Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

Bimonthly Recap

I have been working and living in Yeosu-si South Korea for exactly 2 months now. Although Korea is not new to me, this school, this age demographic, this city and even this province all are. I am a sporadic writer with an interest in being comprehensive. I also have trouble being concise. These truths don’t bode well together. Instead of trying to fill all the gaps between my previous posts, I am going to simply lay out some lessons I have learned over these 2 months.

Lessons learned: 

  • If you forget the keys to the English lab, there is a second set in the main office. Be warned, acquiring them is a time commitment.
  • Toilet paper is nonexistent in academic building 4, it must be sourced in building 1.
  • While most public sinks in Korea only produce cold water, the one on the left in the men’s faculty washroom has hot water.
  • It is appropriate to take food as well as dishes from the dinning hall.
  • Murphy’s Law is real. The day you choose to wear an un-tucked flannel and blast pop music while editing photos and stuffing your face, is also the first and only day the Vice Principle pays a visit to the far-flung-always-forgotten-English-Lab with the provincial academic director in-tow.
  • School lunches are no longer something to dread.
  • A room exists at Yeosu Middle School that is accessible only to the male faculty (There is a females’ version as well). It is complete with a kitchenette, bed and heater. The question is, when is it appropriate to use this haven?
  • Classroom windows must be opened even in the dead of winter to “change” the air. Whats wrong with the warm air?
  • While my small private academy last year had 3 industrial paper cutters, my large public middle school has none. 315 worksheets must be cut in-half with either an exact-o-knife or scissors.
  • Korean middle school boys can be fairly violent towards one another. They can also be surprisingly gentle and affectionate. (via the school talent show I also learned that they can make for convincing girls as well)
  • It does in fact snow in Yeosu and its even capable of “accumulating”. Well for a few hours at least…

This 2 month recap is timely. The semester has ended, winter break has already begun for students, and we are almost a week into the new year. Today was the first of my 2 weeks of winter camp before I am free to take my 2 week holiday to the Philippines. I look forward to the time away but am also eager to see what lessons the new year hold!

Advertisements

A Years End

WordPress.com was good enough to produce a 2014 annual report for my blog. While it was insightful, (I have readers in Russia!?) it was more-so inspirational. It has motivated me be more prolific in the new year which is probably just what WordPress was going for.

This seems like a good opportunity for new years resolutions:

Apart from abounding blog posts I also aspire to add my photography into the mix. They say a photo is worth 1000 words and I have gigabytes on gigabytes of photos…

The interactive global-readers map has me aspiring to broaden my international reach. Maybe I could partner with that man in Seoul (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/11294853/The-defectors-attacking-North-Korea-with-helium-balloons.html)  and use his helium balloons to drop thumb drives loaded with my blog into North Korea…

A New Years resolution is not complete without the half-hearted thought of living a healthy life. While I have been quite mindful of how I’ve been living recently, I want to layout some definitive goals:

Instead of a cold 10 minute wait followed by a 10 minute car ride, I will bike the 30 mins to school. Slight digression. I was told it snows maybe once a winter in Yeosu South Korea and it never sticks on the ground. While it has snowed multiple times in the last month, (only to melt away instantly) this morning I found the world coated in a fine white New Years shawl. I was more elated than you would expect a native Wisconsite to be over a bit of snow. That all ended 3 seconds later when my bike slipped out at the end of the driveway and I re-aggravated my thumb which I had sprained nearly 3 weeks earlier while snowboarding. No pain no gain?

I want to be consistent with my gym regime. I hope to make it to at least 4 of my 5 crossift classes each week. Jiu Jitsu (a Brazilian martial art) will have to wait until the aforementioned injury has healed…

Lastly I want to work on living a minimalist lifestyle. Minimalist. “being or offering no more than what is required or essential” literally simple by definition but multifaceted and less than easy in practice. In short I want to buy less, throw-out less and generally have less. Consequently I recently started following an insightful blog: Becoming a Minimalist

Of course I could go on and on with new years resolutions but lets be realistic. Besides, will what I write here and now define my entire year? No, each day is an opportunity for growth,change, and resolutions.

So I appreciate you- my readers in Russia (and the rest of the world for that matter), for following the musings of an American kid teaching EFL in South Korea. This last year was a good one but I am optimistic about the one to come. May it be filled with more photo laden blog posts than you ever care to read, blizzards in Yeosu (its still snowing by-the-way) and less sprains!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 390 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.