Monday, July 22, 2013

Surviving (the rest of) monsoon season

Thanks to Staged Reality for inspiring this quick post. The blog recently featured an article about what its author picked up after a week at his new job. While I like the entire post, his fifth point bears repeating and commenting on here:

"You will overcome the elements and look down on people that whine about them"

It’s monsoon season in Korea now and everyone’s fretting about the rain and humidity. Rather than join the whining, I did three things: I bought a raincoat, began wearing rubber rain boots more often, and carry my umbrella everywhere. I learned my lesson from last year: An umbrella is not enough.
Already the rain coat has proven effective against the rain. It's a huge olive one. It's big enough to cover a messenger bag or a backpack, too. The students sometimes point at it, but I don’t care because I know that even though it’s huge, it keeps the rain out. Ditto on the boots–so what if I “look like a farmer,” my feet are dry. Or sometimes, I hear "Teacher--rain boots--why?" and a proceed to explain that I'm wearing rain boots because it's raining. It's a simple enough line of thought, but perhaps the student are merely curious and want to practice their speaking. Kids are funny that way...On second thought, I'll consider it speech practice. 

Altogether, yes, the elements can be hard to deal with, but the problems they bring on aren’t insurmountable. For those incoming EPIK teachers, I offer the following advice:

  • Bring a raincoat or buy one here. Ditto on the rain boots. 
  • Umbrellas are everywhere, so you can buy one here.

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