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.