Tag Archives: EPIK

Sports Day Triumph

17 May

As a kid in elementary school I always looked forward to Track and Field day. For one whole day classes were cancelled and all the students were allowed to display their athletic talent (or lack thereof) in a series of olympic-like events of their choosing. While some kids(usually the same fatties that hated P.E. class) pissed and moaned about having to spend the entire day pitted against their peers in physical competition for nothing more than the chance to earn a shitty ribbon, I took it quite seriously and wanted nothing more than to dominate and bring home as many shiny blue first place ribbons as possible.

At the risk of seeming like a complete rube, I must admit that I was almost just as excited for “Sports Day” (Korea’s equivalence to Track and Field day) at my school. Clearly this is not because I would be competing in any events nor receiving any ribbons, but I was mainly excited because I knew–if nothing else–that I would be spared from teaching classes and would be able to spend the whole day outside.

As preparations were being made the week before, I began to wonder what my assigned roll for the day would be. Up until this point the only thing that was certain was that I would need to wear athletic clothes.

When I’m finally told by one of the other teachers (with my co-teacher translating) how I will factor into the day’s events, I’m a bit surprised as to what I’m tasked with doing. First I’m told I will need to pull a cart around a giant circle in the middle of the field.

No problem.

Then I’m told that the object of the event will be for the students (in this case, sixth graders) to stand around said circle and hurl as many small beanbags as they can into cart before the time runs out.

It sounds odd and a little painful, but I’m still game.

Lastly, I’m told that I will need to wear woman’s clothing, preferably a dress.

At this point I look up and repeat what was just said to me to make sure I understand correctly.

“Wait, you want me to dress up like a woman?”

I ask for clarification but in all actuality I understand quite well what they are asking of me. For my part in Sports Day, they want me to go drag.

I was  still wrapping my head around having to dress up as a woman when I’m asked if I owned or could get a hold of any cosmetics.  I start to laugh fully thinking they’re joking, but apparently my involvement was not going to be a half-ass production. They wanted me to go all in.

Lucky for me I have some experience with cross-dressing. In the seventh grade school play I was “lucky” enough to land the lead role in a comedic spoof of Sleeping Beauty. Not really the tyoe of role that launches one’s acting career, but at least it was enough to prepare me for my upcoming Sports Day debut.

After agreeing to do my part, I return to my desk and contemplate on how to secure some woman’s clothing within 24 hours, without having to spend any money. I put out a quick message on Facebook and before the afternoon is out I have arrangements to go pick up not one, but two dresses from nearby friend. That’s right, bitches. I had options. Oddly enough some friends had just thrown a transgender party (don’t ask)not too long ago and a couple of my buddies still had their drag wear laying around. In other words, my cry for woman attire was answered by men. Because I figure I couldn’t possibly be lucky twice in one day I decide not to look for make-up.

That night I try on both the dresses and make my final decision: a black tube dress that shows off my shoulders. No sense in going drag if you can’t look good, right?

The next day I show up ready to go, not sure of when the event I’m in will be held. As my official Sports Day day uniform, I am given a neon yellow athletic polo. It looks like something you might wear if you were planning to hike up a mountain and then play 18 holes of golf once you reached the peak. I’m not fond of the color but realize I it’s a lot better then the black dress that is neatly folded in my backpack that I will soon be wearing.

As it nears time for me to take the field for my event, I’m greeted with good news and bad news. The good news: I won’t have to wear the dress. The bad news: They’ve managed to find some bright pink lipstick for me to put on.

Instead of the dress, I’m handed a white blouse, a beige bucket hat, and a plaid pair of what looks like the Korean equivalence of bloomers. I keep telling myself that I’m doing this for the kids, but it hardly helps. The lipstick is quickly smeared on my lips and cheeks and I take the field looking like a transgender ajumma circus clown.

At least I wasn’t alone. One of the other male teachers, a guy around the same age as myself, had to dress up and wear lipstick as well. Only his attire resembles that of an ajossi pimp. He would be pulling a cart in the giant circle opposite from mine that the opposing team of sixth graders would be tossing beanbags into.

As we entered our respective circles, I imagine we were thinking the same thing:  please let this whole ordeal be quick and painless and may no photographic evidence ever surface on the internet.

