Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Weekday Routine

I rise at 6am, not too long after many students head-in for sleep after drinking and eating all night. My neighborhood is full of dormitory hotels for students, who after working all-day socialize all-night. Popular bars and restaurants are open till 5am. Still, the neighborhood is never too loud.

I try to leave my flat by 7:30 so I have time to buy coffee. I walk to and from work everyday. The roundtrip is a little over two miles. I am in school by 7:50. At my desk: I check email, facebook, my blog; I brush my teeth. (Routines are so banal.) Around 8:20 I prep for my classes. Only on Wednesdays do I have an early class. Most days I begin teaching at 9:20.

I eat at the cafeteria with my Korean colleagues at 12:10; I teach until 4; I eat dinner most days with students; I usually leave school around 5:30.

Next week I will begin teaching a series of night classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7. I have called the 3, 5-week courses Everyday Expressions I, II, and III. From homeroom surveys, I think I'll begin with something like 35 students. I imagine 15 or so will consistently attend. I am excited about these classes. Not only will I make additional income, I will get a chance to become better acquainted with some of the students here. With 800 students, I can't learn names never mind personalities, hopes, needs--all the stuff teachers like to now about their students.

In January, during Winter Vacation, I will teach a 60-hour English Camp. That will be both a challenge and a joy. No extra pay with this as I am contracted to work during Winter break. I am a trained Lecturer for the College classroom, which is much different than a High School English teacher. So I am learning, too. I hope the students will like my course. I will teach Culture, Conversation, Reading, and Writing: 4 hours of class time with lunch dividing the day.

I seriously strained both my quadriceps playing soccer and am only permitted to exercise with my club until I am healed. I will post photos: the pitches here are dirt. A sandy hardpack that is unforgiving on feet, ankles, and legs. Thankfully, my knees are fine. I usually play a pick-up game around 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Across the street from Samsung High School is an elementary school. On the grounds of that school is a beautiful pitch used by the local professional club. Locals are permitted to play on that field in the evenings.

Because I cannot play and until I can again, I visit an acupuncturist after school. Roughly, $3.50 per visit after my healthcare discount. I get two pins in my foot and two in my hand, both rightside, to help control swelling, pain (and heat, I think.)

I am usually home around 8 or 9pm, which is early around here. From what I can tell, the people of Seoul enjoy a night-time culture. I like it quite a bit. I like walking, grabbing a drink from a convenience store, and sitting in a park or on a bench street-side with my neighbors. I probably walk two-four miles each evening.

I am in bed not too long after midnight. If I can't sleep, I read.

Added into this routine is writing, which I am working back into my schedule. I write in the early morning and/or late at night. I always have. I tend to write for 1 to 3 hours at a time.

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