A day in the life.
It’s your lucky day. After reading this there will really be no reason to continue reading my blog, as you will know what accounts for 5/7 of my life in Korea.
~8:00 “8am? Nah, let’s sleep in another hour”, our protagonist thought as he rolled back over in bed on a Wednesday morning. Being an afternoon teacher, he is afforded the luxury of never having to use his alarm clock during the week. In fact, in his two months since arriving in Korea he has little use for the alarm at all. It rests largely untouched on his desk while his sleep schedule is governed instead by the pervasive sunlight coming through his window. Curtains and a way to install them are high on his wish list.
Waking is typically followed by some biblical nourishment, which is in turn followed by some dietary nourishment. However, feeling extra diligent this morning, he postpones the latter in order to squeeze in a short run this morning. No one enjoys running with two bowls of Special K jostling around inside their stomach. While this diligent friend would be proud to call this run part of his daily routine, he’d also be a liar. The morning is his oyster, and as such he avoids tying himself into routines (how bourgeois!) With that said, the aforementioned run may happen once a week in addition to one every weekend. You also may likely see him getting groceries at the local grocery store. More than likely you won’t see him at all. He’ll be in his room checking email and facebook messages while working on his Korean abilities or simply watching an episode of White Collar online. He also gets easily distracted by his guitar and kindle.
12:45pm “Is it really that time again? I swear I only woke up an hour ago…”
Without fail he is surprised each afternoon to observe that Seoul has been alive and kicking for a good part of the day while he was peacefully secluded in his apartment. On mornings spent entirely in his apartment, with no run or grocery trip to take him outdoors, he is almost remorse at having spent so much of the day in seclusion while so much vitality exists only 70m away. But after a fifteen minute walk he arrives at work and becomes a contributing member of society.
He spends his first two hours at work preparing for the day: making lesson plans, review sheets, copies of upcoming tests, or writing numerous report cards for the 50+ kids he sees over the course of the week. With 1 to 1-1/2 hour-long periods of teaching separated by ten minute breaks, the next hours fly by quickly for him. After five hours of “repeat after me”, “Kevin, no speaking Korean”, and “when I talk, no one else should be talking”, “Sean Teacher” finally gets a break from chatty little Korean children and their broken English. He spends his last hour of work largely the same as his first two hours, though this time he is counting down the minutes until his walk home.
9:00pm (or as close to it as possible)
On a different day he may take advantage of the proximity of his job to a much larger grocery store, but as this is a typical weekday, he walks home with his co-workers. On the way home they come to the conclusion that this week is flying by and they cannot wait for the weekend. This conclusion provides a sharp contrast to last Wednesday’s conclusion in which it was decided that the week moved like molasses in January. However, both discussions agreed that work was less than enjoyable and the weekend would be welcome much sooner if it so chose.
As the day unwinds, our protagonist ends this palindromic day much like he begins it: at the computer. In a familiar fashion he checks emails and facebook, watches a bit of TV, reads a book, and studies some Korean. He even considers the guitar and a bowl of cereal, though he realizes they are best not done together.
Narrowly avoiding spending way too much time doing essentially nothing, he’s finally successful in pulling himself away from the computer. He rolls into bed, the only thing on his mind being the two more days before the weekend. Two more days.