Richard Branson just published “2016 in photos”, his blog on Linked In, of his adventures and accomplishments. I thought it was a super fab idea. So, in Branson style, here is my attempt to emulate his example, to appreciate my 2016 moments, both the challenging and the amazing ones, and recognize myself for everything that I should feel proud of. I encourage you to do the same! So, without further ado, here we go.
After many years of intending to visit, I finally got to Athens, Greece. I had a blast visiting the Acropolis and walking around many of the ruins that I spent four years of my undergraduate degree learning about. I adore Monastiraki and downtown Syntagma. I plan to return in the next five years.
I get anxious about giving public presentations, however, I did two group presentations, one couple presentation and one solo presentation during my Linguistics program. I feel more confident now standing up and speaking in front of an audience.
I have long been ignorant about Euskera (Basque) language that many of my family members and friends speak. I finally learned about the history of the Euskera language because I had to research, write about, and present my findings in one of my classes.
Through my Linguistics program practicum, I worked with a great mentor, Cameron Culham, and gained experience and confidence teaching English to adult learners. I also briefly worked with a language school, monitoring IELTS examinations, and learned how to supervise adults taking language tests under very structured conditions.
I successfully graduated from my Applied Linguistics program and gained lots of friends as well as teaching skills. I was the only student to do so within an eight month period because I was determined to be back working in Korea by May 2016. Luckily, I had the language and English prerequisite courses applied from my previous degree, and I took on a busy schedule to achieve my goal on time.
I juggled interviewing for new jobs while finishing up my diploma program, working a part time job at a language school and packing up my belongings to relocate them, and managed to stay sane!
I gave away thirty-three percent of my belongings to whittle my possessions down. I left only fourteen rubber maid boxes in Canada and took too meager suitcases with me to S. Korea. This is quite amazing for me as I used to be a compulsive shopper.
I became comfortable using Google shared folders, and creating and presenting slideshow presentations. Slowly, slowly, I am becoming more tech-savvy.
I was offered three jobs in two weeks. I pursued the job I wanted and got it. I trusted my instinct and followed it. I still love my new job, respect my employers, feel valued and continue to develop new skills as a teacher.
The transition from Victoria, Canada to Seoul, S. Korea was a tough one, emotionally. I have now built some stronger friendships which add to my happiness regularly here.
I have continued to keep a diary which helps me to work through challenges, particularly emotional isolation, which I experienced when I moved to Seoul in May and continued to experience for a long time thereafter.
Attending teacher conferences had been highly recommended by my Linguistics professor, Li-Shih Huang. I attended and blogged about my first KOTESOL conference here in Seoul, S. Korea. This was my first step to keeping up with teaching methods having left my Applied Linguistics training environment.
I designed, created and taught a Greek History course for varying levels of my students at my school. The course was designed for a Summer Intensive program, however, my employer was so impressed that he asked me to teach it as part of the regular school curriculum to some of my six-graders. With guidance from Andrew, I wrote, recorded and produced an amateur promotional video for my course, https://youtu.be/P_pqkhRz-qE, and with help from Miguel, directed and produced two mini plays written by my students based on Greek myths https://youtu.be/-LQVSA07QWM.
I can add many children’s books to my list of books I’ve read! As a primarily “literature teacher” at my school, I have to read a lot! I’ve lost track of how many children’s books I read in 2016!
I begun permanent laser hair removal treatments at a local clinic, which is something I had hoped to do ages ago. I learned about a great clinic in Gangnam called, “You & I Skin Design Lab“. They use an Alexandrite laser machine called Apogee+ Thus far, I’m super pleased with my choice of laser treatment.
I’ve overcome one of the lowest points in my life thanks to praying to God, talking with friends and family, and seeking out advice gurus like Tony Robbins. I developed a healthier daily routine, rediscovered how awesome I am, and now feel more positive with each week that passes. The experience has taught me to be more self aware, recognize that I control my emotions and encouraged me to re-evaluate my focus and define what is important to me. I have begun setting goals for the future and seeking out lifestyle and business mentors.
Travel experiences are super high on my list of important accomplishments. In December, I booked a week trip to Kyoto! I plan to revisit with two of my friends from work, Riley and Cece! We are super excited to go, and it will be the first visit to Kyoto for the both of them! I’m reved up for more adventures in 2017!
I decided to begin a vlog to find my niche and build a following. Here is my first vlog about what to consider for backpacking travel: https://youtu.be/4a_lFbh3mNw
Thanks for reading. Please post below one thing that you are really proud of achieving during 2016. If you enjoyed reading this, please share!