Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Brief Update

It's been awhile since I've been here, as you can tell. The last post was over 6 months ago!! And, gracious me, much has happened in those 6 months. I'll give you the highly abbreviated, yet not textspeak version... so it's not as abbreviated as it could be.

June - birthday, looked into a new job, learned that I missed the deadline for the job I wanted...
July - invited to extend at the old workplace, with a month off in August
August - completed my first 1-year contract, had to pack up my belongings on short notice, left for a lovely month with family and friends in the States. Niggling in the back of my mind the whole time - what happened to my belongings??
September - returned to Korea to learn that all was not well regarding my belongings, but none were lost or discarded... Then learned that my workplace was being closed by headquarters, began looking for a new job.
October - followed a friend's wise advice and returned home to wait for a new job, since the jobs open were not the jobs I wanted. God provided a place for me to store my belongings in the interim.
November - gained a job and traveled back to Korea over Thanksgiving and Black Friday
December - finally getting settled in at my new job and home.

Toldja a lot happened. Wonderfully, I could see God's hand working in every step of each new and challenging situation. He is faithful!! And good. And this new job was EXACTLY the one I was looking for (public middle school in Seoul). My new apartment - in a very cool part of Seoul. My new students - so. cute. (okay, not all of them, but seriously, some of them are cheek-pinching worthy in their adorableness!!!) My new co-teachers - quite good. My new foreigner ID card - super awesome, with lots of impressive features... seriously, I geeked out over them last night... (and the picture is better than last year!)

Looking back over the year, I have become a better teacher, become a more confident person, lost weight, learned over and over again to trust God, and reveled in my family and friends and in the amazing and challenging situations God has placed me in.

Signing off for now (It does say 'brief' update, after all...),
Miss Chatters


Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Thorn

I have this problem... It crops up every now an again, sometimes as a twinge, sometimes as a nearly crippling pain. It often deals its worst blows when I'm spending time with my friends from Korean church. What is this problem? you ask. Self pity.

I've always been rather capable of pitying myself, but in the past few months, I've been pummeled by staggering pity parties. Today, for example, during practice for my Korean praise team (We're singing next Sunday, and my proposal, which I mentioned in my last post, appears to have been completely chucked out the window.), I was haunted by insidious, self-pitying barbs like, 'It's days like this that makes having Korean friends feel too much like work.' or 'How can I contribute here? They don't care about my efforts, even my baked goods got a rather cool reception the other week.' or 'I don't get it. What's the use of trying to be their friend? No one ever really talks to me, anyway.' while enviously eyeing the girls whispering together. I was close to letting myself cry, but for the fact that doing so would just bewilder them and I really wouldn't be able to explain without looking/sounding pathetic/needy. I am pathetic and needy, let's be honest, but what I need isn't to get attention from my Korean acquaintances. I need to focus my attention on God. Sounds simple enough, right? Maybe? It isn't. I did eventually cry a few tears during the closing prayer time, but these were tears of repentance, not of frustration, pride, or pity. I remembered that Christ lived among people who didn't understand Him, who felt uncomfortable around Him, who were intimidated by His being different, who thought differently from Him. Who am I, that I should not have to endure what my Lord did? I recalled a quote, "God is all you need, but until God is all you have, you will never know that God is all you need." Is this my lesson? I feel much too young to learn this, though I should be thankful that I'm learning it at such a young age, at least to some degree. Now, to actually learn and apply the lesson...

I've begun reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It was recommended by WORLD magazine (which I highly recommend, btw), and it has been challenging and encouraging. The author tells of her journey to give thanks for all things, in all things, in a specific, particular manner, not simply a blanket 'thank you for everything.' Reading it has also made me realize/recognize/remember (and I'm sure many of you will shake your heads, 'My, she's so young.' when you read this, but I'm a willing admitter.) that life does not magically become wonderful and everything beautiful and all problems resolved when one marries and has children. (And here you nod wisely.) However, if I now learn and practice these things which the author learns while married with 6 growing children, I will be in much better stead when, Lord willing, I am married with children. And so, here are some things I gave thanks for today:
- Rare root beer and summer making a perfect combination
- Dongsaengs (younger siblings/friends) who polish their shoes (Remember that friend I taught to polish his shoes? Those shoes were looking very nice today.)
- Friends who make an effort to translate songs for me
- Family that is dear, even miles away.
- God's family, which is close at hand, if not as emotionally close as my natural family
- Brightly colored shirts which proclaim God
- Brightly colored eyeliner and eyeshadow to match the shirt

Well, it's a start.

