Deskwarming: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

TGIF! It isn’t just any other Friday today, it’s the last day of class for my students! The class schedule has been all out of whack these last four weeks due to final exams, festival days, and whoever the hell makes the rules around here. I still work my regular hours from 8:30am-4:30pm but I have been “desk warming” (sitting for hours in the office) for most of those days. These long hours glued to my work desk should be spent productively lesson planning for all my classes, but desk warming for me includes the following:


My work desk: Jimmy Fallon, KakaoTalk, reading food blogs, iMovie editing, summer English camp planning, candy & filling in my calendar

KakaoTalk: the text messaging app that every one uses here in Korea. I use it to chat with family and friends back home (the ones who’ve agreed to download it for me), and all my new friends/acquaintances here in Korea.

  • Googling air fares
  • Checking email
  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • Blogging
  • Editing videos
  • Listening to music
  • Reading blogs and articles
  • Scouting Amazon
  • Filling my planner with weekend events

I should be using all this time to perfect my lesson plans, but the reality of it is most days I’m sitting here doing my own thing. I’ve always been a procrastinator and believe it or not….somehow it’s always worked out for me. I do spend time creating lessons, but it only takes me about 1-3 hours to produce some quality lessons if I’m in the zone.I still can’t believe I have made it through my first semester here. It’s going to be hard to get back in the swing of things when regular classes start back up.

The students and other Korean teachers have July 18th-August 13th off for summer vacation. 26 days for vacation, this is only a fraction of what American public school children get. My students gasped when I told them that American students get nearly 3 months off for the summer. While the majority of American school kids sit home doing nothing productive, some of my Korean students told me that they will have to go to academies to continue their studies. When I asked them what they would do for fun this summer, my heart broke a little whenever they told me they’d be studying their days away.

Since I am a contracted teacher, I only get 8 business days off for summer vacation. However, I used 3 of those days when I flew home for my brother’s wedding in May. So I’m left with 5 days to enjoy. In 3 weeks, I’ll be headed for Jeju Island south of Korea’s mainland to enjoy those few days off. Until then, I still have a solid week of work and countless hours of desk warming.

I’ve heard that some teachers complain about desk warming. I have to admit that some days, I dread it because the time goes by so slow. Some days I don’t know whether to feel blessed or bothered by it. Either way, I’m getting paid so instead of bitching about it, I’ll just blog about it. 🙂

Look out for more posts in these next few weeks as I attempt to pass the time away at my desk. As always, thanks for reading!


5 thoughts on “Deskwarming: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

  1. I know how you feel! With each passing day I feel more and more sympathy for people who have worked desk jobs their entire lives. I can feel my back, neck, shoulders, and hips just slowly giving out and seizing up.

    I haven’t had to deskwarm yet, but when it happens I’m bringing my yoga mat to school and taking a Vinyasa break every fifteen minutes!


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