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Had an interview at a university just outside Seoul today. Had to reschedule from camp classes in order to go, and took the KTX then subway then bus (all in all almost four hours).

Arrived fifteen minutes early, and the interview included one of the Native English professors, but only for five minutes. Otherwise it was one on one for about forty. She asked me to make a lesson from the textbook she wrote, asked why I came to Korea, how to motivate university students and the extra classes and optional vacation camp with elementary age children. I explained some of my philosophy and also that I can be a 사고뭉치 (trickster). She laughed. Finally, the clincher:

“What about if a female student wants to hang out with you after class?”

“Oh, I’ve heard about teachers dating students… no, it’s dangerous. It’s okay to go to dinner with the entire class for a good reason, like the end of the semester, but not one on one. Also, I have a girlfriend.”

She seemed relieved, and asked about my girlfriend, who she thought was a foreigner. Explaining that my girlfriend’s a 백조 (white swan), she asked if I hadn’t meant 백수 (white snake), and I explained that the later has a meaning closer to 사기꾼 (conartist). Her response:

“Ah! 백조 is for girls and 백수 for boys. You kids know it better than I do.”

She remarked that I look so young (as old as the students) and said I could see the dorm.

Thus 유빈 (the girl pictured) escorted me there. She spoke barely English, and told me she was studying English alone, and planned to study hard and learn a lot. (They almost always say such.) It started to rain, and as I’d brought my umbrella, I opened it. She asked if it was alright for foreigners to be touched, and I acquiesced. Thus she wrapped her hands around my arm like I was some benevolent rain guardian.

Later, waiting at the bus stop together, we took a few pictures: silly, serious and smiling faces. While I don’t mind overt friendliness, she seemed a bit too like a puppy for my liking.

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