Friday, June 27, 2008


I'm no longer required to whine about Korea on my own, I have found copious resources online for more effective bitching.
Interestingly enough, there's an interesting site here about anti-foreigner comics in Korea.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Andover Hagwon

I'm really getting sick of this unhappy country. I would really like to go back to Chicago right about now. Noah got hit by a car yesterday in Seoul, by the way, and the Korean who hit him just drove off with Noah on the ground literally shaking with fear.

Andover hagwon has won. Not some respectable battle fought on the grounds of wits or ethics, but a mere battle for my resolve. They've destroyed it. I dare say not a single poor soul at my hagwon is happy with their current lot. Andover hagwon has us rehearsing an "open class" lately for the parents. It's supposedly a normal class that parents can view, but it's most definitely not. I'm performing for the third time tomorrow in front of the hagwon owner. I can't help but predict epic failure.
I never claimed to be an amazing teacher, I just claimed to speak English. My school has no curriculum, and they change everything constantly so it's not exactly easy to be a good teacher here. They also hire other foreigners for short times that are on tourist visas, yes, illegal, but somehow as an American I'm the one with questionable morality and a bad work ethic.
In any case, the new teachers who haven't breached the 6 month mark are having a much harder time. The hagwon treats new teachers much worse, only because they have to pay a $1000 penalty if they leave before 6 months, so they know they can give the new teacher more shit. It's a horrible system and they should be ashamed, but there's nothing I can do about it.

I was also reading this Article about Korean education and ethics which I found strikes very close to home. I've been told by my boss to give students who can't speak a word of English good marks so that their parents will keep paying and this article really describes the educational atmosphere here in Korea quite well.

I've completed 8 months of my contract, only 4 more to go.

Coincidentally, there is another great post on the aforementioned site that might give a bystander an understanding of the way foreigners are viewed here in Korea. Give it a read if you have a moment.