Monday, February 11, 2008

Why Korea - Post I: Failure

There was a moment in which my boss (a temporary, but worthless one), gave me an off-the-cuff ‘review” that ended in my having to check everything I did with him. Even send an email. This was disheartening and as I walked out of that encounter I caught a look at myself in the door glass. There I was and the glass revealed, to my horror, that I had become everything I had sworn, as a child and drug-addled early adult, to not become. I was old, horribly out of shape, both complacent and worried (for the cheese never tasted as good as it should have, and they kept changing the maze), in a suit, and selling the inexplicable to the idiotic.

I was the company man, and no claims about the essential goodness of the company (and these claims are suspect at best – Community Colleges could be replaced by better High School education, vocational training, prisons that rehabilitate, contraception, and cattle prods for the lazy. Also? Tax pot so profoundly that you have to be successful to smoke the shit) could alter that.

How could it have come to this?

The short answer is, of course, that I had become a success. I was well-paid, reasonably respected, and except for that 8-month stretch under the boss from hell, was quite good at my job. Swamp Valley College has grown each term since the boss from hell left, and that is partly due to my work.

But still. A company man?

So I got both my degrees and will set off to Korea.

How is going to Korea any different? Shit, they'll expect me to wear a tie with my suit! Still...

There will certainly be spectacular mistakes to make and awesome failures to achieve. But they will be new ones! New ones!

But I have a romantic notion of instruction as a good thing, if properly done. So that’s one thing.

Second, there is the prospect of trading grades for sex (I say this to get the BAG’s freakout meter into the red zone).

Third, it is someplace far, far away from here. It is noisy, crowded, rude and impenetrable. I will have no friends, few responsibilities, and much time. Oddly, I run away to a Confucian (intimacy) culture in order to avoid entanglements. Maybe, more accurately, to ensure that entanglements are personal, with meaning, and not dictated by a paycheck.

It will be a chance to scholar-up (hey.. if rednecks can ‘cowboy up’), stop eating in a school cafeteria that deep-fries it’s diet-soda, and relax whilst making money.

And little of this at a cost to any tatters of my soul that haven’t been shredded from me in the last 7 years.

That’s a win, baby!

As I look back at the time I wasted in the last couple of years I remember the immortal words of Robert Graves as he left the rat race:

“Goodbye to all that.”

NEXT - Post II: Bravery and Cowardice, Praxis and Persistence..

1 comment:

Eddie said...

You know I'm reading (really) all the negative comment you leave about Korea! As Roz cooly, but abrasively states to Wazowski in Monsters, Inc. "I'm watching you Wazowski...always watching..." LOL

You sound like having a mid-life crisis with a reverse osmosis of American (Korean) Dream....whatever that means!