Beef Jerky?

Newest Korean adventures post.

Going Bonkers in Korea

And it’s Monday again.

I’ve grown accustomed to dreading Mondays, especially in Korea.  Not only do I have to muster up the energy to be in a room full of middle school students, but I also have to find the courage to push through whatever new challenges await.  Such is life when living in a different country.  Simple day-to-day tasks suddenly become challenges that exhaust all energy built up during the previous night.  Energy suddenly becomes a precious resource that is invaluable when trying to survive out of your comfort zone.

This Monday, however, did not present such a daunting threat.  Students are still on winter break here so I am getting quite a bit of desk warming time, hence the more frequent blog posts.  After a very enjoyable weekend, I am feeling refreshed and ready to use this time as productively as possible.  Netflix is calling my name though…

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As the Snow Falls

Life.  What a crazy concept.  One moment you’re looking forward to what you hope will be.  The next, you’re looking back wishing for what was.  How fickle are we.

This blog was created one year ago almost to the date.  No really, I received a surprise anniversary alert just yesterday.  How kind of WordPress to remind me of the past year and how it’s been 8 months since my last post.  Despite well meaning intentions of productivity, I have let my writing fall to the wayside only to be replaced by feelings of insecurity and failure.  To be fair, I have been wading through quite a bit of life changing experiences these past few months.  Unfortunately, in the process of attempted adjustment to my new life, I have tossed aside some great writing opportunities.  

So this is my attempt to re-enter the blogging world.  

Now back to my opening lines.  How fickle are we.  You might wonder what inspired me to write a post based upon this premise.  Certainly I am not the first to write on this topic and I will not be the last.  I must say, though, that this fickleness taking root inside of my person during this current stage of life has caught me in unawares and has, quite frankly, caused me to question several life decisions.  Decisions, of which, are integral in determining who I am.

Honestly, this blog was created solely for the purpose of meeting class requirements.  I had no intention, originally, of continuing to post after the completion of the class, as my prolonged silence clearly displayed.  However, as of late, I have found myself longing for the simple days of last year.  Writing blog posts about anything I could get my hands on, simply so I could meet the weekly blog post quota, seemed like such an arduous task at the time.  But there was one important ingredient missing from those lackluster posts.  Heart.

Well, I have now found the heart that I need in order to bare my innermost soul in my writing.  What happened in the past 8 months that could have caused such a dramatic change?  South Korea, that’s what.

My husband and I had been preparing to move to South Korea before we were even married.  Interactions with Korean students on our college campus planted a seed that would slowly grow into a deep rooted desire to experience the homeland of so many of our friends.  After a lot of praying and talking to God, He made it clear to us that moving to South Korea for a year or longer was the path that He was leading us on.  Naively, we prepared for the upcoming journey.  I say naively because it fits exactly.  I was completely naive to the extreme challenges that were to come.  Challenges that would rock my foundation and force me to question our decision to follow the path that God had laid before us.  Challenges that, no matter how difficult and painful, would lead me a step (or leap) closer to the person God wants me to be.

And so, almost half a year later, here I am.

Open. Bare. Raw. 

These challenges have established a new boldness in me.  A boldness that shatters any shield that I once had in place to protect me.  This shield, at one time, prevented me from truly writing, but now, here I am.  Because I know that the fear of baring my soul through writing cannot even begin to match the terror that I have felt during these last few months.

As I sit here, gazing out at the falling snow, I wonder which life is simpler.  Living a life of fear or living a life of boldness?  Rather than questioning the simpleness of life, perhaps the question should be, which life is worth living?   

Half Way

Here is a blog post from my other blog, “Going Bonkers in Korea”

Going Bonkers in Korea

Okay, Okay….I know it has been far too long since my last post, longer than any excuse can make acceptable.  Unfortunately, not only has my prolonged silence from the blogging world made it difficult to return, it has also diminished many of my memories of our experiences thus far.  However, I will do my best to fill you in on what we have been up to for these last few months.

I believe my final words to you last time were, “We were alone.”  Yes, despite being in the 3rd most populated city in the world, we were quite alone.  This is a feeling that I have no wish to ever experience again.  The quietness that overtook us surrounded us in a bubble.  We could see and hear people all around us but the bubble prevented us from understanding anything that was being said.  This was our first experience dealing…

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What Happened?

