My Renewal Decision and 4 Life Lessons That Helped Me Make It

After thinking heavily about whether or not to renew my contract with EPIK, I’ve decided to return home in August. Signing on for a second year would offer me several enticing financial benefits and mouthwatering travel opportunities. And I’ve had a positive experience at my school, where I would continue to work if I were to renew. But during my time in Korea, I’ve learned or re-learned four life lessons, and made some new discoveries about myself, that have persuaded me to wrap things up at the one-year mark.

The Writer’s Dreams

In the morning I wake up when it’s still dark, make a pot of coffee, and write until the baby wakes up, usually around 8:30. I play with him until he goes to daycare at around 10. Then I write or edit until 5PM, when I have to either head out to do a little work or pick up the baby, playing with him until around 10PM, when my wife puts him to sleep. If I’m lucky I’ll get a chance to run around outside for an hour. This has been my schedule, more or less, for the last two months, thanks to the incredibly generous winter vacation I get from my Korean university. I’ve finished three ebooks as a result, and I’m desperate, now, to publish them before I have to go back to work on the fourth of March. I’m currently waiting for some volunteer readers to get back to me with the comments they can post to amazon.com: the moment two or three of them say they’re ready to go, I’m posting.

The Lower Depths

Last night two of my younger students took me out for doke-boke-ee—this sort of sweet-and-spicy rice cake concoction which is probably every single young Korean’s favorite snack food (aside from yang-shik, or western cuisine). From a distance it resembles piles of red slop, and it’s so popular that you can’t walk down a crowded street for five minutes without seeing a stall selling a huge platter of this steaming, bloody, intestine-like delicacy, where people are sometimes standing around outside, spearing tubes of mashed-up rice in a very chemical sort of sauce.

oops sorry

I had a dream last night that I had to empty my bag for TSA... woke up to find that I had acted it out with my blanket and ended up dumping my sleeping dog on the floor. Sorry Lulu!!

This little anecdote goes here because it was too long for Twitter. Which I have now! I don't know what you do with this thing...


My dreams have finally came true. I have been wanting to check out a so called "Cat Cafe" since I learned such a place existed but didn't know where to begin the search. Thankfully a friend who is also cat crazy (or wait, I may be the only crazy one) showed me the ropes at the kitty cat heaven in Gangnam (near American Apparel out exit 6, there is usually a guy dressed in a cat costume at the exit, he knows where to go.) I can honestly say it was everything I had hoped and wished for, plus more. Hot chocolate and a zillion cats napping, and frolicking about, well mostly napping. Until the rightly named "Cat-father" brought out the chicken that is. That is when the real action began. They were everywhere, over your head, under your feet, on the table, all the prepositions in the book! It was madness I tell you, and I loved every minute of it.

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