Wednesday, February 23, 2005

the call

I got a call on Wednesday morning from CDI, the high-paying hagwon. Of course, I'm wary about CDI.

Kids, you know. Goddamn kids.

I've gotten repeated assurances from various friends and co-workers who know about CDI's reputation that "these kids aren't like the other kids," so I said to myself "fuck it" and decided to accept the offer for an interview. I'm going in on Thursday morning for a three-hour grilling. Gonna be messy.

It's a delicate period. I haven't settled on a new job yet, having lost two potentially good university opportunities, one through sickness, the other through my own circumspection.

The upshot is that I'm going to be missing out on university work-- again-- which sucks balls. Ball-suckage will continue for another semester.

But who knows? Maybe CDI will turn out to be everything I've ever wanted. If I have a consistently decent crop of kids, I might actually enjoy myself. I don't mind teaching kids one-on-one; the main problem for me is dealing with disciplinary shit. I hated being the controlling ogre when I taught high school French in Arlington, Virginia. I hated shouting, "Shut up! Siddown!" all the time. I hated chaperoning the little bastards on field trips (one of which was an absolute nightmare outing to the Kennedy Center in DC; remind me to blog about that some time). Do I truly want to return to this madness?

Maybe it's not madness, though. CDI kids range in age from elementary to high school. I don't like any part of that age range, especially not when they're in large groups of 10-20, which is the approximate size of CDI's classes. But my friend's cousin, who teaches there, says the kids are learning hyper-advanced material. Imagine elementary schoolers learning TOEFL strategy. Or how about middle schoolers discussing Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse? Maybe this isn't big shakes from the perspective of an American "magnet school," but keep in mind that these kids' first language isn't English.

So maybe they're not squirmy little students. Maybe they're scary little student-bots, genetically designed to achieve, conquer, and control. Maybe the UN will find itself overthrown one afternoon by a group of Korean Borg-children, working together in a frightening display of near-telepathic coordination. And maybe one day, when the Borg-children are defeated and order is restored, there will be a massive war crimes trial at the Hague, and I'll be brought to the stand, along with other CDI teachers, to testify about my own role in the cloning and nurturing of these Borglings.

I'm leaving EC after teaching my final class on the 28th. I have several problems to deal with at once, including moving out of my place on Sunday, making sure about where I'm moving to, and dealing with the next visa run I have to make. If the interview at CDI goes well, I might find all of these problems solved in the course of three hours. CDI offers 5 million won in "key money" toward finding a residence, and if they also offer to reimburse me for my Japan visa run, that'd be shweet. With 5 million won, I could, in theory, simply move my shit back across the street to the weon-lum where I started off. This would save me a painful move all the way across town to Jangui-dong. On top of that, I wouldn't have to return to a tourist visa; I could simply move to another E-2 visa straightaway.

If CDI falls through, I have a contingency plan: move my shit into a tiny goshi-weon, do the visa run on my own, come back to Korea on a tourist visa, and tutor while continuing the job hunt.

In any case, I've got the damn interview tomorrow, from 10:30AM to about 1:30PM, which is cutting things pretty fucking close since I start classes at EC at 2PM. Luckily, EC is only three subway stops away from CDI.

More on this as it happens.


No comments: