Sunday, May 28, 2006

the final week before break

One of the reasons I like my job is that we get two 1-month-long breaks. The first is in June; the second is in December. We get what amounts to a third month as well: several one-week breaks scattered throughout the year. Along with that, we've got national holidays. From what my students tell me, this year's autumn Chusok break will be a long one because it will be end-to-end with another holiday, but it will also be the last long Chusok for eleven years. Many Koreans are already bemoaning this fact, and I add my groans to theirs.

It's Sunday evening, I'm getting ready for bed, and mulling over the final week of classes. Coursework and evaluations will be wrapped up by Friday (we teachers will be evaluated as well, as happens every semester); Wednesday will be another "optional attendance" day because the good citizens will be out exercising their right to vote. On Thursday and Friday, I have no specific lessons planned; instead, we'll be having the standard end-of-semester jjong-p'a-t'i. I'll be cooking my infamous pasta for my MWF 1pm class, which has demanded it. Because funds are tight, I may be asking them to cough up a bit of money, but I won't ask for much.

The disaster in Indonesia (the death toll is nearing 4000 as of tonight) has been sobering, and then, via Drudge, I saw this article about an Illinois doctor who, while on vacation in Florida with his family to celebrate his 10th anniversary, snapped and threw his two little sons-- aged 4 and 8-- off a 15th-floor hotel balcony, then threw himself off the balcony, too. All three died, as you might imagine. There's no need to believe in demons when people fill demonic roles so well.

All this life and death has me in a reflective mood. I had the privilege of seeing Nathan's son today (Sunday). What a cutie! I think often of my little goddaughter, her sister, and their little brother. I think of my own little brothers who, at ages 29 and 26, aren't so little anymore. I think about the power we have to choose our own destinies-- a power that isn't infinite, to be sure, but is nonetheless significant. And I think about how little we can really do to protect other people from the world's dangers, natural or human. We just have to do what we can.

During the month of June, I'll be focused on getting my book prepped and ready for purchase. The publication date-- subject to change-- is still June 26. Keep an eye out for Water from a Skull. Meantime, wish me luck as I and my colleagues at Smoo sprint to the finish of this semester.

Once more unto the breach!



Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin!

Glad you liked the Little Hero! About national holidays, though, I thought we had to make them up. I wonder if I misunderstood something (or are there two classes of holidays?--in Canada, that's kind of the case, with, for example, Remembrance Day being observed in BC, but not Ontario, despite its applicability to the whole nation).

Anonymous said...

And I do wish you luck! I'll be sure to buy an autographed copy when you get them in from the publisher.

R said...

So, Kevin.

What crazy madness do you have in store for your paid month of sloth?

Kevin Kim said...


I plan to spend the whole month downloading Japanese porn.