Pray for me.

Signing off,
Miss Chatters

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Lesson in Humility

     So... the theology at my Korean church isn't very deep... I hope that I can encourage my friends to learn theology, to study the Bible carefully, to grow deeper in their understanding of God. (Not that I don't need all of that, too.) I thought I had a perfect opening to help my friends learn theology a few weeks ago, when my praise team was discussing our next turn...

     I'd learned in advance that we would be discussing our next theme at this meeting (the Saturday after Children's Day), and as we'd discussed Job a bit at my house (/apartment/'one-room'), I created a theme and a proposed set list centered around rejoicing in the Lord, even in difficult times. They liked it, and even though the list needed some tweaking for flow, etc, it was well-received. Recently, (beginning in the last rotation) the teams have had to create 'preview' videos for their team, which show at the end of the service the week before their team's turn. We discussed this as well at the meeting (okay, they discussed, I got some parts translated here and there...), and they decided on a fairy-tale-esque video. Since I am somewhat gifted in writing (and humble??), I offered to make the story. My first one was a script, which I sent to my designated translator the next Friday. However, they weren't looking for a script, they wanted a narrated tale, so I revised some more and sent the revisions in the next Friday (as in, Friday a few days ago). Now, it did not take me a week each time, I was just rather lazy... I did feel that I had submitted good work with strong, solid theological content, which would hopefully encourage my teammates redirect their thinking toward God in different circumstances.
     Today, my designated translator and the team leader came up to me during small-groups time after church. "We have bad news." I was told. "You're not going to use my story, are you?" I guessed. I was right. They said something about it being too hard to make into a video and too little time, etc. Next time, they promised. I hadn't envisioned a grand work for my story - just photographs and a voiceover, which I tried to explain, but it didn't work. I was more than a little ticked off. How could they not use my story?? It had such strong theological content, too!! I didn't make much effort to disguise my irritation and frustration, and turned away from them back to my small group. They were just then opening their Bibles. To what passage? Isaiah 55:8 (I read a little farther, too, through verse 11):
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
   come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
   without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
   It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

     What could I do, but repent? Indeed, who am I that I should have presumed so much? Frankly, I don't know what purpose God has in me attending my Korean church. For that matter, I don't know what purpose God has in me being in Korea, but that does not excuse me from trusting Him, and His perfect plan. Will I continue to seek opportunities to encourage and teach my Korean friends? Absolutely. Do I need a healthy dose of pride-killing humility? Only one dose? I need a daily vitamin for it.
     Pray for me, that God would continue to kill my pride; that I won't feel like an outsider/foreigner around my Korean friends; that I won't feel lonely or homesick; and that I will recognize the opportunities God gives me to give an answer for the hope that is within me.

Signing off,
Miss Chatters

Friday, May 6, 2011

Exceeding abundantly beyond...

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, ..." Ephesians 3:20 (KJV, since that's how I learned it...)

Today was Children's Day here in Korea, which warrants a holiday, and so, I had the day off! Last week, I invited my praise team from Korean church to come over to my house on Children's Day, but, after having two similar invitations (with other people) fall through at the last minute, I was a little wary. Even when I issued the invitation, I counted on the fact that not everyone would come (20ish people simply would NOT fit into my studio apartment.), but as the day grew closer, I tried to mentally prepare myself for a poor turnout, or no people at all. I was told on Wednesday that there were to be 13-14 people coming to my house, but I was still bracing for the worst. (I even had a deal with myself for the budget of tomorrow's shopping trip to Myeongdong (One of my absolute FAVORITE places to shop!!) - if no one showed up, I could spend (approximated from KRW)  200 dollars, if 2-4, then 190, and so on...) I told myself, 'This time, if no one comes, I will go home and cry.'

