Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Swine flu nearly cut my vacation (Part 2)

* I acknowledge that there’s a global concern about this crisis that is swine flu, but HOW can I be told this on the day that I’m leaving? …just a few hours before leaving home?

* Secondly, don’t you think it’s more realistic to just not work for that Thursday & Friday and begin the following Monday after arriving back?

* Another thing – if the government DID just state this rule, then that is highly unfair. It’s summer vacation NOW in Korea, and anyone will tell you that over summer, there are almost no foreigners in Korea. 

Ina calls back after I had a quick vent to my mum.

Me - Hello?

Ina - Hello, this is Ina

Me - Hi Ina.
Ina - Sheetal, you know before all that I told you wasn’t my opinion. It was school’s.

Ina does this very often. She gives me information or something that doesn’t seem very fair at the time, upsets me and then afterwards she says “I know you and your thinking. It’s school that says that”.

Co-teachers / Managers to foreign teachers in Korea are meant to be like a mouthpiece for the Native English speaker. Very often, principals and vice principals can’t speak English so the co-teacher acts as a link between the two. I’ve come to Ina pretty well over the past year. Unfortunately she doesn’t have a strong character and never questions authority. She just accepts and does, even if she’s unhappy about it.

Mind you, this is Korean culture. You just grin and accept what’s being told you. You don’t talk back. This has been very difficult for me to adjust to. I was raised to believe that just because someone is in authority, doesn’t make what they say or do right.

My previous co-teacher was the opposite. If she didn’t believe in something, she’d defy and fight for it (figuratively). And she always told me that we are all human and we all make mistakes. No one’s perfect. And to top it off, there are always exceptions to rules.

Anyway, I just pretended that the phonecalls hadn't happened, and I got ready to leave for the airport.


Nicki said...

Sorry to hear about that.

I do agree that Asians, in general, don't usually question authority cause my parents are like that!

Sheetal said...

@ Nicki ~ Yeah, it's a bit hard to adjust to when all your life you've been taught to question almost everything and not to merely accept what's said - you know? :)

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