Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I still gotz da shingles. Same same. I went to the hospital on Saturday and the waiting room was JAM PACKED with sick people. I remarked to the doctor that they were super busy, and he said it was H1N1. I haven't gotten a proper handle on what they call it here, even though I'm hearing it numerous times a day. Sounds something like "Shinjeong Inploo-enja."

And, guess what? THREE of my students have it! They're all middle school girls, and the three of them hang out together a LOT. Actually, two of them are identical twin sisters. I was the last one to teach them last Thursday night, and when I heard on Friday that one of them had tested positive I was regretting sitting beside her and patting her back as she took the test I was giving them. She looked pretty miserable, but told me it was just a bad cold. D'oh! So far, though, I'm pine tenk you, and you?

My manager's sick, but she says it's just a bad cold. I played it safe and did not pat her back encouragingly yesterday at all. Turmoil abounds at my school. From what I've heard so far, the Princess (manager) told my boss a couple weeks ago that she wanted to take over the school. He told her it wasn't for sale. So she came back a few days later and told him she's going to quit. My boss is really upset. My other co-worker is supposed to finish at the end of November, though if it were up to the Princess she'd be fired two weeks ago. The Princess does not like the co-worker, and the feeling is mutual. Now there's also a rift between the Princess and the boss - so the Staff Room is all round completely miserable. Except for me. I remain a brilliant ray of sunhine.

Okay, I lie.

But my doctor did up my prescription for painkillers. So whereas I started out taking 20mg a day under Dr. Rainman's care, I'm now up to 120mg a day. It's really getting the job done and for the most part I feel fiiiiine all day long. Finally. I can tell the pain is still in there somewhere, but it's properly muffled now.

I am bothered by the presence of H1N1 at the school and the absence of any sort of plan of action. I don't know if I should be talking about it with the other students or not. The upper grades seem to already know because the younger sister of one of the middle school girls who has it has told everyone. I wonder what's going to happen when the kids go home and tell their parents. Are the parents going to be upset? Are we supposed to be thinking about closing temporarily? I have no idea.

I'm upset that we aren't having any sort of Halloween celebration this year. I was told yesterday that it's cancelled, but no one is telling me why. The Princess told me to "ask the Wongjangnim" and I said "really? Can't you tell me?" She said "no." My boss's English ability isn't good enough to communicate complicated things in a short period of time. I usually only interact with him in brief five minute intervals because we're both busy and our break schedules don't mesh. So all I know now is we're not doing anything fun, and I expect our students are going to be more disappointed than I am. They really look forward to the Halloween party. I do, too. And the thing is, I have taken over all the planning and preparation for it over the years - so it's not like it's a huge amount of work for any of the Korean teachers. Total bummer. I'm still bummed out that my favourite music festival was cancelled. I wouldn't have come into close contact with anyone there - for sure not closer than I do with the kids every day at work. Yet, the festival was cancelled on the possibility that some attendee might have H1N1, however at my school there's the actuality that students have it,..and I'm still going to work. Like a jerk.

It feels like just everything is coming apart here, being undone one stitch at a time. When I'm not feeling apathetic, I'm feeling pathetic. Overall I'm feeling burnt out.


Foreigner Joy said...

Awe sorry to hear this Shingles thing is still going on. Anyways I didn't mean that you should stop the pain meds. Whatever helps at this time is good.

That is sad HAlloween is cancelled. But it sounds like your school is going through management issues and the H1N1 is starting to affect planning. IF the school won't have an action plan..maybe you should just make one of your own in case things get worse.

Anywhoo hope things clear up soon.

Kevin Kim said...

Sympathies, J. Hang in there, but maybe think about strapping that parachute on.


Diana E. said...

I'm feeling you for the long-term sick thing. It wears you DOWN. And now with the H1N1 worries... damn.

I hope you get well very soon.