So what happened today? Well, I got to the zoo (which we were scheduled to explore before returning to my house, a good hour+ away by subway), and there were 4 others (from my team, the place itself was packed) there, then 5, then 6. Me: Okay, well, they're not even coming to the zoo outing, how lame is that, so I guess I'll only have a few at my house. After getting in (btw, the zoo is DIRT CHEAP!!! It's only 3,000 won (>/= 3 dollars) to get in! 2,000 (>/=2 dollars) if you're a student (and several wore their old high school uniforms to take advantage of that deal).) and seeing a few exhibits, 3 more team members joined us, and, after strolling around for several hours (interspersed with frequent breaks... like, way more than I would have taken!) we exited the zoo to find 2 more members waiting to join us, and I'd learned that one was going to come to my house separately. I. Was. Excited. !!!! I convinced them that, instead of eating at the zoo, (we'd had some food, including corndogs, Korean-style... meaning that the hot dog part didn't really taste quite like hot dog) we could go straight to my house and have an early supper. By the time we'd arrived in my neighborhood, they were ravenous. (This did, in fact, confuse me, but I suppose I'm a lighter eater than I thought I was...) Now, the plan had been to order in dinner, but yesterday at lunchtime (at work), I was asked if I could use some of the leftover spaghetti. Come to think of it, yes, I could. (But I gave the sauce to my co-teacher, it was too sweet for my tastes...) Last night, I doctored up some canned spaghetti sauce into amazing spaghetti sauce (in my humble opinion...). When we arrived at my house, I creatively re-heated the spaghetti (I don't have a microwave, so I put it all in my largest available pan (one was busy warming the sauce), a deep and wide frying pan, and added some water, then stirred it up... a lot... It worked!) and sauce, then served them as soon as both were suitably ready. Well, the first serving (carefully rationed so that all 13 plates received equally) only whetted their appetites. I thankfully had additional spaghetti noodles on hand, which seemed to take forever to cook, but once the seconds went around, the groans of 'I'm hungry' (in Korean) were traded for groans of 'I'm full!'

After the spaghetti disappeared, the dishes were soon washed, and the baking fun began...

Anyway, to make a long story short, it was a great time of fun and fellowship, that so far exceeded my [meager] expectations I wanted to cry from happiness as I returned home after walking them to the subway station. God is good. He has richly blessed me today, and I thank Him with all my being.

Highlights from tonight:
- Getting the keypad on my front door to finally work, with a little help from friends. (who read and comprehend Korean)
- Being told that my Korean listening comprehension is really good.
- The cries of 'Wow! It's really delicious!!' (in Korean) while sampling the fruits of tonight's (baking) labors.
- The happy feeling of contentedness I get when a bunch of friends are together having a good time, and I'm totally part of it.
- The complete lack of protest/issue when I requested, at the end of the evening, when we had a short prayer meeting, that the prayers not be in tongues. (The reason why was never really aired, but I do not pray in tongues, and it's frustrating to me to sit in on a prayer meeting in tongues.)
- The team leader asking for prayer for me (as one of the prayer focuses) in the prayer meeting tonight.

He is AMAZING!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


A few posts ago, I mentioned my new oven. I like it very much. Very, very much!! I enjoy baking cookies and quick breads and sharing them with my friends at both of my churches and at work, and my friends certainly enjoy eating them!

Tonight, I am making my first attempt at yeast bread. It's quite exciting, believe it or not. I also made a batch of brownies, blond brownies (which I added about 3/4 t too much salt to... yikes!! Thankfully, they're not overbearingly salty.), and there are 4 pans of shoofly cake waiting to go into the oven when the now-baking bread comes out. I can't wait to see how it turns out!!

On Wednesday, I began a sourdough starter (I learned how here.), and, because the author suggested that a starter is like a pet, and because I am a slightly nerdy writer, I named my starter Prestwick, which is, I believe, the name of the international airport at Glasgow. If I need to make a new starter, I'll name it Prestwick II (the second), not Prestwick 2, since Prestwick is a preppy name, in my opinion. I will hopefully make my first sourdough loaf within the week.

I've been 'redeeming the time' (to use a Christian-ese phrase) while baking by listening to an audio version of The Holiness of God by RC Sproul. It's quite good, I recommend it!

I'm going to get to bed late, unfortunately, 'cause the Shoofly cake requires a good 45 mins in the oven, and only 2 pans will fit in at one time... Sigh.

The loaves are out!! They look very nice, especially since I rubbed them with butter. (I definitely need to get a pastry brush next time I go to E-Mart, since my fingers are not happy with rubbing the butter on themselves...) I hope they taste great! I'm not sure what to provide with it, since bread by itself is not very satisfying... perhaps I will bring along the jam I have... along with a butter knife... hopefully someone will have a bread knife... I need to get me one of those...

