Saturday, September 24, 2011

Leaving Seoul

Again - it's been a while. But let me begin this update with an admission that I'm not entirely confident that I'll be able to have as many entries here as I did while living in Seoul - especially over the last year when I averaged more than once every two days or so.

Part of the reason for this is that fact that through my program, students are asked to journal about the day's events and to show evidence of self-critical and reflective thought about their learning and teaching. While some are handling this through electronic format, I've decided to keep my electronic journaling to this blog and will be writing in one of them nice moleskin journals for my university needs. The reason for this is two-fold: 1) I want to keep my blog separate and apart from most of the nitty-gritty of what goes on at school. It's good practice for when I get into my teaching practicum and actually need to adhere to the privacy acts that exist in schools in Canada. 2) I'm thinking it would be a good idea to once again get into the practice of writing in a hand-written journal - something I haven't done for probably about 15 years. The journal for school will go with me everywhere, and I'm going to need to make specific time for writing in it on a regular basis. I'm interested to see where this process goes, and how it's worked into the curriculum for my program.

So, that's that. Yet, despite the fact that I'm simply not going to have as much time to give to entries here, I still want to. Truly, I'm not sure who reads this anymore, but I had gotten to a place where the only specific audience in mind was my family who were further away than they are now, and some friends who had moved about the world to end-up also far away. So, I suppose I will still be writing with y'all in mind.

And, I suppose if I'm going to get into anything approaching a regular rhythm with my entries, I should begin with what it was like to leave Seoul this time. It was different.

I was going to write that I have now officially been away from Seoul for the longest amount of time since I started living there. Suwon was a different animal, and it's hard to look at the time I spend in Canada immediately after Suwon as even being in the same ballpark as what I'm experiencing now.

This past August 25th, I left a job I've held for the last 2 and a half years. The job was mostly unsatisfying for a great many reasons which I don't really need to get into anymore... so that's nice. But it also provided me with the opportunity to meet some really good people, to live in a comfortable apartment that I made my own, and to investigate my own teaching methodology that, struggle with it as I did in that arena, became stronger I think through the adversity that I faced with it.

I also left a city I have grown to love - not without its blemishes - and one that I plan to return to before this time next year. I love living in Seoul, and I aim to find an even better situation for myself, work-wise, when I return, though I know that the friendship landscape will look a lot different than it did when I left there - it always does in Seoul.

And of course, I had to walk away from the woman I love as I went through customs at an airport. Not to belabour the point, but when you feel that much sadness in parting, you know that the strength of what you have will bring you back together. The rabbit has plans to visit Canada this Christmas, which pretty much guarantees that this will be the best holiday in the lengthening chronology that is my life. If this is the last Santa Claus year for my nephews, then I'm overwhelmed with gratitude that I get to be there with my fiance to share it with them.

So, Seoul waits over there, for me, for now, and that's okay. I will be a busy man over the next year. Canada time - a year of it - might be just what's required for me to re-approach Seoul with the right directed energy when it's time again.

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