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Jun. 19th, 2020

(no subject)

Nov. 12th, 2012

Aish close-up

Hepatitis wouldn't be so bad, would it?

Let's update!

Lebanon is out; India is in.  My buddy Jigar is getting married in Mumbai at the end of December, my tickets are bought and visa in hand, and I just have to plan the rest of the itinerary after the wedding.  If I'm gonna get vaccinations I should be getting them... now.  But they're so expensive and insurance doesn't cover them, so... meh?  I know, I know, it's one of things you dearly wish you had should you catch typhoid, but dammit I'm poor.  =(

I've got some malaria medication my friend gave me before going to the Galapagos, and I can pick up some diarrhea meds before I go... so... ?

Another friend just got a job at Qatar Airways so I'm thinking to hit her up for a discount and get my trip to Lebanon that way... maybe winter 2012/2013?

This semester is meh.  School is meh.  Ready to graduate but not at the same time.  Sometimes I think of dropping out because it all kind of sucks, but I'm a few thousand invested already, so, you know, I carry on.  >.>  Money is a concern, as ever.

I do have a lovely course on Korean micro-history, though, which is the first Korean history course I've ever taken, not to mention the first history course of any kind I've taken at a university.  I didn't know so much about Korean history before, but it's really fascinating.  The course covers the period from the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty (Korea's last) through the twentieth century, and there's so many things I understand about Korea that I didn't before.  It's easy to forget that this country has a 5000-year history, since so many of its old buildings and artifacts have been destroyed or pillaged (you can thank the Japanese occupation and the Korean War for that), but reading about it helps you connect it with modern life even if in small ways.

Too bad Korean Studies is not my specialization and my thesis can probably have nothing to to with this.  =/  At least though this class and one other I have are quite small, seminar-style classes with visiting professors who seem to care a lot about teaching, so I'm quite enjoying that.

On the topic of things of a scholastic nature, I started a couple of blogs that are probably of no interest to anyone reading this, but anyway:

osburga.tumblr.com - Korean grammar blog I've put up mostly as a way to help myself memorize grammar patterns mostly used in academic or period contexts, which I need for the TOPIK (Korean proficiency exam I'm hoping to take next July).

osburga.wordpress.com - In 2008/2009 I read Orientalism and thought a great project would be to set up a website with translations for all the untranslated French, Latin, and German bits in the text.  I'm -finally- getting around to transcribing the notes I took back when I read the book to a blog.  I figure it'll be of use to somebody who has to read the book for a college course.  This will be my little contribution to academia.  =P

I'm dating someone (the "friend" who's in the Galapagos right now, actually)... it's been since August but I haven't told many people, I guess because the last time I got excited about a relationship and it crashed and burned, I felt kind of embarrassed having to go tell everyone so.  He's kind of gotten serious about it really fast, which makes me wary but... eh?  He's abroad for four months for work so it's giving me a little space at least.

Kind of interesting thing is, he's Korean but lived in Argentina for seven years when he was a kid, so we speak to each other in Spanish.  Globalization kind of blows my mind sometimes.

And... going to America next June/July!  Finally!  Thrilled and would say I couldn't wait, but time's going by fast enough as it is.  I'll be in Dallas for one week then LA another two.

Finally, because I can't repost it in enough places, I leave you with this:

Apr. 28th, 2012



It's been almost three months, incredibly. I can't believe how time flies.

The weather outside is gorgeous. There's people at my place installing ac so I'm vegging at a cafe hoping they'll be done by the time I get back.

School is going well enough. I'm taking three classes. I have a mid-term next week that I can't be bothered to get worried about because I've been too preoccuppied with my other two classes. Classes are as follows:

Trade Issues in Comparative Perpective: I thought this would be something along the lines of my political economy classes in undergrad, but it is 100% economics, which... I had never taken a microeconomics class, so I went into this class lacking a lot of background knowledge I really should have had. The Research Methodology class I'm currently taking is this class's unofficial prerequisite, which would have been nice to know before I registered, but my school is rather lacking in course counseling for students, so... Anyway, I am surviving, I think. Got through the group project, which was kind of a wash, but now there's only one more assignment and then a final, besides all the reading that I have fortunately been keeping up with.

International Cooperation: Essentially the Intro to Int'l Relations course I took in undergrad, I find it hard to get too worked up about this class. Group presentation here in another month, which I volunteered to lead for some unknown reason.

Research Methodology: Had our first group project (professors here seem never to assign papers, probably because they're too lazy to grade them; too bad since writing is my strongest suit and working with other people is a pain in the ass) this week and it went much better than the other class. I hope at least from this class I come out with a competent knowledge of Excel. The whole reason I took this class was to learn practical skills.

Thing about my program is, the professor's are all big-shots. Judges on international courts, government big-wigs, top brass in big corporations like Hyundai and Samsung. But the downside of all that is that I always feel like being a professor is not their first priority. This is grad school, but we're still encouraged to contact the TA for anything we need before going to the professor. The student to faculty ratios are ridiculous (30 kids in a class at least).

I guess SMU spoiled me too; classes there were small and hardly any professors even had TAs.

It's been tricky getting to know anyone because I work and can't attend a lot of extracurricular events, but I guess that kind of thing takes time and I'm not the out-going type anyway. I did join a weekly Latin American round-table, where I finally get to use Spanish again. I was floored to meet all the Koreans who speak great Spanish, one of my professors included.

I feel like my Korean is suffering because I don't have time (or money, really) for lessons anymore, and I've got enough school work to study as it is that I don't have the energy to study Korean on my own. Of course I still hear it all the time and speak it with friends, but I can't build any more sophisticated knowledge that way. I'm hoping to take at least one class in Korean before I finish this program, but there's no way I'll be ready to if I can't amp up my vocabulary in time.

