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Browsing Archive: December, 2011

Make promises not resolutions

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Saturday, December 31, 2011, In : Observations on life 
So it's December 31st here in South Korea and I'm gearing up for a couple of parties and the inevitable discussion of New Year resolutions. This is one of the few topics of conversation that will cause me to instantly glaze over - a safer course of action than getting into a debate/argument.

My problem isn't with the practice but the theory. Let's start with the word itself. According to thefreedictionary.com 'resolution' can mean:

1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determinatio...

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Seven things most people don't know about me

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Wednesday, December 28, 2011, In : Observations on life 
The other day a friend here told me she really wants to be famous. She meant it in a "I have a blog/site that people read and bookmark" kind of way, rather than being so sought after that you can't leave the house without make up on.

I'd quite like to be famous too, in an anonymous kind of way. (I had a brief taste of the other kind a long time ago, definitely not my thing.)

So, just in case I am ever 'discovered' as a blogging genius it seems fitting to record some interesting facts about my...
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A day in my life: the hospital visit

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Friday, December 23, 2011, In : A day in my life 
Last month something weird happened to me - I got a really bad cold! I rarely seem to catch anything bad enough to make me want to stay home, but this was a stinker. Everytime I coughed - think five minute intervals except in the night when it happened every  two minutes - I had the most excruciating pain around my ribs on the left side.

As usual I ignored this, and it did get better. Then a week ago the cough/pain returned and I have limped through the week alternating between a 'woe is me' ...
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Identity theft, privacy and EFL job applications

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Saturday, December 10, 2011, In : EFL teaching in Asia 
Since the job hunting season kicked off for me a few months ago there's been something niggling at my mind.

Why do I have to share so much of my personal information, documents and life history? (And worse, what happens to this paperwork if my application is unsuccessful?)

Most job adverts in South Korea require teachers to send much more than a resume to register interest in a post. It's actually pretty standard to be asked for some or even all of the following:
  • resume
  • photographs
  • reference lett...

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Being sick in South Korea

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Thursday, December 8, 2011, In : South Korea 

Although I rarely get homesick the one thing that makes me long to curl up on a comfy sofa and veg out on daytime TV is when I get sick! In this fantasy scenario there are willing people on call to replenish my snacks/drinks and basically be my servant as I feel sorry for myself.

It's just not the same when you're sweating it out alone, grateful if you have a friend living close enough to pop by with a few essentials. (Try getting to the shop for toilet paper and water when you feel close to...


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EFL job seeking and product placement theory

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Sunday, December 4, 2011, In : Being an expat 
It's that time of year when a lot of EFL teachers here in South Korea are looking for something new. So far I haven't applied for very many jobs, largely because I don't want to stay around to do something that ignites no major passion for the new location/conditions/opportunities.

Last night I had an insightful conversation with a good friend. We discussed opportunities in other countries, and the kind of qualifications needed for each. Pretty soon I noticed there is some similarity between j...
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Group dates - Japanese style

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Friday, December 2, 2011, In : Japan stories 

Recently a lot of my time and mental energy has been spent wrestling with my new nonfiction book in progress. In a nutshell it tells the story of a South Korean woman who has got to be the most prolific 'blind dater' I've ever heard of!

I've never been into meeting potential romantic partners this way, perhaps because it's just not something that people do that much in the UK. Or at least they didn't. Since I left in 2000 Internet dating has blossomed, and changed the way people make connect...


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About Me


Valerie Ann Hamer Global nomad, writer, teacher

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