Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dilemmas and Delights

The weather is now officially cold. It's no longer cool; it's cold. I was hoping that things would stay warmer this year until we left on December 2nd, but that was more like wishful thinking. Deep down, I knew we would have to face some cold weather since Korea seems to have six months of winter and six months of all the other seasons. Oh well, at least we don't have to stay the whole winter!

Here's what's been going on lately in Maggie-ville:

  • Indian visa paperwork. We're applying for our Indian visas now and as with obtaining any visa, there always seems to be confusion and chaos. We now have everything together and plan on having a courier pick it up on Monday morning. Here's to hoping it gets back soon. I always stress when I send my passport away. 
  • Every month we write "report cards" for all our students. Recently, they changed the format we use. We used to use one report card for six months, where the kids would take them home, show their parents, and bring them back. Now we just give them the report card and they take it home. We have to fill out a new one every month for each student. Two months into this new method, we run out of report cards because they didn't re-order them. Now most of the report cards won't be done in time. It's comical because this is sooo typical hagwon behavior. 
  • We've begun sorting, throwing stuff out, and packing up boxes. With only three weeks left, it's time to start thinking about what we really want to keep and what we can leave behind. I thought we would have so much stuff to send home but really, we don't have much. I keep cutting more and more clothes out of my wardrobe. When I did this before we came to Korea, I thought, "How will I ever live with so few clothes??!" Now I'm like, "Don't need this. Don't wear this." Toss, give away, give away. It's no problem!!! And is actually refreshing. Now, everything in my closet is something I love and will wear. 
  • Parents' Viewing. Ugh, the dreaded time when my kindergarten students' mommies come in to watch me teach. It's terrible. My director gets all crazy and stressed and makes me all crazy and stressed. Everything gets changed a zillion times, all last minute. I'll be SO GLAD when it's over on Thursday.

  • Fall is beautiful in Korea and I just LOVE seeing the trees change color. It's one of the greatest simple pleasures and makes me happy every day
  • Skyping with my parents. I got to talk to my mom and dad this morning and I love seeing their faces and getting news from home. They are both amazing and beautiful people and I can't wait to hug them tightly when we make it back to California in the spring. 
  • Mini-trip of a lifetime. I was searching flights back to the states and noticed that pretty much every one of them had a layover and some of them were crazy long, like 23 hours. Then I thought, "How much can you do in a city in 23 hours??" The wheels started turning as I furiously searched more and more, from different airports, into different airports, different days, different airlines. It was (and still is!) so exciting!! We could be coming from our SE Asia trip and stop for 23 hours in Cairo, Istanbul, Munich, or Kuwait. The most exciting for me is Cairo. I searched some more and found out that we could easily go see the pyramids in that time. THE PYRAMIDS!!! I am a little worried about traveling there now and will have to do more research before booking the flight, but just realizing this opportunity has been awesome. I'm stoked! 
  • Halloween at Wonderland was really fun. We had parties all day! Easiest work day, ever! :) 
  • Audiobooks are my new favorite thing. I love listening to them before I go to sleep. It's so relaxing and I love being able to picture everything in my head as it's told to me. I've started listing to the Harry Potter series, read by Jim Dale, who is just amazing. I love hearing the different voices and accents of the characters. Since I've read the Harry Potter books tons of times (especially the first three), it's super cool to hear them this way. It's like a whole new experience.
  • THREE WEEKS LEFT! (of work) :) 

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