111 rapid-fire memories from 2011

It’s that time of year again, time for the annual wrap-up. Here’s my list of 111 memories from 2011, not in any particular order, just the order they came to me.

  1. Realizing, just moments into 2011, that the next time the year changed, I’d be on the other side of the world, away from my family and friends
  2. Announcing, officially, that I was moving to Korea
  3. Snowboarding for the first time
  4. Changing the design of MarshallJonesJr.com from a default, WordPress design to a stripped-down, minimalist design
  5. Removing the comments from Marshallogue
  6. Sledding on the golf course with the Lyons family
  7. Skyping for the first time (and Momma seeming way too excited) :)
  8. Participating in the 365 Project, a challenge to take one picture each day of the year (although I quit after 60 days)
  9. Designing the website and blog for Eilert Communications Inc., my last design project for 2011
  10. Getting my passport back
  11. Attending Bible studies at the Gillies’s house
  12. Waiting for my FBI background check to get back
  13. Playing Lincoln Slide at church with Dru, Ted, and William
  14. Watching Francis Schaeffer videos at Lule’s house
  15. Trying to figure out all the cool things to do before leaving the country
  16. Bringing pizza and Chinese food into Starbucks and eating it with friends
  17. Friends asking if I’d heard anything new about my plans to move to South Korea
  18. Zach sleeping with me in my bed right before I left for Korea
  19. Staying up through the night interviewing for jobs on the other side of the world
  20. Learning to use metal chopsticks
  21. Saying goodbye to friends and family in the weeks and days before boarding my flight
  22. Realizing that saying goodbye is the hardest part about moving
  23. Flying over Alaska on the way to South Korea and seeing the brightness from the sun even though it was in the middle of the night
  24. Waking up for the first time in Korea to my school director ringing the doorbell (I’d never met her before)
  25. Teaching my first ESL class with less than two hours of prep and no training whatsoever the day after I arrived in the country
  26. Getting locked out of my apartment in Seoul in the middle of the night
  27. Spending the night at David’s house
  28. Watching David teach all the Korean kids “In the Secret” and then listening to them sing it
  29. Walking to church, about an hour and a half walk
  30. Trying desperately to teach over a bunch of kids  who weren’t paying attention in c7
  31. Inviting a stranger over to my place (and giving him my door pass code) to wash clothes while I was at work
  32. Getting on a bus and just letting it take me wherever it was going (still don’t know)
  33. Stepping into a freezing shower in the middle of winter on purpose
  34. Getting drenched in the rain picking up a cake with Sarah Majors and then sitting through church soaking wet
  35. Watching David giving students high-fives on their foreheads as they were leaving for the weekend and then confusing an old lady for one of his students
  36. Eating a fried egg, apple, and jelly sandwich a student gave me
  37. Making hot, ginger tea
  38. Eating stir-fried, Chinese cabbage and carrots
  39. Hailing a taxi and riding in one for the first time
  40. Taking two taxis to work because I woke up so late (3:36pm)
  41. Riding a ferry to Fukuoka, Japan
  42. Walking the streets of Fukuoka
  43. Couch surfing in Japan
  44. Eating a jar of peanut butter a day for a month
  45. Eating “live” octopus with Andy
  46. Singing Beatles songs in a Noraebang
  47. Asking tons of questions through email as an experiment
  48. Watching American TV shows online in Korea and falling asleep to them
  49. Standing outside a subway gate for over half an hour because my card didn’t work and I didn’t know what to do (I eventually jumped the gate)
  50. Participating in a traditional, Korean tea ritual
  51. Seeing the size and location of my place in Korea and thinking I’d made a mistake in coming
  52. Visiting Calvary Chapel Daejeon
  53. Deciding to schedule a weekly Skype call with my family back in Kentucky
  54. Ripping my “fake” Chucks trying to get them on over two pairs of socks
  55. Ice skating outside at City Hall in downtown Seoul
