“Last night in public, I used my native language (English) to bitch out the ex-boyfriend that cheated on me with some plastic Korean child. It felt so good, so empowering. Both of them didn’t have the guts to say or do anything to my face, probably because they knew this American girl would take both them toothpicks out. I have lost faith in so many native Koreans, but gained so much faith in my ability to stand up for myself.”

Sounds all refreshing and great huh? Yeah it was for all of like 10 minutes. But now what? Now begins all of the regret and frustration and confusion of a different sort.

As a girl who has been cheated on by three men (that I know of), it makes me wonder- is it my fault or theirs? Have I just been that unlucky, or do I deserve it because I am too blind, too trusting? How are all of these people around me falling in love and getting married? The first two times, I wasn’t so upset because 1) I didn’t really like them that much anyway and 2) I blamed myself for being blind. So why am I upset and angry now? Because I liked him? Because I made the same mistake three times? Because the other girl is nothing compared to me?

After trusting so many of the wrong men, I can’t help but wonder- why me? What am I doing wrong, and why can’t I find mine? Why can’t we just be honest, trusting people without being used?

It makes me so angry that I trusted him. And it makes me so angry that I fell for him. It makes me the most angry that apparently it takes so little for me to fall for someone.

I used to always tell other people (and they would tell me) not to blame or hate “the other woman.” But when the other woman knew about me, it makes her fair game, right? When I saw her outfit, heard her voice and felt her attitude, I wanted to punch her in the face. I’ve never wanted to hit someone before in my life. This was a first, and it took so much to hold myself back. All I could think was- REALLY?! HER?! I’ll take that as a good sign. At least I have some self confidence, right? I could say some stupid shit like, “oh she’s so much prettier and skinnier than me,” but instead I think of how young, immature and ditsy she is. I am smarter. I am sweeter, more understanding and flexible. I am less materialistic and superficial. And I make much more money than her (hahah!). After all this, I believe that he deserves a girl just like her. Feel the pain, asshole. I hope you realize what you’ve lost.

I want to believe that this was all just a misunderstanding. In my heart, I still don’t believe that he cheated on me. The evidence is there, but I don’t want to believe it.

Enough about them. Now what about me? Am I supposed to distrust all men? Stop dating? Find a rebound? Too bad I don’t know how to find something in between. As a friend told me at dinner- “just live.” But the question is- How? I fully have the potential to find and play with men, but I don’t want to. And I don’t have the patience to wait for the right guy. That’s right- after all this, I still believe there’s a guy for me that won’t cheat. But where is he?

For the first time since coming to South Korea, I want to go home. I’m so stupid. I want to go home to find a guy that won’t screw me over. How did I live so long being single? How did I like being single? I wish I could remember. I know that I don’t need a man to feel or be complete, but it doesn’t feel that way right now.

I’ve said this so many times, but it’s hitting home now. I need girl friends to sit with me and talk about what a douche men can be while eating junk food and watching sex and the city for hours. And then go shopping and get a makeover. I miss you, girl friends from back home.

(I almost didn’t publish this, but I write when I’m irritated or stressed… no need to cover up negativity, it’s all a part of life right?)

I’ve been in Korea for 8 months this Friday, and time sure flies.

I’ve realized that I expect a lot, maybe too much from the people around me. It seriously irritates me when I see weak people- and by weak I mean mentally and emotionally. I just want to slap them in the face and tell them to suck it up, but I realize it’s really not my place. Anyway I was feeling this way about a couple people when I was reading the Alchemist and this came up:

“When someone sees the same people every day, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

Talk about slap in the face. I needed that reminder today… but I’m not entirely sure how to digest this. I’m a firm believer in the idea that people become better when more is expected of them. But who am I to expect anything from anyone here? It’s not like they would listen. I realized I was getting sucked in to judging the lives of others.

“You concern yourself too much with other people… They’re a mirror of yourself.”

Do you see why I love reading? 🙂

*on the subject of dating and men.

People say I have standards that are too high. You be the judge:

I do not want to date anyone who is not: smart, educated, financially stable, funny, good looking, open minded, and strong (in all senses of the word).

Now in Silicon Valley, California, these are not considered high standards.

On another related note, there is a huge difference between a woman having a man serve her because she can’t do anything on her own, and a woman having a man serve her even though she can do it herself. I prefer to be the latter, probably because I’m a Westerner. I’m so sick of seeing weak women. Being one is my biggest fear, even greater than being alone for the rest of my life.

