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Time to Say Goodbye

Wow. A year. One whole year has passed in Korea. It's had its ups and downs. The good times and the bad, but I can't believe that this will be my last weekend in Gwangju as a local (I return next weekend to say farewell to some and pick up last minute items).

It has been a grand and glorious adventure. One of my co-workers summed it up, "After living in a foreign country, I feel like I can do anything now."

For me, the adventure continues as I head north into Seoul where I will be teaching at an elementary school for the next year. I'm changing one city for another, but thanks to Korea's impeccable transportation system, Gwangju's not that far away.

Over the past year, I've continued to realize that writing is my greatest joy, but I've also found that I love teaching students about writing, and watching them grow as well. Four of my students created an audio drama (which I still have to finish up). These girls below are part of a writing class I taught. Our first book was boring (even I was bored with it) and they had had the same style for most of the year. Since Halloween, though, we were able to relax and have some fun. We did recipes, fabric design, witches' wands, and got into storytelling around Christmas (this is the class which inspired How the Gnomes Saved Santa.

It's also been fun to see my youngest students grow. Many realize I'm not much of a little kid person, and I was given the youngest students to teach this year. I didn't know how I was going to make it through the entire year, but I've learned that those kiddos are some of the most energetic you'll ever meet. I felt like I was trying to fly five kites in a hurricane, though.

Here they are showing off their Kung Fu Fighting skills (they did a dance for graduation this past Thursday).

As I write this, it's a sunny day in Gwangju. It's supposed to reach up into 50 degree range (I struggle to adjust to Celsius). I'm in the process of fighting off a cold so I don't have that added to my new job, plus I'm cleaning.

I leave Tuesday morning, arrive in Seoul around lunchtime, and meet my new co-workers, school and apartment that night. I have Wednesday off for a national holiday, and begin school on Thursday. Wow.

This year, I'm going to focus more on writing an on-going series. The response has been for a serial, and I'll focus on a current series. You'll be able to meet more from the world of the Forty Isles. The first chapter will be posted next Saturday.

Until then, keep pressing forward.


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