Archive for the ‘Gwangju’ Category

Em in Asia! 2013-03-13 23:16:34

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

I can’t concentrate.

Yesterday I had no school, so I hiked a mountain in Gwangju (the nearby city). It was nice. It was a cold, dreary, wet Wednesday afternoon which meant that the trails were deserted. I plugged in my iPod and went up and down hills, squelching in the mud, nodding to random people that I saw. I saw chipmunks, trees, rocks, and the Gwangju city skyline. The forests, paths, and lack of people reminded me of Virginia, and it was nice. I arrived at one of the peaks of the mountain range by accident – my co-teacher had told me to follow a trail to a certain point, and I continued on because I wasn’t tired. I got to the end, looked around, and the world opened up below me. It was made all the more exhilarating because I was alone; there was no one there to chat to or to be distracted by. On the way back down I got lost, as per usual, and ended up walking down the entire mountain instead of halfway down to the temple at which I had originally disembarked. With the help of a friendly older man I found another bus stop and made it off the mountain.

It was cold, it was wet, I was alone, I was lost, but I was oddly content.

Last night I found out that I had been accepted to Johns Hopkins SAIS Masters program in Korea Studies. SAIS is the premiere IR program in the nation. I didn’t receive any fellowships or scholarships. I don’t know what to do, and I am no longer at peace. If anyone has any advice for me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Ed vs Ing

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Korean learners of English as a foreign language tend to have trouble with the distinction between “ed” and “ing.”

“Oh teacher, I am interesting!”
“Yes, yes you are.”

Changpyeong is pretty rural. In fact, though geographically I’m pretty close to Gwangju, I can’t go out late at night because the last bus leaves from Gwangju at around 10:15, which means that if I’m downtown with friends like I was last Saturday, I have to leave around 9:30 if I want to make it back home. If I miss that bus, it’s actually cheaper to spend the night in Gwangju than to take a cab.

I didn’t particularly want to leave, but I hadn’t been feeling too well and I knew that I wouldn’t want to stay out as late as everyone else, nor did I have a place to stay, so I decided to call it quits and leave downtown right as everyone was getting in. I took the bus to 서방 시장 (Seobang Market – the transfer point that is closest to downtown) to wait for my Changpyeong bus, and then I hear-


Turns out it was one of my students, who apparently goes to Gwangju every Saturday. After she finishes supplemental classes at school she buses into the city and goes to an art academy where she paints all day, and then takes the last bus back to Changpyeong.

“Teacher, what are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m going home. I went to a birthday party but I must take the last bus back to Changpyeong, so I had to leave early.”
“Oh,” she pauses, “I think you must be very boring.”