Thursday, June 2, 2011


Apparently I accidentally published this post, which I had meant to remain in edit mode until I decided if I felt comfortable with it being out there in cyberspace for all to read. Since it already went out and I'm feeling pretty damn happy (plus removed from the incident) at the moment, I think I'll let it stay out.

Written 5/31/11

So today I cried at school for the first time. I walked in to get ready for my third grade lesson first thing in the morning and my co-teacher said some things (nothing bad, all very kind) that struck a nerve and I couldn’t hold back the tears. If you know me, you know I don't cry very easily and if I do, I at least do it alone.

So here I am, 2 minutes until class starts with students shuffling in and looking for me to shout their usual: “Oh, hellooo teacha!” or “Hii-eee Rana!!!” They are freaking adorable, but nothing could help in me gaining my composure in just two minutes. My co-teacher, who I appreciate for always being very aware of others, both teachers and students, saw me and took lead while I escaped for a few minutes.

When I returned, my students were dolls. I’m not sure if they saw me cry, but if they did, they didn’t mention it. Except a young boy, who with the best of intentions shared this when discussing likes and dislikes: “I don’t like crying.” It totally surprised me because others were keeping it safe with foods and animals.

Emotionally, it’s been a tough past couple of weeks. Nothing bad has happened, but things that should not cause me such frustration, are. Everything trails back to the fact that I am very, very homesick. I tend to blog only about the positive, but there are definitely difficult times when being an expat in another country. No matter how comfortable I become here, it cannot compare to the comfort I feel when near my friends, family, and…I almost want to cringe for saying this…culture of, yes, The U.S. Or maybe I should be more specific…Oregon. Portland-ish, Oregon.

I’ll be home late July and I can’t wait to hear English all around me, go to the library, drink amazing beer/coffee/margaritas, play with my friends and family, hike some luscious green forests, go to the beach, and even do absolutely nothing, but in the safety of my mom’s apartment with my cats by my side. This serves as a very condensed and vague list of the things I want to do when I get home because, ever since I booked my flight, “to dos” are constantly popping into my head at an anxiety-inducing pace. I’ll sometimes be in the middle of a lesson either explaining something or writing it on the whiteboard, and something from the U.S. will take over my brain. It’s totally distracting!

And what I am most excited about for my trip back home is just being a "normal" human being; not being constantly put under a looking glass. I want to go places and not have my every move being watched. I want to just relax knowing people aren't watching to see whether I can use chopsticks, if I like a food, how I will react to anything and everything. I want to have conversations where never once is my appearance of having blond hair, my looking tired, my eyes being green, there being pimples on my face. Now I know these come from innocent intentions, but they are so very, very difficult to grow accustom to.

Anyway, I don’t mean for it to sound like I am unhappy, but perhaps more accurate would be to say that I am having unhappy moments resulting home homesickness. Still, I am keeping busy and enjoying the fabulous spring that Korea has to offer.


(During a later class)

Me: What do you like?

Student:I like skeleton soldier.

Me: What’s a skeleton solder?

Student: (Stands up) RWWAAAAARRRR!!!

Me: Oh, yes, THOSE!

(During planning period inside my office)

Student: Lana likes me and I like her (Shouting in Korean from the hallway).

Roses are in bloom all throughout Anyang.

1 comment:

  1. Hey girl! No need to feel shame about one less than happy post! Basically every time I read your blog I'm so thoroughly impressed by what you're doing with your life. You write about climbing mountains, and exploring a different culture, while basically all I ever do in my blog is whine and complain. Being homesick sucks--I lived in New Jersey for 3 months and nearly went nuts, so I can't imagine how you must be feeling! But you're almost done, and you can do it. :)