By this time tomorrow it will be less than 30 hours in Korea, and then it's bye bye. I think I have said all there is to say about how I feel. I'm just kind of ready now to hop on the plane, get Tom through to the other side and start things. I was happy to see Tom lick his water bottle feeder that is attached to his carrier. This gave me hope that he will hydrate himself during the flight, but then got me a little concerned he may need the bathroom. Ah well!
I also successfully registered for my first two classes as a graduate student! This gave me a lot of excitement for what's to come. They are, "Linguistics for Language Teachers I" and "Adult Learners". Two classes that I think will be a good start, and they meet on Tues and Weds. Student life, here I come!
It's all pretty much ready folks. I've made a pile of things next to my suitcase that I hope to stuff inside it. I've gone through the kitchen and cleared out stuff and put some things into a box.
When I moved in to this place (two years ago) it wasn't as clean as I'm making it now. But I know who is going to move in and I don't really want to leave someone with a dirty place. It sucks to move in somewhere and then have to clean it to make it comfortable. I suppose I am putting money into my good karma bank!
Today was all about work, work, work. I got up and immediately went ahead with cleaning behind all the furniture. I found a lot of dust and cat hair all mangled together. Things in here sure do look a lot cleaner now. After I whisked through the living space I tackled the kitchen. Everything needed a good scrubbing including the refrigerator.
I am not scared to be saying good bye to all this but I now really I understand it's something I'm going to have to do. Korea has been my home for the past five years and I made it so. I adjusted to all the differences and nuances. I can read Korean fluently and work my way around a crowded busy street like slick butter. It's time to wrap all this up and put in my memories.
It's starting to hit me that I have just about a week left in Korea. All the memories and people I have met are going to be in a far away place when I go back home. When I ride the subway I can't help but think that this would be my last time on the bustling train. As I walk past the usual shops in my neighborhood and hear the fruit stand lady shout, "Oranges, 3,000 won!" (In Korean) I know that I won't hear that again.
However, bigger options are starting to cross my path. Like the possibility of leasing or owning a car. The last time I owned a car was a few years before I moved to Korea. It was a used Toyota Cressida that was nearly as old as myself (at the time). That car served me well during my early college years, but later on the poor thing overheated a lot. I ended up donating it to a radio station.
I'm not really a materialistic person. If you know me you will see I don't have a fashionable and expensive purse dangling from my arm, or the latest handphone clutched in my palm. However, that doesn't mean I don't desire material things. My return to America is pointing me in the direction of building up a new life. I have the opportunity to get a new phone and contract, along with furniture for my rented room.
Yesterday, while I was working through separating stuff I am going to take home and stuff I am getting rid of, I felt the need to pick up my paintbrush. Since this summer I haven't really done my art and knew a part of me was aching. So I got on the map system and found this image on a street corner. I liked the shape of the buildings and the dirty drippings from the windows.
This is what I looked like when I first arrived in Korea, back in spring of 2008. At that time I was exhausted but also thrilled to start my Korean life. For the next four years I learned a lot about Korean culture, it's people and mostly myself. I've had two serious Korean boyfriends in that time, and they helped shape my experience here. So what am I getting at?
I'm leaving Korea.
I made it! The last week of my first year at S* school is coming to it's end. I am amazed I made it this far considering how difficult it was at the beginning. Also I am impressed at how much my students have advanced and grown. Now I get to see them continue to grow in the 2nd grade.
All I have left are November, December and bits of February for next year. I suppose I can get to those in time, as they are far away. Still there is the need in me to keep punching them out, however ridiculous that sounds.
Because I booked my vacation tickets through Hanatour I have to wait 48 hours before my flight to select my seats. I can't sleep without the window seat and so am trying my best to be patient. Hopefully, my flight will have a lot of, "I hate the window seat" type folks.
Things to do before heading off on my vacation:
- Get Tom to his brother's house for cat sitting.
Back at work here doing the normal thing of classes and then break time. I would be lesson planning right now, but the current 2nd grade teacher asked for her books back. I think I have a copy of the Volume 2 book back at my house, so that can help me later. Just won't have the teacher's guide, however I didn't rely on it too much.
Got the word I will sign my new contract next Tuesday. They are giving the resigning teachers 20 minutes each to get it done and ask any questions. I hope they give me the raise I asked for, but we will see. I'm excited as this will be my first time resigning. :)
So unless the Principal or some oddball person doesn't want me to be here, then it is a "No." So everything sounds good I guess...just hoping so.
Still waiting to hear about my contract. But randomly one of the homeroom teachers (the one I have been talking to) enlightened me of something good. She said she asked the other homeroom teachers about my staying here, and told me that they are all okay with me staying.