This week I am totally down and out. For the first time in months I’ve completely failed to put together any articles, having worked the most units ever since I arrived at Berlitz – the total will come in at just under 80 units, each 40 minutes long. Obviously when you throw in preparation time on top of all that it makes for a pretty shattering week – not one I hope to repeat very often, though obviously the moneys pretty good, which is a bonus.
Fortunately, as I was completely dead by this point, Wednesday evening restored my faith in Korea and in teaching all in the space of about three hours. Having pretty much had enough by this point (see above!), I went 40 minutes South of my office to teach my last class of the day – a class of complete beginners. When you say complete beginners in Korea normally you don’t really mean it – it’s rare to find a group that can’t string together at least ‘Hello, My name….’, but these guys really didn’t speak a word. They are all graphic designers and work in a house that is sat randomly beside a main road in the middle of nowhere, mountain on one side and farmland on the other. Being graphic designers it looks a little like the big brother house – all eccentric and seemingly useless shaped furniture and quirky little areas. My lesson was held in a basement just about big enough for a small table…
I taught two groups of ten how to say ‘hello’ and ‘I come from’ (not as easy as it sounds, bearing in mind I’m not allowed to speak any Korean – even I can manage this in Korean!). The best thing about total beginners is they find everything hilarious, and you really don’t have to do very much – just teach them a few words and make them repeat them to you, and then to each other, and then go on to the next words. Throw in the occasionally bit of acting and mock them a little and they think you’re the best thing since sliced bread. If only it was always this easy. On the way home I was treated to an unusually perfect Seoul sunset and my neighborhood seemed to have sprouted a selection of interesting food vans – one which even had live minnows in a tank on the back ready to be fried up. Sometime the little things come at just the right times!
It almost – it would take some doing – made up for the frantic week. Now for a weekend of rock bands and Helena’s early birthday party… like that will make me less tired! Onwards!