Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Another year has passed and time continues its grueling and painful march forward. Time to look back and see what was accomplished and what was not. I have managed to return to blogging on a more regular basis, but still not to the level I was three years ago. The impact of two years as a Headmaster of a small school are still being felt; plus, in a new position (Director of EdTech) at a new school (Cheongna Dalton School), I'm engaged in building an entire department from scratch. It involves continually defining and redefining the position according to the needs of the faculty and the other administrators. Also, I have my own ideas of what the department must accomplish and some of those ideas are left over from working in a department of five people at a much larger school. There is plenty of work to do, but only so much of me available; however, I feel like I have managed to balance the work/life tight rope much better than I did as a Headmaster, which is a major victory. The job of Headmaster was all encompassing and I threw myself in to it with reckless abandon. It was heartfelt and sincere, but not wise. As much as I love education as a profession, school as an organization, students and faculty as humans, there needs to be a balance maintained at all times. There were too many crises throughout the two years; too much turmoil. I will admit that some of the problems were of my own creation, but many were events out of my hands; the will of fate. Little could be done other than find a way to solve the problem and move forward as best as possible with when best was never enough for some people. Being back in Korea is wonderful. The speed of the Internet alone is enough to continuously bring a smile to my face. But beyond that the food, the seasons, the people, the efficiency, and the safety of the place are all lovely. I lived in Korea twice before 1997-98 and 2007-14; twice I left, but I don't see myself leaving again. This is home; this is where I belong. I'm more comfortable and happy in Korea than I ever was in the US. And although we have a home in Turkey, this last visit was eye opening in many ways. I still enjoy the village of Boz Koy, but Turkey in general no longer pulls me. The people are desperate; the mood is ugly; and the violence worsening daily. We were in Izmir when the most recent terror attack occurred and it was a terrible feeling. A feeling I really don't care to have again. Hopefully 2017 will be a better year, but the start has not be promising.