We’ll Meet Again: The Final Post in Korea

We’ll Meet Again: The Final Post in Korea.

Author’s Note: I realize that I have no more to say about Korea. I’ve blogged my heart out this past year, and this is how I want to end the blogging adventure: on a positive note. It’s been over a year that we’ve shared this ride together, and I’m glad you’ve been with me. Please enjoy this final offering.

It was Johnny Cash who said in a cover song, “We’ll meet again / don’t know where / don’t know when, / but I know we’ll meet again / some sunny day.”

Last night was the Fulbright Final Dinner at the Hotel President in Seoul. We had a great view from our dining room on the 31st floor and the food was pretty good, too.  We reminisced about the past year, got a little emotional, and then we went on our separate ways. Some of these good people I may never see again. Some people, I may see again, but it may be for a very long time. Most importantly, I realized it may be a long time before I see Korea again.

You see, from the writing of this post, I have exactly 14 days left in South Korea. That’s two weeks. Last night, among the food and the looking back, I wondered if I made the right decision to leave Fulbright Korea. I started looking over the Seoul skyline, with it’s modern buildings and ancient mountains looming in the background, and wondered how I could ever leave this place. Then I remembered that a job and good apartment back in the States practically slid into my lap. I have nothing to complain about and I’m more than grateful. Perhaps it really is time for me to leave Korea, though I sometimes wonder if it is really time. I wonder if I’ll ever be back.

All reminiscing aside, this year has been fantastic. There have been bumps along the way, sometimes disappointments in myself and others, but overall, this has been the year I’ll never forget. I imagine that I’ll tell my children and grandchildren about the time I lived in Korea. Maybe they’ll be really impressed. Maybe not. Regardless, it’s been the year of a lifetime and I’ll look back with no regrets.

geon bae for the final time,


Seoul, Republic of Korea

Sunday, June 30, 2013 

Thanks, credits, and all around good feelings:

I’d like to take a moment to thank Fulbright Korea, the Fulbright staff, and the Office for their continued support throughout this year. I can only imagine the paperwork and endless hours it takes to manage 140 foreign teachers. I am eternally grateful.

Also, to my wonderful host family. Though you’ll probably never read this, thank you for everything these last 10-11 months. Your love and generosity made it feel as if I never left the United States. Thank you.

Stateside, I’d like to thank all of the support I’ve received at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. To Dr. Rosemary Allen, who suggested that I apply to Fulbright in July 2011 (and for filling out all of those recommendation forms for my job applications), I extend another special thanks. To Dr. John Sadlon, Dr. Todd Coke, and Dr. Yoli Carter (for completing the Fulbright reference forms two years ago), I extend a special thanks. Without your willingness to take a few minutes out of your time, I would not be sitting in Seoul, working on this blog post (or teaching 520 middle school girls).

I’d also like to thank my family: Sandy, Kathy, and Joshua Carey for hanging with me this year. I guess it’s been different for you all with me gone, and I’m not sure. However, thank you for your support and willingness to let me go for a year. I look forward to new adventures when I’m home.

Don’t forget to hang with me, starting July 14th, on www.runawaysister.wordpress.com

The End.

No silly, this isn’t the end of the blog, but it’s the beginning of the end. Two weeks from today, I’ll wrap up my final day of my Fulbright teaching career. I’ll board a Korean Air flight bound for Incheon and the rest will be history.

Tomorrow is the Fulbright Farewell Dinner. I expect full-fledged grubbery and to walk away in a food coma. That usually happens during a Fulbright event, for me at least. This will be the last time all Fulbrighters gather together for the 2012-2013 year. This may be the last time I see many Fulbrighters for a long, long time. These have been a fast 51 weeks. I wonder where the time went.

Two weeks and counting. Yet, we’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.

geon bae!


Over it.

This weeks been one of those weeks. One of those weeks where I’m just kind of over it. One minute, I’ll dread the thought of leaving Korea, but today, I’m just kind of over it.

I’m over judging essays and speeches in contests. I’m over speaking tests. I’m over sitting at this desk for hours at a time. I’m over eating fish two times a day.

I understand that you may think, “Wow, Sarah is a real whiner. She gets to go to  Korea on the government’s dime and she’s whining.” Maybe I am. But for today, I’m over it and I wouldn’t mind going home (which is 17 [or 18?] days away).

Today, I’m over it. Tomorrow is a new day.

geon bae!


Monday Short: Home

About 5 minutes ago, I was handed my one-way ticket to the Seoul-Incheon International Airport. Pro: I’m flying Korean Air. Con: I’m leaving Jeju for a long, long time.

So, I’ve got my ticket off the island and my ticket out of Korea. The cycle is complete and I’m not sure what I should do about it. Soon, I’ll begin preliminary packing. You know, packing before packing to make sure I’ve got my act together. I used to be able plan 3 weeks ahead, but now, in three weeks from today, I’ll be waking up in Kentucky: right where I began. What a year this has been.

On a more cheery note, I’m experimenting with video blogging and I hope to find a way to link my videos to the blog. In the meantime, keep calm and teach on.

geon bae! 


Friday Tidbits

Tidbits, because a whole post would exhaust me.

  • Today is Friday. It’s humid all of my classes have been pushed back. Not prime conditions for not staying awake at my desk.
  • This afternoon I will judge a speaking competition for my students. The winners will compete in a Jeju-wide competition. There are 18 students participating in all, so it should be interesting!
  • This weekend is one of my final weekends with my host family. One weekend will be taken up by farewell dinner in Seoul. The other will be my departure. It’s sad to think about.
  • I received my last full paycheck yesterday. All that’s remaining is the payment for the days I’ll be teaching until July 12th. I think I’ve saved quite a bit of money. #ballin

geon bae!


Tidbits for Tuesday, June 18th.

Well, I tired to do the “photo-a-day” thing for my blog, but it doesn’t always work out that way. So, it may be more of a “When Sarah gets around to taking a picture blog post.”

In the meantime, here’s what’s been happening in a Different Kind of South:

  1. Yesterday I attended a workshop for creative co-teaching. Though I was puzzled on why I had to attend (I mean, have I have 25 days left in Korea and now I’m not even lesson planning), it was a good workshop. I’m a sucker for professional development.
  2. Yesterday I gave my final schedule to my host family. It was awkward and everyone was like “So, you’re not coming back?” Yeah. That’s about right.
  3. It’s less than two weeks until the Fulbright Final Dinner. Essentially, it’s a fond farewell to Korea with (hopefully) good food.

Happy Anniversary

I’m a sucker for anniversaries and milestones.

One year ago today (June 16th), I was at my aunt and uncle’s house preparing my first blog post for A Different Kind of South. At this time last year, I thought that July 16th, 2013 was such a long time away, but it wasn’t. I have 28 more days until it is finished and 27  more days until I’ll leave the island. Is this a dream? Or real? The world may never know.

No new photo today. I got real lazy with the camera.

Happy Anniversary to me and geon bae!