Pause. Breathe. Repeat.

10:01 PM Jmo 0 Comments

I've been running at a mile a minute. I thought the weeks previous have flown by? No. December has been nonexistent. Next week is Christmas already?? I can't even believe it. As they like to say here in Korea: Time flies like an arrow.
I have so much to write about..but honestly, I don't really have the energy to do so. I'm pretty spent. I've overbooked myself and it's all rising to one culminating end-of-the-semester peak. Between school, badminton, camp planning, rehearsals, party planning/execution, etc. Last Saturday was the first time I went grocery shopping in three weeks. Not exaggerating. I've just been grabbing food on my way to or from appointments. Convenience store connoisseur. I'm ready for a break. This Sunday can not come soon enough. I'm not leaving my apartment AT ALL on Sunday. I will be a recluse. Just call me the waygook-hermit.

So, I'll try to recap as best as I can. But I'm warning you...I'm not in the best of moods and I'm tired as hell. So! That being said; if this is your first visit to this blog: I apologize. My life is lovely! Truly! I'm just stressed at the moment and need to do a wee bit of venting...

As part of my contract I'm required to take part in a week long Winter English Camp. I have to work and plan with other teachers during the camp and also have to plan my own class. This shouldn't be a source of stress really...oh, wait! Aside from the fact that one of the teachers I'm working with I can't seem to get a warm and fuzzy vibe from her. So! I'm sticking to my strengths and doing an art lesson. For the lower level class we're making "Alphabet Monsters" and the more advanced class gets to make "Word Creatures". She better like em'...


Regular school has also been stressful. Everyday I've been designing my own lessons -well, kinda. They say I can do anything I want. But when it comes down to it...if I'm showing a video clip that I've prepared questions for and the kids see another video on the sidebar of YouTube that they would rather watch, they yell for me to change the video. Then my coteacher says: "They want to watch that instead." Well, I didn't plan anything for that video! Now, do you want me to teach them English or keep them entertained?? Sometimes, I think it's the latter. Long story short, I've been pulling double-duty to prepare lessons. Taking my work home with me most nights. I try to plan at least one backup/alternate activity just in case I need to perform a little song and dance to get through the day. It's nice to be able to be somewhat flexible and creative though. Today for example I did a Christmas lesson. But sometimes I don't know what they expect. Badminton has been cutting into my time too. I love it and it's nice to be up and active...but, that hour at the end of the day is precious! I guess I didn't realize how much so. It cuts into my time planning with my teachers so I take my work home with me and end up emailing them my ideas. Hard enough correspondence without a language barrier...

Two weeks ago was our first big snowfall. It snowed for two days straight and blanketed Korea-ville with white. It was beautiful. I guess I'm a fairly sensory person because the smell of snow reminded me of home. Grand Rapids actually. Is that strange? Is that even possible? haha But then last Friday...I woke up to rain. I knew it was going to be an interesting morning. It's snows here annually but they do little to clear it. With a population of busy commuters and walkers all in a rush to get somewhere you think they would. But nope! Just keep moving, keep walking, and keep packing the snow down to bumpy, ice-covered, paths. So, the rain. It fused with the already packed down snow to form a layer of slippery. It. Was. Ridiculous. As I walker, err shuffled, to the subway I watched business man after business man perform a 'holy-shit-going-to-fall-on-my-ass Ice Dance'. I felt like posting up and holding up cards ranking them 1-10. But I made it to school; my first time being late, and found my building locked. I wasn't the only one having problems that morning. Here was the total damage: 2 cars crashed into my coteachers building, my other coteachers taxi got stuck going up a hill, and the home room teacher for my first class of the day got into a car accident. Maybe they should of cancelled school? No. This is Korea. In Mother cancels you!

The play is this Saturday! That's exciting. I'm happy to say that I have quite the crowd showing up in support. Us waygooks gotta stick together! Rehearsals have had their ups and downs...but I think we will pull off a nice show. I only hope the theatre is heated. I don't want my shivers from the cold to be confused with the nervous shakes. Ha, who am I kidding...that'll be my excuse. I am a little nervous! My first real show in 4 years! In a different country! Performing for friends who have never seen me perform before but head that I "do theatre"! Gahhh. No pressure. The organizers of this festival have put in so much work to bring this together too. An amazing amount of work. I don't want to let them down either. This show is their baby. Jill better bring her A-game.
These past couple weeks I also tackled planning my first ever Christmas party! I've never hosted a party before but felt that I was inherently born to do so. I am my Mother's daughter after all. Some party planning expertise had to of been passed down right? haha The theme was Ugly Sweater/Potluck/4Month Christmas Spectacular! Everyone 'don your gay apparel', bring food or drinks, bring a gifts and get down to some Christmas carols. I initially invited only about 20-25 people but word spread and the guest list reached 38! 38 people inside of a Korean apartment. Yes, my apartment is bigger than most...but not "BIG". At one point I did a head count and counted 32 people. The party was broken up around midnight. Yes,I got yelled at by someone in the building. 32 people can make a lot of noise...but! It was worth it and I regret nothing.  So yes, it was a success!Everyone brought awesome food, thanked me for getting everyone together and for the use of my place. My apartment is a mess...hahaa I'll be living in filth until the weekend.

I had the party Tuesday night because Wednesday was Election Day in Korea and everyone had the day off. This morning Korea woke up to news of it's first ever female President. You know me, I'm all for women in power (!) but this particular elected leaves something to be desired. She's the daughter of a former dictator who imposed brutal force on anyone who opposed him. And her own politics are quoted as being "extremely conservative". Some Koreansbelieve she'd rather be "Queen" instead of President and speculate that relations with the North will take a sharp turn. Eeek. We shall see how this plays out... She takes the seat in February.

Today's my last day of badminton and then I have a teachers dinner. After that...I'm going to crawl into my bread crumb filled apartment, ignore the pile of soju bottles and pizza boxes and just crash. I know I'm missing details from other days. But my back's killing me from sitting at this computer. I might just put my head down (Yes, I'm at work...) But! Saturday's the play, Tuesday's Christmas, and Friday is my last day of the semester. Phew! Oh yeah. And I've been here 4 months as of yesterday. o_O


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