A strike of the gong signals the start and almost immediately I’m pelted in the face with a bean bag. Then and only then do I realize the shear rediculousness of having an event like this for Sports Day. This was in no way the display of athletic grace and finesse that I took part in as a kid on Track and Field Day. This wasn’t an exercise to foster healthy competition amongst the students. This was something that probably should’ve taken place at a school carnival, where professionals could have been hired to take beanbags to their face and nether regions. I don’t remember any mentioning of this in the EPIK brochure when I was first applying to teach in Korea. But maybe that’s just my bruised ego talking.

After the spectacle came to a close I retreat into the building to wash the make-up of off my face and change back into my neon yellow referee shirt. Before the day is over I witness several other questionable Sports Day events and help out as much as I can and generally enjoy being outside whilst cheering my students on.

Would I agree to do something similar if it took place back in the states?

Probably, but as I alluded to above, most Track and Field days in the U.S. wouldn’t involve foreign cross-dressing circus clowns. Looks this will be another experience I throw in the “cultural differences” category.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

Right of Passage

30 Mar

*I got yelled at for not posting for more than three weeks and it turned out to be just what I needed to get back to writing. Not that I ever stopped. I’ve just been lazy.

Before last week I must admit that as a native english teacher in Korea, I was feeling a little left out. Since the start of my contract it seems two important events for ESL teachers had evaded me. I had yet to consume raw seafood with my Korean co-workers and I still hadn’t done a round at the Noraebang with them.

For whatever reason this has become somewhat of a ritual for EPIK teachers. Koreans do it all the time, but for your standard english speaking slave, it’s damn near considered of a right of passage. Similar to when teenage boys in Africa would wonder into wild to catch and kill a lion before they could be presented as men to their village (only without the pain of getting circumcised). It doesn’t necessarily move you up any notches on the teaching totem pole, but it is something that at least leaves you feeling like you’ve accomplished something–that is, if you don’t already regularly consume questionable raw fish while getting plastered and singing along to songs you normally would only attempt in the shower.

The Monday before my Korean christening my co-teacher informs me that we will be having a staff dinner the following Wednesday. Not that I had anything planned that evening to begin with, but I was happy to be finding out about it two days in advanced. I had almost gotten used to being told about things at the very last minute. I was even more excited to learn that we would be going to a raw seafood restaurant–so excited that I contemplated wearing a tie for the occasion. My thinking was that if I was going to be digesting anything that might still be moving on my plate (specifically squid and octopus), I at least wanted to be dressed for success (turns out there would be no wriggling fish; just the kind that lays there dead).

We promptly take off for the restaurant after playing a few games of volleyball (more on that later) and arrive to a coloful spread of the usual Korean side dishes accompanied by a varied assortment of fish that I probably couldn’t name even if they were swimming beside me, let alone chopped up and neatly laid out on a plate in front of me.  My co-teacher begins to explain to me some of the different choices, but I struggle to listen because I’m too busy trying to decide what to smaple first.

I start to dig in with an open mind all the while assuming there will be something on the table that will have me clutching a toilet later in the evening, but am surprised at how much I enjoy most of the spread (the mid-meal porridge failed to impress).  Just when I think I have sampled everything, my co-teacher points her chopsticks toward a few slabs of light grey meat and tells me it’s whale. I’m told I should dip it in a mixture of salt and chili powder before indulging. Having no preconceived notion of what whale might taste like, it instantly becomes my favorite of everything on the table. With a a texture that I would describe as being somewhere in between that of pastrami and cow tongue I begin thinking of what whale meat might taste like as a sandwich. No cheese, no lettuce. Just some mayo and maybe some dijon mustard, and grilled. I haven’t found out how I can make this dream a reality, but before I leave Korea, it has to happen.

As with any staff dinner, there’s plenty of soju involved and I do my best to keep up with the other males of the school, a few of which are recent additions and whom wanted to slam a couple shots down with the crazy haired waygook. This always amazes me. During school hours I might only get a quick wave and an “anyeong” in passing, but in the context our staff dinners they’re all about coming over to my table and making small talk–usually with my co-teacher doing light translating. It seems the atmosphere of dinner (combined with several shots of the green bottled monster) gives them just the confidence they need to use whatever english they may or may not know and attempt a conversation with me. I love it.

After dinner I plan to make a dash for downtown where I’m suppose to meet a friend for a beer when I’m immediately told that the next stop will be at a nearby noraebang. Before you know it, I’m crammed into a small room with a flat screen TV, a couple of microphones, and around fifteen of the school’s staff (vice principal and co-teachers included) as well as enough liquid courage to make sure even the shyest among us would bust out a tune. Of course I’m among the first elected to sing.

