Archive for November, 2008

Entry for November 16, 2008

November 15, 2008

W’s commentary the past couple of weeks have been spot-on!

Example: After hurrying home for dinner, with a lab meeting that evening, I came up with the idea of having eggs and bacon and toast – because that is what we have that we can cook quickly and that Henry has a fair shot of wanting to eat. W said that cooking is like a background ap for me – and it is true, that I’m always thinking about it.

Here’s an example of my good thoughts:

I said to someone recently (recently meaning early September) that Henry was 100% 2 years old – because it gets to be silly calculated the number of days, months, or hours how old a kid gets at some point – because one’s audience is most likely busy people who do care, but don’t have the time to spent waiting around for me to remember exactly how old Henry is. (As of this date, he’s exactly, ummmmmm, ohhhhhh, 2 years 2 and a half months. That’s a bit much for somebody to be really interested in, isn’t it?)


Entry for November 13, 2008

November 13, 2008

I find that raisins and knotty wood flooring are a dangerous mix, especially when one has a toddler running around who will eat anything off the floor – or try to pick off one of the knots under the assumption it is a smooshed raisin.

Adapting, Korea

November 6, 2008


(This section of advice was written by KOTESOL, the local English Teacher’s association.)

CULTURE SHOCK: When first arriving in a country, one is usually excited and eager for new experiences. After a while, the newness wears off, and homesickness begins. Do not judge yourself too severely at this point. It happens to everyone. “I will never understand this place. I want some real food, some real friends, a real apartment. Why do Koreans do X?” (I am Korean-American and have Korean parents and I still wonder why Koreans do X.)

There is hope and it is usually just a matter of time. As you continue to cope with the realities of living here, you begin to take things for granted which used to annoy you. Life becomes pleasant enough that you no longer care about the inconveniences. You suddenly find that you like kimchi. (Bold text my emphasis. Does this really happen? You wake up and are suddenly like – Hallelujah! Kimchi = yum!) You realize your students are interesting people to know, that helping them improve their English just adds to that interest; you begin to understand your boss who was such a pain when you came; you make a few good friends who are willing to show you the Korea outside of the foreigner’s community, you begin to try and learn some Korean and use it. There are many foreigners in Korea who have come to and remain at this point, – not so much assimilated, but a part of the country in their own niche here, and who want to spend a long time in Korea.

For many others, however, the feeling eventually comes that it is time to leave. With luck you will realize it before it affects your life too deeply. It is time to leave when you begin to be negative about the country and its people. When you no longer want to go to work; when you dislike your students; when you become irritated with everything and everyone and have angry discussions with others of like mind, it is time to go. (I use this rule of thumb for when I leave work everyday – it’s good advice.)