Saturday September 28th
While skyping my little sister and telling her I was visiting Korea soon, she asks me, “Could you send me some happy mushrooms? And not just one box.” Oh Abby of course. Do you realize how ridiculous you just sounded? Yes.
Alright my dearest friend who knows who she is right now- this ones for you because well, you do understand, and I appreciated your words today. Thank you. 🙂
The absurdness of it all. For example. Grocery shopping= deer in headlights; shopping amidst screaming children, hundreds of carts, blaring loud speakers that I have no idea wtf they’re saying against an American pop stars squeaky voice and raunchy lyrics, and vendors advertising coffee as they play in their cell phones and don’t bother to look up once. Being surrounded by umpteen different varieties of frozen dumplings, but no frozen fruit. Aisles and aisles of noodles, but no actual pasta to be found. Chocolate bars on one side of the aisle and bean curds and seaweed on the other. Forget asking someone for help, without it being a half hour ordeal of charades and pointing and then finally them calling their neighbor or friend or sister and putting them on the phone to translate and then explaining to them why you’re looking for frozen fruit. And ending the conversation with a bunch I thank you’s and I’m sorries and puzzled looks and “we no have frozen fruit.” And knowing that her fellow employee unpacking the box of almond fish packets will be the first one she talks to about the silly foreigner. I can hear the conversation now.
The ridiculousness of why my poor kids get up at 6:30 am and are still in school or some type of class until 9pm. And these are 10 year olds. It’s explained to me that we may possibly see these kids more than mom or dad. No wonder they have the iPad babysitter and Homework and a 1000 tests a year to keep them occupied at home. How in the world am I supposed to make a kid sit up straight in my class and pay attention and sit still for 2 hours, knowing their lifestyle and situations? And on top if it, not let them get away with too much that it disrupts the whole class?
For example, this one kid never sits up, never points to the word, and drags out the sentences in a way that fingernails scrape a chalkboard. He’s smart. He knows how to speak well. I’ve told him so. And he always finds an excuse to leave class. One day, I told him no, he couldn’t leave, because it was like his fourth time getting up. Then he sulked and told the Chinese teacher and he was allowed to go. After class, I explained why I told him no, and she said she would contact his mom. She reported saying that this kid loved having me as a teacher and likes English because of me, but apparently he wasn’t feeling well that day. Sigh. A. How was I suppose to know he wasn’t feeling well? Every other day he leaves class too! B. If he likes my class then why won’t he listen and respect his classmates?
In another class, I have three boys. They are more drama then a pack of teenage girls. Always tattling, always sneaking blame, always sulking because they have to have all the attention. Oh. My. Goodness! Take a chill pill child. Teacherrrrrr he pushed me. I’m sorry, please turn around. No. Fine, minus 5 stamps, this is the second time I’ve told you to turn around. (Before all this, I warned the whole class that you need to look at your own book while the test is being taken or you would lose points.) Tears. Seriously? You weren’t listening. How is anything supposed to be accomplished when these kids are given into. And it’s also explained to me that they’re spoiled and to not let them get away with stuff. So help me if the next kid tattles on the other for something that I know isn’t true. We can’t even play Teacher Says without yelling “he is out and I’m not and I’m not gonna sit down.” So should we still play games? What about the other kids who are night and day compared to the three? I’ve never seen anything like it. I brace myself for the storm of chaos. I’ve had crazy classes, but none that didn’t eventually listen and be quiet. These kids are out of control, or maybe it’s me and I am out of sorts on how to settle everyone down so we can accomplish the day’s schedule of what HAS to be recorded and completed.
Don’t get me wrong I love my job, but some things I’m struggling with How. To. Deal.