Recently, I heard the unfortunate news that my cousin, who is in high school, was admitted into a rehab center in Omaha.  

This news was something completely new to me.  Never having known anyone who was addicted to drugs, I wasn’t quite sure how to take the news.  I immediately began thinking of the little girl that I used to know.  We were very close, her and I.  While growing up, we made lots of mud pies together and had plenty of four-wheeler races…you know, the usual kid stuff.  

There is one very important issue that I have left out.  She wanted to be a boy.  From a young age she began dressing like a boy, speaking like a boy, eating like a boy, and cutting her hair short like a boy.  Obviously, she had an issue with needing attention.  We all thought she’d grow out of it sooner or later and, in the mean time, I had fun growing up with her.

Once she reached middle school, she had completely rid herself of the desire to be a boy.  She began wearing makeup and dressing in girl clothes.  Her clothes, however, began to be less and less while her makeup began to be more and more.  She began hanging out with the wrong group of people and participating in activities that were not healthy for her.  She made her way down a rather dark path and is now in rehab.

The confused little girl that I grew up with has now turned into someone completely different.  It has been very difficult for me to watch her go down this path.  I no longer know who she is but can only hope that she’s getting the help she needs to turn her life around.

Confused from the beginning….

Video Blog Idea

I have been struggling to come up with an idea for my video blog that will allow me to effectively tell a story.  I have been circling around one idea all week and I think I have finally decided to stick with it.

Getting married right before my senior year of college has presented a few life changes that have made this year a little more “interesting” than most.  I, in no way, regret my decision to get married but I’ll admit that it has been a difficult transition at times.  

One big transition was getting used to people’s reactions when they found out I was married.  But I quickly began to ignore the weird looks that I often got from other students. That was the easy part.  The more difficult part came a few months after our wedding.  You see, it is a little difficult to learn how to live with someone else after you’ve become accustomed to living alone.  The little “quirks” that my husband had (the ones that I originally thought were  wonderful) began to annoy me.  The list could go on and on (and I’m sure he would say many of the same things about me) but there is one thing in specific that has been a particularly difficult transition.

My husband has hearing aids and has needed them most of his life.  There has been A LOT of communication failures in our marriage due to his hearing impairment.  Although this miss-communication does provide a lot of humor, there are times when I have become very annoyed at the numerous times I’ve had to repeat myself.  The times when I find out I’m having a conversation with myself are especially “fun”.  Also, I’m pretty sure our neighbors can hear entire conversations I’ve had with him after he’s taken his hearing aids out.  Screaming doesn’t suit apartment complexes.

My idea then for my video blog is to tell a story about how Isaac, over his life, has had to adjust to his impairment and how I have had to make adjustments in our marriage.  

Spring has finally Sprung!

The arrival of Spring usually triggers a more “care-free” me.  With school’s end drawing near and 70 degree weather allowing shorts to dig their way out from the bottom of my dresser drawer, I begin to care less and less about school and more about my summer plans.

This year, however, is a bit different.  I’m graduating in a week and still don’t have any concrete plans on what adventure I’ll be pursuing next.  I am currently in the process of applying to teach English in South Korea.  That process, though, has proven to be a very long and arduous one.  My paper work was mailed to South Korea last week and I am still waiting to hear back.  Lacking patience is probably one of my biggest weaknesses and, as the day continue to go by with no word from Korea, I become more and more anxious.  

This is probably something that nearly every college graduate experiences.  The feelings of doubt and uncertainty are feelings that I am not accustomed to.  I have been in school for most of my life and it’s all I have known.  Somehow, my time as an undergraduate student has disappeared and its time for me to enter a whole new chapter of my life.  

I could not be happier that Spring has finally decided to appear but this year it brings with it a bitter-sweet feeling.

Kearney Defies National Unemployment Rate – Final Column

The job industry is a foreign place for college seniors.  Although they have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this world, finding a place to belong is quite another experience.  Application after application is filled out in hopes of receiving an interview.  Echoes of complaints from seniors experiencing intense job interviews for the first time can be heard throughout college campuses.  Disappointment looms in the air after weeks of no response. 