On the note of being alone… damn. WHERE ARE YOU. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. MAN THAT IS PERFECT FOR ME. You better show up soon, because you’re really late in my grand scheme of things.

The longer I’m in Korea, the more I doubt there is someone to seriously date here. There aren’t that many people who can accompany the odd mix of Korean blood and American heart I’ve got.

On a more positive note:

Korea has been treating me well. I make good money, have fun at work, do good shopping, eat good food, and play with good friends. I’ve also realized that my girly girl personality is much more suited for Korea, as pink, frilly bow-like things are made in bulk here. I’m also seriously thinking about staying a little longer, until recruiting season starts for public schools in California. In my free time I’ve started going to the gym and reading (currently reading Heaven is for Real, Life of Pi, Speaker for the Dead, and Rock, Paper, Sissors… I like reading a lot of books at the same time lol). Off to some island for a mini vacation with some Korean friends and co-workers this weekend, I’ve heard that paintballing will be included!

Been missing California weather… it’s still in the low 60s here (low 40s at night!) ultimate sad face.

Miss you all… see you in May for my week long vacation in California!

I think this is actually a really good idea… stole it from a facebook app 🙂

January

12-affirmation: “I remain calm and positive in difficult situations. I can find balance in my life.” Repeat a couple hundred times.

14-it’s 6:30pm and I feel like it’s 11:30pm. MUST STAY AWAKE until at least 10pm or else I’ll wake up too early tomorrow… I feel like such an old geezer!

15-Taught mini grammar lesson and mini math lesson today 🙂 Tomorrow: art, math, spelling. I was made for this. ♥

22-Today, a student asked me if I knew John Park from american idol (because we have the same last name. I should have said yes). It was probably tied for the most entertaining part of my day, with when a student said I was pretty. haha!

February

1-11:50pm… it is WAY past my bedtime. Hello, 22.

5-‎”Ms. Park! I’m SO EXCITED! ….kind of like you in math!”

9-‎”You were born to be a teacher.” -my supervisor. Hands down the best compliment I’ve ever received in my life ♥

15-I was shopping at forever 21 when I realized I’m not 21 anymore. Weird.!

23-‎”Miss Park? So and so keeps telling us there’s no Santa and that our parents are lying to us and that’s mean.. my parents told me there’s a Santa and my parents don’t lie to me.”

March

1-Friday during art: “That color looks like KAKA!” I almost died.

4-I REMAIN CALM AND POSITIVE IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. I will be stronger when I get out of this.

7-I never realized how lame Snow White is! She wakes up to a stranger and just jumps into his arms and then immediately says goodbye to the seven men who took care of her and cried when she was put under that spell?? We don’t even know the prince’s name!

9-Student: (randomly gives me a hug) Thank you Ms. Park!    Me: for what?    Student: For teaching us. ♥ ♥

26-I am pwning PACT because I’m l33+ like that. HAHAHAH….. HAHA…. hah…… ha………….. <.<;

April

7-HAHAHA waggle is such a funny word!!! waggle waggle 😀

20-The second graders went on a field trip to a farm today, where they forced me to hold a baby pig… which ended up pooping while I was holding it. A couple weeks ago, I was volunteered to climb on top of the school roof wearing heels in the rain to throw some raw eggs to a cheering crowd of primary students. Oh, the things I do for children.

May

5-got roses from one of my students for teacher appreciation day today ♥ 😀

8-‎”I love Mrs. park who is my momy. I don’t want you to go ♥ ”

9-xanga entry from 6/26/07: “What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? So many people ask me this and every time, I have no idea and I promise myself to figure it out the next time I meet a new guy. And every time I do, I forget what I noticed first.” Now that it’s been almost 3 years, I know. It’s the smile 🙂

16-is loved ♥

17-in South Korea until June 6th! Don’t call/text me, my phone is left off in San Jose 🙂

June

5-totally drugged up thanks to my grandma -_-;

12-There’s a guy who took his girlfriend to the top of a mountain in the middle of a storm to propose to her. The girl was struck by a bolt of lightning which killed her, and the guy was severely burned… my mom told me this during breakfast, apparently it was in the Korean newspaper. We shared quite the awkward laugh, then my mom told me never to follow a guy to the top of a mountain during a storm.

21-finally printed my teaching credential. It really does feel anticlimactic considering how much work went into getting that piece of paper -_-; maybe it will feel more special if I get a nice frame for it?

