THE KOREA KRONICLES, PART XVI: 38 Days

2014-02-15 12.27.09-2Before you say anything, yes, I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. Thank you, Captain Obvious. My last post was written the day before my twenty-fourth birthday (not counting the filler post I wrote in April of last year because I felt guilty about not having written anything for almost two months) and, since then, I’ve been in an interesting place mentally, spiritually, so I felt a long hiatus from putting my thoughts down in written form was in order, at least until they could be mustered into some sort of coherence anyway. Well, that time has come. I’m back, bitches.

As of this moment, I’m less than six weeks away from the end of my teaching contract and, ergo, will soon be turning the final page in this chapter of my life and putting the final period at the end of the Korea Kronicles. That’s right, I am leaving Korea. For now, anyway. Admittedly, I spent most of the past year operating under the assumption that I would simply find new employment in this country once my job at the English camp had run its course. However, when I was home in Oklahoma for Christmas and the New Year a few weeks ago, the realization dawned on me that I currently have no desire whatsoever to remain in Korea. Given my current attitude both toward Korea in general and the ESL industry here in particular, staying on for another stint would be profoundly unwise.

While the first year here was challenging, it was also highly enjoyable and deeply enriching. The same cannot be said of the second year, I’m afraid. Around six months into my second contract, I realized that the goal was going to be simply to survive the final quarter. I can’t go into too much detail in this post unfortunately, but for those of you interested in ESL teaching in Korea I recommend you stay tuned to Roygeneable in the weeks and months ahead for information you might find useful before making a decision.

Anyway, in six weeks, I will be starting something new and I’m beginning to remember how I felt in January 2013 when my departure for Korea was drawing ever closer. As part of my reward to myself for making it through two years in Korea, I’m taking a long vacation in Seattle (from March 6 to April 6) before returning home to plot my next move. At the risk of speaking prematurely, it looks like the next students I teach will be the bright young minds of the island nation of Taiwan (officially named the Republic of China, but that’s a complicated conundrum and one in which I don’t wish to get bogged down in this post).

It’s both scary and encouraging to look back on my nearly two years of living in this country and see how much I’ve changed and grown. I’ve actually grown to enjoy teaching children, even if I can’t see myself still doing it ten years from now. The extent to which I’ve exceeded what I thought were my personal limits has made me wonder if I even have any such things. And as happy as I am that this particular adventure is ending, that happiness is easily trumped by the rumbling elation of beginning a new one. In 38 days. But who’s counting?IMG_0168

 

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