I can’t believe it’s only been one month since my last post. I was sure it was at least two, maybe even three.
A whole lot’s happened. To make a long story short, my life’s become UNIVERSITIFIED, UNIVERSITALIZED, and UNIVERSITILICIOUS. Yes, it’s been the comeback that everyone… okay, a few… all right, just me, and even me not all that much… has been waiting for: TOMMYLAND, THE COLLEGE VERSION!!!
Yup, I’m teaching full-time again, this time at a Korean university, and it’s pretty much taken over all life. In the last several weeks, my life has gone from “sleep, eat, nap, eat, do some writing, eat, and sleep” to “teach, prep, grade, counsel, and collapse in bed for a few Zs before that dreaded alarm clock sounds.”
It’s been tough, I can’t lie. I’m teaching 12-13 hours a week over four days (M-Th), which might sounds nice, but the lesson prepping’s been an absolute killer. I really, desperately want to do a good job and do right by my classes (teach them something but also keep things enjoyable), and I’m giving my all here. By the time I’m done with my last class on Thursday, I feel exhausted and pretty much numb. And relieved, extremely relieved that everything’s gone okay.
And that’s the good side. Things ARE rolling alone nicely. As of now, three weeks into the semester, I have managed to find my rhythm. I’ve developed a nice rapport with the students; I now know what I want to teach for each class; I’ve come up with my classroom rules and grading policies; the other teachers and I are getting along well; and as draining as the work has been, it’s also been incredibly rewarding. Ultimately, hard work pays off in just about every situation. I’ve been able to get the ball rolling. Now I just have to keep pushing and make sure it stays rolling. Right now is the toughest time for all of us new teachers since we’re all figuring things out as we’re going along and we’re all developing class materials and lesson plans completely from scratch. It’s our pay-your-dues semester.
Bottom line: Like the wise Tim Gunn says, I’ve just gotta make it work. And the only way to make things to work is to work yourself. And that’s what I’m doing.