Choose Your Own Adventure

There are stories to be found everywhere. We just have to open our eyes, look inside ourselves, and follow the signs.

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* As a side note, I’d like to mention that I will now be updating every Wednesday. I know I’m pretty inconsistent but let’s go with that for now!

A Little Help?

How many of you have been in a work environment where team effort is absolutely necessary? You know how there’s always that one person (or more) who doesn’t get it? Somehow they think that slacking only effects “the man” and not all of the little people holding “the man” up. You try to explain that, hey, when you don’t complete your tasks I have to. I have to do my job and your job in the same amount of time for the same pay. But maybe those people have already mentally left the building and they just show up for a pay cheque or out of obligation.

One of my co-teachers was very close to retirement. He let me know this from get go. He spent our class time outdoors, chain-smoking, and tending to flowers. I especially needed him because my high school students had the least amount of English comprehension out any of my schools. I would try to rely on visuals, but it was very much us talking at each other in two different languages. (They were sweet kids, very funny and patient at least!)

When I asked for his help he seemed very unwilling and bothered. He would join me at the beginning of class, talk to the students in Korean about his puppy, and then leave about ten minutes in.

Sometimes before class I’d see him playing card games on his computer, or listening to music, but never getting ready.

But you know what’s worse than not doing your job? Being randomly disruptive in addition.

So aside from the fact that he would talk to the kids in Korean during English class, when he did come around he would bring in things he found in the garden, like bugs. The students’ attention was completely lost and non-retrievable. You just can’t compete with cool-looking bugs. But I guess it’s good that he didn’t whip dogs…

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Functional Korea

What’s awesome about Korea is how efficient everything is. There was a good two month span where I was constantly sick. After visiting a local doctor who prescribed various pills to me without doing any actual tests, I decided to visit the hospital. The closest hospital to me closed at 4pm. Yes, apparently it closed. So my co-teacher was gracious enough to let me leave work early to get a check up. Now, in Canada check ups are free. The only downside are the wait times. If you’re going to the hospital with a non-critical issue, you might be waiting four hours or more. But not in Korea.

I walked in, waited behind one person, explained my issue, waited maybe five minutes to see a doctor who tested me immediately and gave me my results about ten minutes later. He was very thorough in his explanation. He gave me a prescription, then I paid $12 at the front desk for the test.

I was in and out of the hospital in about half an hour. I was amazed.

There’s a sort of mindset in Korea called 빨리 빨리 (bali-bali), which can translate to “hurry hurry”! People don’t have time to waste with useless things. Even their candy is functional.

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