142 Random Thoughts

I can not wait until my grad class is over this quarter. I’ll only get a month off before my next class, but I’m just over it.

I love my job. I am finally, finally doing exactly what I wanted to do when I decided to go into education almost ten years ago. My kids are amazing, and the work is rewarding. My admin and I get along. But I forgot how much I hate the standard school year calendar.

Good Man and I went out with Diana and Min Gi last night. I bowled my best game ever—142. I called Grandpa to tell him. He was very proud and I can tell he’s happy that one of the grandkids is into bowling.

And then I found out that Grandma is in the hospital again.

I hate DST. It completely messes up my sleep and since everyone uses electricity, daylight saving saves nothing.

American life is boring.

Good Man doesn’t want to live in Korea. I don’t want to live in America. Yet we’re basically stuck here until he gets citizenship because no way in hell are we going through that time suck of getting him a green card again. I know it’s for the best—when he has his American citizenship, he’ll be dual and we can come and go here and there as we please, for the most part. But right now, waiting for that citizenship?

And I worry about being sucked into American life. I worry that the longer we stay here, the harder it will be to leave. Logically, I know that’s pretty ridiculous. I left Atlanta after seven years. It was the only thing I knew in my adult life. I left Korea even though I was happy there. I have itchy feet. He has itchy feet. One of the things we’ve agreed on all along is that we won’t live in either of our countries forever. I know we’ll move, eventually, but I worry. It’s in my nature to pre-worry.

My car is making a rattling noise and I am afraid it’s going to cost us thousands of dollars to fix and seriously, I’d rather use that money to go to Korea this summer.

One thought on “142 Random Thoughts

  1. Comment from: umma2kimchilovers [Visitor]
    You can get a free plane tikcet to Korea this summer, if you want to escort a baby from Korea to the DC area. You need to qualify as an escort and contact the Korean adoption agencies.
    11/14/10 @ 23:32

    Comment from: Helena [Visitor] · http://wedoitthehardway.blogspot.com/
    Bah, I hate switching back and forth, too. And they keep making Daylight Savings Time last longer and longer, so we’re only on Standard Time for about four months of the year. Though I’ll admit it is nice to not have to take my daughter to school in the dark. Maybe they could just go halfway between the two times and stick with it.

    I am a terrible bowler.
    11/14/10 @ 23:57

    Comment from: Shelley [Visitor] · http://shelleythetraveler.blogspot.com
    Once he has his green card (or wait does he have it), can you not leave the country? Does he have to stay in America x amount of years? I know in Canada it’s called permanent residency and I think it’s 3 years before he can be a citizen. But if you chose to move back to Korea does this cancel out his green card? I’m a little ignorant on the subject..so just curious.
    and I do agree, living abroad is more exciting and I know once I am back in Canada I’ll be thriving for the unexpected and craziness of India (even though sometimes I curse it here). I think that it is just in our blood, we are wanderers and thrive on adventure, newness and travel :)
    11/15/10 @ 03:02

    Comment from: Terry [Visitor]
    Do you have plans for returning to Korea to get 3단? mine is suppose to be June 2012.
    11/15/10 @ 03:50

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Umma, that’s a fascinating idea. However, I’m not sure I could handle flying with a baby unless I was allowed to tranquilize it.

    Terry, I’ll get 3단 in Korea eventually, but no, I have no immediate plans to return since you need to reside there for six months before testing for black. (Unless it’s a certain rank–I thought that rank was 4단, though.) I was “supposed” to get 3단 in February of this year, but I refuse to test at my studio for various reasons. Heck, I’m not even going to my studio this semester because my grad classes and a new school, new grade, new curriculum is almost too much for me.

    Helena, I have heard that “kids will wait at the bus stop in the dark!” argument and I just don’t go for it. I grew up in Minnesota and I might have walked to school in daylight (very little daylight) in the morning, but in the afternoon, I was coming home in the dark. And high shcool? Pshaw–we started more than an hour before sunrise. And my current school gets out so late that even in Virginia, I’m often going home in the dark (although my kids aren’t–let’s see how bad it is in the throes of December).

    Shelley, here’s how it works in America: You apply for a conditional permanent residency (green) card. Good Man got that in August of 2009. You have to prove your marriage is real and not fraudulent. The card is valid for two years. If you get divorced in the two years after you get your conditional green card, you almost always lose your green card. (There are exception in, say, cases of abuse, but I don’t know how easy it is to prove abuse. There are also problems with spouses of people who die–this is actually a big problem with military spouses, because if your spouses dies, there’s nobody to support the next step in the process and to prove your marriage is real. Technically USCIS says that if you divorce and had entered the marriage “in good faith,” you’ll keep your green card. In reality, the onus is on the applicant to prove they didn’t get married just to get a green card.)

    After two years (actually, after 15 months of conditional residency) you apply to remove the conditions on the conditional permanent residency card. You can not renew conditional residency. You apply and prove you’re still married and usually you don’t even need an interview (if you stuff enough proof in your packet), and then you get a non-conditional ten-year green card, which can be renewed. And if you divorce after getting that, it’s not a big deal at all. If you fail to apply to remove conditions after two years, they consider that you’ve abandoned your residency and kick you out.

