Monday, September 17, 2007

Just Me and the BKF vs. The Pansies at Harvard...

Spent another long slog with the BKF this weekend. Friday night in a hotel where we worked from about 5:45 to 10:00 on a new piece that the Koreans had sent him. I had been unaware this had been landing because, well.. no one had warned us. BKF opened his mail when he got to my hotel and there the thing was. Not only there, but in the extremely “only freaking Koreans use it” .hwp format. Which there is really no way to open in the rest of the world. This was unfortunate, because BKF and I were, just at that time, in the rest of the world.

Finally we made phone contact with our person at the Korean University and a .doc version was sent. We also discovered something we should have thought of – we aren’t just going to be in a “reputation qeueue” with Korean Universities, but with international ones as well. Our Korean contact named a few schools who were expected to apply – BKF and I quickly ran over who was a shoo-in – Harvard, UCLA, Berkeley, probably someone in England (does Oxford have such a program?). In the end we figured that the 10 slots would probably be split about evenly between Korean and international universities. We still think our Uni has a chance, it is very prestigious, but it is intimidating to think of actual “scholars” working on this project. It makes the amount of time BKF and I can currently apply to translation, and our poor research resources (Google, Empas, and Naver) seem woefully inadequate. Then there is the additional fact that neither BKF or I are technically qualified for the positions we will fill. I imagine there will be some “putative” experts and we will be ghostwriting. This would be an issue with me if it meant my name would not go on the published work. We’ll have to wait and see.

LOL. Look at that! I just jumped from “we can’t get the job” to “I’ll quit if I don’t have it my own way!”

The new translation was an academic cover letter for our piece. It drove BKF crazy because it was repetitive and academic in that “go over every point three times and dig out significance” way. We had also been told that the thing was “two pages” when it turned out to be almost 1,600 words when “turned into” English. Thankfully it did not include any footnotes. BKF alternated between translation, drinking beer, and swearing and flailing his arms in the air when he got to a point that he felt had been adequately covered three times before. We called it an evening and decided that if I could I would get another night at the hotel, since working there was substantially quieter than working at his house, with the chillun and the family there.

The rest was ESPN and one more beer, ;-)

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