Post-vacation reality sets in

This week, I kind of came crashing down from the previous weeks’ anticipation and then enjoyment of Hong Kong. I have a little over three months until I’m done at JEL (last day–August 25th), so in the big picture, that’s not much, but I think my problem is that I’m so fixated on it that it’s making the days drag by. The cool thing, though, is that one of the kindy students’ moms bought all the teachers their own bottle of merlot, so that was nice.

I had to see my doctor in Sanbon on Monday, and while I was there, he asked me if I would be interested in tutoring his son this summer. His son attends a boarding school in the States–Choate. Anyone heard of it?? (I think my old roommate, B.M., briefly went there–a fact I used to tease him about.) The only reason I know of Choate is because it was one of several hoity-toity boarding schools listed in the catalog sent to all Duke TIP participants (this was the crazy thing where they have 7th-graders take the SAT). Anyway, my old 7th-grade self living in Cleveland, Missouri used to endlessly pour over that catalog and fantasize about going to an East Coast boarding school, frolicking past brick buildings and autumn foliage wearing a cute Izod shirt with matching sweatervest. Oh, and I fantasized about having stimulating intellectual conversations in French, too (but mostly I thought about the outfits). Anyway, now that I’ve grown up and realized that East Coast elitism is so not me (although I did recently admit that a lot of my recollection of past events centers around what I was wearing–does this make me shallow?), I find it very funny whenever I think of Choate or other such Ivy League feeder schools and how I used to dream about attending one.

That was a big digression, which probably maybe 0.01% of you found mildly interesting, but my point is that my doctor’s son is apparently even more of an academic nut than I used to be (probably spurred by the enormous pressure I’m sure his parents place on him). He’s determined to go to an Ivy League school, and he wants to get a really high score on two SAT II subject tests: American History and World History. He’s coming home to Seoul for the summer, and his parents want him to get some intensive tutoring. Dr. Nam asked if I had any experience with teaching American History, and while I tried to play it off like, “Sure, no problem,” inside I was thinking, “I always hated history from elementary school to Creighton–BUT I sure would love to gauge Dr. Nam’s pockets and possibly get free dinners from his wife.” Anyway, it’s up in the air whether this will go through–sure could use the extra money, though.

Saturday is the party for my halmoni‘s birthday. I’m meeting my younger sister in Suwon at the subway station there, and then we’ll meet the rest of the tribe at a restaurant. I’m excited, although I think it will be a little overwhelming with all the family there.

Started reading One Hundred Years of Solitude last night. Recently, I finished Citizen Girl, by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus (I think that’s their names, I can’t remember except that they’re vaguely WASP-y). This is The Nanny Diaries follow-up that I was referring to earlier. Speaking of East Coast elitism . . . it still fascinates me at times, but it also repulses me, much like US Weekly and everything on MTV. Anyway, Citizen Girl, while not very good overall, was at times funny and interesting given that the main character is nonprofit in her heart yet is trying out the corporate world out of desperation. I’d say it might be a decent plane or beach read.

Long post! Just some random bullshit, b/c I’m bored at the moment–quite common during the week in Sanbon . . . .


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