It was minus 7 C this morning as I scurried, face half-paralysed with cold, towards coffee and life itself, prior to heading to N1 for the second-last time this year. An easy day, three classes, and I explicitly stated that there would be no learning whatsoever, which relaxed everyone immensely.
Two classes of likeable delinquent boys before lunch made a good start on the 3.5lb bag of Tootsie Pops (I swear that’s what they’re called) I lugged to school. At lunch, the monthly agony at the bank as I sent some money home, and then 1-6, my favourite class ever, this afternoon. You can see why it’s fun “teaching” these girls. The energy in that room could power a small Korean city, or a large western one:
I only teach the “A” students at N1, and this class is the best of the first years. There are some real characters in there. The great thing about them is that you could go in there with nothing and it wouldn’t matter. As soon as I enter the room I am assailed with greetings, comments, questions, jokes, critiques of my fashion mistakes or triumphs, complaints and what we in Australia call sledges or payouts — good-natured put-downs of yours truly. My hair(-lessness) and my perpetual bachelor status fascinate them no end. They’re cheeky without ever being rude, and all in their second language.
Terrible to admit that I can only name the four girls in the front row in the picture below, but I only see them once a week and have around 600 others. Anyways, looks like there’ll be time for me to learn a few more, as I recently signed a second contract, had another medical as ludicrous as the first — and now it’s official: I’ll be back in 2013.
You read it here first. As you’ll recall, I went through a few dark months earlier in the year, after the initial glow of novelty had subsided, but after that — my walk up the coast to Sokcho was the turning point — I reached a state of acceptance and realised how good I have it here. Most of the students and I get on pretty well now, my colleagues are great, and I like my lifestyle here a lot. It will give me another year to save up for the big multi-country trek I have in mind, and my music, books, walking and the most excellent MacBook on which I’m typing this keep me occupied, relatively sane and more than satisfied.
Oh, but there’s one more sweetener. Re-signing is rewarded with a month’s salary as a bonus and an extra 10 days of paid vacation. I sneaked out to the bank again this afternoon and returned with two envelopes, each stuffed with a different currency. You see, I’m leaving this weekend for…
Well, the gals know, but you’ll have to wait your turn.
Have a great one tomorrow!
~ An that’s all the Goat wrote