|June 18, 2009
ON THIS DAY, THREE YEARS AGO, I SET OUT FROM THE AIRPORT IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C. METRO AREA AND CAME TO KOREA.
Yeah, it's been three years since I left home. However, since the plane took a while, I didn't reach Korea until three years ago tomorrow. So I'll put up a separate post for that.
Just a little while ago, I finished Civilization (the old DOS strategy game where you build one) on Emperor mode, the highest difficulty level! YES!!! This is the first time ever!
Oh, and now three different people want to do phone tutoring with me while I'm in Taiwan (these people are in Korea and I haven't started doing the private lessons yet, so there is no legal issue). I guess things are going pretty well — as long as I keep up with my packing and various forms of preparation.
June 15, 2009
This is illegal right? Wrong. There's nothing illegal about doing private lessons for Koreans FROM OUTSIDE KOREA. :-)
So as long as I do a good job teaching them, I'll have a nice little income stream that can travel with me to Taiwan, Ireland, Japan, hell, even Antarctica!
I'm going to do as good a job as possible. If they like my services and recommend me to other people, I could seriously make my whole income off of this. They were astounded when I offered the low rate of 15,000 won. She thought it was on the low side! Well, that's about $12 an hour for a job that I can bring with me anywhere on earth, and there's no travel time because I do it with my computer! Hah!
June 12, 2009: UPDATE 2
If I choose to continue to a Bachelor's of Science in Information Technology, due to a certain college regulation at Excelsior, I will not realistically be able to graduate until 2011. The reason for this is that ITA 495, a portfolio compilation course, cannot be taken until ALL my other relevant courses are completed. This means that it takes up an entire semester of its own, and I would have to shoehorn at least 34 credit hours into two semesters before taking the course — highly unrealistic, because 34 credits is a best-case scenario (17 per term), and I'LL BE WORKING FULL-TIME IN TAIWAN. Oh, and if I did that, all the most expensive courses, I would have to take immediately, which would completely break the tiny bank I still have left. So in other words, I'm faced with the following two choices:
So in other words, my degree is going to be a generic Bachelor's of Science without a major.
Now, the Bachelor's of Science is extremely liberal — I can take basically whatever I want as long as I have at least 30 upper-level credits and 120 credits overall. This leads to the danger that I might try to test out of everything and learn nothing of importance in order to save money and time, and I don't want that. I want my bachelor's degree to show that I learned things that I wanted to learn, not just be a mere piece of paper, and I want to keep my option open to major in Information Technology later, after getting my first BS.
Therefore, here is a little compromise I've come up with. I've calculated that if I can finish my degree in $5,000 (in addition to the tens of thousands I've already spent), I can graduate out of debt. So my goal is to get the best education I can for $5,000. Here is my goal of what I want to accomplish with this $5,000:
In conclusion, I think I can still get a rewarding degree and keep the option open to upgrade to a BS in IT in the future if I really want it with only one full-time semester and one part-time semester of work. I can still graduate on-time. It'll be nice and cheap this way because I'll be taking plenty of cheap DANTES tests that are simply one of the cheapest sources of upper-level credit on the planet. I won't let this setback destroy me.
June 12, 2009
Yesterday, I did my last-ever class at Yonsei University Korean Language Institute. It was really ordinary. Nothing special. No class party. No one wanted to come, so none ever happened. This term, we had the worst group cohesion of any Korean class I've ever had. The Chinese stuck to themselves, the timid Japanese women stuck to themselves, and I kind of disliked both groups. I wasn't a big fan of our teacher, either. She wasn't horrible and I don't dislike her, it's just she wasn't like Teacher Jeon.
My score for the course was a 79, down 1% from last semester's Level 7 course. Oh well. At least I didn't fail in my last semester at Yonsei.
So there you go, I did an even two years' of study in South Korea. Now I'm moving to Taiwan.
My temporary girlfriend, Suyeon, still doesn't know. I still need to tell her. I hope she won't react badly.
I bought my plane ticket for Taiwan. I paid for it with 370,000 won in cash.
I also got 22 more pages for my passport. So in other words, I've been making significant strides towards the Taiwan endeavor. My Letter of Qualification from Excelsior College has arrived here in Korea. In just eight days, I get on a plane and start the next chapter in my life.
I will come back to Korea, but probably not to live here. I will come back for cheap merchandise at Dongmyo Ap Market, to visit friends, to take the Hanja Neungnyeok Geomjeong Shiheom (Hanja Proficiency Inspection Test), and to do the last tourist things I never did (visit Panmunjeom, Jeju-do, and eat dog soup).
The last two days in Korea, I won't have a dwelling. I'll need to stay with Mijung or someplace like that.
Things I still need to do:
June 4, 2009
No need to congratulate me or anything like that, I already took the exact same level last term and got an 80% then. I don't really care about my Level 7 scores that much (especially since I already passed), although it would have been a slight shame had I failed my last semester at Yonsei. And I didn't. So great. That's about all I have to say.
Oh, and our teacher WAS NOT lenient towards that quiet Japanese women who never say anything on the speaking tests. Akiko got a 60%. I got an 88% because I talk plenty. That's almost an A.
June 2, 2009
So here is my KOREA EXIT STRATEGY:
June 1, 2009
I don't know what to think today. I feel sorry towards Yuri for breaking up with her and not giving her more of a chance. I mean, I was pretty kind when I broke up with her, but I still feel like she hates me. She has said nothing to me since saying "Okay." when I said "Let's break up." I'm not trying to be a bad guy here. She was not the worst girlfriend I ever had. I suspect part of the reason she was so offended is that she actually did make romantic gestures quite a bit, just that they were small gifts placed in a bag on my doorknob as an almost utter replacement for anything physical during the last two weeks. Actually, that's not even why I broke up with her (at least she had some level of thoughtfulness, something many of my girlfriends can't say). I mainly broke up with her because when I wanted to talk to her in a civil fashion on Saturday night, she was ridiculously belligerent and then was ridiculously belligerent again the next day. She could have averted being dumped if she'd been willing to discuss the issue like a reasonable human being on either Saturday or Sunday. Anyways, I'm not sure whether I should just completely avoid her, or whether I should put a bag on her doorknob with her favorite candy (Snickers Bars) and a note that says "I hope we can get along, I still respect you." If I do this, it might just make things worse by making it harder for her to recover (it's easier to put a former boyfriend/girlfriend out of one's mind if he/she has become an enemy than if he/she says "let's be friends"). I don't know, personally I think I was already pretty nice in my three post-breakup text messages, and she didn't respond, so it's pretty clear where she stands.
On the other hand, (in fact the last few days) have been good for the following reasons: