One More Day Before Vacation

I just got off work Thursday afternoon. Actually, I’m out sooner than I thought. Right as I was beginning my last class of the day, one of the Korean teachers came in and said she was teaching that class. Considering I had taught the same class the day before, and I wasn’t really in the mood to stick around, I didn’t bother telling her I was also scheduled to work then. That would’ve just complicated things. If you tell two people that they’re both working at the same time and place, one of them is just going to profit and call dibs on that Chance card. Clerical error in your favor. Leave work an hour early. Score.

Actually, the day wasn’t that bad. All I did with my classes was word searches, a listening test, and then we played a game. Pretty low impact day. I was just kind of in a lingering bad mood from the day before. The shitstorm I had feared on Monday arrived two days late on Wednesday. To quote a much wiser man than me, Wednesday was “A fucked to death pile of flaming shit.” New schedules were made again. I was given three new classes, and two of my favorite classes were taken away. I was not a happy camper.

Ten minutes before my class, I was told that I would be teaching Purple (the lowest level English, lots of trouble makers) instead of Gold (best students, most well behaved) because one foreign teacher now has to teach in Daejon Monday and Wednesday. So I’m covering for him. And another foreign teacher is covering for me. I was really confused as to why the third teacher just didn’t cover the absent teacher, as it creates unnecessary complications when you essentially replace two teachers instead of just one. The only response I got was that I had taught the students before, so I wasn’t really a “new teacher” for them, and parents had complained that we’ve had too many teachers come in and out of the program (a legitimate concern) so they didn’t want that group of students to have a completely new teacher. I can almost understand and accept this, except that it still means they’ve had something like six teachers in the last six months, which is the exact same number you’re creating in other classes by replacing me with another new teacher.

Also, I’ve been wicked sick all week. It’s really bad in the mornings. Wake up not able to breathe out of my nose, throat on fire, unable to swallow, really bad coughs, congested, etc… But as is the usual thing with me, I feel better and better as the day progresses. I feel so close to wanting to call off work, but the sheer impossibility of anyone being able to cover for me forces me in, and then by the time classes start, I’m more or less okay. Still a cough and all, but I can manage. It helps that I’ve run out of shit to do in the morning, so all it consists of is reading every article on college football on ESPN and chatting on Facebook. I’m certainly not straining myself.

Last night was the first time I didn’t enjoy myself at hapkido. Everyone picked up on it, too. It was a collection of factors. Tuesday when we were doing all the tumbling I fucked up my right shoulder. They gave me the Korean equivalent of Icy-Hot and I felt fine in the morning and all day, but as soon as we started tumbling again last night the soreness came back even worse. Also, I couldn’t do anything. I’m generally such a quick learner, that when I don’t get something really quickly, it’s really frustrating for me. And when I get frustrated trying to do something, I want to do it over and over until I get it right. But the master wasn’t really running that kind of game, so we’d do something two or three times, then move onto something else, so it felt like all night I didn’t accomplish anything.

We were doing some harder stuff like running dives, jumping over stuff four feet tall, running handsprints and shit. Stuff I know  I probably shouldn’t be able to get on the first try, but it was still really bothering me. Coupled with the bad day at work, being sick, and my shoulder really hurting (though I didn’t want to say anything and attract attention to it) I probably just looked really sour, and people were picking up on it. They tried encouraging me several times and said I was doing really well, etc… but I wasn’t really in the mood to hear it.

On the ride back to my place, they were trying to make me feel better again, and one of them was translating for my master and said that I was “precious” to them. I was kind of like “Yeah, thanks, whatever”, but then from behind me I heard one of the girls mutter “My precious…” in a Gollum voice and I couldn’t help but laugh. That girl’s English is pretty limited, so it was even funnier that she pulled it completely out of left field.

After today, though, I’m in a much better mood.  I’m looking forward to going back Friday. Generally, Fridays are a bit more open. The master usually just gives me something to do and then spends time with the blackbelts. Last Friday, I learned how to use nunchucks. Hell yeah. I picked them up so super fast the master was really surprised. It’s all about rhythm. I had a yo-yo as a kid. I played bass in high school. I played Rock Band drums. Rhythm I got.

Also, we’re all planning on going out to drink after the lesson Friday, so I’ll be able to blow off some steam.

I know I haven’t been putting in Korean words lately, but I don’t have a Korean keyboard, so I have to think about words at work and e-mail them to myself, which is a huge hassle, particularly when I’m not sure when I’ll have the time to write a blog after work. I hope to get back in the swing soon.


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