Unresolved Conflict – Living in South Korea

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.

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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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Teacher Life: Are You Flirting With Me?

Recently, a student came up to me before class. It was Daniel, the student I made cry last month by encouraging him to externally process his feelings. “Do you need something?” I asked with a frown, distracted as I usually am during break time…

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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: 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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Back in the Land of Kimchi

It struck me upon this particular return to Korea that I’ve grown surprisingly comfortable here. I’ve gotten used to the decreased eye contact and increased physical contact. To the abrupt but convenient public transportation and the way everyone buries their faces in their smart phones. To getting a free pass on explaining myself in certain situations because […]

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Heirs

I’ve been thinking about money and power lately. Mostly because of this Korean drama I’m watching, Heirs. Some of the realities of this world really disturb me. The cruelty that exists. The injustice and unkindness. The entitlement people feel, and the way people grind down those below them instead of trying to help them. It […]

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The Ways I Fit in Korea

Re-acclimating to US culture hasn’t been too difficult during this first trip home. Driving for the first time was slightly scary (for about 5 minutes). Casually greeting my neighbors while jogging felt really awkward the first few times. (I’m used to giving people blank stares now.) But all in all, slipping back into daily life […]

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