Lola O.
This week has been dragging by, but finally Friday has come and I know the weekend will go even faster. That's the funny thing about our perception of time. When we want it to be slow, it feels fast, and when we want it to be fast, it feels slow. Time is static, but we aren't. I've been feeling overwhelmed this week because all of a sudden there is so much that needs to be done.

I had an open class on Wednesday for my after school program kids (1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders). I was nervous about it because I had to do it alone sinch I teach ASP alone, but it wasn't the teaching part that worried me it was the behavior of my students. They're so young and my lack of Korean and their lack of English can get in the way of classroom management. Plus since their moms were there I couldn't be as disciplinary as I usually am with them. Overall it went well, the first graders has the most parents (mothers) show up. There wasn't a single dad present which made sense since they are most likely at work. I was expecting to see some grandma's there since they are the ones I usually see walking the kids to school but none came.

My first graders were louder than usual and I think it was because of the extra attention from their moms. It was like they were trying to show off by being the loudest kid to answer questions. My 2nd & 3rd graders were definitely better behaved but less parents showed up for them. I had a lot of fun with the kids in both classes. I pay attention to my co-teacher's ideas in my 3rd grade classes and it helps me come up with fun activities for my ASP. I couldn't focus on anything but open class this week so I haven't finished preparing for summer camp. Which has been given the name Glee camp courtesy of me:)!!!

I'm planning to incorporate Glee into my lesson where I can. I'm doing mixed grades so I want to have a overall theme for each week, and then subthemes for each day to keep the kids busy yet entertained since I have the same group of kids for ALL three weeks. I feel bad for the kids having to spend their summer time at school so I want to try to make it as fun as possible while teaching them a few things. Thank goodness for all the resources/ideas on the internet and from fellow expats. It's really helping me plan my summer camp. My co-teacher and I are teaching separately but at the same time and doing our own lesson plans. Not sue how that will work out. So if I am teaching middle level she'll be teaching high level and then we'll switch for second period. I'm also doing ASP everyday doing sumer camp, the extra money will be nice for my vacation but I've told them once second semester starts I will only do ASP with the 2nd and 3rd graders. I like the 1st graders but teaching them is exhausting and not as fun as the 2nd and 3rd graders. Plus I'll also be teaching 4th graders next semester and I want to keep my hours the same as this semester.

Last night I talked to my sister and she could tell from my voice that something was off so I opened up to her about how even though I'm doing pretty well, I still feel like I should be doing more...that I should be more or better than I am now. She said to me, " instead of looking at how far you have/wish to go, remind yourself of how far you've come." I know she's right, but it's something in me that always feels like even when I've climbed to the top of the mountain, I still have to figure out how to fly up to the sky. It's my personality and I'm trying to tone that  kind of thinking down because it can lead to a lot of self criticism and negativity which I don't need to place on myself. I guess it comes from spending so much time lost in my thoughts.

I've been feeling off ever since my grandma got sick and I haven't been able to fully pick myself back up. I'm slowly getting there. It wasn't just her getting sick, but that sparked this funk that I've been in. I mean I was thinking the other day when was the last time I went out exploring another part of Seoul, snapping pictures of things I like, and so on. I feel like I'm getting too comfortable with how things are and I don't want it to be like that. I want to keep expanding and discovering what I know, love, and see in my life.

I was thinking about how life gets in the way of living. I have all these things I want to do but then I have all these things I need to do and I have to find a balance between my wants and needs, between where I've been and where I want to go, and mostly between who I am and who I want to be. I was reading "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou to my co-teacher yesterday and as I was explaining to her what the meaning of the poem was (at least to me) I thought about that's how I want to always be. Strong, happy, confident, and certain of who I am where it counts the most. A huge part of the reason I came to Korea was to figure me out. To be the only voice guiding me on my path. It's like going through puberty all over again with all the growing pains and moments of clarity.

I used to think I knew exactly who I was, where I was going, what I wanted to do with my life, and after realizing that there is so much I still need to figure out about who I am, where I want to go, and what I truly want to do with my life I know I have so many more chapters to write in my life. Slowly but surely I am learning more and more about myself, my wants and needs, and what happiness means to me. I'm trying to live in the now, letting go of my past, and being flexible about my forever changing future. I guess I'm trying to be like a sponge soaking up moments, people, and experiences and finding out what I like and don't like. Being here is helping me to open myself up to what this world has to offer, both the good and the bad. So that with each new experience or revelation I get another piece of the puzzle to complete my portrait.

There is so much to learn and I want to learn everything, but I know that I won't be able to. We have to pick and choose what we can delve into because there is so much and not enough time for it all. A lot times here, I learn something new from the people around me. A new way of getting to the same place, or somewhere different to explore. I love that. I love that what I know isn't the whole picture, that someone else has something valuable to offer me. I think if I see the world like that, I'll learn a lot, and meet a lot of people who help me grow through good and sometimes bad experiences.

This weekend I have to lesson plan, but I don't want to stay cooped up in my apt all week. So I'm going to probably go see Ecplise and laugh my butt off. I mean seriously the movies should be in the comedy category:)!!! Hehe...this is coming from someone who read the books first. I don't like any of the actors in it, but since I read the books I have to see the movies. I want to explore a park I noticed on the bus ride to Itaewon. Supposedly it's supposed to rain this weekend, but I won't let that stop me from getting out to explore more of Seoul. I really have been lax on that since the trip to Muudio a few weeks back. Most importantly, I am going to book my tickets to Hong Kong, and hopefulyl Jeju as well. I think if I do that I will get more interested in the details of my trip, like where I'm going to stay:)! It sucks though that during my schools mini break at the end of July I have to do some desk warming so I don't use up all my vacation days.

I finished up my second week of Korean tutoring. I like it, it makes me focus on learning more Korean instead of letting it slide. I don't want to keep being lazy and slacking off on learning more Korean. I love the way the language sounds, and want to absorb as much as I can.

- My external has gone to it's cyber grave :(
- I love coming home and randomly hearing my neighbor singing in his apt. It's cute and funny!
- I'm starting to dislike Itaewon a lot less
-I've given in and started using my AC at home, it feels fabulous:)

Note: I've been wanting to do a weekly blog series to kind of wrap up my week and give my wonderful readers more insight into weekly, daily live here. I wrote up one last week, but never posted it. Since this is my 100th post:) I thought it would be a great introduction to Imprints & Inklings. I chose that title because I like those two words and I think they sum up what I'm aiming for by being her in Seoul. Moments that leave imprints and stir up inklings in me.

I hope your week has gone by well, and have a fabulous weekend!!!
"You have to take the good with the bad, smile with the sad, love what you got and remember what you had. Always forgive and never forget, learn from your mistakes but never regret. People change, things go wrong, just remember life goes on."
-Mother Theresa-
Be blessed,
~Lola O.~
2 Responses
  1. Asiana Says:

    Yay! You decided on Hong Kong! Let me know how it is because I want to make a stop there while I am in Korea too!

  2. SassyGirl Says:

    I don't know what I would do if my external died. It has my life from the last 6 years on it. I think I should get a second one right now as insurance!