Handling Conflict: Some Tips for the Conflict-Averse

I am naturally conflict-averse. I always have been, and I still am. But over the years I’ve learned how to better manage my sensitivity to tension, how to better communicate with those I disagree with, and how to stay true to myself while still being considerate of others. I’m still a work in progress, but here is some of what I’ve learned […]

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Giving Thanks

This is the fourth year I will be spending Thanksgiving abroad. Not that I’m keeping track or anything, but Thanksgiving does happen to be my favorite holiday. Christmas is nice, too, but the gift buying and giving can be stressful. Thanksgiving is nothing but pure eating and enjoying people’s company. And giving thanks, of course. […]

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Teacher Life: 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.

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Teacher Life: Working Through Conflict

Last week, I saw an ugly side of one of my young students. English name of Brian. He is normally very cute and engaged during class (and I may even subconsciously favor him sometimes..). He just has the kind of attractive personality that makes you want to call on him all the time.

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Teacher Life: The Whisper Technique

This week my voice got hoarse, which made it difficult to speak loudly during class, which made me realize how much I rely on yelling to control my classroom. Since that fallback was no longer an option, I resorted to a technique my roommate has mentioned a few times: the whisper technique. I started talking in a […]

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Loving Past Irreconcilable Differences

There have been moments in my life when someone I am supposed to love has hurt me to the point that I just can’t take it anymore. I don’t even know what the loving way to handle the situation is. Love seems impossible. They have been some of the most gut-wrenching moments in my life. Because to me, love is the ultimate goal. So if I can’t love, I must be a failure.

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Friendship Worth Fighting For

Sometimes when I’m describing my friendships with girls, I feel like I’m talking about a dating relationship. “She said we have a special connection, but I’m not sure.” “I really enjoy spending time with her, but she seems too busy to really commit to our relationship.” “Things are moving way too fast, but I don’t […]

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눈치 (Noonchi)

Last week my aunt asked me if I knew about noonchi and was surprised when I told her I’d never heard of it. She explained that it is anticipating and meeting people’s needs without being told to. She said this ability is very important in Korean culture and that I should start cultivating it. This clears up a misunderstanding I […]

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