The weekend felt like work days and so does today. Yesterday, I had so much writing, messaging and planning to do, that I got stuck at the computer in the morning and didn't surface until 3:00 p.m., which seemed to come around fast. Today, I'm taking care of some business and doing more errands.
There have been some good responses to the posting of the political letter objecting to nuclear power and weapons, and my photos and reports of recent actions in Seoul, so much so that our Canadian solidarity network acquired two more members today. I've had to update them and discuss our cause and work.
Also, I've been perusing through a plethora of documents in preparation for the National Council meeting of Korea TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, a professional development association in Korea that is part of an international TESOL association). I am the current Vice-President of our area Chapter and must sit in to replace our local President. I'll have to vote on decisions, speak for our Chapter, and report back to our Chapter, so I've got to follow what's going on.
Some of what's been going on is a mystery. There are reports of a drastic shortfall of funds and proposals for fiscal coping measures, but no mention of why or how this situation arose. The organization has always had solid financial management before, as far as I know. I expect some tension over this matter at the meeting.
Around 2 p.m., I stepped out to stretch the legs and get some air. I went to the post office to post a letter and small gift to M in Canada at long last, and have my bank book updated by their financial services. (The post office is a federal government public service, and it offers a banking service at low fees, though it is partially outsourced to Samseung.) I enjoyed a break with a green tea latte and a scone in the open air because it was sunny and fairly mild outside. Then I got internet service activated on my smart phone, finally. It took the customer service guy about 15 minutes to figure it out. I thought I might have to pay further fees, but I don't, so I'm on a monthly track (prepaid) system at a low cost.
I've explained that I don't like to accumulate and possess a lot of stuff in previous postings of this blog project. However, I've made communications technology the exception since living and traveling abroad. Truth be told, contemporary communications technology helps us get work done, it also enables us to sustain relationships and keep informed when we cannot be present at the source in person. It helps me to be involved socially and professionally and intellectually.Part of my support system has been mobile phones and multimedia technologies at home. I've stereophonic speakers, a microphone and a large screen monitor hooked up to the PC at home. I bought an electronic dictionary and netbook with Wifi capability for travel a couple of years ago. Getting the smart phone is another step.
With these technologies, I've been able to keep informed and connected with friends, associates and events in Canada, as well as in Korea and in countries where my other friends and associates live. I can be active in various causes and belong to international groups too. I was only borrowing a laptop for work in my home, while I owned a used PC, and had a cellphone for a few months before I moved to Korea from Canada. I hadn't been texting. I wasn't using Skype. I only had a portable stereo/ CD player rather than a proper stereo system. However, technologies have been evolving fast and I find having some of them is necessary. I don't like having a computer in the center of my living space, nor do I like becoming an appendage of a machine, but, as I say, getting all teched up has made my life abroad more comfortable and tolerable.
I'm planning my trip to Seoul. As the venue of this KOTESOL meeting was supposed to have been Daejeon, in the middle of South Korea, and I had already worked out arrangements to visit R in Daejeon, I'm going ahead with the visit with R in Daejeon first on Friday, then travelling from Daejeon to Seoul for the day-long meeting before having dinner with teacher activist friend, S. that same day (Sunday). I may as well stay over in Seoul and explore some new area or venue in Seoul, so I'll have to book accommodations there, as well as purchase the train tickets in advance. That'll be my vacation travel.
Yes, I'm sticking to the agreement to crash at his one-room pad! We'll see how it goes.
Another task for me today is to study the videos of the Korean Digital Academy Korean language lesson in preparation for the Skype "class" that is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. A couple of weeks ago, you see, I signed up for a trail month of weekly lessons. They only have beginner lessons, but I am forgetting basics and they assure me that intermediate level students have joined in and benefited. We'll see whether it'd be worthwhile keeping up.
Today, C a nice, amusing and interesting single American guy who is close to my age contacted me to offer me a lift to go see the new campus (workplace) this week. I like C, even though others say he is a fervent somewhat narrow-minded practicing Christian. I have socialized with him occasionally with other friends, and never found him to voice dogmatism or criticism of others on religious grounds.