So what’s going on with me these days?
It’s December now, and the 30th of this month will be my 4th month here! To put things in perspective, I only stayed about 4.25 months in Sweden, with last few days of my stay in Europe being spent in Germany! So if this were the same situation, I would be about to go home!

It’s an ongoing adjustment, definitely. I have gained some weight here, something that comes from too much eating (I went crazy when I first came here- ironic that I come to Korea and gain the lbs!) and a lot of sitting down. I have been running a little, but I have felt kind of depressed about it sometimes, because Koreans just don’t run for the most part, and I haven’t found places to run near me except for one close and one far away. (I didn’t think to check if Korea was a running-friendly country- I just kind of assumed running had taken the world by storm. I was somewhat incorrect).

Teaching has its ups and downs. To be honest, I feel like a teacher’s assistant here most of the time for than a legitimate teacher. As a waygook (foreigner) I can never command the same type of respect as the Korean teachers do. (though this DOES NOT mean the kids are necessarily respectful to all of my co-teachers, it’s a general thing). I like this teaching thing, and at times I feel like maybe I am doing something useful. It’s not a hard lifestyle if you’re naturally outgoing and can feel fine not knowing the language. I don’t have much of a gift with kids, but I can say that this experience will help me be more assertive when I’m babysitting in the future. Suddenly those English speaking kids back home don’t seem so scary when I’ve had to order a boy to get out of my classroom. Could I stay here 5 years like some people have? No. It’s nice and all, but I would have to feel truly content here in multiple ways, which I don’t think I have found in this country. What was I talking about? Oh yeah…teaching. Like I said, it isn’t an impossibly hard lifestyle, but the kids can be draining. There’s only so much “1, 2, 3, eyes on me!” stuff that I can throw out before I wish I could speak Korean and just flat out tell the kids to shut their yaps!
Oh, and as a foreigner, I get told important information last minute most of the time. I finally get to the point where I think I can take late news, and then I get some and secretly go “AUGH just tell me something on time!!” haha.

I’m expected to make a winter camp curriculum for 2 weeks of 3rd/4th grade and 2 weeks of 5th/6th grade, some of which I think will be eased by my co-teacher I hope…Then I am supposed to plan a parent’s class that will meet 2 times a week for 1 hour a session. I am looking for ideas…if anyone has some, you’re more than welcome to post them in the comments section. I think I’m just supposed to have an outline done and maybe the first lesson plan or two done. At least, that’s what I plan on if the co-teacher doesn’t tell me otherwise.

I don’t have any big Christmas plans. A girl from Scotland and some other people from Orientation want to do a Christmas gift drawing gift exchange, and that should be great fun. I have considered seeing The Nutcracker the Friday before Christmas, and even though it’s only 20,000 won I’m still a little nervous about how much that’ll take away from what I’ll need to get through the month. I may still go ahead and pay for it and just hope for the best.

It’s now right about at Wintertime here in Korea.
We haven’t seen snow yet, but if it snows much here I doubt it will be long before it does. I can only imagine what my energy bill is going to be for this month. I’ve left lights on while I have been at school, forgotten to unplug things, eeek. It should be interesting.
I’m actually quite low on money starting this month out, because I finished paying for my China trip next month! It’s only going to be for 3 days, but with doing it with a travel agency it wasn’t that different from what we would have paid going ourselves, and it’ll save us the aches of getting lost. I’ll be going with my new friend Kristen, who is from South Africa. It will be my 10th country! Woot. I’m super excited about it, BUT because of this future fun this month has to be tighter than I’ve been the past three. I have decided that I WILL transfer some money home in December, because it’s ridicuous to come so close to broke every month. I haven’t gone shopping or anything, but I have been eating out, buying random things, and traveling within Korea a bit. If anyone knows of a budget system that is easy to understand, send it my way!

See you later 🙂


One thought on “Decem-brrrrr”

  1. Congrats on your months in SK! I think you are doing great!

    As for the budget thing: list your income and expenses first (detailed is best!) and you will quickly get an overview of where money is leaking into the real world and where you can cut some expenses without cutting into the pleasures of life too much.

    You do want to see and experience things while you have the chance!

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