Saturday, April 07, 2007

Springtime in Korea

Spring is a good time to be in Korea. The whole country erupts into splashes of color as the magnolia and cherry blossom and other nameless trees flower. It's no wonder that Koreans start their school year in March: it's a great time to be in Busan and on Pusan National University campus, and not just because of the flowers. Everything feels new, and for me it's multiply so: new wife, new job, feels like a whole new life.

Of course, things with Hye Sook are going great. Being married is a wonderful thing. It sounds so simplistic to say it this way, but it's like having a really great roommate. I was worried that I ruined myself for living with other people, since I've lived alone so long, but it's honestly a joy to have her there when I wake up in the morning and there when I go to bed at night (although we don't get to see each other much more than that these days, since she's busy with the restaurant, and I'm busy with my new job).

The new job is going really well too. The students in the English Education department are so much more dedicated than the students I taught previously. I teach only students whose major is English or students who enjoy English enough to take it as an elective, though, so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. It's great to be in a more academic department again. I'm loving the classes, and I'm loving having my own office (instead of sharing one with 16 other people).

But it's not only the new things that have come my way in spring. A lot of the professors head off on vacation over our summer and winter breaks. We end up in various corners of the world for a month or two and then come back together and tell each other what we've been up to. I've been catching up with folks on the weekends, which is a lot of fun. Great to hear each other's stories and enjoy each other's company before we get sick of each other.

And then there's the new folks coming into the university. My friend Dan, with whom I used to work in Daejeon, got a job at PNU this semester. It's odd having him around again, but also very nice to see him more than just a couple times a year. He's a good guy, and I'm happy to have him across the hall.

All that said, let's not forget that there's a reason everyone loves spring, and I've taken pictures of that "something" that's out there right now. Flowers and sun and fun. Korea really is a beautiful country in the spring.



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