Thursday, January 21, 2010

Zombies Have Eaten My Brains

Because Intensives can't have made me feel this sleep deprived and crappy, right? I mean, I'm still only putting in 40 hours a week and in the land I came from that's just a normal week. Sure, I've been reading and prepping classes on A Wrinkle in Time and the Giver and studying up on how to study for the SATs (damn am I glad I'm Canadian.) The problem really is that I'm a night owl extraordinaire and I've been getting up at 7:30 in the morning, meaning that I've been getting five hours of sleep or fewer. Hilariously, Monday and Friday are the days I finish the latest and Friday is the one I teach the most hours. Fun, fun, fun. It all ends next Wednesday though, and if my luck continues, I don't even have to show up Tuesday and not until 11 a.m. on Wednesday. So, before the fog of exhaustion ends, here is the day in the life of a tired hagwon teacher:

7:30: Alarm goes off. I hit snooze.

7:38: Alarm goes off again. Once again, I hit snooze.

7:46: Alarm goes off. At this point, I hope to hell I've gotten up because there really isn't 8 extra minutes to shave off this morning routine, though I can't pretend that it hasn't had to happen. I apologise to my coworkers for my skanky hair on those days.

7:47: Stare blearily at pot, which is dirty because I made chai tea or hot chocolate in it the night before. Curse. Wash pot, travel mug, spoon, mug. Wonder yet again why at the grand old age of 31 I don't own more than one pot (or even a kettle.) Curse again.

7:50: While the water boils, pee. Pack stuff (always minus one important thing) into purse. Put coffee in French press and sugar in mugs.

7:52: Water in coffee, me into bathroom. Teeth, shower with hose (because I'm such a sterling adult that my shower head has remained broken for a month. However, considering how much faster I shower with the hose, this may have been a gift from Maude.)

8:10: Dress. Grumble about need for socks in winter. Ponder that I thought I'd be leaving the house by this time each morning. Brush hair, though no time to dry it.

8:13: Drink cup of coffee, fix one to go. Possibly wail about lack of milk.

8:15: Put on hiking shoes (closest thing I have to winter boots.) Grab key, hat, mitts. Start walking to subway.

8:30: Wait for train.

8:35: Get on train.

8:38: Get off and transfer lines.

8:45: Train number two.

8:52: At Ichon station. Power walk to school.

8:58: Grab books, attendance, and coffee.

9:00: Wait for my SAT or middle school students to show up late, as always. Read a magazine or book. Eventually, they turn up, we talk about either novels or the vocab words one finds on the SAT.

10:25: Bathroom, Facebook, maybe another cup of coffee, but the stuff in the office is shit.

10:30: First graders from hell. Math and reading.

11:55: Do up jackets, locate missing gloves, get them out the door.

12:00: Dodge past students at the elevator and take the stairs. Go eat. Preferably somewhere with coffee. Usually prep the novel for the next day, possibly read magazines, or, in a worst case scenario, listen to iPod and stare into space freaking out all the Koreans around me with my blank, zombie-like face.

12:55: Walk back to school.

1:00: Fourth grade social studies and reading with three awesome girls on Tuesdays and Thursdays, otherwise more first graders, but these ones aren't so evil.

1:30/2:00: On Mondays, go get more coffee. All other days, an hour of private tutoring with Jimin, whose in 5th grade, or Minsoo, who's about to move up to 2nd. Jimin and I read a book all about weird ass shit around the world, like people in Coober Pedy living underground. Minsoo and I read picture books (it's one of my favourite classes - the books are good, the kid is cute and well-behaved, I couldn't prep even if I wanted to, so I don't have to feel any guilt since I wouldn't.)

4:00: Tuesdays and Thursdays I go home! Monday, Wednesday, Fridays, I have a second grade class. They're pretty cool but the books are ridiculous. The story of a boy who picks up a girl in his fast car to take her to a Hollywood interview? Are you fucking with me? A book entitled "Happy Granny" and a picture of a scary woman hula hooping? WTF?!?

5:30: Tues/Thurs I'm at home, likely staring blankly in the direction of a West Wing episode. Wednesday, I leave. But on Mondays and Fridays, I'm lucky enough to teach vocabulary classes to the three most fucking whiny children I have ever met. There is not enough coffee in the world to make this class ok.

7:00: Leave. Walk to subway, take two trains to do what is only a 15 minute cab ride (but I'm saving money, thanks so much Past Amanda, who decided this should be a New Year's Resolution. You are an asshole and I hate you very much.) Walk home, unless I've been tempted by the used bookstore on the corner (in which case all savings instantly disappear.)

7:45: Get home. Peel off layers. Collapse on bed. Bitterly contemplate how the Jetsons have ruined my life by giving me false hope that by now there'd be robots doing my housework and making me dinner.

8:00: Haul self out of bed before I start knawing on my own arm out of hunger. Likely decide I can not be bothered making anything substantial. Decide that there will be no chopping, and once the vegetables I bought back in December ran out, there was nothing to chop anyway. Stare into fridge.

8:15: Accept that there is nothing to eat, really. Either make breakfast or pasta with nothing on it but Parmesan cheese (which has always been my comfort food.) Make a cup of hot chocolate or chai, assuming that I have remembered to buy milk.

8:30: As I sit down to eat in front of the computer, contemplate whether or not I will get scurvy before this is all over, but take comfort in the fact that osteoporosis isn't likely since I go through milk almost as fast as my family used to in a home with four growing children. But by myself. I'm obviously not a candidate for veganism.

9:00: If it's Wednesday, go to quiz. If not, read, stare at TV, surf the net.

12:00: Tell myself to go to bed. Turn out the lights.

12:30: Still awake. Turn lights back on, go back to doing whatever I was doing before.

2~3:00: Finally am so exhausted I can sleep.

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