It’s Friday and the first day of our summer schedule.
School breaks mean one thing for Hagwon teachers: more work. As the one foreign teacher there, I actually work much less than my Korean co-workers. I have almost 3 hour breaks between my middle school and elementary school segments. My classes with them are still a short 20-30 minutes long, except for my 4th grade and top 6th grade class which are 40 minutes and one hour, respectively.
Still, I will be busier than normal. Mostly though, summer schedule means that my work day begins and ends earlier. It’s a mixed blessing since I enjoy being able to leave work when it’s still light out but I hate adjusting to waking up and leaving earlier.
I don’t remember last summer very well but I remember being completely exhausted when the winter schedule ended and wishing for a really long holiday.
Friday, though, I came to work feeling happy. I cheerfully greeted my coworkers and couldn’t stop grinning.
Maybe it’s because I finished my latest session of Korean classes and did well on the final test.
Maybe it’s because I finally took care of all the paperwork needed to start my second year here.
Maybe it’s because I’m almost done grading the speaking tests that we recently put the students through.
Maybe it’s because it’s a Friday and I have a weekend with nothing planned, to look forward to.
I suspect it’s a combination of all of them.
Furthermore, the start of the summer schedule makes me realize just how close I am to seeing my parents and having a real vacation.
They come more or less after the summer schedule ends. I may as well start counting down. It’s starting to feel more real, like it will really happen.
If there’s one downside to this, it’s that I still haven’t decided where I’m going for the rest of my vacation time and time is running out to buy plane tickets. I’ve decided that I need to get out of Korea for a week or so. Last year I went to Kyoto but didn’t have much time there so I resolved to go back the next year.
Well, now it’s next year. I’m still interested in Japan but it’s also kind of pricey. I’ve thought a little about going somewhere like Thailand or Cambodia but I’ve never seriously considered them before so I have no idea what I’d do there. I’d need to do some research.
If I’ve learned anything from my travels, it’s this: I love going to new places and experiencing new things so long as they are interesting, beautiful or not stressful (as in, I know what I’m getting in to, to some degree). I don’t like the logistics: figuring out how to get around, how to order food, where to go, not knowing the plan (if I’m with others), feeling out of control, and carrying all my crap with me.
Japan would be the costly, but simpler choice. I have some idea of what I’m getting into and there are still many things for me to experience and see there. But there are still so many other places to go.
If you have any suggestions for me….don’t hesitate to weigh in. I’ll probably still be trying to figure it out.
Still, on Friday, the good outweighed the anxiety. I simply felt happy.
A little more than one month to go. I can’t wait to see my parents!