Well, as of 12:44 my paperwork has made it to Taiwan! Now it just has to reach my Recruiter's office! Wohoo!

I don't remember if I mentioned it before, but I decided to go with Reach to Teach for several reasons. It was a really hard choice between Reach to Teach and Teach Away. I would recommend either of them in a heart beat.

Teach away was a bit quicker in regards to getting updated information to me, which I really appreciated. and person I worked with was incredibly nice and helpful.

However, I just really liked the personal feel Reach to Teach gave. I received regular phone calls to check in and make sure I didn't have any questions or to respond to an email I had written. I was very impressed with this. It's one thing to send an email, it's a totally different level to actually call and check in and talk about the whole process. It just really gave my a great feel for the company.

I also chose Reach to Teach because they host monthly get togethers and I like the idea of having that network/support group.

Also, I chose them because they are based and recruit primarily for Taiwan, which is where I would like to teach after teaching in Korea. The plan has always been teach a year in Korea, teach a year in Taiwan and then go on to graduate school. So having worked with them before will be very helpful for me in the future.

So yes, EPIK starts accepting application in about 3 to 4 hours! CRAZY! I'm hoping everything goes ok. lol. I'm nervous! but excited :-)

Toodles and Schnoogles,

Well, today I got the very last item needed for my Visa paperwork, the apostilles.

As soon as I got them, I rushed home, put my paperwork together and headed over to fedex. $65 later, My documents were in the mail on their way to my recruiter.

This has been the most stressful and expensive job application process ever. and it's not even over yet. I haven't even been accepted...yet. :-) lol.

I did end up saving a ton of money thanks to some favors from some very nice people. However, it still ended up being really expensive.

$30- Transcripts
$30- Background Check
$10- Apostilles
$65- Fedex

Total: $135


and that's not including the entire ink cartrage I used to print out and copy all of the documents. lol.

Oh well. It's DONE. and I couldn't be more excited!

One more step towards going overseas!!!!

Applications openings go live October 1st. I'm going to go crazy between now and mid october!!!!!

I'll let you know when I hear something!

Toodles and Schnoogles,

Well, here it is. my latest invention / bright idea. lol. Song of the Month Posts! Wohoo! So from now on, I'll be posting a new song every month. either one that I just think is awesome and deserves some credit (such as this month's song) or one that fits the mood of the month perfectly! So without further ado, September's Song of the Month! *better late than never right? lol)

This Month's music spot goes to....

G Dragon's Heartbreaker!

Although he is a member of big Bang, he has now come out with a new single album. Which, by the way, is now under fire for plagarizism. Oh well, it's still good! I actually don't like this music video, or G Dragon for that matter. But the song is catchy and has stuck with me all month. lol. Check it out (Watch the 2nd video for sure, the beginning is awesome! lol) :

Music Video

This Live performance is WAY better. check out the very beggining if nothing else.

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Guess what I got today????

8 photos, thats 4 sets, of passport photos for... wait for it... FREE!!!! Yes, that's right free and profressionally done. YES! If I had gone to Kinkos it would have cost me $13 a set. That's $52! Yay me :-) and Yay for the people who have been helping me out with this whole process. I got my Attorney Notary for free, which saves me from both paying for the initial notary and the county clerk signature (not to mention 2 trips. lol), I Got my Passport photos for free, I got one piece of luggage for free, one piece of luggage 70% off with an additional 20% off that = $45 for a $180 piece, and I've got some things such as jersey sheet sets for $8! YAY!

I am thankful for all the people who have helped me out during this process and that have helped me get everything I need! Cookies are coming your way! :-)

Next stop? Secretary of State Office for a $5 apostilles. lol.

Then all I have to do is ship all the paperwork out for about $45. not too bad, considering how much money i've saved! :-)

Toodles and Schnoogles,

Today was a good day.