22-Mom: “hey Liz, do you want ice cream? (yes please) Michelle do you want ice cream? (sure)” Two minutes later, Michelle notices mom watching TV with three scoops of ice cream on her plate, while she and I sit with none.

24-‎”We don’t see things the way they are. We see things the way WE are.”

26-I was watching a Korean drama when the song Baby by Justin Bieber began to play in the background. I’m not entirely sure how to react to this…

July

7-I just realized how stupid the name Tuxedo Mask is.

11-I had forgotten how good it feels to run.. 🙂

26-Mom: so what did you eat with Michelle and Tom?
Me: pho.
Mom: …what’s FOB??

28-booked a one way flight to South Korea. Departure in 24 days!

August

2-don’t try the hurricane machine at the mall, it’s seriously the lamest thing ever. The most amusing part was watching all the people coming out from AMC staring at us. (Vicky forced me into it. Don’t judge. You know you wanted to try it too.)

7-shopping makes me oh so HAPPY but my bank account looks oh so SAD… good thing bank accounts are inanimate, like lamps. Lamps don’t have feelings. Bank accounts don’t either. I however, am… animate, so my happiness is all that matters.

11-my mom asked for a Korean interpreter at Kaiser and some lady came in several hours later speaking Chinese. WTF. Don’t even get me started on how terrible Kaiser is (general AND ob/gyn). Good thing I’ll be under South Korean health care for a year, I can’t handle this nonsense.

22-in Seoul, South Korea! It’s REALLY hot and humid here.

September

8-the taxi driver ran five red lights getting us home tonight (in less than 10 min). FIVE. I think that’s some sort of record, even for Korea…

13-trying to figure out how to use my new rice cooker, which is written entirely in Korean. My game plan is to press a button and see if there’s cooked rice inside in about 25 minutes. If there isn’t, I’m going to press another button and wait again. At this rate, I might have cooked rice in a couple of hours.

26-Student: Girl’s Generation is GOD!
Me: So why don’t you write the lyrics for one of their songs (for an assignment)?
Student: Girl’s Generation is GOD! So I cannot write with my cheap hand their song.

October

2-mmm. So this is what morning feels like. I had forgotten.

5-‎”Have fun- that’s what your twenties are for. Your thirties are for learning the lessons, and your forties- are for paying for the drinks.”
I’m having major Sex and the City withdrawal 😥

5-Me (to female student): You know in America, girls date boys when they’re 11 or 12.
Female student: BUT THEY’RE GENTLEMEN!
Me:…….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

November

28-FIRST SNOW ***

December

9-‎1) Got off work early, fell asleep while reading a novel for the first time in a LONG time… and it felt goood 🙂

2) Craving peppermint hot chocolate in the red holiday cup from starbucks. How awesome would it be to sip on that while watching the snow outside?
3) Missing the fake bottled kimchi from California… I like it better than the authentic kimchi from Korea hahah

Next week, the high temperature will be 30 deg. F (-1.1 deg. C) and the low will be around 14 deg. F (-10 deg. C).

That’s just insane for someone who thought a couple months ago that 50 deg. F was too cold to function.

I will say however (yet again), that snow is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in my life. I’m not entirely sure how I’ll live without it when I go back.

Life has been good. Teaching, prepping, teaching, playing, eating, shopping, prepping, playing, teaching, eating. That’s how life should be 🙂 I’ve also been getting somewhat used to the bitter cold, although I feel like I need new lotion since the biting cold dries out my skin like no other.

Yesterday at school, some of my coworkers put up some Christmas decorations and I mentioned that my family would always decorate a real tree and they thought that was pretty interesting, which I thought was interesting lol.

I noticed that I like to watch Sex and the City when I get nostalgic/miss home, even though I’ve already seen every episode.

It’s pretty interesting to me that Koreans eat so much ice cream in the winter. Especially the Korean girls… seriously how do they eat such bad food (street food, ice cream, doughnuts, alcohol, coffee, etc.) and stay so skinny?????

The subway makes me want to never drive again.

I have a coworker named Michelle and I have to stop myself from calling her MEESH (I call my older sister that).

I also have a student named Elizabeth and have to stop myself from calling her Liz just because I call myself that… but I always call her that in my head haha!

I fell asleep while reading Life of Pi at 11pm last night and woke up at 4:30am this morning… owell.

Harry Potter doesn’t come out until Dec. 16th here in Korea which is lame.

I’ve been in Korea for over 3 months now, whoohoo! Time sure flies.

