Life has been fairly busy as of late. I’ve started doing more work outside the university, a necessity for anyone trying to make a real leaving while working as a “part-time” professor over here. It really isn’t difficult finding work in Korea, but it is difficult to find good work. Fortunately, the gods are on my side and helped me to secure something decent.

The hardest thing we’re dealing with right now is trying to find something worthwhile for my lovely wife to do. She worked primarily as a private tutor when we first met, a decent job if you can get enough students. The economy here has been just as bad as everywhere else these days, and tutoring is a consumer-focused market. She used to be able to charge $300~400 a month per student and have more than enough work for the week. That is not the case anymore. There are flyers up all over that promise lessons from talented university students at the low, low cost of $150 a month. Though the teachers are usually no better than university students looking for something better to do than work at Lotteria for $4 an hour, many parents cave to economic pressure and go for the cheapest thing they can find. Needless to say, it has been a struggle for my wife to find new students.

The university life is going well. I started working for the Tourism English department instead of teaching basic ESL classes, and I am so much happier with my job! The students are much better focused since they plan on actually using English for the rest of their lives as opposed to the random groups of engineering students who are trying to get their English 101 credits out of the way. I have to put a little more time in outside the classroom, but for a teacher, it’s worth it if the students are going to put the effort into their studies. There is nothing worse than feeling like that 2 hours you spent preparing a lesson was wasted because half the class just didn’t bother showing up today. Have I mentioned how happy I am that I work in the Tourism English department? 🙂

What About Gaming?

I’ve almost completely broken off my love affair with Batman: Arkham City. I’ve done nearly everything there is to do in the game, and I always feel satisfied after beating down dozens of punk-ass Joker thugs, but there just isn’t anything left. After a surprise suggestion from my wonderful wife, we got back into Super Mario Galaxy 2. It’s a lot of fun playing together since I can run around doing all the crazy Mario stuff and she can help me collect coins and things while beating up badguys without having to worry about dying. I definitely recommend it to Mario-loving couples everywhere.

The Final Fantasy bug bit me again. I can’t quite remember what prompted it, but I couldn’t shake it. I ended up spending $10 on PSN to buy Final Fantasy Origins, a game I already own back in the states. It has been totally worth it. In my illustrious gaming career, I’ve played a number of awesome gaming RPGs from start to finish, but I have yet to finish Final Fantasy I or II. I’m hoping to at least finish the first one by the end of next week. I’ve been playing it about 13 hours now and I just completed the class change quest.

A fairly common theme among gamers is to use familiar names for characters in your game to represent friends or favorite characters from something else. I love doing this, as well. For this run of Final Fantasy I, my party is as follows:

  • Dart, the Knight – for my brother Nickolas
  • Crono, the Red Wizard – for myself
  • Celes, the White Wizard – for my wife
  • Minas, the Ninja – for my sister, Mia

It has been a big challenge dragging around a thief who is a lackluster warrior/monk, but it is worth it now that I have a Black Magic-casting ninja! I would say I’m about halfway through the game, but who knows. I love to power-level in JRPGs for some reason. I really can’t tell you why, but I love getting into the groove with a party and spending a few hours just running around leveling. For example, right now my party is level 27, and the recommended level for is 16~18, so I’m about 10 levels higher than I need to be. It makes it easier to progress through the game without having to backtrack a bunch and worry about leveling up later on. Anybody else with me on that?

Time for me to light up the Fire Crystal. Wish me luck!

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