Teacher Life: Conflict Between Close Friends

Yesterday between classes, I looked up from my Kindle to see one of my students repeatedly hitting another boy on the back of the head. He was clearly angry and exclaiming something in Korean I couldn’t understand. I immediately sat up and started yelling. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” The hitting stopped. “BOTH OF YOU OUTSIDE […]

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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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Runaway Student

A middle schooler ran away from class on Tuesday. He wrote on the wall with a pencil. I got angry and told him to “get out” of the classroom. He did. In fact, he left the building entirely. What?! I was shocked. And even angrier than I already had been. How dare he leave! How dare he […]

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Teacher Life: Everything is Okay

There was this moment yesterday when I caught myself scolding some students for playing the dot game wrong. (You know, that game where you try to connect dots on a piece of paper into squares, whoever finishes the square gets to claim it?) Some of my students had not understood my explanation…

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Living Love: Some Tips

I love love, and I hate hate. Love is beautiful, and hate is ugly. It’s so simple, right? But love––real love––actually requires a lot of strength and maturity and fortitude. Loving someone doesn’t always mean doing what your heart naturally wants to do. It means listening, seeking to understand, holding back, and even (gasp) sacrificing. […]

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Together is Better (the scariness of intimacy and other issues)

I am a strong introvert, but I hate living by myself. After living alone my first 10 months in Korea, I couldn’t wait to move in with a roommate. But living with someone else is hard, too. Because: 1. We all have intimacy issues and 2. We are all inherently selfish and like doing things our […]

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Reunification

This week I went on my first tour of the DMZ (the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea). The tour only skimmed the surface of the complex issues surrounding this divided nation, but seeing the land of North Korea, one of the infiltration tunnels the North Koreans dug to attack Seoul, and the train […]

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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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