The Perks of Being a Teacher – Part 2: Fellow Teachers

It has been a long timeโ€”too longโ€”since I wrote The Perks of Being a Teacher / Part 1: Students. It was always in the back of my mind that one day I should and would sit down to write about the co-workers I had the privilege of working with as a teacher, which made teaching so much more meaningful and fun.

I believe there is a special kinship that forms between teachers as we go through similar issues: students who are acting up, parents who complain or blame, administrative officers who are not cooperative, classroom management, government requirements, the list is pretty much unending.

There’s something special about suffering together that bonds people faster and closer than a life of no worries. And trust me, the life of an average teacher is rife with reasons to worry or stress. But because there is such a rich mix of experiences, personalities, and methods of teaching by different teachers that we support and learn from each other in unique ways. So, yes, suffering brings us together. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But trust me, we also know how to have fun! I loved having co-workers who were humble enough to share in suffering yet also knew how to cheer each other up. Even a short meeting at the photocopy machine or the blessed lunch break would be enough to refuel us. We would sometimes share crazy stuff that happened in our classes, a sweet comment by a student, or go on about our own inside jokes that might have started as we co-led some school event.

At the two schools I worked at, going out or hanging out in someone’s house was a regular way of letting off steam. At one particular school, I especially bonded with this friend with whom we would have impromptu meal dates, short trip dates, and music jamming dates.

I guess what I am trying to say is that as a teacher, I felt that my co-workers were not just co-workers. They were like brothers and sisters; friends; empathy-givers. Our relationship was strengthened all the more because we all had the mentality of serving to the best of our ability. No one was just trying to “put in hours.” We all had the common goal of providing the best sort of education we could to the best of our ability.

We all had our own share of weaknesses and lazy sides, but the engine of love for students was one and the same, and there was always something to learn from each other.

So, here is to all my fellow teachers, who laughed and cried with me, listened and shared with me, learned with me and taught me: thank you and I love you!

A virtual bouquet of wild flowers for you, my wild teacher friends!
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I’m Glad

Iโ€™m glad it was you and no one else.

Iโ€™m glad God used you
to shine a warm light
to a very dank, dark space in my heart.

Iโ€™m glad that through you,
I saw empathy personified
and experienced loving patience.

Iโ€™m glad Iโ€™m glad about you
yet not dependent nor reliant
upon you doing things โ€œrightโ€
in order for me to love you.

Iโ€™m glad to realize that loving you
doesnโ€™t need to play itself out
into any result or measurable goal;
nor that you need to reciprocate in any way
for this statement to be true.

Iโ€™m glad for this whole experience;
as confusing as it got at timesโ€ฆ
โ€ฆbecause this has been
and is…
one Big-Milestone-Epiphany kind of Epiphany
about how good and faithful God is;
about how much I love and need Him.

God is. (Ontology!)
Therefore, I am.
And so are you.

Iโ€™m so glad we met when we did.

Perhaps our meeting was like that of ‘La Jonction’ in Geneva: where the Rhone, with its blue waters, and the Arve, with brown waters, meet temporarily to bring about a different color into each other’s distinctly colored waters. (Photo archive from July 2018)

์ž ์— ๋Œ€ํ•œ ๋œป ๊นŠ์€ ์‹œใ…‹ใ…‹ (Extremely deep poem about sleep lol)

(English below)

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I Am Sleepy

Although I slept… I am sleepy.

Although I napped… I am sleepy.

Am I sleepy… because I ate so much?

Am I sleepy… because I didn’t do anything?

On this day that I feel so sleepy…

Should I just sleep?

In the “May” of My Life

When we say โ€œMay,โ€ people who live in the Northern hemisphere and have a large influence on current media and culture contents, think of upcoming summerโ€ฆ the perfect season for weddings. Growing up in South America, May has always been very much autumn going into winter. Trees shed their leaves not in pretty oranges, yellows, and reds, but from green to brownโ€”moldy black, straight out brown-going-on-black.

This paradox of being told at school (I went to an American school) and media (I was more into Hollywood movies, where May is summer) and college (went to college in Korea where May is summer) that May is young and budding with new life was very different from the May I grew up in.

Now, eight years later, I am experiencing a cold May, a May where things are dying; not budding with new life. In this, I cannot help but reflect myself in the playing of the seasons.

