Monday, September 17, 2007

"I'm Kind of a Big Deal"

It's crazy to think how things can change in a few short months. Just before I left The Big Apple I was jobless, my lease was running out and it seemed like I couldn't get a freelance gig if my life depended on it. Who turns down free help, I mean really? Maybe the world didn't think I was ready, it wasn't my time, I was too young, too green, but just look at me now. I'm on the other side of the world and I've become the face of Shinjin High School. Ummhmmm, yours truly has become the new face of Shinjin. I guess it's slightly less prestigious than being the face of the McDonald's or Nike like Kobe Bryant, or even the faces of Bojangles 'Famous Chicken and Buscuits' like Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith...

Actually, when the dust settles from that barn I might have them both beat. It took them years to become viable advertising leads in such breathtaking commercials that leave the industry standard in the dust. But me on the other hand, it took me only 6 months, if that. I walked into school a month late, but someone there saw the twinkle in my eye. They saw that one thing, that thing you can't put your finger on, but you know it when you see it. Well, apparently I've got least in Korea I do.
Well, there is enough of my "down on his luck model" shtick. The sad thing is that a lot of people actually come to Asia to feel more important. It's easy to get caught up feeling special over here because a lot of Koreans treat you as if you are a big deal, just for being white, or American. Little do they know how many of us are actually over because we can't cut it in our own countries. From bosses, to coworkers, friends, to friends family members, it always seems to be a more special occasion when the white person is around. People want to make the more expensive dinner when you're coming over, and drink a few more bottles of suju once you're there.
I'm definitely not saying that my situation is a bad one, but it is interesting. When the Shinjin website needed a makeover did they turn to the teachers who had been there for 20 years to project the wisdom of Shinjin? Or teachers who had been there for 10 years? Or even the good looking, young, first year Korean teachers? Nope, they picked me (and Rachel, but mainly me ;)
A white, English speaking, American who can't correctly pronounce the name of the school in it's native tongue is now the vision of:
I think it's awesome but I'm not about to get a big head about all of this and end up staying here forever. I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is. Just like I said, it's amazing how things can change, but while I'm here, "as a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, so must I become Derelicte!"

Shinjin Photo Shoot


Alli said...

'you think you're too cool for school, walter cronkite.. well i have news for you.. you aren't.'

seems to fit? haha just kidding, i'm very jealous of you. congratulations, you're hot snot.

Anonymous said...

hey paul! funny you referenced was just on tbs this past weekend. so have you watched many american movies dubbed in japanese? are you getting an accent? have you stopped using gerunds, participles, and infinitives to speak? And where are you going next? Australia, right?!

Katie Kearney-Bidwell said...

I feel so honored that I've know you since birth. WTG!

Paul A. Kroll said...

First off, thanks for the replies! It's nice to realize that I'm not just writing all this for myself sometimes.
-Alli: Great line, if I was to think of the perfect reply to this post I think you hit it on the head.
Erin- You've gotta love quoting quality films such as Anchorman and Zoolander. It's so ingrained in my speech patterns that I do it habitually, and without recognition.
Katie- You should feel blessed. As soon as that baby is big enough, park him in front of this blog and I'll give him a real world education before he hits 5...because after 6 months in Korea I specialize in 'baby talk'. But what does "WTG" mean?

Eva Karrin McKinnon said...

Attaboy!!!! You do have a fantastic face. I see why they chose you.

Anonymous said...

And I meant Korean. Films dubbed in Korean. Yikes!

Paul A. Kroll said...

Hahah. I don't know what's worse. The fact that you wrote Japanese or the fact that I didn't even pick up on it. I can assure you that they do speak KOREAN in Korea, not Japanese. They don't talk to highly about the Japanese over here. But Erin, yes I have seen some dubbed movies, and some subtitled ones too. It's nothing special, but sometimes the laughs come at different times and that's kind of interesting...I think :/

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul! It's Domenic from (no longer) Bader TV. I got this blog via Emily, and I must say you are doing great. I'm very happy, and proud, that you found a calling and are living it.

Best regards,


p.d. if you ever wanna contact me:

domenic AT
jassband AT (messenger)

enid said...

NICE! Believe me, I already forwarded the Shin.. Highschool website to everybody I know! I have friends in high places! lol

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