Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Anniversary

Posted by quirksalight on June 26, 2011

It’s been one year since I arrive at Seoul, jetlagged, bewildered and armed with a vague notion of what I’m supposed to do. In that year, I’ve made some wonderful friends, weathered political crises, fielded called from friends and family worried about my safety, and finally gained a sense of what this job is all about. I remember griping back at FSI about the vagueness of the training, and non-specific answers to questions about what we were supposed to do as a political officer. And I realize now that the answers we received were vague because there really isn’t an answer. There are case studies, if/then scenarios that can be discussed, but an answer? No, singularities such as that isn’t what this is about.

In whole, it’s an ever changing lifestyle. The social aspects, being a “rep”… it becomes a second skin that you easily don on and off.

Though a downside of the job are the inevitable blatant users. For example, I had dinner with a group of people; friends of my friend, who the dinner was in honor of. One person sticks out because of the interesting turnaround in her behavior after she found out what I did for a living. When she thought I was “just another Korean” – I wasn’t worth bothering with. But an American diplomat with access to the PX, well, that’s another story. Immediately became chatty, asked if I could “help her out”. tsk tsk….

But I don’t regret it. Now, it’s bidding season, and I’m worrying over my bid list, wondering which places to list, what I need to put in my narrative, etc. 2nd tour will be 2012 onward…………

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One Response to “Anniversary”

  1. Kellianne Bennett said

    Hi, my name is Kellianne and I’m currently applying for a teaching position with EPIK to start this August. I came across your blog from the Strange Lands website. I’m at the point in my application where I’m writing my personal essay, and I’d appreciate some advice from someone who’s been through the process. Specifically, what do you think is the most important thing to emphasize in the essay (educational philosophy? thoughts on cultural diversity? reasons I want to teach EFL)? I’d also like any other advice you’d be willing to share about the EPIK application process. Thank you very much in advance for your time!

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