Thursday, January 23, 2014

Yaju Tea & me

Today was a good day: bibimbap for lunch and adorable, clever students. A few huttled around me while I ate, teaching me how to count and say "clock," "chair," and "spoon" in Korean. I'm getting the Korean numbering system down I may brag. They're good teachers :D

The past few weeks have gone quickly with vacation and winter camp keeping me busy. I've been stressed out more than I like -- about what, I don't even really know. Winter Camp, yes; I've spent hours planning and stressing. Lesson planning is a huge pain that I don't like doing. Even when I'm excited about a game or activity, I worry about how it will go, if the kids will like it, etc., and it just takes me forever to hash things out. One of my friends works at a different school with a different system and she asked me, "What is lesson planning like?" And I'm like I can't even... no.

"What is lesson planning like?"

I've had to tell myself to keep calm, to put it nicely. Other stresses are just those that come with life in general. Past the honeymoon phase of Korea, I'm about four months in and it's a lot of work. But I like living in Korea and I like seeing "all the things." I have a four-day lunar holiday coming up, which will be nice. You gotta love all the built-in holidays Korea has. I'm thinking of heading south to the coastal city of Busan. Seeing the open water would be incredible. My inner-wanna-be-surfer is catching a big wave at the thought.

Perspective. That's what it's all about. NPR has been a life thread and when I think about all the work John Kerry has been doing - geesh. One winter camp and planning vacation is pathetic. It's my life, and my problems and stresses are real, but yeah, there's a busy man. He would've made a heck of a president.

Perspective. I like my students, and the teachers here at Doam Elementary are so kind and generous. After lunch today, the head teacher gave me a jar of homemade yaju tea. He was cute about giving it me - he doesn't speak much English and is pretty professional most of the time - so the whole charades form of communication was really endearing. And this tea is amazing. Basically a citrus concentration, one spoonful stirred into a cup of boiling hot water is the definition of comfortable happiness. 


  1. I still hate, hate lesson planning and it takes me forever -- even for these two short weeks of non-textbook classes as the year ends! Le sigh. Just know you're not alone!

    I so wish I could eat lunch with the students. I barely have time to free-talk with them, since our interactions are usually all during English class. I eat lunch in the cafeteria with students, but at the teacher table, where I sit in silence listening to tones of Korean conversation as I eat my delicious food. I have thought about proposing the idea of an English lunch table one day a week, so students could eat with me and talk in English. Maybe I will pursue it.

  2. An English lunch table is a brilliant idea! I think some of the students would really take to that! Sitting, eating, and chatting with the few students over winter break was awesome, some of my favorite times so far in school. I got into a bit of trouble for not always eating fast enough, but it's not like any of us had classes to rush off to. They eat so quickly!

    1. Yeah, too quickly! I was hoping an English lunch table would also allow me to eat more slowly ^^