In a New York Times article, writer Catherine Rampell says, “It is true that young workers have higher unemployment rates than their older counterparts, at just about all levels of education.”  A recent report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that, as of October 2011, graduates had an unemployment rate of 14%.

As the poor economic conditions continue to remain low, unemployment rates for recent college graduates aren’t getting any better.  The Washington Post states that a recent survey shows an increase of only 2.1% in the hiring of recent college graduates.  This, compared to the projected increase of 13%, does not inspire much hope for college seniors. 

This all sounds quite defeating but, for Kearney residents, there seems to be more hope.

Despite the national statistics and poor economy, Kearney, NE seems to be thriving.  Upcoming graduates at UNK have had a surprising amount of job interviews and offers.  Although some students may not have acquired a position they originally sought after, many are planning to begin working within their degree field.  A senior majoring in Broadcasting at UNK, Wes Fairhead, says that he has submitted around 15 applications but has heard nothing back.  He currently works at NTV and plans to continue working there until more doors open for him.  Although he has not yet received offers outside of NTV, he is still grateful to have a job within his major. 

Education majors Jenny Demoret and Abi Hinrichsen were nervous about their prospects of finding a job in Kearney.  They were both seeking positions in elementary schools but, because of the low demand and high supply of education majors within the area, they were not hopeful.  However, they both found jobs at schools in Kearney.  “It was such a relief to learn that I was going to be able to stay in Kearney.”  Jenny said.  She was looking into other out-of-state job opportunities when she heard the good news.

Life is full of decisions.  Whether it’s deciding what college to attend or determining a field of study, decisions are the building blocks of our lives.  We cannot hide from the choices that life forces us to make.  If we become indecisive then life moves on, leaving us buried in the debris of our hesitations. 

College seniors, myself included, are no strangers to decision making.  Major decisions began appearing after graduating high school, when minds shifted to college preparations: deciding what school to attend, what to study, what clothes to pack, and what friends to keep.  Regardless of these rather life altering decisions, this milestone in life leads to something that most high school graduates are very practiced at.  School.

At 22 years old, 17 years of my life have been spent in school classrooms.  Now, as graduation quickly approaches, new decisions are surfacing and most of them lead to life outside of classrooms.  

Although the comfort of hiding from decisions is tempting, controlling the direction my life takes is a much better option than sitting around waiting for something to happen.  Deciding to attend UNK has been one of the best decisions I have made and, because Kearney seems to defy the national unemployment rate, maybe leaving the classroom won’t be so bad.

Kearney Defies National Unemployment Rate – Column Draft 2

The job industry is a foreign place for college seniors.  Although they have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this world, finding a place to belong is quite another experience.  Application after application is filled out in hopes of receiving an interview.  Echoes of complaints from seniors experiencing intense job interviews for the first time can be heard throughout college campuses.  Disappointment looms in the air after weeks of no response.  

In a New York Times article, writer Catherine Rampell says, “It is true that young workers have higher unemployment rates than their older counterparts, at just about all levels of education.”  A recent report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that, as of October 2011, graduates had an unemployment rate of 14%.

As the poor economic conditions continue to remain low, unemployment rates for recent college graduates aren’t getting any better.  The Washington Post states that a recent survey shows an increase of only 2.1% in the hiring of recent college graduates.  This, compared to the projected increase of 13%, does not inspire much hope for college seniors. 

This all sounds quite defeating but, for Kearney residents, there seems to be more hope.

Despite the national statistics and poor economy, Kearney, NE seems to be thriving.  Upcoming graduates at UNK have had a surprising amount of job interviews and offers.  Although some students may not have acquired a position they originally sought after, many are planning to begin working within their degree field.  A senior majoring in Broadcasting at UNK, Wes Fairhead, says that he has submitted around 15 applications but has heard nothing back.  He currently works at NTV and plans to continue working there until more doors open for him.  Although he has not yet received offers outside of NTV, he is still grateful to have a job within his major. 

