happy (lunar) new year!

Well.

I did it again. I didn’t write. For like a freaking month.

In my defense… I was SUPER busy. Like, seriously, way busy. Let me explain to you my totally legit reason for being absent and completely failing to follow through on all my very public new year’s “resolutions” (or goals, or whatever).

Korean children attend school year-round. They don’t have a three-month-long break in the summer like Western kids do. Personally, I think this is a fantastic idea. When it’s hot as armpits outside, they are indoors in the A/C, LEARNING, and they tend to forget far less because they’re constantly being fed additional information.

Side Note: Overall, I think American schools should adopt this plan ASAP. It’s brilliant. I know some schools have started this (even in little suburbs in Indiana, where my parents live) and I think it’s a good idea.

But back to my story.

“So when do the kids get vacation?” you ask. Well, they get about 5 weeks twice a year – once in the winter (which falls in January) and once in the summer (which falls in July).

Now here’s the fun part about this whole thing: Even when the kids are on “vacation,” they’re still attending school.

That’s right.

It’s a fake out.

“Vacation” is for sissies. What Korean kids do is attend additional, special classes that we call “intensives”. And their academies (like their English academy, where I work), don’t shut down. Instead, we offer  special classes (in addition to their normal, weekly classes with us) for them to attend for those few weeks. However, we do give them an actual one-week break right before they go back to “regular” school.

So, all of that explanation was to say that I spent January teaching three extra days a week in the mornings. I also had some opportunities to volunteer and prepare “speaking lessons” for adults, which I jumped at because I wanted to make some new friends and have an opportunity to try “teaching” with adults. These meetings were at 6:30 AM and 9 PM. EVERY DAY.

Oh, and my best friend, JW, was living with me in my tiny Korean apartment for three weeks of this bullshit.

I know, I know. I chose this schedule (sort of). I did not choose to teach three extra “intensive” classes in the mornings at my “day job,” but I did choose to meet with the adults at dumb hours. And as a result, my house was a mess; I was exhausted constantly; I ate cereal for almost a month straight; and I gained five pounds (at a minimum).

Yeah. January was a real bitch.

But now, I’m on vacation! Until Monday. And I’ve been working on stuff all week. This is my life now.

But please don’t think I’m complaining! I know it sounds like it, but really, I’m totally happy.

I love my job. I love teaching. I love having this opportunity to chat with Korean adults and get their take on the world and what happening in this country. I love being with my students. I love being in Korea. Basically, nothing has changed.

I am more happy now, in this continuing experience, than I have ever been.

EVER.

And even though I let all my big goals go for a month because I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I feel like now I have a celestial-provided opportunity to restart a “new year.” Koreans celebrate the lunar new year with more enthusiasm than the Roman calendar new year that we Westerners get so wound up and crazy about. So what am I doing with this small opportunity? I’m starting over.

Happy (lunar) new year. I’m getting a re-do, and it’s pretty freaking awesome. I’ll keep you informed, I promise.

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