Teacher Spotlight: Brook duBois

I really enjoyed writing this post for Caroline. She is one of the first friends I made after moving here. 

And guess what, Mizzou friends? She’s from Kansas…but that’s OK too. 


How long have you been in Korea / when did you arrive? 
I’ve only been here for about 6 weeks. It has rushed by, as expected when you move to a new country.

What made you decide to come to Korea? 
I’m one of those people that has always had a plan. I intentionally graduated high school early knowing I wanted to go to college for my bachelor’s (and graduate early once again) and then immediately proceed to a fast-track graduate school program next. I basically would’ve had a Master’s at the ripe age of 21 (this past May, in fact). I’ve also always wanted to see the world. That’s why I chose to major in journalism. I even planned to study abroad on a very specific 3-month internship program before I even had my Mizzou acceptance letter in my hand. Two years later I was in Brussels for that internship. Then I graduated and decided grad school wasn’t for me. After applying for job after job for nearly a year it finally hit me: I’m 21 years old. I can do whatever the hell I want. I can see the world. I can study now or later and it won’t make much of a difference. I just want to experience something new and exciting and learn from it. So I applied to teach in Korea – the farthest possible idea I had when thinking about traveling.

What is your favorite part of teaching? 
You know that moment when something finally clicks for you? You’ve connected the dots and new information is suddenly engrained and you actually have an understanding of the concept? That’s a moment readable on every kid’s face. And those are the moments I love. 

What is your favorite part of Korea? 
I’m still very much getting used to Korean culture, but if anything has stood out since my arrival it’s the sense of community. Seoul may be a lot of hustle and bustle, but it seems no matter how busy people are, family and community come first. It’s a rarity in my house for every family member to find themselves at the dinner table at the same time. I love that Koreans are so family oriented and they manage to filter that into every aspect of their lives.

What has been your biggest struggle in Korea? 
Honestly, everything has been so easy since I’ve moved to Seoul. Everyone is friendly. There are English translations just about everywhere. I haven’t really had a chance to feel as if I’m on an adventure yet. And that’s probably OK too. But I’m also used to being away from home and family for long periods of time, so in a way I’m lucky. Give me six months and that may change. 

What are your plants post-Korea? 
As of now I plan to attend graduate school after my contract in Korea ends. Who knows? That may change again. I’ve got 16 months to mull it over. But currently I’m set on attending a program in International Humanitarian Action next year.

Anything else to add?
I grew up in small-town West Texas. Tumbleweeds and cactus and cowboys and that sort of thing. I love my hometown, but getting away and experiencing new things has shaped who I am just as much as my roots. And I’m sure I’m not done growing and reshaping. Traveling and being somewhere new has so many different meanings for so many different people. But no matter who you are or where you find yourself, traveling and pushing boundaries has a way of helping you learn about yourself more than anything else. The better you understand your world, the better you understand yourself. Follow your soul even if it leads you away from your chosen path. 

Thanks for sharing, Brook!

{That picture above, by the way, is Brook on top of Mt. Sinai in Egypt last Fall. Pretty much the coolest thing ever.}