    After three years (if married to an American) of green cardness (from original date you got any sort of green card) you can apply for citizenship. You also have to have lived in the States continuously for those three years.

    (Interesting side note, straight from USCIS’ website about naturalization:
    “Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law”
    What does that even mean? “Good order and happiness of the United States”???)

    OK, now all of this is complicated by the fact that you can travel and leave–but if you’re gone for too long your residency status is considered abandoned and you lose it and/or your have too many long gaps so the “three years of continuous” residence in America is lost for naturalization purposes. Apparently there are some exceptions made if you or your spouse are working for a US military base abroad or something, or if your spouse if military, but I don’t know much about that. There are also forms you can fill out before you leave so that you don’t lose your green card, but there’s usually for stays of no longer than one year.

    That was probably more than you ever wanted to know about US citizenship/residency.

    Which is all a long way to say–yes, if we moved out of the country right now, he’d basically lose everything.

    The other thing is that I need to work in this county for this year to be vested in my retirement. And I am working on my gifted education endorsement. Not all states require that for teachers of gifted education, but some do, and an endorsement from University of VA looks good since it’s one of the big names in GT ed. I have two more classes. It just doesn’t make sense to move–even within the United States–right now. But that doesn’t make it any less boring.
    11/15/10 @ 07:49

    Comment from: Leah [Visitor]

    I have been reading your blog on and off for a little while – can’t remember where I first found it now!

    Anyway, I lived in Korea for almost 3 years, married to a Korean and we are now in the States (MI). My husband and I are so bored here. It just seems that there is nothing to do! We both want to return to Korea, and plan to do so next summer. We can and will be applying for his citizenship on April 1, and are hoping that this step of the process is as quick as the other parts have been!
    11/15/10 @ 08:12

    Comment from: Helena [Visitor] · http://wedoitthehardway.blogspot.com/
    Well, yeah. But it would be even darker (in the morning) if we were still on DST.

    It’s kind of funny that daylight savings happens in the summer, when we have plenty of daylight anyway. It would be nice if there really were a way to “save” some of that daylight for the winter!
    11/15/10 @ 11:02

    Comment from: david [Visitor]
    What is wrong with your car? what model is it, how many miles does it have and how is the overall condition of the car?
    11/15/10 @ 15:55

    Comment from: david [Visitor]
    Are sure about continous 3 years for citizenship. I believe you can still go on vacation as long as the green card holder returns within the year.
    11/15/10 @ 15:57

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Leah, yes, it’s just…boring. And the thing is, we hang out with friends, we bowl, we have hobbies. It’s just that life in America is so damn easy compared to Korea. Of course, the other part of the factor is that when we go back to Korea, we want to go on MY job because there is no way in hell we want Good Man to work like a Korean man in Korea. No way.

    David, it’s a 99 Ford Ranger with 91K miles on it. It’s in decent condition for its age. I get the oil changed, I replace filters, rotate and replace tires, etc. It’s making a rattling/shaking noise in the engine–or at least it was on Friday and Saturday. Today that sound seems to have moved to the truck bed. I just can’t (because of my work and grad school schedule) bring it in before Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest. :(

    And you can go on VACATION, but you must keep your residence HERE and you can not go on vacation for too long. In fact, part of the application for citizenship is to list all of the dates you’ve been out of America since getting the initial green card and how long each trip was.
    11/15/10 @ 17:43

    Comment from: Mariposa [Visitor]
    So did someone steal your steering thingy or not? And either way, you definitely need to blog about what you *thought* happened.
    11/16/10 @ 08:37

    Comment from: Helena [Visitor] · http://wedoitthehardway.blogspot.com/
    I would like to find out about escorting a baby for a free plane ticket. Hmmmm….
    11/16/10 @ 10:31

    Comment from: david [Visitor]
    After entering your info in kelly blue book dot com, I think your trade in value for your truck is between 1300 to 2000 dollars. If your repair bill is more than a thousand then you should junk the truck but from the sound of it, I think the problem is not in the engine so the repair should be less. If you want, you can email me. [Admin Edit: Address redacted.]
    11/16/10 @ 12:54

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Mariposa, shut up. We will not speak of that *thought*.

    Helena, I’m sure some Korean adoption agency would have more info. It would be a neat way to get a trip to Korea if I could stand babies. Ha!

    David, I forgot to mention that I was in a fender bender years back. I also lack an AC and a CD player, so the value is probably even lower. But I’m going with the “do yearly costs to repair it cost more or less than buying another car” route, because we just don’t have money for another car right now. I am keeping your address on file (although I edited it out of your message just in case spammers harvest it).

    The noise, by the way? It stopped. Mostly.
    11/17/10 @ 21:45

    Comment from: umma2kimchilovers [Visitor]
    Try to google or Holt international adoption agency in Seoul (Mapo area) Korea. If you contact them, they can give you more info. The babies are about 9 months to 12 months old.
    You just never know how the babies are on the plane. My daughter slept and played the entire time and never cried. My son was ok only if someone spoke to him in Korean. If you happen to fly Korean airlines, you will most likely have a Korean grandmother on your plane. In my son’s case, we barely held him for more than 2 hours, the two korean grandmothers took him from us during most of the flight and he stopped Korean as soon as they started doing that strange Korean patting on the back.
    11/18/10 @ 23:11

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