I had quite a busy vacation this time around, compared to what I usually manage with my in-country off days, which I guess is fitting, because life is pretty busy at the moment. I knew if I didn't get some time out of my apartment(s) and out of Seoul/Incheon, I was going to have some kind of a mental breakdown in the coming months, when it starts to be business time with making the full transition over from being an EFL teacher to being a... whatever I'm becoming. I feel like I've been steadily preparing for months, in all kinds of ways, and I'm glad that I have, because now, as we near the zero hour, I realize how much more I have to do. Despite feeling overwhelmed by it all, however, I cleared out enough time in my schedule for two trips away this time. The other one was where the boat fighting happened, but that's another post.
After (and in between) those trips, I got IQ officially up and running with our first content, and a whole new site design (go check it out). Although I was pleased with myself in general for making a website merely happen the first time around (website design -- a skill my professors deemed necessary enough of writers to insist on an entire mandatory course in the subject while I was at school -- was the only course I had to beg my friends to assist me with), I knew the design was a bit crap. But I was prepared to live with it, because I figured a. it was the best I could manage and b. most lit. journal website designs are crap, because I don't think writers are very good at it in general. Some of the best, most established journals in the US have some of the most terrible websites I've ever seen (not counting some of the Korean sites I've had the misfortune of having to navigate). It's just the way it works. But I was relieved when an old acquaintance from university who is running a small press, and who is similarly tech-disabled, got in touch to let me know about another service that makes things a hell of a lot easier -- Squarespace. It's a bit pricey, but for all the headache it will save me with getting things organized and up on the site properly, I think it's well worth it.
So there was that. And on the subject of IQ, it's been really touching to see how many messages and emails have poured in from people saying that they are so happy to finally see something like this emerging in S. Korea. We are still, honestly, struggling a bit with submissions, which is surprising to me, considering how many hits the website itself is getting -- far more interest than I ever expected. But I think we might make it. The first issue is always the most dangerous, but they say if you can make it past issue three, you'll be alright. I guess we'll see, come this time next year, if we've managed to stay afloat.
I also managed to get the last of our furniture ordered, put together, stained, painted and varnished in the new place. We're still waiting on our TV console, which for some inexplicable reason needs three months from ordering time to arrive, but the new place is finally feeling like a functional home.
And now, I'm currently using this blog post as an excuse to further put off the one thing I didn't manage to cross off the to-do list for the past two weeks, which was to go through another round of submissions for the newly edited poems (which I never got around to doing the last time I said I was going to -- because it's awful). But I got a nice start going tonight, and will have it done by tomorrow.
Next week, I have to apply for my first term of language school for after I return from Texas in January. I've been back and forth and back again about which school to choose. It's the usual conundrum -- Sogang, to fix my speaking, or Yonsei, to get ready for academic-level reading and writing, and to boost my TOPIK score? In the end, I've decided to go with Yonsei, if only to get my foot in the door at the school and to make it easier when it comes time to start working them over to get them to let me in to their Korean Lit. master's program. That was ultimately the deciding factor, as I would really like to get my speaking under control. But I guess I'm still banking on that coming with time.
Today, two minutes before the clock turned over on quitting time, I had my schedule for the new semester placed into my hands. Across the top of each of the four weeks this time, instead of being labeled "Week 1", "Week 2", etc., they were merely labeled with the one or two weeks of dates during which I would be teaching them. Because there are only seven teaching weeks left.
I guess this is happening.