Not having that much time to pick a song, I decide to make my mom proud and select Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” I know all the words and have sang it drunk more than a few times so it seemed a fitting choice. It was either that or Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” which I couldn’t find anywhere in the selection book. I completely murder the song but recieve a warm applause for my efforts. At some point in the night I’m invited to sing a song with the vice principal. I don’t know the song he selects, but I nonethess sling my arm around his shoulder and do my best to be a worthy back-up singer. When I wasn’t singing I was drinking beer and playing the tambourine of beat. Like I said, I was trying to make my mother proud.

Towards the end of the night, as I’m watching my co-workers plow through the playlist, I sit back on the couch, beer in hand, and have what I often refer to as a “Korea moment”–a small subtle slice of time where I once again remember that I actually live in Korea. It’s not necessarily some euphoric moment where the sound fades and you lose yourself  in the crevices of your own thoughts ( as far as I’m concerned that shit only happens in movies and during traumatic events), but I remember feeling like I had all of a sudden reached a new plateau of success in the R.O.K. I still can’t sing for shit, I’m still at the bottom of the teaching totem-pole and soju still makes my breath smell like a sack full of assholes, but somehow in a single night, my life was made better by raw whale meat and karaoke. Life is sweet, my friends.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

Teaching from the Bottom of the Totem Pole #4: 6 Months Down (6 More to Go)

3 Mar

Yesterday was the official start of the new school semester and the (unofficial) halfway point of my one-year contract.

I’ve been here 6 months. How do I feel about it?

The end of last semester was fairly  confusing, to say the least. My sixth graders took off for middle school and while there was a big ceremony commemorating their time elementary schoolers, many of the teachers seemed to take it pretty lightly. I brought a camera to possibly take some photos with some of my students before their departure and hoped to shake their hands and wish them good luck. Instead they were promptly marched out of the auditorium and out of the school to the sound of applause and cheering from their families and fellow classmates. As far as I could tell, most of the other teachers in the school went back to their rooms or to the teachers’ office to finish out the rest of the day. I took no pictures, shook no hands and congratulated no one. The ceremony, it seems, was mainly for the students’ families. Not that I have any problems with this, but I would’ve thought that many of the teachers would be little sad to see their students go. I certainly wasn’t shedding any tears on the matter, but over the course of six months I have developed a fondness for my students and admittedly (cue the violins) was somewhat sad at their rapid departure.

It then dawned on me that in Korea teachers and administrators move from school to school quite frequently and are very used to these sudden changes. They come and go almost as much as the students so when it’s time to move on, the goodbyes are short and everyone continues on with their assigned tasks. Sorry Mr. Dreadlocks. There is no time to dwell on your previous kids. We must prepare for the new semester.

As is the norm, change brings about confusion and this situation is no different. New textbooks are being used (though much of the material is the same), I have a new co-teacher (my former one moved to a new school), and my schedule has been jostled a bit. Surprisingly I’m taking it all well. If the past 6 months have taught me anything, it’s that in Korea it’s best to roll with the changes and (as much as you can help it) let the stress fall by the wayside. To do anything else might drive you into a state of depression.

A few thoughts about my first six in the classroom:

–Getting used to my completely illogical teaching schedule didn’t take as long as I expected, but I still have problems understanding how they came up with it. Why am I only seeing my third and fourth graders once every other week?

–Classroom rewards can be useful to foster participation, but they’re a pain in the ass to manage. I’ve written about this before.

–What is the benefit of placing special education students into my classes if I’m expected to completely ignore them? Everything about this seems unethical. *Chris (now gone from Korea) over at Kimchi with Eish wrote a good post on this a while back.

–Playing soccer with the students outside beats desk warming any day of the week.

–Instant coffee isn’t so bad…especially when it’s all you got. I just close my eyes and pretend it’s hot chocolate.

–I never expected to be told that I look like a “strong African warrior” during my time in Korea; let alone be told by someone at my school. Truly, the assistant principal is my homeboy.

–Soju hangovers will not improve your teaching ability, but it will make your breath smell like the inside of a Korean squatter toilet. Never again.

–Teaching my students how to beat-box and pop-lock (in addition to teaching a few hip handshakes) are some of the best ideas I’ve ever had.

–Simply put, the old textbooks were horrible and the new ones show little promise of being any better.

