I LIED2

I lied

Over the weekend I sent Megan Mc a contrite tweet about not posting for our KoreaUsa photo site.

I promised to make it up to her by posting one over the weekend….but I didn’t.

So Megan probably thinks I am like this:

I liedI LIED2

 

When I am really more like this:

arrested development

 

As Ron would say:

priorities

Why I like being a middle school teacher (Storyaday: Day 15)

I could spend a lot of time writing all the reasons why I like being a middle school teacher in Korea.

But to keep my fingers from crying out in protest, I will highlight the key reason why I like being a teacher here.

My students. My students are awesome! I have met a lot of really amazing kids the past 5 months I have been living in Korea.

I am always so impressed with the kids who speak English really well and also the kids who make an effort to talk to me despite their low English speaking ability.

Since I teach a lot of students, it’s hard to get to know them all.

Also, since I am the foreign English teacher, it’s a little intimidating for most of students to talk to me because they feel like their English isn’t good enough. (This is crazy because Korean and English are radically different from each other; any English they can speak is inherently better than my Korean language skills!)

Anyways, it seems that just as some of my students started to warm up to me, the school year was ending and they getting ready to head off to High School.

Still, some of them seem to want to stay in contact with me, which I find really great. I am very curious what they will do with their lives and where they will end up in the future.

I hope to keep in contact with them and see how much their English improves over the years!

Side story: At my school there is a range of the Students’ English ability ranging from the very highly skilled students to those students who can barely read simple sentences or understand simple questions like “What did you do this weekend?”

Despite this, a few of the students with low English skills have managed to “befriend” me. This means they come by my classroom and say “Hi” even though they are unable  to have an extended conversation with me.

I think what has helped with this is that most of the students have discovered I am trying to learn Korean. When I try to speak some Korean to them (and they can hear my horrible American accent and also the fact I struggle to pronounce words/ read basic sentences) they start to feel more comfortable.

They probably think, “Wow, Korean is really hard for her, but she still is trying. I should try to speak English, even though I find it hard too.”

Despite  massive language barriers sometimes,  I find it possible to enjoy spending time with my students. I think it is cool that some of my students feel comfortable enough to reach out to me, even if they can’t always communicate everything they would wish to say.

I think the biggest part of learning a language is practice, practice, practice. It can be frustrating not being able to say what you want to say, or saying the right word or people not understanding you because of your accent. However, if you practice a lot,  everything becomes easier over time.

Here’s hoping my Korean improves dramatically by the time I am done living here! 😉

daily story journa;s

2012 recap & 2013 resolutions

2012 Recap:

Again, another busy year! I was working a really horrible retail job that made me hate my life. @__@

But then I quit the job and travelled in Europe for two months! I definitely hit my goal of trying to go to as many new countries/places this year as I could!

I met a lot of really cool people, saw amazing sights, and reconnected  with some of my favorite people.

The biggest life change for me was becoming an English teacher in South Korea. I had never been to Korea before, nor taught English before so it definitely turned my life upside down.

I have been living in Korea for 4 months now and  I  finally feel like my life is starting to settle down. I like going off and having adventures, but it’s nice to feel more comfortable with where I live and the job I am doing.

Last year for my 2011 recap and 2012 resolutions I said that I wanted to blog every week. That definitely did not happen! I think this is in large part due to the traveling I did this year and the fact that I fell behind on posting my #366 Creativity Journal Project.

I already mentioned this in a recent blog post, but  #366 Creativity Journal did not turn out exactly as I had planned.  I am no where close to being finished posting this project and certain events happening in my job the next few weeks will make it difficult to play catch up.

I am disappointed in myself for not trying harder this year to get my act together. But I will count this as a learning experience as I finish up #366creativityjournal and I move into my next yearlong project.

This brings me to my 2013 resolutions:  

1) Storyaday project: I decided that this year I want to hone my writing skills. I’ve decided to write a story (fictional AND/OR nonfictional) everyday for a year. Ideally I want to write both a fiction piece and non-fiction/autobiographical piece. To keep track of my progress I will be using these handy notebooks I found.

These are 100 days storybooks. In Korea one of the big moments of being in a relationship with someone is when you have been dating your partner for 100 days. I am not sure why; this will require further investigation. Regardless, this book one way you can keep track of your dating life, or really any life event that requires you to count specific days.

The reason why I like this kind of book is because  it will be easy to track  365 days worth of writing. If I were to use a blank notebook it would be easy to miss some days or to say, “I am too tired to write tonight, I will do it tomorrow.”

