Friday, February 19, 2010

Finally, Some News!

I've been worrying about my visa for weeks now. I interviewed with a school in December and sent off all my paperwork in January and then, radio silence for weeks. There was an issue with some missing paperwork from my old school, but my recruiter told me it wouldn't slow the visa process down, but as the beginning of the semester crept closer and still no word, I began to worry. Tuesday night I was helping my mom cook dinner and updating her on the total lack of progress on my visa, and I started to freak out. What if this job feel through? What would I do? What can I tell my recruiter to make her give me a straight answer? Holy crap, I'm suppose to be leaving the country in twelve days and I'm COMPLETELY unprepared!

After dinner, I went upstairs and checked my email. There was an email from my recruiter with all the necessary paperwork to apply for my visa. I spent yesterday running around town, trying to get everything ready, and I mailed off my paperwork to the Korean Consulate yesterday afternoon. Then today, I woke up to an email from my former co-teacher telling me she had mailed the last of my paperwork to my recruiter. I booked a plane ticket today and, God and Korean Consulate willing, I'm heading back to Korea on February 27th, next Saturday.

Of course, this means that all of a sudden, I'm very very busy and I only have days to do all those things I said I needed to do before I left the country. It also means I need to pack, and I hate packing. You'd think that after a year in Korea, I would have a pretty good idea of what I need to bring with me and what I can get, but I'm still obsessively reading packing lists online, even if I do disagree with what most of them say. What can I say, I like making lists. The only thing I've started to pack is my yarn and I haven't even started to shop yet. Then there's this compulsion that I remember from last year, when I attempt to read several dozen books before I leave because AHH, I can't take them all with me, so I must commit them to memory RIGHT NOW!

It's going to be a fun week and a half.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Five

- I'm suppose to be heading back to Korea in two weeks. (More about that later.) I have neither a signed contract (needed for a visa), a visa nor a plane ticket, which is making me a tad bit nervous. I've emailed my recruiter who assured me that everything is in the works and I'll get the necessary paperwork in time, but I'm wishing I had kept better (any) notes about the application process last time so I could compare timelines.

- I've been taking an online course to get my TEFL certificate. It's a 100 hour course, and for the first few weeks I was quite diligent about studying everyday, but in between having friends in town and being sick, I've fallen so far behind schedule that I doubt I'll be able to finish it before I go back. It's hardly the end of the world and I can finish the course in Korea, but I'm annoyed at myself for procrastinating.

- It's snowing again, our fourth winter storm of the season. Like a lot of southerners who have chosen to leave the south, I have a complex relationship with my heritage, but I realize that at least when it comes to snow (and cornbread, although that doesn't pertain here), I am very, very southern. As soon as the flurries started coming down, I'm all, "OMG, THE END IS NIGH!" and I have to fight the part of me that wants to rush out and stock up on milk, eggs and bread. And I don't even drink milk. I'm housesitting this weekend and was packing for the night when it started to snow. It's only suppose to snow an inch or two and I'm just staying across town, but I ended up with a half dozen changes of underwear and three books, plus a Kindle, so clearly I'm anticipating being snowed in for the next month. Logically I know I'm being ridiculous, but I just can't stop myself.

- Speaking of housesitting, I'm watching the house, pets and mother on Hospice of a lady from church this weekend. The mother on Hospice is suppose to have actual medical type people stop by to take care of her all weekend, but given how hard it is snowing and how dicey the back roads where when I got here two hours ago, I don't know if anyone will be able to come tonight. I'm sure everything will be fine, but this has the potential of being a lot worse than forgetting to feed someone's fish and I'm a touch neurotic, which is not a good combination for my sanity.

- The Winter Olympics start tonight and I'm looking forwards to watching the opening ceremonies tonight. Mostly I'm excited about it marking the start of the Ravelympics, but I'm also looking forwards to watching Kim Yu-na skate. Kim Yu-na is a nineteen-year old South Korea figure skating prodigy who grew up just minutes from where I taught last year, making her sports hero number one for a lot of my students. I hope she wins, if only for their sake.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

[finally for this one night // I'm about to have a fun night]

I finally saw Wicked and it was wonderful, if a bit of an adventure. The tickets were a Christmas present, bought long before we realized this was to be Our Winter of the Snows and that buying tickets in advance for a show an hour and a half away was a dicey proposition. The show was on Friday. It started to snow Thursday afternoon. My mom, sister and I spent the evening glaring out the window and frantically checking the weather report. Many of the websites we checked told us there was a 30% chance of snow that very day, to which we looked out at the snow sleeting down outside and shouted, "OH REALLY! YOU THINK? PULL THE OTHER ONE, IT HAS BELLS!" Needless to say, we were all a bit high strung that evening. However, we awoke Friday morning to rain instead of snow and we decided to risk the drive.

The show was in Greenville, SC, nearly two hours down the mountain. There was weather predicted for that evening, so we packed a change of clothes, just in case we were stranded for the night. My mother, in a vote of confidence, insisted that her winter coat be in the back of the car instead of the trunk, just in case of an accident. I contended myself with the prayer my dad taught me the first time we ventured out on icy roads, back in December: Holy Mother, full of grace/Don't let Dad smash my faces. Turns out, the worse road of the trip was the one we live on. We drove through a spectacularly beautiful forest of ice covered trees, but the interstate was clear.

We ate at a Lowcountry restaurant for dinner (verdict: YUM and also, I would like to be having more Hoppin' John & she-crab anything forever), then crossed the street to the Peace Center. The show was amazing! I've been a huge fan of the soundtrack since college, but never had the chance (or the funds) to actually see the play until now. There was a bit of a disconnect at first; I was so use to the Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel version I had trouble accepting different voices, no matter how good the performers were. I got over it after the first few songs though, and throughly enjoyed the rest of the show!

We hightailed it out of town after the show, calling my brother at home to check on the conditions of the road. (Long-Suffering Little Brother: The internet says nothing until after midnight. Can I go now? Dad: Have you actually looked outside? Me: The internet is like the ditzy blonde in Mean Girls. There's a 30% chance that it's already raining!) We made it home, safe and sound, around one in the morning, only to learn that the winter storm advisory had turned into a flood warning. WTF, weather.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Winter Storm vSo Not Amused

Winter Storm vSo Not Amused - 2.4.10

It's snowing. Again. Yesterday (incidentally, the first day I wasn't snowed in from last week's snow storm) I told the second graders I tutor that it was suppose to snow this weekend. They groaned and said they were tired of snow. My brother and sister were hissing at the snow this evening since each snow day means a day of Saturday school to make it up. As for me, all I have to say is that if I miss seeing Wicked tomorrow night because I'm snowed in, I will *not* be amused.