  56. Deciding to dive into one of the biggest projects I’ve ever attempted and, more memorably, deciding to keep it a secret
  57. Removing the comments from bondChristian
  58. Starting a Bible study through IWE
  59. Losing my wallet
  60. Buying a ton of apples from a market in Seoul
  61. Sending money home for the first time, which involved communicating with the bank staff on topics I don’t know much about in Korean
  62. Explaining why my camera looks so old (because it is)
  63. Taking a shower in my Korea bathroom that doesn’t have a shower, just a shower nozzle that sprays all over the bathroom, and feeling awkward the first time
  64. Living without a phone
  65. Spending my first Christmas away from my family
  66. Teaching my students “fineapple” after one of them suggested it to me
  67. Realizing that teacher turnover at JLS is much faster than I originally thought
  68. Meeting new teachers at my school
  69. Enjoying lunch with pastors from IWE
  70. Teaching a group of people how to play Mafia at a church conference
  71. Volunteering to help organize a singles conference
  72. Trying to find a why to clear up my face
  73. Meeting Bryce, for the first time since I was like 13, in Korea
  74. Wondering what it would feel like to have lived in a foreign country for six months and then realizing at six months that I still don’t really know the feeling
  75. Walking up to Seoul tower and then walking back down and feeling how much I enjoy exploring new places
  76. Considering a trip along the entire trans-Siberian railway
  77. My friend telling me that if I stay another year, I better get a girlfriend because he thinks it would be too lonely otherwise
  78. Bringing a Nerf gun to class and letting students shoot it if they answer the questions correctly
  79. Realizing I didn’t laugh as much this year, missing that
  80. Taking more pictures than I had in previous years
  81. Becoming known, even offline, as the guy who asks questions on Facebook
  82. Watching a guy chop up a live fish right before eating it
  83. Taking a nap in a park in Seoul
  84. Staying at church “all day,” from the book club at 8:45 am to dinner after Growth Group at 6:00 pm
  85. Meeting new friends almost every week
  86. Walking up and down the Han River
  87. Reading on Facebook that Osama bin Laden, Steve Jobs, and Kim Jong-il died
  88. Hearing about the tsunami that hit Japan and wanting to go help as a relief worker or something
  89. Going to a Korean concert
  90. Hanging out with Daniel on Friday nights
  91. Donating to charity: water
  92. Going out with Joon, Sunni, Avery, and David together for the first time
  93. Getting my Internet hooked up in Korea (after a week without it) and feeling like it was the most amazing thing ever
  94. Attending Korean dramas, twice
  95. Sleeping on the beach in Busan
  96. Telling everyone I’m 23 (because that’s how old I am in Korea)
  97. Leading Communion for the first time
  98. Overseeing the Sound Room for the 3:00 service at church
  99. Discovering the coin laundry, a rarity in Korea, just five minute’s walk away from my place
  100. Hiking with Loren and Andy
  101. Playing Green Day songs with Ted and William
  102. Paring down my belongings to the bare minimum for Korea and then paring down even more in Korea
  103. Buying the ninja umbrella after passing it up the first time
  104. Sweating through a Seoul summer with no A/C, by choice
  105. Using Kuku Klok as my alarm
  106. Riding a subway for the first time and learning to appreciate it
  107. Eating tuna out of a can on a bench outside of work overlooking a bunch of rundown houses
  108. Standing on the beach in southern South Korea and missing my family and friends back home, wishing they could share the awesome experience with me
  109. Making a Christmas card out of the picture of me standing on that beach
  110. Walking the streets of Seoul at 4:00 am and still feeling safe and excited
  111. Talking with Andy by a pond and specifically saying something like, “Once I get back from Korea, I’ll remember all the big stuff I did. I won’t remember just sitting here and chatting. But just sitting here and chatting – these are the moments that actually make this trip so amazing.”

Happy New Year!*

*Just a reminder: “Happy New Year” roughly translates to “I hope you’re thankful all year.”

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