Be Brave…Preparing to Jump

Gosh, whenever I think about this school thing I feel like my heart is going to break open.  I’m so nervous I can’t even stand it.

I’m looking at schools in the UK and planning on applying once I get all my stuff together.  I’ve wanted to move there for quite a long time–I’m not sure why–I’ve just really enjoyed myself each time I’ve been there and could see myself settling there for a bit.  The schools are also WAY cheaper than in the US (like half the cost)…

I know I just need to stop messing around and just make the leap…just apply already and see what happens, but the what-ifs are suffocating me.

I found these quotes and they seem pretty fitting:

“Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
C. JoyBell C.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
William G.T. Shedd

The Little Things

So, this week has been pretty good so far.

1. On Monday, one of the ladies at the front desk mentioned that my second class would be combined with another teacher’s class because they weren’t able to find a sub to cover the class.  (They’re more lenient with this because this other person is technically filling in for our co-owner who is in England currently with a bunch of students until February/March).
Anyway, I was given about 40 minutes notice, which is more time than I’m used to for such announcements…so although it was a bit challenging (and crowded) getting everything covered for two different courses in the same allotted time–got it done and felt pretty good about it after.
My second class is my favorite class because they’re quick-learners and they’re pretty friendly kids, so they would have been my ideal choice class to have anyone else be merged with had I a choice anyway.  So, convenient that it worked out that way.
Also that it fell on a Monday which is when we introduce new vocabulary, that was also nice.  Mondays are the easiest to sort of cram things in.  We just had to move the class fairly quickly.  Less chatting and more…military style, I guess you could say.  Finish one thing and quickly on to the next so the other class could get their vocabulary in as well.

2. I have a favorite coffee shop that’s near my school–mainly because the owner is super nice and also because the coffee isn’t horrendously over-priced.  The owner also speaks English which is a HUGE plus (and very, VERY rare.)  He also gives me free biscuits for my coffee and sometimes throws in a free cookie because I visit often.
Anyway, I’ve tried at other places to get a cafe mocha with an extra shot of espresso…and failed at it.  If you’ve been in Korea for any length of time (not sure about in Seoul), but having an order modified is unheard of.  Essentially impossible.  You order what is on the menu and that’s that.  Don’t like pickles?  Tough.  Want some extra cheese on that burger?  Too bad.  So, what typically would happen when  I’d order an extra espresso shot would be that I’d get the mocha AND an espresso shot.  Not in the same cup.  Tried translating and miming and it just ends in confusion.
Anyway, so I decided randomly to try it out today at my favorite place and he was confused at first but because he speaks English he was able to pass it on to the barista.  ANNNNND perfection.  That one little thing made my day.  haha
I think most coffee drinks come with about one shot of espresso in it here (two in the US) because I can barely taste the coffee when I’m drinking it.  Not so, today.  I’m wondering if my students noticed my extra energy today, haha. 🙂

3. My first (the rowdy bunch) class are also learning the ways of my room and starting to settle down a bit.  We’ve still got a ways to go, but there hasn’t been any yelling or ripping of things off the walls since that last incident.  Also, they’re getting pretty good about coming in and getting their work out, which feels pretty great, if I do say so myself.  😀

The only not so good thing is that I worked out before work today and my right knee feels like it’s in a vice.  It started toward the end of work today but headed to bed now so hopefully it’ll be good to go before tomorrow.  Might take some ibuprofen or something before bed.

Oh, also, I’m madly in love with Sam Smith.  That is all.  😀

Here’s a video to start/continue/end your day.

Progress?

After about 4 hours and feeling like I didn’t accomplish much, I wanted to write down what I did so I feel better about the time I spent researching.  I think the thing with research is that because it doesn’t produce any sort of tangible results, it’s harder to feel like you got anything done.  If you’re reading or doing practice  tests for an exam, you can see physical work, but just gathering information, not so much.

