Monday, February 8, 2010

This... is... APUTUH!

 That's Ian's joke regarding the Korean word for apartment.

Today seemed to start off on the right foot.  My mom and I actually got to chat online for longer than ten minutes and Ian and I got our lesson plans done in near record time.  Things began to unravel when we reached Sinback for our 11 o'clock meeting.  The place was chaos.  They're still moving things around and we were not anyone's top priority.  So, Ian and I went to print our worksheets, so that we could give Gene copies.  We had to plug the computer and printer in and wait for the ancient best to start up, but we eventually got things going.  But, the printer was spitting out blank pages instead of actual documents.  Before we could figure out what was wrong, the power went out.  It came back on and we switched to the other computer with a printer.  The printer is an older Epson and it tales nearly a full minute to print a single black and white document.  Not exactly ideal when you're printing 21 sheets.

By the time we got all our materials and Gene had a moment to talk to us, it was 11:30.  Ian and I hadn't eaten lunch, yet; if we eat too early, we'll starve while we're at work.  So, we just watched the clock while Gene spoke.  What did he speak about?  Report cards.  They're due the Tuesday morning of next week.  Naturally, since we have a three day weekend, Julia thought we'd have ample time to complete them.  There's no way Ian and I are taken them to Busan with us, so we're writing them between classes.  Luckily, they don't take much thought and if we put too much effort into them we get reprimanded; our report cards are to remain devoid of constructive criticism and "give the parents hope" so that they'll sign the check and enroll their student in the next term.  

Report cards trudge up all of our negative feelings about our job and hagwons in general, so this morning was rough.  When I got to Haso, they had rearranged my office again.  One whole wall has been replaced with shelving and all of my materials that were in the original shelves were sprawled out on my table.  I was already late to work because Ian and I ate after the meeting and then when we were walking to go to the ATM and catch our taxis, I realized I had left my worksheets behind, so I had to turn back.  It wasn't the best start to the work week.

To remind you of the wonder that is a Yoon's report card.  They haven't changed in the slightest.

Luckily, my classes went really well today.  I love my Monday kids.  They're interested in class and so weird.  You've got to love strange little kids.

I forgot to tell you about our interesting cab ride yesterday.  We forgot the word for downtown (shi-ne), so we asked the driver to take us to Dunkin' Donuts.  For some reason, 70% of cab drivers have no idea what Dunkin' Donuts is.  It's name is the same in Korean, so the reason is completely lost on me.  Well, we figured we could just get over the bridge and hope for the best from there.  But, when we got near downtown, the driver put a call into his translation service.  The service lists the options in both English and Korean:  press 1 for English, 2 for Japanese, and 3 for Chinese.  The man pressed 2.  And, when a translator picked up and said, "Moshi moshi," (I kid you not) the driver motioned to us and said, "Speak."  All I could do was reply, "Sir, do we look Japanese?  We speak English."  Obviously, he didn't understand me, but it didn't matter.  He rolled up on the downtown market right as our confusion peaked, "Yogi (here)!  Okay."  And after he gave us a mini Korean lesson on how to say downtown, we paid and got out.

What would travel be without those moments?  They make the best memories.

Good night!


  1. Sounds like a very stressful day. Hope the rest of the week goes smoother.
    I am excited to hear about your trip to Busan. Take lots of Photos. Are you going by train? Let me know what the train fares are for something like that.

  2. We're actually getting a ride there from Gene. He's going to visit family for the holiday. We're taking the bus back (I'll be taking tons of Airborne) because we didn't get train tickets in time. I think tickets from Jecheon to Busan are about $25/person? You have to make a transfer, but that's not very difficult. Don't worry, we'll have everything well planned for when you come. Do you have a rough estimate for all your airfare, yet?