Lord willing, my Korean praise team will be coming over to my house/apartment on Thursday. I'm warily excited - wary because I have had two similar plans with others fall through recently, excited because if it does work out, it should be a LOT of fun, right? I'm banking on the fact that not everyone will come, since my studio apartment is on the small side when you stuff 20 people into it... even 10 would be pushing it... Anyway, I hope they'll come over and we can make some cookies, and order in some dinner, and maybe go to noraebang (karaoke)! We'll order in dinner because I have very little confidence in my dinner-making abilities. And we'll go to noraebang because I love noraebang! (I've only gone a few times, since it's one of those things you do with friends... and I live rather far away from my friends... so I haven't been to noraebang since February...)

Anyway, I need to hang up my clothes to dry, and then it'll be about time to pull out the first round of Shoofly cake.

Signing off,
Miss Chatters

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Behold! What manner of love!!

"Behold, what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the sons of God." (I'm totally quoting from the song that's often sung in rounds, which quotes 1 John 3:1)

This verse came to mind this evening during Korean church. In the first part of the praise time, they sang several songs about the cross, and showed clips from The Passion (at least, I think that's what it was). The movie vividly reminded me of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf, but when I juxtaposed 1 John 3:1 with the cross, I was brought to tears. God loved us so much that He allowed and directed His only true Son to suffer the cross as our substitutionary sacrifice so that we, who are sinners who despised and rejected God (Rom. 5:8), could become His sons. His sons!!! We, who are unfit to be slaves in His house, can be His sons!!! What love!! What a sacrifice! All we can do in return is to repent of our sins, accept Christ's sacrifice, praise Him, and serve Him with our lives.

He is Risen!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Mr Collins Moment

Tonight was a farewell dinner for the Bible study I have attended almost since arriving in Korea. The two founding couples and another member will be returning to their home countries within a month and a half. This leaves the Bible study with no place to meet, so it is cancelled for now.

The dinner was an amazing multi-course (I kinda lost count...) Korean meal which we were treated to by the four Korean men who regularly attend (and 3 have attended for years) the study. I had a Mr Collins (from Pride and Prejudice) moment in one of the last courses, when I really wanted to say, "What excellent kimchi." Which triggered my memory of the scene in the (newer) movie where Mr Collins awkwardly compliments, "What excellent potatoes..." I changed my phrasing, but the kimchi was really very good. And, wow, am I becoming Korean or what, thinking about the excellence of the kimchi...?

It was a lovely dinner, with a time of fellowship and farewells. One observed that all the continents were represented (which works if you view N and S America as one continent, which I've heard some do... and if you ignore Australia...) - one couple leaving is from Singapore, one from Holland, the lady who is also leaving is from South Africa, and I'm from the US. I think our Bible studies were vaguely like what Heaven will be like - people from every tribe, tongue, and nation united in the cross.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Living the Dream

Today's post title is ripped from the Jonas Brothers, (I was, in fact, a fan of theirs once...) who are living their dream, to be big-name performers. I am living the dream of many Korean drama/Korean pop fans around the world - actually living in Korea. I'll insert here that I'm still loving it!

Korea has changed me/is changing me. Exhibit A: I have a really sweet new(ish) haircut with very Korean-style bangs (since getting my haircut, I have been approached by more people who think that I am Korean... until I look up and they see my blue eyes.) - to keep my bangs looking the way they should, I *gasp* use hair curlers. 'Unheard of!' you say. Too true, my friend, too true. Exhibit B: I take an hour to get ready in the morning. 'Proof right there!' you crow. Friend, 10-15 minutes of that time is spent putting on make-up! *Everyone is stunned silent.* Like I said, Korea is changing me.

Korea is also challenging me. I attend two very different churches with exceedingly different worship styles, services, etc. I am challenged regularly to discern what is culture and what is Christ - should I insist on a particular style of worship? Or protest certain things I have never before seen in previous churches? Or are those things subjective, and non-essential? (Answers in order: No, I don't think so, and yes.)

Today, I sang with my Korean praise team. In the course of the service, I sang the Korean national anthem, in song asked God to remember the Korean people, and to bring revival again to Korea, and I waved a small Korean flag. At practice yesterday, I resisted the idea of singing the Korean national anthem, until I reminded myself that I sing other national anthems (I went through a national anthem phase once...), and that my citizenship is in Heaven. Later, I remembered that I came to Korea to reach out to the people around me, and to live out a witness for God before them, and the Korea-centric songs I was singing reflected my desire to see the people of Korea won to Christ. I am certainly being challenged and stretched on a regular basis.

