Today at school we learned some new grammar about worrying about things and also asking if something one heard is true. The latter grammar point is done by just adding a 4 syllable word to the end of the sentence. But it has the meaning of “I heard about such and such. Is it true?” I find it interesting how some Korean grammar can be very short and have a large meaning. Although I guess the same is true with English…

During school, some of us discussed plans to get our reading/listening teacher a wedding gift. Her wedding is on Sunday and we decided to get her a bouquet of flowers and everyone will write short congratulatory messages that get rolled up and put into a bottle which gets placed in a heart-shaped box. I offered to get the flowers since my language exchange friend owns a flower shop. And since I have to leave early tomorrow, she made it today and I picked it up after my English tutoring I did tonight.

Speaking of English tutoring, tonight was the 2nd students last day. It’s a little strange calling her a “student” since she is married and is an English teacher. Anyway, it’s her last day because her pregnancy is getting to the point that she shouldn’t travel so far anymore. Her place is about an hour away on bus, and then she has to walk about 10 minutes. Her husband and mom, as well as me, worry about her since she is pregnant, so she has to stop the English tutoring. She got me a nice pencil case that I can use when I do my art stuff. And we spent the time talking about Korean culture a lot. Mainly with work culture as well as worrying about what others think. It seems to me that most of the Koreans here have a big concern about what others think of them. And people will even try to get a job just to show off that they work at a certain company even though the actual work may not be something they like to do. Which then turns into them really disliking their job later on.

I also used to worry a lot about what people think about me. It was the basis for being so shy. But over the years it became less and less. And actually, living here in Korea has decreased the worrying a whole lot. Learning a new language seems to require mistakes and embarrassment or else it’s pretty much impossible to really learn. Even though we are older than babies and learning a new language, we have to learn and make many mistakes to learn just like babies do when they are learning their native language. So have embarrassed myself many times here in Korea for almost 2 years, as well as standing out easily because I’m a foreigner, I’ve learned to really not care about what others think of me. Well, I care, but it doesn’t control my life like it used to. And it’s really nice to not worry about it anymore.

Since it was the student’s last day today, she gave me a small gift: a nice pencil holder that I will be using to carry my drawing tools in the future. It was very nice of her and I will miss teaching her.

After English tutoring I stopped by my friend’s flower shop and picked up the flower bouquet she made that our class is giving our reading/listening teacher for her wedding coming up. It looks very nice and I’m sure our teacher will love it.

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