On October 21, Sookmyung Women’s University will host KOTESOL International Conference XXV. ‘The greatest teaching show on Earth,’ it will be chock-a-block with workshops, presentations and hedonistic after-parties. One teacher who is not looking forward to this year’s Super Bowl of English language teaching is Wayne Finley. After recovering from a serious bout of ‘KOTESOLitis’, Wayne wishes to share these five reasons NOT to go to this year’s educational extravaganza:
1) Too expensive. As a proud citizen of ‘Rip-off Britain’ I know daylight robbery when I see it. W50,000-85,000 for a weekend of professional development with hundreds of presentations and workshops to choose from? What a steal. That money could be better spent on much better things. Such as…more socks. A new rug. An array of new and exciting plant pots to brighten up your living room. Don’t waste your hard-earned cash on furthering yourself. Stay where you are, with your money in your pocket.
2) Too many choices. If you thought deciding what to watch on Netflix was a challenge then the KOTESOL International Conference will make your head fall off. Every hour there’s 10 plus different presentations to choose between and you’ll want to attend all of them. But you can’t. And it is soul-destroying. If you stay at home you don’t have to make such painful decisions. Instead of missing some of them, miss all of them. Ignorance is bliss.
3) Make too many friends. If your idea of a perfect weekend is watching random YouTube videos of cats, for 12 hours straight, then KOTESOL will be a serious problem. You will make a lot of friends (too many friends) at the International Conference and they will not stop bothering you. ‘What you doing this weekend?’: possibly the worst five words in the English language when put together. To keep your weekends sacred, and secret, do not go, and if you do, hide in the bathroom. Do NOT share your KakaoTalk ID.
4) It’s seriously addictive. First you think, ‘I’ll stay for one hour. If I don’t like it I’ll just go home.’ Then it becomes two hours. Three hours. Before you know it, you’ve been there the whole weekend. You’re taking selfies with random English language teacher people. You’re day dreaming about next year’s International Conference. You’re going to random KOTESOL events in Gangwon. You’re becoming KOTESOL furniture. You’re walking around in such a trance that people think you’re an extra from The Wicker Man.
5) Co-worker mutiny. Phew. The International Conference is over and I can go back to my normal life. Wrong. What happens when your coworkers ask what you did at the weekend? Instead of saying you went to Hongdae or fell asleep on the sofa binge-watching 13 Reasons Why, you commit the cardinal sin of saying. “I went to that KOTESOL International Conference.” What? Who do you think you are? You some kind of a Billy Big Shot now? There’ll be more knives thrown at you than if you were a David Copperfield tribute act.
Still want to go to the KOTESOL International Conference? Well, there is one born every minute. You can learn more about the conference here.
Wayne Finley is an English teacher at Korea Polytechnic University. With a burning passion for education and a desire to explore new ideas, Wayne can be regularly seen at KOTESOL events. If you bump into him, please feel free to say hello. He doesn’t bite…unless you ask for his KakaoTalk ID.
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