Wednesday, June 30, 2010

92 - Ulterior Motives

"I have ulterior motives when I write," I confessed to Mordantt one night.
"Everyone does." she said, immediately.
"Really?" I asked.
"Oh, yeah." she answered. "I am a historian and I can safely say that through the ages, people are never writing what they're writing for the reasons they say they're writing it."
"Interesting..." I said.
"The fun part," she said. "Is figuring out why they're actually writing."

93- What You Leave Behind

Helped a good friend move tonight. And by "help", I really mean that I sat on the bed reading a magazine, while she talked out her plans. She is on the cusp of some major publication news and packing for a three week vacation/trek to Vietnam, while orchestrating her own repatriation back to Canada.

"Is it strange that I don't feel anything right now?" she asked.
"No," I answered. "I think that's probably really normal. You don't have time to feel anything right now. You're too busy doing it."

Her apartment had boxes waiting to be shipped, cords, cooking implements, sheet music, half a dozen of pairs of salsa shoes, and old journals. How to decide what to keep and what to throw away? In these moments of transition, we decide what's really important... and what doesn't really matter all that much at all. Sometimes the choices shock us. Sometimes they're reassuring. Sometimes they're difficult, but sometimes they happen as naturally as breathing. My hope is that we all of us leave this season in our lives as better versions of the people we were meant to be.

Monday, June 28, 2010

94- Therapists?

Kid quote: (Shamelessly stolen from one of my colleagues.)

The vocab word is "Therapist"
Question: "Who can make a sentence with 'Therapist'?"
Answer: "The United States of America was attacked by therapists?"
or "Osama bin Laden was a therapist?"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

95- Plot Twist

In an interesting development, Anne Oh, from our beloved church DFIC (Daegu Faith International Church) got married yesterday. I've known Anne for more than two years and in that time, we prayed about so much: kids, friends, our church, and the search for a soul mate. We've cried, laughed, plotted and worked together and it was an honor to witness this milestone in her life.

Our humble church transformed for the occasion, decked out in a flower trellis, rose petals, chiffon and tulle.

Jenny, Anne's daughter, and Angela, Brian's daughter, as flower girls.
Brian and Anne behind them.

Anne with her new husband, Brian, and the Pastor behind them.

Jenny giving a tear-jerking rendition of "The Climb". She did an excellent job. :)

Church friends group shot.

Whatever else, Anne's wedding is a reminder of just how quickly circumstances can change.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called "truth." ~Dan Rather

In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years. ~Jacques Barzun

If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job. ~Donald D. Quinn

A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. ~Thomas Carruthers

A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others. ~Author Unknown

Friday, June 25, 2010

97- 6 more months 'till Christmas

This will be my first Christmas in American soil in 2 years and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it. Never too early to plan, I figure.

And this is the song I remember most:

"You Are the New Day"the Christmas version, sung by the King Singers

“...fold around me where I fall… Bring in the new day."

“This new day will be a turning point for everyone. If we let the Christ Child in and reach for a new day. Christ the way the truth the life. Healing sadness ending strife. You we welcome Lord of Life. Born on a new day. You are the new day.”

Thursday, June 24, 2010

98- Ennui

Sometimes I find that I suffer from a case of too much freedom.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

99- It Figures

Starbucks in Korea does NOT serve decaf.
Decaf? (*makes X with arms*) Nope.

I am not surprised.

100 Days Officially Begins!

According to my cheery little counter, I officially have 100 days left before I repatriate back to the good ol' USA. In practical terms, this means that I have 100 days to process, pack up, and move close to 2 and a half years worth of my life in Korea. It also means that I'll be faced with a whole lotta change a whole lotta quick.

What will change:
~Physical location
~Work situation
~People around me
~Country of residence

What will not change:
~Daily habits
~Work ethic
~People I care about
~Country of origin

You know what they say (cliche but true) "The more things change, the more they stay the same." I hope I can learn to realize and develop the things that are staying the same, while embracing and welcoming the things that will change.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Preparing for the 100 Day Countdown...

In preparation for my last 100 days in the country, I have been trying to think of something that I could do once a day, for 100 days, that would make me a better person. I kicked around a couple of ideas: take a picture a day (which I might actually try), learn a Korean phrase a day (which might be a good idea... but more on that later), or find a joke a day (which I also might try, if only for your benefit, dear reader). Try as I might, though, I couldn't come up with one distinct thing that I would be dedicated enough to do for a solid 100 days, as is the point of this exercise.

Though I have my moments of sloth, I'd like to think that I have cultivated some daily habits of which I am enormously proud. My good-lady-mother and her dear-mother before her have been faithful journal-keepers, and so I have kept a daily journal faithfully since 2000. Also at the *ahem* "strong insistence" (and shining example) of the good-lady-mother, I have learned the habit of a daily meditation time, which has also served me quite well. I offer these as examples (to myself, mainly) that strong, beneficial daily habits are worth pursuing.

Is it cavalier to think that I would be dedicated enough to post once a day for 100 days? Perhaps, but darn it, I will give it my darn-est. I spent the better part of yesterday evening figuring out how to install that darn counter you see in the upper left-hand corner (seriously, that little thing took me close to an hour) but now that I know how to do it, I'm guessing (hoping?) that doing something similar might take less time in the future.

It seems like that's often the way: it takes a long time to learn a skill, but once you master that skill, it becomes easier, (and dare I say more enjoyable?) to use. I am trusting that this skill of distilling my day into a blog post, and the discipline of carving out a few minutes to post it, every day, will become easier --and more fun-- as the days count down.

So, here's to this grand 100 day experiment!

(and thank you very much for reading. :) )