While organizing my room a bit over the (all-too-short-and-nearly-over-now) summer vacation, I stumbled across a list of fears I wrote just weeks before coming to Korea. [Writing down your fears, including the irrational and improbable ones, can truly be calming.]
Here is what I wrote:
- E2 visa application isn’t done on time?
- Flight trouble?
- Lost in [Incheon] airport?
- Sick during [EPIK teachers’] orientation?
- Lesson presentation [during orientation] flops?
- EPIK sends me home?
- Assigned school is horrible?
- Coteacher hates me/is mean?
- Can’t find (insert important place here)?
- Make no friends and spend an awful lonely year?
Fear is such a weird and normal part of being human.
Coming to Korea was
probably definitely the scariest thing I’ve ever done. But it’s so easy now to forget the deep, stomach-knotting fear that sometimes overwhelmed me prior to arriving. I think it’s good to be reminded of your past fears sometimes, because it gives perspective and shows that like 98% of the things we fear never happen, and the stuff that does happen, we can usually overcome.
So, of course, basically none of the fears on my list were realized. (I did get lost though. Legit lost. On my first night. So that fear came to be, but hey, I didn’t die… unless you count dying of embarrassment. hehe)
Currently I’m facing the mild but imminent fear of starting Semester 2 on Tuesday – more dread, really, but I suppose dread is a type of fear. With 4 days to go, I still have no idea what my schedule is or where my classroom will be. Of course. (Praying that they’ll allow me to keep my English room even though there’s semi-noisy construction going on 2 floors below in the cafeteria. I so do not want to share classrooms with other teachers.)
Then there’s the much broader but much vaguer fear of my life direction next year and beyond… but that’s still far away enough to comfortably push to the side.
So for now, my most pressing fear will remain facing a classroom of highly unenthused, overheated, mentally-checked-out teenagers.
And I guess if that’s my biggest fear at the moment, I should be grateful.
P.S. Totally the opposite of fears, but this is way too exciting not to mention:
I had to come into the office today because I’d run out of vacation days and there’s just this one random Friday stuck between vacation, Korean Independence Day (this Monday), and the start of school – but to my complete delight, while I was gone the tech guy came in and installed a BRAND SPANKING NEW computer, complete with new widescreen monitor (I have never seen a widescreen monitor in this school, much less a computer less than 3 years old), new keyboard which I love because it makes satisfying typing sounds, new mouse and new mouse pad.
It is lightning fast.
It doesn’t freeze and crash when I use the “Save As” feature.
It doesn’t take a million years to load a browser page or download something (in fact, it takes less than a second).
The screen is so wide I can multitask with two documents or windows open side by side.
IT HAS WINDOWS 8. Like, WHAT? I didn’t think school computers existed in Korea that had anything newer than Windows XP. No joke. Plus the full Office 2013 suite. O…m…g.
Am I in public school heaven? What benevolent administrative fairy godperson bestowed this wondrous gift on me? I’LL LOVE YOU FOREVER, ADMINISTRATIVE FAIRY GODPERSON! I want to send you a box of donuts as a token of my eternal gratitude. Or a box of caffeine or a box of puppies or whatever floats your boat.
(seriously though is this a mistake? like did they confuse “foreign teacher’s office” with “Principal’s Office”?? is this coming out of my paycheck? i feel guilty. i’m the lowly foreign teacher. how am i worthy of this expensive technology? i don’t know if anyone else got new computers, but the one other teacher in my office hasn’t yet. *pledges to create fantastic and awe-inspiring powerpoints to show everyone this was definitely a worthwhile investment*)
(in case anyone is wondering, i’ll take this over a reliable supply of toilet paper, soap, and hot water in the bathrooms any day. heck i’ll take this over almost anything any day. my school relationship meter just skyrocketed to “warm & fuzzy.” i guess now we know the true way to my heart.)
(also kind of really wanting to buy a desktop computer for my home now because i so miss having one. laptops are just no match.)
(don’t worry, i won’t.)
(but i want to though.)