Thursday, September 4, 2008

Trying to Understand

I walked into work today and our head teacher, Erik, told me that our Director, Mike, was laid off today. I was shocked. Here's the story... Just after I got here we got a new owner. I actually never met the old one. Her name is Dr. Lim and she got her Master's in the States and she speaks very good English. Often when a Hagwon, which is a language school, gets a new owner they fire the director and kinda start over. They make a lot of changes and try to improve the school. This is exactly what happened here. She started changing things right way. Most of them are good changes, but she wants to try to implement them immediately which is just not possible in the middle of a session. The kids are already accustomed to the way we do things now and you can't just up and change things on them and expect them to do well. Mike knew that leaving was a possibility so he started working really hard because he knew his job was on the line. He came up with fresh new ideas and really tried to please the new owner, but apparently it just wasn't enough. Perhaps this could be just my first experience with this real world situation, but it really bothered me. Mike was the guy I interviewed with before I came and he was the first man I talked to when I came to Korea. He has been so helpful in getting my apartment situated, he even called hotels to see if they had rooms when I wanted to go to the beach for the weekend. He has a wife and a son, and I just don't think it's very fair. None of the other teachers really seemed surprised or concerned, but I don't know I really hate it. I asked Erik if it would be difficult for Mike to find another job and he said no it shouldn't be there are many Hagwon all over Korea. So that makes me feel better, but I wish we could have had a party for him, or taken him to dinner or something. As I spend time in this new culture and embrace it and am immersed in it I realize that it is a completly different world view. I guess when you see a modern country you assume, oh they must see the world as I see the world. And I've taken so many classes that have told me otherwise, but not until you are faced with it do you begin to understand the truth of it. So here I am trying to understand these beautiful people God created. Trying to relate and trying to serve. I want to go deep and make sense of their mindset. It is going to be challenging I'm sure, but worth it I'm convinced.

Pray for me as I begin to understand the people of Korea. Pray that I would have wisdom and understanding and patience. And pray that I would never forget to show them love.

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