–Dong-Chim was created by satan.

All jokes aside though, the first half of my teaching contract hasn’t always been a breeze, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to another six months of last minute staff dinners, desk warming and perky Korean students throwing up the peace sign as I pass them in the hallways.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

* On a side note, welcome to all the new EPIK teachers who just started. Words of wisdom for the “newbies” in Busan: KSU on Saturday nights can be bad for your health. See you there.

Rewards

18 Jan

For the past week and a half I have been entrenched in Winter English camp. To say the least, it hasn’t been quite what I expected. True, I only have nine students (a godsend considering I have upwards of 3o in my normal classes) and most of them are fairly high level, but thus far during winter camp I have noticed something that seems to have slipped under my annoyance radar until now.

My winter camp students are extremely obsessed with receiving rewards for every tiny task they perform–almost to the point where I can’t get them to do anything without promising payment in the form of candy, or some type of token that can eventually be redeemed for a prize.

I’m not a complete rube.  I understand very well that for many teachers, offering rewards is an easy way to get students to participate in classroom activities, but when when it gets to the point where students are throwing tantrums  because they didn’t get a Chupa Chups sucker after answering a simple question, the system needs to be re-worked.

Earlier this week I had a student disrupt the entire class because I wouldn’t give him a paper dollar bill (used by my co-teacher and I during games and vocab drills) after he correctly guessed the topic of the day’s lesson.

He stands up, holds his hand out and says “Teacher, give me dollar! I right!” I tell him to have a seat and continue the lesson when he stomps his foot on the ground and again demands payment for his classroom efforts.  I almost slip and tell him “tough shit” before I decide to ignore him. Truthfully, I couldn’t give in to his demands even f I wanted to. I haven’t been teaching with my normal co-teacher this week and don’t have the keys to the stash drawer. Still, I’m not about to explain that to a third-grader. Is “good job” not sufficient enough?

Maybe I’m just bitter.

I remember when the only reward a kid got in school was a lousy gold star on some chart posted in the back of the classroom, a system I still feel is was rigged from the get go. For a full week of homework assignments handed in on time and perfect classroom compliance, you would get half of a star. After accumulating 30 or so stars, you’d get a “prize.”  Now, the prize might be anything from a  fancy eraser cut out in the shape of a heart to extra free time after lunch, but it didn’t matter. The stars could just as easily be taken away for misbehavior, which happened to me on a regular basis.

Here in Korea elementary students get rewards for everything short of breathing. Show up to class? You’ve earned a new pencil. Finished your homework? Have a piece of candy. Good job class. You all remembered to bring your notebooks to school! Ice cream for everyone! I’m beginning to feel like we’re just passing out treats to little puppies who have learned how to sit, lay down and stop pissing on the carpet.

I’m not at all against bestowing prizes when we’re playing classroom games or fostering healthy competition in some other way, but I can’t accept  the feeling that I’m somehow buying my students’ participation with goodies purchased at the local 1,000 Won store. These kids are going home with pockets full of candy and other treasures, speaking whole sentences of perfect English, without a clue of what they’re saying.

Maybe I’m exaggerating. and I’m sure not if all waygook English teachers employ bribe tactics, but it does seem like a popular trend and I remember several lecturers at the EPIK orientation mentioning how useful it is to offer treats to students who participate during lessons. I still have yet to see how this is more useful than encouragement and praise.

The way I see it, “teaching” and “training” are two totally different concepts. If you want to teach put in the effort don’t rely on candy currency. If you want to train, head to your nearest pet store and buy a parrot.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

Say it Ain’t So!

28 Oct

Yesterday I’m scrolling through my rss reader when I come across a post by good ole Mr. Dubs. It seems  he’s decided to call it quits on the k-blogging scene because of some threats he received from alleged Korean netizens looking to rid the peninsula of  ESL teachers who stray from the pack of conformity. In other words, Mr Dubs said some shit they didn’t like on his blog, An Idiots Tale, and now they’ve threatened to rat him out to his employer. Because I can no longer link to the specific post here’s some exerts from the comments he received:

I am the member from an organization of concerned Korean to clean up ESL industry…

…I think you should be very careful from now, as some member want to find the school where you work to tell about your blog…

You have wife and children, you should respect. You know about Korea right? You know it is danger to use internet in irresponsible way. If many Korean see this blog, it can be a danger for your future and family…

At first the old man shrugged the off the threats and kept doing his thing, but now after possibly receiving more threats, he’s decided to pull the plug:

The internet is anonymous. So the guy who made this evil promise might actually be a white dude pretending he’s a netzien.

