Monday, August 31, 2009

Ancora imparo

It was one year ago this evening that I arrived in Korea. At this hour, actually, I was about to board the plane from Incheon to Daegu. Now here I am on what would have been my final night teaching the euthanasia... sorry... youth in Asia... and, were I most people, I'd be boarding a plane back to the States in a day or two.

Well, I'm not most people, though if I don't lose some weight I could be a couple of people. Today was our first day with students at St. Paul Prep and I still need to put the finishing touches on tomorrow's opening lessons. This job is so far above the LIKE job that it's a different kettle of tofu entirely, and I'm excited. September 1 as a starting date is good enough for Hogwart's, and it's good enough for me.

What have I done in a year? I've walked perhaps a thousand miles, taught a lot of kids the difference between crab soup and crap soup, seen an international track meet and a dozen ballgames, visited the most sacred Buddhist temple in the southeastern part of the country many times and the most famous beach in Korea once, loved two cats and lost one.

I've learned to trust myself, miss my friends, and release a lot of the anger, worry, and attachments that have always been my personal albatrosses. I know I'm a better person than I was when I took off from JAX a year and a day ago; I know I'm not where I need to be yet, as I badly let down someone I've come to care for. Life goes on, and, as Michelangelo said when he was thirty years older than I am now, "Ancara imparo": I am still learning.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on year one. Yes, I agree that your story is still being written. Reminds me of the U2 song "I still haven't found what I'm looking for". Good hunting old friend.


Gill_Ruth said...

Happy anniversary Stephen.

I'm sorry you didn't get the happy ending with Tiki. I hope you continue to enjoy and write about your life in Korea, though, and I look forward to reading your posts and learning more about you and your world.

Kind regards, Gill