Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just Around the River Bend

It's been almost three months since I first came to Korea...and there's 9 more to go.

It's strange to think how fast time has gone, is going right now, and yet when I look ahead to another 7 months minimum of doing what I'm doing...sometimes it does look a little bleak.

I continue to truly enjoy teaching; however, at times I wonder how effective I am as an English teacher. I know a lot of our role is to merely be an English cheerleader; you can only lead a student so far in a direction they don't want to go. Part of getting through the day sometimes is learning not to care so obscenely much about what happens inside the classroom, but at times the apathy itself makes me sad. Also it's hard hard HARD HARD HARD not to compare sometimes. There was so much I wanted for this year that the circumstances of my school make it difficult to make happen.

My host family is still incredible. They are kind and caring and truly go out of their way for me. Sometimes I wish we had more opportunities to bond through activities; my mom is often busy with church, housework, or teaching, my sister is always in school, and my brother cannot be peeled away from the computer screen (my hands have developed temporary carpal tunnel from two player games). I worry that there's a glass ceiling on how deeply our relationships can truly develop with both the language and cultural barrier in place. Maybe only time will tell?

Socially, the people in my life are a saving grace. They help me stay sane and keep me tethered to a world in which I can still see myself as culturally, socially, adept and independent. It's an identity that after being relegated to practically infant status (not understanding speech or being able to communicate), being unable to do things for yourself, etc etc that it can be easy to feel slipping.

I have an eight day break coming from the 12-20 due to school exams and a school camping trip. I'm not sure what I have planned yet...but I'm thinking maybe it should be really drastic? Shaving my head or journeying to Japan for a week or another tattoo or backpacking around Korea...something to shake off the doldrums.

Along those lines, I've begun to plan for my winter break: beginning December 23 and lasting until March 1st. Within that time, I'm fitting in a two week trip to the US, a week in Bali and India each, and maybe a three week language class in Seoul.

Maybe I'll spend my time living for tomorrow...but I can't help wishing I cared a little more about today.

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