Who knows?

If he is Korean, his anger is ironic.

I have the most pro-Korean blog on the peninsula.

I enjoy living on the peninsula. Plus I’ve always had a healthy affection for Her people.

Shit! I married a member of the tribe.

I think my twisted love-affair with the ROK comes through strongly in my blog.

But let’s face facts. Netziens are crazy bullies who have literally driven people to suicide.

Furthermore, I have a family. So I can’t take these threats lightly.

It would be different if I had the talent of Ernest Hemingway. Then I would have to continue writing for the good of mankind.

But I don’t possess that type of skill. I’m just an entertaining hack killing time between classes.

I have no right to put The Dragon Lady and The Children of the Rice in jeopardy over a stupid website.

Some of you might call me a pussy. And maybe I am.

But there’s no way in fucking hell that I want to face the ire of the Korean internet community. They’ll rip poor old Mr. Wonderful a new asshole.

I’m scared. Plain and simple.

Nobody is more saddened by this sorry state of affairs than me.

However, all things must come to an end.

And I’m afraid it’s time to kill An Idiot’s Tale for the well-being of my family.

I’m not 100 percent certain. But I don’t see any other option.

This isn’ the first time something l this has happened in Korea. So Why do I bring this up now?

For starters, as a journalist I’m always saddened when a fellow scribe gets pushed around to the point where it becomes dangerous to keep writing. Angry comments are one thing , but threatening a man’s family is crossing the line.

Secondly, I’d like to point out that while Mr. Dubs talked a ton of shit  (garnering friends and enemies alike) I would never say that he had an “anti-Korean” blog. There’s far worse shit being written by Korean haters who have been here for years. Hell, just drop by Daves ESL Cafe and read some of the malicious statements being slung around the forums comprised of nothing but grumpy expats. It’s downright sickening. Sure Mr. Dubs picked fights with other expat bloggers but he kept things cheeky in regards to Korean affairs–correct me if I’m wrong.

Lastly, this is a good time to give a heads up to newbie or would be bloggers in the R.O.K. Keep your scribblings tight my friends. I’m not encouraging you to sensor you shit by any means–fuck that–but know that if you post even slightly controversial material, and someone gets a hold of it at your job, there could be consequences. Again, If you got something to say, don’t be a punk, say it and own it, but know that there’s risks involved. This is not a game for the faint or weary people.

I can’t speak for Hagwon teachers, but if you’re teaching for EPIK, there’s a specific clause in your contract that prohibits you from making defamatory statements about your school or the people in it. I’d hate to think that this could include a sarcastic or cynical anecdote about a crazy day at work, but this is Korea, you never know. I recently was faced with a dilemma where someone at my school read my blog and took offense. I was able to successfully defend my writing, but it could have easily gone the the other way. And I’m not trying to scare any potential bloggers out of posting  their critical thoughts on life in Korea. A great number of blogs out there are as harmless as they come. I only mean to inform those bloggers who choose to walk the line. As a friend of mine said recently, Freedom of Speech is one thing, but Korean sensitivity is something totally different.

As for Mr. Dubs, if you’re truly calling it a wrap, you will be missed homie. I didn’t always agree with your point of view, but I did appreciate the laughs and your anecdotes about life on the rice paddy. Some may call you a pussy for kicking the blog to the curb, but as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing wrong for wanting to do right by your family. The internet is a hellish place and there’s no telling what these freaks might do. I fear for my dreads even now, and my shitty blog garners no where near the amount of traffic yours did. Anyways take care of yourself old man, and we’ll be waiting for your return, even if it’s only to shoot the shit.

Ciao, and Blian Golden Balls to you as well.

Kimchi Dreadlocks

P.S. To the stupid fuckers who sent the threats, Korean or otherwise, kindly do me a favor and fuck off. You’ll never get rid of us all.

Busan Blog Love

15 Oct

In a quest to get more eyeballs looking at my K-blog scribblings, I requested to be added to the Korean Blog List website. It took the bastards almost a month to add me (some bullshit about them needing to make sure I post regularly) but they finally did. Am I jumping for joy? Not quite, but I have gotten a few more hits from the link so I can’t complain much.

