Can you smell it? Just there, around the corner: the end of semester.
I’ve got three exams next week, though thank heavens two of them are oral exams and graded on the spot. I will receive a stack of fifteen essays to grade, feedback unnecessary since they’re “final exams” and Iam unable to return them to students. I’ll have one stack of forty-odd written exams to grade, but again, no feedback necessary. Some calculations and weeding through paperwork submitted by teams in my two Listening & Speaking classes, along with evaluations and self-evaluations.
The exams should be done by Tuesday evening, and the grading by Saturday or so. Then just a few quick calculations, and input the grades into the system, hand in my attendance and grade sheets, and I’m free until sometime in September.
Well, sort of free. I’m working on a big freelance writing project, I’ve got two or three articles to write this summer, lots of stories to mail out, and plenty more fiction to work on. I think I will indeed go traveling, as well, but not for too long, and I don’t know where, but probably around midsummer (ie. nearer to the end of July, maybe just for a week or two). I need some time outside of Korea, but I also need to do two other things:
- Get my writing life back on track — because I have only very spottily done any creative writing this semester, and
- Get a little more into shape, which is easier to do when you’re at home, especially when “home” is a campus with a mountain perfect for hiking, and a free fitness room not five minutes away.
So we’re probably not headed to Turkey or some part of Russia as I’d been contemplating. Maybe Singapore or Hong Kong? I have a hankering to visit Mongolia, as well, though I will probably not rise a horse around like my old friends Myoung Jae and Mer did when they went there. There are other possibilities, of course.
Where would you go if you have two weeks to travel in Asia? (Though, excluding the following places as I’ve visited them in recent years and want to see something new: India, coastal China, Thailand, Laos, mainland Japan, and of course, Korea.)
I’m not setting any goals as far as writing quotas — because doing that always ends up leaving me in a chair all day long and results in a case of prostatitis, and I still very vividly remember spending my last summer holiday peeing in pain. I’m not setting any specific goals in terms of weight loss or minutes I want to be able to do on the treadmill. Goals get achieved, or they don’t, but I’m happier just saying I’m going to write — because I have enough projects I want to get done that I know I will do so — and that I want to make sure I leave the house daily. Given my aversion to riding the packed train into Seoul, that’ll probably mean a lot of early-morning or late evening trips up Wonmi Mountain, which is fine by me.
I am, however, thinking about whether to do something a little unusual this summer in terms of writing. That is, collaborating on a couple of stories. I’ve got two collaborations lined up, but one of those people just quit her job, so I don’t know if she’ll be up for it. Maybe the other collaborator and I could mix it up, do one thing together and work independently on other things? Hmmm. Any other writer friends interested in collaborations? Doing it not-alone seems like something fitting for the Clarion West Write-a-Thon.
One more thing that’s just around the corner? That’s right, the plague of 모기 (“mogi”, ie. mosquitoes) that, without fail and despite all the toxic urban gassing the city can afford, descends upon us without fail. I’m planning on using the “mogi trap” that is detailed here (though I first read about it here, and I think he first read about it here). I’ll post an update about whether it works. Now, I just need to get myself some big empty bottles.