Monday, January 19, 2015


I've received my teaching schedule from Dongguk University. Scheduling is a complex process for those who have to plot the schedules, and once they're fleshed out and personalized for 40-plus faculty members, it's then a matter of assigning each faculty member his or her own personal schedule. I, as a newcomer, was very low on the lottery totem pole for selecting a preferred schedule: #28 out of 40-some. The schedule I selected—and actually acquired—has me teaching from morning to early afternoon in the city of Ilsan, where Dongguk has another campus. (Our university has four campuses, including one in California.) So I'll need to visit the Ilsan campus, figure out where my building and its classrooms are located, and prep everything else that needs prepping, including textbooks, syllabi, and all the rest. That's a project that will take me through the end of January and into the beginning of February if I work at it slowly and steadily.

This time around, my free day is Friday, so that'll be my new Golden Goose day. Occasional Saturdays throughout the year will be devoted to KMA work, so I've got that income coming to me as well. Dongguk has me teaching 14 hours this semester; barring cancelations, this means I'll be receiving a wee bit of extra income—two hours per week of overtime, paid at Dongguk's rather stingy overtime rate. Still, it's not nothing: whatever pads my budget will be most welcome. And because I'll be teaching at the Ilsan campus, which is a 90-minute commute away, I won't be assigned ancillary duties like English Clinic and English Zone. Not that I hated English Clinic last semester: I actually liked it, and the students gave great reports of their experiences with me. (If only they'd been the ones to evaluate me, eh?) But the one thing I never liked about Clinic and Zone was the idea that this was unpaid work. I'm never a fan of not being paid for my efforts: I end up just feeling used.

The best thing about the new schedule is that it ends incredibly early on Tuesdays and Thursdays: I'm done at 11AM! Fancy that—finished by lunch! Although I'm not a morning person, I generally prefer to get any work over and done with earlier, rather than later, so that I can have the rest of the day to myself. In fact, I might consider the idea of asking my Golden Goose boss whether I can split my 8-hour day into two 4-hour days so that I can finish early on Fridays and have myself a proper weekend.

The worst thing about the new schedule is that I'll have to wake up at 6AM every morning, like most normal people. This runs against the grain of my nocturnal, vampiric tendencies, but I imagine I'll get used to it: I used to wake up at 6AM when I taught at Sookmyung Women's University, where our classes started at an ungodly 7:40AM every damn morning.

I'm hoping this is a better semester. The schedule itself looks to be a good one, even though it means I likely won't be seeing fellow faculty most of the time. I somehow doubt there's an extra office waiting for me at the Ilsan campus, which means I'm still going to have to visit my office at the Seoul campus to do any work. At a guess, I'm also going to have to do any student consultations right there at Ilsan, where I won't have recourse to anything except my laptop to access student data. I've moved everything over to Google Drive, fortunately, so that shouldn't be much of a problem. Given last semester's debacle, we can only go up from here, eh?


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