Today marks the anniversary of my and Kris’ arrival in South Korea. When we first touched down in South Korea, were led into an unmarked black van, and sped on our way to Dongtan for the very first time, we still had little idea what we were in for. There are many things that I thought would be different. There are many things that are as I had expected them. As I begin to wrap up my first year-long contract, I have caught myself reflecting on the children I teach, who I was then compared to who I am now, and what I plan to do from now.
The first place of obvious change has been in the kindergarten children I teach. I began the year with three bright-eyed, ill-disciplined young rapscallions. Throughout the course of the year, the class has grown to five. Sadly this was not done by mitosis or any other interesting manner. I simply picked up two more children along the way. Whilst they may be more well-versed in English, it is more debatable whether they are actually prepared for their elementary classes. They may be able to speak the language that is used throughout a large portion of the world, but that will not help them in their entirely Korean instruction. Let’s just hope that they can sit still long enough that their Korean teachers do not seek to make an example of them. I have grown fond of them, and I wish them the best in life.
From the outer world, to the inner one. I have grown so much as a person in this year, I find it quite remarkable. I left home a 24-year-old who had never lived in anywhere other than their parent’s house for longer than a month. Now, I have lived on the other side of the world. I have helped support a household that is larger than myself. I have held a full-time job for a year. I’ve even managed to find time to write nearly one hundred pieces into this blog. I am quite proud of who I am today. I look forward to see who I will become in another year of life experience in Korea.
This coming year is shaping up to be another adventure, filled with Ultimate, Kristen, travelling, and self-exploration. I will be beginning the school year seeking part-time employment. This will allow me to focus on my writing and Dota 2 casting and content creation. A few months of more dedicated effort into these areas will hopefully bring new opportunities in these facets of my life that I hope to grow. Finally, I aim to spend more time keeping in touch with friends. Kris and I have only had time to Skype with a handful of people outside our families. Every time we managed to find time to do so, we always regretted not doing so more. This is not a mistake that we shall make again.
Kristen and I have become a little better at adulting in our year in Korea, and there has been much change in our life as a result. Whether we see this growth in our students, ourselves, or our opportunities, we are both eager to see what the next year brings. The next step along our road is the graduation of our kindergarten class tomorrow. We are both very nervous for the proceedings, but not nearly as nervous as we are for what lies beyond. Here’s hoping that our nerves are unfounded, and our best hopes and dreams are exceeded. To another year of success, adulting, and this blog!