New Year, New Theme

I had no words left for 2016, really, so I just gave up.

But now it’s 2017 and we’re off to a promising start! I gave my blog the revamping I’ve been wanting to for a long time. I semi-hated my old theme because the posts felt so in-your-face and expansive, with no functionality for a proper sidebar even though there was tons of blank space on either side.

Now I’ve got the blog look and feel I’ve always dreamed of (or occasionally pondered, anyway).

I mean, just side-by-side screenshots of the old vs. the new clearly tells you which is the superior theme. Am I right? (just say I’m right)

I’ve also changed the fonts and now they’re much more to my liking. Heck, my header font is called Abril Fatface. You can’t get much better than that. I know the ‘face’ refers to ‘font face’ and the ‘fat’ refers to ‘bold,’ but come on, it’s a funny name.

I won’t say I’ve made any resolutions to blog more this year (because I haven’t), but 2017 is giving me positive vibes already, so let’s stay optimistic.

Happy New Year!

A week of posts?

Yes. It’s happening.

This week.

During my ample deskwarming time, I spruced up / edited down several of the more rambly, less event- or experience-specific posts that have been sitting in my drafts folder for days, weeks, or months. And since now is as good a time as any, I’ve scheduled them to be published one per day, at 9:00 a.m. Korean time on the dot, from now to Friday. (Well, today I already published a post, so from Tuesday to Friday.)

No turning back now.

Stay tuned for really exciting fantastic insights and stuff. or something like that. for those of you who care.

some of you care, right?…

right?….

heh heh…

that’s okay if you don’t care. i don’t really care either. i just want these posts to get out of my drafts folder.

Blogiversary

1 year of blogging!

And 1 year of Korean life.

I’ve surprised myself by not giving up on it.

The blog, that is.

I won’t give up on us, Korea. We’ve survived that weird rough “so you’re not perfect after all” phase after the honeymoon stage ends, so let’s keep going strong. But please do your part. Don’t bombard me with lung-hocking ajeosshis and jjim and mold and things of that nature. Love, Maddy

Anyway, technically my first post was Feb 28th, 2015… but today is Leap Day which didn’t even exist last year, so it still counts.

Just like this time last year, I’ve just moved in to a new place and am feeling great trepidation about beginning a new year of teaching Korean kids. (Like, did last year really happen? What subject do I teach again? Remind me how I got through all the last minute schedule changes and the stress of lesson planning? IS IT TIME FOR SUMMER VACATION YET?)

At least this year I didn’t get lost at night and almost die of exposure. That’s always a plus.

Korea Year 2 – 시작!

new year’s eve and statistics

It doesn’t feel like New Year’s Eve in Korea, probably because it’s just another day for most people here. Jan 1 isn’t that big of a deal; instead, Koreans have a huge holiday/celebration on the Lunar New Year, 설날 (Seollal) (which this year falls on Feb 8).

Everyone has to come to school today for the Official Last Day; no classes, just, I dunno, paperwork and meetings and ceremonies and stuff. None of which I have to attend. But then I do get the day off tomorrow for New Year’s Day, so that’s nice.

In other news, it seems that my blog has accumulated all kinds of statistics this year. And it seems that WordPress has made a cute little report about them all.

Things like:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,200 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

So that’s pretty cool.

And:

The busiest day of the year was March 13th with 72 views. The most popular post that day was Invisible Neighbors.

Why that day and post were so popular, I have no idea. It wasn’t even an interesting post.

Anyway, you can see all the stats here. You know, if you want.

The struggle is real

In lieu of K-pop artist of the week (sorry if anyone was looking forward to that – I just don’t have time this weekend!)…

Fellow Korean language learners, I’m sure you can relate to this video – empathizing with Dan’s pronunciation blunders and drooling jealously over Dave’s awesome Korean ability.

And even if you’re not learning Korean, perhaps, like me, you will end up crying with laughter by the time the video is over.

stream of consciousness

I type this post on my phone at 1:30 in the morning as I listen to the rain pouring down outside my apartment and try to make my mind stop whirring with stressful thoughts. My open class is on Thursday, just three days away. The two other NETs in my evaluation group have finished their open classes and both went extremely well, leaving all the pressure on me to perform up to their standards. Well I guess I’m not technically supposed to be the one performing because the students are the important part of the lesson but it still falls on me to provide the motivation and the tools and the knowledge to get them to perform well. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet… some moments I feel a bit confident and think everything will be fine, the kids will behave better than normal because they’re being watched, and no one will have anything too harsh to say… but other moments I feel deep fear and unease in the pit of my stomach as I worry that the kids simply won’t care (it’s the class period right before lunch – worst possible timing right??) and I’ll trip over my words, faltering in the face of their apathy and the disapproving face of the DMOE supervisor. Nothing I can do about it now though, except prepare the best I can. I’m so tired today. It was one of those days – I woke up late with literally 30 minutes from the time my eyes popped open (and thank God they did because I’d shut off my alarm in my sleep) to the time I ran out the door with my huge laptop bag and umbrella in hand, because of course it would rain on a day like today. And when I got to school, breathlessly running up the stairs as the bell rang, I was informed that my schedule had changed and I had four classes in a row crammed into the morning periods, from 9:00-12:30, because then I had to go to another NET’s open class. I didn’t have time to eat lunch and of course I hadn’t eaten breakfast given my frantic morning. I really don’t mean to complain so much; I’m just musing and perhaps venting a little. My brain feels too tired to put sentences into proper paragraphs and really organize my thoughts so I’m writing like this. Minutes are ticking by and I know I’ll regret staying up the extra 10 minutes to type this post but I also don’t want to go to bed yet because my head is still spinning with thoughts. Thoughts of the kids and thoughts of what will happen on Thursday, thoughts of how beautiful the weather was last weekend (perhaps pictures of my visit to Mount Apsan will make an appearance in a later post… no promises), thoughts of bills all in Korean that I need to ask for help about… wow that last sentence is a mess but it’s too difficult to go back and fix it on my phone so that’s how it’ll have to stay. Apologies for the sloppiness and laundry list of complaints that is this post… this is what happens to my mind when I average 5 hours of sleep a night and it’s almost two in the morning. But it’s okay. I’m still happy. I’m happy now even while I stare my approaching open class in the eye. Here’s to whatever adventures tomorrow brings. Goodnight, Korea.

An Introduction

안녕하세요!

This is essentially a blog for my family and friends who would like to read about my life in Korea.

However, if anyone is reading this who is NOT my family or friend, that’s cool too. We can be friends.

My plan is to post semi-regularly, maybe weekly or bi-weekly depending on how busy I am once I start teaching. I may upload some (poor quality) photos and videos from my phone here too, and then maybe some nicer quality ones when I get a camera. Hopefully between this blog and whatever I post on social media, I can create a nice little digital scrapbook of my time here.

Here’s to Korean adventures and misadventures alike. 건배!