I enjoy this time of year in the autumn because its all about beginnings. (think about it)
I know most people think spring is about new beginnings but a lot of things must die before new life can begin. Autumn is that preparing season. The “waiting” season. Look at the leaves. Their splendor is unmatched when preparing for newness of life. The time when still small Voices are more easily heard….. or when you have to strain harder.
I guess you can probably guess where I’m at. And I thought this most recent typhoon would allow me a “Catch Up” day.
I’ve been thinking a lot, it being autumn and all, and I do this every year. I think about the concept of home. I think about the people and places I’ve left behind. I look in my email and see it’s been since Feb when I last emailed Grace to ask about Sydney. I look in my text messages and see the last time I spoke to some of the people I consider closest to me in my life. I look at my notebook and see the date is about 9 days ago when I last sat down and wrote out any time of Scripture meditation. I look at my wall calendar and see that it’s now Monday and I haven’t gone jogging since last Thursday.
Pinterest helps, for a little while, to alleviate the homesickness, the wanderlust. So does reading nice poetry that I’ve read and then scribbled into notebooks to remember…. then I move on to buying a plane ticket to Singapore for the early November break and knowing I’ll see friends in Thailand at Thanksgiving. A friend sends me a text while I’m preparing dinner for later, and we go for a jog as the rains of the typhoon abate. But mostly what helps is sitting down with a cup a tea — the windows open and the laundry hanging to dry– reading. The passages are not chronological, in fact they’ve been all over the place lately, but the difference is a time to reflect and write a little about what I’ve read. And then, as I wait in the silence, maybe I’ll once again hear the still small voice.
I’ve been pretty much slammed time-wise since the start of the school year.
Along with the regular “specials” classes my students get like art, PE and music, they’re also supposed to get Korean class. 3 times a week for 1 hour each time. 3 times a week for 1 hour each time is a lot….. a lot. Especially when there isn’t a Korean teacher so now you’ve got those kids for that extra hour. And you need to plan lessons for that extra hour. And all your personal teaching supplies, worksheets, etc. got thrown away by whoever was in charge of moving it to your new classroom. And your little ones do everything in 10 minute attention time span intervals.
So pretty much its been crazy!! (but crazy in a good way). Now it’s been four weeks and the kids are starting to settle in and can line up and listen to directions for the next activity. Thank goodness I love what I do. Thank goodness they’re starting to get used to me and how I roll. Thank goodness they’re a lot of fun, very lively and spirited and not afraid to make mistakes. There’s nothing worse than the quiet Asian class who is afraid to answer a question because they aren’t 10005% sure of the answer. Our schedule is busy despite not having Korean class and I’ve been using the time to throw in extra phonics and language arts classes. Our schedule built up over the last two weeks. We started grades 123 literacy groups twice a week and we started our our activity periods. My kids get a chance to do dance, painting and drawing, recording, paper-folding, strings, drama, Spanish and all sort of fun activities. As for me, I’m teaching activities too. I’m teaching 4th and 5th grade cooking classes and this next week I’m planning to start Korean language classes at night twice a week.
In the classroom, we’ve gotten a lot of work done and journals made and experiments set up for science and math clock games to go with math. We’ve filled up our reading practice books and my turn in box and our cubbies and walls with decorations. We have NOT however graded much of that work yet….. oh well. At least I’m walking around while they’re working on it so I can get a good sense of their ability and comprehension even if something doesn’t get entered into the grade book.
Things on island but outside of school have been wonderful. Partially because of my concerted effort to ensure that I am not working past the hours that I am already working. Don’t worry, I’m making sure to slack off by going into work around 6:15am every morning and not coming home until after 6pm, because I need to be there until 4:40pm. Never fear the balanced personal life is here! Haha, but really. I’ve been frequenting my favourite little cafe here, 7373. It’s front view is of the ocean and the cool breezy nights have been perfect for sitting in their outside seating area. I’ve also made sure to get my fill of the beach and swimming before its winter here. My new favourite beach here is Gwakji beach and the best fish and chips in Jeju at a place called Tae Hee Cafe. The only major problem with Tae Hee is its a place you want to tell all your friends about and keep your own secret at the same time.
Really, that’s pretty much it with a few side excursions thrown in.