I got my background check in the mail, Called my dad's friend who is an attorney, he came over and notorized my background check and Diploma copy and now all I need to finish my paperwork is the apostille which I can get in a single day! YAY! I do need to get my 6 passport photos taken still but Kinkos can do that for me in a matter of minutes. No big deal. lol. So yes, I'm on my way!

October 1st is when Applications are first accepted and I think that I'll have all of my paperwork sent to my recruiter by then, meaning my chances of getting my first location choice is pretty high (assuming I get accepted at all. lol.) So yup. EXCITING.

For a while there I was really freaking out about all of the paperwork but now it all seems so easy. lol.

Preparation has begun!

Last weekend my parents picked up an Eddie Bauer Soft Sided Luggage piece for me. It's HUGE! and totally awesome. It's a burnt orange (easy to find on the belt!) and it was originally $179, still is actually, but because they had overstock in the warehouse they had them at the outlet and they got it for $45! SWEET! lol. so that is pretty awesome too.

I'm getting really excited now. For a while there, proven by my earlier posts, I was totally freaking out! Probably because this whole "traveling overseas" thing could only be a dream because I was in the middle of school. Then suddendly, WHAM, I graduated and I can actually go overseas. It was like my own mini reality check, if you know what I mean. No longer the college student living at home, now the graduate who needs to either A) get a job or B) go to graduate school. lol. Traveling Overseas does two things for me. it A) gets me a job and B) lets me travel, soemthing I LOVE! I think I'm a pretty good traveler. :-) lol.

so anyways, Things are moving right along! I have all my paperwork and will get my background check and diploma either tomorrow or on Monday. Probably tomorrow. I think I'll go there before work and get it over with. lol. Then I can get my pictures taken either tomorrow night or Saturday and Fedex the paperwork by Monday! Wohoo! lol.

Anyways, I'm just getting really excited about getting things going and starting this big adventure! I'm hoping to be placed in Busan. I think it will be perfect. Beaches, Mountains, Movie Districts, Subway, high speed rail, first class shopping! it doesn't get much better! The only thing I think I'll be disappointed with is no snow, the super humidity during the summer an the long commute to Seoul. But I think I'll love it! lol.

So Yup. More updates to come, I'm sure. lol.

Toodles and Schnoogles,

Well, since my last post things have been moving rather quickly. After turning in my resumes and cover letters to four different recruitment companies, I shortly received emails stating that I was through the initial application process and that they would like to set up an interview with me. So this is what the last three days have looked liked:

Sunday: Get ready for Colton’s soccer party, dinner, interview between 8:30 and 10.

Reach to Teach- This interview lasted about 45 minutes and was very thorough.

Monday: Work from 10-2, interview at 2:30, interview at 4, Colton’s soccer party.

1st = Travel and Teach- lasted about 20 minutes, pretty basic.
2nd= Teach Away- lasted about 35 minutes. Very thorough.

Today: Trip to Police station, trip to library, trip to bank, Interview between 2 and 3.

Gone2Korea- this interview lasted about 6 or so minutes. This is partially due to the fact that I was talking with someone who specialized in Public school positions and I wanted to discuss private school positions through this company.

Yes, I know. Busy busy!!!! I have to say, before my very first interview I was EXTREMELY nervous but after the first one, I was much more calm and everything seemed to flow.

All of the interviews seemed to go really really well and everyone I talked with was very nice and very helpful with any questions I had. I think my plan is to first apply for a public school position. If I do not get into this program I will then be looking at private school options. For Public school positions I am currently looking to go through Reach to Teach to Teach Away. Both very extremely nice, very helpful and I felt that they both really took the time to truly interview me, get a sense of who I am, what my potential is and what exactly I’m looking for. It’s really truly going to be a hard decision when choosing who to go with.

So yes, now the next step is deciding who I’m going to work with, getting the paperwork together and getting my application ready before October 1st so that I can secure a position with a public school.

Paperwork looks like this:

2 copies of sealed, stamped transcripts -DONE
Apostilled Criminal Background Check
Apostilled Copy of Diploma
Color Copy of Passport -DONE
Signed copy of EPIK application -DONE
Health Form -DONE
4 passport photos (a total of 6, 2 are needed at Korean Consulate)

What’s that? What’s that you say? You don’t know what an apostille is? Well… Let me tell you!

