Well, more frustration yesterday… all kinds of silly administrative plots, and it looks a lot more like an exercise in putting-us-in-our-place than in saving money. The sad thing, I think, is that it will turn out to be an exercise in dismantling the current staff and replacing us with hakwon teachers.
But we’re still waiting to hear the final answer on whether (a) we will be required to live on campus and (b) whether we’ll even have a choice to live off campus, as teachers have been allowed to do and as, with the exception of foreign teachers, everyone is allowed to do.
I should add that I suppose we are technically allowed to live off-campus as it is… the only thing is, we will need to pay our own rent and damage deposit. Given that damage deposits are about $5000 here and rent is about $200 a month (for a small one-room apartment), this is doable but it’s also quite insulting, considering that the majority of teachers were willing to scrape together the damage deposits if only the monthly housing stipend (that has been available to foreign professors for many years now) were to be continued. To treat professors in this way seems like a bad move in that it will encourage all professors to leave as quickly as possible and it’ll make hiring new qualified people quite difficult. But that’s their problem I suppose. I just wish all of this had come out earlier so I would have had time to at least look for another job.
Ah well. the high point of yesterday was meeting with Lime. We talked about the situation and I told her that I want to stay in Jeonju mainly because of our relationship. She was happy to hear that, and we had a good evening just hanging out and watching a bizarre Korean movie called 화산고 (Volcano High School), a kind of young-adult-Korean-Harry-Potter-meets-kung-fu-mysticism-in-the-far-future kind of a film. Great movie, that one.
We’ve been short on time together this week, and it’s hard on me that this band thing is going to demand so much of my time from now on: traveling on the weekends to play gigs is not something I relish when it means less time to see Lime, especially seeing that my ability to see her during the week is getting continually reduced by band practices and by the fact that it’ll be even harder for her to come over to my place for a visit. But seeing her last night was good, it was like fresh air to me, like cool water and fresh air. I’m gonna miss her during my trip.