Tuesday, May 07, 2013

back in Seoul (and nope)

Yes, kiddies, I'm back in Seoul. And, no: if you use the Wi-Fi for an hour on the KTX, you can't simply turn the computer off, turn it back on, and get another hour's service. I tried that trick, and a window popped up that basically said I had used up all of my allotted free Wi-Fi service. So, lesson learned: on the KTX, budget your Wi-Fi time, because you get only an hour, and that's it. (I'm not sure I even got a whole hour!)

I'm settling down to a nice bowl of homemade budae-jjigae right now. After I eat, I'm going to rest a bit, finish writing up those job applications that I had mentioned yesterday, fish out my laundry (in Korea, we hang-dry everything: almost no one has a clothes dryer), then prep for the trip to Seoul National University tomorrow morning, and a possible lunch with author, ex-soldier, and SNU prole Holden Beck at noon.

SNU still hasn't written me back despite the fact that its application deadline was Friday, May 3. By tomorrow morning, SNU will have had five calendar days to respond. Lack of response equals lack of professionalism in my book, and that lack of professionalism seems to manifest itself in even the upper-tier Korean universities. Hence my dropping in tomorrow. No, SNU: I won't be ignored. You're going to have to reject me to my face.

SNU isn't my top pick right now: HUFS is. Thus far, nothing I've seen beats HUFS. In terms of my order of preference, it's HUFS, then Daegu University, then SNU, then Hanseong-dae and Hanyang-dae, and finally Chonnam, the place I just got back from. Chonnam's package is ten weeks' vacation, which isn't all that much (do I sound like a lazy Frenchman yet?); the salary is low to middling, and then there's the fact that I'd be working with kids. The hours also sound rather tiring: J, my interviewer, told me that he works from 9AM to 7PM—not ten hours straight, of course, but his work day doesn't end until dinner. That's very unappetizing to me. Gimme a three-hour block, and then I'm fuckin' done.

So: much to do still. Much to do.

Ah—and I see that the Catholic University of Daegu has an ad up. 9 to 12 hours/week of teaching, at least four months' vacation per year, salary varying according to the department one joins (W29 million to W32.4 million/year). Modest in terms of pay, but not bad at all! I suppose I'll apply there as well.

You know, part of me thinks I should have delayed my trip to Korea by two weeks. Although mid-April is indeed when universities start floating their job ads, the number of ads doesn't truly swell until early May. The window of opportunity for face-to-face interviews is narrowing as my departure date, May 19, approaches.



Charles said...

Is there any way you could extend your trip? I realize that this would cause a lot of complications... but would it even be possible? It would be a shame if that extra two weeks meant the difference between landing a job and not landing a job.

Kevin Kim said...

Good question, but I'm sure the answer is no. I'm out on a limb, as it is, by taking six weeks off during YB's "crunch time." One of my bosses was very unhappy to hear that I was going on this trip, which had been approved by my immediate supervisor and our district manager. I don't think I can risk an extra two weeks without risking employment at home.

Kevin Kim said...

Sorry, Charles—I should explain what I mean by "crunch time." YB's fiscal year ends in June, so all of our major curriculum-oriented projects (i.e., textbooks that we're publishing in-house) are coming to a crescendo even as I write this, so the pressure's on to complete everything quickly and accurately. That's why one of my bosses is unhappy that I'm cutting out right now: the timing sucks.

Charles said...

I figured that "crunch time" meant something along those lines.