Monday, 23 January 2012


"I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium"

Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year!

Hope everyone has been well since the new year. It is officially the Year of the Dragon, and I have been waiting for this for a long time! This Chinese New Year makes me think a lot about my grandpa and grandma (from Hawai'i). My grandpa would always send lay-see (red envelopes filled with money) and shirts with the year of whatever animal it was. Not that my grandpa or grandma favored any animal or year over any other one. I just knew I was very special to my grandparents. Since it is my year, my thoughts are drawn to my grandparents for some reason. I'm feeling very nostalgic about their cooking, our outtings, sitting on my grandpa's lap to make wonton, and many other things. All of them are very sweet-- I don't recall any bad memories at all. Among these memories, I remember most the last summer I saw my grandpa. My grandma was very sick with pancreatic cancer and my grandpa was trying to be sweet and comforting while we all took turns taking care of my grandmother. He brought home so many sweet cakes one time for me and my brother. We wouldn't be able to finish it, and my father lightly reprimanded him in Chinese, "You shouldn't have gotten them this! They will never be able to finish this!" to which my grandfather basically said, "Gavin and Margaret love these. It's okay. If they can't finish it, it's okay." My father and grandpa would have a little argument over it, but I would look at my grandpa with so much love. My heart could never give him enough gratitude or love he deserved.

There were so many things I didn't know about him, and I wish I could have asked him. (Same with my grandmother). Many things I learned rom my aunt and uncle in fact. I was told that my grandparents were nominated as grandparents of the year in Oahu or Honolulu in that last summer I spent with them. Something of that sort. I find that it's a great honor but my grandpa, a most humble man much like my father, declined to take the award. The article wanted to mention their accomplishments: moving to the US from China with hardly any money, holding a shop open to support 4 children, getting them all through college, having 6 grandchildren all of whom were in college and some of whom were going into grad school even. It is hard getting through this post without crying at times because the amount of love and respect I have for these two people cannot be expressed. When I have hard times, I always come back to thinking about how they never complained and got through times harder than I have ever been in.

This Chinese New Year is wonderful and hard at the same time. I keep thinking about the time I stepped foot outside of their lovely little home and took as many "last looks" at them as I could because I wasn't sure when I would next see them. I actually never expected to never see my grandfather again, but I was somewhat prepared with my grandmother. So when both of them passed within a few months of each other, my heart broke. My brother told me how lonely my grandfather was calling him at college, and I feel so guilty for never calling. I was so busy worrying about finals that no one told me how my grandfather was. It was the same with my grandma. I never found out about her cancer until after my finals which was 4 months after they found out. It hurt when I found out no one told me, and I still feel the hurt because had I known, I would have called them even more. But I can't really be upset-- I should have just called more.

Anyway, this long winded tangent of a post is to say how grateful I am for everything in spite of my recent problems at work and stress with law school decisions. I know that whatever I do, my grandparents would be proud of me and that I should never give up because they never did. If they ever felt weak, they sure were great at hiding it, because I always saw them as the strongest human beings alive. I tend to be a very optimistic person but in recent years, I have become very pessimistic. So, this year has been a reminder. I don't know why this year of all years, but it was much needed. I hope this year gives you hope, strength, and a reminder that we have little problems compared to other people in the world. (Yes, as cliched as that sounds).

Now, moving on:

I would not be accurately representing my life as a foreign teacher if I didn't discuss what is currently going on with my hagwon right now. We were told this past week that our school would be closing at the end of this month. That leaves us 1.5 weeks to look for another job. That is the main issue going on with me as of yet. There are many details that are pretty important and could go onto this blog, however, I know that it is not in my best interest to discuss them here. It's unfortunate, but that's how public forums work on the Internet. Am I stressed? Yes. Have we been looking for new jobs and getting contacted? Yes. It's just a matter of which one do we want to take, getting more contacts about jobs we haven't heard from yet, and considering working hours/pay. What else am I stressed about? Deciding whether I should go to the law schools I got into/am waitlisted for. My thinking: I should maybe retake the LSAT/LSAT courses to get my scores even higher because part of me thinks it is definitely possible. I just have to not psyche myself out and maybe more work on recognizing solutions on the LSAT could get me into a school I am worthy of. That means: do I go back to the US for retaking the course? Or do I stay here, work more and make more money and take an online class instead? Or maybe they have an in-person class here? These are things I need to look into more seriously. Working more looks great because everything is so cheap, and I want to earn as much money as I can so I can have/take care of my own puppy when I get back to the US/pay for some law school things on my own. Decisions, decisions.

As far as recent excursions, Ryan and I recently went to Insadong again to try out a tea shop. The above picture is of the tea shop, and I loved the atmosphere and tea. I think I would go back there again just to relax or study more Korean. We also recently visited Sinchon to meet up with Ryan's friends from Yonsei. We played at a multi-bong and then went to Hongdae for some drinks/dinner and pool.

This weekend, we are just relaxing at home and feeling the bitter winter cold in Korea. Even the heater isn't helping our freezing feet. Wearing warm socks and thermals only helps to a certain degree. Brr! I am doing my best to relax and prepare myself for experiencing real-life work situations. Getting laid off because of a closing business. Preparing myself for never seeing kids that I have come to absolutely love and adore. (The kindergarten kids). I can't imagine not teaching this kids at all, anymore. Somehow, I will cope with it but it is definitely going to be heart-breaking.

On that note, everything is up in the air. Let's make the future ours with our own hands and work with the cards we are dealt with in life. There is a way to make everything the way we want in life eventually if we are willing to work hard for it.

Make every day a special memory even with the hard times. Life wouldn't be wonderful if it weren't bittersweet sometimes.

No comments:

Post a Comment