Happy Sunday, y’all. I’m en route to Mineral Wells State Park with my friends!
I’m now officially in Chungdahm Learning’s teacher pool – this has been my effort of the past few months. I guess this means my twice-stapled diploma passed muster at the Korean immigration office – oh joy of joys!
This past week, my coordinator offered me a position in Dongtan – it’s a purpose-built city about an hour south of Seoul. The city’s amazing, if a bit creepy; the whole city is hyper modern, networked on the internet of things – construction began in 2007. I guess it’s what the future looks like? As an example of what this means, buses communicate with bus stops and vice versa, so you know in real time what to expect from either end of the operation.
Alas, it’s half an hour away from Pyeongtaek, where we’ll be living, and it’s a little too big brother for me. Have you heard of China’s efforts to wipe away the Uyghers of late? It employs an overwhelming police presence equipped with the latest in networked biometric data – the internet of things. From what I read, you can hardly go a city block without running into a mandatory biometric checkpoint. It all seems a little Black Mirror to me, a new and exciting technology drawn to its dystopian extreme.
I don’t mind the train ride – I much prefer it to driving. I do mind the cameras and their twisted potential.
I turned down the job offer. There will be others – it is early yet.
Meanwhile, we keep rowing. Loc is winding down his pediatric residency, and I’m chipping my hours away at H&D. Stressors are a unique and funny thing – side-by-side, we share very little overlap – the mountains we create in our minds. I’m excited to teach in Korea because it’ll give me a sense of purpose again – a loss of purpose is common to recently separated military veterans, and it’s frustratingly unsatisfying. This is why I have a dozen hobbies – I’m building towards an idealized future. This present is an amalgamation of temporary adaptations. Humanity is a messy experience.
But teaching is a purpose-rich act – even if it’s for a corporation that’s traded on the Korean stock exchange. A wise man I once consulted advised that I experience the breadth and depth of life before I settle down to teach. This is a stepping stone to that goal, to educate American youth. That clock is ticking.
Until then, I’m going hiking with friends. It’s good for heart and soul.