I've officially hit that point in the semester where I'm burnt out. It's a little pathetic considering last week was midterms, so I had it pretty easy. But after only teaching a few classes today, all I wanted to do was close my eyes and sleep. My enthusiasm for planning is pretty much non-existent, and I can't help wondering: have I lost my teaching stamina? Surely my workload is nothing compared to what I had back in the States. Last year at this time I could have plowed through the amount of work I simply can't seem to get through here.
But then I remember, working in Korea isn't just about the hours I spend in the classroom or the amount of lessons I have to create every week. Although the teaching itself isn't as consuming as back home, it's draining in completely different ways. There's the constant energy is sucks away when you're trying to make sense of the broken english of your students and co-workers. There's the the constant stress of not really knowing what you're supposed to be doing--or knowing if you're inadvertently doing something wrong. There's the stress of not ever really being sure what is going on in your work environment. And on occasion (and especially over the past week for me), there's the emotional toll of wanting to be on the other side of the world, far away from the office you're stuck in, with facebook as a constant reminder of what you're missing out on.
I wasn't anticipating having my first year students this week because they were supposed to be on a trip to Jeju Island. However, given the tragedy of the ferry accident, the trip was cancelled. Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE my students. I just wasn't mentally prepared to have all of my regular classes this week. Desptite the fact that it's only Monday, I can definitely say I'm ready for the long weekend we have in the beginning of May.
Time to drink some coffee and give myself a pep-talk. Let's do this!