First Year

Chopsticks

Chopsticks

Dear Aunt Steph, Thank you, oh thank you, Aunt Steph! I really, really like my new chopsticks. I love them! They’re my favorite. Now if anyone comes over, they can have any spoon or any fork they want because now I have these chopsticks. I would love it if you could come and see me […]


Yes, you are cute…

Yes, you are cute…

    Now please do your homework. In all fairness, Tara (on the right) is an exceptional student and one of my favorites. She draws me slightly disturbing, yet undeniably charming, pictures of killer cats and always does her homework. Sally, on the other hand, needs to bring her books to class and stop organizing […]


Corresponding with a 4-year-old

Corresponding with a 4-year-old

Dear Aunt Steph, Hello from Niles Beach! It looks rainy. I think it looks a little nice. I wanted to buy this card for you. I named the swans “Heidi” and “Aunt Steph” because they were hugging. And you guys are friends. I don’t see any swans on Niles Beach today. I need the binoculars. […]


White Day

White Day

So there is this holiday in Korea called White Day. March 14th boys are expected to give chocolates to girls…apparently February 14th, or Valentine’s Day, girls are supposed to give candy to boys. So, today was our day. Since the only boys I know in Korea are ages 9-13, I did not receive any chocolates […]


To all the boys in my 4 o’clock class…

To all the boys in my 4 o’clock class…

Ease up on the kimchi, would ya? It’s a small room and the windows don’t open.


To Market

To Market

Today I finally went to the huge open farmer’s market near my apartment. It was a bit like stepping back in time with old wooden carts and sellers crouched around fires to keep warm while trimming root vegetables. It was strange to feel like I was out in the middle of nowhere just steps from […]


The Night She Walked Home Giggling…

The Night She Walked Home Giggling…

1) Tonight I threw a student out of class for the first time. He was so resistant to leaving that I actually had to go out to the office, get our school manager, Kelly and ask her to come get him out of the room. She came in and he still would not move. After […]


Heavenly.

Heavenly.

You know those days that are absolutely perfect in their simplicity, in the tiny little moments, that when you get home you find yourself laying on the floor in your pajamas with wet hair smiling for no particular reason at all? Today was one of those days. First of all, teaching was a great pleasure […]


Three weeks

Three weeks

Three weeks ago at this moment I was just barely off an airplane and sound asleep in the back of a minivan on the way to the countryside in Central Korea. It seems like a century ago, yet it also seems like yesterday Janelle and I were driving in her Ford Focus listening to Brit […]


Two Small Victories, One Giant Frustration and a few Tiny Observations

Two Small Victories, One Giant Frustration and a few Tiny Observations

For being the self-proclaimed “most wired country in the world”, it sure is a pain in the ass to get a wifi signal in Seoul. I had better access last week in the middle of nowhere. At least the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” not only lives up to its name, it could […]


Let the Culture Shock Begin

Let the Culture Shock Begin

This morning I realized that without na├»vety and my hopeless optimism, I wouldn’t do half the things I have chosen to do in my life. It’s like a necessary amnesia to force me over the precipice into unknown territory. Oh, sure, it will be easy. It will be fine. Simple. It’s simple to move to […]