I’m going to Korea

A photo of the Korean DMZ. This is a place I could totally go and visit, because holy crap, I'm going to live in Korea.
A photo of the Korean DMZ. This is a place I could totally go and visit, because holy crap, I’m going to live in Korea.

It’s official. I’ve been accepted to the program I applied to (to which I applied, WHATEVER). I’m totally going. In August. For two semesters minimum. I don’t know a lot more right now. I’m slightly freaking out, but as I get used to the idea that’s starting to go away.

Move over Spanish, I’ve got some Korean to learn.

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Rebuilding season

Please enjoy Johan Santana in a Twins uniform (hubba hubba).
Please enjoy Johan Santana in a Twins uniform (I know I am–hubba hubba).

My boyfriend ended things on Wednesday. He’s a good guy, but we weren’t really a good fit as a couple. I agree with the decision, and was only a 3 1/2 month relationship. It’s still kind of crappy. More rejection? Sure, pile it high.

So this year, 2014, which is less than 1/3 completed, I’ve had major car trouble, an ended relationship, a broken coffee pot (hey, coffee is VERY IMPORTANT), a dead computer, broken glasses, broken bed frame, a failed grad school application. I’m not even going to put an “and” in there just in case I need to add to the list a few more times. In sports, they call this a rebuilding season. Don’t expect a championship, just lay some groundwork for next time.

The thing is, if you’re a Twins fan for more than a few years, you discover that all seasons are rebuilding seasons. They never quite get to the championships. The last league championship was in 2006. World Series? Yeah, right.

And that’s kind of how I’ve lived my life. I go HAM for a while, then I fall back and cocoon, then burst out, then retreat. I’d really like to have a more consistent path of progress. I think some rebuilding is OK and natural, but I don’t want to take it to the extremes I have in the past, where I just completely disappear for nine months at a time. They can’t all be championship seasons, but at least try to get a .500 record now and then.

Things are progressing. I’m applying to a program that I feel good about. I know some people who know people who may be able to offer assistance or advice. And my friends and family have been supportive through all this. (A little support goes a long way. Just a kind word helps so much. I plan to pay it forward soon and often.)

Ex-pat bound?

Search result for "sardonic as all hell."
Search result for “sardonic as all hell.”

I’ve had a lot of time to think this weekend. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I might have to leave my beloved Minneapolis soon. The fact that this winter has been a wide-awake nightmare probably helps.

I’ve been eyeing everything I own and mentally tagging it “bring,” “discard,” “donate,” “sell,” etc. I even brought a cardboard box home from work yesterday to pack up books. I know it’s silly, as any move will be several months in the future, but if I can take whatever baby steps I can, I’ll feel better. And for a reader, I’m really not that attached to books. I’m sure I could get a whole $5 for the contents of my shelves.

In my world, you don’t have to dig too deeply to find someone who has taught English abroad. I have two friends and a few friends-of-friends who I’m asking for advice. So far, advice has been conflicting, so I don’t even know. I’ve started the TESOL course, and it seems OK so far. Not too tough or time-consuming, but not a joke, either.

I’m also looking for ex-pat blogs. I’ve found a few. More recommendations would be helpful. Especially if they are a) teachers b) women c) American d) funny.

I may also change the name of this blog. I know I’m sardonic as all hell, but I feel like it’s a little bit edgy toward myself. And maybe that’s not what I need right now.

Failure is good for the soul

I feel ya, cat.
I feel ya, cat.

I was not accepted to University of Minnesota. I don’t know why. Maybe because my application was late. Maybe because Wonder Woman and her 50 cousins applied this year. It hardly matters at this point. What matters is deciding what’s next.

On January 1, Groupon had a great deal on the 150-hour TOEFL course. I bought it as a back-up plan. I’m planning to sign up soon so I can get started. I know a few people who have taught English abroad, so I’m going to pick their brains.

I will probably beat cheeks out of the USA in August or thereabouts. My lease at the Healing Garage ends July 31. And since many schools outside the US start in January, I think I’d have trouble finding work if I started looking in late October-December. It seems like, based on my limited research, many places have a high turnover rate for ESL teachers, so mid-year would not be a terrible time to job-hunt.

Good things about not getting in:

  1. I don’t have to retake the Spanish test I failed back in October (glad I put off retaking it!).
  2. I don’t have to do the work for my Master’s (at least, not this year).
  3. I can live abroad and maybe (ideally, necessarily) learn another language.
  4. Maybe I can get some interesting stories out of it and write a Fringe show or a memoir or a novel, or at least tell some cute cocktail party stories.
  5. Technology means I’ll be able to keep in touch with people, download Kindle books, etc. It’s not like I’m planning to go off the grid.

Bad things about not getting in:

  1. If I go abroad, I will miss my cat. I’ve known her her whole life, and she’s a bit clingy.
  2. I don’t know how to get prescription meds in other countries. Or prescription glasses. Or health care.
  3. Who will cut my hair? Will I be able to find henna? Shut up, it’s a serious concern. If you could see some of the awful haircuts I’ve had in my life….
  4. I’m open to working in Asia, but people there tend to be of a very different physical type than me. What if I can’t find underpants to cover my fat American ass?
  5. I don’t know what to do with all my shit. I am mentally making lists of what I can sell, what I can give away, what I can keep, what I can bring. And if I keep stuff, I don’t know where I’ll store it.

This weekend is set aside for processing this news. Stew now, be proactive starting Monday.