Saturday, August 25, 2007

a relaxed Saturday

I've been home all day today doing, well, not much of anything. This is that relaxed, post-coital period after every semester when I allow myself to slump with exhaustion, sleep for twelve hours, then switch into Fart Around mode. I'm off this week and part of next week (placement interviews happen in early September), and will probably make up for the hiking and exercise I haven't been doing over the past ten days.

This semester wasn't really that tiring, to be honest. My schedule was light after that slew of cancellations in early July. I went from having to do six preps to only three. Three preps at four days a week is not a bad life. I did have to do some extra work to "make up" my missing hours (by contract, I have a minimum of 18 teaching hours plus 5 office hours), but that work wasn't hard.

I think the most tiring aspect of the semester was starting each day so late. Constitutionally speaking, I'm a vampire, not a morning person, so it was easy to slip into "go to sleep at 5AM" mode, which is where I've been for the past two months. My earliest class started at 1:30PM, so it was no problem for me to sleep from 5AM to noon. Some people shake their heads in wonder, but they're usually confusing "sleeping late" with "oversleeping." I don't normally oversleep; I get a decent 6 or 7 hours of shut-eye per night.

This fall, though, we're back to 7:40AM classes, so I'll once again have to readjust my rhythm. Not a big problem. I actually prefer to teach in the mornings and early afternoons, because we get done by 2:30 or so. Starting and ending early allows me to have most of the rest of the day to myself. I'm glad I never teach in the evening. One of my former colleagues was the opposite: he generally preferred evenings, but unfortunately, our office cancelled all evening classes due to a lack of student registrants.

Some goals to meet during my free time (at least one of which will require my readers' help):

1. Finalize a name for my walk and then start a blog devoted to it. That blog (which will probably allow comments) will have posts divided into two supercategories: "spiritual" and "practical." Not the best dichotomy, as many spiritual folks will contend that the spiritual is practical. My hope is to classify posts dealing with religion and "inner life"-related matters as "spiritual," while posts on such things as my exercise, health insurance, trip logistics, etc., will fall under the "practical" rubric. I'm also thinking I might reactivate Facebook on the off chance it might help establish some connections in the months to come.

2. Hunker down with Nathan via email to begin discussing this PR thing.

3. See "Ratatouille," which was recommended to me by Charles. It hasn't left the Korean theaters yet, has it?

4. Begin compiling the manuscript for the CafePress version of my 2001 book, Scary Spasms in Hairy Chasms (this blog gets its name from the title of my book). I've gone through the procedure to remove the book from (click here to see the entry); it's supposed to disappear from Amazon when the final book is sold. I've got copies of the book with me as well; I'll sell them off for cheap if you're interested. The cover price was $15, but I'll part with the books for the scandalous price of $5 plus shipping. Feel free to PayPal me (use the email listed on my sidebar to contact me and discuss arrangements) if interested. Be aware that PayPal charges a small transaction fee, so the additional shipping charge might be a dollar or two more expensive than the actual cost of postage. Apologies in advance.

5. Begin compiling the CafePress manuscript for the sequel to Scary Spasms. In a sense, you've read the book already: it'll be composed almost entirely of humorous pieces from the blog. As I noted long ago, one reason why I maintain this blog is for the express purpose of cultivating and harvesting book material. I write best in bits and pieces, I think, which may be one reason why I've studiously avoided events like NaNoWriMo. When writing becomes a test of endurance, I turn out to be just as mentally lazy as I am physically lazy.

6. Do some audio podcasting. I finally figured out that the solution has been sitting under my nose: YouTube. I own the full version of QuickTime Pro, which allows you to combine sound and images. I've got sound recording/editing software, and have made five or six podcasts in the past. My first project will be to fuse the recordings I've done with still images via QT Pro, then slap them up-- either on YouTube or on Blogger, which now offers its own "Add Video" function. YouTube is more likely, however, because embedding vids in my blog makes my blog difficult to view on my old Mac, which can't handle the size and speed of today's videos. I'd prefer to link off-site to YouTube. That, or I need to get a new computer, at which point I will stop worrying about all the folks with slower computers. Anyway, after I upload the old podcasts, I might make some new ones if I have time.

7. Hiking/exercise: I need to arrange those temple walks, and am planning to talk to the nuns of Seungga-sa (on Bukhan-san) about what's possible.

8. In the opposite direction, a decadent thing: a temporary coworker from across campus told me about a restaurant called Brasilia near the COEX Center (Charles, did you mention this place once? did someone else mention it?). You can apparently indulge in an all-you-can-eat meat fiesta for a non-exorbitant sum. A weekday raid sometime next week may be possible.

9. Start shopping around for a cheap plane ticket to Europe in December. This is for my upcoming one-week visit to France and Switzerland, the result of a promise I made to see my French and Swiss host families (I broke the promise last year, faute de fric), especially my French Maman, who has gone through treatments for breast cancer (the treatments are over now, but I'm not sure whether the cancer's in remission).

10. Last but not least, I have two school-related tasks: (a) lesson planning for the upcoming semester (this kinda goes without saying), and (b) poster-making to help market our new courses. I'm going to receive "comp time" for making the posters, to be used if my weekly hours are under the minimum next semester. If it turns out that I have a normal schedule (i.e., none of my currently listed classes are cancelled), then I'll get overtime pay for the posters. At Smoo, overtime pay isn't much, but it's better than nothing. In either case, whether my weekly hours are above or below minimum, I'll be compensated for the printing costs.

But right now, my immediate tasks are dinner, laundry, cleaning my floor, going for a Namsan walk, and continuing my rereading of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Review, with spoilers, coming soon.

(Congrats, Kathreb, on finishing the book and securing that job. Oh, and Marmot? Kathreb's got a request for you. Check her post out, if you haven't already.)



Anonymous said...

Life on vacation from the fast lane in Korea sounds a lot like life in Boulder, though school started here a week ago so we are on the early morning schedule.

Glad to read that life goes on there...

Meilleurs voeux!!

Anonymous said...

I just checked a few CGV theaters and Ratatouille is nowhere to be found. Ah... but it is still playing at Megabox COEX. Only one theater, though (two, actually, if you count a dubbed version--which I don't).

I wrote about our visit to one of those Brazilian meat orgies in March, and I'm pretty sure we talked about it as well. The two places I know, though, are in the vicinities of Apgujeong and (I think) Cheongdam-dong.