Education majors Jenny Demoret and Abi Hinrichsen were nervous about their prospects of finding a job in Kearney.  They were both seeking positions in elementary schools but, because of the low demand and high supply of education majors within the area, they were not hopeful.  However, they both found jobs at schools in Kearney.  “It was such a relief to learn that I was going to be able to stay in Kearney.”  Jenny said.  She was looking into other out-of-state job opportunities when she heard the good news.

Life is full of decisions.  Whether it’s deciding what college to attend or determining a field of study, decisions are the building blocks of our lives.  We cannot hide from the choices that life forces us to make.  If we become indecisive then life moves on, leaving us buried in the debris of our hesitations. 

College seniors, myself included, are no strangers to decision making.  Major decisions began appearing after graduating high school, when minds shifted to college preparations: deciding what school to attend, what to study, what clothes to pack, and what friends to keep.  Regardless of these rather life altering decisions, this milestone in life leads to something that most high school graduates are very practiced at.  School.

At 22 years old, 17 years of my life have been spent in school classrooms.  Now, as graduation quickly approaches, new decisions are surfacing and most of them lead to life outside of classrooms.   

Although the comfort of hiding from decisions is tempting, controlling the direction my life takes is a much better option than sitting around waiting for something to happen.  Deciding to attend UNK has been one of the best decisions I have made and, because Kearney seems to defy the national unemployment rate, maybe leaving the classroom won’t be so bad.

Kearney Defies National Unemployment Rate – Column Rough Draft

Life is full of decisions.  Whether it’s deciding what college to attend or determining a field of study, decisions are the building blocks of our lives.  We cannot hide from the choices that life forces us to make, whether it’s a small decision, like determining what to have for lunch, or a big decision, like finding the right person to marry.  If we become indecisive then life moves on, leaving us buried in the debris of our hesitations.  Oh, how I long to remain entombed in my safe harbor of indecisiveness. 

College seniors, myself included, are no strangers to decision making.  Major decisions began appearing after graduating high school, when minds shifted to college preparations: deciding what school to attend, what to study, what clothes to pack, and what friends to keep.  Regardless of these rather life altering decisions, this milestone in life leads to something that most high school graduates are very practiced at.  School.

At 22 years old, 17 years of my life have been spent in school classrooms.  Now, as graduation quickly approaches, new decisions are surfacing and most of them lead to life outside of classrooms. 

The job industry is a foreign place for college seniors.  Although we have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this world, finding a place to belong is quite another experience.  Application after application is filled out in hopes of receiving an interview.  Echoes of complaints from seniors experiencing intense job interviews for the first time can be heard throughout the halls of UNK buildings.  Disappointment looms in the air after weeks of no responses.  This sounds like quite a defeating process but, for Kearney residents, there seems to be more hope.

As the poor economic conditions continue to remain low, unemployment rates for recent college graduates aren’t getting any better.  The Washington Post states that a recent survey shows an increase of only 2.1% in the hiring of recent college graduates.  This, compared to the projected increase of 13%, does not inspire much hope for college seniors.

Despite the national statistics and poor economy, Kearney, NE seems to be thriving.  Upcoming graduates at UNK have had a surprising amount of job interviews and offers.  Although some students may not have acquired a position they originally sought after, many are planning to begin working within their degree field.  A senior majoring in Broadcasting at UNK, Wes Fairhead, says that he has submitted around 15 applications but has heard nothing back.  He currently works at NTV and plans to continue working there until more doors open for him.  Although he has not yet received offers outside of NTV, he is still grateful to have a job within his major. 

Education majors Jenny Demoret and Abi Hinrichsen were nervous about their prospects of finding a job in Kearney.  They were both seeking positions in elementary schools but, because of the low demand and high supply of education majors within the area, they were not hopeful.  However, they both found jobs at schools in Kearney.  “It was such a relief to learn that I was going to be able to stay in Kearney.”  Jenny said.  She was looking into other out-of-state job opportunities when she heard the good news. 

Although the comfort of hiding from decisions is tempting, controlling the direction my life takes is a much better option than sitting around waiting for something to happen.  Deciding to attend UNK has been one of the best decisions I have made and, because Kearney seems to defy the national unemployment rate, maybe leaving the classroom won’t be so bad.