 

Notes from my students:

“To LIZ! Hello, teacher! I’m Bunny! Welcome to my letter! ^^ It’s last day~ I’m going to cry, Liz~ ㅠ^ㅠ I was really happy to meet you! Thank u for teaching me. I can go up to Eagle! Thanks a lot, again~ It’s really hard to write letter for you! You’re coming here! (I was walking towards her at the time) I have to say good bye ~_~ Bye-!”

 

“Dear Liz~ You were the funniest teacher I have ever met! I wish you teach me next semester but it didn’t happen anyway. I’ll be happy to have you maybe next or next semester. I would also likely to thank you for teaching me and teached a lot of things to me and helped me a lot to level up. I was happy when I was coming to CDI on Friday because of you. Please teach me next next semester I love you!!”

 

“To Liz teacher- Hello, I am Julie. I was glad to meet you as my teacher. You were a good teacher. You taught us very well. And you are very nice and funny. I am sad that I can not study with you anymore. I wish you will be my teacher in the spring. I was so happy to study with you, Thank you for teaching us. Goodbye!”

 

“Dear Liz teacher, Thank you for teaching me for 2 times. You are my favorite teacher! I’ll never forget you! It’s really sad it’s the last day… ㅠㅠ I’ll miss you! Liz+Soobin=<3”

that’s how long it’s been since I graduated from Pacific.

 

When I think about college, I remember being really stressed, busy, hungry, poor, frustrated, restless, lonely, and tired.

Now those feelings are just a memory. I get paid to do what I love. I eat what I want when I want, shop when I want, go out when I want, and I meet new people and actually hang out with them. I keep learning and the tests are living, not on paper.

I realize that I am here because I suffered then, and I realize that harder times may be ahead. But right now, I am floating on a cloud suspended in time. Right now- I feel like I’ll be young forever.

I’ve never been happier. I am lucky.

 

 

I know I totally lose, I’ve been in Korea for a month now and uh… here’s my second blog?

In my defense, I’ve been having way too much fun to sit in my officetel (basically a studio apt.) for an extended period of time.

I had heard horror stories about how hard training is, and to be honest I didn’t think it was all that hard. Stressful for sure, but not hard. I owe a lot of that to my background in education.  It was difficult at first to adapt to their methodology because it’s so different from what I’ve been taught in teacher training back at home. We’re basically teaching test taking skills, not content. In the end, passing training felt SO. GOOD. The Friday we passed, one of the other trainees and I were taxied off to Incheon. We got to see the school, where we’ll be staying, meet some of the teachers, and went out to dinner. I’m actually super grateful that I’ve been placed in such an awesome location. I was a little disappointed at first that I wasn’t in Seoul but I really like it here since it has a slower pace, yet it’s close enough to get to Seoul via public transit whenever I want.

So now to the part you’re all curious about- teaching! I missed being around kids so much! I go to work around 3pm (2:30 on Tues) and get out around 10:30 all days except for Mondays and Wednesdays, when I get off at 7:30. I’m really lucky that our branch doesn’t work weekends! I teach 8 classes, but 3 levels (English Chip 4, Birdie Reading, Birdie Listening). Mondays and Wednesdays I teach EC4, Tuesdays I teach Birdie reading twice (once to elementary kids, then to middle school kids), and I teach Listening four times in a row, twice Thursday and twice Friday. I think I can understand how middle and high school teachers must feel, teaching the same few classes over and over again. Surprisingly, I don’t get sick of it because it’s the kids that make the class what it is more than the content. You’re probably wondering what EC and birdie reading/listening means 🙂 English Chip is one of the lower level classes, focusing on basic skills such as speaking and reading comprehension (not so much grammar). They read story books that my second graders might read back in the States, and do mostly on the surface comprehension questions. Higher level courses are split into two classes, reading and listening. Reading consists of skimming and annotating skills, and the listening classes focus on listening and taking notes. Recently, we’ve been going over lessons with themes such as climate change, AIDS, malaria, and multiculturalism. It’s pretty amazing what they expect from elementary school kids.

On my time off from work, I’ve been eating out a lot (I LOVE Korean food!), shopping (best in the world), and exploring Seoul. I’m super lucky to have such great co-workers too, since almost all of us live in the same building. It feels like I’m living in the dorms in college again. When I first came here, people were so willing to help me out. For example, I mentioned that I needed an iron and one of the guys just gave me his, because apparently he doesn’t iron….. another time, I said something about a power strip and another guy pulled his out and gave it to me. The other day, one of the girls decided to bake cookies for everyone and went to everyone’s door to hand them out. I love it! 🙂 I will admit that my first night in the officetel, I had a really big OH. MY. GOD WHAT THE HELL DID I DO…. moment, but I’ve come to be really really really thankful for my crazy decision to apply to teach in Korea. I’m super lucky to be Korean American too, since I’m not experiencing culture shock or communication issues. I find myself explaining random cultural things to people who have been here longer than I have!

