Friday, October 7, 2011

On to brighter...

...and more positive things.

It's a foggy morning. When I don't have to drive in it, I love the fog. It makes the world around me so visually quiet. I get an intense feeling of solitude. The only things I can see are fairly close by, while the further objects become gray shadows, hints and suggestions of what they really are.

Looking out my window I could almost believe I was in London. I've never been there, but this is almost what I see in my head when I read "London."  

Streetlamps on black posts rising up from brick sidewalks. Square, close-set buildings that don't sit all in a row, following the curve of the road they rest on.

Even the trolley-cart tracks fit in with my image. Does London have a trolley or light rail system? A quick Google search doesn't tell me, so I let the image stand. The tracks just seem to fit.

Or maybe I've been at the English Village so long, that I've bought into the idea that it's a good representation of an actual English village.

The geese have been migrating this week. Every morning as I've sat down at my desk at 6:30 AM to write I've heard the squonks of passing flocks of geese. Looking out the window, I've seen them flying East by Southeast in something approximating a "V" formation.

It's fall and getting cold. I've had to stop wearing my wedding ring for fear of losing it. In this cold weather my ring finger has shrunk significantly. One morning, I waved my left hand for some reason or another and my ring flew off and thunked against the bathroom door. Chelsea thought I was throwing things at her.

Despite my now ringless hand, I enjoy the colder weather. I tend to not feel the cold as much as other people do.  I enjoy walking out into the cold air and stuffing my hands in my jacket pockets to keep them warm by pressing them against my stomach. I like watching my breath puff and dissipate when I exhale. I like the slight shock to my system when I inhale cold air.

Most of all, I love going home on a cold day and curling up with a blanket, a mug of hot chocolate and a book. It just makes me happy.


Last Friday at our weekly staff meeting, one of the upper level administrators came in to talk to us. The guy could speak English, kind of, but wasn't comfortable using the language, so asked for the help of one of the other Koreans.

He told us the English Village was in CRISIS. 

Apparently we're running out of money. The local province (think state) of Gyeonggi hasn't been taking in as much revenues from property tax, so the province government hasn't been able to provide as much funding as they have. And the Village doesn't really make money on its own. I think they try, but aren't really successful. 

During the meeting the admin, I can't remember his name, basically asked us to be patient as they make changes. He stressed that the teachers would not be losing their jobs. I'm not sure how much I believe him, however. To make it through the end of the year, the Village has asked the government for 1.4 billion won. That's roughly 1 million dollars. There is no guarantee that the money will be available for us.

It's worrying. I'm a little unsure of what to do. For now, I'm just going to keep doing my job and hope for the best. We have students scheduled to arrive for programs starting on the twentieth of Oct through the end of the year. Plus, the big, month-long Vacation Intensive Program will start up in December. So I think I have a job through the middle of January. 

I hope so anyway. I'm not ready to move back to the States just yet.