*Found basic info on 5 different schools
*Looked into classes for this summer to boost my GPA, then found out that you can’t boost your GPA after you graduate.  It just creates a new GPA.  Gah.
*Found a school in England that I’m really interested in (also half the cost of those I’ve seen in the US)–10 month program–The only issue so far is that my undergrad grades aren’t high enough for their prereqs.  I sent them an email asking what I can do to still have a shot at acceptance given my less than stellar grades (from 5 years ago…), so hopefully I hear something positive back
*Found out how to convert my GPA to the UK equivalent
*I’m thinking I’ll end up going to school in the UK, which helps me narrow things down a lot.  I still like the University of Oregon, but with $40k in tuition…and there are other places that will get me what I want for half the cost…I’m happy that the UK is making this decision easier for me.  🙂

I’m probably going to keep looking around tomorrow and see if there are other schools, just in case.  I also need to see if the PGCE is internationally accepted.  I’m assuming so?

Anyway, off to the gym to burn off some stress.

Life Plans

I’m currently planning to leave Korea in September…and I’m feeling a tad overwhelmed.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop doing research on a few of the ideas I’ve had rolling around in my head for the past 6 months or so about what I could see myself doing next.  These are some of the things I’ve thought about:

*Teach for America (application is filled out…just waiting on my own self to hit the submit button)
*A handful of universities in the US to get my degree in education (each offering something a tad different than the others with varying prices)
*Teach First (essentially Teach for America, but in England–and they accept foreigners :D)
*a handful of universities in the UK/Europe (cheaper than the US, but the application process and terminology is very different than what I’m used to here in the US…also daunting)
*Stay in Korea another 6 months to save up more money for the big move

Each one has its own wild path and I’ve asked for advice from several people and gotten a lot of responses, which I’m grateful for, but it’s also made things a bit more confusing as well.  I’m hoping that my research today will help me narrow down some of my choices so I can feel a bit more on top of things.

I’ve heard…less than stellar things about going to teach in the US, and I’m aware of the differences, but about 95% of the people I’ve spoken with said do not teach in America because it’s a huge mess.
I also really like teaching, and I know things will be very different than they are here in Korea.  I know that, and I’m really looking for something more stable than what I’ve got right now.  I want to put down some roots and feel more that I belong.  I think with the Masters (and speaking with a friend of mine helped me to keep this in mind), that it is a higher-level degree, so no matter where I do it (for the most part), it’s the same degree.
I also think that it will help to open more doors for me.
I currently have a bachelor’s in business-marketing, which I haven’t touched, but it’s opened the door to this Korea experience, which I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.  A Masters would allow me to teach in the country I got it in, but also let me teach English (or regular classes) in other countries aside from Korea.  Korea (and several others in Asia) only require a bachelors in something, but if you want to go elsewhere, many require a degree in English or Education.  Which I’d be getting…but it’s also insanely expensive (ie: $50,000 give or take a few thousand.)  FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.  My god. I just keep looking at that number and thinking how long it would take to pay back.  That combined with my undergrad and I’m locked into debt for the rest of my days.  *sigh*

That’s also why I’ve been looking at Europe and the UK–they offer Masters programs that are typically cheaper.  More research to do on these different programs, and here’s to hoping that they aren’t as suffocating and won’t rob me blind like the ones in my home country.

Anyway, I don’t think I’m really looking for advice or anything, just needed a bit of a vent and to get all of this off my chest.  It’s been swirling around in my head for the past few months and I’m ready to start making plans.

Oh, and ALSO, I could stay in Korea another 6 months or so to help save money for the next step…but I feel like it’s draining me.  I love teaching, but I’m feeling so worn.  We teach every day of the year with 2 weeks off–one in the summer and one in the winter and public holidays.  I love my kids to bits, but I feel like I need a 100-year nap.  I’d definitely need a break or something before diving into a Masters program.

