So this weekend I needed to:
- buy another Korean workbook
- buy more teaching materials
- study Korean
- prepare a lesson plan for the week as filler until Miss Baek wows me with her stress-time lesson
Friday I went to find the bookstore, which the internet said had a branch four subway stops from me. Of course, no branch existed, and the internet entries were out-dated, and then I was hungry, and then I bought a trash can at the Emart there because mine didn’t have that one and because I really rather have a step can and not have to touch the garbage…
Saturday I had to go to Seoul and try to find bookstores again. When I got home, I had to look for new jobs on-line (there seem to be some options out there) and then this morning I reviewed Korean and went to my Korean lesson in Idae.
I had thought Idae was the name of the neighborhood in which Ewha women’s university was located. However, my tutor informed me that “I” is short for “Ewha” (the “I” has a long “E” sound) and that “dae” is short for “daehakyo,” which is the Korean name for university. Similarly, Hongik University is called Hongdae for short.
After the lesson, I stupidly stopped and got lunch, even with so many other things to do. And then, of course, I was in Idae which is a cheap fashion shopping mecca, so I had to look. I bought two shirts. Not because I am frivolous, but because I literally have only about four shirts I can wear now that the weather has changed. I have either fall weight clothing or clothing I brought for Thailand (which turns out is too skanty to wear here)
So I was probably counseled by the Vice Principal that I have to wear sleeves because perhaps a bra strap was slightly visible. This all too common occurance that westerners don’t think about that much caused my tutor to gasp and I guess it’s considered very slutty. (even if my neck is covered, every other part of my body is covered, even if I am wearing a gunny sack) sheesh! It was an accident!
I told her that was another culture shock thing, and then she relayed how she was traveling abroad and had to switch to wearing only pants, because she was shocked to have western men look at her like she was a prostitute when she wore her mini skirt and high heels out and about.
All I can say is, it’s going to be a very overly warm summer and I am going to die…
Then I came home and sat down to do my work, but realized I just absolutely couldn’t continue because:
- my 7 mm pens were driving me insane
- my notebook with ruled paper was driving me insane
- my tutor’s writing her thoughts all over my books was cluttering up the pages until they were unintelligible and it was driving me insane
- and I needed to highlight things but highlighters drive me insane…
So, I had to run over to Emart and correct the situation.
What can I say? I’m a sensualist. And an aesthetic. And a perfectionist. Now, I have a notebook without lines, (incredibly hard to find, btw) a second mechanical pencil so my tutor and I can both write in pencil during the lesson (I had to insist she writes in pencil so I can clean up her scratching later – my first book is totalled now) and pens that are .38 mm wide, (you can’t go back to .7 after you’ve had a .38) and colored pens to underline and highlight with (.38, of course!) erasers that feel good in your hands and have a narrow edge to them, and some crayon-like pencils so I can draw puppets with. Eh, who needs food?
Ahhh…NOW I can get to work!
But wait! An email from Jane. We are going to Chuncheon next Saturday to work with the artist who made the giant puppets for the protest last weekend. Aside from the every day impossible job, I’m really excited to combine my love of puppets AND activism!
Ut oh. On the computer. Must check a few more job openings. Must post this to the blog.
Damn it. Quarter after ten and I’ve still got Korean and lesson plans to write. Welcome to my neurotic life!
Think I need some tea before I get started…