The Brother I Always Wanted

I’ve always wanted a brother. My sister is tougher than 99.9% of men I know, but still I have this idealized image of what it would be like to have a protective older brother. Plus, I thought there would be the added benefit of having his friends around the house. Now I finally have a brother and it’s certainly not what I expected — a Korean fourth grader named Mingue (민교). Mingue’s an interesting fellow so I’m going to devote this post to our relationship. … Continue ReadingThe Brother I Always Wanted

Featured Blog: Wireless Peninsula

Wireless Peninsula grew out of our mission as Fulbright Researchers to cultivate greater understanding between the U.S. and South Korea. The blog was originally meant as a medium for current researchers to share their discoveries with one another. However, the more we talked about our commitment to sharing knowledge about Korea …. … Continue ReadingFeatured Blog: Wireless Peninsula

Blogroll: Athletic Training

Day two, and I’m staring down the barrel of an IQ test with a slight fear that my hard-earned 4.0 college GPA will be put to shame.

During my winter break from my teaching position, I took on a month-long internship with a Korean professor who previously pursued a Fulbright grant in the States. I worked with a venture company that develops cognitive development programs for children from low income families. My work began with the same diagnostic test used for the children.

(Accompanying photograph taken by Neal Singleton ETA’12-13.) … Continue ReadingBlogroll: Athletic Training

Blogroll: Kimbap Recipe

Here it is, friends! I am posting a recipe for kimbap, or a traditional Korean-style sushi roll. Kimbap consists of various vegetables and meat wrapped in a layer of rice (or bap) and seaweed. It is very easy to make, and many variations are possible. This is great as a snack to share amongst friends or for a light lunch. It is incredibly easy to take on the go as well! … Continue ReadingBlogroll: Kimbap Recipe

Blogroll: Happy Chuseok!

Chuseok (추석) is the most important national holiday of Korea. It’s billed to Americans as “Korean Thanksgiving”, which is supported by both holidays’ occurrence in autumn and the focus on food and family. But from what I’ve seen, there are more differences than similarities. Perhaps the most conspicuous difference is that the “family” focus of Chuseok is actually on deceased family. … Continue ReadingBlogroll: Happy Chuseok!

Blogroll: The Limits of Language

A major component of adjusting to my new life in Hwacheon and South Korea more generally is learning how to communicate with my limited Korean. The intensive Korean classes I took at Jungwon during Orientation were equivalent to three semesters of college Korean classes and were taught by the best language professors in South Korea. Yet, Korean is a very difficult language for native English speakers so my Korean is still very limited and really mainly allows me to do everyday tasks and make some small talk. Since Korea is going to be my home for a year and the parents I am living with speak limited English I have had to devise new ways to communicate and form stronger bonds with the people around me. … Continue ReadingBlogroll: The Limits of Language

Blogroll: Wired Nation

Korea is without a doubt the most wired place I have ever been. Living in this land of the LED, I, consequently, have become the most wired I have ever been. My eyes actually hurt from how much I have been staring at a screen all day so I want to keep this brief. … Continue ReadingBlogroll: Wired Nation

Blogroll: 다시 한번 One More Time

Today is August 23rd, 2012, and it’s the first day of my second year as the English Native Speaker/Teacher at Sapgyo High School. It’s a mix of old and new. I’m currently typing on my old computer at a new desk in a new office. It’s a new school year but it’s a school I’ve called home for a year already. My students are the same, their smiles and swagger the same, but it still feels like I don’t quite know them. … Continue ReadingBlogroll: 다시 한번 One More Time

Blogroll: Loving and Letting Go

If I haven’t made this clear recently, let me do so now: I LOVE my life. I love it exactly as it is right now. I have an incredible job with students who bring laughter to my heart and provoke new avenues of research/interest in my mind. No matter the weather, the attitudes (mine or others’), or the relative (un)eventfulness, a day that I teach is never truly dull. I work with wonderful people who treat me like a colleague despite the fact that most of them are old enough to be my parent, and I am treated both at school and in society in general with a level of respect that, sadly, few American educators can aspire to despite any true differentiation between myself and them. … Continue ReadingBlogroll: Loving and Letting Go

Blogroll: The Beginning of the End

Two weeks from today I will be on a plane on my way back to the States. I must admit, there were times during this year when I thought that day couldn’t come fast enough. There were times when I was homesick, and lonely, and struggling to understand this totally upside-down culture. And all I wanted was to go back to my momma’s house, curl under the covers, and be a kid again. Growing up is hard. Living abroad is hard. … Continue ReadingBlogroll: The Beginning of the End

Blogroll: (Danielle Teacher’s) Korean Students Speak

From a young age, Korean students are trained to memorize mountains of information with the hope of attending a prestigious university one day. In this strict, regimented education system, there is little room for creative thought or personal expression. Last fall, some of my peers sought to address this very issue by creating an online project called “Korean Students Speak”. The premise of this project is simple. With a marker and blank piece of paper, students can creatively voice their opinion to the world. … Continue ReadingBlogroll: (Danielle Teacher’s) Korean Students Speak

Blogroll: Finale, A Letter to Gochang Buk High School

Dear Gochang Buk High School — Yesterday was a celebration of sorts. I met most of the Fulbright teachers from all over the country for a last hurrah. Everybody was excited to see all our friends and share in a wonderful meal together. We celebrated our year and promised to stay in touch. After this official luncheon, we took to the night to fill our souls with more good company. As my friends toasted and celebrated around me, I couldn’t bring myself to happiness as something very powerful lingered and tugged at my heart. Your shadow is powerful indeed… … Continue ReadingBlogroll: Finale, A Letter to Gochang Buk High School

Blogroll: The Bus Stop

When people back home ask “what’s up?” or “how was your day?” the bus stop never comes to mind. Maybe it’s because I take the bus every day, and it’s become commonplace for me. Yet this part of my day is worth mentioning, and definitely worth remembering, as I often fail to do. In the tiny town of Galsan, some days I am a spectacle. People smile or gawk, and other days they pass right on by. I am on my best behavior at the bus stop. … Continue ReadingBlogroll: The Bus Stop

Blogroll: There is the Clown

Several months ago, I entered my school’s cafeteria to the usual progression of gasps, hush, and shouts of “LUKE TEACHER!” “VERY TALL!” the Korean word for foreigner, and other phrases I can’t understand.

On that day, as I waved back subtly as possible, I noticed my co-teacher was attempting to conceal her laughter with her hand, making brief eye contact with me, only to look away, and briefly back, and away again. … Continue ReadingBlogroll: There is the Clown