An Ominous Night Out

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Guess what???????

I made it through my first ever week as a teacher!! And what a week it was.

I’ve been go-go-go since leaving the States on May 12th. So this Friday, I needed a much deserved drink goddammit!! I also wanted to meet some of the other local foreigners in Cheonan, so I went to this place called Cantina with a bunch of my coworkers.

I sat for a while with a local Korean man. He gave me a few informal Korean lessons, and genuinely seemed surprised at my interest in the language. Then he sternly warned me not to “waste my time” drinking at bars every night like the other foreigners. I was bit taken aback by this, although I’d read before coming here that many foreigners spend almost all their free time drinking or “partying.”

Guess what???????

I made it through my first ever week as a teacher!! And what a week it was.

I’ve been go-go-go since leaving the States on May 12th. So this Friday, I needed a much deserved drink goddammit!! I also wanted to meet some of the other local foreigners in Cheonan, so I went to this place called Cantina with a bunch of my coworkers.

I sat for a while with a local Korean man. He gave me a few informal Korean lessons, and genuinely seemed surprised at my interest in the language. Then he sternly warned me not to “waste my time” drinking at bars every night like the other foreigners. I was bit taken aback by this, although I’d read before coming here that many foreigners spend almost all their free time drinking or “partying.”

I guess what surprised me about his advice was the judgement and anger behind it. If foreigners go out drinking every night, they’re still living life and experiencing new things. Who is to say that living in a new country has to be like X and not like Y??

Personally, I dislike getting drunk because it makes my head and stomach hurt. And it costs money. So it’s not something I see myself doing a lot in the future. Does that mean I’ll be bored or isolated in Korea? Or will I just slowly morph into an alcoholic?

But the most unsettling part of the evening was talking to a seasoned English teacher named Chad (name changed). I told Chad what I  thought of Company X. Then I told him about the fact that I’m on probation for failing that one module of training.  I mentioned before in my previous post that probation means that the Company X headquarters will look at a video of one of my classes. Then he told me to take probation seriously: If the company doesn’t like what they see, I’m done.

So now I’m freaking out about my job, too. Chad told me all the company really cares about is student management (i.e. if all the students are sitting quietly and raising their hands like good Korean children). But how am I supposed to be mean to doey eyed albeit shrieking cherubs?

It’s a lot to handle, and I’m stressed. All I want is to do well at this job, but all I have is one week of training and one week of experience.

All I can do is try.

 



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