In the โ€œMayโ€ of my youth, where I am supposed to be enhancing or building my career, skills, and relationships, I see myself instead in a cold, dying โ€œMay,โ€ where I am isolatedโ€”without friends nearby, without direction, and without strength. I feel like the winter southern hemisphere May befits me more than the summer May I see portrayed by the West.

In winter May, I turn on my electric blanket and heater to keep me warm. I need artificial help to keep me warm. In my soulโ€™s May, I also need outer, artificial help. What help? I donโ€™t know. I believe that the paradox of seasons is also a paradox in my heart. It is a season of both the death of something and the sprouting of something new in my heart. Whatโ€™s uprooted, whatโ€™s dying, and whatโ€™s planted is only up to the Gardener of my life. May the winter and summer of my life end and begin in Christ.

 

(Journal entry from May 27, 2017)

 


I wrote this meditation on May of 2017 during a time of great loneliness and difficulty. Now, two years later, I can say God has given me that outer, artificial help in too many ways to count. ๐Ÿ˜Š

 

First Impressions of L’Abri

Before I lose track of time and forget the first thoughts I had on Lโ€™Abri, I want to leave a record of what this place has come to mean to me.

In 2018, I was admitting my loneliness and overall depressive mood as I found it hard to adapt to life in Argentina. I had come back to Argentina in 2017 after eight years of living abroad, and fitting in with the family and the Korean Argentinean community proved to be extremely difficult. I felt awkward and unlikable overall and this seeped into my self-esteemโ€”causing it to hit rock bottom. My mom, who saw all of this and yet couldnโ€™t do much to help, suggested I take some kind of long vacation. She mentioned Lโ€™Abri, and I remembered having heard of it in Korea as well. The name had never stuck with me, so throughout the first half of 2018, I kept forgetting about Lโ€™Abri until I read a book by Francis Chan, where he mentioned it. After this, I decided to Google it and see if times matched up, and when I saw that everything would line up so that I could go to the Swiss Lโ€™Abri on a summer term, I decided to give it a go.

Fast forward to a journal entry I wrote back during my student days at Lโ€™Abri in 2018 to explain my initial thoughts of this fascinating place:

When I came here, I didnโ€™t have any expectations of the โ€œinstitutionโ€ itself, but had expectations on what God could and would do through it. And after three weeks here, I can say that I like Lโ€™Abri in a subtle, profound way.

I say subtle because there hasnโ€™t been any dramatic โ€œwowโ€ factor happening, but in the midst of the daily work, study, fellowship, solitude, and meals, thereโ€™s something slowly shifting gears in me. I canโ€™t pinpoint it and say, โ€œAHA! This is whatโ€™s transforming and nourishing me!โ€ But I feel something solid building deep down in me as I meet His nature, His Word, His people. And this is how itโ€™s profound.

I feel like God had been telling me for some time that if I truly wanted to be a Kingdom of God agent, I first needed to receive love from Him. I thought I had been doing that, but seeing how badly my broken relationship with family affected my self-esteem and identity proved I was receiving His love theoretically and not practically. Thus, Iโ€™m learning to delight in the Lord every dayโ€ฆ to be mesmerized by His beauty and glory and honor and majesty.

ย 

After writing this journal and having many subtle epiphanies, I came to trust God in a deeper way, so that even though I didnโ€™t know how I was going to afford my trip to Korea, what kind of jobs I would find, or how my friends were going to welcome me, I knew on a deep level that this was a trip I had to make. And God gave me just what I needed for that trip. He provided the exact amount of money I needed, the exact jobs I could work, the exact communities I needed. Most importantly, I learned and experienced a deep joy in all that God kept pouring into me.

 

To be continuedโ€ฆ.

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When I Am Not Satisfied

When I canโ€™t sleep, grumpy.

When I oversleep, guilty.

 

When I overthink, overwhelmed.

When I simplify, stereotype.

 

When I am disciplined, legalistic.

When I am flexible, people-pleaser.

 

When I am hungry, greedy.

When I am full, ungrateful.

 

When will I be satisfied?

When will this pendulum of extremes stop?

 

When I accept the Lordโ€™s joy and His joy becomes mine.

 

Thatโ€™s whenโ€ฆ

Joy becomes the lead

to guide my thoughts and will

to become one with Abba.

 

So, when will I be satisfied?

When I am me in God.

When God is in me.

When we are one.

