What a week this has been. Today is Sports Day at my school. Students are outside, in matching outfits by class, running around, hyped up on adrenaline. Right now, I can hear them banging empty, large water bottles together. I hear music. I hear screaming and yelling.
So far, it’s been a pretty good day.
I could have stayed home today, but I decided to come in. Instead, I’ve planned lessons, downloaded a few free e-books, and now I’ll read before leaving with the weekend. Tomorrow I’m going to Seoul for an overnight visit. My goal? To really do nothing, just to relax. Sometimes I just like to get off the island, even if for a bit.
I also know that I have 50 days until July 14, the day I leave Korea. This isn’t an easy thing to think about, as I’ll always love Korea. Time is surely slipping away here overseas.
This is the week that was.
Yesterday, I was issued my ticket home to the United States. In a mere 60 days, I’ll be waking up in My Old Kentucky Bed in My Old Kentucky Home. I remember when I was counting down and had 60 days until Korea. In the past 316 days, I’ve become a better teacher and I dare say, a better person.
But, like any endeavor, my time here in South Korea has had its hits and misses. More hits than misses (thankfully), but I think it’s important to share these feelings so far.
- I’ve become a better teacher.
- Cliche time: I know teaching is my life calling, and Korea has affirmed that belief.
- I’ve been able to travel to Japan and simply live in a foreign country. That alone is pretty awesome.
- I’m living with an awesome host family and I’ll always have friends in Korea.
- Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner.
- Cheese bread.
- Cheap domestic and international airfare.
- Hostels. Oh, the hostels.
- I’ve discovered a whole new world of living abroad and heck, I might even return one day. You never know!
- I’ve learned that language isn’t really needed to form friendships. Sometimes all you need is the right non-verbal communication.
- Seoul: The greatest (and easiest to navigate) city on Earth.
- Fried Chicken.
- Korean language. I thought I’d get pretty good at Korean while I was living in Korea. It seems pretty natural. Think again. Most people want to practice English with me, including my host family. And when I try Korean, most people just stare at me. Hey, I tried.
- A social life. When I filled out my preference form during Fulbright Orientation, I said that being around other ETAs wasn’t really a priority. Heck, I had big plans to make all the Korean friends and learn all the Korean (see #1). Well, that didn’t quite happen. I have friends at church that like to practice their English with me, and I don’t get to see other island ETAs as much as I’d like. We’re busy people after all.
If you’re a current ETA, what are your hits and misses? Let me know!
Things have been busy around here, friends! I’ve decided that rather than strive for daily posts (something I’ve failed at recently), I’m going to post a weekly digest for your reading pleasure.
The week that was:
- Last Friday, I was offered a job teaching English/language arts at a middle school in Western Kentucky. I accepted the position and I’ m very excited to return to Kentucky and begin my teaching career.
- Last Monday I packed up a box of my winter clothes to ship back to the USA. The weather has turned hot here, though I’m not complaining. Now I just need to get off my lazy and get the box to the post office with the help of my host family.
- A new McDonald’s opened in Seogwipo a few weeks ago, and on Friday, I went inside the restaurant for the first time. Just let me say: It was a class act if there ever was one. Clean floors, modern layout, REAL CUPS. Prior to this McDonald’s visit, I had only been to McD’s in Korea once in August (and it was a bit disappointing). However, I was impressed with the new McDonald’s. So much so that I’ll probably go back.
- As of the writing of this blog post, I have 60 days until I return to the United States. It doesn’t seem real, does it? I think I’ll be receiving my flight information soon.
- Overall, I am pleased with myself. I have grown as a teacher and I have more solid goals for myself in the future.
The last time I posted was April 17th, 2013.
It’s been a long time, friends. However, I assure you all that I am still alive and well in South Korea. It’s simply that life has become a bit laggy. You know, normal and everyday. It seems as if I’ve run out of stories to tell here in Korea, and I’ve just realized that I have 9 weeks left here in the ROK.
That’s right: NINE WEEKS.
This is unreal. I am halfway through my spring semester, and with exams and tests, the time with my students will be lessened. It is as if this whole year has been a wild dream that I don’t quiet understand.
This is by no means my final post, but I’ve realized that my time really is coming to an end. I’ve applied to almost 60 schools and school districts, and I even have 2 Skype interviews this week. I’m praying for a bite.
This week I’m teaching a lesson about beauty and perception. It went off with very few hitches, and I’m pretty happy. I’m happy with the way my teaching has improved over this year. I believe it truly has.
geon bae on this lovely Monday!