Fair warning. This is long.
Once again, I have managed to let too much time go by before the promised next entry. One of these days I will get more consistent. Maybe by that time I will leave Korea and move back home. Haha.
As I mentioned in the last post, it has been a rough year; and so, I will try to give you a summary with some pictures along the way. There is a lot
Feb – Jun/July
After four years in Gongju and working at one school, I decided it was time to move on. As I wrote in a previous post, in February, I moved to the city of Jinju. I came here to work at a Kindergarten, and it was good. My students were bright and funny, I enjoyed teaching them so much! I have mostly avoided putting pictures of my students faces online. If I can manage to figure out how to blur, cover, or not show their faces I may insert one or two here.
(From the top: Reading Zone, filed trip, Teachers’ Day, outside centers/sand play, and “walk like a crab as you turn this in.”)
Working at a kindergarten was a lot more work than public school teaching. I had many more responsibilities, which was fine by me, but it also left me exhausted. By the time I came home I didn’t want to do anything! Weekends, I didn’t want to do anything either.
So, by the time things had gone so horribly wrong that many jobs were lost, I hadn’t really given much time to getting to know people locally. I started attending a local Expat Book Chat, either just before or just after that. That’s been a godsend.
Side note, Korea has some serious defamation laws. Even if what you say is true you can do jail time. Therefore, I greatly limit things I put out in the public sphere. Needless to say, it’s been a mostly sh!$ time.
July – Sept
While I’ve never taken art classes I always wished I had. Since coming to Korea I’ve invested quite a bit of time and money in adult coloring books, sketch books, Copic markers, Prisma Color pencils, and the like. If that wasn’t enough, I heard about the “World of Watercolor” challenge towards the end of June. So, I decided to invest more money into a set of water color paints and some paper. Mostly I did YouTube tutorials but I tried some freehand stuff. I did one painting which I attempted to copy a photo I had actually taken.
(The beach scene was freestyle, I think you can tell which one was from the photo. Everything else was along with tutorials.)
Other things that happened this year you can file under “what now?”
- My boyfriend (is that even the right word when you are both 40 and over?) and I decided to part ways. It was mutual and for the best, but still can be put in this category.
- Had my class given to another teacher and was told to take over the youngest class when we lost a teacher due to all the garbage. That was the point at which I felt the rug just pulled out from under me. I had a hard time recovering from that one, emotionally.
- I cancelled my summer vacation and lost money on the first ‘group tour’ I’d ever signed up for. But, I was able to get my money back on the plane tickets, so there is that.
- I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, among other things.
- I stopped taking care of myself properly and my anemia came raging back, it’s no joke. If you find yourself always tired, ladies especially, make sure you get your hemoglobin and iron levels checked out.
The good news is I was able to change my visa and stay in the country. I was able to find a decent place to stay while I look for a job and decide “stay or go?” I have had the time to try and take care of some health needs. Making doctors appointments without having to worry about taking time off work has been a bonus.
All while still looking for a new job, updating and submitting my resume here and there. I’ve decided to allow myself to be more picky in this.
Which brings us to October.
In Gongju I was lucky to live in a city that held an annual festival, which I tried to enjoy as much as possible every year. In Jinju I am again, lucky to live in a city with an annual festival. Actually, there were several official festivals happening at the same time. Korean Drama Festival and the Lantern Festival to name two.
I’ve been putting a more focused effort into trying to make bread, sourdough and non. It’s a work in process. I have made some really inedible loaves and some barely edible loaves. Each loaf gets better, though; and just this morning I bit the bullet and ordered a baking stone. I hope this will help with the sourdough, in particular. I get really good flavor, but my oven (which I am lucky and grateful to have) doesn’t hold steam well. So, it’s probably not the best for sourdough, but I’m determined to make it work.
I’ve done some small amounts of travel within Korea. Here are some promised photos of my two days in Yeosu.
So, to sum up.
I’ve been using my bike more and taken some nice rides in my area. That has been fun, and good for me.
I’ve been trying not to allow myself to get so stuck in my head and trapped in indecision.
And that, my friends, brings you pretty much up to speed.
Ever as always, debating the merits of putting my life in writing in a public forum.
Until next time, fingers crossed I will make the time to be more consistent.