Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
But nothing could have prepared me for the amazingness that is Japanese ramen. Our friends Kerry and Ryun saw this little hole-in-the-wall place in Hongdae featured on a television program for the authenticity of its ramen. So they took Mark and I and can I just say... obsessed.
Last week, I was telling my Japanese classmates about the place and we decided to go together.
I wish I had taken a close-up pic... but if you look closely at the bowls, you can see the ramen. It features noodles (duh), green onions, thinly sliced pork, eggs, and seaweed in a thick(ish) broth. You can also add crushed garlic if you want. Oh, and they also ordered Japanese dumplings and some sort of fish patties.
The restaurant got the seal of approval from my Japanese classmates. They said it's exactly like what they can get back home.
I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.... looks like Mark and I will be making another trip very, very soon.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Today was the much-dreaded verbal midterm. The portion that entailed having a conversation with a classmate was pretty easy since we could practice and rehearse a ton. For me, the conversation with the teacher was definitely more difficult. Before the interview, we were given a list of about 30 questions to prepare to speak about. I went over and over the questions and walking into the interview, felt pretty well prepared.
However, I wasn't ready for our teacher (who normally tends to speak at the speed you'd use with either a child or mentally handicapped person), to talk so quickly. Then, on top of it, she went rogue... asking questions differently than I studied them and follow-up questions that weren't even on the sheet we were given. Eek!
I'm actually glad the interview played out the way it did since we won't be given a sheet of discussion topics when we interact with actual Koreans. And I was pumped that I was able to hold my own. And hey, I did a lot better than at my intial placement exam when I informed the interviewer that I like to eat my parents on the weekends. :)
Monday, July 12, 2010
Hello! I'm Ryan! I'm glad to meet you soon.
I heard Anna teacher that you saw Brandon.
Sometimes, I miss you too much.
I will search for Gwank Poly on summer vacation because, I will study in Gwank Poly.
I want to meet you sooooo much.
I will go to Gwank Poly on 2010.7.15~2010.8.27
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Our friends Kerry and Yuni were telling us that they can't judge how old white people are. So of course, we had to use Mark as our guinea pig. They admitted that when they first met him, they thought he was in his late 30s or early 40s. Our other friend, Ellen, thought he was the same age as her uncle! Ouch.
I must admit, I love that I can tease him about it, after listening to him go on and on about how he married an "older woman." I may be three months older than him, but according to Korean standards, he looks like he's more than ten years older than me! Ha~!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
GOAL's scholarship pays 50% tuition, but the deadline isn't until August 13th, so at least that application can wait until midterms are finito.
Geesh, I'm really hoping that one of these will come through for me. That would help us out in a massive way. Especially since we found out Mark will probably have to do ANOTHER visa run to secure a student visa for the next semester. (Stupidest rule ever to have to leave to country to get a visa, if you ask me.) Although, if he goes to Guam again, I'm stowing away in his suitcase if I have to. :)
So please say some prayers, cross your fingers for us, sprinkle fairy dust, do whatever you need to do so one of these scholarships works out.
Oh, and if anyone's interested... the essay I'm submitting is below....
I’m a 29 year old Korean adoptee and at my wedding four years ago, besides marrying my husband, I met the man who gave me up for adoption over 20 years ago.
I suppose I should back up a bit. When I was two, my parents adopted me and I had a very happy life in the US. I knew very little about Korea or Korean culture, but never really felt like anything was missing. Then, in college, I received a mysterious letter written in Korean. It was from my Birth Father. He had been waiting years to be allowed to contact me and the minute he could, he sent a letter expressing the sorrow and guilt he felt for giving me up and wondering about my life now.
A few years later, on a whim, my Mom and I decided to send him an invitation to my wedding. And then we got a phone call informing us that he would be coming! Talk about some added stress to an already pressure-filled day! Fortunately, the reunion couldn’t have gone any better if it was scripted.
Our relationship continued through translators, until my husband and I decided to throw caution to the wind and move to Korea to really get to know the culture and my birth family. Our first year in Korea was pretty amazing. In addition to spending time with my Birth Father, I got to meet my 오빠 (who remained in Korea), and my Birth Mother.
However, being in Korea, it was like the door to understanding my country of birth was cracked open. Why wasn’t it fully ajar? As much as I could learn about the food, people, and holidays, as long as I didn’t know the language I would never truly understand Korea. Additionally, my Birth Father and Birth Mother cannot speak English, so before I began studying Korean, our relationship consisted of a lot of gestures, “밥을 먹어요?,” and silence. Standing there poking my nose in that slightly opened door to Korea has been incredibly frustrating to say the least.
So I decided I had to take the next step and learn Korean at Sogang University’s KLEC. I am in my first semester and working harder than I ever have in my life. But, seeing the look of elation in my family’s face when I can speak to them in Korean has made every second of studying worthwhile. In the few weeks I’ve spent studying Korean, I can already feel the door to Korea inching more and more open.
I hope to continue my studies until I can fluently communicate with my birth family. This will enable me to continue our relationship when I return back to the United States and to teach my future children so they can get to know their 할아버지, 한머니, and 외삼촌.
A scholarship from InKAS would be crucial in allowing me take time off work to study Korean. I look forward to the day I can confidently say that the door to Korea, its culture, the language, and my birth family is wide open to me.
Thank you for your consideration.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
- The blonde next to me is Rachel. Her husband is a civilian who works on the military base. They committed to a 2 year stay in Korea, so she figured while she was here, she might as well learn the language.
- Then on the other side of us in the white shirt is 신 성냉님, our speaking teacher. We spend the most time with her (2 hours!), so we probably know her the best of our teachers. She's so cute and bubbly, she's good at making those two hours fly.
- Next to our teacher, in the pink shirt, is Khalia. She's French and is just studying here for the summer.
- Next to Khalia in the white is Madoka, from Japan. I'm not sure how long Madoka plans to stay in Korea.
- Then next to Madoka is Daniel. He's from Chile and has a Korean girlfriend, so he could be here indefinitely. :)
- In the second row, are Hyae Young and Nina from Taiwan. They're both here for at least a couple semesters.
- The guy in the front is Due. He's a Chinese American from the US (Pennsylvania area). He's officially the youngest in our class... 19. He'll be heading back to the States to start his junior year in the fall.
- Last, but not least, in the front is the amazing Mitchiko. She's 63 years old, a grandmother to 6, and decided to learn Korean "for fun." (And kicking our butts in the process, seriously, she's probably one of the best in the class. Good thing she's so adorable. Haha.) Her husband stayed in Japan, while she came to Korea to live and study for the summer. Oh, and did I mention that she's an international marathon runner? I'm talking Canada, Hawaii, Australia, Istanbul, Korea, and Japan. 6 total and all in less than 5 hours. Impressive, right?
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
- the past tense,
- the future tense,
- how to say you can/can't do something,
- how to say you want to do something,
- how to give and understand directions,
- how to use adjectives,
- a whole new style of speaking (the polite formal style),
- how to indicate the method in which something was done, and
- how to ask someone to do/not to do something.