I’m back! I’m back in it. My second set of fingerprints, being much more crisp and clear, breezed through the scanning process and over to the NY department of justice within about a week. I finally have my criminal background report (it is all clear, of course), and can proceed with my application. All the smaller cities have filled their positions, so no more Incheon and no more Busan. The recruiter said I now had to choose between a placement in one of the provinces (could be a small city, could be a farming village out in the sticks somewhere, I wouldn’t really know until I arrived), or I could apply for Seoul, which still has something like 180 positions open, but requires some additional application steps. Although I grew up in a small town and can appreciate the value of rural life, my track record shows a penchant for city living (Memphis, NYC, LA…) so no matter how extreme the crowding and pollution of Asian cities, it’s pretty likely that Seoul is the place for me.
I had to fill out a couple more pages of the application, including a sample lesson plan. Something I’ve never done, but have learned a bit about from my online TEFL course. Then had to sign a guarantee letter stating that I promise to finish my TEFL course and produce a letter from the course management to verify my enrollment. All of that was submitted to the recruiter on Monday, so now I wait some more. Once the Korean placement office has reviewed my paperwork I will be scheduled for another phone interview, so I’m waiting to hear about that, and hoping that this time they don’t ask me for more government records. It will be just my luck that they will ask for criminal background data from Tennessee and Ohio now too.
I don’t feel like the weight of this decision has fully hit me yet. I feel rather blissful about it most of the time. I still don’t think I’m prepared for the amount of discomfort I am about to inflict on myself. I’m literally changing everything I possibly can about my life, with the exception that I’m not getting married or having a kid. I keep wanting to mentally prepare myself for it, but I’m not sure that really helps. If you are expecting the worst, does it really make it any easier when you experience it? I’m not sure that being fully aware of the arrival of difficult circumstances makes them any easier to bear than when they come as a complete surprise. Guess I’ll find out the true answer to that mystery in about 6 weeks!