Entry 53: A New Year~

It’s been a long 9 month hiatus.

Chinese New Year’s is around the corner and it feels like the right time to come back to my blog. I was largely absent because I lost my 1st ever full time job in a matter of months. I worked at a hagwon again and I had real high hopes that this time things wouldn’t or couldn’t be the same as the other hagwon I worked at.

Turns out it was a lot similar if not worse cause the school clearly had problems revamping and updating their material. The only thing they revamp unfortunately is hiring new teachers.

This school seemed like it had it all great location, students from wealthy families, a facility that is clean and large enough for students. But it wasn’t what I could have ever expected.. After working here I actually re-developed some depression and anxiety issues that hasn’t surfaced since my later years of high school.

I was made to feel unwanted and stuck with little to no instruction other then to teach nearly impossible tasks and fulfill higher to manage exceptions. I desperately wanted to do my best and I did all I could to get to class at least 50 minutes early. I would look over material like a possessed person and it was frustrating when it was all for waste.

The children are wonderful don’t get me wrong but they are so used to a system where teachers only teach for a couple months and then they are removed because their parents want better for them. With all that money pumped into a high class hagwon you would think that it just seems like a better idea for private professional tutoring or fancy overseas boarding schools to further their children’s English ability.

Now these days I don’t tempt myself in finding hagwon jobs because I already know the system and how hard it is to please Korean mothers and fathers with their children’s progress. I’d rather take a job that won’t put me down bottom line.

Maybe I’m incredibly unlucky with these hagwon jobs or maybe times are that crucial that Koreans don’t take a chance on a school they feel won’t better their children. Children that are groomed to excel from such an early age.

I strive to move past this and not feel shame for losing a job but take from this a lesson of one’s self worth. Even if I continued work here I would not be myself at the mercy of my ex-boss’s tyrant like fits or be being belittled like a child.

I haven’t had much adventure or enjoyed the sights of Korea like I would have hoped I could. But I’m hopeful this year will be better.

 

Entry 52: Remembering the Sewol ferry incident.

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I still recalled where I was when the Sewol ferry incident had happened. When I was at work all a sudden my boss had called me over to say a boat is sinking with young passengers aboard.

My heart immediately sank because I felt a pure dread fall upon me like a sense I couldn’t shake. That lives are going to be claimed no matter how hard people could try to race and save them. People in the media outside of Korea would say that because of Confucianism and obeying the words of crew had been the cause of so many deaths.

I for one would like to put my 2 cents into the story.

-For starters there was little to no safety procedures that should have been followed out for the people on board to follow in the event of an emergency.

-Then to further doom the ship it took on water way too fast because of cargo that wasn’t secured properly to begin with like cars. Which then caused the ship to quickly tip over and capsize within hours.

To see the chaos on TV was something I haven’t experienced before and to see the grueling look of panic from family members was painful. The mothers were wailing and then needed to be hospitalized for their grieve induced stress. The fathers were desperate looking at boards to see or hear any news of their sons and daughters.

It was a complete national tragedy.

They continue to fight to lift the boat from it’s resting place and for that moment they are waiting for from the government to pass.

I do not like the political sides of this political war and I don’t think it’s an event to blame on the government but then again it’s an issue they can’t easily move from. The parties that continue to cling onto this tragedy though as a political leverage are disgusting for that matter. These are people whose lives had been lost it is not a button you press to constantly attack your rival political party.

I pray for those lost and I pray that their lives made an impact on the lives of young students everywhere to take their lives seriously like a gift. Especially in a country where teen suicide rates are high, if they can take another glance at their lives for their friends or family.

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Entry 38: Wow over 1,000 site hits and Happy Lunar New Years!~

Couldn’t be more wowed about how the internet works and wanted to share my thanks for this big feat!

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Tomorrow just so happens to be the start of Lunar New Years known as ‘설날’ (Seol Nal). There will be people going to visit their families and there will be people who use New Years as a time to go on vacation.

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Koreans take any food ceremony seriously and it takes many hours of preparation to set a table for our ancestors. Even though my family isn’t Buddhist we prepare the table accordingly because it’s a part of Korean tradition.

Fruit and desserts are served front followed by vegetables, meats, fish, rice-cakes,  soups, and rice.

The fruits are supposed to be served in odd numbers like 3, 5, 7 and have both top and bottom peeled off in the shape of a ring.

My grandmother seems to always fret that these traditions would be lost to the younger generation and I want to learn as much as I can with my grandmother and mother.

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Above is an example of the food ceremony chart which is very elaborate and traditional.

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Lunar New Years is both a fun and stressful time and traffic lines will be quite condensed and difficult especially people who have to migrate from Seoul to Daegu or Busan.

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Happy Lunar New Years!

Entry 1: My Introduction

My name is Serena and I go by Sen. I’m a gyopo girl living in Korea.

(A ‘gyopo’ or ‘교포’ is a term for overseas Koreans. Ethnic Koreans born outside of Korea.)

The reason why I’ve come to live in Korea is because 3 years ago my mom and dad have separated. After my dad short sold our home of 12 years, my mom decided it best to work and live in Korea. I’ve lived in Korea for over 2 years and I’ve learned so much since.

I reside with my mom and her family in Korea in Gyeonggyi-do province. Luckily I live close enough to the border so I can easily take a bus ride to any part of Seoul. I tagged along because I’d miss her too much to handle it.

I work part-time and in the future I’d like to be a writer. Writing is a great release to me and blogging about my chronicles in Korea would give me a great goal.

I’ve made it a goal to that if I have the time and money. I’d set off to take pictures and write about new things I’d experience in Korea. My blog mission is to share my journey and thoughts to others through this blog. I can’t wait to hear from any one who is interested in Korea or is currently learning more about the Korean culture.