Sunday, November 4

South Korea: Mass e-mail #9

Hello everyone,

It's November now. Most of you are probably aware, but I have had to
remind myself several times over the past few days. Time is a funny
thing because sometimes it can seem unbearably slow. And other times
it feels unbelievably fast. And mostly it's just funny because maybe
it doesn't even exist, so for that reason we can say it is both slow
and fast all at once.

Speaking of time, I have been in Korea for nearly 9 months. Every few
months the pace of my life here kind of shifts. I find myself with
new activities and schedules and routines. Lately the shift has meant
more responsibilities at work, a weekly Korean language class, and the
departure of several friends whose contracts ended in September and
October. And with the cooler weather (no more sweat rags!!) I find
myself lighting more candles and sleeping in later. I've also been
able to download Season 7 of Boy Meets World which has proven more
entertaining than one might expect. All in all I'd say I'm in a
mellow and well-read state of being these days.

At the end of September we had a 5-day vacation for Korea's
Thanksgiving. My friend, Catie, and I took a ferry to an island
called Jeju. The island has a unique history compared to the rest of
Korea and we had a very educational, fun time. We also pampered
ourselves at saunas and on beaches. One of the best parts of that
particular journey was the new friends we made on the ferry. We met 3
deaf Korean students from Seoul who can sign in English, Korean and
Japanese as well as read lips in English, Korean and Japanese and
write in English, Korean and Japanese plus read English, Korean and
Japanese. They were hysterical and some of the best communicators
I've ever encountered. With few exceptions I was able to understand
and participate in the entire conversation, and enjoy it too. We've
been in touch with them since and are hoping to meet up later in

This week was Halloween and our school celebrated big time with
exciting arts and elaborate costumes. We took all of our classes
trick-or-treating throughout the school, so that means
trick-or-treating 3 times in one day. I was exhausted by the end. I
highly suggest you take a look at my online photo album for proof of
the hilarity and festivity. I am going to attach my favorite photo of
two of my Power Rangers though, in case you don't get to the album.

I'm finding that I wield a lot of power being an educator and
authority figure. No offense to my mother, but sometimes I hear her
voice coming out of my mouth when I'm punishing the little ones and it
sends shivers down my spine. I also find it unnerving when I overhear
one student say to another student "Joy Teacher said don't do that"
or "Joy Teacher said to be good so we can play a game". But perhaps
the most surreal feeling of all is when I hear one kid say to another,
"What in the world are you doing?" or "Oh my goooodness" or "I can't
believe you!" Because though I'd like to believe they pick up hostile
chastising on television, I think we all know where they hear those
phrases, and that is not a flattering legacy to leave. Even if they
don't learn to read or write while in my class at least I can rest
assure that someday they will be fully equipped to correct and punish
in fluent English.

Here are the links to my photo albums, as previously mentioned. One
album is of my everyday going-ons and excursions. The other is of my
various classes at school. The newer pictures are at the bottom of
the albums. I hope you enjoy!

Happy Autumn to one and all! Thank you for the continued emails and
thoughts. Eat some pumpkin pie for me.

With love,

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