Uncertainty can be happiness

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

Archive for the ‘Nerdity’ Category

November 2008 FSOT test results

Posted by quirksalight on December 9, 2008

I received an e-mail saying that I had my exam results this morning.

After logging in, this is what I got:

I PASSED!!! Whee!!!!


Posted in future, Incheon, Korea, Nerdity, Seoul | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

20-20 can be painfully clear

Posted by quirksalight on December 6, 2008

A couple months ago, I wrote about South Korea’s Truth and Reconciliation commission on the investigation into the wartime (and post Korean-war) atrocities by the US backed S. Korean government. (“Sometimes you just have to force yourself to read it“)

More news is continuously coming to light about the sheer scope of what happened, and the role that the US and S Korean governments played in it. Keeping in mind, that this was also the height of the “Red Scare” and McCarthyism in the US,

On my vacation to Jeju Island, I went to the Jeju 4.3 Peace Memorial. I had thought that I had a decent grasp of Korean history, especially for a “gyo-po” (Korean foreigner), but I had never heard of an event on 4.3 that would be significant enough to warrant a memorial.

It turns out, Jeju Island had a brutal military crackdown against members of the communist party of Korea in the 1950s. However, like a lot of the political crackdowns and killings on the Korea mainland, many of those who died were tainted by associated; the families and friends of those accused. Tens of thousands were killed or died due to exposure and starvation when they fled to the countryside.

The memorial was full of declassified documents from that era, and everyone knew, but ignored it.

I left the museum, a little sad, and just sat for a while, contemplating.

Posted in adventure, ancedotes, death, history, Korea, Korean, Nerdity, Politics, Social commentary, travel, US history, vacation, world news | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by quirksalight on November 5, 2008

…is a powerful emotion. One of my friends called it “too religious and wishy-washy”, but to me, it’s what keeps you going when times are tough. When you are hurt, stressed, fearful, and/or depressed, it is hope that keeps you taking that step after step until things improve, until you find your solution. It is the hope the drives your determination. You hope that your actions will improve your future, so you go on.

Today, was an amazing day. It was the election of the first African-American to the United States presidency. Do I think that there will a magical new day? No. I do believe that Obama will be the JFK for our generation; reinvigorating our generation into greater involvement in government, for public service.

In a nice bit of coincidence, I also took the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT), November 5th, 9am-12pm Korea time (GMT +9:00). Feeling drained, and pessimistic, I joined the Democrats in Korea at the Orange Tree in Itaewon for the live election coverage party. And felt hope. Listening to McCain’s and Obama’s speeches, I felt so much respect and hope for the future of our bruised and battered nation. We may be down, but we sure are not out for the count. And it made me want ever more to be in public service, to do something. Yes, indeed we can.
That, is my hope.

Posted in 2008 Election, ancedotes, commentary, election, election 2008, Itaewon, Korea, musings, Nerdity, Politics, Social commentary, thoughtstream, US history | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Palin’s debate coach…

Posted by quirksalight on October 2, 2008

Is none other than O’Donnell!!!

“And Mrs Palin is being trained for her debate by Brett O’Donnell, who coaches the debating team at Liberty University, a Christian college in Virginia, so there are unlikely to be any punches thrown at her preparation sessions either. ”
from the BBC news: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7647067.stm

Posted in ancedotes, Humor, Nerdity, Politics | Tagged: | 2 Comments »


Posted by quirksalight on August 21, 2008

Posted in ancedotes, Nerdity, Politics, Social commentary, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

First semester wrap up.

Posted by quirksalight on July 18, 2008

The first semester of teaching wraps up today. I must admit, it was an insane crash course in human behavioral dynamics, rather than teaching itself. Each week, I taught 27-28 45 minute classes, with 750-800 students & 5-10 parents in the classes. Juggling languages and diplomacy with the parents, and juggling fun and discipline with the students… it’s been a nutty acrobatics act. Plus the differences in culture, educational systems, and bureaucracy… I think my education on the “Real World” was jump started here, in Korea.
Teaching middle school is pretty interesting, especially here. It’s the same as the US in the way the kids are in the bizarre hormonal flux that happens in your early teens. The difference is that the society is changing here at a very rapid place, and the way schools are set up … observations of a society in flux with a group of people in flux…. hahah… do two fluxes make a right??

Posted in amusing, ancedotes, Buheung MS, Bupyeong, Humor, Incheon, kids, Korea, Nerdity, Social commentary, teaching, teaching english | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Delaying the Exam

Posted by quirksalight on July 4, 2008

I decided to delay the Foreign Service exam until the late fall… I thought I would have more time to finish the applications and study during the summer. Not so much… I am teaching two week long summer English camps, plus the prep and the rush at the end of the semester doesn’t leave that much time.
Ironically, it’s not the exam itself that’s the issue, but the application. The 6 personal statements are definitely a major stumbling block.

Posted in application, applications, Buheung MS, Bupyeong, essays, Incheon, Korea, Nerdity, teaching, teaching english | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Walking home tonight from Kumdo….

Posted by quirksalight on June 25, 2008

…i ran into a anti-US beef protest in Bupyeong Station’s shopping district.

Yes, people singing songs about how the Korean president sucks and that he needs to eat the US “mad cow” beef before Koreans do, vigils with candles, and a banner with some crazy looking cows on a boat heading towards a frightened Korean.

Ah, that’s my Wednesday night. Swinging a wooden sword for a bit, a bit of shopping, and checking out the anti-US beef protest.

Posted in ancedotes, Bizarre, Bupyeong, Incheon, Korea, Nerdity, Politics, Social commentary | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Foreign Service exam

Posted by quirksalight on May 24, 2008

July 12-19, 2008.
Seoul is one of the test locations.
Time to get cracking….

Posted in Books, future, Korea, Nerdity | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by quirksalight on October 25, 2007

One of my gal pals (TS) in NY surprised me with a lovely “leaving school/moving away” gift yesterday:
the Meh. Flask from Thinkgeek.com

It’s the Meh.flask from thinkgeek!!!

I’ve been eying it for quite some time now, and i’m very excited that it is now in my possession. 🙂 Just in time for Halloween, too! I will be building my costume around this, ahem, prop.

Posted in Alcohol, amusing, flask, fun, geek, liquor, Nerdity, present, surprise, thinkgeek | Leave a Comment »