Unresolved Conflict – Living in South Korea

Imminent Danger Yesterday, a group of students announced to me that North Korea was going to bomb us the day after tomorrow. “According to who?” I asked. But they were all chattering at me and each other in Korean a million miles a minute, and I was struggling to catch up. “At school, our teacher said!” […]

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Living as an Outsider

Today a white woman got on the bus, and I was struck by her confidence. I live in Korea, so she was the only fully white person on board, but she just calmly smacked her gum and found a seat. My first thought was that this was the attractiveness of the “older” (no longer in […]

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Early Morning Prayer: When You are Willing to Pay a Cost

I am not a morning person. As in, I usually sleep through mornings. So you could say we’ve become unacquainted. But this week, I decided to go to early morning prayer. In Korea, early morning prayer is a staple of the church. Crowds of middle-aged women (and others) faithfully arise with the sun to seek God’s face and intercede […]

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5 Tips for Beating the Heat (in Korea)

Not only does heat make everyone grumpy and tired, but some of us are champion sweat producers. And that’s not a skill we really want to show off. So here are some tips for beating the heat in Korea. Feel free to adapt them to your locale.

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Braving the Public Bathhouse: Some Tips 

Today is Day 4 living without running water. (Why? It froze. In some pipes under a bunch of cement.) Needless to say, it’s been interesting. I never appreciated water so much. While flushing the toilet manually has been fun and all, the most interesting experience by far has been going to the public bathhouse down the street to shower. Here […]

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Teaching Moments: Articulating Emotions

Yesterday I sent a kid out of the classroom with whom I have a love-hate relationship. He can be quite explosive, disruptive, and even violent at times, but I also have this genuine affection for him. And I think he likes me, too. Over the past 18 months, a real relationship has developed between us that goes beyond rules, tasks, and even disagreements.

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Trading Stickers

Today two of my third grade girls brought in stickers to trade with me. My collection is a bit sparse and rather random at the moment, but I think the fact that I only give kids a sticker when they amass 1,000 points on the board (which, let’s be honest, takes forever) makes my stickers […]

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That Moment Everyone Starts Laughing and You Have No Idea Why

I should really rename this blog “a girl who never wanted to be an English teacher in Korea who now is one,” but I guess that would be a bit wordy. It is funny to me how much I resisted the idea of teaching English in Korea way back when. Anywho, this week is the […]

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