Within and Without

Within and Without

Yesterday, Tom and I went to see the movie: The Great Gatsby. I have always had a love for reading since about 4th grade so this classic novel was one that I read during high school. While many in my high school lit class despised the book…I remember getting so lost in the book that I would read for hours. I thought it was an incredibly well written book, and was completely fascinated with it. At 16 years old, I didn’t fully understand what some parts meant, and only would learn more as I learned & experienced more about life. Isn’t that the case though? The older you get…the more you learn. The more you experience. The more you love. I’d like to think that’s the case at least. It’s a sort of exhausting thing to think about, really. When all you need is time, but time simply goes too fast. Our time on earth is so fleeting.

The beautiful red roses are in full bloom around Korea.

The beautiful red roses are in full bloom around Korea.



“I was within and without. Simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”- That’s how I literally feel some days. I can’t write enough about how much we love Korea, but some days my brain feels like mush when I begin to think about the variety of life. It literally is inexhaustible.

I decided I’d like to dedicate a post to my “school life” as a teacher…since it is such a large part of my time here in Korea. I work with incredibly amazing kids. I teach grades 3,4,5,6. I have three sections of each of those grades and I see each class 3x a week. I also teach “after school” English classes. On Friday’s I go to my “country school.” Where I teach one class of each 3,4,5,6th grade. I stay quite busy, but I really like that! Adjusting to teaching kids who speak hardly any English was a big transition for me in the beginning. Learning the expectations, schedules, and content of what I am teaching and how to teach was tricky in the beginning. I would say I FINALLY feel comfortable to be my goofy self, and throw in my own teaching style to the content of what we are required to teach. It took about a month of teaching to get into the groove. You know, it’s always that awkward beginning part of learning anything new. Mastering the ropes, adapting, and being FLEXIBLE!



The most important thing about being a teacher in Korea is be flexible. Well, maybe for any teacher. Some days though I come to school to find out a class is cancelled, I don’t teach at all tomorrow, or I have more classes then I expected. It is crazy to fly on the seat of your pants…but I am learning that’s just the kinda girl I am anyway. Up until a few years ago corporal punishment was accepted ,and used in the Korean schools. Now, they resort to things like P.E exercises for punishment, standing in the back of the classroom with arms up and eyes closed, or no outside time. Tom always tells me that “we didn’t come here to change their ways” and while I do understand that… I always try to give my kids some extra love while they are with me.


Tom is teaching middle school BOYS. ALL BOYS. I think God knew that I couldn’t handle middle school boys. So, he gave it to Tom! I think it is better that way since in Korea they respect men and especially love him because he is so tall. I mean let’s be real… I would die. Overall we are pretty happy about our jobs. We both work 8:40-5pm and we commute via bus each day. Tom and I both have multiple korean co teacher’s depending on the class and day. Mine teach along side with me while Tom’s teacher’s give him full reign of the rowdy, hormonal, and sassy boys… eh hem.I mean angels.

Just a sweaty commute home from work! :)

Just a sweaty commute home from work! 🙂

We did NOT plan this… note the “slippers” (sandal type things) we must wear while teaching! No regular shoes allowed.

One of my coteacher's (Mina) and I.

One of my coteacher’s (Mina) and I.

I’ve got lots to update you on. Including the past weekend on the Shinan Islands, and our after school adventures.. I look forward to writing more this week, and weekend!

All of my love from Yeosu, South Korea.

About Elicia Shepard

I'm unique just like you. I've learned every person has a story which makes us who we are. One minute I am here..then I am gone. Discovering unknown places and people is an addiction I am proud of and will be an endless journey of mine. Smiling is not a pastime it's what I do. I live for moments that take my breath away. Falling in love is the greatest feeling-and the biggest risk. I thrive off of risks.Challenges. Adrenaline rushes. Making others smile. Art is all around and in ourselves. I love taking an unknown path not knowing where it'll lead. Mystery is beautiful. Compassion, kindness, and love- things I will always strive for. Know what you believe in. Stand up for it. Never be afraid to feel. Time waits for no one.Ever. Children inspire me. God fires me. Happiness is being with those you love.I am really blessed. I think God is love and forgiveness and I think he wants us to be good people and love EVERYONE. Figure out who you are and what that means to you-It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself (and you deserve it.) Live frugally on surprise. Breathe. Be who you are. Be an outcast...If you wanna find me I will be where the wind blows...Wherever that may take me.

2 responses »

  1. I have been interested in Korean schools for awhile. I sometimes wonder how my kids would do if they went to school in Korea. Especially my introverted, sensitive, wonderful oldest child. I can’t wait to hear more and the matching dresses are too funny! Those roses are gorgeous! And all boys for Tom – that cracks me up. You both must be exhausted at the end of the day! Thanks for sharing a bit of your daily life with us…

    • Yvonne! I thought about you guys as I was writing this (of course) I always give my sensitive kiddos extra hugs because I know that they need it! We did meet a gal this past weekend who was from the States and is teaching at the International school near Seoul. She told me that they have them all over in Korea, but to attend the school the kids have to hold a foreign passport or have lived abroad in an English speaking school for at least 3 years. She said it is a very interesting mix of children who all share the common language of English. HOW cool is that?! I would love for my kiddos to attend a school like that some day. They have teacher’s mostly from the states, but some from England I think too. Thought it was so cool, and Tom and I want to do more research on the international schools in Korea. 🙂

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