Archive for July, 2010

{homeward bound}

Ahhhhh America. I’ve been back in the states for about a week now, steadily gaining back all the weight I lost by indulging on all of my favorite american treats. MMMMmm. No regrets there!

My trip started out in Ann Arbor, switched it up in Detroit, involved a combo greyhound+plane flight to get to my bro in Tallahassee, and now is kicking down a few gears as I board a private bus bound down the FL coast for Miami in just a few hours.

My trip has been defined by food and friends, but grad school is weighing top in my mind. Since I was visiting two university towns, I met with the graduate programs admissions representatives and fleshed out some of my post-grad goals while hearing about different programs.

Basically, I’m planning on going to library school to get my MLIS and a certificate as a school media specialist (ie, a school librarian). I could work in a school in in a public library as a YA/children’s librarian. After a few year of tossing around different ideas for grad school (MSW, MA in Jewish women’s studies, the omnipresent MFA), library school has stuck out. Do I have any experience working in libraries? No… And yet, it’s something that I’ve been kicking around for a long time. In both of the admissions meetings that I had, I got uncontrollably (yes! uncontrollably!) excited when talking about library space, information usage and youth education. Seriously! I’ve read a lot of peoples’ day-to-day librarian experiences on Library Day in the Life and it looks like what I want from a job: social, challenging, technology and youth based, and ever changing.

And yet, I still have some… slight doubts. I talked to my brother about it a lot. See, I always expected that I would do something art related with my life. I’m a couple of years out if art school, and that hasn’t been the case. My day jobs have been about education, not art. I keep wondering if I should be getting a degree in art education instead. Which will give me satisfaction and happiness? Which would let me grow and develop as an artist? Which will lend itself to a stable work environment?

As it stands, I’m looking at applying to four iSchools for the fall of ’11. Utexas-Austin, Umich, Simmons in Boston and Umaryland – college park. These schools might be some of the harder iSchools to get into… I might also have some of the lowest GRE scores to ever fall out of a fairly intelligent persons skull. I’m looking at it as an experiment. If I don’t get in, I’m not going to stress about it. If I do get in, I’ll take it from there.

Librarians in training. I can see myself doing that.

full loop

I resigned my contract. Next week I’ll go back to the states for a quick vay-cay, and then return to Seoul.

I keep reflecting on my time here. A lot of it’s been good. I like how varied my job is, and I love worthing with my students. Sometimes the solitude gets to me. Sometimes all I want is some macaroni and cheese, or another small, unimportant comfort item.

This might sound dorky, but what’s really exciting to me is that by spending two years in Korea, I will have seen THREE classes advance onto their senior year. My first years (7th graders) that I teach now will be third years by the time that I leave. I feel all mushy inside thinking about that, watching ’em grow up.

This weekend, I was exiting the subway station when I saw one of my first years with her father. She yelled “teacher!” and ran over to me, gave me a hug, and then ran back to her dad. I dunno, I’m a huge sap. It made me smile.

I’m really happy that got placed at Hyewon. I know the system is random, but teaching middle school (at an all girls middle school) is amazing.