In the Face of Tragedy

I should be working right now. I'm already behind on lesson planning this week and I have an open class tomorrow.
But I can't ignore the ache in my heart. If you don't know, I'm from Boston. At least, that's what I tell everybody here. I grew up in a small town in Montana, but I went to college in Boston. While I was there, my family moved away. Now, we're scattered across the country.

My point is, Boston is the closest thing I have to a hometown. Boston is where I saw a world beyond my small Montana upbringing. Boston took me in, taught me about life, and molded me into the person I am today. Montana may have raised me, but I grew up in Boston.

I woke up yesterday (Monday) morning with an ache in my heart, wishing I could be back at home for Boston's biggest holiday. Sure, Christmas is important, and Saint Patrick's Day is legendary, but you can get those anywhere.  Nothing quite compares to Marathon Monday. It's a holiday all our own.  On Patriots Day, the day of the Boston Marathon, the whole city shuts down. We line the streets to watch some of the finest athletes in the world fly by along with thousands of runners who are chasing their dream of completing this iconic race. The faces at the finish line are those of people in the midst of one of the highest moments of their lives. It hurt me to have to miss it.

Today, I woke up with a different heartache. I woke up to find out that the joy of Marathon Monday had been shattered. After frantically scouring Facebook to make sure my loved ones were accounted for, I turned on the news. As you may have gathered from a few posts back, I have a personal relationship with Boston news. I immediately found the live stream for my old station. Obviously I wanted to find out what had happened, but mostly, I just needed familiarity. I wanted to see the faces of my friends and hear their voices and reassure myself that they were ok. That they were alive. I have never felt quite so far away from home.

Coming Home

Or: The Things That Make My House My Home/Dealing With the Bitch Within

The house I currently live in has known me since the day I was born. It’s my Mum’s house, it’s where I moved back to after Korea and it’s where I’ll live until my fiancé and I move back to Leeds in a few month’s time. I love being in this house and I love everything about it; I love my full to bursting bookshelves, the subtly broken fireplace you have to light with a match, the fact that you need to have five year’s of experience before you can unlock the back door, the dog clawmarks on the side of my bed, and most of all the I love that my Mum’s house is a constant haven, a safe place I  know I can always come back to when things get shitty.

Don't Panic

No, really, don't panic. Nothing has happened. I'm fine.

Side note: I would like to point out that it is 5:15pm on the day when North Korea was allegedly planning to shoot something (at someone?) in honor of Kim Jong Un's grandad's bday, and so far... nothing. 

I'm telling myself not to panic because believe it or not, the end is approaching. I just got my summer camp dates, which means I can now start planning my last trip. On top of that, I'm rapidly approaching my 8 month anniversary of arriving in Korea. 8 months. The year is 3/4 of the way over. I now know exactly when my last day of teaching will be, when my remaining days off are, and when I will most likely be returning to the US. I've even started looking at tickets.

Old Job, Meet New Job

In light of all the crazy stuff happening (not really) around here, my former employer interviewed me about what life is really like here in Kimchi-land.

It's weird seeing a non-mirror image of one's own face. I look backwards.

Former 7News Employee in SKorea Talks About Tensions

For everyone wondering if I'm scared

Here is my list of life concerns at this moment (ranked in descending order):

1. It's raining and I forgot my umbrella.
2. The powerpoint game I'm trying to download for next week's lesson is taking too long.
3. I still need to figure out what I'm going to play at open mic tomorrow.
4. I should probably be saving more money.
5. I hope the cherry blossoms don't bloom before I get to go on a cherry blossom trip in 2 weeks
6. I'm afraid I won't be successful in my career goals.
7. What should I read next?
8. I hope this season of Game of Thrones lives up to its usual standard.
9. What will I eat for dinner?
10. I'm hungry but the hidden snack drawer in my classroom is empty.
11. It's empty because I already ate all the snacks.

I’m Not Dead

Or: A blog that you will expect to be about the North/South Korea thing, but is actually self-indulgent drivel about my life in limbo.

Apologies digital friends, for I have been a terrible blogger of late. Hopefully you’ll be so pleased by my timely return that you wont be too hurt, but whilst you’re making your mind up about what emotion to fling at me you can enjoy this charming “welcome back to my life” post! You lucky buggers, you.

Why I Probably Won't Die Today

Disclaimer: I do not claim to be any kind of expert in political science or international relations. The following is my own interpretation of the current situation between North and South Korea. Believe me, if my evaluations turn out to be wrong, I'll have much bigger problems than some snarky internet comments.

In light of ongoing tensions between the two continents, and increasingly concerned family members wanting to make sure I'm okay (resulting in some very early morning Skype sessions... mom), I wanted to spell out, to the best of my ability, why I probably won't die from a bomb in Korea.

First of all, let me remind you that the western media loves (and I mean LOVES) to take all the really interesting bits of a story and mash them together without regard for context or background. I would know. I used to be one of them.

Caroline vs. the Job Market: Part One

And so it begins…again.

Following a friend’s recent post concerning the trauma that is post-Korea job-hunting, I felt it unavoidable to chronicle my own thoughts on the matter. As I’m certain it will be an ongoing trauma, consider this Part One.

Of all the terrible jobs I’ve done in my time, I feel perfectly confident in telling you that the worst one of all was the job of finding the terrible jobs I then did. This is saying a fair amount considering that I spent Boxing Day 2011 publicly cleaning Stilton soup from a lady’s shoe.

Just Keep Swimming

I know. I'm sorry. I haven't been around lately.

I have a number of excuses I could throw at you. The new school year is in full swing, and it's proving itself to be considerably more stressful than last year. I have more work, more responsibility, and the weight of a brand new coteacher who is still finding her feet and learning how to do things like use a hole puncher.

On top of that, I've been fighting a cold for about two weeks now. I can't seem to shake it. I'm not getting any worse, but I'm also not getting any better. I just have a really foul cough that makes me tired.

But the truth is, there just hasn't been much to write about lately. I go to school, come home, maybe go for a run or go to the climbing gym, and then curl up in bed to read, watch tv, or generally cease interacting with the real world. I've been steadily plowing my way through Doctor Who.

When I'm trying to read the school memos

When I'm trying to read the school memos: 

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