Believe it or not, but I’m headed back to Seoul this summer – back to Yonsei University, in fact. I seem to be blessed with endless doors opening for me over the past two years and so I’m planning on charging full speed ahead (hoping that I won’t charge headfirst into a closed door anytime soon).
Yonsei University runs a summer program called YISS, or Yonsei International Summer School. It’s a relatively short program of about a month and a half that is geared towards international exchange students who come and take a Korean language course alongside one or two regular academic courses.
But beyond the classroom! Wherein lie the true lessons of life! And Korean. Because studying at KLI/YISS is all very well and good but speaking Korean with the convenience store clerk, or navigating the subways and bus routes, or asking for directions to a performing arts center to attend a musical – this is the stuff that truly challenges. That proves whether the classroom has provided the foundation and whether I trust myself to stand on that base of knowledge – and most importantly, whether I can lead myself and others through moments of challenge both great and small.
That’s my dramatic spiel for the day.
Despite the fact that I haven’t posted anything new in a few centuries, I have been actively studying Korean. Coming back from Korea was a whirlwind of adjustment and academic rigor and it took all of my focus to keep up.
Actually about me in the morning. During post-Korea life, my sleep deprivation has vastly increased.
Well, not all of it. I’ve started translating Korean poetry as a self-study method. My current focus is on an anthology of Koreans’ 100 Most Beloved Poems, or 한국인이 가장 좋아하는 명시 100선. A very good friend of mine gifted it to me just before I left Korea. Continue reading
안녕하세요…I admit that the title is cheesy. But the topic of 오 (o) and what it means is exciting! At least to a word nerd like myself.
Recently, I’ve been particularly interested in dissecting famous sayings/quotes in Korean. Or not so famous ones. Any quotes in Korean, in general, are super interesting. I’ve always loved ‘collecting’ sayings in English – I absolutely adore Quotables and I even buy the cards just for myself. When I said collecting…I mean it. I do actually collect quotes.
Do you ever pause and wonder why you’re doing something? What’s the point of continuing something? Maintaining focus and motivation while also keeping momentum is extremely difficult, and inability to do so can kill a passion if the passion isn’t strong enough to actually be called a passion. Continue reading
Recently I went on a road trip to attend a beautiful family wedding – however the road trip itself was not beautiful. It was awful. It stormed the entire ten hours it took to drive there (it was supposed to take just under eight hours), a flipped hazmat truck caused a massive backup, and at one point the fog was so dense that we couldn’t see any of the other cars around us. I sat in the backseat with my Korean notebook, reading through my notes, hoping we wouldn’t die due to rainy weather and crazy turnpike driving, and wishing I had something I could really concentrate on besides thinking I-refuse-to-die thoughts and staring at the road signs and passing semis.
Aha! I began counting the signs in Korean.