Tuesday, January 29, 2008

a wee bit annoyed

blargh. or as liz lemon would say, BLURG.

work was annoying today. after the first hour of class, i find out that the english classes are all practicing for their plays today. during my classes. and no one told me. so apparently i only have 50 minutes PER section today instead of the 1 hour 50 minutes that i usually have and PLANNED for. add that to my list of things i don't like about lady boss (there are many). so whatever. i suck it up and cut my lesson in half. i'll do the last chapter for my 1st two classes tomorrow. and then i had to rearrange to do tomorrow's lesson TODAY for the last class because for whatever reason their class is AFTER their exam tomorrow. so i HAD to teach the final chapter today. so all my plans for teaching tomorrow have been thwarted and i have to rethink and stuff.

i dunno why. but when koreans are NOT good at english and INSIST on speaking to me in english even tho it's the MOST INEFFICIENT mode of conversation it drives me nuts. (example, yesterday and lady boss' comment). am i a HORRIBLE person? i HATE when adults, esp. older adults INSIST on speaking HORRIBLE TERRIBLE english that i REALLY can NOT decipher for the life of me. it's soooo AWKWARD. i keep asking "what" or "excuse me" or give them blank looks in the MOST polite way possible. and it goes nowhere. and so i'll switch into korean, and they STILL speak (TRY to speak) english to me. and i don't know what to do. ugh. it just really annoys me. and i know it's not just because they're mangling the language. there's just SOMEthing about these situations that drives me nuts.

also, for whatever reason, i think that when korean people speak english, it sounds very rude. i don't know if it's the context and i'm just used to all the formality and honorifics in the language. or maybe the style of english they learn/teach. or maybe it's just because i'm used to speaking korean with these people and it's just a "cozier" language. i have NO idea. but seriously, koreans speaking english (even when it's fairly fluent/good) just sounds rude. maybe bc it's not as casual as what i'm used to in english? but wouldn't greater formality sound polite, if awkward? not rude? it's very strange. or maybe direct (or close to direct) translations of korean (which is how it normally goes) just becomes a very rude sort of rough/crude translation? i'm not sure. but this "rude english" makes me uncomfortable, too.

there is this one SUPER RUDE teacher in one of my classes and he puts me in a bad mood. ok i KNOW im like 10 years younger than him and so what if my career path is WAY more exciting now than his ever will be, he is SOOO rude to me in class. he TALKS while i'm talking/teaching/explaining/answering questions. he doesn't "shush" when i start talking after a talking activity. he just keeps on talking until HIS conversation is finished and then maybe tunes into what i say. i don't know how to deal with it or what to say. (i've never really been treated this rudely so i don't know how to react). so normally i just talk over him (stopping to wait for him just encourages him) and ignore him. =( grrr but apparently he's like this in another teacher's class who's TOLD him it's not cool, so he's kindof a douche.

one of the judges for the plays gave a speech about english education in korea and in other countries where he observed/learned and altho i understand he was trying to be encouraging to the teachers by saying that having perfect pronunciation is not the point of their learning english and citing studies where the only way to achieve native speaker-like pronunciation is to BE a native speaker or move to the target country before you learn to speak he said something that TOTALLY annoyed me. he said that, even if koreans go to english-speaking countries, they are seen as koreans, as asians, and so it's much better to speak korean well than to speak poor korean/neglect korean and speak perfect english. you can see how this kindof pissed me off. it's hard to translate the connotations of the words/language he was using but he was basically saying koreans who speak perfect english but are not good at korean SUCK and are SUCKY koreans. and that REALLY annoyed me. seeing how i'm 봉사ing (community servicing) in HIS freaking province, in HIS freaking country, for a YEAR of my life. my young life that could just as easily be spent traipsing around europe or backpacking in australia or getting a head start on law school. GRRRRRR!!!!

Positive Things About Today:
the plays were very funny tho and i could tell my teachers put a lot of effort into them. altho some of the english was questionable. haha. it was pretty enjoyable, to see them not being my students and in another context.

also, i saw one of the students who loves me most (i am her favorite person after her parents) on the way into my apt and that made me smile and a little less annoyed at being in korea. she was skipping past me, and we both did the long look, walk past, turn around and OHHHHH!~~~ she goes, OH, TEACHER!!! and runs at me and hugs me!!! and then i asked her where she's going in korean, and she goes "oh, KOREAN SPEAKING!" so then i asked her, where are you going (in english) and she said, home!! then i asked where she's coming from and she said "playground"!!! SHE SPOKE ENGLISH!! we had a CONVERSATION (ok, kindof) in english!!! yayy!!!

i got lots of compliments yesterday during my "describing people's appearances" lesson. =) i would repeat but i'm afraid that my blog will turn into "emotional vomit" so i'll restrain. ok, no i won't. because i need to be cheered up
student: how do you say 롱다리?
me: you can say, she has long legs. or you can say, she is leggy. altho leggy includes an element of sexiness.
student: christine, you are leggy

today on the drive home my driver teacher told me that her class has grown attached to me and they like me a lot. and they think it's because they think i'm pretty. =) on a day when my skin disappointed me before breakfast, this was a comfort.

and i am eating a roll (stack? column? line?) of mini chocolate chip cookies with milk. so i'm happy now. at least until i have to make a new lesson plan. =]

today was a lot of ranting. sorry. i promise more positive energy soon.

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