Tag Archives: career

Find something you love and…

2 hours ago, it was 11 something and I was excited about getting nine hours of sleep. I feel like my body needs it. My schedule has picked up a LOT lately, which is great, because I’m definitely still paying for Bali.

But now it’s 1:17 a.m. in Korea, and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just not that tired after all.

I should be. I woke up early, worked out for an hour, worked a full day, and then did an hour class after that. On the way home, finally, I was thinking about how not tired I am, and how I regret having picked up dinner and depriving myself from the pleasure of cooking for myself.

See, the thing is that even though my days are long, I don’t hate them. And even though I spend my time working, really actually working, not deskwarming but actually interacting with students for 8-9 hours a day, I often find myself feeling energized.

I think I really do love being a teacher. They say find something you love and never work a day in your life, right? I don’t know. This doesn’t really feel like work. I mean, it’s a place I have to go every day, but like you can’t be too serious once you’re there. I laugh, like genuinely laugh, like caught-off-guard LOL because it was actually funny laugh like once an hour. Because these kids are crazy and hilarious. My kindies have gotten into the habit of sniffing me, and so they regularly get up from their seats to grab my arm and take deep inhalations from their little diaphragms. Then they proclaim to me that I smell “a lot good and a little bad.” It’s completely absurd. But it’s really funny.

And I never know where the day’s going to take me. I have two boys that I work with, and even though we have a textbook, a lot of times we stray from the curriculum. One day they broke down for me the politics behind the two-party system in Korea, and the attitudes of the older and younger generations toward Korea’s leaders. The next, they wanted to hear and tell ghost stories, then they ran out to one kid’s mom because they were scared, because they’re only 10 Korean age (which makes them 9).

In contrast to this, I have the fact that I had six solid months free and didn’t write a damn word. I write, but I feel tired afterward. I do it, but I power through it. I think about the environment I would have as a writer. I could work at a newspaper/magazine and be surrounded by sardonic, cynical, world-weary, oh so clever adults. Or I could work at home by my damn self and descend into madness in the dreary and silence of my own mind.

I honestly don’t think this writing thing is for me, not to make a career of. I feel like I made a choice a long time ago that I didn’t want to live in my head. That it was actually really important for me as a stable and happy person to get the hell out of my head. Looking back, that was probably the day I gave up writing as a potential career, realistically. Because where else would I reside, really, but in my head as a writer?

And here I have teaching. And it’s fresh, and new. And i’m up and standing and moving and laughing and sometimes being stern but other times chasing little children around a play gym. And i’m not being read and revered by millions, but I’m teaching a handful of kids how to think critically and express themselves and damnit, that’s fulfilling and satisfying as hell.

I really like what I do right now.


Applying for the position

I just had an epiphany.

I was standing in the teachers’ office making copies. I was thinking of my work situation, and how important it is to be honest.

Today I had a meeting with the head supervisor for my province because my coteacher and I just can’t work it out y’all. And I was talking to him about it and about my job in general, and I was being very honest. I was doing my best to admit my shortcomings while being gracious about hers.

I try to do that in general anyway–it’s a character thing.

But anyway, we then talked about this placement (I am at a very prestigious school) and how it didn’t quite match my inexperience.

Fast forward to later today, as I’m standing there making copies, thinking so much about honesty.

Was I honest in my cover letter to my company? Did I tell them straight-up that although I have this fancy degree, I had no full-time teaching experience?

Probably not, definitely not in so many words.

And then I thought that at age 27, with my fancy degree and my teensie bit of experience, it’s so important to be honest because I’m vetting them too. At this point, I have an idea of the type of work I’d like to do and the environment in which I’d like to do it.

When I was coming up, and especially now that “jobs are scarce,” I think we get told so much to do and say anything so we can get any job, because any job is better than no job. It’s really entitled of me to challenge that, but in my field (TESOL) it’s different. You can’t operate with that mindset because there are plenty of TESOL jobs overseas but many, many of them are shit. You have to interview them in the same way they interview you because once you’re here with a visa your school is sponsoring and a contract, you’re here. You can walk away from the contract, of course……but then you spent so much money and it reflects poorly on you to break your contract and where are you gonna get a job in the U.S. blah blah blah etc. 

