Saturday, March 8, 2014

New Semester, New Department, Counting my Blessings

I am really blessed. I get to teach something I am really passionate about-- Korean Studies-- to a bunch of free, young, interested students. I have 20 students, 17 are women, all 20 are Korean.

So that's 20 blessings right there.

And the department gets 3 assistants-- that's another three blessings. The chair told the students to submit their info if they wanted to be a department assistant (it's work, but it comes with what I believe is a full tuition waiver). One assistant was already determined-- a fourth year student from the chair's department (Serbia-Croatian studies)-- because we needed someone who had enough of an idea of how the campus works and who to turn to for help that we wouldn't be at the mercy of three assistants who were all first year and pretty overwhelmed.

I suggested to the chair that the students should be chosen based on financial need. As it turned out only two students applied (and they all knew about it so I guess only those two feel any need), and they will start next week. The fourth year student, though, is already giving me TONS of reasons to count my blessings. She's smart and takes care of stuff, so that I don't need to worry about it, or waste time on minor things. For example, she took a stack of books where I had marked some images for scanning to the copy center. She'll also get the completed scans, email them to me, and return the books to the office. Now that's the kind of stuff I am so happy to have someone do, so that I can concentrate on creating the PPT that will incorporate the images, and not worry about leaving my office while the copy center is still open.

Another blessing is that my health is still with me. I had a health scare this week and didn't have time to deal with it. I trusted (had no option but to trust) that my body would take care of itself, although I did need some reassurance and scolding from my good friend Georgy. Feel free to encourage me to eat more iron, though, because among other things I think I may be full on anemic at the moment.

I was able to see Lina, who will co-teach the Korean Culture and Society class, in person, for the first time since 2006. I really like her, so that was awesome. Definitely another blessing.

And my amazing friend Kim came to visit Korea with her friend Randy, and they spent the night and had a lovely dinner with me (if I do compliment my own food).

That's at least 26 blessings, without getting into small things like the taste of Hallabong (a native Korean citrus fruit that ROCKS), coffee, or finally having a long conversation with my husband (the phones have been funky lately).

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