How important are the particular 'Christian-ese' words that we use? I was thinking about that yesterday as my friend was translating the songs that our praise team was to sing. There are certain phrases and terms which we use exclusively for certain references. (Ie, I was uncomfortable with my friend's translation of a phrase about Christ's land/nation until I hit on 'kingdom' as the 'correct' word.) Why do we use those certain phrases? They don't always translate into other languages or naturally translate from other languages. Or is it that 'church language' is its own vocabulary which must be learned even by native speakers in every language?

Today some of my friends were baptized. I was excited to see them publicly declaring that they would follow God, even though the treatment of the ceremony seemed somewhat more perfunctory than what I am accustomed to. There was a moment of amusement when one friend's carefully arranged fauxhawk got wet and made the sprinkled water run straight off in front of his face.

I taught another friend to shine his shoes today. He was in shock at the wonder of shoe polish and its magic on scuffed and worn-looking shoes. Props go to my dad, who taught me how to shine shoes at an early age. ^_^

Life is good. There have been some serious challenges since my last post (like my job being threatened... A word of advice, if you're coming to Korea - never, ever work at a hagwon.), but God has used every instance to show me how much He cares for me, and how He has ordained my life even here in Korea to provide for me in every way. He is good.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Saehae bok manhee badayo! (Which is Korean for Happy Lunar New Year! Literally, it translates to: Many blessings to you in the new year, which also applies.) It's been awhile, friends, but here I am, back again, for an update! (And yes, it is, in fact, several days after Lunar New Year, but I'd rather go with that than Happy Early Valentine's Day! I'm not expecting chocolates this year, anyway... unless the moms of my favorite little boys decide to send me something via their sons... ^_^)

Today, I went with a friend to Yongsan Electronics Market (pretty much the one place in Korea to get anything related to electronics... like, anything.), where I got H's hard drive with my music restored, and regained my music! (And, to prove how flimsy emotional happiness is, my high from having my music back crashed when I realized that one of the 2 folders which wouldn't copy onto my external hard drive was filled with several gigs of my favorite music... Including the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack!!! ㅜ.ㅜ <- Korean emoticon for crying. Anyway, I'm going to have my tech-savvy student take another look at it, and hope that the partial restoration will enable him to retrieve something from the big folder... Please Lord, may it be!) I also acquired a humidifier (which looks like an Easter egg, no lie), an oven (the size of a large rotisserie oven... not a regular US oven) (which came with 3 really cute little cake pans - a teddy bear, a heart, and a seashell, as well as another pan, rotisserie skewer, and a couple of other gadgets) (I am really excited about making cookies, biscuits, etc, now!!), and a few (really, really expensive, but good smelling) Yankee Candle votives (the glass jar ones were just WAY too expensive... Next time, I'll probably just go for the Korean brand, unless someone wants to send me some?? ^_^) (I have a lovely Lavender Vanilla aroma floating around now!).

Working backwards... A couple weeks ago, I decided to join one of the choir groups/praise teams/whatever you want to call them at my Korean church, our group is called Promise, and we sing in rotation with 6 other teams (which include names like Ecclesia, Amaze, and Pistos. Hooray for Greek!!) Last Sunday was Promise's turn to sing (and a certain member of a certain Korean boy band came that day, which was also the day that the Pastor decided to capitalize on the uniqueness of me being the only white person there, and spoke to me during the sermon... plus one for the number of Korean celebrities who know who I am, bringing the total to... 3, I think... ^_^), and I joined a special choir group that performed yesterday for a special Seollnal (Lunar New Year) service in front of a huge crowd... (upwards of 1,000 people, no lie.) So lately I've been busy with choir practices (for reals, some (for the Seollnal service) didn't end until like 1 AM!!!), and I've enjoyed singing again. However, I don't think I'll sing for special services any more... there was just too much emphasis on the performance aspect for me, not to mention, I really do need my rest. It did give me a good opportunity to get to know more and different people in my Korean church. I'm strongly considering joining the choir for my English church, too, which is more 'choral' than the Korean church...

