Nobody told me that “playwright” was part of my job description. I knew today would be busy because I have several extra classes on my schedule, but I had no idea what was in store for me.
About five minutes before first period started, one of my coteachers (the head of my department) approached me:
CT: Mr. Taft, I need your help. Can you help me write a play?
Me: I’ll be glad to help. Show me what you’ve got and I can edit.
CT: No….please write a play for the students to do at the talent show.
Me: You want me to write the whole thing?
CT: Yes. And you are a native speaker, so you should organize it, too.
Me: Ummmm…,.when do you expect this to be done? Also, can you give me any more information on what you want here?
CT: Well you don’t have much time, let’s read the script together at lunch today. I want to do The Shoemaker and the Elves.
Me: That’s not possible. I don’t even have a break before lunch.
CT: Ok, you can do the play this period. That’s almost an hour. Hurry up, this is important.
This is what he wants:
Sometimes I despise Korean work culture. Crazy, last-minute requests like this are the norm here. Every native English teacher has had a similar experience at least once or twice.
The talent show for which he wants me to write and organize this play will be held in two weeks. The show is an annual event at our school, so he has no excuse for coming to me this late.
But I can’t get too mad at my coteacher. This is just the way things work in Korea. It is completely acceptable to wait until the last second and throw your work on whichever poor bastard happens to be under you in the food chain.
I guess it’s time to get to work!
Until next time.