….and then of course because I’m me I immediately turned that to relationships. There are so many potential boyfriends out there, but many, many of them are shit.

And that’s why it’s so important to be honest during the dating process–because you’re vetting them too. It’s not just about fear of rejection, it’s about finding the right fit.

I’m sure if my coteacher and I had met face to face before this contract were signed, I would have sensed right away that our energies didn’t align.


Anger is when the crop you were planning to feed your family with gets bombed by careless U.S. planes

As I sit in my bed to write this blog, I think I am frustrated in just about every sense of the word.

I am not angry.

I am not sad.

But I am dealing with a base level of frustration so constant that it is more-or-less my default emotional state as of late.

I would try to blame it on my circumstances, but the fact that I’m sitting in a warm and comfortable bed with a healthy body and sharp mind, relative personal safety and a still-working car tells me that can’t be it.

I had a long conversation with one of my good friends today about personal habits and their nasty little ways of seeping into your professional life. And professional habits and their nasty little ways of seeping into your personal life.

I was telling my friend that though I am completely aware that there are 24 hours in a day, for some reason my 24 hours seems to pass much quicker than other people’s 24 hours, causing me to be told on a Saturday, “You haven’t spoken to me since Tuesday!” and causing me to react with genuine confusion, because I really and actually just do not have a sense of that much time having elapsed.

Right now, I feel like I am so far behind in all the things I need to do to be a focused and productive person that all it makes me want to do is hide in my apartment and read Southern Vampire Novels from the ebook app on my Droid (fabulous! There are so many free/dirt cheap/free books available! DROID does–but I digress).

I think I could be a hermit.



*pause for incredulous laughter*



Not really.

But I do find myself drawn to the fantasy of just holing up in my place and reading all the books I keep buying but not reading for a week or two. Just starting there. And then maybe I’ll unsubscribe to some of the things that keep my phone buzzing at all times of the day and night and stressing me out because I don’t read them and I have this thing where it sincerely makes my head hurt to have 445 unread inbox messages and 353 unread Facebook messages.

Don’t ask.

I don’t get it and I try to ignore it for the most part, but I can’t. I get a very concrete form of satisfaction from opening my inbox and seeing just, like 1. Three is pushing it.

That’s just the way I am.

I have been told that I am very self-aware, but there are times when I don’t even know that I am not functioning at my highest level until some sort of slip brings it to my attention and I have to examine my external circumstances for clues about my internal state.

Three-hundred-fifty-three unopened Facebook messages is one. And they all come to my damn phone now too. That stresses me out so much. The pile of clothes that just goes from my corner to my bed back to my corner as needed is clue number two. The unwashed cups and the dishes that have been sitting in that drainer thing (whatever that’s called) for weeks (the dishes, not the unwashed cups) are going to be rolled into a combined clue number three.

Something ain’t right.

I told my friend that I know what the problem is and I know I need to fix it, but that I spend so much time and energy during the day keeping my base level of frustration down that at the end of the day I just don’t even want to come clean my house and work on the projects and things that will put me closer to my dreams.

Like failing a class because you don’t like your teacher–I guess you really showed him, huh?

That’s about how much sense me letting the areas of my life that I could actually take refuge in slip because I am so dissatisfied in other areas makes. None. And I am really, ultimately, and most importantly, only hurting myself.

I am thankful for this blog because it is just about the only healthy way I have of processing my emotions, as well as one of the few hobbies I have that does not come with the added stressor of expense.

I thought I could go about my life with one hand holding down the monster of my growing frustration, but ignoring it is causing me to slip in other areas because it drains my energy and takes my focus.

I don’t have a resolution to this post, only a thought: I need to find a better way.