First, get your paperwork notarized with a seal from the county your in.
Then, get the county clerk to sign you notary.
Lastly, get your signed notary apostilled by the secretary of state department.

Now, of course, this procedure is different based on state, but this is what us Ohioans must do to get something with a seal of apostille aka internationally notarized.

So yup. I’m in the process of A) getting all of this done and B) bankrupting myself in the process. It’s not cheap to get all of the documents, let me tell ya.

Anyways, all of my interviews are now officially done and I have officially been accepted by all 4 of the recruitment companies. Yay! Now I just have to decide which one to go with…this is going to be the hard part!

Toodles and Schnoogles,

Well, the resumes, cover letters and oh so perdy pictures have all been sent in. Now, I'm simply playing the waiting game. I'm nervous. My very first big girl job. on the other side of the world. Nervousness seems to represent me right now. I'm nervous for several reasons.

I'm leaving home for the very first time. I'm not moving a half an hour away, i'm moving half way around the world.

I'm bad with change. It doesn't matter if it's simply moving my furniture around, I have trouble with it. I always have.

I'll be leaving my job at Hallmark. Which I LOVE. (More Change). If Hallmark actually paid well, I could see moving up into their ranks. I suppose I always could..when I get back...but seriously, I love my job and the people I work with and I really really don't want to leave. and if I come back for graduate school and go locally, there is no guarantee that I can get my job back. :-(

I'm going to miss my family. My grandma. My Cat and even my Fish. Like I said, leaving home for the first time. the idea of leaving my family makes me tear up and instant panic hits. what can I say, I'm a homebody. BUT I have to leave's not like I can stay here forever. I'm just SO bad with change. it begins to evoke panic in me. i've been panicing a lot lately.

and most of all, I'm afraid of something happening while I'm gone. what if someone were to get hurt? even die? I don't know if I could forgive myself for not being there, for not spending as much time with everyone as possible. something like that could quite possibly destroy me. a worrier's worst nightmare come true.

I'm even nervous about my cat. I mean, he's MY cat (attachment and personality wise)and I feel really really bad leaving him behind. will he do ok? I spoil him a LOT and i'm worried that he won't do very well when I leave. plus, i'm pretty attached myself. it will be hard for me to leave him behind.

Like I said. NERVOUS.

and it really doesn't help to have people constantly saying "I think this may be too big of a leap for you" "I don't want to go into this if you have reservations. you always have options". I mean, they're right. but that's not really what I want to be hearing. I need encouragement. encouragement that It's going to be ok, that I'm going to do great, that everyone will be ok while i'm gone. etc, etc.

I mean, of course i'm going to be nervous. I'm moving half way across the world. I'll be moving into my very first place, living alone for my very first time. in a new place, where 99% of the people don't speak english.

I am afraid. afraid that I'll get over there and won't be able to handle it. perhaps I'll hate it. I've always had trouble fitting in with people my own age. what if I don't make any friends? and I don't like to drink/go clubbing, which I know is a very popular past time with most people my age, so perhaps I won't be able to find anyone to hang out with. That could be incredibly lonely. I feel that a lot of people who go overseas already know people there or are going with someone else. Me? I'm going all by myself, not knowing anyone, completely alone. eek!

but at the same time, I feel that if I were to go straight into graduate school, i'd build a life, maybe find someone and then I'll never get the chance to go overseas and teach. So perhaps it's a do or die situation?

However, I also think that taking a year off is smart for me. I know that I want to go into graduate school but for what exactly, I'm not sure. I could get my MA in education and get a teaching certificate. I could go into a PhD program for ESL. I could even go into a MFA program for creative writing. I'm not sure what I want to do yet. and If I do decide to go into teaching, I don't know if I want to teach Language Arts, Early Childgood Education or ESL. Which focus, which age group. It's all stuff I have to know and I don't. So a year doing what I think I want to do, would not only allow me to make my decision and experience it first hand, but it will also give me an edge when it comes to getting into graduate school, especially considering the fact that if go overseas for a year, I'll no longer be ahead of the game and I'll be applying with people my own age.

