Tag Archives: email

The Battle of New Semester

I’ve been busy lately with work so I wanted to write a post explaining why I haven’t been around as much as I would like to be this week. This is what came out of that. My wife says I’m being silly and, of course, she’s right.

(For those of you who don’t know, I teach ESL at a university.)

Destination: Inbox (Source)

Destination: Inbox (Source)

The Battle of New Semester

I knew it was coming for months before it hit. I watched it appear on the horizon like a tsunami viewed from the relative ease of a tropical island beach. Over the weeks and months I watched it get closer, with anticipation at best and at worse, resignation.

Then, on January 5, it hit.

The invasion of the new semester.

It started slow. The first wave was mostly Administrative Duties, buzzing in from above, peppering me with emails. “Re: re: re:!” went their machine guns. “FYI! FYI!” They were slow moving and I could pick them off easily enough, but as the week progressed, each progressive wave got thicker and closer together.

The 5th Division Placement Tests made an amphibious landing on Thursday and I was busy for two days putting down that threat, until finally everyone was in their place. Unfortunately, we weren’t without casualties. Our general went down with the flu and a few NCOs as well.

Of course, this was just the vanguard attack. The main invasion force came the next week and the battle settled down into the daily slog.

The Class artillery is not that bad. Every morning at 8:30, the shelling begins, with 30mm Grammar shells coming in from the right and Writing mortars whistling in from the left. You just have to endure and after a couple hours they slack off before a shorter American Culture attack in the afternoon.

Worse are the Lesson Plans. The sneaky blighters sneak up and sabotage your defenses and equipment, making you unprepared for the daily Class shelling. Sometimes I can pick them off with a few well-aimed shots but other times I spend hours hunting them down, the battles going on into the evenings and spilling over to the weekends.

It will get better though, after a few weeks. I’ll set up anti-aircraft batteries to knock down the Administrative Duties and dive-bombing emails as they appear. I’ll establish a wider perimeter to take care of lesson plans from a greater distance and the daily shelling of Classes will become routine. Things will settle down soon. Soon.

That’s teaching for you.


An Update on “The Woman Who Wants to Meet Bush”

Hello everyone.

I’m not here right now. That may seem like a contradiction, since I’m writing this, but what I mean is that I am not at home when you are reading this (probably). Ah, the magic of scheduling ahead. Right now, I am probably on an island in Korea by myself. Which island, you ask? I’m not sure. I plan to go to a couple, and since the ferries sometimes run in accordance to the weather conditions, I sometimes have to change my plans. However, I will take pictures and post a few here. I plan to do a lot of reading and writing and thinking.

Now, to the update. For those of you who missed it, this is an update on the post I wrote a while ago, The Woman Who Wants to Meet Bush. It was about an interesting woman who stopped me in the market near my office and asked me to invite former US President George W. Bush to come to Korea to meet her. I did send an invitation to an email address I found for him. And a couple days later, I got a reply back.

Bush update email

Well, I am not really surprised that he isn’t coming, it was still nice to get a reply. If I ever meet her again, I’ll mention it at least.


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