teaching South Korea

Sick in South Korea

After three years in South Korea I've finally fallen ill. It's been a good run, but something eventually had to give. For the past two days I've been either perched on the toilet or writhing in agony in my bed in the prelude to another visit to the toilet. Graphic stuff, I know. Apologies.

 


Island Hop

 

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It’s nearing 3 a.m. here in Busan, and my bags, books, and beach mat are almost fully packed.  Five months after landing in Korea, and immediately embarking on a full-time, Monday-Friday gig teaching short-vowel sounds to tykes– the week-long summer vacay has arrived.  About a month ago I splurged on The Rough Guide to Korea (I highly recommend) and have enjoyed every second getting lost in its maps, descriptions, and region-by-region highlights.  In the end, deciding how best to spend eight days cruising around the country wasn’t hard–I’m an island girl at heart.

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First (love) Triangle

My first crush struck in the fourth grade, in Miss Vanderee’s class, on a boy called Steven Costa.  He wasn’t the smartest or the funniest or the most charismatic; I think his part in the class play consisted of doling out props to the lead roles.  But he had dark hair and dark eyes and exuded a quiet sort of energy, in that intriguing makes-you-wonder-what-goes-on-in-his-head kind of way.  

My friend Karley Shraeder liked him too.  Neither of us ever confessed our feelings to the boy, but spent many recess breaks gazing at him from a distance on the field behind the school.  Back then it was okay for two girlfriends to daydream about the same boy.  When your age is still a single digit, stakes of the heart just aren’t as high.

So it is in Cornell Class, where among the flashcards and eraser bits, phonics lessons and lunchtime chopsticks, a triangle has formed.

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Bill

Somehow two weeks have slid by without a fresh Coco post, days teaching weather and short vowel sounds, evenings researching and writing my first story for Eloquence Magazine (more on that later), and an attempt to incorporate sit-ups into my daily routine.  This weekend S. Korea beat Greece 2-0 in their first game of the World Cup, a win I cheered for under a starless sky on Haeundae beach, the night lit by thousands of red plastic devil’s horns glowing from the heads of fans.


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