Last July, I took stock of all my accomplishments on the 7th anniversary of my initial arrival to Korea and the life of teaching English abroad. In that assessment, I included my achievements for the first part of 2015.
I fulfilled most of my pledges for 2015. That included a pledge to withdraw from volunteering; indeed, I eventually withdrew from Korea TESOL and TEA-KOR/ ILPS activism by September. (This is a temporary though indefinite measure to help me manage my life in the current period.) I gave up my pledge to move to another apartment to live independent of university housing because it was not practical in the end.
I list all my accomplishments for 2015 below now.
FINANCES: saved more money and added to a couple of special savings accounts. Added to my income with substitute work and overtime, plus editing projects.
FITNESS AND HEALTH: Lost a bit of weight and shored up my figure, for which I have received many compliments, though I recently regained about 1.5kg, Added skipping to my fitness routine at the gym; overcame a shoulder problem and kept up the routine. Joined the campus hiking club. Completed a 12km rugged double mountain climb in a new region (national park on Goeje Island), and did another local mountain for the first time. People say, however, that I am looking good. (I think I have a better shape.) I had a check-up in November, and noted improvements in heart strength, cholesterol readings, and sugar levels.
TRAVEL: visited Thailand for the first time and had a great trip to Canada. I visited a new city in Korea, Changju during the Chuseok (fall) holiday.
LANGUAGE STUDY: completed the fourth level of a Korean language study course
I visited a friend in the Okanagan region of BC for the first time and thus fulfilled a long time standing invitation to pay a visit there. I went on a regional overnight trip with a friend. holiday. I focused on having a lot of visits with family as well as a few good friends on my visit to Canada last summer. I have been able to develop a close friendship further, despite some dicey times and setbacks.
I had a really great birthday celebration with a few friends/ colleagues. I coordinated a retirement reception with a the man about to retire, and co-hosted the event. I had another enjoyable Christmas with friends, celebration and feasting. I also initiated some other outings and welcomed a few new neighbors to this residential building.
Signed a two-year contract renewal and completed my 11th term of teaching for this institution. I passed teaching evaluations and generally received good reviews from my students all year.
While I was still the President of Korea TESOL in my area Chapter, I lead the organization of monthly seminars, socials and a symposium for teachers. I gave seminars, including one for public school teachers for the Ministry of Ed last summer.
WRITING: I wrote 7 articles on teaching, two which was properly published in peer reviewed scholastic journals in my role as a volunteer. I edited two issues of one of those journals. I edited several translations for government, educational institution and private corporation websites and publications in my role as a paid reviewer.
I published a collection of stories and wrote more poems. I am working on my fourth novel. Again, my home university requested copies of my 2014 published works for the library. Someone recently paid to download a copy of my first novel.
Finished and posted the daily blog project, "A Year of Living Positively", which was collected by the SFU Library Special Collections. I've continued blogging and my positive thinking program. The blog and my website have received thousands more views, with over 3,000 views of my blog in the last 30 days alone. I've received a few more comments on the blog, too.
PETS: I bought a couple of Gouldian Finches and have been taking care of them for 10 months. Their health has improved. They trust me and are free to fly around the room. Their music and antics make me smile.