Well, I’ve just been told that I’m not going to be offered another contract at the university, despite the fact that the students have consistently rated me as the best intructor there, four semesters running, and there was no indication whatsoever that this might happen. Directive from the President (a friend of someone of influence who would rather see me gone), apparently, which is not to be disputed. Looks like I backed the wrong pony.
Ah, petty politics.
This development does however give me free reign to make fun of them, which I will, you can be sure, but not right now.
This makes life interesting, living as I do without a safety net. As I’ve hinted, though, my great and good friend back in Sydney has offered me a job recently, which I tentatively accepted not two weeks ago. There are a few visa hurdles to be jumped through, but I’m confident we can do it.
I have always found that when I’m having difficulties making a decision that might change the course of my life for the following few years (as I seem to do at 2 or 3 year intervals), something happens to make the choice perfectly and indisputably clear. Diamond bullet between the eyes.
I just hope the visa application goes OK, or else I’ll be well and truly rooted. I’ve got about 6 weeks to sort myself out before I get kicked out of Korea, since they’re not really interested in the continued pleasure of my company if I’m not going to be A Good Worker anymore. Timing is always a problem when you’re bouncing around the planet, and not rich.
Right. Eyes to the future, and fingers crossed….


Join the conversation! 31 Comments

  1. Chris, I am sorry that the teaching gig fell through, but I know you’re going to have fun in Australia.
    Besides you’ve been there long enough — moss is growing on your butt.

  2. True enough, Shell. I just hope the OZ thing does work out, or else it’s panic stations!

  3. I also know the reality of university politics. I’ve always found that making fun of them makes me feel much better. And that’s what is important to me. 🙂

  4. Don’t panic! Don’t panic!
    *starts panicking on your behalf*
    Some of us just can’t have a boring life, try as we might… I’ll keep a good thought, Senor Wonderchicken.

  5. Just another of those things that come out of the blue and smack you silly when you least need or deserve it, eh? Hey, bad luck and shittier politics, Chris, but I have every confidence you’ll be a rip-roaring success as an out-of-work blogger, raconteur, womaniser, drinking buddy, writer, critic, friend and all the other good shit that matters. Pity about the teaching, though. Although I’ve no idea what you’re like as a teacher, the students have lost one hell of a mind. [Which, I suppose, might not be a bad thing for aspirant drones.]

  6. Sorry to hear that!
    What a bummer.
    I wish you all the best and success in finding a new job, even if it does have to be in Oz 😉

  7. I guess you moust be really looking forward to reacquainting yourself with the anti-competitive bozos at Telstra!

  8. *wince* Now that’s bad. I hope the visa stuff does work out for you.

  9. I’ve been thinking about that, Eeksy. I have. Heaps of ads for teachers in Poland (come, drink!), and still not EU (yet), so Canucks are still allowed…

  10. The infamous Wonder Chicken in Sydney? Cool. Come over to Newtown sometime and I’ll buy ya a beer. And I promise something better than VB in a can.

  11. Good luck, Stav.
    (P.S.– MonkeyMeetup2004Sydney, people?)

  12. Jesus, Chris. Very sorry to hear about this. If you need me to impersonate a Ph.D. in Bulgaria studying the gestation of the female gibbon, identifying you as a man who should have beaten me out for the grant money, let me know.

  13. I read your blog alot and am very sorry to hear about the job!! Keep your head up! =)

  14. Stavros, I think your post gets it right. Just when I was going stale a few years ago a trip to Vietnam shoved me in an entirely new direction. Not that I lost my job, but I changed almost everything about the way I live. It’s hard when you’re in the middle of change, but keep in mind that the universe is a hyper-fractal quantum bug smear on a minor god’s windshield. At least that image always give me a certain amount of perspective.
    Best of luck with the visa. If you Canadians hadn’t become enemies of all Patriotic Americans by whispering the truth about our boy king–not to mention condoning pot smoking & gay sex–I’d invite you here to the land of the free. Oh, wait, that means I’d have to move 30 miles north–across the border into Canada. I swear, sometimes I’d like to emigrate. I haven’t felt this disaffected since the Vietnam War years.
    Still & all, hope you finish the template before you pack the computer, phul-eeeze!

