Boys over everything (including health)

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While not quite the intriguing title as Boys over Flowers, today’s topic is more of a concern for women of a certain age.

Now before we dive into our “modern life” topic of the day, let’s recap my day shall we?

Now in Korea you do get to use your sick days. But you have to go through about 3 different levels of approval before you can either 1(leave school early) or 2 (not come in at all).

I’ve never done the second because I’ve heard many stories that cause issues. Like your co teacher will come to your apartment, or you still have to come into school to get the paper work. And if you do that you might as well stay home.

Or on the worst case scenario, you aren’t able to contact anymore before school and you’re not approved for sick leave.

Luckily, I have an amazing school (90% of the time) so I do my best to come in. There have been times where I leave after my main classes are finished at 12pm. So even if I’m dying I always come in. And typically your co teacher will suggest that you sleep at your desk and they teach the class instead. I’ve been lucky. But other places…I’ve heard no such luck.

But then there are days like today where I’m not quite dying but I feel like I’m on the verge of it. So I got through all of my classes (with little to partial hearing in one ear-gives me a reason to make the kids speak even more loudly) and evn daycare which wound up being my favorite part of the day.

Now my Daycare Class A can be challenging at times, but today for some reason they were all good. They finished their worksheets and put them in the proper file ane even came to me for their sticker. Plus it was cute when one of the girls asked me to help her erase the pencil marks on her maze.

That was followed by seeing two of my favorite students from last year. Dion’s hair was still “ash blonde” and it was so great seeing them.

Though to some it may not seem like a consolation to a rowdy 5-2 class (my first period class was as always perfect) and having my head feel like a balloon, cute 1st graders and old students really does make it worth it.

Now moving onto Tuesday’s Topic:  Modern Life Issues:

I grew up in the late 90’s early 2000’s so I was of course way to young to watch Sex and the City. But even when I got older into college and then some I still felt like a show about 30+ year old women really had nothing to do with me.

And then I finally watched it at 26-and even though I’m a good ten years or so younger then when the age of Carrie Bradshaw in season 1, it still is starting to feel relateable.

However if you are looking for a more “friendly” version (aka without the porn part) I would suggest “The Woman who still wants to marry”-it’s a Kdrama and while I haven’t started it yet, the explanation from my friend makes it sound similar.

Now why would this be a modern issue?

A long time ago women were getting married at a younger age and popping out babies as well. But as the years progressed and women in the workfield became more prevalent as well as the idea of feminism (in the sense of women being independent) really emerged, women started getting married later or in some cases not at all. And then the notion that women didn’t want children became more common as well.

Whether or not someone gets married is a personal reason and shouldn’t really be anyone’s business. But it seems some parents don’t understand that at 26/27 years old, women aren’t ready to settle down and start a family. They are in their 20’s-the years of independence really.

I have friends that are married/having babies but the majority of my friends are in a similar boat-we’ve grown up really believing in our career and being independent. And for some of us, like myself, my parents support that. They are willing to wait a little before I settle down and have a family. Which is good because they will be waiting for at least another 4-6 years.

I am still trying to “find myself” as lame as that sounds. I think because of the horrible job market (see my previous modern life post) in the USA I really wasnt able to have independence and be on my own because I still lived with my parents. But being in Korea it’s really taught me how to be self reliant.

As a person in their mid -late (you know when you have to check the box that says 26-40 instead of 18-25….) 20’s this is something that is important.

But what if your parent’s don’t accept it? I have a friend whose parents seem to be pushing the “why don’t you have someone in your life? I want grandchildren.” mantra.

But it’s not the parents life. It’s not like my friend is making poor choices and doing illegal things. She’s just living her life and enjoying it and has much bigger issues to worry about than finding a husband.

This isn’t a Jane Austen novel where the heroine’s only choice in life is to marry well. My friend has a stable job (as stable as EPIK can be), friends, and is doing her best to experience this life in Korea. She is making a life for her here but for whatever reason her parents want her to find someone.

I can understand that our parents want us to be happy and want us to have someone to take care of us. But we modern women in out 20’s. We are experiencing a new country and our happiness shouldn’t have to rely upon finding a man. That takes us way back to the 50’s. I wish that her parents understood that she has way more important things to focus on in her life. As long as she’s happy, healthy, and in a overall good state I don’t know why they can’t just be happy for her.

Parent’s want you to be happy, but it’s worth noting, more often than not you know what makes you truly happy….and it’s not parents expectations.

I will end on that note.

Tomorrow is music Wednesday. Because I’m still recovering from my EXO concert brain …I will do my best to pick something non EXO…but….that concert…makes it hard to think about anything else.

 

 

snowish [adj]

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Despite the fact that I have indeed modeled my title after the hysterical show ‘blackish‘ today will not be all about snow.

But it just so happens that its snowing in Korea and back in the states (at least the mid atlantic).

My co put it perfectly when I showed him the pictures of the 3 feet of snow that occurred last month.  He said “oh it’s not romantic anymore”. Yes shoveling out a driveway as long as soccer field (I exaggerate…but it sure as hell feels like it) of three feet of snow was in no way romantic. Nor was the fact that parking was extremely limited, grocery stores were picked over, and I had nothing to do but to stay in my house, bake brownies, eat said brownies and then feel about it.

