Thursday, September 2, 2010

tea-time and the explaining the easter bunny.

"Tea-time, Laura!"

This is what I hear twice a day, and I love it so much. Because these three ladies-- my co-teachers Jasmine Claudia and Kelly-- know how to make time for self-care.

I'll admit, it's not always the easiest to talk to someone when you don't know their language, and after 8 hours a day of planning lessons or carrying on conversation in Konglish (my little bits of Korean words and intonation mashed with their much-clearer-yet-not-perfected English), I sometimes just sit at the table and let them have a converation in Korean without attempting to pretend I know what they're saying.

Most of the time, however, it's not like this. Because these ladies and I usualy find ourselves talking about our respective cultures, and learning so much from it. We laugh, we drink tea (Earl Grey is a novelty item we are drinking this week, while I'm still fascinated by all the 'Chick Chock' cookies they eat and still stay so small!), and we always end up writing English and Korean words in our journals.

Today the topic drifted to holidays, and we giggled as I tried to explain the logic behind the Easter bunny. They were fascinated by egg-dying traditions; as I promised to get some dye sent in from the States, I realized just how much culture I do see in the States. It takes a big move like this to see the things you take for granted.

And it also takes this kind of change to realize how similar human nature really is. I had no idea I would be having tea-time with these ladies everyday, but it definitely feels like home to me, even speaking a different language.

By the way, I taught my co-teachers the term self-care, which is our Human Services mantra from college. They loved it.
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