Let me tell you of the days of high adventure…

It’s been a while since I posted. This will be an abbreviated personal post for the folks at home.

So. I’m working on a doctorate in Psycholinguistics. The study of cognitive differences in languages with a heavy semantic recall vs. languages with phonological links is given a nice little lab setting in a culture with a language that includes Hangul (orthographically transparent) and Chinese (semantic picture recognition). That will be my master’s and doctoral work.

To pay for this, I need a job. The options for jobs are to become a white monkey at a Korean academy, to become a white monkey at public school, become a white monkey at a the college, or teach illegally without getting caught for the next three years. Festive.

Never one for the simple solution, I decided to make my own job. I decided to start a company in Korea that would basically cater every desire I had in a job while still maintaining market viability. Maximum autonomy, no security, maximized ability to instantly exploit any and all opportunities that came my way in the current market conditions. In a (pair of) word(s), educational subcontracting.

The catch? No Confucian culture goes for any of that. As I was explaining this (over and *%$#ing over) to the business folks, the Korean businessmen and profs looked at me like I was from Mars. The Korean legal philosophy, by the way is that of strict construction. Everything is illegal until it is made legal. This was not covered and therefore was inherently illegal.

This went on for three months. This included the business and legal guys who were looking at my contracts. They understood the term, but in much the same way they understood third trimester abortions. Finally, I ran into a young Korean MIS fella, named Kim Sung Dong. He looked at me and said “Blue Water!”

“What’s Blue Water?” I asked.

“No horizon! No competitors!” Now I’m getting somewhere. Turns out he wasn’t sure about the full extent of subcontracting, but latched onto one example of how subcontracting could whip the dog nuts off of the in house fellas that get hired. It was still a start. At least one of my throwaway ideas could work. But this guy can negotiate. All the negotiation below? Him. He’s amazing.

So we went about getting licensed. So, here is sentence fragment theater. Recruited two others: Vietnamese economist, American teacher/business admin fella. Secured funding for four months. Working seven days a week. Upgrade contracts. Develop charter. Secure E-commerce licence. Vietnamese economist goes home: sets up contacts at home for business in Korea. American goes home: sets up American business and tax codes. Try IT subcontracting with Korean companies: stillborn due to lack of information flow. Recruit our first American English teacher. Want a business licence. Need a building. Get a building. Knock 50% off the rent (take it and LIKE it). Want an educational licence. Need a bigger building. Need a to get a sugar daddy. Got a sugar daddy. Daddy will give sugar if we have an office in the nice part of town. Secure said building in four days. Get saddled with a 6k francise licence with the rent. Knock 25% off the rent and 5k off the licence with additional 2k insurance for business failure (We are the droids your looking for!) Remodel the interior in two days for $600 under budget. Clear the fire inspection by charmingly mooching assistance from a hardware store owner. Clear the Educational Government Inspection by correcting the moronic inspectors feeble grasp of his own frickin’ category of law to him (got help from the Fire Marshall on this). Four, count ’em four, seperate trips to immigration to change my visa status (they were asking for different and new paperwork every time). Visa status clears the day before I must be teaching at least ten students. Recruited 10 butt-in-seat students in 12 hours (I actually dragged a Jehovah’s Witness into this, real quote: Him “Do you believe in the end of the world?” Me, big smile “In fact, I do. Follow me.”) Got our first American teacher over here and set him up with his contract. Recruited two more contracts.

So. Where does that put me? I can do e-commerce, and education. I have a company that can hire any of the Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean students. We have cooperation agrements with a number of schools. We can place a modest number of English teachers, and can push language instruction to any school via the internet. You need some language? I can hook you up.

I also started the International Students’ Association so I can recruit from the foreign students that come here, provide legal work, and health benefits. You want to learn Chinese? I have teachers and a curriculum. We’re developing an English language game, a Korean as Foreign Language curriculum, and we’re securing trade with midsized Korean companies and Vietnam the second they enter the WTO.

And I have a girlfriend. We’re talking two kids, one adoption. She brought me a watch and homemade cookies on my birthday. I didn’t tell her when my birthday was and was working so hard I forgot it was my birthday. She researched it with the psych department.

That’s the short version. If anybody can help me get ahold of Amercian Science books, middle school level, I would appreciate it. Also, if you know of anybody who needs IT work done, lemme know. And if anybody wants to lecture over the internet, let me know.

Now to catch up on some papers.

Leave a comment


  1. Way cool awesome, dude!

  2. blackpine

     /  December 13, 2006

    Graci. Out of contact, but with good cause.

  3. happycrow

     /  December 13, 2006

    Mid-range science books in English, I assume? So that people can practice technical English? Define mid-range. Mid-academic, or middle for practicing scientists?

    Your gf doesn’t exist until we see a picture. Until then, her name is “Figment.”

  4. blackpine

     /  December 13, 2006

    MIddle school survey books. You have it in one. High School and Elementary would also be nice.

