Monday, October 8, 2012

Meet-a-friend Monday

This evening I had the immense pleasure of seeing Erik-san, who is visiting Korea from our neighbor across the East Sea, Japan. Erik is an Assistant Language Teacher with the JET Program (very much like Fulbright, but based only in Japan), having fallen so much in love with his placement school and town that he has renewed twice. Now in his third year and completely conversant in Japanese (and dressed head-to-toe in Uniqlo), he is very much the model of how I'd like to see myself in, say, 2015.
Erik-san, looking confused at a Dunkin' Donuts... perhaps an awkward consequence of being in the same photo as a suggestive banana cream pastry and two radioactive-looking coffee cups. By the way, that green tea latte was good, but my current gassy state tells me I shouldn't have consumed it...
I haven't thought too much about what I will do when my grant year expires next July. I think renewing my contract for another year would be amazing, especially since I have been having a wonderful time so far and have some personal goals (i.e. learn Korean) that could require an extension of my stay in this country. However, I'm also thinking a bit further ahead at options back home (i.e. graduate school), and I believe a date with the GRE may be fast approaching.

Anyway, this was just one of the few things we caught up on... We also swung by Yongji Lake, one of the few interesting public sights in this city, experienced the terror of Changwon buses in the evening, had pizza and chatted about life in Japan, our shared Altaic languages, homestay life, and much more. When I think about it now, I think it's kind of unusual that we didn't really talk about Swarthmore at all. Usually, when Swatties meet up, all we want to do is talk about Swarthmore and other people in our rather insular community. But perhaps due to our having graduated and looking forward to what's next in life, our college connections simply never came up. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant evening. Thanks for visiting, Erik! 부산국제영화제 즐겁게 보내다!

Other highlights from a nice day: I got nine hours of sleep last night, and when I woke up I felt like I was on top of the world. If only that could happen every morning. Also, two students of mine are planning to take the AP Biology exam (like, whaaat?!). They've asked me to help them prepare for it! This strikes me as slightly insane; still, I agreed. Except it's been about five years since I took the exam. I don't know how much of a help I can be to them... ALSO! My cousin Irene got engaged today! When I found out -- via Facebook while at work, no surprise there -- my jaw literally dropped open, and I wanted to jump up and down. Congratulations to Irene and Dan! And lastly, I just had some great catch-up time on Skype with another friend from Swat. It was great. Great, as in, if you're a friend from home, this is my not-so-subtle way of telling you to set up a Skype date with yours truly!