My other saving grace, if I hate everything else, would be that I really really love to work with kids. I've been working with kids since age 12 and I just really love it. I think that I will love teaching and no matter how bad the social situation could be, being able to go into a classroom full of kids and work and play with them would just be amazing. I have so many fun ideas for working with kids. whether i'd actually be able to do them of not, I have no idea. I also have a lot of fun ideas for if I became a language arts teacher in the future or a college level ESL teacher. SO many ideas. lol. So yes, teaching is what I want to do (I think) and I think that going overseas and teaching for a year would be the best experience and teacher trial a 20 year olf fresh graduate could ever get the change to do!

Don't get me wrong, I know I sound ill prepared, mentally, but I'm not rushing into anything and I know exactly what I'm getting myself into. After all, I've been planning this for almost 2 years now. However, I'm a worrier (not to mention a cotrol freak planner) and I can't help but be nervous and worry. For a person who has to have everything planned out, the uncertainty is deadly.

I want to remain a kid forever, living with the whole family, family vacations, family movie nights with awesome homecooked meals, girl's night, watching our tv shows together, doing family holiday traditions together. If I move out, will all of that go away? in a way, yes. nothing will ever be the same and that crushes my hear in more than one way. but I'm no Peter Pan and i'm certainly not a kid anymore.

I guess I just need to pull myself up from my bootstraps, channel some "I CAN DO IT MYSELF" energy and start to move into the next chapter of my life.

Listen to me... I'm freaking out and I don't even have a job yet! I think that's part of the problem though. once I have a job and location set up, I'll feel more at ease because then I can begin to plan (like I said, planner. lol).

So that i've ranted a bit and cleared my head, I'm going to bed :-)

Toodles and Schnoogles,

Well, I've begun the list of things that I WANT (don't necessarily need, except luggage. lol.) before I go overseas. So rather than continuously write the list down and then lose it and have to rewrite it, I thought I would write it here. So here it is:

BOUGHT- Acer Aspire One Netbook
BOUGHT- CD/DVD external drive (Technically I'm getting this for Christmas..shhh. lol)
BOUGHT-Luggage (2 29in Uprights)
BOUGHT- New MP3 Player (Creative Zen Mosaic 16GB w/ Travelsound)
BOUGHT- Pocket Video Camcorder (Creative Labs Vado)
BOUGHT- New Watch(Digital but some what feminine looking, plus I got a really nice dress watch for my birthday!)
BOUGHT- SpaceSaver Bags (got for my B Day from my Gma!)
BOUGHT- Sheets (jersey! my fav)
BOUGHT- new work clothes
BOUGHT- new work shoes (Crocs if possible because 1) They're super comfy and 2) they're light in the suitcase. lol. and i don't mean the ugly usual Crocs, I mean the nice flats that they make. lol)
BOUGHT- Toiletries -deodorant, tooth paste, ibuprofen, pamprin, allergy medication, etc.
foodie stuff (i've heard ranch dressing is IMPOSSIBLE to find. lol. plus some spices, etc and i'll be good. nothing much really)

and that's really about it. I have everything else I could need. I have the perfect carry on/ Laptop bag (Thanks Uncle Rob and Aunt Pam!) I have several good choices for purses, I have brand new jersey sheets (bedding is SUPER expensive in i'm told. lol.) and I really have everything else I could need. I do need to stock up on deodorant, apparently it's not widely used in Korea and therefore is expensive.. yeah... my thoughts exactly O_o lol. So yup. Not too bad I don't think. A couple of pricey items, but it's not like I've ever gone abroad before. and thanks to all the great graduation gifts I got, that will help lighten the load :-)

Toodles and Schnoogles,

I made it! believe it... or not... lol.