Eagle-eyed regular viewers of this blog (hi Mom!) will notice that I have updated my profile to "part-time student, part-time translator." Shortly after returning from vacation and starting a new semester, I achieved my dream of getting a job as a Korean-English translator at a research institute in Seoul. I will also have various other tasks including English proofreading, handling English correspondence, English-speaking conference liason, managing a small English conversation class, and perhaps even some web site maintenance.
The research institute that hired me is one I have been familiar with for quite some time, and in fact was my first choice of a work location. It focuses on North-South Korean relations, security studies, and all things North Korea. So far I have mainly been translating their online newsletter which comes out once a week and contains one in-depth analysis article about some current event related to North Korea. So far I have translated articles about the latest session of North Korea's parliament, Obama's new nuclear policy, and the US-Russia arms deal. The work is interesting - I don't think I've ever had a job where the hours went by quite so fast - helpful for learning Korean, and also an opportunity to meet a lot of very interesting people involved in research.
They were nice enough to let me continue my Korean studies through the end of the semester, since I had already attended a full week of classes and thus my tuition was un-refundable. Also they agreed to let me work from home 3 out of 5 days a week, so that I don't have to spend my entire life commuting. So at the moment I am in class every day from 9 am - 1 pm, then lunch, then on Tuesdays and Thursdays I take a bus directly to the institute and work until 6. There is a shuttle bus at 6:15 that takes people from the institute to the train station, and the brief 10-minute ride is proving a good opportunity to meet a lot of researchers.
On other days I go home directly after lunch, and alternate working and studying until time for bed. The schedule is tough on my brain, and I've noticed I need even more sleep than ever to feel refreshed. But right now I feel like I'm living the dream. Just waiting for the other shoe to drop, but so far my new job seems like everything I had hoped it would be.