  5. Hey, any way to mark the author in bold now that guests have appeared?

  6. Damn. Go Big Red Blair!

  7. No, since WP has a lot of good things, but not template editing on the coding level. (Worth the sacrifice for the stability, and it’s not worth the learning curve to run my own server at the moment. However, the blog *will* get some heavy link modification soon.) What Blackpine needs to do is not post under Boxing Alcibiades, but under Blackpine, plus any other sub-categories he wants.

  8. You can go to http://www.harcourt.com to find science books – they ship internationally too.

    harcourtschool is for k-6, and hrw is for 7-12.

  9. blackpine

     /  December 13, 2006

    Got it. Thanks!

  10. Mike

     /  December 13, 2006

    Damn and you did this all before the seas drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Areius. Way to go! Drive on, and yes we want pictures of girlfriend (although I suppose I am not one too talk).

  11. Mike

     /  December 13, 2006

    But have you solved the Riddle of Steel yet?

  12. Speaking of which, Mike… 😉

    Blackpine, if you need occasional lecture-monkeys for hire, let me know, as I’m now officially a history instructor, and have connections for finding other monkeys as needed.

  13. blackpine

     /  December 13, 2006

    I do! And I can send lecture folks to you. Chinese tutors, Korean tutors, Arabic, Pashto, Bengali, Javan, Vietnamese tutors, you name it. Economic discussions about corruption and transparency in direct relation to economic growth are very enlightening when talking with a Vietnamese economist.

  14. Cool. Let me start locking in who I have to talk to, and what’s in demand. I’d like to get language stuff myself, but I’ve got to do it on the cheap in the process.

  15. blackpine

     /  December 13, 2006

    The Riddle of Steel: Steel is strong, but I’m the Juggernaut, bitch!

  16. Also, let me know *what kind* of lecture monkey is in demand over there, and for what…

  17. Smilee

     /  December 14, 2006

    suggestion: forget books, use internet based content, to include audio and video. Start e-books for your subjects, sell the e-books to your students (pdf). They don’t lose the materieal, they can print what is needed to bring with them, and you make money. This is just a fast idea, so I am sure it has many flaws, but I think it is better than trying to find a science textbook out there, or any for that matter. There are awesome science sites out there for you to utilize.

    Just my opinion.

  18. Mike

     /  December 14, 2006

    Yes, that is the Riddle of Steel, you may enter Vahalla and carouse. But, great to hear everything is spinning on along well.

  19. Sounds very adventurous. Regarding the books, perhaps Craig’s List (www.craigslist.com) would be a good source to research. Also, you might be able to contact the Department of Education for either the books (used) or suggested links to books.

    Best of luck….kudos to you for making your own niche. I am sure the market will oblige your efforts!!

    As an MBA, please feel free to let me know if you need anything on the business side of things.

  20. blackpine

     /  December 14, 2006

    Smilee, hadn’t looked into web content, but that would be better. Over here books have value as an artifact. A teacher without a book is not as highly regarded as a book without a teacher in a lot of cases. We’ll probably get a book just to say we have one and then buy our content online for less with no shipping. Thanks!

    CoffeeSpaz, I will take you up on that offer.

    Happy Crow: Give me a rate you would want on an hourly basis and we’ll get you a tutor by next week. Monday sound good?

  21. blackpine

     /  December 14, 2006

    HappyCrow: let me be less ambiguous. What I meant was give me a rate you wouldn’t mind paying for language tutoring, and I will find you a tutor by Monday. This weekend we’re putting together bid sheets with the skills of the folks who are willing to be online lecturers. Then we’ll send it to the elementary schools to help them get good lectures for less money, and we pay the lecturers a good rate. In fact send me your resume, and any one else’s too, and we’ll shop them around.

    For instance, if your univesity has an MIS/IT degree with a class that does multimedia productions, we have a doctoral candidate who has studied race identity over here looking at the Korean concept of Minjok in the educational system. He does blogs and runs a web class on how to run a web class, design good podcasts, and get a blog together. He charges 80 an hour last we talked for lectures, so a medium sized class should get him covered pretty easily. But he can guest lecture for the University from his aprtment in Seoul. It’s actually a mini studio.

  22. blackpine

     /  December 15, 2006

    Russ, where are you a prof? We’re building a bid package with you in it for local schools.

  23. blackpine

     /  December 15, 2006

    Also, are you handsome?

  24. Mike

     /  December 15, 2006

    Okay, I gotta ask where that last comment came from.

  25. happycrow

     /  December 15, 2006

    Yeah, I look good when I make the effort.

    Mike, it’s a “face” thing. If I’m ugly or funny-looking, *obviously* I don’t know my shit.

  26. Mike

     /  December 15, 2006

    Ah, that explains it.

    Thanks for the gift, it arrived today.

  27. Mike

     /  December 16, 2006

    BTW, I need your email address, everyone I have for you has been bouncing back as undeliverable so you have been missing the occasional rant.

  28. blackpine

     /  December 17, 2006


    The hotmail account died.


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