Jan 21, 2013

Deskwarming... Fa La La

Greetings, people of Earth.

I am on Day 2 of Epic Deskwarming Week. You may be wondering, "Meg, what the hell is deskwarming?" Allow me to explain.

Due to a weird feature of my contract, the number of vacation days I am allotted does not match up with the number of vacation days the school has. I don't have enough vacation days to be able to have the full school holidays off, resulting in weeks like this one. School is not in session, no other teachers are here (the only souls I've seen are a few administrators), and yet I have to come to school and sit at my desk for the day to fulfill my contract hours. The teaching community has dubbed this "deskwarming."

It's not bad. To be honest, I'm quite enjoying it. It allows me to fully indulge my natural tendencies toward being a hermit. Yesterday I didn't talk to a single soul until I met a friend for dinner. So far today, I haven't spoken out loud at all. I don't have any plans for the evening, so it's not looking like that will change any time soon.

 I love it.

It's also giving me plenty of time to prep before the anticipated onslaught of stress that will be February.

You see, Coteacher is dealing with some rather serious health problems and has taken medical leave until sometime in April. I'll have a sub to help me when the new school year starts in March, but for the next month I'll be flying solo.

At a bigger school, I would have the support of the other Korean teachers in the English department. Alas, my school is tiny, so Coteacher and I collectively are the English department-- a distinction that will fall solely on my shoulders for the next month.  To add to this, it's review time. That means I don't have a set curriculum to guide my lesson planning, and that I'm responsible for making sure the students in each grade know the material before they advance to the next grade level. I don't even know if there's a final test. If there is, I have no idea how to obtain it or administer it. Tests are something Coteacher always handled.

I know it's not going to be as bad as I'm making it out to be. I'm making good progress in planning this week, so hopefully I won't be swamped once class starts again next week.

Luckily, I'll have two weeks of real vacation at the end of February. And, bonus: I'm getting a Very Special Visitor for part of that time... so I definitely have things to  help me get through this month.

Fear not: I got this under control.


We'll see.

One final note: I've had a few people ask about what ended up happening with the frozen pipes. They are all fixed! I had to pay about $120 for the whole thing. I do still have a small leak under my kitchen sink, but I can stop it by turning off the hot water valve down there. I just wash my dishes in cold water now. Problem solved... ish.

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