I've said yes to working this coming Monday in return for taking the Saturday after Thanksgiving off. It occurs to me that I haven't had a proper vacation-- by which I mean a week or more off-- since I began working for YB. The problem, of course, is that I work part-time for an hourly wage, not on a salary, so there's no such thing as paid leave. To go on vacation is to lose money, so I have to keep on treading water.
I've also received an offer of private tutoring-- two students for two hours on Sundays. Not a bad gig, I hope; these are older Korean kids needing some ESL help. I'm still in the intro/negotiation phase; there are many particulars to work out, but in the meantime, I'm happy that my slow-but-steady networking at the local Korean barbershop has paid off.
Regarding the future: I've sent in my application to Sungkyunwan University (SKKU). Who knows what'll happen this time? Last time I tried this, several months ago, my application was basically ignored-- I received no reply from the university at all, not even an acknowledgement of receipt. That was pretty damn rude. I'm hoping for better this time: I'm hoping at least to make it to the interview round. My buddy Tom has said he'd be willing to fund a trip to Korea for interview purposes. It's been a few years since last I was there; I left the peninsula in 2008, and I'm sure a lot has changed, as it always does in that society.
While I await the results of my application's submission, I can indulge in some fantasizing. As much as I like my current job, which is, all in all, quite a pleasant-- and even fun-- gig, I'm jonesing for a return to a faculty position at a Korean uni: three- to four-month paid vacations, fifteen hours per week of actual work (sure, there's lesson planning, student consultation, and other ancillary duties, but nothing too burdensome), health insurance, and a measure of creative control over my own curriculum. Plus, there's the option of teaching during vacation, which means earning at least double my normal pay during a given month.
Were I to get the SKKU gig, I can tell you what path my life would take: the first year would be spent saving up at least $10,000 to put down as "key money" on a respectable apartment (the so-called "officetel") in downtown Seoul. The next few years would be spent saving up money to start paying down massive chunks of my scholastic debt-- an obligation that hobbles me financially. I don't want to be an old man still saddled with debt; I'd like to be able to breathe freely for at least a few years before I kick off.
Ah, yes... a man can dream.