For those of you (all of you?) who are my friends on Facebook, it shall come as no surprise to you that this has been a dreadful week for me. And it started out with so much fine prospect! Kate got an amazing job last week, we’re just a couple weeks out from going home for vacation, the ride home was looking fine, and Steven’s school had told us they were planning on moving us to a nicer apartment shortly after we returned from vacation. Oh, and the Thundershirt was on its way to us.

None of that stuff turned out the way we were planning. Well, except for Kate’s job – that’s only looking better and better.

First, Steven’s co-teacher cornered him in the hallway and ushered him into an office to deliver the news that they would not move us after all. They decided they would just fix some of the glaring problems with our apartment. What are those problems? The ceiling in our bathroom was covered in mold. The sink didn’t work. There were no screens on our windows. When the AirCon came on, all the electricity would shut off. One of our doors was rotten. Another doorway had a big hole in the cement wall next to it. Our drying rack is busted. That’s seriously just to name some of the functional issues – don’t get me started on aesthetics. They called in a real estate agent and the building owner, who decided they would fix those things, and actually they already fixed them all. Not to the skill and craftsmanship I’ve come to expect, and not without leaving huge, frustratingly difficult-to-clean messes in their wake, and not without accidentally knocking part of our ceiling out and leaving paint splattered on the floor. Well, it’s nice they finally want to do something about the apartment – a year later – but honestly, all of that is just the tip of the iceberg in my opinion. I guess I’ll have to make due for one more year.

Second, Chaz got a call from American Airlines. They called to let us know that Japan Airlines, who is AA’s partner from Busan to Tokyo, had decided to cancel our flight for the morning of our departure. Which meant we couldn’t leave in the morning anymore – which meant that, at best, we would get home sometime in the late night of the day we are supposed to arrive at home. Now, if it was any other trip under any other situation, honestly I wouldn’t mind so much. But my vacation already got shrunk down from the expected month to a measly two weeks. Making me wait any longer was just not an option. Luckily, Steven was able to get them to move us to a different flight – out of Seoul – for the same time. That means that we will have to buy train tickets, lug our luggage up to Seoul, and camp out at the airport all night until our flight leaves the following morning. It also means that Kate and Chaz will not be sitting next to us on the plane on the way to Dallas. This is one of the biggest disappointments of the week. My heart is very sad.

And third: my stupid after school classes are the ONE thing about my school that I can’t stand. This school year, my old after school co-teacher (she was great, I really liked her) had a baby and now she’s taking a year or so off. So now I have a new CT. She is very sweet, but to call her a co-teacher is a lie. She sits in the back of the room and expects me to not only TEACH a class of 30 mixed-level students, but also discipline some of the worst-behaved, lowest English speakers in the school. On top of that, she basically has seen how much I work on their lessons – you know, make cool PPTs, come up with fun games, and generally make an effort to make the classes both educational and stimulating – and she’s started to figure out how she can get me to do her work. I’m serious. We work out of a special text book, and she told me before that we should plan on covering two pages out of the text book each class period. She teaches two days each week and I teach one day. She teaches two classes of younger students, so the day that I teach, I just take two of the older classes. I’ve noticed, however, that she usually only teaches my students one or two pages when she should be covering at least four pages between the time I see my kids. AND, she recently told me that I’m to prepare open classes for ALL of the classes – even the classes that I’ve never taught before – for us to “co-teach” in front of the kids’ parents and our principal. If you don’t know what that means, let me break it down for you: she wants me to write the lessons and then she wants me to stand there and let it look like she had something to do with the preparation while the parents and our boss looks on. I really wouldn’t mind too much if it was JUST my classes, but to have me write lessons for kids and classes who I have never met, never taught, and have no idea what they are capable of – I’m still considering telling her I won’t do that. But I’m not the type of person that can just blow this off or even really feels comfortable making an issue out of this – I’m getting there, but I’m not sure I’m there yet. But this is definitely pushing my buttons.

So, there you have it. Life has not been kind to me. I can be thankful for many things, and I try not to make honestly bitter complaints all too often (do I complain? Sure – it’s impossible to live and work in a different culture and not complain, but usually I’m just griping for the fun of it). But this week has really taken it out of me. I am so eager to be home and relax for a few days.

Oh yeah, the Thundershirt isn’t impressing me too much yet. Hopefully with a little TLC, it’ll start doing it’s job.