Year Two, Month Three & Four: Being content
Hello everyone, I am back with a new post! I've realized that I skipped a month so I'm sorry about that. I have been in Korea for the past four months and I have never felt time going by so fast and yet so slow as much as I have these past few months. I'm pretty much settled in for this school year and have found my routine for the rest of the year. On the week days, I teach 22 classes, mainly 6th grade but I do teach 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students once a week which has been a blast and so fulfilling but also exhausting at the same time. I love my students, but I never knew how draining it can be to have such energetic students. This year, I have gotten so much closer to my students because of the fact that I see them so often and we don't have to do online classes anymore. I also feel that this year's 6th grade students are just more extroverted than last years batch. I also am allowed to play a lot more games this year so classes have been much more fun.
I also started the teacher's English club and have been doing this twice a week. The English club has been going really well and I have gotten to know so amazing teachers at my school. We typically just talk about daily life and what my life is like in America. Many of the teachers are curious about American culture and the differences between America and Korea society. It has been interesting to see how other people view Americans and fascinating to see what they think about us. Almost everyone thinks all Americans cannot handle spicy foods so everyone is always surprise whenever I tell them I have a high spice tolerance. Along with the English club, I joined a teacher's badminton club. I play once a week and this has also been a great way to get to know other teachers at my school. Some of teachers are very intense about this club though. Some bring their own special shoes and racket and it's just funny to see a lot of them get loose playing badminton. Anyhow, this is what a typical weekday is like for me at my school. After school, I usually have an hour and a half to relax and chill before I eat dinner with my host family. After the family dinner, I go workout at my gym. I'm still doing my kick boxing and boxing and have been enjoying the sparing sessions of those since I can hold my own.
I started something new recently and I have been loving it. Along with boxing, I decided to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). BJJ is kind of like wrestling but with more technical aspects and moves. It has been really difficult learning this new sport (especially since it's all taught in Korean) but so fun as well. The gym owner has been very patient and kinda and will explain a lot of the moves with physical movements so that I can see what is happening instead of trying to learn all of it in the Korean language. Typically each session consist of 45minutes of learning new technical moves and practicing that and then 45 minutes of sparring. I have gotten beat every time for the BJJ sparing but that's okay, I am the newest person learning so it's to be expected. I have finished two weeks of Jiu Jitsu and it has been so incredibly hard but so much fun as well. I workout for about three hours a day with 90 minutes of boxing and 90 minutes of jiu jitsu. I leave the MMA gym at around 22:30 and relax for the rest of the night before having to wake up all over again for school. That's pretty much my week days. It has been exhausting but I have been feeling fulfilled and all of these experiences have made me realize how happy I am that I decided to renew for a second year.
On the weekends, I'm normally out of town traveling with my friends. We usually go to places for the amazing food and just spending time with each other. I recently went to Changwon, Busan, Seoul, Daegu and back to Seoul again. Changwon is where Matthew lives so I see him and his host family whenever I'm down there. Busan, Seoul and Daegu are the three biggest cities in all of South Korea so there are always things and places to go. I also think the best foods are in these three cities so I enjoy traveling to the cities just for the food. Busan and Seoul has this amazing hotpot called Haidilao and I highly recommend everyone to go there if they can. Hot pot has become my absolute favorite food and everything about it is amazing. There is a Haidilao in Chicago but unfortunately none in Minnesota, so sad. Daegu has the best American style sushi restaurant and it reminds me of home whenever I go there. Plus, the owners of the American style sushi restaurant are so kind and friendly. Usually, if I travel, I travel for the food and find stuff to do around the restaurants and famous local foods to try. If I'm not traveling, I'm usually just chilling in my apartment and catching up on sleep. I have already been to many places this year and there aren't many more places on my bucket list that I want to go to before leaving Korea. I have fallen into a contentment with my stay in Korea and life is just feeling super easy and relaxed right now. I have immensely been enjoying my time and I feel like these last 6 months will fly by so quickly so I'm trying to soak in everything as much as I can. That is it for now and I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. I miss you guys, goodbye for now!