Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Small Stuff that Actually Matters #3: Time

Korea is a time-oriented society.  I can honestly say that in my years here, I've once or twice/ never?  been on a bus or train that has left late.  Meetings generally start on time and people show up to work precisely on time or early.

When it comes to classes, for some reason Korean professors usually start late.  Like I walk down the halls at 10:35 when classes start at 10:30 and there is a room full of students but no professor.  Bizarre.  However, this is not my style, so I start the class precisely at 10:30 and then finish exactly 80 minutes later, or sometimes a wee bit early depending on how things go.  And of course this involves coming 5-10 minutes early to set-up everything.  It's just part of being a professional.  I think the students actually like it, knowing that they won't have to deal with the stress of being late for their next class, and there's actually a section on the evaluations about whether the teacher "keeps the scheduled time" or not.   

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