Summertime Busy

It’s been a while since my last blog post, and a long absence means either that I’ve been doing a lot of writing or relatively none at all. More often than not, it’s the latter. Not that I haven’t been writing. While there is no news regarding the Korean translation of the memoir, the textbook is in the hands of my cousin for translation, and I’ve been focusing on my first two novels when I have the time. The problem is that the summer is always the busiest time of the year for me in terms of my day job.

During the July intensive session, I see the most students out of the year in classes that require a lot of prep. I also get at least one group of students who want to get an early start on preparing for the last round of the entrance exam for the National Diplomacy Academy, which has taken the place of the foreign service exam. For this month, I have seven groups of four or five students each to coach in English debate, accounting for more than half of the applicants that made it to the final round. This will overlap with a special camp I teach for students from Chiba University for two weeks at the end of this month. As a result of all this work, I usually pass out early when I get home from work at night, which is usually when I do most of my writing.

The summer is also when I’m relatively the most social. I don’t know why people choose to visit Korea in the summer. It’s always either stiflingly humid or raining, and these days, it seems like every couple days I get a text message alert about a heat wave or monsoon. A former co-worker and the primary editor for the memoir visited from Albania, a drinking buddy and game developer who hopes to develop a game loosely based on my experience visited from Canada, and a graduate school hubae who shares my love for drinking during the day visited from the US. Interestingly, all of them are expats; the editor is American, the game developer is French, and the hubae is Korean. So lots of drinking and traveling around Seoul, which has also eaten up a lot of my free writing time. I’ve also had a few weird experiences in the past couple months, which I’ll save for the next one or two posts.

While talking to my game developer friend, I was reminded that I actually cut out a great deal of content from the memoir, at least 150 pages worth of material. Sometime this year, when I have a little more time, I’ll go through the early drafts and try to share some of those stories here.

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