My name is Jared Way. I was born in California, and became an "adoptive" Minnesotan. Now I'm contentedly expatriated in South Korea.
For many years I was a database programmer, with a background in Linguistics and Spanish Literature.
I quit my well-paying job and starting in September, 2007, I spent 2 years teaching EFL to elementary kids in Ilsan (suburban Seoul), South Korea. From April, 2010, until April, 2011, I worked a public school position in rural southwestern Korea (Yeonggwang County). I have since returned to Ilsan and continue to work there.
As of June, 2013, I remain in Ilsan in South Korea, but I was diagnosed with cancer, and have been undergoing treatment. As a consequence, the focus and tone of this blog has changed somewhat.
I started this blog before I even had the idea of coming to Korea (first entry: Caveat: And lo...). So this is not meant to be a blog about Korea, by any stretch of the imagination. But life in Korea, and Korean language and culture, inevitably play a central role in this blog's current incarnation. Let's just say... it's a blog about whatever I happen to be thinking, that currently takes place in Korea.
Basically, this blog is a newsletter for the voices in my head. It keeps everyone on the same page: it has become a sort of aide-mémoire.
If you're curious about me, there is a great deal of me here. I believe in what I call "opaque transparency" - you can learn almost everything about me if you want, but it's not immediately easy to find. I also maintain a work-related blog on the Korean portal Naver: jaredway.com.
A distillation of my personal philosophy (at least on good days):
I have made the realization that happiness is not a mental state. It is not something that is given to you, or that you find, or that you can lose, or that can be taken from you. Happiness is something that you do. And like most things that you do, it is volitional. You can choose to do happiness, or not. You have complete freedom with respect to the matter.
"Ethical joy is the correlate of speculative affirmation." - Gilles Deleuze (writing about Spinoza).
Geofiction - this has evolved into a significant "hobby" for me. I like to draw imaginary maps, and these sites enable this vice.
I have, in fact, been working as a volunteer administrator for OpenGeofiction for about half a year
now. I enjoy it, and I've learned a lot. I created and maintain the site's main wiki page: OGF
The above work has required my becoming an expert in the Openstreetmap system. Openstreetmap is an attempt do for online maps what wikipedia has done for encyclopedias. I have considered becoming an openstreetmap contributor, but I feel that my current location in Korea hinders that, since I don't have a good grasp Korean cartographic naming conventions.
I originally discovered the above site when exploring this site Urban Geofiction.
Another geofiction site Norscand. They recently linked to OGF, too.
TEFL - my "profession," such as it is.
Online English Grammar reference Grammarist. Useful for settling disputes over grammar.
Think about it. We could have built a high speed rail network for the whole country for that price - if you assume $100 million per mile construction cost (very generous), you could get more than 10000 miles of high speed rail.
One area where I had been willing to give some benefit of the doubt to the new Space Emperor-elect was in whether or not he was actually a racist. I had preferred to imagine that he was cynically manipulating racists by rhetorical means, without himself having strong opinions on the matter. However, blogger Paul Campos makes a point at the Lawyers, Guns & Money blog about the Ben Carson appointment to HUD:
Appointing someone who admits to being completely unqualified for a job, and who also happens to be black, to that very job is exactly what one would expect a racist to do, since that’s a racist’s definition of “affirmative action” in action.
I am no longer able to give benefit of the doubt. This is pure reaction: post Obama, everything swings outrageously the other way. Sad!
¿Quién aprisionó el paisaje entre rieles de cemento?
Bocas hediondas ametrallan la noche Los hombres que tornan del domingo con mujeres marchitas colgadas de los brazos y un paisaje giróvago en la cabeza vendrán soñando en un salto prodigioso para que el río acune su sueño
Un grito mecánico entra en el puente De pronto alguien ha volcado sobre nosotros su mirada desde la curva de la carretera Pasó Sus ojos van levantando los paisajes que duermen Ahora la luna ha caído a mis pies
I'm using my day off to try to get healthy again. Lots of rest and mindlessly drawing and listening to various things.
What I'm listening to right now.
Arrested Development, "Tennessee."
[Verse 1: Speech] Lord I've really been real stressed Down and out, losing ground Although I am Black and proud Problems got me pessimistic Brothers and sisters keep messin up Why does it have to be so damn tough I don't know where I can go To let these ghosts out of my skull My grandma's passed, my brother's gone I never at once felt so alone I know you're supposed to be my steering wheel Not just my spare tire (home) But Lord I ask you (home) To be my guiding force and truth (home) For some strange reason it had to be (home) He guided me to Tennessee (home)
[Hook] Take me to another place Take me to another land Make me forget all that hurts me Let me understand your plan
[Verse Two] Lord it's obvious we got a relationship Talking to each other every night and day Although you're superior over me We talk to each other in a friendship way Then outta nowhere you tell me to break Outta the country and into more country Past Dyersburg into Ripley Where the ghost of childhood haunts me Walk the roads my forefathers walked Climbed the trees my forefathers hung from Ask those trees for all their wisdom They tell me my ears are so young (home) Go back to from whence you came (home) My family tree my family name (home) For some strange reason it had to be (home) He guided me to Tennessee (home)
[Interlude: Aerle Taree] Eshe, she went down to Holly Springs Rasadon and Baba, they went down to Peachtree Headliner, I challenge you to a game of horseshoes, a game of horseshoes
[Verse 3: Speech] Now I see the importance of history Why my people be in the mess that they be Many journeys to freedom made in vain By brothers on the corner playing ghetto games I ask you Lord why you enlightened me Without the enlightment of all my folks He said cause I set myself on a quest for truth And he was there to quench my thirst But I am still thirsty The Lord allowed me to drink some more He said what I am searching for are The answers to all which are in front of me The ultimate truth started to get blurry For some strange reason it had to be It was all a dream about Tennessee
As anticipated, this week is quite hard. I'm teaching extra classes - covering for a coworker whose turn it is now to take a trip (as I took a trip a few weeks back). I am not really feeling very healthy - I felt surprisingly healthy during my trip, experiencing none of the complications or issues I had worried might arise during travel, but since getting back it has been as if my body is undergoing a kind of "rebound" or compensation for the all-out effort during the trip.
I'm tired, my neck hurts, my tongue "stings" more than usual (the phantom pain I've described before), and I constantly feel vaguely nauseated - this could be exhaustion, I suppose. Then again, there's some kind of stomach flu going around Karma, lately. OK, enough complaining.
What I'm listening to right now.
Miranda Lambert, "Vice."
Stay as a needle dropping on a vinyl Neon singer with a jukebox title full of heartbreak Thirty-three, fourty-five, seventy-eight When it hurts this good you gotta play it twice Another vice
All dressed up in a pretty black label Sweet salvation on a dining room table Waiting on me Where the numb meets the lonely
It's gone before it ever melts the ice
Another vice, another call Another bed I shouldn't crawl out of At 7am with shoes in my hand Said I wouldn't do it, but I did it again And I know I'll be back tomorrow night oh
I'll wear a tail like a leather jacket When the new wears off, I don't even pack it If you need me I'll be where my reputation don't proceed me
Maybe I'm addicted to goodbyes
Another vice, another town Where my past can't run me down Another life, another call Another bed I shouldn't crawl out of At 7AM with shoes in my hand Said I wouldn't do it, but I did it again And I know I'll be gone tomorrow night Mmm, another vice
Standing at the sink now, looking at the mirror Don't know where I am or how I got here Well the only thing that I know how to find Is another vice
Mmm, another vice Yes, another vice Ooh, another vice Another vice Another vice