Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Good King Wenceslex

A great Christmas gift this evening.
Things started with a slow day at school as it was the last day for final exams, and I only taught one class. Then, off to see a matinee of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 with my essay students on opening day here in Seoul. Then, a freezing bike ride down to Insadong to meet Ed for what I thought would be an evening of last-minute Christmas shopping, only to sit down with him at Starbucks and hear a female voice singing "Good King Wenceslas" from behind me.

I have twice before been on the receiving end of surprise parties and they are very fun, very shocking, and so interesting in terms of how one processes the shock of seeing people you weren't prepared for.

When I heard the voice, what took in actual time about 2 seconds, took about 30 in my mind as I thought how only people who went caroling with us last year would be singing that song. Wasn't Ed supposed to be meeting me because he had something important to talk about? Aren't the only Seoul females who associate me with Christmas caroling living across the Pacific somewhere?

I turned around to see Lex - who moved back to Seattle last Spring, and was supposed to be in Australia studying for her Masters by now. I had to process this, too.

Truly - a great surprise. Once I realized what it was, I half-expected to see Shirley, Lexi, Douglas, and Andy coming up the stairs behind her.

Anyway, she's here on a 6 week pre-Australia stop-over vacation and is staying with her mom, who is still working here in Korea. They will be joining us for the Christmas weekend and I couldn't be happier about that. Lex's is a presence I missed dearly, and it's great to have her back - even if only for a short time, until she heads to Australia at the end of January.

Perhaps the best part is that she brought a mini metal Ark of the Covenant with her - one that she found in a garage sale in Seattle for only $1.00. Bureaucratic fools - didn't know what they had there.


Tuttle said...

1) Surprise parties are amazing, and this one sounds well-pulled-off! Good job to the conspirators!

2) Under NO circumstances should you open that little box. Ever. In fact, you should put in storage immediately.

Anonymous said...

I've been (silently) following your blog for ages now - since spring 2009, when I decided to teach in Korea and started hunting around online for info. I taught in Suwon from Sept'09 - Sept'10 and now I'm on the hunt for a new position for Feb/Mar 2011. It looks like you may be leaving your position around that time and I was wondering if your school has already arranged a replacement. If not, I'd be interested in applying, as your school/location/apartment all seem pretty swell.
Please let me know if this is a possibility. Thanks!

George Bailey Sees The World! said...

Hello, Amanda - no SOLID plans for leaving yet, but I will say that it's very difficult when applying to SMOE to have any say in which district or which school (or even which level) you end-up at.

The good news regarding the apartment is that the further away from the hot spots of Seoul you are at (Gangnam Hongda etc.) the nicer your apartment tends to be. Most of the teachers in Bukbu district (North East Seoul) are lucky to be living in office-tels, as the same style of apartment would cost at least twice as much in Gangnam.

Requesting a specific school is very rare. A school would have to specifically request you, and that usually only happens in cases where the teacher being requested has been working in SMOE for some time and is known to the school doing the asking.

If you want to provide me with an email address, I'd be happy to answer any questions I can about SMOE vs. Hagwon's etc.