So I’m ready for school, yet not leaving.
Last Friday I got called to the Vice Principal’s office. They want me to go to church on Monday mornings for 20 minutes.
Again, I explain to them how I am not religious, and they explain how other teachers are also not religious, but how everyone must be there. Well, actually, they first tried to approach the subject according to work hours, and that the school day started at 8:10 on Mondays. (When actually, it should be 8:20 since we get off of work at 4:20) I explained how I would not have taken this job had I known that church was required, and finally they backed down and said it was optional. Yet about four more times during our conversation, they asked, so will you be at church on Monday?
I told them I didn’t know, but here it is Monday, and I don’t plan on being there.
Mostly because it’s just creepy to me, and it’s also a slippery slope, as on Friday mornings everyone must attend an hour long church service off campus, and I REALLY DON’T WANT TO GO sit for an hour listening to a religious service in a language I can’t even understand.
Fortunately, the rest of my conversation with the V.P. was stacked in my favor: they wanted to know how many years I would be staying in Korea, and then they wanted to let me know I could sign up with their school independent of the school district if I wanted to. I believe to sweeten the pot they revealed that the school district had given them a reimbursement budget and that there was still 4 million won left, so if there was any books or equipment I needed, please let them know. They also told me that I must have a co-teacher in the room with me (even though they know this isn’t happening) and then they showed me how their school is graded on co-teacher performance during an open classroom review later in the year, and to please help them get a good grade, as funding is dependent on that. They also told me that they have applied for the funds to create an English Zone for the following year, so I won’t have to travel from room to room and will have reliable audio visual equipment.
So I’m thinking I have the upper hand here. Just how important is it to them that the native English teacher comes to church service? I don’t know – but I guess we’ll find out. I guess it’s pretty important to me that I not have to go. I think looking Korean is what’s making them even more determined I go to church, because others can use me as an excuse to not go. If I were 6′-0″ white male who didn’t go, it would be easier to dismiss my absence and chalk it up to being a godless foreigner.
But I’m a godless ethnic Korean. Heaven help me.