Sometimes I don’t want to sit down to write because I know when I do I will end up writing a lot and it will take FOREVER. But since each page doesn’t have that much space to write, it will be easier for me to keep myself motivated with this writing project on the the days I don’t feel like writing.

One of my biggest regrets when I was living in Australia in 2010 was I didn’t keep up with a journal as much as I would have liked. I was too busy living in the moment which was great at the time, but now there are some moments that I wish I had written down so that I would remember it better.  Pictures can help jog my memory, but it doesn’t always help with capturing emotions or the conversations I had with people.

 

2) Blog, Blog, Blog. I have a blog. I should use it. Otherwise this is just a waste of my money and superior writing skillz 😉

3) Koreausa Project. I have been terrible at posting photos. Megan Mc is getting swamped with work too. But it’s a great project and I would love to keep working on it.

4) Travel, Travel, Travel! Travel to as many countries and places as possible this year.

5) Learn more Korean. It’s so useful for everyday life and also to communicate with my students.

 

 

Taking photos. That’s what I do.

Yesterday a couple of my friends remarked that I seem to take a lot of photos.

Yes, yes I do.

I have explained to them several times about my #366creativityjournal project (which is now more of a photography project rather than just the journal project itself). But maybe because I have never really showed them some of the final results of my project, they seem confused by it.

My friend Cathy thinks my project is waaaay too ambitious: “Sarah, it seems too hard for you to take a photo everyday. Maybe you should scale it back and take a photo every week. I mean, you moved to a new country this year, started a full time job. How are you supposed to make art everyday when you complain you never have any free time?”

That is completely missing the point of the project. The point is that everyday in life we should try to be creative, we should try to find the beauty in simple things. I could go on and on the number of times I’ve told people about how I get some amazing photos by taking A LOT of crappy ones.

Plus, my life in Korea is simultaneously very different from my life in the US and yet very much the same. The things/objects/people I encounter here are very different, but the things I tend to do here are things I would do at home.

Still, I find it interesting to see the contrast between the world I know and the world I am experiencing here, and I bet a lot of people feel the same.

A lot of people I know don’t have the money or the time to travel. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to travel as much as I have. I also am happy I have the kind of “pioneering/adventuresome” spirit that lets me throw caution/routine to the winds and lets me set off to explore the world.

So while I have been utter crap at posting my daily photography/creativity efforts in a timely fashion, I still am thinking about the project everyday. I still want to be a creative genius each and everyday, and I want to showcase my life here in Korea.

My friends in Korea might not understand my project that well (I tried to explain #DS106 to them and they looked at me like I was CRAZY), and maybe a lot of my other friends don’t care about being creative/ innovative, but still I think that’s no reason to give up the project and call it a fail.

Like I said in my blog last week, this project is almost over. I still have A LOT of work to do to get this project in order. But I can do it! 😀

panorma in seoul1

Day 294: Panorama of Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

First time taking a Panorama with my phone. Not the best, but I love how the random man just showed up in my photo as he was walking by. It makes me laugh.

This photo is in response to Megan’s Koreausa challenge of City Skyline.

 

I took this back in October, but took forever to post it because I thought it would be hard to find a Panorama display plugin. Turns out finding one took all of two seconds! @__@ Why did I wait so long? Le sigh.

The month of GO, GO, GO

The past month or so was a constant GO, GO, GO month.

By this I mean that every weekend, I was off doing something or going somewhere, and during the week I was swamped by teaching English, meeting people to do various things, and taking a Korean class.

But finally it is nearing the end of the semester and the end of my Korean class, which means I will a lot more free time on my hands.

I have been neglecting my blog/ flickr of late and I miss it. I miss doing art and writing blog posts only two people read (haha).

Somehow I have been sucked into a vicious cycle of posting a lot of #366creativityjournal projects all at once, and it’s terrible.

Nobody wants to look at 100 pictures at one time. Nobody wants to read 100 blogs post discussing life in Korea at one time.

Also, I think it is quite possibly Megan Mc has already disowned me because I haven’t posted anything for our Koreausa blog in ages. >.>

This weekend I vow to get my act together!

No. Excuses.

New project! KoreaUsa Collaboration website

Ever since Megan Mc and I took DS106 in Spring 2011, we’ve become digital BFFS (and real life ones too!)

Megan MC

We are constantly challenging each other to be more innovative and to make more art. Continue reading