Now My Dreams Are Nothing Like They Were Meant to Be

I don’t want to seem too melodramatic. The title was just a lyric from the currently playing song. That said, it’s not completely inapplicable. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. I don’t think I’ve gone as far as to publicly admit it to my friends back home on my blog, but I’ve told a few, as well as everyone I know here, that me staying beyond a year is pretty much a certainty. I absolutely love Korea, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.  I feel like going back to the States would be a gigantic step backward for me at this point. I’d go back to being an aimlessly drifting, probably unemployed person. It’s more than just a job being here, but that’s certainly one of the biggest aspects of being here.

Until recently, I’ve been telling people I had no idea what I want to do at the end of the year. Not because I was hiding anything, but I didn’t really know. This week, however, has started nudging me away from my current position.  It hasn’t been the best week or two at week, as far as outside the classroom (inside the classroom is almost always good) is concerned. A lot of little things are beginning to add up, and it’s becoming pretty stressful trying to figure out what exactly is expected of me, how I’m supposed to do it, when it needs to be done, etc… As far as I can tell, all the people I’ve talked to don’t have nearly as much out of classroom work to do as Dave and I do.

I feel like unless things really improve in between now and March, I won’t be working under my current boss the next year. It’s a shame, because outside of work, I really like him, and it’s a great advantage to me to have a boss that likes me as much as he does. He’s just nearly impossible to work under. When I talk about my boss, Koreans and foreigners that’ve been here longer than I all seemed quite surprised, often commenting that things that I deal with are unheard of normally.

Still, a lot of questions remain. Cheonan or another city? Sometimes I feel like I might be happier in other cities, but moving away from Cheonan is hard. I’ve done as much as I can to make a home out of the city, and packing up and leaving after a year seems counter-productive. Hagwon or public school? I’m leaning towards public school. Elementary school, middle school, or high school? I still have a lot of things to figure out. I could just be a little riled up, too. Perhaps I just need some time for things to cool down. Honestly, until the past week or two, I hadn’t minded much of anything. However, when the people around me start to express their displeasure, I find it much easier to spot and become upset about the things in the job that aren’t that great.

On a lighter note, I began thinking more earnestly about my summer vacation. Earlier, I’d stated some Bohemian wish to just go to Busan and wander my way back to Cheonan, seeing the sights on the way. However, today I realized this wasn’t very realistic. For one, the language barrier is still huge. Without at least a bare plan, I wouldn’t know what to do or where to go or how to get there. Secondly, my familiarity with South Korea is zero. It’s not like Europe where all of the most famous things are cultural icons in America. I don’t even know what there is to see in Korea. Third, Korea just doesn’t have the same kind of tourist culture that Europe does, so there may not always be gigantic signs or kiosks with pamphlets to let me know just where I should be going to spend my money.

I spent some time this morning on WikiTravel.com, looking up places in South Korea to go. I’ve already got a list of four or five places I want to go. Just thinking about it got me super excited. I still have a ton of research to do though. Getting to the cities is easy enough, but I need more in formation on where the stuff actually is, so I can find it.

It was also a little bittersweet. On one hand, it’s truly an adventure, and I couldn’t be more excited for the next three weeks to pass. On the other hand, I’ll be going by myself, and the best part of any adventure is being able to share it with someone. It’s times like this more than any other that I wish my friends from home were here.

Anyway, tonight I’ll be meeting James for pool night downtown. Hopefully, I’ll make a better showing than last time. Friday, I’ll be leaving for Bucheon on the first possible bus after work. I actually asked Diane if she’d teach the last class alone so I could take off early, and she agreed. I figured she’s asked me to cover for her so many times it wouldn’t be a big deal if I asked.

Last of all, here’s the daily dose of Konglish:

Level 1:
Art:  Have you ever seen the movie “Spiderman”? (Entertainment)
Art: -Korean alphabet is so popular in the world.
-Britney Spears has wore a T-shirt printed Korean alphabet.
-There are many Korean alphabet printed T-shirts in China’s clothes market. (Korea’s Beauty in the World)
Art: Who invented the piano? (or drum etc.) (Music)
Art: The meaning of Dong-Bang-Sing-Gi members name. (Entertainment)
Art: What things of Korea are on the Guinness Book? (Entertainment)

Dongbangsing-gi is just some Korean boy band here. They seem to be a dime a dozen. They don’t even seem to be the cooler hip hop dancer bands, but just all about the slow ballads.

Next blog probably won’t be until Tuesday night (morning EST). It certainly won’t be as mopey as this one.

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2 Responses to “Now My Dreams Are Nothing Like They Were Meant to Be”

  1. Hey Colin,

    I understand where you’re coming from on the moving away from and staying in Cheonan. I’m not in the same boat exactly, but starting over is the part I’m a little concerned about. As far as traveling goes where are those places you want to go? Busan is beautiful. I went there alone in October, and stayed in a women’s hostel by myself. While waiting to hangout with a friend and her friends that night, I bumped into a foreigner from the same program as me. She was waiting for a friend there and we decided to have coffee, bagels and talk about life before parting to meet up with those people we’d be waiting for. So all in all, I think you’ll be fine doing it alone. Really, most people are really friendly and willing to talk to new people. But I know what you mean doing that kind of thing alone and wanting to share it with someone.

    I’m going to mudfest this July with a friend and we are really excited about it. Like in your three weeks, you are waiting to bust out of Cheonan, I’m ready to get out of Gwangju.

    Anyways, have a great time in Bucheon! I’ve never been, but I’m sure you’ll have post about that trip soon!

    Take care!

  2. Some of the names allude me, but I’d probably start in either Jeju or Busan, then wander around to different temples or national parks. Mostly outdoors-y or historic stuff.

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