In the middle of January, I had 3 special guests in my home: H was able to come for a week at the beginning of her vacation (she's now globe-trotting with J...), and C was able to come for a very short (>24 hrs) visit (which was plagued with poor communication, and was something of a tragedy of errors... C was spared from being forked to death by H and I because we did not want to leave his children fatherless.), and, as Shakespeare said, (at least, I'm pretty sure that was him) "All's well that ends well," and it ended well, so it's all good. (Speaking of C's children, #2 is coming soon!!!! YAY!!! Now, to see him... and T... and M, and everyone else...) Oh, guest #3 was C's friend from the ship, in case you were wondering.

I had a lovely Christmas: I spent the day with friends from both churches, and Skyped with the family in FL when I got home. I didn't even mind having far fewer presents than usual, especially since one of my 3 presents was a Lincoln logs set. SCORE!!!)

I've taken up origami. I enjoy learning new patterns and trying different paper patterns with them, too. This is definitely a good place to enjoy origami - you can get a wide variety of origami paper in stationary/school supply stores (which they have here, they're pretty cool to browse). I'm working on making 1,000 paper cranes (Korean lesson: Crane - Hak)... I have 40 down, and a lot to go. You supposedly get one wish if you make 1,000 paper cranes, and I'm not sharing my wish, but I'm not honestly putting faith in paper cranes to make my wish come true... it's just something kind of fun to do... and if I do happen to get my wish (whenever that may be), I certainly won't object! (Besides, H pointed out that making 1,000 paper cranes will give me time to improve my Korean, in the event that my wish does come true... in which case, I will surely need improved Korean.) I'm also able to make frogs, cute little hearts with wings (learned that one yesterday!), really sweet paper airplanes, and a few other things, in addition to the cranes. (Actually, I went to a White Elephant exchange in mid-December, and my gift was "1,000 Paper Cranes: Some assembly required." Yes, I think it was clever.

My teaching schedule has lightened for the month of February, for which reason I thank my God. I think, tho, that someone noticed just how light my schedule was looking and so I've been getting several additional classes, so it's not quite so light as I thought it was... but it's still lighter than it was...

I'm evidently a bad Kindergarten teacher... as I was told in December (Yeah, that brought some dark days, which made me turn to my Bible, which brought some painful, but necessary revelations which were good for me... It was cathartic. And I know that God is still at work in me and in my life.) by my not super-sympathetic supervisor (and on her last day, I finally figured out why: she thought my English degree meant an English Education degree, as in, she thought I had already learned how to teach. No wonder she was frustrated and exasperated with me, but that really didn't help our relationship...). I was told that again on Tuesday by my new supervisor, who is much more sympathetic and supportive, at least, she seems like it... It's still a bitter pill to swallow, but she's made some suggestions (some of which the other supervisor made, too), and hopefully, maybe (especially when we tack on those books that helpful folks back home are sending, thanks again Aunt Lee!!) I can become a good Kindergarten teacher.

Thankfully, my other classes seem to be going well! I have about 3 favorite classes right now (since #4 was reassigned to the new foreign teacher *sad face*) - one class with 2 preschool boys, whom I love like my own sons... or at least close to it (mostly I teach them nouns, read stories to them, and sing songs with them - I love it that their favorite songs are Bible songs that I'm teaching them!!!) (Their moms are GREAT!! Especially when compared to the moms of my Kindergarten students, who pretty much only complain about me and how awful I am... yeah... but these moms give me Christmas presents (including a cake!!! Which is basically a Korean mom's stamp of approval on a teacher.), and notes of appreciation. If North Korea ever invades, I will volunteer to get those boys and their little sisters out of the country with me. Yes, I love them that much.), the next favorite is a class of two advanced English students, one of them being my "techie student", they're pretty good kids, we have good discussions, and I have a good relationship with both, and now I have them for two sections - 2 classes in a row, 2 times a week; the last is a class of 2 boys around 4th/5th grade, this might be confusing, but I have each of them one time per week in a one-on-one class, and when it isn't their turn with me, they're in a one-on-one class with another foreign teacher... Still with me? Anyway, these classes are pretty much conversation classes, so we mostly chat and build science projects left over from the Kindergarten science classes; both boys are Christians, so I get a great opportunity to strengthen and encourage them in their faith, and to live out my testimony before them.

So teaching isn't all bad, and is actually pretty cool sometimes. I know that right now I am exactly where God wants me to be, and I'm content. He is good to me.

Signing off for now,
Miss Chatters

PS Check out cute pictures of my little students dressed up for Lunar New Year here!
PPS I'm also now writing for a Korean pop news blog, Seoulbeats, which is fun and challenging.