slice of life challenge day #5: a place to call home

slice of life 2014

When I lived in Korea, I lived in 3 different apartments in the span of 4 years. Part of the perks of being an international school teacher in Asia is that most schools provide housing for you. Another great thing about living in Korea was that the movers will PACK and UNPACK your luggage for a relatively affordable price. Plus, they are really quick and efficient with it. So moving, doesn’t end up being as big of a pain.

The last apartment I lived in was probably my favorite of the three. I had the master bedroom, a walk in closet (much needed) and a bidet toilet. Plus, in our apartment complex, only an elevator and short walk away were multiple restaurants (including Korean BBQ & soondoobo place), cafes, 7-11, dentist, dry cleaners, Baskin Robbins, karaoke, and more. Also, a few of my close friends and co-workers lived in the same building or neighboring apartment buildings.

After Korea, I moved to Singapore, and I felt very thankful that my school here provided us with a generous housing allowance. Singapore is considered apparently one of the most expensive cities to live in, which I don’t doubt especially with it high housing costs (World’s most expensive city)! This year, my apartment lease is ending and I wasn’t sure what I would do. Should I look for a new apartment or stay in my current place. I admit that my current apartment is really a good size for me, in good condition and I’ve had no big complaints, besides the certain gecko that likes to visit me sporadically.

I received an e-mail from my real estate agent today saying that my landlord was willing to renew my lease and keep my rent the same. I was a bit surprised. It seems like my choice has been made a lot easier for me now. However, I admit, I was a bit excited at the prospect of finding a new apartment, a new neighborhood to explore, and a new place to decorate.  Maybe it’s from moving homes every year or so in Korea. Maybe it’s this desire for change. Maybe it’s this wandering soul of mine.

Or just maybe, God wants me to stay put this time.


taking a moment to listen

slice of life 2014

It was the end of a long day, my throat was hurting, I felt exhausted, and I was ready to go home. However, we still had 30 minutes of class left. As my students wrapped up typing their fantasy story drafts, I asked if anyone wanted to share their introduction. I called on a particular student to share because I was so amazed when I sat next to him and read his draft earlier on. Then, more hands went up. One student exclaimed after hearing one student’s story, “I can’t wait to hear what happens next!” Originally, I was only going to have two or three students share, but as I kept listening, and more hands went up, I wanted to hear them all.

As I listened to the stories of my students, I couldn’t help but smile. My students could write. They had voice, they had realistic dialogue, they had inner thinking, they had conflicts, they had archetypal characters, they had suspense, and they had creativity.

Most days, I’m busy beating myself up, wishing I could be a better teacher  (imagine working on a team with 13 really amazingly talented fifth grade teachers everyday), and seeing areas I can improve on. However, today was one of those days, where I just needed to sit back and listen. Listen to the voices of my 22 students, sharing a piece of themselves, in a way no one else can. I listened, I enjoyed and I smiled.

Slice of Life Tuesdays is sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers. Join us & write.