Friday Formspring.

Haha. Someone's been at the Formspring.

Do you have to take the tiresome internet training class too? The one with Carl Kwan? I'm in Incheon and I have to.

I have no idea what you're talking about. Thank god. I didn't have to take anything. I didn't have to attend anything. I have never been to orientation or any such nonsense. Somehow I seem to always blow through life managing to convince people not to make me do those kinds of things. I think it's my fucking charming smile.

How long do you think the "English teaching by foreigners" gig will last? I think the increasing quality of Korean teachers will cut 50% of us within 10 years. Any guess? If i weren't so squeamish about it, I would stay here forever.

You know, I can say I think this or I think that, but I'm not really sure. I don't think anyone is. My hope would be that Korea can increase the proficiency of their own English teachers to the extent that we're not (as) needed, just because I would like to see Korea raise the standards is has for native English teachers, to the extent that this could even possibly be considered a "real" job someday. Despite how everyone raves about how much we're not wanted here (and the media sure does like to make it out that way sometimes, as do the higher ups in our own educational offices), I honestly believe the reality is that if we work hard as teachers, work hard at adapting and acclimating into Korean culture and society (including learning Korean), and continue to improve our ability as educators (whether that means further training courses, certifications, or whatever else they may decide is necessary), then there will always be a place for at least some of us here.

Personally, I'm not that worried about it. I'm studying Korean so that, when the time comes, if I decide it's what I want, I can try my very best to get an F5, which would make life here a lot easier, not to mention the job opportunities and options it would open up, as well as not having to deal with the annual visa song and dance.

I haven't decided to stay in Korea. I'm not the kind of person who thinks that making decisions that include the word "forever" is really possible. Of course, this annoys Koreans no end, because they don't know what to do when they ask, "How long will you stay in Korea?" (and they always do), and I just look at them and shrug. They want you to say, "Until next year." Or, "Forever." But what they don't realize is that the visa situation in their country doesn't make the latter option very comfortable. While I believe I will ultimately always be able to get a job here, if I really want it, I don't know if/when I'll get tired of the limitations and the repetitive visa process, with little recourse for exit, short of marriage, or a visa that may be close to imaginary in so far as how many are actually issued.

But I'll deal with all of that when the time comes, I suppose.

Why are you the "reluctant" expat? You seem pretty gung-ho these days.

I'm always reluctant. Even when I'm gung-ho. It goes back to my resistance to that 'forever' word mentioned above. My high school boyfriend became my high school boyfriend when I told him I would give him a "chance" "for a while". And I became a vegetarian (which lasted nearly six years, and which I would still be, had I not moved to Korea) after I decided to "try" it for "a couple of weeks". Most recently, I "cut back" on my drinking to "see what will happen". I think that's going to end up becoming semi-permanent as well.

If I'm really honest, there's really little I disdain more in this world than people who make grand proclamations and then completely fail to live up to them. I think it's embarrassing, and evidence of a weak will. Which I can't stand, and have very little respect for.

Now I realize that's probably the snottiest thing I've ever written (in public). But I mostly apply it to myself more than everyone else. So. While still back in my home country, looking to move abroad, but having no experience with it, I had a hunch that I would become an "expat", which is different from someone who lives abroad for a year, in my opinion. But I didn't have the experience to commit to that with confidence. After a year and a half abroad, possibly the most valuable and interesting (challenging) year and a half of my life, I'm almost positive that I will stay an expat 'forever', whether in Korea or any number of other places. But I still don't really consider myself an "expat", because I haven't even made it to the two year mark outside of my home country yet.

In other words, I feel I haven't earned it. So it's not so much that I'm reluctant to be an expat, as reluctant to call myself one. Especially when it seems like so many other people are so quick to grab up the title, even when they have no intentions of doing anything more than the equivalent of a gap year, with no real investment in the culture or society they are living within.

Yes I'm a fucking snob. I try to tell you people that all the time. What do you want me to do about it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

can you at least promise to blog .. forever?