Monday, March 15, 2010

Of Meetings and Pajamas

Ian and I went to the bank and then to our meeting at Goam this morning.  I'm not completely convinced that my presence is necessary at those meetings anymore.  For the last two meetings (since they moved them to Goam) Gene has reported one note from Julia meant for the both of us and then the meeting turns to Ian's schedule, material and notes.  I didn't even receive my books for the new term until today.  It's going to be an interesting three months, as it seems the staff forgets about Haso and Sinback a little more with every passing day.  It's understandable, since the Goam changes are so dramatic and the new system is their brainchild.  But, it's a little frustrating that there are very few resources and even less energy for the other campuses.

When I got to work today Haso was without a principle and even without a sub.  I asked Eun wha how Chun wha and Chang su were doing and she vaguely told me that they were still at the hospital.  Chun wha showed up around 4 o'clock and waved at me through my classroom window.  She looked very tired.  When I got out of class, I approached her to see how everything was.  It was then that I noticed she was wearing hospital pajamas and flip flops.  The hospital pajamas even had a little bloodstain near the buttons on the shirt.  It was so strange.  She usually dresses very conservatively and professionally.  Her state of dress made me think that maybe she was just stopping by to grab some things, but she was there until I left, taking student interviews and filling out paperwork as if it were any other day.  Chang su is still in the hospital.  Chun wha said not to worry, but Koreans are very uncomfortable with empathetic anxiety; so I'm still completely unsure of his condition.

As for whether it's normal for patients to be discharged with their hospital issued pajamas, I can't even begin to guess.  Ian did see a man walking down the street with a wheeled IV stand the other day.  No one else on the street seemed to give him a second thought, so who knows.

I got to teach one of my classes in two micro sessions today.  One student showed up at 5:30 (the proper time) for class.  Since it was only her and I, we got through the material in about 30 minutes.  Just as I began to explain the homework to her (at about 6pm) another student walked through the door.  I told him that it was too late (I mean, he was 30 minutes late for a 45 minute class).  I finished explaining the homework and dismissed them.  Chun wha asked him when he would like to come back this week to make up the class.  He told her that he was very busy and he'd like the lesson now.  And she sent me back into the classroom with him to give him a one on one of the class he'd missed.  Granted, I did have some time.  But, I had to cram the lesson into 15 minutes and he got a lot less out of it than he might have otherwise.  
On just about every level possible, there are societal expectations in Korea that implore a person (especially of lower standing) to work their schedule around everyone else's.  Compromise does not exist.  Our weekly meetings are a great example of this.  We've begged for them to be moved to a later time so that we can still go to the gym on Mondays, but Julia says no (even though she doesn't take part in our meetings).

On a better note, we had bibimbap and a bit of kimbap for lunch at Kimbap Heaven (the red kimbap place next to the Goam campus).  It was nice and fresh.  Better than the last bibimbap we had there.  They served us meatless kimbap without a fuss, too.  Good eats.

Good night!


  1. In the states patients would not be allowed off campus like that. (the man walking the streets). The liability issues not to mention safety issues keep that from happening, well lets be honest it is mostly the liability issues.
    It is strange that Chun Wah came to work in her hospital attire. Makes me wonder if they just let her out to go to work because they could not find a sub for the day, and she went back to the hospital at the end of the day. Weird.

  2. It's so weird. It just goes to show how important one's job is here. It makes up 95% of your worth as a person.

  3. I know how hard you too both work and care for your students. I can't imagine the frustration at times. Just remember that you are so much more than your job :)