Living in a rectangular prism can get you down sometimes. There is only so much room for you, your cat and your stuff. That is why last night I stayed up thinking about how I could rearrange my furniture. My goal was to make it so that I could access my art supplies easily, and so wouldn't feel the dread of having to set it up every time.

First I thought I needed to buy another table to devote to my art. But then I realized I use my computer often for photo reference and so could just continue to use the desk I have.

The Stress Mill

Drama Festival is next week and so the kids have been pushed to practice their script, dances and positions. The pressure seems to steam off from the homeroom teachers throughout the day. I am trying my best to keep a cool head and also just do the job of practicing with the students.

To be honest, I am tired and just want this to be over with. I don't think I was prepared walking into this, due to that it is becoming so rigorous. Maybe I was naive in that department, or all this "life" stuff blinded me.

But really I am keeping my chin up and hoping for the best. I think the kids will perform well, but that mine will look a little different from the rest.

I think next week they will announce if they will give me another contract or not. So I am kind of holding my breath till then. With my release of being in a relationship I feel like anything is possible, which is both good and scary.

Tom the Cat is One Year Old

Approximately a year ago my ex (sad face) knocked on my door and had with him a box. He said, "Open the box." I did and out popped three little furry and dirty heads.

Since then I have been mom to the sweetest cat there is, Tom. (Except for when my friend took care of him for me for 6 months. Thank you!)

That Time of the Year Again

As a contract teacher there comes a point where you don't know if you will be asked to stay or go for the next year. At my past two public elementary schools I was given the thumbs down on staying at their schools. So this time I really want to be asked to stay.

Their system is a bit different and seems more friendly. Since there are 22 foreign folks working here I guess they need to streamline everything. They sent out a mass-message asking us to respond to a survey by the second-to-last week of this month. I already enthusiastically filled mine out and handed it in. My answer was a definite, "YES." I want to stay at the school and even continue teaching first grade math. 

Then and Now

Today I realized something while watching the minutes tick down to my check-out time at work. I realized how I am happy to be where I am. An image of my life flashed to me of the time I was living in Eureka, California. It was summer vacation and I was trying to find a job to pick up some extra cash for the next semester. However, things weren't looking good.

I recalled being in the unemployment office where there were flyers and bulletin boards with listings on them. Then I looked around my classroom and understood just how far I have come in life. Back then I didn't get a summer job and just worked a few weeks at McDonald's.

Despite some of the hard times I have had in Korea, and the fact that the future is uncertain (as it always is) I am grateful to be here.

And then we were friends

I haven't been sharing much about my personal life, but felt an update was necessary. For a while now my relationship with JH has been going downhill. Back in May things were quite nice, but then as the summer advanced things started to grow apart between us.

Eventually he has come to the conclusion that we should change our relationship to being friends. That in time this will serve us better than in a close relationship. Although things weren't working out for us I was confused by this conclusion.

But these days I am getting use to this change and accepting it. I suppose I am back in the single boat and this time I want to stay in it and assess my life and such.

Even though we are now friends I find myself needing some distance from him to sort all this out and accept it. But eventually I do want to be his friend and not loose him forever.

Results of the Jelly Bean Contest

The kids did pretty well guessing close to the number of jelly beans in each of their jars. As for a class assignment I think it was a lot of fun and helped them make a big connection to the word, "estimate." The fall back was that many students were disappointed they didn't win. I suppose I could have given out the jelly beans evenly to the class and let the winner just feel good. But I sometimes feel that things can't always be "even" for these kids.

A lot of emphasis in Elementary school (especially the younger ones) seems to be that everything has to be the same and fair. I explained the rules before they put in their numbers and so they should have understood. What was good, I think, was that some classes had a group of all the same close numbers. So I let them play rock, scissors, paper to sort it out.

Drama Festival Preparations

The big thing for this semester is that the kidlets will perform a play during a drama festival next month. Because of this we have been singing songs with them for the past two weeks. If you asked me what song was stuck in my head right now, it wouldn't be Kpop. It would be this:

Browning Out

Got to my building and approached the elevator. Waited for it. Then the digital sign went blank. A woman came by and was amazed and asked the Ahjusshi what's up, but he didn't seem to know. Then the lady decided to take the stairs. Yet she came back and the power went back on, so we got in the elevator together. It was a bit tense as she was on the 6th and me the 12th floor. I made it to my house, but as soon as I sat down the power went out again. Just glad I wasn't in the elevator.

~end of story~

My Chuseok

My Chuseok has been rather uneventful this year. As you might recall I went to Geoje island last year with JH and had a spectacular time. This year JH and I are going through some kind of rough patch. We are both concerned about our futures. Because of this we haven't done much together this Chuseok. Despite this I am trying to take myself places. I went to some festival downtown in Jogno yesterday and hope to meet up with good pals today.

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