Monday, January 12, 2009

from trickle to torrent

I'm busy these days, though not the way I used to be. When I first got back to northern Virginia, what most occupied my time was all the heavy and light lifting involved in the parents' renovation project-- furniture, boxes, construction materials, you name it. These days, I'm working two jobs for two different Korean firms, proofing and editing magazine articles and other documents. The work started out as a mere trickle-- a one-pager here, a three-pager there. But lately, I've been receiving as many as three assignments a day, and one of my employers recently handed me a 17-page assignment. It's too bad my Korean isn't good enough to do translation work: as my buddy Charles tells me, the pay is crazy.

So I don't lack for things to do, but I do hold weird hours, often going to sleep around 5AM and waking up around lunch. I get six or seven hours' sleep like other normal folks, but I'm out of phase with most of the daylight-loving world. The current shift to vampirehood isn't a new thing for me; while working at Sookmyung Women's University, I tended to slack off during our vacations, often staying up until dawn and waking up only at lunch. It's a habit I picked up as an undergrad, and I've never really broken free of it. While teaching at Sookmyung, I had to wake up at 6 or 6:30AM to be in time for my first class of the day, at 7:40AM. You have no idea how painful that was.

Once I start the walk again, I'll be resuming a more normal schedule and will reduce my workload to part-time for both jobs, earning enough money to take care of my never-ending monthly bills (the scholastic debt about which I've moaned on many occasions), with a little left over for other expenses. In the meantime, though, just call me Vlad. But don't call me before noon.



Charles said...

Well Vlad, it warms the cockles of my heart that the translation center is finally putting out.

One question, though: have you discussed your future timetable with them? When I first contacted them, I told them you would be available over the winter, but your recent posts indicate that you plan to continue working on the Walk (right?). I wouldn't want a good thing to come to a premature end.

Kevin said...


They're aware that I'll be restarting my walk in March, and know that I'll be reducing my schedule to part-time, but that I plan to be committed to working with them for at least a year. That works fine for me, as the next 3000 miles might just take me a year to complete (though I'm hoping to be done earlier than that).

Anyway, the boss and I had a pleasant exchange (over several emails) about the matter; his bottom line was that he wanted the long-term commitment, to which I was inwardly saying, "Hell, yes, I want guaranteed work!" So it seems to be a win-win situation, now that the documents are rolling my way in earnest.


Charles said...

Very glad to hear that. I was worried when things didn't seem to be getting off to a stellar start, but now it makes a bit more sense (with the long-term commitment and all).