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์„ค๋ ˜

IMG_20180810_151940.jpg
๊ฐ์ •์ด๋ž‘ ์นœํ•ด์ง€๋ฉฐ ์„ค๋ ˜์„ ๋Š๋ผ๊ณ  ์žˆ๋Š” ์—˜๋ฆฌ. ใ…Žใ…Ž

ํ•˜๋‚˜๋‹˜์€ ๋‚˜๋ฅผ ์„ค๋ ˆ๊ฒŒ ํ•œ๋‹ค.

๋‚˜๋„ย ๋ชจ๋ฅด๊ฒŒ ๊ฐ์ •์„ ๋ฌด์‹œํ•˜๋ฉฐ ์‚ด์•˜์—ˆ๊ณ 
ํ•˜๋‚˜๋‹˜์„ ๊ฐ์ •์ ์œผ๋กœ ์˜คํ•ดํ–ˆ๋˜ ๊ฒŒ ํ•œ๋‘๊ฐ€์ง€๊ฐ€ ์•„๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.
ํ•˜๋‚˜๋‹˜๊ป˜์„œ๋Š” ๋‚ด๊ฐ€ ์„ค๋ ˆ๋Š” ๊ฒƒ์— ๋Œ€ํ•ด ๊ธฐ๋ปํ•˜์‹œ๋Š”๋ฐ…
๊ทธ๋ž˜์„œ ์‹ค์ปท ์„ค๋ ˆ๊ณ  ์žˆ๋‹ค.

์š”์ฆ˜์— ์˜์ƒ์œผ๋กœ ์„ค๋ Œ๋‹ค.
ํŠนํžˆ. ๋‚˜๋Š” ์˜์ƒ ํŽธ์ง‘์— ์„ค๋ ˆ๊ณ 
์˜๋ฏธ.์˜๋„.์Šคํ† ๋ฆฌํ…”๋ง์„
๊ณ ๋ฏผํ•˜๊ณ  ํ’€์–ด๊ฐ€๋Š” ๊ฑธ ์ข‹์•„ํ•œ๋‹ค.
์ƒ๊ฐ๋งŒ ํ•ด๋„ ์„ค๋ Œ๋‹ค.

์š”์ฆ˜์— ์ž์—ฐ์„ ๋ณผ๋•Œ๋งˆ๋‹ค ์„ค๋ Œ๋‹ค.
์ƒ‰์ƒ.์•„๋ฆ„๋‹ค์›€.๋‹ค์–‘ํ•จ.
๋‹ค ์•ˆ ๊ทธ๋ž˜๋„ ๋˜๋Š”๋ฐ
ํ•˜๋‚˜๋‹˜์€ ๋ชจ๋“  ๊ฒƒ์„ ์„ฌ์„ธํ•˜๋ฉด์„œ๋„
์žฅ๋Œ€ํ•˜๊ฒŒ ๋งŒ๋“œ์…จ๋‹ค.
์šฐ๋ฆฌ๊ฐ€ ๋ณด๋ฉฐ ์„ค๋ ˆ๋ผ๊ณ .

์š”์ฆ˜์— ๊ด€๊ณ„๋ฅผ ๋งบ๋Š” ๊ฒƒ์— ๋Œ€ํ•ด ์„ค๋ Œ๋‹ค.
์˜ค๋ž˜ ๋œ ์นœ๊ตฌ๋“ค๊ณผ ๊ด€๊ณ„๊ฐ€ ๋” ๊นŠ์–ด์ ธ ๊ฐ€๋Š” ๊ฒŒ ์„ค๋ Œ๋‹ค.
์‚ฌ์‹ค ์ƒˆ๋กœ์šด ์‚ฌ๋žŒ์„ ๋งŒ๋‚˜๊ณ  ์‹ถ์–ด ํ•˜์ง€ ์•Š์ง€๋งŒ
์ƒˆ๋กœ์šด ์‚ฌ๋žŒ์„ ๋งŒ๋‚˜๋Š” ๊ฒƒ์— ๋Œ€ํ•ด์„œ๋„ ์„ค๋ Œ๋‹ค.

์ธ์ƒ์ด ์ด๋ ‡๊ฒŒ ์„ค๋  ์ˆ˜ ์žˆ๊ตฌ๋‚˜.
30์‚ด์— ์„ค๋ ˜์„ ๊ฐ€๋“ ๋Š๋ผ๊ณ  ์žˆ๋Š” ์˜ค๋Š˜. ๊ฐ์‚ฌํ•˜๋‹ค.