Saturday, January 28, 2017

Happy Lunar New Year!

The Year of the Rooster begins today. May this be a year of only good things for you... unless you're France or South Korea, in which case you've got some nasty presidential elections to look forward to. Good luck with that.

Happy New Year! I'll be spending it indoors, for the most part: my sore throat morphed into a full-blown cold, so I'm going to be curled up in bed, where I'll also be recovering from the effects of a work marathon that's had me going full-burn through January and is, alas, going to last through February.


TheBigHenry said...

Sorry about your cold, Kevin. Get well soon.

But isn't it premature to be recovering from a "marathon that's going to last through February"?

Kevin Kim said...


It's a recovery in the sense that I hope to be cold-free by Tuesday, when I go back to work. This sort of thing happened to me frequently when I was a college prof: I'd be sickness-free throughout the semester, but the moment winter break rolled around—boom. Sick as a dog. Undoubtedly, there's something psychosomatic going on: perhaps a sense of duty was reinforcing my immune system until the end of the semester; the pathogens would gather for a frontal assault, but they couldn't get through until I "let go" and relaxed when the semester was finally over. So the psychological "collapsing with relief" at semester's end coincided with a somatic collapse of the immune system. This happened so consistently over my years of teaching that I think it's safe to shift my theorizing from mere correlation to actual causation. No doubt the psyche affects the immune system.

Anyway, I'd get sick at the beginning of vacation, waste a week or so combating the illness, and would recover in time to enjoy a few weeks of bliss before the new semester began. That was definitely a recovery in the fullest sense. In my current corporate-slave job, however, I no longer enjoy super-long vacations (at Korean unis, you get 4-5 months a year off, which is why expats love such work if they can get it), so you're right to wonder aloud whether this quick recovery is a recovery in the fullest sense: I have a mere few days, then I'm right back to the grind, with the potential of becoming sick again very quickly.

Let's say that I'd call this weekend's hoped-for recovery a recovery in a very limited sense. But we'll see: if I'm asymptomatic by Tuesday, and if I don't catch a cold all through February, then it'll be safe to say that I definitively, fully recovered from my cold.

Kevin Kim said...


I've added some language to the original post in the hopes of providing a bit more context and clarity. Ideally, readers will charitably assume that it's possible to fall ill and recover from illness despite being in the middle of a longish time frame for a work project.

Charles said...

The same thing happens to me a lot, too. I don't know if it's exactly psychosomatic, but I know just what you mean. At any rate, I hope the mending process doesn't take too long, and happy new year!

brier said...

Happy Lunar New Year to you as well. I am looking forward to reading about 'the walk'.

Kevin Kim said...


Thanks for the well-wishes. Things haven't gotten any worse, so maybe that's a good sign. Not sure I'll be fully OK by Tuesday morning, so in the end, Henry might be right.


Many thanks. All the best for 2017.