The standard teaching contract in Korea lasts for 1 year. My year was set to end on January 29th, a rather scary thought. Even telling people that I have been here for almost 11 months seems strange and shocking as it comes out of my mouth.
When I first arrived here, other teachers assured me that time flies in Korea. At first I thought they were crazy, each day seemed so long and each week dragged past. However, those feelings quickly change as the crossed off months on a calendar add up.
12 months are easily broken down into significant milestones. First comes up the 3 month mark which is followed closely by the 4 month mark representing 1/4 and 1/3 of a year respectively. Then comes the big 6 month anniversary, a celebration that from now on you are sliding down instead of climbing up. Months 8 and 9 go by with hardly any notice because they have become indistinguishable from each other. Then month 10 comes and the idea of double digits strikes you. When 11 months rolls around, it is almost unfathomable. How could 11 months have already gone by?
More than anything else, 11 months scared me. There were times throughout the past few months when I really wanted to go home and found myself heavily daydreaming about seeing my family, sleeping in my own bed at home, eating food I miss, driving a car. Yet, as much as I was ready to go home, I wasn't ready to leave Korea. I didn't want to be finished so soon.
In that vein of thought, I approached my manager with a proposal to extend my contract for 2 more months. She enthusiastically agreed to the idea. A few signatures later, she took my passport and ARC card down to immigration and returned with an very unofficial looking date stamped on the back of my ARC card - March 28.