I’ve been dealing with a number of different fires that have broken out lately, including:
- myself, then Miss Jiwaku, being quite sick in the last week and a half
- the necessity of finalizing audio tracks for the film we’re making before next Friday (though the deadline was initially today, when I was still quite ill!)
- a medical emergency with a fellow expat coworker, and all kinds of organizational (re: his family) and workplace fallout for that. (For those who know Michael, his brother has posted an update on his Facebook Wall, which is where the link above leads.)
- helping a foreign student in one of my classes who does not speak Korean, was given a scholarship and entry into a four-year-degree program, but who was barred (for no good reason) from Korean language classes
- trying to figure out the best way to organize something the school should have done itself, but will never actually do: an organization for foreign students and faculty, providing information, help, and resources to expats at the university. Aside from the student above, I’ve heard a number of reports from foreign students ranging from having been sexually assaulted by a Korean classmate (and having nobody in an official position to turn to for help) to students experiencing racist treatment by a Korean professor who did not want foreign students in her class (“We have enough Korean students in this room, we don’t need you too,” was the line quoted to me as having been said to a group of shocked and disgusted Taiwanese exchange students). We need a Foreign Community organization of some kind on campus so that people can get help, resources, and also orientations in the basics of understanding how to get by in Korea, especially given that they are living in the same slum I am, and in which our school is located, and so incidents like the racist prof or the sexual assault case don’t just end up going unaddressed like they have been so far.
- trying to get the university to provide me with a proper desk I can actually work on, like everyone else on my floor has (including people who started this semester), instead of the horrid little 1970s cramped desk I’ve had since 2006; this is the third year I’ve been actively pushing for this, and it may just happen now that I have a supervisor who realizes this problem kinda-sorta matters.
So it’s been busy. I’ll be trying to blog more consistently from now on, however…
There’s one more little clause in my contract which I need to consider carefully when running this site…
I am not allowed to disparage the Church of its teachings. I am assuming this means in-class, but given that my name, googled, leads directly to this site, it seems some of my rants on theology shall have to be assigned to the private section.
(UPDATE: Not anymore! I’m free! Free! Hahahaha! Thus… this post is now public!)
But for almost $200 a month more than I thought I would be making, and for approximately $800 a month more than I was making in Jeonju, I think I can handle doing that for a few years — I can always make my posts on the subject public once I have moved on… and honestly, I’m much quicker to criticize Protestant religion than the Church. It’s a weak point, perhaps, or maybe it’s a smidgen of respect from my upbringing, and for the really respectable Catholics I’ve known, compared to the very few despicable Protestants I’ve known.
(UPDATE: I still prefer the Catholics to the Protestants in Korea, but that doesn’t make the Catholics good. Some are, but Catholicism is still a horrible, horrible institution that needs to be razed from the world. So there.)
Anyway, it’s the cleanup of my archives that I’m dreading, honestly. That’ll be a long job. After the holiday.
Time to quit blogging, the PC is free but someone else is waiting for access.
Well, here’s the big news, for those of you who didn’t see a mass email from me: I have taken a department job over at Jeonju University. It begins at the end of August, so I will be on staff at Wonkwang until the mid-August holidays, and then I will begin over at Jeonju University at the end of August. For now, I’m just getting my head around the idea of the holidays I’ll be enjoying, and trying to make sure the paperwork gets done properly and quickly.
It’s not a huge change, either financially or in terms of my teaching duties. The changes as far as I have been told include the following:
- I will be teaching required classes, which means that motivation will be lower than in the elective/extracurricular classes I have been teaching these days in Iksan.
- I will enjoy much more holiday time, to the tune of 4 months’ worth of time off.
- I will have individual housing, as in no shared apartment.
- I will be living in Jeonju, which is a slightly bigger city than Iksan, with more arts and cultural stuff going on.
I’m happy but the excitement isn’t really at full tilt yet. It still feels a long way off. For now, I have one heavy term left to get through, and a visa run to make, before I can even begin to think about my life in Jeonju.
And the visa run looms: I will need to travel somewhere, but where can I go cheaply and quickly (as in, in Asia) that isn’t full of SARS? Hmm. Maybe Thailand will have to do, even with its own limited SARS problem. Hmmmmm. I’ll ask around about it.
As one of my friends said about this coming on the tails of my breakup with my ex-girlfriend… Saeong jima. “You never can tell what the silver lining of a given cloud might be…” is how I would translate that expression, though it’s got to do with an old man, a horse, a boy, and a war. I’ll post the story sometime… but not tonight. Anyway, it’ll be easier to move to Jeonju now that I am single.
Anyway… no other big news for now. Off to watch a couple of DVDs and enjoy a cold beer.