Tuesday, March 29, 2011

facing the week, facing the future

I'm happy to be on the Monday-through-Thursday schedule. This past weekend saw me getting a lot done, at least in terms of blogging, setting up the new Twitter feed, and corresponding. I've begun hashing out possible routes for the upcoming walk, and finally received two desperately-needed paychecks. They've been deposited; once they're in the system, I can pay off some bills and maybe even buy some new clothes for my business-casual job. (For those who don't know me: I hate dressing up for anything. While I was in Seoul, teaching at Sookmyung, I tended to dress pretty rattily, and the students loved it: it made them feel more comfortable. Suits and ties and slacks are off-putting for the college crowd.)

Thanks to my buddy Charles, nearly $1500 will be coming my way from my Korean bank account; it took some doing, thanks to the goofy way in which the Korean banking system is set up, but the transfer did launch successfully and should be arriving in my account later this week. I had to laugh when Charles told me that his wife was horrified that I had actually sent my ATM cards and bank books through the mail. I agree: it's not the safest thing to do. But I had no choice, really; I was unable to access my account from online, and couldn't use the ATM cards in any US machines since they weren't international cards. So I placed my trust in the postal gods, and Charles and Hyunjin came through for me. I can't thank them enough.

You have no idea how much of a relief it was when Charles told me I had that much money in my Shinhan Bank account. I honestly had no idea that I had accrued that much cash since 2008. $1500 might not be much money to you, O Rich Reader, but it's like a pressure release valve to me. It's just enough money at exactly the right time.

Despite the high of knowing I have that much spare dinero, I still have to face sobering realities. With two weeks of YB under my belt, I now begin the third week of work. The schedule will be Monday through Thursday, like last week (and forever henceforth, in principle, since that's what I negotiated for), with most of my time spent at the smaller branch. This may mean only four hours of work on some days, since the smaller branch isn't as busy and the veteran teachers seem to get more of the students, but I'll still be earning plenty-- more than enough to live on. Come summer, our hours increase such that we'll be working from 11AM to 7PM, which will mean a bit more cash each pay period.

As for the walk, I've tentatively settled on September-- the beginning of the American school year-- as the month to start. This will give me time to train and, I hope, to begin raising funds. The walk will last several months, but because I'd like to have a home to come back to, I need to raise enough money to cover the several months that I'll be gone. Rent, phone, electricity, scholastic debt-- all these need to be covered while I'm out and not earning money.* I also need to think realistically about how many months I'll be gone. Last time around, it took three months to walk a mere 600 miles. While I had plenty of 20-mile days, I also had 7-mile days and quite a few rest stops as my knee worsened. I walked much faster without a 60-pound load on my back, as I discovered when Chuck and Lori helped me get from Irrigon, OR to Walla Walla, WA. Chase cars are really where it's at, and I need to recruit some.

For those who missed it: I've begun writing again over at Kevin's Walk. The blog never went away; now it's back to being used for its original purpose: to chronicle a trans-American walk-- the prep, the walk itself, and the aftermath.

Big thoughts. But right now: gotta prep for the week.

*Then again, I've pondered the thought of doing paid speaking gigs along the way. This would be consistent with raising awareness for GBM research. And, hey-- this might be my moment to try stand-up comedy. Heh.


1 comment:

Charles said...

You should definitely look into the speaking gigs idea--you could use a portion of the fees to support yourself and a portion would go to the cause.

Also, while chase cars are awesome, you might want to invest in a harness and trailer anyway for those times when no chase car is available. I've screwed up my knee on occasion (yes, skinny me--my joints suck), and it is no picnic.