Looking forward.

The boys are in exams at the moment, and so I thought I'd make myself useful today and start scoping out the concretes of a future timeline involving grad school here.

It's a bitch -- I ain't gonna lie. Lining up the end of contracts with university start dates and scholarship application guidelines, plus any potential time off in between for a trip home or moving house (which I will have to do).... it's given me a fucking headache. Not to mention imagining a worst-case-scenario budget, reflective of the severely fucked outcome that I end up with zero scholarship money whatsoever.

Mostly I'm just glad I took the day to sit down and hash all of this out because, even though we are looking at a year and a half to two years down the road here, there's a hell of a lot of prep work to be done in order to pull it off smoothly. But the two most important things, as always, are this:

1. Get TOPIK level up.
2. Save money.

I've been doing better at one of these things than the other. I won't tell you which. But today has been a good reminder that it's time to really get serious if I don't want my future plans to get fucked up on account of present lack of discipline.

On the other hand, skimming through course titles and descriptions has got me thinking that maybe I'll actually enjoy going back. I'll tell you one thing: I am determined to be able to focus on academics this time around, and not have my financial situation looming overhead. I just want to go to school. It's going to be hard enough, all on its own.

So. Vague. I know. But let me get a little further on with things, and I may get more specific. I'm still not being very specific with myself. Hopefully, it'll start to fall into place soon.

For now, I'm off to 회식, and then the bookstore to pick up more horrific TOPIK practice guides, and much more pleasantly, some new Korean readers. Since I'm nearly through mine.

It kind of feels a bit nice, this starting to feel a little overwhelmed again.


Anonymous said...

Hi! (lurker here, coming out of the woodwork to comment!)

I'm very interested to see how your plans for grad school in Korea pan out. I'm planning to do my master's there as well... in about five or six years from now. Gotta start planning now! I start teaching in Korea this August.

What kind of program are you aiming for, and what school? I'm looking at Translation and Interpretation (English-Korean or perhaps English-French-Korean) at HUFS or Ewha, but I'm open to other options. Do you know what level your TOPIK should be at? I'm guessing a five or six (advanced).

Good luck, and thank you for writing an excellent blog.

SL said...

Hi, INP! I just started reading your blog recently, and have been really, really enjoying it. Actually, I first read some of the posts you wrote about classroom discipline/stamp systems for your students, and am thinking about trying something similar at my all girls high school. You seem like you have a lot of experience teaching, and don't take any shit from your students, which is the kind of teacher I want to be. Anyway, right now I'm also studying for the TOPIK (just 중급 though), and am a little stressed out at the thought of it coming up so soon as July 22nd... good luck to you when you take it, and hope you get the level you want!

I'm no Picasso said...

Lobotronic -- I'm really not sure of anything at all, at this point, but I'm kind of (very) optimistically aiming for Yonsei, Korean Lit. From what I've seen based on a lot of scholarship requirements, level 4 or 5 seem to be the magical levels where schools decide non-native speakers are ready. Moreso 5 than 4, but I haven't seen anyone requiring higher than 5.

And thank you for the kind comment. Best of luck to you in your plans, and your move.

I'm no Picasso said...

SL -- 중급 is exactly what I'm working on right now. Based on practice tests I'm about a level 3, so I would like to be up to level 4 by next fall. I really got serious about studying in January, and at that point even looking at the 중급 practice tests made my head swim. Not a chance in hell. But I've been doing loads and load of reading and it's really helped a lot -- my grammar was way too far in front of my vocabulary. Too many books focus on teaching grammar pattern after grammar pattern with too little introduction of new vocab. So, I've been focusing on reading to try to get around that, and also to solidify my grasp of grammar.

Good luck on the exam! Makes me nervous just thinking about it.

I'm no Picasso said...

Also, I highly recommend the stamp system. It hasn't changed much in my high level classes, where the students are already engaged and highly motivated, but it has made an absolute world of difference in my low level classes. They boys have really come out of their shells and are way more focused during class time, now that they have some reason (however small) to finish their assignments and to speak.

Anonymous said...

Could you give me some examples of the Korean readers you use?