I wouldn’t quite say I hate snow now, but I’m most certainly past the point of walking around with a stupid grin on my face, and listening to the Nutcracker Suite.

Go away snow. You’re not cute.

Yes you look pretty outside my window while I’m warm in my (too warm) office. But I still have to drive home.

As my “one year anniversary” becomes closer (the only one I’ll ever have! sob!) I am remembering just how bad things seemed a little over a year ago.

I have a friend now who is struggling. I was about her age, going through a rough time. I felt stuck in my job with nowhere to go. I was living in my parent’s house living pay check to pay check with no real direction.

It’s hard when you are stuck in a rut like that. The things you want seem so unattainable that you stop trying to even bother. Then you become depressed about it and just forget about all the amazing plans you made for your future when you were younger.

Going through that is hard-I know but being the support is hard as well. No matter what you say or how much support you give them, you know it’s got to come from them. You don’t want to be negative and say “maybe you should give up on you dream and do things that will bring in money and give you a comfortable life.” It won’t help them and you shouldn’t discourage people from giving up their dreams.

But at the same time, if they are depressed and not looking forward, being held back then you want to tell them that sometimes you have to take a job that you might not want to help jump start a new future. It doesn’t have to be you permanent future job and it doesn’t have to be for 5 years.

I had worked at a job bringing in so so wage.  I loved being around the animals and having the comfort of knowing what I was doing. But I wasn’t being treated well and I got passed over for a position by someone from the outside who not only stole dogs medications but also was clearly on some sort of drug.

The slowly deteriorating job combined with the fact that I still had yet to finish my degree (i had a years worth of spanish to complete) made me realize I was going no where.

It was a decision I should have made earlier but I made it in time. I quit (before I eve really had a new job lined up) and took a month vacation before starting the new job. Despite crazy hours and some strange co workers I really loved the new job as well. I still got to be around animals and take care of them. I got comfortable in the job as well.

With my new hours I even managed to go back to school. I made all the efforts into contacting my school to make sure they would accept the credits, drained my savings to pay for the credits as well. (I also had to deal with a sexist guidance counselour who was such an asshole I even wrote a letter to school about him…after I graduated of course)

I was back on track!

But the problem was the money still. It didn’t allow me the ability to survive on my paycheck and live a comfortable lifestlye. The only way would be to become a full time groomer. Even though I had several people tell me I would be great, I really felt no confidence in my abilities.

I mean hey holding down and buffing nails of an angry, biting pug is one thing but shaving a down down with heavy matting and trimming it to look like a picture? Uh no. I’ve managed to mangle my bangs several times.  I mean I can’t even cut the lines for snowflake cuts outs!

It was around that time I knew I needed to make a change. So I worked my ass off, applied to several different Korean teaching programs (was let down a few times) before finally managing to secure one. It was my first “big girl” job as people tend to call it-I guess that means you are salaried and now hourly?

When I think how far I’ve come in the past 5 years I’m amazed. I never thought I would be a teacher as well (I still prefer animals over humans anyday). But what I’m so impressed by is the fact that I made it out of the rut on my own. It didn’t matter what people told me, I had to make the decisions myself.

I had to have the drive. I made the choice to go back to school to finish the degree. I made all the applications and phone calls to learn about how to become an English teacher in Korea.

It was the most demanding summer of my life. Between work/school/certification I had no life for about 3 months. But I knew what the other choice would have been.

So I suffered through it and managed to come up with a pretty great life.

Teaching will most likely not be my final job destination. It’s more like a layover for now. But I’m okay with putting my dreams and aspirations on hold while I figure out what and how I can achieve it.

But some people are not. Which is fine. If they want to continue to hack at it and dig in deep for the hard road then all the more power to them. But what becomes draining on those who sit and witness it, is that we feel helpless. And we become angry.

I love my friend and have supported her through so much. And I know she needs to be the one to make the decision no matter how much I try to help her. But she has chosen to stick it out and make this music thing work. She made that choice. So I don’t know how to respond when she’s upset and depressed about her life.

She knows its going to take time and a lot of work. Her immidieate situation isn’t going to improve most likely. She is going to have to be working hourly wage jobs and maybe continue living with her parents. And she can be annoyed by it some days or sad but to constantly be in depression about it to the point where it’s now affecting and draining me, pushing me to the point of annoyance, isn’t good.

Even though there is motivation there, it’s going away and things I suggest she seems like she just doesn’t want to do it anymore. Not that she’s lazy but now she’s feeling so beat down that she thinks nothing will come of any of her auditions. Her negative way of thinking is making me less sympathetic to her problems which isn’t where a friend really wants to be.

Because I’ve been mostly honest about how I feel and have given her more support than I’ve ever given any friend (usually I’m a little blunt and just tell them what I think/truth/my honest opinion they asked for) so I don’t want to all of a sudden be this person who is like that. I think it would confuse and hurt her.

