Nov. 21st, 2012

I spent all day ushering my students around and smiling into the flashing abyss as we took preschool graduation photos.  It's a bit ridiculous of an affair where the students take a large group photo with both teachers, small group (2-3) pictures, and individual and awkwardly posed pictures with me all in uniform.  Then they all take photos in a "graduation" gown, a "formal" gown/tux, and a casual outfit.  Between 11 students in Kitten class and 10 students in Rabbit class, this took from 10am until 1:30pm so there was very little time for actual lessons so we had to cram in what we could at the end.  But we did do plenty of practice of script memorization for their Christmas play, which is in... 2.5 weeks.  The entire thing has been very rushed, apparently a month less of practice than the students had last year.  We're cutting out a lot of the lesson time to get them ready, and luckily most of them are getting it down pretty well. 

I wrote two versions of an Alice in Wonderland play, where each student has the same number of lines so the parents don't complain. I should actually be searching for music for that right now, since the Disney music I tried using is way too fast for them.  We're also doing a song concert in addition to the musical- the Glee version of Don't Stop Believin.  Which is seriously adorable.  We wanted to do Dancing Queen which was apparently too "sexy" but then another class is doing Wannabe by the Spice Girls and THAT'S not too sexy.  But whatever /o/  I'll be glad once all this is over and we can relax for the final few months before the end of the semester. 

It's that time of year again where my parents are asking me what I want for Christmas.  I bought them plenty of assorted things to send home, but I have absolutely no idea what to ask for in return.  Money is such a cop out, and I know they want to do something more personal than that since I haven't even seen them since they visited Korea in the summer.  Clothes are out of the question, there's also really no electronics I want (and I hate dealing with power converters anyway)... Food is nice but I really don't like that as a gift either.  Even gift cards wouldn't really work here.  I really hate being in this slump because I know "anything" and "money" are frustrating answers to hear. 

Also I think I somehow lost my fur earmuffs.  Time to go tear my apartment apart while Watson gnaws at my feet.

Nov. 20th, 2012

Who knew moving halfway across the world would make it feel like I fell off the planet.  I'm not really sure whether LJ as a social outlet has died or only in the context I used to use it, as it seems the entirety of my friends list is inactive.  But I don't really think facebook nor tumblr can really replace LJ in terms of semi-private rambling.  And sometimes I need to sort out my thoughts, as I really don't communicate them otherwise.

It's always strange looking back not even a year ago and being unable to relate to the bubble I used to live in, and how much my priorities (though perhaps not interests) have shifted.  Sometimes I miss my friends back home, but being unable to participate in events and the timezone difference is quite isolating.  Or I just didn't put enough effort staying in contact.  It is rather difficult to relate to things you're no longer apart of.  But I don't regret my time and experiences, even if it's something I may not fully go back to. 

After losing my previous job, as much as it was a blow to my ego and difficult to pull myself back from, it did help me reevaluate what I wanted out of a career and my future.  As much as I enjoy science, and as suited as my mind is for dissecting and evaluating information, it's a setting I really don't thrive in.  Though I suppose it's not fair to base that entirely off of one negative instance where my ideas and existence was constantly devalued as a young woman in the research field.  Sometimes things just aren't worth the fight, and perhaps that means it's not where my passions lie? 

Teaching has been easier and also more difficult than I expected.  And as trite as it is, I've learned a lot from my students.  Mostly about communication, compassion, fairness, and self-awareness.  It's been a frustrating journey, and not only do I feel more mature (while simultaneously learning how to lighten up) I also feel greyer in the process.  I swear children suck the life energy out of you in order to grow.

I was given both the lowest level second year class and the most notoriously violent first year class, so at the beginning of the year learning to manage and teach was an uphill-battle, and the management was very little help.  It was difficult to open my heart to children who kicked, spat at, pushed, and insulted each other on a constant basis, and there being no disciplinary actions available to me to reinforce any rules made matters worse.  It was difficult understanding how to deal with a student who very likely has an undiagnosed personality disorder, and even more difficult knowing that he exists within a society that will never acknowledge nor treat his problems.  But now after nearly 9 months with my students... after establishing a routine and a system that works and developing relationships with each of them, it's going to be difficult to say goodbye at the end of February.  Even as I take on a new set of students for March. 

