With only one week left at CPIS (my hellhole of a school) you’d think things would be winding down smoothly.  Then again nothing about the past 6 months has gone “smoothly” so why should this be any different?

Between the school’s buyout and an incredibly unprofessional new director we’ve had our share of lies, surprises and “extra fun” meetings.  It all started with my director shouting at me on the street.  She was accusing me of going to Yonsei University (where I’ve never been) and telling all of the parents that we hadn’t paid in 2 months (which isn’t true).  She began screaming as I tried to complete my bus duty.  Somehow I stayed calm and she eventually went inside (only about 30 minutes late for work).

Every few days she would bring up some gripe that she had with me or one of my colleagues.  90% of it was false and it seemed like her attempt to find a scapegoat for all the issues the school was having.  We did our best to maintain composure and keep teaching but when we had merely 6 workdays left we couldn’t take it any more.

The silver lining to all this was that I’ve been moving into my Hyewha apartment every weekend and by our breaking point I was completely moved in.  I’ve got a bigger apartment with a larger kitchen, a balcony, tons of storage and a REAL SHOWER.  My new queen-size bed is set up and had been sleeping there for a few days.  The bad news was I still had 6 days at my hogwon.

CPIS, our school (I use that term loosely) was sold last month and as far as we could tell they were trying to screw us out of our severance and possibly even the last paycheck.  Some of us were threatened with lawsuits, deportation or just plain slander.  We all felt uncomfortable working without a new contract or letter of release; there was no guarantee we’d be paid so we organized a sit in.

Then we found out the school hadn’t been paying rent for 5 of our apartments… for the last 4 months!   Continue reading

Psuedo Strike day 2

Today at CPIS wasn’t that bad.  Still no paycheck so we resumed the “no pay = playtime schedule.”  I had a lot of preps today so I took a walk enjoying the gorgeous weather and had a delicious lunch with my coworker.  My students had extended playtime & finished Wreck it Ralph in the afternoon.  We did minimal work all day but still had our morning meeting & practiced some phonics.  The scary part is that I think we are still doing an “acceptable job” but Korean hagwon standards.

Perhaps the best part of today was a conversation with Mrs. Yi (my principal).  She gave me what I believe was complete honesty about the situation and some general advice about how to find a good school to work at in Korea.

“You want school that owned by corporation not person.”

She was speaking from personal experience after either quitting or being fired from the our school which falls into the latter with Mr. Bae being the owner.   She told me she understood that I was nervous since its been questionable since my first day and the first incident happened less than 2 weeks in.  But, she said not to worry about getting paid because

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