1. How has this experience changed you?
What kind of question is that? 9 months of living in Korea hasn’t changed me at all. I feel completely normal!
Where do I begin? I think teaching has made me much more flexible, in terms of my attitude…I’m still working on being able to wrap both feet around my head. Working in a Korean public school where a typical day consists of last minute cancelled classes, being told there are 5 more minutes of class at the time when I thought class would be over, or coming back to my desk to find a lovely snack or beverage. The surprises can be both delightful and annoying. I’m also much more patient, from having to repeat the same lesson 14 times a week, to dealing with a very wide range of English proficiency levels, to constantly telling kids to be quiet, this job has definitely tested my limits on numerous occasions. I seriously think this is the universe’s way of punishing me for being such a “Chatty Cathy” my whole life. (Shout out to Coach Toth.)
In terms of living in Asia for an entire year, in the most cliche of ways, I think I have certainly “broadened my horizons.” Looking back on the last 8-9 months, I’m actually shocked at how little I knew about Asia and Korean history. My trip to the Philippines and Malaysia was so enlightening, educational, and inspiring. And I didn’t just learn from visiting museums or reading guidebooks, I really have learned the most from the smallest things, like the lack of seated toilets (in most of Asia the women’s toilets are sqautters) or the amazingly efficient subway system, or bowing instead of handshakes. This year in Korea has illuminated a huge gap in my knowledge about the world, and has made me feel both extremely naive and eager to know more.
2. What will you tell your kids about Korea in 20 years?
I’ll tell them the same thing I tell my friends when they ask about Korea. Go bassenyourseatbelt.
The Badger Blogging Blitz would like to answer some questions from you, our dear readers. Please, ask away! We’d love as much feedback as possible :) Consider it your way of thanking us for such riveting reading material for the past 8 months.