After my brother’s wedding in Manhattan Beach, CA (oh, I haven’t even blogged about it!) I returned to Seoul two days before the first day of Spring semester. A year starts in spring semester in Korean universities so I usually get fresh new faces in my classes. Some have become more mature during winter break or their 1 or 2 year long breaks. It’s a big trend that Sophomore or Junior students taking few years off to travel the world or get some professional experience, it’s prominent as about 40% of students don’t come back after winter break every year. Of course there are about 40% returning from their long absence or military services.
March passed in a light speed but, painstakingly busy so it felt like 36 hrs a day. First week greeted me with WCU (government funding research proposal for 4 years) application for the second round. The budget has been cut to like 30% of what it used to be but, still it’s a decent amount so we had to re-estimate detailed 4 year budget lists. The good news is that we passed the first round review so that, chance of getting it has increased. After handing the application, my mother has arrived in Korea to get some health exams in hospitals. She is over 60 years old and with her dependent personality, it requires a lot of care from my side for her to stay with me in my small apt. After about one month, she finally gave me some break by visiting my uncle for next 10 days. whew! Finally, I can sleep better for a while. With on going project in New York & some upcoming proposals, I don’t get any good sleep from sundays to thursday s every week. It’s not surprising that my stomach has been ruined (again) and I’m losing weight every week. I really need to find time to exercise. Do I sound cranky? It’s all from lack of sleep.
Among these stressful schedule, there are some lovely time still. It’s always nice to see or hear from my former students whether they are preparing for the exhibition or getting into grad schools in NYC or Germany. There was a gallery reception for Suh few weeks ago. It was like DMD(Digital Media Design) alumni gathering. There were alums from 2003-last year + current students filled the cafe above the gallery space. I met former students from 2007 – my first batch of students who got graduated. Some close students has stayed with the kind gallery owner who let us use the cafe as our own livingroom and we drank wine until 2 am. They told me what it really worked and how valuable learning they found and thanked me for exposing them to stuff, which I find very grateful and cute. I was thinking about my own college years. How was I? 🙂
Beside advising a team of physical game design team outside of class, I’ve been planning for the presentation about a book, “The Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollen as I was re-writing an interactive online solution proposal for a PBS documentary film. In my department, every Monday morning at 8:30 am, we have a professors seminar for 1 and half hours. Each professor take a turn to present about anything they read or watch or research. It’s my turn again. Beside taking 6:40 am train to school, now I have to prepare for 1 & half hour presentation for the other professors – right after a weekend trip with 200 students. Yeap, it’s that time of the year, M. T. trip! I just returned yesterday from Jeollado. It was quite fun this time joking with colleagues and students all the time although I stayed up all night working for the website soft launch in NYC a night before. Naturally, I fell asleep right after I was back in my apt yesterday even it was like 5 pm in the afternoon and it was a coma-like sleep. I slept through morning and it was delicious and sweet.
I’m a night owl and teaching life style doesn’t allow me to indulge that. It only leads me to unbalance of sleeping consumption. I want my beauty sleep back!