Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome to December

I cannot believe that it is December first already! It seems like the year only started yesterday and now it's almost over!

I started my day by walking over to my friend Diane's at nine o'clock. We went to our gym together to get in a morning workout (we decided to get one-month memberships at a gym to keep from getting out of shape now that the winter is upon us). Our gym provides clean gym clothes and a towel each time you visit, and I was overjoyed to find that I can actually fit into Korean-sized clothing. Granted, the shorts were a bit tight in the rear, but I was ecstatic to actually be able to get them on! Korea has been very good for my figure!

Since it's now December, we have a Christmas tree up at school. I read a Christmas story to my older kindergartners, and taught them a Christmas song today. I plan to focus on Christmas songs and stories for the rest of the month. The kids, naturally, were delighted. We had a rousing discussion about Christmas decorations, in which the kids amazed me with how many Christmas words they already know.

I'm hoping beyond hope that I don't get bogged down with homesickness. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I always found the month of December to be the hardest when I was away at college. Since this will be my first Christmas spent away from home and family, I am anticipating some rough times. So far, though, everything is going well. I thought Thanksgiving would be difficult, but it actually was just fine. The lack of snow helps a little, since it doesn't really feel like Christmastime.

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"