Here's the short version:
I got a job and Horyon got her KS driver's license.
Getting the D.L. was a long process, involving driving back and forth to the D.M.V. many times. The first time, they told Horyon they needed her passport, for whatever reason. This was a bit of a surprise, as Horyon has an immigrant I.D. card that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, with a little holographic picture of her head and a shiny strip on the back that probably has some encoding of her DNA to verify who she is. But we figured, hey, these guys call the shots, so we loaded back into the car and drove home to get her passport.
When we got back, there was still no line, as it was only 8:30 a.m. Yeah, we hustled ourselves out of bed bright and early, originally got there at 7:45. Thought we were cool. How little we knew.
So as Horyon is giving her info to the person behind the desk, she is asked for her Social Security Number. She has one, but not memorized. I knew that if I could access my email I would be able to find it, but we couldn't. Not there. So I packed up Maxine and left the cell phone with Horyon. Maxine and I went home, with her crying most of the way about how much it sucks to drive back and forth to the DMV so early in the morning (hoo-ray and up she rises!), and I spent most of the time trying to reassure her that it didn't really suck that much. Good chance to listen to some tunes on the car CD player, really.
So we got home and called Horyon to tell her that next time she should memorize her SSN, and to remind her of what it was. She told me that she would call back when she needed the car (for her driving test).
Less than 15 minutes later, I got the call. I piled Maxine in the car again (only calming her by promising that we were going to see Mommy), and we drove for the last 15 minutes stretch. When we got there, Horyon got into our car, and the driving test guy checked to make sure all of her signals were working. He then got in the passenger seat, and Maxine started to go nuts again. I calmed her down, and Horyon drove around for 15 minutes.
When she came back, they took her photo and gave her a piece of paper that functions as her license until the real one arrives in the mail. They don't give them to you at the DMV anymore, as the new ones are all Homeland Securitied Up, to keep terrorists from driving.
Horyon then drove us as a family to IHOP. Yes, that's right. The International House Of Pancakes. We had a lovely breakfast, and Maxine just put it away. I love a good American breakfast, especially when I don't have to cook it or clean up. The only thing that would make it better was if I didn't have to pay for it.
Mmmmmm... pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage, fried eggs (sunny-side-up, thank you) and hash browns. All for a very reasonable price. Good stuff.
And so now Horyon can drive around by herself. I think she'll drive us to church tomorrow.
For me, today marks the end of my first week working at Wal-Mart.
I have to admit, it feels a bit like I've gone back to a Hogwan job. My Korean references have not proven to be helpful in getting a job here. Fortunately, Wal-Mart was more trusting in my resume. I am working in the jewelry department, selling items of gold and silver, as well as the occasional diamond.
And I get to pierce ears. Two days ago I did my Computer Based Learning (CBL) unit on ear piercing, and passed with flying colors. So when a lady showed up with her four-year-old daughter and asked me if it hurt to get one's ears pierced, I answered, in my most confident voice, "We poke a hole in your head. Yes, it hurts. But it's a relatively unimportant part of your head with very few nerves, so it doesn't hurt much or for long."
OK, those weren't my exact words. My exact words were much more customer-friendly.
So one of my coworkers did the right ear, and I did the left. The mother held on to her little girl, the one voice of reassurance in this confusing situation that would soon end in pain. And let me tell you, as a fan of irony, I kind of enjoyed that aspect of it.
But actually poking a hole in a little girl's ear was not enjoyable. I did it, and I could do it again, but it wasn't much fun. Oh well, as my Dad always says, "If it was fun, they wouldn't call it work."
Fortunately, that kind of thing doesn't come up much. Mostly I change watch batteries and take links out of watch bands. I've only been doing it for a few days, but I'm getting to be pretty good at it. I'm already working on the flexible bands that most of my coworkers won't touch.
Another facet of my jewelry position (sorry, couldn't resist) is stocking shelves and making sure that everything is in its place (what they call 'zoning'). Zoning isn't too bad on most items, but comparing the UPC numbers is a bit tiring on the eyes.
I'm working 4 days a week at Wal-Mart. Enough to bring in some money to buy stuff. I picked up my first paycheck today. It was for one nine-hour day. After taxes, it came up to $52. My usual days are going to be 6.5 hours.
Last news: Horyon's parents are in America, even as I write this. Well, they may be in Canada. They're taking a tour through New York and Niagara Falls, then visiting Chaeryon for a few days. Then they're coming to stay with us. For a month. I am sure that they are looking forward to seeing Maxine in person. They've been chatting via internet videophone, but it's just not the same.
While they are here we will have the ultimate in child-care for Maxine. I think the hardest part will be when they leave. Impossible to explain to her.
My class is going well, I suppose. First test is in a couple of weeks, so I suppose I will know better after that. The material for Math 290 is just easier than that of 526, the class I took this summer. This class is all about Matricies. Undoubtedly you have already thought of some clever Matrix-the-movie one liner to insert here, so I will not do so myself, but rather allow you to chuckle quietly to yourself over your own clever witticism. Well done.
That's it for now. Sorry again about the infrequent updates. Once we get settled into this new job and class, I'm sure I'll do better.