Mondays: Meetings. Micromanaging. Miscommunication. Malaise. Mutiny.
Well, that last one is just wishful thinking.
Apparently, Ian and I really struck a nerve with Julia by asking for the meeting to be pushed back a half hour so that we might get a run in and possibly eat at home. So, she and David were present at our meeting today. David just sat there smiling (I think he believes that he is the friendly face of Yoon's) and Julia continued her lecture from last week. The gist of which is this: we must use word cards in every class. If we do not use them or somehow use them improperly, our students won't learn enough and their parents will pull them out and thusly Yoon's will go under. We are solely responsible for the successes and failures (read: FAILURE) of the Jecheon Yoon's academies.
There was a brief repose from her rant when she told me that no matter how many classes I have or when they start or finish, I must always arrive at my campus at 1:30 and I can leave no earlier than 8pm. This after Ian had six months of leaving at 7:20 on Fridays. No one ever said anything to him about it. I am to provide "extra services" at Sinback because they are having trouble keeping students there. I think the hagwon is too expensive for the neighborhood, but that's just me. It wouldn't bother me so much if I had actual work to do (or if the whole ordeal was less of an obvious gender double standard). I help Michelle and Iris' students during my breaks, but they don't have enough students to fill my time. So, I'll be productively surfing the internet for at least 60% of the hour.
On the plus side, Ian and I discovered a new fabulous vegetarian option. 죽! It's pronounced 'jook' and spelled 'juk' in English. It's rice porridge (either made with rice flour or rice itself). There are plenty of vegetarian varieties including sweet pumpkin juk, pine nut rice, vegetable rice, corn and broccoli and so on. There are also meat and seafood varieties, but it looked like the veggie varieties were the most popular. Mine (the sweet pumpkin, of course) had some glutinous rice balls, like tapioca only bigger and softer, at the bottom. Very delicious, satisfying and healthy. It's considered a "well-being" food, like stock soups in the U.S., so it's common for people to eat it when they think they might be coming down with something. The servings are huge, however. If your appetite is only small to average, I'd say you could easily share one bowl. I didn't get any pictures. I thought we were just going to duck into Kimbap Heaven for bibimbap (it was closed), so I didn't bring my camera.
Classes went normally today with only a few students being frightened of my slight illness. My plugged nose and raspy voice does make it difficult for them to understand me, though. It's a little counterproductive to my purpose as a pronunciation and conversation teacher.
When my classes ended (7:20), I settled at the computer to spend my obligatory 40 minutes reading the news. Ten minutes later, Chun wha came out of her office and said (roughly), "Aren't you finished?" I told her that I was, but that Julia (Pack Eun hee) had said that I must stay until 8pm. She sucked in air through her teeth and said "Aigo," which is the Korean way of expressing disapproval or sympathy at your misfortune. It's a pretty contextual little expression, really. She told me that she had noticed I was sick (so are all the teachers, including her, at Haso) and that I should go home. Then she added that it would be a secret. I can only speculate about Chun wha and Julia's relationship. My guess is that Julia didn't really handle the car accident situation very well; and she was most likely the reason Chun wha came in wearing hospital pj's. After all, Julia did ask Rahee (Ian's coworker) to come in the afternoon after her grandmother's funeral.