Friday, August 7, 2009

Culture begins

Good morning! Sorry it has been so long since a last post. Honestly, I've been so busy that I've done nothing really worth blogging about. I wake up, go to class, go to a seminar, do homework then go to bed. I also squeeze in three interesting cafeteria meals along the way.

We are finished with Korean Language class, except for our final on Monday. Yikes! The final is four hours long. Yeah. Koreans are crazy good at being students. I've been studying during the week for that. Practice makes perfect. (김영미 씨! 한국어를 어려워요! 그리고 존젼에 더와요.) Sorry, that was just a little shout-out to Youngmee.

So, during a study break (of course) the today, I decided to check out iTunes for a list of the most popular American songs. My jaw almost dropped to the floor when I realized that I, who is usually on top of music, knew almost none of the top songs. I know this sounds silly, but it made me feel frantic; like I was missing out on my life or culture or something. And then I started to escalate matters by thinking about all the things I was going to miss. Everything from birthdays to movies to missing the stupid U.S. census suddenly made me really homesick. (But seriously, the census thing is really a fascinating phenomenon to us marketing majors. And it's a little frightening to think that you won't be counted as an American) But I guess it's normal to feel this way. And I guess I better figure out a way to deal with it real fast, because things are only going to get more Korean and less American.

But, luckily my silly sister was on Skype. And we talked for a while about simple things like driving and jump roping (more on that in a second). And the talk really grounded me and made me feel a lot better. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you get an incoming call from a 000-12345 number, it's me and it would absolutely make my day to hear your voice. :)

Anyways, on to bigger and happier things. Next Wednesday is The Fulbright Korea Talent Show! And I am planning it. (I made the logo to the right.) "정" is really hard to translate, but it kind of means "brotherly love;" It's like when you know someone really well to the point that you can sense how they feel without them using words)

So, as the planner, I saw that not a lot of people were signing up for acts. So, I decided to put my name down to make other people feel more at ease with joining. Well, it worked like a charm and the list filled up. So, I went to take my name off of the list when one of my co-planners stopped me and refused to let me renig. "But I have only one interesting talent and that's playing the clarinet, which I do not have."

Well, my co-planner is a smart kid and refused to be turned down. Thinking quickly I said (because I had JUST received a care package from home containing my jump rope), "The only psudeo-talent I have is my jump rope!" And bam. Just like that, I suddenly had a bunch of people insisting I do a jump rope skit. Oh god.

And now I have to jump rope in front of 100 people. Awesome. So, be on the lookout for a summary of how that goes down. Well, on that note, I better go practice jumping rope. :) Thanks for reading!


  1. Hey,girl. Remember this is a journey and writing down your low moments will fill you with sweetness someday when you go back and read this journal. After all, a journey is not a journey without a little struggle, which will make you a stronger and better person in the end. It is interesting how the good Lord gave you Kristin during your time of need. So, now, move forward and just go release some endomorphins and work on your jump rope routine! Thank you for being such a perfect ambassodor of our wonderful country! Sending lots of hugs and kisses. Love you loads! Uncle Jim, Aunt Betty & Goofy Guinness :).

  2. Hey Amy,

    Thanks for the shout-out. Sorry that I STILL don't have Korean on my laptop. One of these days... Anyways, "chonkyung" has 'ng' sound at the end. At least it did last time I said it which prabably was decades ago :-)

    However, I have to say that I do not deserve it. You know, we had English classes in school since the 7th grade (through high school). That's 6 years of classes, quizzes, tests, and exams. After that I was also an English (language and literature) major in college. Although they didn't teach speaking or writing much, by the time I came here after college, I knew more English grammar than most people in the states, I bet. It took a while to start speaking, but the foundation was all there. You are doing great with Korean, considering how different it is and you just started! I should send my shout-out (and chonkyung) to you!

    Well, I guess you could jump rope forward, backward, one one foot, double loop on one jump, etc. etc. We used to lots of tricks with jumprope. I am sure you can mesmerize the whole audience into a trance if you do it long enough :-)

    Nice logo. Yes, it's one of those words that get "lost in the translation". It's familiarity, sort of sticky feeling of attachement, comfort zone, tolerance, and yes brotherly and sisterly love all mixed together and ususally based on shared experience. Great choice. Again that shows how much you already understand the language, which is quite impressive. Have fun at the talent show.

  3. Hi Amy, you continue to entertain us with your postings, and as a general rule, these are what start my day, although I have been a little neglegent. I love the sound of the town you are going to and am extatic that is is in REALLY SOUTH Korea, and the you will be no where near the North border. I am going to talk to some of folk here that are from Korea and see what they know (hot spots for running vegetarian's) and will let you know.

    We all know you will have up and down days, and it sounds like you have had many more up than down, and we are all grateful for that. When you are down, just think of all the loving family reading and enjoying your blog, wishing that we could come visit. Please let us know when you have a permanent address, so we can start sending care packages, with all the goodies of home.

    We love you very much. Good luck with the talent show. Seems to me someone needs to video you so we can see you in action.

    Love you,
    Aunt Sandy and Uncle Jeff

  4. Well I just realized that I misread your Korean. Sorry about that. LOL... In all fairness (for myself), the Korean letters didn't show up too clearly on my monitor and I sort of made a quick guess. Now I understand what you said there. You were probably wondering what I was rambling about. Never mind :-) I don't remember if Choonchun is like Seoul? Seoul is situated sort of like a bowl and the hot air sits there in the summer. We always had shortage of energy (electricity) and air-conditioning was not common and very expensive to use. We used lots of manual and electric fans, but summers were always hot and sticky.

  5. I agree with Sandy. It was a huge relief to see just how far south you are in South Korea. We are also waiting for your new address :)

  6. Amy, it is wonderful to be able to share your time in Korea through your posts - thanks so much for doing this for those of us back home.

    All our love and best wishes,

    Tim, Laural, Peter, Mary

  7. I can't possibly say anything more supportive than the folks above. Wow. I am so thankful for everyone's support. And I'm sure I can't imagine what you are going through, Amy. But remember, everything is temporary and usually a good night sleep helps. Love you and miss you. Momma

  8. :D
    i feel honored. i made it into one of Amy's grand and very exciting "Living in South Korea" posts. yup, my day was pretty much made because of this. but i'm glad i made you feel better. not that i'm surprised though, i'm a pretty amazing person and what not... xD

    once you get your new address, let me know and i'll send you and couple packages with CD's and magazines and stuff to keep you up to date with American media and marketing. lah lah lah.

    wuv you sissy :)

  9. Wow. you are learning Korean fast..It's very impressive! 존대말 is the most difficult part in Korean. We took a lot of tests to get them right in school. So, don't feel bad about it.

    Nowadays, younger Koreans(I am a bit in older group now) break a lot of rules so even I cannot understand some new ways of talking or verb.. Something like sounds.. ending with "sam" which is not exactly, 존대 or 하대.. I hope you will not pick up the most recent new Korean language there..

    Good luck with your new journey to learn other language!