Thursday, March 12, 2009

10 things I like about my job

A coworker said (with some justification) that I was surprising negative about work considering that I had signed new contracts for seven years. Again, there is some merit to my coworker's claim, although I think it has more to do with our relationship at work then my native feelings. Still, the coworker struck a nerve and so here are ten things, in no particular order, I like about my job.

On Tuesday I have a full day with seven hours of classes. The classes, through the day, just keep getting better, with the three pm students appearing to be eager to learn right from the first day. The earlier classes are alright, but take a lot of energy to keep moving. The final class energizes me.

My office is large and comfortable, with a sofa and a sink.

The staff who keep everything organized, do, in fact, keep everything organized through the semester. They seem to run to help any teacher who has computer problems in the language labs. I think they are underpaid and I fear they are overworked but they are cheerful and friendly.

I don't work that much. I put this point in the middle as I didn't want to emphasize it much. It seems a little pathetic to say a good thing about work is that there isn't much of it. Still, I definitely enjoy having a long vacation; I will go to Canada this summer for a month, and still have a month to relax at home. I will have significant time off around Christmas. Throughout the year, I have a lot of time to spend with my son. I like that.

Interesting and likable coworkers. The ESL business in Korea involves a lot of transients, which means making friends is a challenge. Still, my university has a lot of long-term foreign teachers and we are fairly tight-knit. A lot of new teachers arrived this year and what I have learned of them, I like.

Freedom in teaching. For the most part, I have a lot of control over what I teach. There are exceptions but I am mostly happy with the confidence the university has in me and my choices. I can be as creative as I want.

I teach the same chapter of the first year book six times in a week. Lat year, I taught the same material to nine classes every week. Some people find this boring, and sometimes I agree, but mostly, I feel I am improving with every class. In January, my son and I watched a magician perform, and he had clearly rehearsed thoroughly and almost every move he made was deliberate. That's what I want my class to be like (minus the cruelty to birds, of course. I promise that I will not harm any birds in my class).

I have seniority at the university in my department. It's nice to be sought out and listened to.

I don't think you can beat the location. Well, it's possible that more beautiful places in Gangneung exist, but you can't beat Gangneung or the East coast of Gangwondo. There's no place in Korea I would rather live.

There's a surprisingly good English library on campus. Most, or all, books are at least twenty years old but many journals and magazines are current. This point reminds me to return to the library and have a look around tomorrow.
bonus: I might SCUBA dive with the university club this year. I have looked into it in previous years and either they've been unwilling (for language reasons primarily) or my schedule hasn't allowed it. I want to dive again.


Masuro said...

As for me:

1. Four days a week and long holidays (usually)
2. Friendly students.
3. Cheap faculty cafeteria with a new nutritionist who is making good menus this term (was awful last year)
4. Good pay.
5. It's a Christian-funded institution but nobody bothers you about religion.
6. Some freedom in the classroom to try out new ideas.
7. Lots of nice pine trees on campus.
8. Good office
9. Teaching young people keeps me young
10. Co-workers are generally good.

PAKA said... guys are lucky. can you guys get me a job there?