Edit: I just stumbled across a really helpful site that converts the US grade scale to the UK’s grade scale.  Awesome 🙂

Books worth reading, as recommended by Bill Gates, Susan Cain and more…

ideas.ted.com

Find repose by exciting the mind. Some of the world’s leading thinkers offer the books that inspired them and their work. Skim the list for your favorite speakers, or get nerdy on a topic you’ve always wanted to know more about. Below find 52 books, recommended by TED speakers.

Creativity

Creative Confidence, by Tom Kelley and David Kelley
Crown Business, 2013
Recommended by: Tim Brown (TED Talk: Designers — think big!)
“‘Creative confidence’ is the creative mindset that goes along with design thinking’s creative skill set.”
See more of Tim Brown’s favorite books.

Creating Minds, by Howard Gardner
Basic Books, 2011
Recommended by: Roselinde Torres (TED Talk: What it takes to be a great leader)
“Gardner’s book was first published more than twenty years ago, but its insights into the creative process — told through the stories of seven remarkable individuals from different fields —…

View original post 3,634 more words

Being in a Classroom is Not Always Rainbows and Sunshine

Had a helluva day today.  (Helluva looks like some sort of hillbilly word…)

Anyway, I’m working on…er…training my youngest kids (first class) to the ways of the classroom (and how to not run around like psychos when I’m not in the classroom).  I had forgotten how far my other kids have come.  My other kids know to come in, take out their homework and talk nicely until class begins.  This first class…shooooot….I have my work cut out for me.

Our school (and most of these after school programs) are essentially a smaller space with classrooms cut into it.  It’s not like a full-size school or anything.  Anyway, we had a teacher’s meeting today at 1:30 and classes start at 2.  The kids started arriving around 2 or so, and were easily the loudest in the school.  The front desk girl (across from my room) didn’t seem to be doing anything about the kids running amok, so I ended up leaving the meeting early to corral them and get them on task.  One kid was running around and tore the decorations off my classroom door.  Not like we can really do much to them, because it’s a business as well as a school.
Anyway, I didn’t yell, but I used a very loud, stern voice and got them all sitting nicely in their seats with their homework our and waiting for class to begin. Quite quickly, I might add. I’ve trained my last two classes to where I could be late/walk out of the room for x reason/work at my desk/etc. and they’re self-sufficient.  This first class needs to have every breath monitored it seems.

They seemed to understand the gist of what I was getting at when they were scolded at the beginning.  Keep in mind, I have to break down the sentences to almost bare bones because that first class also has a very low English level.
The Korean teachers at my school scold in a very…nursy way.  Essentially “Ok children, please don’t do that.”
Anyway, I feel like I should record it for my own interests…I want to be able to show a before and after between now and in two months time.

Anyway, that’s probably why I decided to finally crack open this bottle of wine I’ve had in my apartment.

I do appreciate a good challenge,but I’ve got my work cut out for me with this bunch.


Also, I had a glorious reunion with my gym yesterday.  My muscles have been feeling it today and I feel like an old woman when I try and go down stairs.  Either way, it’s nice.
I know you’re supposed keep working out when you’re sore (slowly) but after today I just came home, watched House of Cards (my current Netflix obsession–did I mention that I just got Netflix?!  It’s amazing.) and ate Froot Loops.  Basically…being an adult.  haha.  In my own defense (not like it’s needed, but hey), I had every intention of making this baked mushroom chicken dish.
Back on the ol’ horse tomorrow.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! *does the money dance*

(whatever that looks like) haha

I’ve never had enough to know what the money dance looks like, but ahhhhhh!

I got paid last week and then sent half my check home as usual, then yesterday I noticed I had another paycheck’s worth in my account.  I thought it had been a mistake so I texted my boss saying that I thought he made a mistake, but apparently it’s my bonus for finishing my first contract.  I completely forgot about it–here you get severance pay (one month’s pay) when you complete your contract.

Anyway, I feel so light and free and I want to run up and down the street yelling and jumping!  I can pay off my credit card!!! 😀 😀  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  😀 😀  *dance dance*