I was sick. I was also on pins and needles after that encounter with the supervisor. A couple of days later I asked my coteacher outside to talk. I impressed upon her that I did not like how she handle the situation. I also impressed upon her the fact that she is my coteacher. I further explained her role in the classroom. After this incident, I also impressed upon her that it was my classroom and that she was there to support me. This was bold of me, I thought. After all, I am not in my country, and I need to follow the rules here in Korea. However, this camp expects the foreigner to lead. I took this to heart and told her that she needs to understand her role more clearly.
Week Two (HappyLand)
I jumped ahead by telling you that I had a little talk with my coteacher. I had had that talk with her after our trip to HappyLand.
HappyLand was this small dliapidated amusement area. it was too small to be called an amusement park. There were three rides at best. There were FOUR operable bumper cars. It was very cold that day. All of the teachers stood around the heater in the eating area of the amusement area. Actually, we took turns standing around the heater. It was neither an amusement park, nor a Happy experience. Misery best describes it.
During lunch I made the most of my time by again relaxing and chatting up the Korean coteachers (mostly female) at every chance. I saw it as an opporunity to practice Korean and not a chance to bond with my foreign coteachers whose English I understand just fine. I recall asking one coteacher if she had a boyfriend. I quickly followed up with the compliment, “you’re pretty”. That was the extent of my advances on the coteachers at HappyLand.
In the Staffroom after HappyLand
Every morning we have breifings before we begin teaching the students. On this morning which was unlike any other morning, the supervisor decided to berate me in front of my colleagues (at least 12 of them). He yelled. He asked: “do you think Korean women are easy?” He insinuated some pretty awful things by his line of questioning and tone. A couple of my colleagues sensing the inappropriate way he was addressing me came to my defense. The supervisor cowarded and returned to the original meeting’s agenda. He had digressed because he wanted to warn all of us that she shouldn’t slack off on our jobs. It was at that point when he pointedly made remarks and attacked me verbally.
The last straw had been pulled. I lost complete respect for the supervisor that day. I was shocked. I thought that he had read me completely wrong. There was not a bit of indecency in my inquiry to the coteacher about her marital status. After all, I get “are you married?” from Koreans almost daily! My students also hit me with “teacher handsome” too. What was the big deal?
I am ready for this camp to be over. I get the sense that the supervisor is angry, and wishes his life were different. He’s miserable. He attacked me out of his own insecurities. I will take the money and run. This is a lesson. Thanks, but no thanks to camps. I couldl have spent a wonderful time with my family in Los Angeles and San Diego. 🙂 Hi, Aunite Cissie!