don’t we love surprises

Today has been a series of unfortunate surprises. Thus far:

— Current main coteacher visits my office, informs me that the landlord said I can’t start moving into my new place early. Everything must be moved in and moved out on one day, and that one day is Tuesday. (Earlier I’d been told I had 3 days to move in.)

— My computer is broken and won’t even tu– oh, wait, that’s not a surprise.

(So how am I posting this, you ask? The coteacher who shares the office with me said I could use hers.)

— Current main coteacher revisits my office, informs me that she has bad news. My heart drops because right before the start of a new semester and a move, this is never ever good. She says she can’t be my main co this year because admin changed her position to coordinator of welfare or some crap like that, instead of head of the foreign language department. One of the two new English teachers will be my main.

Outward me: “Oh~~ okay. I understand.” (nodding and smiling)

Inward me:


This is awful news for so many reasons. She and I already have a strong relationship, classroom rapport, and trust. We came in brand new to this school last year at the same time, but now we both know the school well. We know the events that we planned together last year (speech contest, essay contest, speaking tests, global market, etc) and we know what should be done this year. We know our students and the specific areas they need help with.

Why on earth would anyone decide to shake up all the positions just 1 year in? Don’t they realize that people learn and improve on the job through long-term experience? If you move everyone around every single year, no one will ever maximize their potential for a particular position or skill set. I want to pull out my hair. It’s beyond frustrating.

— The two new English teachers who will work here this year arrive (one of whom will be my main). My main coteacher ushers them into my office, and I awkwardly greet them. It’s been a whole year since I had to do this clumsy getting-to-know-you-in-your-2nd-language-but-my-2nd-culture thing.

They seem kind and their English seems pretty good. Thank God.

One says “I heard you were beautiful” and stops there.


Sorry to disappoint you.

The one who will be my main co is in her 30s, quieter, solemn, makeup-less. This could be a good thing, maybe. Not sure yet. The other is perhaps slightly older, with a kind round face and cheerful smile. But she’s the one who I disappointed with my looks, so who knows. (kidding kidding)

I sat down with them, mind buzzing with questions for my new main co – are you going to follow my previous main co’s lead? Do I still get to teach the same pages of the textbook? (Dear lord, please don’t make me throw away ALL the work and lesson plans and PPTs I did last year.) Are you going to let me take the lead in class?

(Incidentally though, my now-former main coteacher, the awesome one, told me in private that if I feel hesitant to bring up a problem with the new teacher, I can talk to her about it instead. So that’s nice!)

— And you know what we had for lunch together, we English teachers?

Just guess.




Not just any jjim. As soon as they opened the box, I saw the silvery scales peeping out.

fish jjim.

my nemesis.

I should’ve known when I wrote yesterday’s post that this would happen. It’s Korean karma for speaking ill of spicy fish.

— To finish off this day of surprises (well, hopefully), my coteacher from my other school texted me and said we have hweshik tonight at 5pm, and she’s coming to pick me up at 4:40. heaven help us.

let’s just hope we’re not having jjim.


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