At times living in Korea can feel a bit like being in a bubble, that it’s somehow separate from many of my previous experiences. That’s why it’s always comforting to hear from or talk to old friends, people who have known me longer than the eight months I’ve been here. For myself, I often feel like when I meet new people, I have a hard time accepting that they’ve ever been any different than the person who’s currently standing in front of me. And in the same way, I know a lot of people who know me in Korea have a hard time believing that yes, I grew up in Missouri and Kansas. Yes, I was a Biology major in college (I still have a hard time believing that myself). Yes, I was in a sorority (good lord!). But it’s not like I feel like a different person in Korea . . . it’s just that sometimes I stop and think, “I’m a long way from where I was [#] years ago.”
At times I go through phases when it feels like the various stages in my life all come crashing together. I recently had a very vivid dream about the boyfriend I had during my senior year at Creighton. S.G. was visiting me in Korea, and I was giving him a tour of JEL and my classroom. I remember asking him in my dream how many people he’d been with since we’d broken up, and he said something like 14, and I was so shocked! 🙂 But it’s been four years since we were together, so that’s not out of the realm of possibility. Those of you who know him, however, will understand my astonishment. I woke up after that dream still shaking my head in disbelief.
This morning, I had a nice talk with my mom, I logged onto my high school (Notre Dame de Sion) website and discovered two of my former classmates had been trying to contact me, and I decided to call a dear friend from my AmeriCorps days. I miss S. so much, and it was great to chat with her again. I’ve had a nice response about my grad school decision, too, from friends from the various stages of my life.
So I had a really nice day! It’s been so stressful for me the past few weeks, in many, many respects. But I’m getting over my cold, I got new contacts this morning, and the funniest thing happened with one of my students. I selected Robert from my 3:00 class for “Best Student” for February-March. His mother was so elated that she spent the equivalent of $85 U.S. on pizzas and pasta for our class and all of the teaching staff. We’ve decided we need to devise a system to reward the students with generous mothers. Robert is so, so cute (and smart, hence “Best Student”). When I start posting photos, I’ll put one of him up. You’ll suddenly be overcome with a grandparent-ish cheek-pinching urge. Anyway, my goal is to have photos up on this site within the next month…