New Years 2013 Update

Happy New Years everyone from a very cold Seoul (link).  In the 15 years I’ve been in Korea, today was the coldest day I’ve seen.  The newspapers reports that it’s the coldest day since 1986. Not surprisingly, the pipe to our hot water heater is frozen. We have water, but just no hot water. Anna says she has coupons to the local sauna, so I guess I know where I’ll be having my shower later. I just couldn’t step under the flow of frigid water this morning. I didn’t have heart or the body heat to do it.

I been too busy to write.  There was grading, practicum and the general bustle and paperwork that comes with finishing up semester as well as a couple of holidays, the associated parties and gatherings. But I’ve decided to make some time for writing today.

I guess the big news that everyone will be wanting to hear is how Anna’s meeting with her lead doctor went last Monday (Dec 31st). Anna met with Dr. Lee and he has scheduled her surgery for January 10th. Anna will enter the hospital on the 9th for prep, because she’ll be having surgery in the morning and they want to control what she eats and  drinks.   Anna learned that her last batch of chemo was cut short because her blood toxicity was too high. The chemo regiment she was on can do serious damage to your heart, liver and kidneys if the toxicity level in the blood gets too high.

Dr. Lee praised Anna on her ability to tough it out. The basic concept behind is: Chemo therapy is really toxic, so hopefully we can kill the cancer before we kill the patient.  Dr. Lee pushed it to the limit literally with Anna.  The main tumor which was almost 5 cm has been reduce to less than 1.7 cm. Dr Lee was quite please with the amount of reduction. The metastasized nodules in her lymph nodes are also significantly reduced, but there was still one nodule that had a significant amount of mass and seemed to be very active. Dr Lee will therefore be targeting the main tumor and the surrounding tissue and the area troublesome area of the lymph system that didn’t respond well to the initial treatment.

Following surgery Anna will get more chemo as well as radiological and hormonal  treatments. Dr Lee didn’t elaborate on the extent or the time frame for these treatments. He is very much a one-step-at-a-time kind of guy.

In other news. Andy (승현) is of with his fellow graduates to celebrate the New Year and to celebrate their completion of elementary school. He joined his mates at Daejeon O-World. They had been talking about going to a ski resort, but the sub-zero temperatures seemed to have altered these plans. O-World is an indoor amusement park.

BoA has decided to try her hand at guitar, so she is taking some guitar lessons this winter break. Anna also found her a math tutor so she’ll be getting some math lessons, too. BoA, as you can imagine, is especailly excited about the latter.  I’m planning on taking her to “What The Book” in Itaewon to help her select some winter reading material. I need to work on her English. It certainly hasn’t improved in the last year and it may even be a little rusty due to lack of use.

Noah is on break from both his daycare and Taekwondo lessons. He has decided that WAR is his favorite card game. We played WAR for about one and a half to two hours yesterday. Don’t tell Noah this, but it is a mind-numbingly boring game. I kept trying to rig my cards so that I could lose faster, but even cheating didn’t seem to help. There always seemed to be one more card and then no matter what I would do, I would inevitably go on a run and pick up another 12 cards…I’m gonna have nightmares about this. I think I’d rather push a rock up a hill in Hades like Sisyphus than play two hours of WAR.

I’ve still got practicum to finish up before I am officially on break. I have a session tonight (Friday from 6:30 to 10:00) and my final batch of practice teaching observations tomorrow (Saturday). Then I am free except for the two orientation session I have to run for incoming students in January and February. Of course, free is a relative term. I am free of teaching and the the day-to-day business of maintaining those classes, but I still have a couple of “projects” to finish up. In terms of getting a promotion and pay raise, the project that will keep me most busy is the completion of the article I plan to submit to an SSCI journal. I also need to tinker with my course packets. Some feedback from students said that the course packet seemed out-of-date. Sadly I am not sure what they mean by out-of-date. I’m thinking that instead of finding new content, (much of which are core concepts that have remained fairly constant over the last 30 years), I will try a new layout and font and see if this solves the problem. I even plan to use some former students as a focus group. “Which of these looks more up-to-date, exhibit A or exhibit B?”   Anyone who knows Korea, knows that packaging is important.

 

 

 

2 Responses to “New Years 2013 Update”

  1. michelle Says:

    Happy New Year to you and a big hug to anna and a medium sized one for you, too.

  2. Youn Hee Says:

    Thank you for updating. I hope everything goes well with Anna. I know she is a strong woman and she will get over it soon. Happy new year to you all!!!

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