Posted by: C. Cali Martin | December 26, 2010

What happened to Fall?

All right all right. I haven’t updated since I started my new job (sincere apologies), and now 2010 is almost over so I’ve gotta send y’all something – just a short recap of the last 4 months (which seem to have just disappeared).

1) I love my job. I have the BEST. JOB. EVER. Don’t believe me? I work 5 hours a day teaching the most incredible adult students you could imagine. Most are university students, but others are middle-aged with careers, some are nearly retired – all have a passion for learning English. Their desires fuel me to be better everyday. Isn’t that something everyone wants in a job?  I have a great apartment  located right on campus, and I am able to use campus facilities because I’m a teacher (faculty-priced health club, fitness classes, library, etc.) and that little card with my name on it that says “visiting professor”? Oh yeah – opens a lot of doors. I can drink with my students, I can talk about booze and boobs with my students, they tell me SO much about Korean culture that my brain can’t possibly contain all that information (on a side note, prepare for a lesson on Korean educational culture). I have made some great friends out of my students. Plus, I get vacation every 7 weeks, sometimes over 2 weeks of vacation. So, I ask you, what is NOT to love about this job? I am one lucky gal.

2) China. In October during my first vacation period, I went to Beijing and Xian, China to escape the Korean life for a week and explore Chinese history up close. My expectations going in were a little low (because really, expectations are crap) – I knew China’s population would literally suffocate me if I wasn’t careful (same with pollution); I am still a naive traveler, so I’d best be on alert for pick-pockets and swindlers; and I was fully prepared to be lost at all times. Luckily, it was only the pollution and people that I had underestimated. It was as if I couldn’t breath. I’m not sure whether that was due to the pollution or vast amounts of people, but it was unnerving and exhausting. Highlights of the trip were definitely the Great Wall of China, the Summer Palace, and the Terracotta Warriors. I’ve been there – I’ve done that. It was indeed the most exhausting and hectic vacation I have ever spent, but I’m beyond happy at the experience of a city whose size I can’t even fathom and the experience of history first-hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Yoga retreat with Ayurveda Yoga Academy. For the weekend, we went to Muju in the Jeolla Province. Let me just preface this by saying that I am not a yoga person. My brother’s fiance has tried for years to get me into the yoga classroom, and only once or twice did she succeed. Since coming to Korea, I’ve been so much more open about trying new things, so I have attended a few yoga classes, but none very regularly. I saw this retreat as an opportunity to gain new experience away from the typical yoga classroom – and I am so glad I did. During the weekend, my fellow yogis and I shacked up in a cabin near the top of a mountain – it was fall, so the views and colors were spectacular. We practiced different types of yoga (hatha, partner, ashtanga), meditation (Nadabrahma, Kundalini, Vipassana), and breathing techniques. Since I am new to yogic tradition, this weekend served as a crash course in all things yoga. I felt such a sense of unity, lightness, and control – it was addictive. I was lucky to be able to take away so many things from this weekend that you could describe my fervor as “passion”.

4) The worst part about living in a country where all your friends are from different countries, states, and cultures (and thereby are all awesome) is that they are all rather temporarily your friends. That is to say that they may still be your friends when they (or you) leave, but they are only ever in your presence for a short time. This fall has been horrific – every weekend we’re saying goodbye to great friends we’ve made and hope to one day see again (but…). So it would seem I have a lot of places to stay around the world when I leave here.

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