Well, my students are… hm. They’re interestingly varied. Things that work extremely well in one class fall flat in another. I think in another week or so I’ll have a good enough idea of the level of each class and tailor my basic lesson to each group, without the pain of planning 11 different lessons. Still, I am very much getting the hang of teaching the same lesson something like ten times a week (it’s two different levels, and except for night classes two lessons per week). But it’s going okay.
As for other work stuff… it turns out the guy who “handled” my papers over at immigration screwed up in several ways. Yesterday I went to the office to get my passport and foreigner residence registration card. The same guy was handling me as before, and from the moment I arrived he made it clear he was going to screw me around the same as the previous time. Except this time I gave him this look like, “Don’t screw with me, I am NOT in the mood.”
Happily, he was so embarrassed by his idiotic mistakes that he didn’t get a chance to screw me around. It turned out that he hadn’t yet filed the papers (and so nobody could find them, and it took him nearly an hour to do so), and that he had, on my previous visit, been so busy yanking my chain that he’d instructed me to fill out the wrong form and pay W50,000 to much for a re-entry permit that I didn’t need. He kept asking me why I filled it out, petulantly, and I simply pointed out to someone who seemed to be his superior, that he’d instructed me to fill it out.
I remembered his lecture on how, politely, I ought to give and receive things with two hands – a gesture of extreme politeness – and that using only my right hand, with a ceremonial sleeve-movement gesture by the left was simply not polite enough (though it’s more than good enough in any circumstance excluding grandparents, in actuality). So when he came back to me, slightly shamefacedly, with my money in hand to give to me, I stuck out my right hand, no two hands, no sleeve-moving gesture, just my hand. I wish I’d been even ruder, and stuck out my left hand (as one of my officemates pointed out would have been far more appropriately rude) but I did look him in the face and it was obvious he got my point when I took the money.
Then his superior explained to me why this extra paperwork had been unnecessary and what I would need to do in December to get my visa handled properly.
I also met a nice young foreigner in the office that day, whose Korean language ability makes me believe he’s a Korean-American, who hails from Rhode Island and arrived here only a week ago. I told him I’d show him the foreigner bar here, and I should really email him soon. He was nice enough to try help me with the admin guy, which I really appreciated.
Now it’s time for me to go make a handout for some of my students. While many of my classes knew the names of the months and how to use ordinals, one class had no idea how to say 4-month 5-day (April 5th), so they need a handout. Basics basics basics.