I know. It's 1am and I should have been sleeping for a couple hours already but I. Just. Can't. Control. Myself. I got home after a huge day, completely spent, but insisted on cleaning out the inbox. Which is still not done. This was the sticker on my award box. Frank and I were psyched to be considered 님 (an honorific ending) for the purposes of labeling. Wohooo!
Today was a get ready in a frenzy and run out the door kind of morning, since it started with an award ceremony. The awards are REALLY HEAVY. Mine is no longer in my possession; my jiseung teacher and his wife are holding onto it b/c they said, "there is no way you are going to run around town with this! It must be at least 3 kilos!" Thank goodness, b/c it hurt my arm even while hanging out w/Frank.
We went for strawberry smoothies afterwards, which is probably the first time since we met in September at the intro Fulbright dinner that we've had more than 5 minutes to catch up. We've been in email conversation since then, but it's much more fun in person. He makes me think a LOT, in super healthy and brain-stimulating ways. We discussed teaching and how I am still scared shitless to even go near thinking about applying for those jobs. It might be a situation where you avoid most the thing that you want the most. Or, I'm just a coward. His wife Arlene and son David met us later and we walked to lunch, where Arlene proceeded to plant a new seed of desire inside of me. This morning I had a letter in my mailbox from a Japanese papermaker living in the Philippines - he still remembers that I am in Korea and invited me to come in June since an Indian artist will be visiting his papermaking village then. I had really wanted to go in the winter, but got caught up in research and life, and then wrote it off b/c I had heard some rumors...anyhow, I just figured it wasn't going to happen. But now! I have this fantasy of running off to NZ in May and then the Phil in June.
[Thank goodness today was my lesson day so that I happened to have a great visual for the ceremony.]
Of course, even with this desire, I ended up handing over my entire scholarship check today to my jiseung teacher as 1/3 of my tuition, which I'm supposed to pay all at the end. My logic was that if I hand it over now, I won't spend it. It also spared me a trip to the bank. Afterwards, I felt like, omg! What did I just do?! but I know it was the right thing to do. It proves that I really AM using this extra boost to further my studies instead of jet to island nations.
I think it also helped my teacher come to the conclusion that since I was doing so miserably on my homework (he is constantly disappointed with my progress. I find this stressful since I hate being a disappointment, but now come to see that there is really no point in even trying to overachieve, b/c he has such impossible standards. Wait, he might just be the male version of ME...), he is going to hold onto my lamp and all my cords and work on it until next week to fix it up. GLORY BE!!! I walked out of my lesson w/nary a jiseung product, no money, and no award, and I felt free. It makes me realize how incredibly stressful it is to be his student. I love that for a week, I can be in Korea and NOT feel like I am behind in my homework, and even better: that it is getting done w/o me lifting a finger!
I left early to catch a gorgeous production of a classic Korean folk tale at the National Theater of Korea, and even got to walk through some park area and see Little League ball, men playing badminton, and other charming sights like a girl dolled up in a floral dress with yellow pumps. It was long but stunning. The lighting, especially. They used this fantastic effect with the floor of the stage being metallic and then people's shadows being reflected onto the back scrim. I'm really thankful that Michael had his team get tix for me as well; it was a lovely way to cap a full, full day.