It seems strange to me how much I can enjoy working with my students, and enjoy teaching this material – whether essay writing or just the same silly conversation book again – and enjoy working on this beautiful campus of Chosun University, and enjoy sharing this job with my coworkers, and enjoy living in my apartment near down town, and enjoy living in Gwangju, and yet feel so exhausted at the end of the week. But, that is teaching. It is an exhausting job. Communicating face-to-face with four, five or even six groups of up to 35 students who mostly do not understand you demands a lot of thought and effort. Have a schedule where I also have to spend time waiting around on campus for the next class, and not really relaxing by doing something else I want or need to do adds a sense of frustration.
However, I must say, at the end of the day and at the end of the week, my feelings of tiredness are happy ones in that I enjoy my work and putting effort into it.
Also, another reason that this week may be different from others in terms of my finding myself suprisingly tired is my exposure to the yellow dust storm last Saturday night. I was coming back from the swimming pool that evening, after also having gone on my first good cycling trip for several months. No doubt my body needed to recover from the bike trip itself, but coming back through town and the dust storm as well probably put an even bigger strain on my immune system. A few of the many teachers I work with at Chosun University seemed to be fighting colds throughout this week. I did not actually catch a cold, but perhaps my body was fighting those colds at night when I was sleeping, and so that is why I was so tired…
Anyway, today went well. After my first class I raced home to call my sister in New Zealand to help organise some family matters with her and someone from an organisation in my home town. The man from that organisation is not always very good at his job which makes the work more complicated for my sister, but, my sister is already busy trying to look after her son who is nearly three years old. It is his birthday next month. She has not been well since she gave birth, so, life has been complicated for her. I was glad to be able to help even though I know it was really only in a small way.
After my last class I cycled across town again with a new friend. We ate some duinjung jigae and went for swim. I felt much better after some good Gwangju food and some good exercise! Now, I am very tired, but also ready for a good sleep and a great weekend.