I can't believe that I have been living in another country for over a year now. Over a year and I barely know three words of Korean! This fall, I decided to start taking Korean lessons in order to be busier and learn the language of the country I am, grudgingly, starting to call "home." Don't worry friends and family, I am not deciding to make any sort of permament residence here, I realize for my own happiness thatI needed to refer to here as "home" otherwise I would just be homesick more.
Korean is rather challenging since I studied Latin in high school and college. I did enjoy learning Latin since it allowed me to understand Cicero's speeches and other latin texts in their original forms. Though if you were to give me now a copy of something I read in college, I probably wouldn't get past the first couple of sentences with out the aid of a dictionary and a refresher course. I am starting to pick up on some reading, but I will say it is easier for me to learn the words translation into English than how to write it in Hangul.
Since I am taking Korean Saturday mornings, I am trying to maximize my time in Seoul with meeting up with friends during the day and exploring the city more. It doesn't completely correspond with saving money, but I am at least out of my apartment and probably not staying out late in Seoul either. Now that every week will have a test at the beginning of class, I am having to spend time during the week practicing Korean and going over the next weeks lesson.
I'm also trying to spend more time writing during the week and meeting up with people who knit in Suwon. With my working hours being the way they are, late afternoon into the evening, it can be hard to meet up with people, but I have several WIPs (works in progress) that are going to keep me busy during my subway trips back and forth from Korean class.
I am also making myself write every week for a couple of hours. I feel strongly about pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and after telling numerous people here about the idea I have for a novel, I am actively trying to write it. It's fairly slow, but participating in NaNoWriMO(National Novel Writing Month), is helping me at least focus on completing it and other short stories I have been working on.
So, this fall I am trying hard to focus on more short term goals that will help me in the long run. Working on knitting helps me relax as well as start making clothing for myself and others. Writing is something I feel strongly and learning Korean as well as TESOL certification will help me in my pursuit of a Master's degree.