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mediation meditation

SOUTH KOREA | Tuesday, 3 February 2009 | Views [485]

january trips over itself and falls into february.  it picks itself up and dizzily attempts to get its bearings. 

the temps have been mild enough lately to convince me that spring has arrived.  i wore naught but a t-shirt and thin fleece this weekend in seoul.  today, the grey sky even sheds crocodile tears to complete the facade.  is this february or may?

some mornings have been warm enough to go climbing at the local wall.  stretching out in the welcoming sun has been a pleasant return to a passion i've done without since the accident in october.  it feels good.  natural.

with the turn of this month, i've upgraded my responsibility at work.  accepting a supervisor position, i've now become the go between of the foreign teaching staff and mrs kim at the school.  i'm not sure quite how i feel about the whole thing yet.  i know supervisors have had rough times with the stigma that goes along with a position of authority.  and being as un-authoratative as i am, i'm not sure if i'm in a better or worse situation to handle it.  i do feel confident in my skills as a mediator.  and mediating is esentially what this position is all about.  informing the foreign staff of all the changes that mrs kim throws at us while trying to pacify and keep the peace.  when it comes to "strong personalities" (mrs kim's phrasing), it is difficult for them to be accepting of a system that is contrary to what we know in the west.  westerners tend to think their opinion matters and they have a right to be heard and to instigate change. to her credit, mrs kim at least will listen to those opinions (apparently something most hogwan directors are loathe to do), though she may rarely act on them.  for the korean staff, there is no issue.  they know the korean system.  mrs kim is the boss and what she says is the way it's gonna be.  the koreans will bite their tongue, swallow shit and do their job.  this is a very difficult thing for a westerner to do.  especially a westerner who's new to korea.  and i've noticed it more particularly in american and australian personalities.

with a few new teachers showing up over the course of the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see how this position works out.  all i know at this point is that i was in need of some more responsibility and challenge to keep me on my toes.  so here we are...

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