I shared the lowdown on how to get added with some other Busanite bloggers and had a revelation: Why don’t I share links for them on my humble site? I’ve been lucky to have several more popular bloggers drop links links to my shit; might as well do the same for others. Besides while I may be a cocky S.O.B., I’m not ungrateful. I’m still a pup on the scene. My traffic doesn’t even come close to fucking with these other chums who put k-blogging on a pedestal right along with Jesus and their Korean brides. If I can help even one newbie blogger get some views, I’ve done my good deed for the day.

At any rate, several members of the EPIK Busan clan are posting their thoughts on the R.O.K. I read they’re shit, you should too (or at least swing by and take a peek).

Keep in mind though. I’m not Mr. Dubs. He’ll drop a link for any Tom, Dick and Harry that asks. With the exception of one written by some friends from the Daegu crew, all of the following blogs are written by Busanites. If any other K-bloggers are in Busan and  looking for some site views, let me know and I’ll do my best to help. I can’t promise anyone will actually look at your shit, but a little  lube never hurt anyone. If I’ve forgotten someone from the EPIK family, let me know and I’ll add them.

The Illerati

Sam and Jesse Take Korea

The Same in Any Language

ANNYEONGHASEYO BUSAN!

The Orient Expressions

I like Your Shoes

A Santana in Busan

A Dude, A Jew…. Daegu

Busan-A-Rama

In other news, I’ve changed the name I post under. It sounded too much like one of the K-Blog lifers I mentioned above.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

All About the Benjamins

15 Sep

Earlier I planned on dropping a few lines about my recent addiction to Korean barbeque, but I’ve decided to change it up. Why? I’ve been hit with a bit of a dilemma and I feel it might turn out to be the first rift in the relationship between myself and the school administration. For any of my readers considering coming to Korea to teach, take note. You quite possibly will have to deal with a similar situation.

Yesterday after my morning classes were finished I asked my co-teacher when I would be able to receive the 300,000 Won settlement allowance (as well as my first month’s salary) the school owes me . Naturally, after having set up three Korean bank accounts, I figured they could easily deposit the money in just a few days. This may not exactly be the case.

Before thanking me for bringing it to her attention, my co-teacher tells me she just needs to file some paperwork on my behalf with the school administration and the money will be deposited soon after. I got the feeling I would’ve been completely assed out had I never brought it up. No problem though. I return to my desk to watch football highlights before taking off for the day.

Today, however, after barely making it through five-mind numbing lessons with a group of sixth graders who couldn’t give two fucks about comparative adjectives, the story changed. My co-teacher now tells me I will have to have a sit down with her and the principal to go over, and officially sign, my employment contract before any money can be sent my way (mind you I have already signed the same contract three times with various entities). A bit of patience is lost, but alright. Sign the damn thing and get paid right? Wrong! 20 minutes later my she again appears at my desk and informs me that the school administration apparently will need several other documents; namely my resume and a copy of my college diploma–of which I already submitted to both my recruiter and the EPIK staff during the orientation. In fact, when I originally signed  my contract with EPIK, I specifically asked if I would need to hold on to bring either my diploma or transcript to the school I was set to work at, and they assured me that they would forward all documents to the Busan Metropolitan Office of Education and that there was no need. This is precisely the type of run around I was hoping to avoid during my time here.

Now I wrote before how I understand my low social standing as a native english teacher here in Korea, but all this misinformation has me feeling like I need to perform a damn shuck-n-jive just to get what’s owed to me. Maybe I should do a full out minstrel show where I eat fried chicken and loudly explain how much I love watermelon. “Aww massa, I showls wish I had me some watermelon to snack on why I wait for my scraps!” Hell, I’m already singing and dancing for several hundred students per week. What more do they expect?

To be fair, my co-teacher seems like she’s doing her best to help me out, but she’s caught in-between  my needs and her loyalty to a system that thrives on bureaucratic red tape for anyone who’s last name Doesn’t end in Lee, Kim, or Park. She claims she will make a call to the Busan Office Education first thing tomorrow morning to sort everything out, but my fear is, with Chuseok approaching next week (I have the week off and am heading to Seoul), this shit may not get resolved until after the holiday.

I’m going to hold off on blowing my lid. I don’t want to jeopardize the good standing I have with my co-teacher, but if I walk in tomorrow to another fairy tale about what I need to do to get paid, shit might get a bit ignorant. Mama didn’t raise no fool, and she for damn sure didn’t raise no punk.

Ciao,

Kimchi Dreadlocks

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