schedule

My computer, my classroom key, and my class schedule

Stayed up most of the night preparing my powerpoint presentation for the first class lesson. Walked to school and genuinely hoped I wouldn’t poop my pants in nervousness. Had a morning assembly where the teachers walked on stage and were introduced—I didn’t recognize when they said my name, so someone had to tell me I was being announced. The Vice Principal said something and the students all laughed—then he said I was from Santa Barbara and they all said “WOW” and cheered. I somehow doubt they’ve ever heard of Santa Barbara.

My powerpoint wouldn’t work and I freaked out. As I walked through the halls the students shouted at me, “HI TEACHER” and “NICE TO MEET YOU”. One of my coteachers said it was also her first day at the school and she had heard that the students were very naughty and rude. Only she mixed up her R’s and L’s as Koreans tend to do, so she said repeatedly, “The students are so lude. Lude! We have lude students!” I tried not to giggle.

Finally got my powerpoint to work five minutes before class started. Ran down to the faculty room to grab something and was told I wasn’t actually teaching class today, after all. Oh, Korea.

Then it was lunchtime, and we ate school lunch in the teacher lunch room. It’s still weird to be on the “teacher” side of things and hang out in “teacher rooms”. I filled a section of my plate with a pile of noodles with black peppercorns. Only, when I lifted the spoon to my mouth, I realized they weren’t noodles at all—they were, in fact, hundreds of tiny fish, and the black dots were their little eyes staring up at me.

Afterward, my coteacher and I went to the immigration office to apply for my Alien Residency Card. When I got home, I went straight to bed and passed out for two hours. Woke up, made some broccoli and noodles, and headed to the coffee shop for internet.

And that, my friends, was my first day on the job in Korea.

Tomorrow I’m actually teaching class and I am moderately terrified…