Of every effort I believe in myself to have a positive day and live to the fullest, it’s hard to explain the loneliness that creeps in. Despite my happy-go-lucky attitude I have, some days it’s all I can do to keep from crying, because no one around me gets the tug of war between absolutely loving the challenge of living abroad and experiencing new things, but missing home and family and friends like crazy. Some don’t understand that as much as I love being here in their country, I love my own country too. It’s hard to explain how much I wish I could mold everything about Here into one big pot of everything about There. How much I wish I could fly everything there- here somedays or vice versa depending on where I wanted to be that day. I don’t have the option to hop on a plane, I’m too strong for that, but some days even though its sunshine and butterflies on the outside, its a freakin typhoon of emotions and sadness and struggle on the inside.
My co teacher, Nikki
Chocolate and bean curd aisle
Went to the lavender fields and markets in the mountain town of Neiwan… Relaxing Sunday:
Standing in line for the train
More Kid Pics!
Rain or shine, skirt or pants we ride scooters!
Eating hot pot with friends!
Happy Birthday to my Mom today! Love you.
I also apologize for the crazy formatting- still on my iPod…
I really like this book. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. You see I am the pickiest book reader. I love cheesy books. I hate books that are too thick or that make you flip back pages. It can’t be too complicated, but not too boring. If it doesn’t capture my attention by the back cover I probably won’t enjoy it. These things I have learned. I thought I wanted to look smart by buying the thickest book under the classic section called Anna…something or other, see, I can’t even pronounced her name. That should have been the first sign I would never finish it, yet some people have read it time and time again like its their favorite book. But, I love to read. Especially young adult fiction. I dislike magic, time travel, and vampires; I like almost real life stories, diaries, travel stories, travel guides, biographies, and unpopular authors. My favorite book? The Silent Storm or this book of short stories about a wombat that I got from a friend studying in Australia. I would spend hours reading when I was a kid, and my biggest worry when I was on vacation was that I didn’t bring enough books. And now I only brought one book. Somewhere along the line I drifted.
Be Megan. The Happiness Project book is helping me get back to the basics. The author is focusing on Being Gretchen. And I need to focus on Being Megan. Somewhere along the line I felt it necessary to partake in the club scene, the party scene, to act dumb when actually I’m pretty intelligent, to chase troublemakers, and slack off in school (even though I still made good grades). I became someone who I wasn’t. I love quiet places. like Home. Cafes. and beaches. Airports at Off times like 3pm on a weekday or past security in a random terminal are the best- just enough people to people-watch, but not so many that I can’t breathe! Parties actually give me anxiety, and even though I love getting a group of friends together for dinners, my favorite part is sitting back and watching everyone talk or listening to funny stories and dying of laughter. Get me one in one and I’ll talk for hours. As I read the month on Fun, I realize I do so many things that aren’t fun, but because of the image I have portrayed in my head and the status I want to uphold, I continue the activities I think are fun. The reality is I need to pinpoint what I find fun. Reading. Wandering around without much of a destination. Scrapbooking (because its the one craft I really enjoy doing). Word Finds. Word Puzzles. Taking pictures. And Writing. Yoga. Trying new restaurants. Visiting places I used to live. Learning basic phrases in new languages. The list goes on. One thing that (probably won’t change) because I had this image in my head of being a college student studying at a cafe, is making myself learn to like coffee. At first, the sweeter the better… Now I drink it black with no cream or sugar and I love it. So I guess there’s no going back on something I now enjoy doing..sitting at a cafe drinking coffee. All because of an image portrayed.
Interesting isn’t it?
The author quoted another blogger: “perhaps I can learn to be ok with being me… Just as I am.”
I need to embrace my alone time now, to regain my purpose, to get back on track, pray more, read more, write more, listen more, watch more, and analyze less. To accept situations as they come and focus on my thoughts, words, and actions towards each challenge. Am I handling it in an appropriate way, are my words hurtful? Is my response effective and respectful?
Turning off the wifi for a few hours is near impossible these days. So this afternoon I went to a Cafe without free wifi because I needed an escape. It’s an addictive habit. Once I leave my apartment for a walk, for school, for coffee, I see people around me, things to look at, and senses to feel and take in… An escape from my own thoughts is welcomed and thoughts of the world and life and others can enter.