I extended to a two-year contract now that my first is coming closer to an end, and I have faith that the second will go much smoother.  I can't even say living in Korea itself is my reasoning, because it's not somewhere I'd like to stay forever even though now is fine enough.  The money is good and the cost of living is low, and I enjoy the familiarity of the niche I've created for myself.  I don't think you can ever truly feel like you belong as an expat, but I feel comfortable.  I know many of my (ex) coworkers vocally hate Korea, but I honestly prefer it to my living situation before.  There's plenty I miss about home, but after living in such a large city I don't feel as if I could move back to the suburbs.  Especially not Missouri after they went Republican in the national election again.  Whatever the case, I think continuing teaching once I move back to the US is becoming a more viable option.

And here's my stupidly adorable 3-month old poodle Watson dressed as a reindeer.


This is a presale of my ~Moving To Korea~ closet cleaning for friends to have a chance to claim things first.  I haven't bothered to take individual photos of everything yet, but if you're interested in seeing proof photos, want to see any damages, or have any other questions, just ask!  I linked as much as I could to the brand page or lolibrary for sizing info/stock photos, and some to my pupe/photbucket when I couldn't find stock info.

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May. 17th, 2011

Took my final today and got an A in the class, which means I get the tuition cost refunded.  Turning right around and using that to pay for the summer class, though.  The next class will involve lining and pleating, which are skills I'm excited to learn.  Maybe they'll teach me how to sew in lace too.  That one seems a bit intimidating. 

Agh I'm sleepy.  Going to figure out what to do with the rest of my week and then head down to Wichita for the weekend.  The weather is so nice right now since it's stopped fluctuating between freezing and way too damn hot.  Hopefully it'll stay this way for awhile.

My posts are boring without pictures, so here's a couple.

what's an lj cut?

These fill my heart with joy.

Oh mah geeeerd imma Buhr

Got my JetJ bear hoodie in the mail today.  I bought it from the charity sale. (JetJ's website says they've donated $16k so far :D) 

My web cam takes the worst pictures but yeah.  I love these ears.

Aug. 25th, 2010

Car now officially totaled... although it took State Farm plenty long enough to make that decision.  It's amazing how high the repair bill was going to be, but I suppose I don't know much about cars. 

I mean... it looks bad, but I always thought the more expensive parts of the car were in the front, and this was only rear end damage.  But the frame did crush forward...  My car really didn't stand a chance against a pickup truck, I suppose.  

Tomorrow I'm signing over the title and getting a check that I can use to put down on the only other hatchback Yaris my dealership had.  I considered looking at other cars, but overall I think I'd be much more comfortable with the same model.  Only difference is that it's a 2010 instead of a 2009 and it's... bright bright enamel red.  I never considered myself a red car kind of gal, but the idea is growing on me.  Definitely prefer red to white, at least.

It's been about two weeks I've been unemployed, and I'm trying to make the most of it in the meantime.  The wreck definitely set me back, though.  I've been seeing the chiropractor which has helped a lot with the pain, but I'm still so stiff in my back and neck and it's causing me a lot of headaches. :(  Luckily things aren't worse, though...  I didn't bust my head or lose a limb!  But I have found myself get a bit nervous while driving, especially while approaching stop lights.  Logically I know it's silly, but every time I see a yellow light my heart starts racing and I check to make sure nobody is behind me. 

But as far as enjoying my time off goes, I have plenty of plans for September and October to keep me busy.  After that I'll start applying for more jobs.  I'm not sure if I want another career-oriented job right away or if I want to give myself flexibility to start grad school.  I'm also keeping myself open to moving possibilities, which is scary and fun at the same time.  

Despite my recent... run in with bad luck (though last year had a lot of hard hits as well... lol getting robbed) I've been keeping my mood up.  At least I have a good support system of family and friends :) but I'm also not middle aged with a spouse and kids and a mortgage and and and.  So that makes recovering much less stressful.  Still, a month ago if somebody told me I'd lose my job and car within a week... lol I probably wouldn't have believed them.  It's strange how quickly things can fall apart, no warning at all.  I know the economy is bad and a lot of people are in the same position as me, but I have a (probably somewhat naive) hope that things will still work out.  Maybe getting a masters degree would be the way to ride it out and open up more options for me.  

Also, somebody tell the yen to calm the fuck down.  It's really spiked recently and I can't say I'm a fan.