I don’t like to rant too much on my blog because it’s on the internet forever and chances are whatever I’m ranting about will improve with time anyway. But Thursdays are kind of awful this semester, and yesterday was particularly awful, so here is my rant (partly written yesterday, but I decided to cool down a bit before editing and posting).
Just in case any of you were thinking it’s all flowers and rainbows over here.
Walking to school in the morning, I was the victim of witnessing an older (but not too old to know any better) man peeing in broad daylight IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PATH. This is the third time I’ve encountered this (from different men). Nothing like seeing an old man’s… ahem… ‘nether regions’ to start your day off right. (Had I written this yesterday, I would’ve gone on to rant about the many ajeosshis with mighty egos who act like they own the place [and by the place I mean the whole country] just because of their age and gender and Confucianism blah blah blah… but today I won’t.) (Thanks a lot for your actually sexist, classist, younger-people-oppressing “ideology,” Confucius.) (Oops.) (But that seriously is a topic that can make my blood boil.)
Anyway. Who knew men peeing in public is all Confucius’ fault, right? That’s what I’m here for, folks.
As I mentioned last week, Thursday is a five class day, back to back to back, and it’s also the day I start a new lesson with every grade since the first day of school was a Thursday. The stress of trying out new things combined with a busy day and the fact that my new co-teachers and I still aren’t used to working together in the classroom does not make for a happy mood.
And then there are the textbooks.
Why the hell are we, and many Korean schools, using these horrendous, poorly-written and poorly-organized textbooks full of useless, overly formal English “conversation”? I’m particularly infuriated by my school’s textbooks (compared to the ones I used at my old school last year, which were decent and simple enough for the kids to actually learn some useful phrases) because they are just horrible and often barely decipherable even for ME, the native speaker.
Yesterday, as I’m asking the kids “What is Hana going to do in the band?”, I see that the CD version of the textbook, displayed on the TV screen, says “play the drurms.” The DRURMS. Really? Drurms. Okay. Fine, so a typo slipped through.
Oh wait… then we get to the listening part. I play the audio and wince as an F-list voice actor LITERALLY SAYS in the most obnoxious voice ever “Which do you pre-fore?” PREFORE?!? That is NOT ENGLISH. THE WORD IS PREFER. Pree-ferrrrr.
But don’t worry, at least when they’re supposed to be listening for where the girl can apply to join the badminton club, the robotic voice actor says “You can apply ot website.” Not “on the website,” not “AT the website,” not even “ot THE website,” but just OT WEBSITE. Like maybe the voice actor had a small stroke and forgot how to speak for a second. OKAY. GREAT. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP. I CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON YOU, [STUPID TEXTBOOK PUBLISHING COMPANY].
If you can’t tell, this really gets my goat.
Edit: Yesterday when I drafted this, I called the publisher out by name. Then I feared getting deported for criticizing a major Korean company, and a main provider of English textbooks in this country. If you’re curious… “why bee em.”
To top everything off, my new main co-teacher’s idea for how I should be teaching the textbook and planning my lessons is completely different from my former main co-teacher’s ideas. And since the latter and I are quite close and on the same page, it’s extremely stressful trying to figure out what on earth I should be doing.
The only good thing about Thursday is that the next day (which is today) I can sincerely say, TGIF.