Tis the season… busy season

January 22nd, 2007
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well friends, i am 1 week away from finishing busy season. two months out of the year, january and august, we have double the normal work. the kids are out of ‘normal’ school for winter and summer break. only they don’t get breaks. they get more school. and that’s where we come in.

i’m glad i started out working 12-hour days, because then i won’t take my leisurely schedule for granted. i’m hoping it will inspire me to make the most of my free time by filling it with all the things i want to do. so there is a definite upside to the timing of my arrival – long-term benefit and perspective, for a little short-term pain.

the downside is that it didn’t make my transition all that easy. adjusting from my temporary retirement to working 9-9 again caused my body to reject my mind’s new work-ethic. hell, even at kerr and downs i could sneak out a few 9 or 10-hour days. so yes, i am pretty tired – not as drained as i’ve ever been, but pretty tired nonetheless.

second, i had a lot of administrative stuff to handle. i had to get internet set up (took about a week and a half), get a bank account, and buy things i needed here (i neglected to bring a towel – wtf?). i’m going on a visa run to japan this wednesday. i also needed to have my washing machine repaired. these and other errands took up a lot of my time.

oh, and i’m also adjusting to living in a whole new culture that i neither know how to read nor write the language. because i’m new, i also have to spend a lot more time preparing for my classes, unlike most of the teachers who have put in some time here.

the relative stress of all this, plus:

1) the cold-ass weather,
2) the fact that i walk to school and around town,
3) my job is to talk constantly during the day, and
4) seoul’s air is slightly cleaner than standing directly behind a semi-truck as it revvs its engine

all resulted in me getting ill. first a little exhaustion and a cold. then a cough crept in, until a week later i had to go to the doc who explained all the above and said, “it’s laryngitis son, get some rest, water, and a humidifier.” i got water & a humidifier. hagwons don’t do rest.

needless to say, i’ve been fairly spent and unable to keep a diligent internet posting of my exploits so far. but i’ve got stories to tell, and i wanted to do them justice. i didn’t want to come home, drained of energy, and type out some half-ass, unenergetic response to what i’ve done – so i’m saving it. one more week to go, and it’s my time. until then, i’m heading to japan, working a few more sunrise to sunset shifts, and trying to save my energy for when it really counts.

welcome to busy season. put your head down, grit your teeth, and just ride it out. if that fails, i’ve heard a SARS mask does wonders.

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