We got an email today (we = Daegu EPIK teachers) from the Daegu Metropolitan Office of Education, informing us that because of the budget cuts that occurred this semester, native English teachers are spread thin in Daegu, and many schools (especially high schools) need help with English-related activities.
Basically, it’s a heads up that even those of us who are already teaching at multiple schools (such as myself) may have to step in and assist even more schools in our area of the city, especially high schools, with things like proofreading, English competitions, etc. Starting this coming week. At the discretion of the schools. And if they request an EPIK teacher’s help, it’s mandatory for us to fulfill that request.
This news served to remind me of the nature of life here in Korea: things are going to change, things are going to pop up last minute, totally unexpected twists are going to be thrown my way… and I have to just go with them and do my best. The hierarchy is such that the bottom of the totem pole (me) will be the last to know about anything in terms of scheduling.
Anyone who knows me can tell you that this is so not my personality. I like to plan things in advance (far in advance); I like to know what is expected of me; I like rules and guidelines. I don’t like impromptu anything.
But I knew going into this that there would be challenges and bumps in the road. I didn’t come here to live a safe and routine life – I can do that at home. I came here (among other reasons of course, like loving the culture) to shake myself up a little bit. At home I’d built up a wonderful comfort zone, but it’s time to try something new for a little while. Knowing that that comfort zone and network of loving family and friends will still be there at the end of the road helps keep me going.
P.S. This post turned a little more introspective than I anticipated. Forgive the navel gazing – the next post will be more about Korea and less about me!