Currently in Seoul it is..

Atlanta Time

Friday, April 23, 2010

a breath of fresh air

A breif thundershower this afternoon helped clear up the air a little. I like the freshness of the air in Seoul after it rains. I try to breathe as much in as possible because I know that it is only a matter of time before it becomes stuffy again. I am still going through a record number of tissues and nursing a raw nose as I continue to manufacture copius amounts of mucus. I've come to the conculsion that there really is no such thing as fresh air in Seoul. With a population density of 70,000 people per square mile I don't know why I would expect the air to be clean.
It's Friday..I'm going to find something to do with fellow English teacher J. It should be a fun evening. She's really low-key. I keep thinking that I need to hang out with her more.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2 months in

Ah..Spring! Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer, and yellow sand is in the air (and my lungs.) I've had a pack-a-day smoker's cough, sore throat, and runny nose for about two weeks now. My sinuses are killing me, my head hurts, and I'm not sleeping very well. I think the first wave of homesickness has officially hit. I'm cranky and all I want to do is bitch about everything. I'm trying to keep to myself because it's not really anybody's fault that I'm in a foul mood..I would rather not make the mistake of going off on someone for something stupid.
Oh well..tomorrow is a long day. Evaluations are due, I need to get stuff for cooking & arts/crafts, I've got rehearsal, I need to find an Earth Day project for the kids, and..I can't remember what else right now. much snot can a person blow out their nose in a day?! This is ridiculous. I'm going to try and get some sleep now. Hopefully I will feel better when I wake up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Time to Kill

The steam from my ramen noodles is fogging up my glasses as I sit here pouring over the EFL Phonics workbook unit 8. Two pages..two lousy pages are all that is left in unit 8. That ought to take them about 10 minutes to finish. Great..right? Not really, the class period is 35 minutes. I figure that it will take me about 5 minutes to get them in their seats, pass out the books, calm them down, and get them all onto the right page. Oh wait..add another minute or so for "teacher, tissue please," "teacher, eraser please," "teacher, what we doing," "teacher, pencil please," "teacher, lunch time?" "teacher, pencil sharpener please," "teacher, Annie speak Korean," "teacher, bathroom please," and other things that should have been taken care of before classtime. So we'll say about 7 minutes to start class and 10 minutes to do the workbook pages. Let's see..35 minus 17 equals 18. 18 minutes left until the next five minute break preceeding the next 35 minute block of classtime in which the same thing will happen again. Is it just me or does this happen to other people too?

I am sick of losing control of my classroom due to the fact that I am not able to keep them focused and/or busy for a 35 minute class. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that kindergarteners have a 12 minute attention span and the energy of a hummingbird on Red Bull. Or maybe it's because I am not prepared for them. You don't march into battle without a battle plan after all. I'm going to try and put together some activities at home to take in. I still haven't come up with much but I'll give it another go when I'm done blogging. This clock-watching stuff is for the birds.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

a place called home

It's 12:00 am here. I just got up to go to the bathroom and came back to my bed only to realize that I was about to climb in while still wearing my bathroom shoes. I can feel the homesickness coming on already. There are so many stupid nagging questions about this place that are starting to bug me. How am I really supposed to take out the trash? How do I mail a simple letter? Am I supposed to swipe my T-money card both when I get on and off the bus? How do I read this I buying dish soap or laundry detergent? What is morning care, does it work, where can I find some? Why do I have to scream like a mad woman to get my kids to pay attention? What am I doing wrong?
I keep thinking that I want to go home. I really want some things right ferret, my cat, my friends, my family, my car, my clothes, bacon & eggs, meals with forks, milkshakes, weekends on the couch, having everything in English, and blending in. I could get lost in a world of pleasant familiar things. It almost makes me forget how unpleasant things were getting before I left. The daily endless, exhausting job searches. Sitting online filling out application after application for jobs I didn't even want but knew I would need when the time came. Dragging myself through an hour of traffic in the mornings after sleepless nights day after day to get to a job I couldn't stand.
How easily I begin to forget that one evening in early January coming home from work, walking through the back door, and bursting into tears crying and praying to a God I haven't spoken to in a long time. Something had to change. That's the night EC called with the job offer. Now I am in Korea.
I may think that I am homesick and I might say that I am but in truth I am longing for an idea of home that wasn't there. So I can run if I have to but where am I running to? Back to the desperation? No..I don't think so. Instead of "I want to go home" maybe I should be saying "thank you."