[Originally published August 28, 2014.]
Another record: I walked 21,800 steps today. That's exactly ten miles (16.1 km) and about 1500 calories, according to my pedometer. The day began with an abortive trip to Immigration, and by the time I got back to my yeogwan, I had already walked over 8,500 steps. Tonight's hike up Namsan added another 13.3K to that figure. I also weighed myself and saw I was down to 121.2 kilograms, which isn't much of a loss since the last time I'd posted my weight. A difference of 0.2 kg is a bottle of water, so tonight's weighing really doesn't show any significant loss. When I get below 120 kg, we'll talk. Meanwhile, I'm mentally celebrating 21.8K steps. I doubt I'll repeat this feat anytime soon, but I'm glad it boosts my daily average for August. I'm definitely going to beat my July average by several hundred steps.
Friday morning and afternoon—orientation at Dongguk. Alas, it's going to go on all day. I had said to the office assistant that I'd attend the optional dinner, but I'm actually planning on skipping out. Ugh. I hate dinners, parties, hwaeshik, "membership training"—all that crap. I sincerely hope the semester won't be clogged with stupid, burdensome, and wholly unnecessary gatherings to improve "synergy" or some other bullshit. Synergy comes from within, in my opinion: either you're willing to be a team player or you aren't. I'm perfectly willing to work with others, and I don't need to have that willingness "cultivated" through some manufactured event where people pretend to be nice to each other. One thing I can't stand is just the sort of artificiality that comes with group events. Everyone puts on a game face and no one really lets on what he or she is actually thinking and feeling. And there's always some fucking idiot who starts loudly dominating the conversation after having one too many. Maybe extroverts are into such silliness, but I'm not. Can't stand it. Luckily, Friday's orientation is mostly purpose-driven, so I suppose that's a good thing, although I don't see why it needs to be dragged out all day. I understand there will be speeches and awards—all the vacuous pomp and circumstance you might expect at the beginning of a semester. Oy.
Looking ahead: the first week of classes will, I imagine, be the standard comedy of errors at a Korean university: students who aren't sure they want to be in my class, students who aren't supposed to be in my class, students who haven't brought their textbooks, etc., etc. I doubt much will get done, aside from self-intros and icebreakers. That's normally how it is. Things won't get real until the second or third week of the semester. Still, despite my previous gripes, I'm looking forward to the challenges that come with being at a new school. Will Dongguk be the school I settle down at? Who knows? Only time will tell.