  15. This is just your way of making sure life does remain interesting, which it will, because you and universities run by dickwads are happily incompatible. Now about that island…

  16. Thanks for the words of support, friends. It does make me feel better, honestly. I’m veering (as I frequently do) between the Oz-style ‘It’ll be right, mate’ and the wonderchicken-style ‘Ahhhhhhh! Panic!’ at pretty much hourly intervals at the moment.
    Must. Buy. Island.

  17. I’m only sorry that my friend who used to work in Immigration no longer does, so I can’t ask her to pull some strings for you. ‘Fraid you’ll have to tackle Phillip Ruddock single-handed. Now there’s an unpleasant mental image.
    Best of luck, though, Chris.

  18. All you need to do is change your surname by deed poll to one with Arabic (ideally Lebanese) origin and make a healthy donation to the NSW Liberal Party. Ruddock lets in all such donors.
    Stavros El-Wonderchicken should suffice.

  19. I’ve been through similar, albeit on a smaller and less-dramatic scale, a handful of times in my life as a conractor. Something *always* comes up, almost invariably something better even if it doesn’t seem that way at the time. Faith.

  20. Chris, I’ll only echo what’s been said above, and a platitude: things will work out just fine, have faith in yourself. I was wondering though, if somebody has put a curse on you. Something like “May you live in interesting times?” Not that that is a bad thing, just . . . interesting.
    If I can help in any small way, you know how to reach me.

  21. things will certainly work out. you’re brilliant, and brilliant people make things happen.
    look on the bright side: isn’t australia a nuke-free zone? that’s gotta be an improvement over seoul…

  22. Must. Buy. Island.
    That’s my island, futhamuck! Otherwise, it’s bound to work out for such a funksta 😉

  23. well.. we have something in common.. i too got into a nasty little spat with my korean instructors over the way the classes were being taught. behind my back, they processed paperwork to have me removed and only gave me check the block appeal. fuckers. i’d love to make fun of them more but because of the nature of my job i can’t without getting in serious trouble at work. been there done that. at any rate, i feel your pain. vindictive ungrateful little people.
    good luck in australia

  24. Time for the “moving-on adrenalin” to get pumping, eh? Better when the timing’s decided by yourself, of course. But once the decision’s been made, and there’s no way back, then make way for the thrill of the chase! The fear of an uncertain future mixed with the intense sensation of freedom in having an element of control over where you’ll end up. If Australia doesn’t work out you can always do what I do: get a map of the world and step-by-step eliminate where you can’t or don’t want to work. Enjoy.

  25. Want me to send him some fingers, Chris?
    They won’t be from anyone he knows, of course I don’t have that kind of reach, but a soggy package of severed figners makes a pretty strong impression all the same.
    It’s the smiley face stickers that do it.
    I’d wish you luck, but you seem the type who his the ground running and doesn’t need it.

  26. Good luck, o wonder chicken.

  27. I’m absolutely positive you’ll come out at the other end full of piss and vinegar and clucking louder than ever. You’ve got the right attitude as well as the right stuff. No reason to panic.

  28. Like ye said, the crumpled thoughts of change are usually enough to prod the Great Multiverse into alteration. A Positive Mental Attitude with a small dose of Apprehension seems to work more often than not.
    However, if ye find yerself in desperation, ye could come back to the Grand Couverville where we can now look forward to the Seven Years of Gloating and Patting Ourselves on the Back until the Olympic roadshow comes to suck the remaining local character from our town. Sure to be jobs a plenty, soon.

  29. Well, Korea’s loss is Australia’s gain.
    If you have trouble getting into Australia (not that I imagine you will), try New Zealand – all the benefits of Aus and a much more laid-back attitude. Been thinking a bit about going back there myself, actually.
    If there is anything I can do, let me know. And forget that monkey meet-up, but a MeFiAus in 2004 sounds like a plan. How does the Gold Coast sound for it? I have contacts where cheap accommodation can be arranged 🙂 Oops, did I link to the Korean version there – how tactless of me 😉

  30. Of course, if you manage to make it to Oz *before* getting well and truly rooted, it might not be such a bad thing… ;o)

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