Daily Journey Journal #126: rivers of information


So many words.

A thought passes from my mind and through my lips before I can stop it. So much to tell and so little time. The tricks and tips, the lessons and knowledge, the wealth of information filling our heads, I want to give it all to the new teachers, to fill them with everything they need to know to be happy and successful. But, there is not enough time to say enough words to share it all. And so, these rivers of information pour from me and they will have to be enough to make a strong start.

Two more days. Two days to help them prepare. Two days left with my lovely students. Two days.


RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku #12

Middle School

Creatures of study,

Cramming hard, I send you luck,

On these tests for life

The words this week for Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge were Study and Creature, which immediately made me think of my weary middle school students who are studying their hearts out for their upcoming exams. These exams determine so much of their futures. The scores determine their high schools which in turn determine their universities and future careers. Good luck to them!

Daily Journey Journal #125: weary joy

Weary eyes and mind,

Energy low, spirits high

A successful day.


Today was the first day with one of our new foreign teachers and it went so much smoother than I imagined it would, especially given that she arrived at 1:30 a.m. this morning. My anxieties are eased and somehow saying goodbye to my students feels easier now, knowing they are in great hands. Our new teacher is perfect for our students, full of energy, ideas and experiences. She is exactly the sort of person I hoped would be coming to replace us, someone positive and confident. We had a fabulous, highly energetic day which left me completely sapped of energy yet very content. And now, it’s time for rest and recuperation before the whirlwind of faces, words and transition starts up again in the morning.

Daily Journey Journal #124: new finds

red bridge Goobongsan

Today we went on our last long hike on Goobongsan, my favorite mountain in Yeosu. There was one path that I had yet to explore and I wanted very much so to see where it went, so we headed off to the mountain. We started down a familiar path  and walked leisurely up to the point that we normally turn around and then we kept going. It was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. Women were foraging the woods for chestnuts. Groups of people wandered the trails. Birds and squirrels frolicked overhead. My heart pounded from the climb over the hills and with the joy of being in the woods. As we rounded a bend in the trail a valley with a red bridge came into view. For a moment I just had to stop and take in the scene. For the most part the trails on Goobongsan have minimal infrastructure, which I love. But this scene before us, it was so beautiful. I love the contrast between the lush green trees and the standout red bridge.

It is picture perfect. Secret Bridge Goobongsan


Daily Journey Journal #123: begin to end

“Babe? Can you come pick me up off this shelf?”

Off the shelf?”

There are some questions I never imaged asking A and that was one of them. Wedged against the wall and the top shelf near the ceiling of our hall closet, I found my cleaning frenzy coming to a screeching halt. There was nothing to grab and while the drop to the ground wasn’t far, the floor was littered with objects just waiting to twist my ankle.

And so, there was nothing to be done but ask such a silly question. A came to the closet and looked at me with slight bewilderment. How I managed to get myself up there we aren’t entirely sure.

Now, seven hours later, our apartment is looking neater than it has ever looked with us living here and the last of our belongs have been sorted into piles: sending home and taking with us. Little by little the to do list is dwindling and things are starting to look packed. We are nearly ready, I think.

Our replacements are boarding their flights in the United States and I am starting to count down the hours until we get to meet them. The beginning of the end is really and truly here. And, I am happy to say, I am getting pretty excited about it. With the cleaning all but done (and injured ankles avoided), it’s time to write my letter of welcome and take in my last beautiful days in Yeosu. Then, it’s off to new sights, new places and new adventures.

Let the new chapter in life’s journey begin!


Daily Journey Journal #122: last write

Today was my last writing class with one of my favorite group of students. So, we changed things up a bit and had a mini goodbye party by going to a cafe for class. We did more chatting than writing, but it was well worth it, I think. It is a memory all of us will cherish and our last chance with just our class before their wonderful new teachers arrive.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to teach these four and to be part of their lives. I’ll miss these lovelies!




Share Your World 2014-Week 38

It’s been a while since I’ve had time to check out Cee’s awesome challenges. I came across this one today and loved the questions, and since I’m trying to distract myself from freaking out about cleaning/packing/leaving, it seemed like to perfect time to do it.

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

I would plant a birch tree. In the front yard of the house where I grew up we had a beautiful birch that my younger brother and I played under for hours and hours every summer. It seemed like a magical place under the tree. I loved the way the branches hung off it in small, flexible arches. I loved the shape of the jagged-edged leaves, the puffy seed pods and the color of the bark.

If you could have a servant come to your house every day for one hour, what would you have them do?

I think I would ask them to help me vacuum because it is my least favorite chore and then when we were done tidying up I would make some coffee and chat with them. I’m sure that someone who gets to go into other people’s houses (even if it is for yucky cleaning) has some interesting stories to tell. Plus, I would feel bad for asking them to vacuum as it is really no fun.

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

If I could have an endless supply of food I would get fresh fruit. Fruit in Korea is really on the expensive side of things and so we haven’t been able to buy as much of it this summer as I usually do in the States. I miss fruit so much and crave it, but with autumn on the way, there is little to be found at the moment. Fruit, yummy, juicy fruit.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

My first job was working as an office assistant in an engineering accounting office at the university. I worked there for seven years and learned an incredible amount about accounting, including that it is not the job for me. It is so stressful and the work just keeps coming, especially at the end of the fiscal year. However, the people I worked with were fabulous. They were such a nice group and were flexible with my hours. It was a fantastic job.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This week I am grateful I got to Skype with my best friend from home. She has been on a whirlwind graduate studies program all over the world and with the time differences and varying schedule, we haven’t had time to talk since last fall. Catching up was super fun and I can’t wait to meet up with her for coffee in real time!

Right now I am looking forward to meeting the new teachers for our school and for the start of my next adventure with A as we travel all over Asia. So much change is coming and I’m starting to get excited for it!