Stipend Apparently Approved


The President of the University has, I’m told, approved the continuance of the housing stipend for foreigners in the employ of Jeonju University. (Read: He’s decided it’s unfair to discontinue the provision of a stipend in order to force foreign teachers into on-campus housing.) This means we have a choice of either living on campus, or plunking down several thousand dollars (which we’ll get back after a year) for the deposit on an apartment, the rent for which is usually about as much as the stipend the University is offering.

This is a worse deal than when I started, mind you. At that time, I was not required to pay a several-thousand dollar damage deposit on an apartment just in order to have a place to live. But all in all, this is better than I thought the situation would turn out.

There may even be an apartment open for me, though it’s still a maybe and it’s a little far from my workplace. (But it’s a nice apartment, it’s pretty close to where Lime lives and studies, and it’s also close to Jeonbuk University.) Failing that option, I should be able to find an alright place somewhere midway between my current home and downtown, near the local Protestant Hospital… which is perfect, it only would add five or ten minutes to my ride to work and my ride home, but would also situate my living space a lot closer to downtown (just across the bridge, where you can find not only my band’s current practice room but also the main local theaters and the main rendezvous point for the whole of downtown Jeonju) and it would also make it a little easier on Lime to visit at my place. So all in all it may work out as a relatively good thing.

The other nice thing is that if I am in control of my own housing situation, then I am relatively more free of control by the University… and in that way I am relatively more in control of my own life. This is a good, good thing… I think. I’ve never tried to rent an apartment here before, though, and I just hope that people aren’t suspicious of me just because I’m a white foreigner. We’ll just have to see about that, I guess.

Next semester should be pretty good, then. I’m going to teach a streamlined Freshman writing class, I’ll have a night class only on Monday or Tuesday (I can’t remember which, but anyway it’s not Friday night!) and except for on the night with a night class, I finish teaching at 4:30pm every day except Friday, where my Freshman class runs until 5:30pm. The schedules are not beautiful… for the most part they’re 8:30am-4:30pm, which feels like an office job, but half the day I’m not teaching anyway, and I can just work on the computers in the office.

Ah, maybe I’m just being optimistic because it feels good to have gotten through another semester. I handed in my grades at about 6:30pm, after calculating the last few and punching them into the computer. I’m all finished with school until the summer camp starts. Aaaaaaaah. It’s a good feeling.

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