Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The World Could Use One Less Teacher: Me

After joyously arriving in a Seoul, Korea a month ago, and now living here for a month, my eyes have been opened to an awful realization:

I don't like teaching English.

My new friend Joe told me that the problem with me is that I always think I'm right. And, while I love Joe and have only known him a few weeks, I can tell you that he is wrong in thinking that I think that I'm always right

For instance, this afternoon I bought dish-washing soap at the local market and when I went home to wash my dishes I realized that the smell on the soap is an intoxicatingly disgusting mix of citrus fruit that apparently some Korean tycoon came up with to drive his wife out of the house.  So, instead of doing my dishes, I followed the magnate's orders. I closed the cap, packed my pockets full of useful gadgets, and cursed myself for making a wrong decision and headed out to the PC baung to write this entry.

Another wrong decision that I've made recently was getting on a plane and flying to Prague, then proceeding to Seoul to teach English to little Koreans. Sometime in the depressed 25 years of my life, I thought I'd enjoy teaching. And sometime else in my vain 25 years of living, I thought I'd enjoy teaching English. And yet sometime else in my glorious existence,  I thought I'd like teaching English to little Korean kids. 

It's not the fact that all the kids can't say my name correctly and pronounce it Pagey (making me feel like less of a man every day).  
It isn't having to teach 11 different classes every other day of the week. . 
It isn't having a full time job, 
It isn't the cameras in every room watching my every move. 
It isn't my loving boss who told me yesterday that I have a bad memory, or my coworkers who I've been told I'm lucky to have. 
It isn't even that I have to look at Asians 40 hours a week; which is actually a perk. 

I just don't like teaching. (and I'm not that good at it)

I'm not complaining or whining or whimpering or whatever it is you think I'm doing. I'm not looking for condolences or patronages or pilgrimages or anything of the sort. I don't want your money or your sadness or your advice. Hell, I just thought you should know what's going on with me here in Korea. 

So with 1 month down and 11 more months of this teaching thing left, I'm digging my trench and preparing for a long battle with stinking and trench foot.  I'm praying that somehow God shows me how to be a better teacher. I'm also praying that when I go home, my nostril palate will have grown to love the citrus hell flowing into my sink. If not, I'm going to be eating Ramin (not to be confused with Ramen) in some dirty bowls tonight. 

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

Things to think about:
-Koreans use umbrellas on the regular
-Wisdom can be learned

Things I'm reading:
-The Confederacy of Dunces
-The Unbearable Lightness of Being
-The book of I Corinthians

Things to listen to: 


brittney said...

hey page - i just thought i'd encourage you that jake realized that when we moved to belize to teach high school kids. and realized that we hate haiti when we got here. but someone shared some encouragement with us the other day, that God led us here for a reason, and we'll come out stronger, with hilarious stories and great memories if we just stick it out. just know that i understand your frustration. also, and i had a hard time coming to grips with this to, but i think there's something to be said about culture shock. i never thought i had experienced it, but i am def. in culture shock here. i'd encourage you to read about it, because it's more complex than i thought it was, and there are several different stages that most people go through. right now, i'm in the "frustration" stage, that usually hits at like the 5-9 month mark, and what someone was teaching me about it is that it's at this point in time that you are deciding whether you'll accept the culture that you're in or not. anyway, this is long, but i just thought i'd try to encourage you that you're not the only one hating where God has you at this point in life!!

derrickfoster said...

hey brother I am experiencing many of the same emotions and frustrations on very similar levels right now in sudan. praying for you man and keep your head up

Unknown said...

Hey Brittney thanks for the comment. I'm not sure if God has led me here...I think I did it all on my own. But I know one thing for sure; I'm learning a whole hell-of-a-lot about myself.

Derrick I'm praying for you brother. Thanks for your prayers.

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