Oh my goodness I almost forgot to mention- after the first week of work, we had a company dinner in which I ended up singing the three little bears in Korean to my boss, and he (my BOSS) ended up standing on a table and air humping/ shaking his butt while singing at a karaoke room. It was…… yeah. The people I work with are kind of really super awesome.

Hope everyone’s doing well back at home! And don’t let me be the only one having adventures 🙂

Flight was about 11 and a half hours long, and I coincidentally sat next to this BIG white guy who’s an English teacher in Korea too. Took the bus from the airport to some bus station, from where I took a taxi to the hotel I’ll be staying in for the week during training. When we got to the hotel, I went to dinner with my roommate and a new friend. We hung out some before knocking out. The beds in this hotel are superrr comfy!

Woke up super early this morning, but forced myself to sleep for another two hours. Went with my roommate and the friend from the day before to explore. We stopped by to get some food at a convenience store, then headed out to visit a palace and Insadong. We took the subway to  the palace, walked from there to Insadong, then took the subway back to our hotel… and never got lost! Epic win. We decided to come back since it was wayy too hot, and studied some of our training materials (since we have an exam on it tomorrow). We’re going out a little later to eat dinner and visit either 63 Building or Seoul tower, and maybe the Han river if we have time. We plan on reviewing a little more before bed too.

Ahhh so nervous for tomorrow! I’m not nervous about the training, but I’m super scared for the skills/company knowledge test tomorrow morning (even though it probably won’t be a big deal).

It still hasn’t hit me that I’ll be here for a year. I feel like I’m on vacation.. maybe it’ll hit me in a month or so when I’m sitting in my own apartment, with no flight home in sight…. :/

If there’s a road made just for you
Then it’s in you right now
If you can endure it like that
Put (trust) your everything  in this
Holding you, holding you
It’s in you, river flows in you
Slowly, more slowly,
A river flows in your heart
Holding you, holding you,
It’s in you, river flows in you,
Waiting,
At the end of the waiting, will I be there?
I want to throw my heart to you
So I can always feel you
If you can endure like that
Put (trust) your everything in this.
Holding you, holding you
It’s in you, river flows in you
Slowly, more slowly
There’s a river flowing inside you
Holding you, holding you
It’s in you, river flows in you
Waiting,
At the end of the waiting, will I be there?
Holding you, holding you
It’s in you, river flows in you
Slowly, more slowly,
A river flows in your heart
Holding you, holding you
It’s in you, river flows in you
Waiting,
At the end of the waiting, will I be there?
River flows in you…

~

The original piano version has over 13 million views. Crazy!

Go here for his other songs (not the best quality, but you get the gist)

I love love his music! I found one of his songs on youtube randomly and played it, planning to listen while facebooking (isn’t it interesting how ‘facebook’ can now be used as a verb?). I think it took me all of like 6 seconds before I turned back to the youtube page and stared at the video for like 4 minutes straight. I love it when music makes you drop everything and just listen.

When I got super stressed in the last two years of college (which was quite often), I’d lay on my back on the living room floor of my apartment with my ipod and comfy headphones. I’d close my eyes and just listen to music for like 45 minutes straight, and I’d get up totally refreshed. I’d also walk to class with my ipod, drinking in the fresh air and either pumping up or calming myself down with certain songs to get ready for class. Some of my best memories of college are of walking to class slowly, soaking in the scenery, weather, and music.. (that and singing along really loudly to Big Bang as I made the 30 min. drive to student teaching every day).

~

There’s some quote that says something about how true friends are people you can get along with and talk to no matter how long you’ve been apart. Lately, I think I’ve realized that the only true test of friendship is time. There are people who I thought I was so close to, but we don’t even talk anymore. And then there are others who I can go weeks, months, or even years without seeing or talking to and we pick up where we left off as if we were never apart. I was thinking about who those people may be, who I’ll be talking to when I come back in a year or more.. But I think I already know who they are.

“He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me… whenever… wherever – in case I need him. And I expect I will – as I always have. He is just my dog.”
Gene Hill

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