Real quick now, a little morning mash-up of what's been going on lately. I'm back in that god forsaken studentless desert, which always brings about it an air of existential despair. What do I do with my life other than attempt to teach? Apparently, I attempt to learn. Korean, that is.
My coworkers finally gathered around in a herd to ask me what in the fuck was going on yesterday. They always see me faffing about with this book or that text in Korean, perpetually on the sidelines, but they have never seen me with my head down like this before. I explained that it's becoming more and more blatantly obvious that we foreign teachers in public schools in Korea are not long for this world. They claim Korea will always keep a few good chosen ones around, but I'm frankly not arrogant enough to imagine that I, with my non-existent education degree, will be among them. Not enough to bank my future in Korea on it, without a backup plan, anyway. And everyone already knows I'd practically prefer to chew my own arm off than enter the hagwon world, if for no other reason than I involuntarily wake up at 5 or 6 am, and I simply couldn't hack it with an afternoon-to-evening work schedule.
The only thing I can think to do is prepare myself as well as possible for vague plans of getting my Masters, and becoming a professor of one sort or another. Or whatever else a Masters might allow for. I know. I always swore I would never go back to school, but the more I think about trying to hack in the long run here, the more it seems like the most sensible option. In order to do that, I've got to know Korean. And know it in a different way than I was aiming for before. I've got to know it by the book and on exams. Hence the TOPIK chatter.
Now the thing is, I'm a lazy little shit when it comes to vague goals in my personal life. But if there's one thing anyone who's known me from the time I was in school can tell you, it's that I can take exams like a bastard. I've never scored below a high B on any exam in my entire life (and even the high B's can be counted on one hand, or if I remember correctly, two fingers -- they were considered minor tragedies in their time). And what is it Koreans like to constantly tell complaining foreigners? When in Rome....
Well. But I don't want to go too far past myself in the realm of reading and writing in comparison to speaking. And also, the new textbook I have has reduced itself only to the odd sprinkling of irrelevant English explanation, which has left me gaping at the page in confusion with some new grammar forms, I have to say. I can do all of the self-study I want, but those questions are not going to answer themselves, and I refuse to be fluent on paper and mute in action. So the only reasonable thing to do was to sort out a tutor for a couple of hours a week, to fill in the gaps.
Which has got Busan beside himself, frankly. I've finally managed to find a guy who seems genuine about his intentions to improve his own English by using it to teach Korean, and who -- even better -- is right around my area and willingly to come to my little old neighborhood to do it. It doesn't get more convenient than that. But Busan is convinced that for him to have a foreign girlfriend who goes to another Korean guy to learn is a "humiliate" for him, and that guys who want to teach foreign girls Korean only have one real intention, and education isn't it.
I'd like to think with more than three years of experience in the area under my belt that I'm able to tell the jokers from the real deal, but he's not convinced. I'm less willingly to waste my time with flirty little ridiculous coffee dates masquerading as study sessions than he thinks, however. I'm sure it will be fine, and if it's not, I'll ditch this guy and start over from scratch. Just before he finally came through, I'd realized that, after all, I live literally next door to a university, and there have got to be kids there looking for an easy way to make a bit of pocket money. Right?
So. That's where things stand. And also I may be well on my way to having a new little cat around. Which is also somehow making Busan a bit jealous. Hardly anything doesn't.
I just hope that, once the boys are back and school life is in full swing, I won't lift my head up to find I've waded into the water well above it. But I can handle it, I think. Time will tell.