I wish I could just tell her you need to make a choice: either “grow up” and suck it up and take the job that maybe not what you’re looking for now but will give you a better lifestyle than what you are going through now, or stick it out and stand by your decision without complaining how hard life is and how much you hate your situation and job.

But I can never say this to her. She is so sensitive she would then get upset, shut down and not talk about any of this with me again. One of our friends already told her to “grow up and get a real job”. And she’s told me that her family implies this as well.

So I don’t want to be someone who is like that. As much as I think it. As much as I really want to be able to be myself and say “make a choice or please stop whining about it” I just can’t.

So I’ll simply leave it here.

Wow..that became way more of a thing than I thought it would be. I guess that’s what happens when you bottle all of that inside you with no one to let it out to (I don’t want to be THAT friend). Hopefully tomorrow’s post will be more lighthearted…actually I hope something happens between now and tomorrow because I have literally nothing to write about…that’s how exciting my life is right now.

On the 7th day prior to Christmas…

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….I went to the Nutcracker Ballet in Seoul.

Clearly if you read the post before this one, you will know I am going to see the Nutcracker tomorrow but due the fact I will be traveling and ballet watching and yes…..shopping..I will not have time nor access to a computer as I will be in Seoul.

 

I will give my update on Monday which will also have Sunday’s post in it as well. If you don’t understand what I just said…like this.

Friday (today) Friday post and Saturday Post

Monday -Sunday and Monday post

 

If anyone actually cares about it.  I admit it’s weird when I see that people actually like or read my blogs.  Or maybe you just look at the pictures. Or maybe you just need a laugh and find that I spazz over my cute students and KPOP funny.

I promise I am not this funny in real life.

 

Before I get into the Christmas song part, to make this post a little interesting and a little longer, I will say…my sink clogged.

Yep. Really lame. But it did about a few….days ago and at the suggestion of my dear friend I used Drano…like 3 bottles of it.  And it kinda worked…and then it didn’t. And I got upset and put it off because that’s the kind of person I am.  Just like with laundry and dishes.  Don’t want to deal with problems now..so put off until it becomes a huge problem.

 

Turns out I finally told my co yesterday.  School’s contract plumber took a look at it, and BAM within 2 hours fixed. Korea you give me hope with you plumbers that show up when they are supposed and do the work quickly. Same goes from medical care.

Seriously…if you ever have any kind of medical problem come here.  Cheap, effective, clean and fast as lightening.

Though I will admit I will be a little wary when I first pour something down my drain tonight.

 

Second point to make this longer…hmmm winter camp?

 

I mentioned that I’ve become a workaholic this past week.  I mean though it might seem strange if I get dedicated to a point at work I will be there for hours on end.

I think that’s why my eye has been twitching the past day.  Too much time at my computer.

 

So I figured winter camp might not be as bad. And it’s definitely not. While I do have a lot to do, I’m really enjoying it.  I literally had to tear myself away from work last night an hour after I was free because I wanted to continue. But the heat was off, and I was afraid that I might get locked in the school.

 

I’m really enjoying it because I think now I know what to expect.  I’ve also improved and changed a few lessons.  I’m really happy with the way things are shaping up so those two weeks before I leave for America won’t totally suck.

 

Next to make this post longer….my Korean is improving.  I mean it’s not incredible and still I can’t spell (I can’t spell in English that well either as I have admitted to my students. I also told them I can’t do math which they think is cute).

But I feel more comfortable with words and trying them out.  It also helps that a bunch of my students wanted to help me yesterday instead of watching the movie I put in.  Everyone tells me I sound really cute when I speak Korean.

I’m not someone to stroke their ego or ask for compliments. In fact I really beg people not to. But it’s reassuring to me that they are happy that I’m trying.  It also keeps me humble as a teacher and things in perspective for my kids.

There…I think that is sufficently long enough to now post Christmas song.  Also…because it’s almost time to leave and my desk is a mess.

 

No, I’m not a crazy Christian lady. No I don’t go around proclaiming that Christian hymns are the best.  However, Church music really makes Christmas for me. It’s one of my favorite parts of Christmas and it will be the hardest part (apart from being away from my family) of missing Home Christmas.

Every year since I was a baby,  I always went to Christmas Eve service.

Whether it be 4 services (that was insane and I was exhausted the next day) because I was in 2 choirs, or just 10pm service because I had to work until 5pm, I always made it.

I don’t like to brag about myself, but I will always brag about my church. Not only is it beautiful, and historic, but it’s an accepting community. We have an openly gay and married deacon. 2 of our reverends are female.

But our crowning jewel is a music program that really has no match. I was lucky to grow up with this and participate in the choirs.  And I was spoiled by it.  I don’t mind when I go to Catholic service on Christmas Day with the family ( my dad prefers it) but the music pales in such comparison it’s sad.

No one does Christmas like St. John’s Episcopal Church.

This is one of my favorite songs that was always played at the end of the Nativity Sermon. (This is not my church.)

 

I hope you all have a good weekend and I will enjoy myself in Seoul for the ballet and spending money 🙂