The art of Deskwarming

Today is the last day of classes here in Yeongwol. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, trying to finish all the material the students need to cover before summer. You can sense how excited they are for a break. Honestly its just too hot for school. Or anything really. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m almost hoping fall comes fast, because summer in Korea is pretty brutal. The air is hot, heavy and smelly. I can’t wear short sleeves to work because I have to keep the tattoo on my arm covered, lest my students see it and mistake me for a gang member (makes perfect sense..). The only relief you get is late at night, but that’s when all the enormous bugs come out, make an enormous racket and fly around  the streetlights. Baby dragons. Even in my apartment the air is so humid I’m worried about mold. I got my fan and my A/C but they are turned off when I’m not around (which is all day).

I’ve also had several encounters with spiders. Literally the spawn of Aragog the Acromantula was in my house and I was up at 3 am trying to kill it for almost 2 hours. Eventually my shoe ended its miserable existence. Then I threw my shoe away because there was no salvaging it from all the spiderguts. I kept the other shoe for future spiders. When you live alone you have to step up and take control of the situation. I was reminded of Kevin in Home Alone when he was preparing to fight the Wet Bandits: “This is my house, and I have to defend it!”  I knew I wasnt going to sleep until the spider was dead. I’m sorry, but that’s just the reality. If he (Aragog) had stayed in his corner and out of my way, we could have coexisted. In fact, Louise Bourgeois has been on my ceiling for a couple weeks now. We get along fine. She stays out of my way and I stay out of hers.

For the next few weeks I will be at work just sitting at my desk. I still have to go to school even though I have no classes to teach. Its called Deskwarming and it’s part of my contract. I will be drawing, reading, and putting together my application for graduate school. I do have a week of English camp to teach, but that will be relatively painless. Just three hours a day. More important than that, a week from today (Friday) will be my 27th birthday.  I’m really excited to have a birthday in Korea. I’ve been thinking about all the stuff Ive accomplished at 26, and I can’t believe I got myself here. It’s easy to have an idea, but to actually stay motivated and go through with it is a lot harder than it seems. I’m so glad I chose to come here despite my many uncertainties. I definitely was not ready for this Korean adventure, but when are you ever ready for anything that happens to you? Never. In one week I will be 27, and in less than two weeks I will be on my way to Indonesia with my friends. We have temples, waterfalls, monkeys, elephants, and lazy rivers waiting for us. 27 is going to be even better than 26.




*Thanks Mom/Dad, and Christian/Paige/Maria  for the excellent birthday presents and cards you all sent me. I had so much fun opening everything. I have snacks and candy for dayyyyyyys ❤

**Another thank you to Irina who helped me with my keyboard when it was suddenly possesed by demons during the making of this post. I was at my wits end if you can imagine that.

*** I apologize to all the spiders out there. Please dont think I’m a ruthless killer.


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