I dunno. Not feeling very happy lately. No vacation in sight for ages, because I couldn't get out of my job so I'll have to work in the summer... so I'm going to take a summer course 'cos hell why not, and reduce my course load later. And I'm prematurely turning into an old spinster. I'm sick of being single but there's no opportunity to meet anyone (most everyone in my program is female).

On the bright side, Omair is coming for a visit Wednesday. Regrettably I couldn't get time off work for his visit, and I obviously can't skip class, but I hope we can make the most of it. So.

Feb. 5th, 2012

I kept delaying this for months...

This entry is all over the place grammatically and stylistically. My apologies.Collapse )

Jan. 7th, 2012

(no subject)

Now that I have an iPhone there is literally almost no reason for me to use my computer... I've had this for a little over a month and almost everything I did on my laptop I've replaced on the phone. Exceptions would be typing up papers and playing World of Warcraft, if I ever have the time for that again. It's got me reconsidering replacing my MacBook, which I was going to do if they released some snazzy new Mac laptops this year. But they say laptops are on the way out anyway... though with my lifestyle I can't see a desktop as practical. Hm.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Oct. 31st, 2011

(no subject)

The other shoe dropped.

Sep. 27th, 2011


omg omg omg omg

Shit to get off my chest otherwise I won't be able to focus on getting my lesson plans done.

  1. School may renew my contract anyway, but education ministry is delaying its decision an inordinate amount of time. Which is bull-shit, because, hey, if they don't come through, at the end of that waiting period I could be left hanging if I'd waited for them and not found a different job! (Also, when one of the recruiters I applied with called for a reference, my school said I might be re-resigning with them! Thanks a lot, school! Clearly if I cannot work here, I cannot work anywhere!) However, I am...
  2. interviewing at a cram school in an ideal location tomorrow. And God dammit if they offer me the position I am taking it. I've got like 2 or 3 weeks before this job ends, I do not have time to sit around and wait.
  3. And finally! Today I got an interview invitation from my first-choice grad school! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH. Way sooner than I expected. Shit if they roll out their admission decision soon enough and I get in, I could even save money not applying to the other schools whose deadlines are in late November.
    Of course, this means I wouldn't be able to teach my lessons on a Tuesday. I'm sure my co-teacher will understand. If my unflexible-as-fuck vp doesn't, well, fuck him. (This should seem like a reasonable request, but my vp is not a reasonable man.)

So. Grad school interviews. Anybody got any tips? I have no idea what to expect.



ETA 2: Dress for grad school interview: suit required or not required? My only suit is in America.

Sep. 12th, 2011

A run-down of recent events

I've been sitting indoors all day, eating, window-shopping online, and catching up on my favorite radio programs. Right now I'm listening to the 9/11 memorials. It's a holiday in Korea so a lot of things are closed.


  • My brother came to Korea a few weeks ago and it was a good time, all told. Hoping that he keeps better touch after this, as he seems to have for a little bit. I posted pics of fb a while back, where you can see... the Full House!! Tourism-wise, the best place I've been to here, just because it was so much a part of my image of Korea before I came here. It goes without saying that Korea is a bit more dimensional than its dramas... but that's where I had an emotional attachment preceding my arrival here, so going to the set of my favorite one was really special.
  • My school contract couldn't be extended after all, so I've been looking for another job to fill the gap from October to February. I had to pass up a great opportunity at my friend's school because they needed me by September, and my school principal/vp wouldn't let me quit this position early even after they knew the difficulty of my circumstances. So. Thanks for the flexibility, guys. I had to turn down another job offer because they were too far away, the hours sucked, and they wanted me to work illegally after I started grad school. Anyway, once this holiday's up I'm re-posting my job availability (omitting the fact that I might have to quit a one-year contract in February) to see if I can get any good offers. It's gonna be a pain in the ass if I have to go home.
  • So it follows that, in a most untimely fashion (as is wont to happen to me for whatever reason), for the first time in years I find myself in a relationship. It happened so fast, I don't even fucking know. He's a sweetheart though... so nice I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, as cynical as that sounds. We were supposed to take a trip with another couple to the countryside tomorrow, but the boy just lost his wallet, so I don't know if we're going much of anywhere until that gets resolved.
  • Given that, one way or another, I'm gonna be moving out of this apartment in a little over a month, I have packing to... look forward to. Smack in the middle of the second period of grad school applications. Fuck.


Aug. 25th, 2011

young Saionji and Touga

Do you guys ever

worry about big social/political/cultural/environmental problems you have very nearly absolutely no control over? Things like, children growing up with horrible parenting, the erosion of diversity in language and culture, the end of the world thanks to global warming?

I've always been one of those people with an aversion to change (it's a miracle that I'm somehow a political liberal), and I've always worried about things in the world basically beyond my control, many of which seem trivial or stupid to worry about to other people. There are little things I can do (turn out all my lights and take the bus, or what have you; or volunteerism for some things), but in the grand scheme of things there's very little I can do. So I want to know if you guys have any methods for just getting these kinds of things off your mind?

If I get really busy or wrapped up in stuff going on in my own life, where I have more control, sometimes that helps me stop thinking about these things... and other times it's almost like I worry about these things instead so that I don't have to think about the things that I can do something about. Like right now, I'm scrambling trying to get another job in time for October on top of my grad school applications, but rather than push these wider world worries out of my head, I keep falling back on them and it's just compounding this apocalyptic vibe going on in my head.

Anyway. Part of it's just that I'm in a mood. But. If you have any experience in this, pointers would be appreciated. =)

Aug. 4th, 2011

(no subject)

Spammers are getting annoying so I've disallowed anon comments. Sorry to the 1 of you who legitimately comments here anonymously!

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