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Jul. 11th, 2011


Not 24 hours ago I was standing on the Great Wall of China, and now I'm back at my desk at work.  Usually on trips I write up long journal entries in a notebook, but this time I'm typing it out and printing it out, lol.  And since I'm typing it out anyway, I'm going to share it on lj, so it's definitely much more personal than the stuff I usually post, and way longer.  But, if you're interested...Collapse )
If I can catch a breather this week, I'm gonna have pictures up on facebook too.  For now it's back to English camp plans.  XD

Jun. 13th, 2011

I am not thrilled with the opposite sex of late

There's a certain segment of white maledom who think they are God's gift to women--the ones I am most exposed to are the kind who think they are God's gift to Korean women particularly, because Korean men are short/effeminate/abusive/bad at sex/have small penises/insert stereotype here.  Lovely human beings these people are, but I usually manage to avoid them unless I stumble onto one of those God-forsaken expat message boards.

Anyway.  Today at lunch, I'm overhearing a conversation between my male Korean co-teacher and the female school nurse.  She asks said co-teacher about learning English in Southeast Asia (a lot of Koreans go to the Philippines to study), and they talk a bit about that, and then co-teacher starts talking about Filipino men, mainly that they are short, dark, and overall just not good-looking.  This, he says, is why so many Filipino women are getting married to Korean men, 'cos the men back in the Philippines just don't cut it.*


So if white guys are out-manning Koreans, and Korean guys are out-manning Filipinos, I wonder what nation's men Filipinos like to brag about besting?

The nurse, by the way, didn't really seem to agree or disagree, I am hoping she just privately recognized what a douchey self-serving comment that was.  I never know how to react in these situations, when I can understand the Korean but am nowhere near an ability to muster a snappy response (and perhaps shouldn't even if I could).

Ah, post-colonialism and gender politics.  All in a day's work.

*Incidentally, the reason so many marriages are occurring between Korean men and Filipino (as well as Vietnamese, Chinese, Mongolian, and other nations') women is the gender imbalance in Korea, particularly in the countryside.  Apologists like to blame Korean women fleeing a rural, domestic life for a career in the city, and that may be part of it; the other part, that no one likes to talk about, is sex-selective abortions in favor of males.  Those are mercifully going out of style these days, but for certain generations of men, the lack of marriageable Korean women has meant resorting to importing brides from poorer Asian countries.

May. 16th, 2011

young Saionji and Touga

(no subject)

 If it doesn't work out this time, I'm just going to fucking write myself off as undateable.

The end.

May. 3rd, 2011

young Saionji and Touga

Ruminations on Osama

I know I'm mostly keeping lj for my own posterity nowadays. Most people have left and I have so much on here I don't think I'd feel comfortable adding anybody new even if I knew anybody who still used it. But I've had it so long I just can't let it go!

So. Osama bin Laden. What is there to say? For a split second I thought it was an April Fool's joke when I first heard it, and had to mentally check the date just to make sure.

I can't say I'm exactly happy about it, but I completely understand people who are. Mostly I'm just satisfied this is finally accomplished. And I'm happy that, for what will probably be just the blink of an eye in the current political climate, Americans could kind of just be positive and united about the whole thing.  It's really a breath of fresh air.  And for the most part it felt less like people were dancing on his grave and more like they were just breathing one big collective sigh of relief.

Of course, this opens a new can of worms: even more strained ties with Pakistan, the possibility of terrorist retaliation, and the inevitable tin-foil hat brigade encompassing everyone from the birthers to the 9/11 conspiracy theorists.  At least with regard to the second issue, I feel like Osama's enough of a has-been that only a few crazies are really going to care about his death particularly.  Young people in the Arab world, at least, are too caught up in movements of their own making to care about some old dude who professed to be speaking for their demographic back when they still children.

So while I don't know that  this even by itself is anything beyond symbolically significant, I guess I have reason to feel optimistic in that it is, if nothing else, a sign of the times.

And now I'm going to take this verbosity and apply it to my personal statements.

May. 1st, 2011


(no subject)

Professors who make you write your own recommendation: I believe there's a always a place for a polite "no." If you really cannot write the recommendation yourself, you're putting the student in an awkward-as-hell position by making them write it, and making yourself look lazy or dishonest. I think it's much better to just say, "Sorry, I have no basis for recommending you," and then let them find somebody else who can do a better job. I think both parties win this way, ne?

Apr. 24th, 2011


That's it

I've got my plan B. If grad school in Korea doesn't pan out, I'm teaching English in the Middle East.

It always feels nice to figure out your plan B.

Incidentally, my first app opens tomorrow!

Apr. 22nd, 2011

Writer's Block: Available: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with hot and cold running chills

Would you live in the perfect house or apartment rent-free if you found out a brutal murder had taken place there and it was rumored to be haunted? Why or why not?

Oh my gosh, the perfect house? Like, location and everything? Of course I would. Because I don't believe in bull-shit.

Apr. 9th, 2011

What do you guys think

when you make plans with someone, especially when the plans are your idea, and then, without asking you about it beforehand, they just invite someone else along? Am I alone in thinking this is inexcusably rude behavior? Some people's mentality seems to be, "the more the merrier," but would it kill you to say something first? Especially when the whole reason we're meeting is we haven't hung out in forever and we want to catch up, and you just decide to bring somebody else along... it makes me feel like our relationship is not that important to you. Is this an unreasonable way to feel?

Mar. 10th, 2011

Aish close-up


It always seems to come in cycles. It's probably a product of being such a procrastinator, at least in part.

On the table now, from short-term to long-termCollapse )

*sigh* Time is flying. Being here this long makes you feel like life will never be any other way, and it's scary to think what will happen when it inevitably ends and you have to move on. More than anything, I don't want to be back at square one. I feel like I'm really making headway in Korean and I'm gonna be utterly disillusioned if I can't make use of this investment of time and money. (Something that will have taken up almost every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening plus a few thousand dollars over the span of almost two years.) I don't want it to be yet another foreign language down the drain. If I can't pull this grad school thing off, I just don't know what I'm gonna do.

Feb. 24th, 2011


I'm never au courant with music

I kind of discover things at my own pace. In that spirit, here's something from (I think) 2009:

Incidentally, I hate that I am now older than basically every member of every boy or girl K-pop band. There really is no justice.

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