Saturday, November 01, 2008

Crazy Week from Hell part 2 (Entering the 7th circle)

Wednesday seemed like it would be a normal day, (normal is obviously a relative term especially when it comes to Kyle and me, but normal in this sense means studying all day with zero hysterics and or criseses) and it was for the most part up until a phone call at 4:30. Good news, the Houston Korean Consulate received my overnighted package and has granted me an interview for the following morning. I quickly called Leslie and asked if it is ok that I crash at her house for the evening. I packed my things, kissed the hubby goodbye (Kyle needed to stay home to study study study), drove to my mom's house, went to the library to get a book on CD for entertainment purposes and started on my drive to H-town, once again, but this time all alone. After the dull drive of 3 hours in the dark listening to a mediocre story about a reformed ex-convict, now dog-rescuer I arrived in Houston in time for a midnight chat with Leslie and Peter.

is the day for my interview at the Consulate. I park illegally at a bank and walk to the building instead of paying the parking garage fee, ride the elevator up to the 12 floor and wait patiently. (side note: the elevator had floor 1 but then seemed to skip from 2-11 and went straight to floor 12. What happened to the other floors? I don't know. I looked all around for the other buttons, but they were no where to be found. A little creepy in my opinion) I was shown into an office with my Korean interviewer who spoke English with a thick accent. He did not offer his hand for a hand shake, so I found myself a little confused as to what to do with my unshaken hand. He asked me some normal questions that you might expect like why are you interested in Korea? What do you know about Korea? But then the stranger questions followed and I don't think they were really part of the interview they were just out of his own curiosity.( I am paraphrasing here)
interviewer: Did your parents pay for your education?
me: yes they did
interviewer: Are you grateful to your parents for that? (this is actually a question he asked several times throughout the interview at different times. I get it I should appreciate my parents)
me: (what am I going to say no?) yes, I feel very lucky.
interviewer: In Korea it is important that the parents pay for their children's education, in the United States is this normal?
me: (being the well trained communication studies major where every answer starts with, "that depends") That depends, some parents do and some don't.
interviewer: (obviously wanting a more concrete answer) But the majority?
me: (I honestly have no idea what the true answer is, I have never looked at statistics on the subject, I just know about the small pool of friends that are similar to me in circumstances) Most parents at least help with their kids tutions, and agree to pay half or whatever they can.
Interviewer: so the rich parents pay all
me: sometimes, but sometimes not, because sometimes the rich parents want to teach their children about the value of money.
We then talked about in state tuition vs. out of state tuition and he asked more about rich kids so I told him about sororities and fraternities. He even asked me to write down those words since they were new to him. But the best part of the interview had to be this next part.
interviewer: Oh so you are from San Antonio, so did you drive to Houston?
me: yes
interviewer: you look tired, your eyes and nose are red. (Maybe in Korean culture it is ok to be told by a complete stranger that you look tired which in American translate to "you look like crap." As for the redness, I wanted to tell him that was my normal complexion, I shouldn't really be considered white, but pink. They should have a pink box on the ethnicity page of applications just for the Sanders family (my mom's side of the fam))

The interview didn't last more than 20 minutes and I found myself back in the hallway with the elevators missing crucial floor buttons. Leslie and I met for a nice lunch and then I drove back home, not without getting dreadfully lost in trying to find I-10. When I arrived home, Kyle informed me that he was feeling dizzy and had just thrown up! Great, that would happen right before he is to take 4 tests. This is not a new situation for Kyle, when he originally took the clep test, he started to show signs of food poisoning, and threw up more than once into the trash bin under his desk as he was taking the test. Needless to say, he didn't do so hot on that test.
A nap really seemed to help.

Friday was to be a great day. The plan was to study for most of the day and then go to a little Halloween party. Kyle woke up feeling somewhat better, no more nausea, but instead his sinuses were in the process of kicking butt or should I say nose. Studying continued slowly until a dreadful email arrived in the inbox. I mentioned before how on Tuesday we received the much anticipated creative writing packet. The professor of the class however has a rule that you may only turn in two assignments of the total 10 assignments of the week. Kyle emailed him and called him with zero response. We felt sure that if he heard our unique situation a little rule bending wouldn't be a big deal, however on Friday, the person in charge of the correspondence department emailed and said that the professor had denied his request. That is right the professor didn't respond to Kyle directly but chose instead to ignore Kyle and communicate through a third party. Kyle still has not spoken directly with the prof. so we aren't giving up all hope yet, but there is definitely a pinhole in our already deflated balloon. What does this mean in terms of our deadline? I am not sure yet? It means I might have to fly out to Korea before Kyle to hold our positions, but I do not want to do that until I am absolutely certain that Kyle can graduate without another crises falling from the sky into our already heavily burdened shoulders. We sat around for a while in a stunned state until it was time for us to make our Halloween costumes for our party. Friends and families were made for moments like these. Unfortunately we seem to have moment likes these frequently. Like I said before our life feels like a roller coaster as you can see from this crazy week, up and down and up and down. I just hope this ride ends soon.

Here are some pictures of our fun time at Nicole and Gary's Spooky Halloween bash!
Nicole and Gary. Don't they look scary!

Can you tell what we are? A pair of dice :) we made the costumes ourselves.
I thought these were very clever costumes. Originally Laura and Aaron were going to go as a dark and stormy night and partially cloudy with a chance of showers (and carry a water gun but they couldn't find one) so then they just started telling people that they were a forecast. Either way very cute.
Billy is the Lucky charms dude and Elizabeth is.. can you guess? A desperate house wife. Super cute.
A group photo. Lots of fun costumes.

Tony and Ralph dressed up too.
The boys, later in the evening
And the girls.

and our sad pumpkins on Halloween. Next year we need to protect them better.

Kyle's pumpkin, originally a canibal pumpkin slowly started to turn into a grandpa pumpkin throughout the week and is now even scarrier than when it was first made, with drool and everything.


Kimberlina!! said...

1. Why did you have to get an interview with the Consulate to get a visa? That seems so strict to me! With Japan I just mailed in a form with my passport. What weird questions, now I'm scared of Korea.

2. My friend that studied in China told me it's normal to go up to somebody and say something like, "Wow, you're really fat, arent' you!" and they'd be like, "Yep!" Maybe it's the same in Korea. I think pink faces are cute.

3. Oh my gosh, I didn't even recognize my sister with the makeup! Haha! Was Zoe not there?? :(

Vanessa Rogers said...

1. The Koreans in the past year have gotten much more strict in their hiring process. Don't really know why?
2. aww.. thanks. I wish I didn't have a pink face though.
3. Zoe did not attend this event, we all missed her dearly!