Monday, September 24, 2007

first day of Chuseok break

I must spend this lovely day (1) in my dorm doing laundry (and correcting student journals), then (2) in the office working on TV transcripts and worksheets and discussion pages for the students. It's a ton of work, certainly a hell of a lot more work than last semester, but I enjoy it.

One piece of bad news from my boss this past Friday: I might not be able to teach French officially next semester. Why? The Smoo French department is apparently in an uproar that an American is teaching French. "We know their accent!" they allegedly said. I asked my boss whether that department has any authority over us. She didn't look me in the eye, but I gather the answer is "no." It would be nice if we had some backbone and challenged their misplaced outrage instead of curling up in a little ball and taking it. I'm thinking about talking-- nicely-- to people in that department about some sort of cooperative program. I won't do this without my boss's permission; my intention isn't to embarrass her. A friend of mine cautions me that my idea will never fly because both sides of campus have already decided what to do: our side has decided to back down; their side has decided to get pissy.

I might just develop some very large posters advertising FREE French lessons for next semester, and will plaster them around the French department's office. "Learn the French you're not learning in class!" the posters will say. It's true, after all: from what I hear from my students, most of those French profs lecture in Korean. Students are learning about French; they're not learning French. It was unfair of that department to judge me without even having met me, but because I've met plenty of Koreans who claim to speak French, I know that it's highly likely that the Smoo French department is composed of teachers with embarrassingly low French proficiency-- the one actual Frenchwoman in the department excepted, of course. That makes them hypocrites.

And on that happy note, I now prep my laundry.


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