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The rebirth of destiny

My RPG seems to be back on its feet now. I spent some time copying all the important posts from the previous site (which is still operational) on to Drew’s sparkling new one. Since then there have been three posts moving the action forward.

One interesting thing I noted when I was rereading the game thread (which also took some time) was the minor discrepancies between all the contributors understanding of what’s happening. For instance, the characters seem to have arrived at the current scene a little quicker than I expected. There was a narrow ledge they had to traverse and a rickety rope bridge they had to cross – all of which became moot as players moved the action forward. Moreover, one of the recent posts shows that one player was with me in thinking the bridge hadn’t been reached yet. I think. It also depends on whether people are describing what is happening right now or are summarising the last few moments as well.

It’s not a problem, really, but it is noticeable when you read through it that it doesn’t flow as smoothly as a piece of fiction. There are also some differences in tone. My aesthetic is something fairly dark with (hopefully) some philosphical and psychological depth. Other players bring a sense of swashbuckling adventure or outright humour. The latter, in particular, I enjoy reading, but I also wonder how to tie it in with the rest of the action.

I feel that, having worked up some enthusiasm for restarting the game in the last week or so, in the last few days some of that enthusiasm has ebbed away.

On Sunday night, about one o’clock in the morning, I was feeling acutely depressed, soI decided to go out for a walk. In the rain. I went down to the main road and turned left. I walked through an area I didn’t recognise, but soon came to Ansan Lake Park. Curiously, it seemed very nice in the dark and in its deserted state. It’s OK during the daytime, but it suffers from the general bland newness of most things in Korea. At night, with the lights down low to hide the city’s unattractive face and the frogs chorusing, it was actually rather peaceful. (At some point I want to go back and record the noises with my camera.) (The park’s public toilets were open and lighted and I stopped at one to urinate. They are in remarkably good condition. I can’t image a similar state of affairs in Britain.) I made my way back home feeling better.

This week, we have reduced classes at the hagwon. The older students are having or preparing for tests, and the summer holiday is approaching. You’d think having less classes would improve my mood, but the middle school students can be the more pleasurable to teach. They’re a lot quieter (it’s actually somewhat disturbing how quiet they can be) and they generally do as they’re asked (and if they don’t, they don’t make trouble). Now, on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays my last class of the day is with a group of elementary students who seem to hate me.

It doesn’t help that the new book for this class is pathetic – it would be easy for many kindergarten students. It really doesn’t help that one of the most able students in the class has taken a particular dislike to me and tells everyone else not to answer questions. Yesterday, I was trying eke out some use from the textbook and was asking questions about the characters. One question didn’t get any response, so, after repeating myself several times, I bellowed it as loud as I could (which is about the first time I can remember ever really shouting). Someone answered quietly and grudgingly.

After they’d completed four pages (I didn’t bother asking them for the answers) I just sat there and let them talk, draw or whatever for the remaining 25 minutes or so. After a while, some of the nicer members of the class started asking me what the Korean was for various things – most of which I didn’t know, and that didn’t impress them much.

Today, I have a couple of reasonably OK classes to look forward to and one really bad class. This latter consists of three girls and one boy who are OK, but there are three other boys who just take no notice of me at all and (in common with just about every Korean student) they receive any attempts to get them to behave with indifference and amusement. The only real way to discipline them is to get a Korean member of staff to do it, but dragging them out of the class is time- and energy-consuming (and can be very difficult if they dig their heels in).

Well, it’s nearly past time for lunch, so I’m going now.

Categories: Employment, Life
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