It’s official! I will return to Korea in August to become a visiting foreign professor at Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea – where I was born. In Daejeon, not at the University… at least as far as I know. I guess I’ll find out more IF I decide to do any searching in the coming year…
When I left for Korea in February, I was demoralized by two years of searching for jobs I was either over- or under-qualified for. I was tired of struggling, of doing the same thing every day, of having a life I didn’t plan for, didn’t want, felt no connection to. I was 100% sure that going to Korea would NOT solve any of my problems, but it would give me some time to hear myself think, to force myself to reconnect with whatever it is used to motivate me, and to have an experience that was outside my comfort zone.
I made a decision that I would accept any permanent job that was in the range of my experiences, interests, and qualifications. I did not expect that the position would be in Korea, but sometimes things work out for reasons we cannot predict. While I do not have any strong compulsion to go back to Korea, I am certainly not opposed to returning to the Land of the Morning Calm. For other adoptees, living in Korea, returning to Korea, existing in Korea is a really Big Deal. For me, it’s simply a professional decision to go to where the work is… and I am getting really excited about teaching next year, about designing my own curriculum, and about challenging myself to bridge the cultural chasm to communicate and to help others learn. I’m looking forward to acquiring SOME Korean language skills (I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t push myself more) and I am more than excited to return to a place that considers noodles an after-meal necessity.
I am uber-excited that some of my friends will visit next year to see Korea for themselves. I welcome all guests to visit, though I forewarn that my studio apartment is no bigger than a Korean dormitory and will have literally no space for overnight guests. I’m eager to play tour guide and hopefully will be able to learn enough Korean that we won’t get lost… since right now, I can only give directions if they only require left turns (our taxi ride to English Town at Inje ONLY had wen-joke turns).
So… there will be more observations from Korea… and hopefully this blog will become more informational and thoughtful instead of purely introspective.
For now, I am enjoying the Desert heat, reunions, resuming love affairs (mainly with tacos and pool floaties), my doggie, my family, and my Desert-Dwellers. But I’m ready for more….Korean Adventures.