By Rachel Youngeun Rostad, ETA ’17-’18, Editor-in-Chief of Infusion ’17-’18
To the Fulbright community—The first half of the year has passed. Regardless of our grant type or amount of time spent in Korea, I’m sure we’ve all been adjusting to something new this latest grant year laid at our doorstep. For those of us who’ve come to Korea for the first time, pretty much everything is new. Our job, our living situation, the language we use on a daily basis. For those of us returning, we’re taking on new roles, new placements, new proficiency in Korean—becoming more comfortable than we dreamed we’d be at this time last year, as well as discovering new uncertainties.
Most of all, we have new relationships. Even our oldest relationships have become new, stretched as they are across thousands of miles. Infusion Volume 11.1 is about those relationships.
In Caleb Y. Lee’s “Homecoming” and Mara Guevarra’s “Nuance,” the authors explore what Koreanness means through the lens of their relationships with their families. Robyn Kincaide lets us peek into her classroom in “A Knock On The Door” and see the silly and touching moments we share with students. Lisa Chang and Rachel E. Brooks show us the difficulty and rewards of making relationships across linguistic and cultural barriers in “A Different Kind of Conversation” and “Peanut Butter,” respectively. Rachel K. Fauth contemplates two people’s different ideas about beauty in “Picking Flowers,” and closes the issue with “Returning,” a bittersweet meditation on transit, the places and people we go to and leave.
To those of you reading who are friends, parents, siblings, prospective grantees—I trust these words and images will illuminate a little of what it means to be a Fulbright grantee in Korea. To alumni, I hope it brings back fond memories of your time here.
Lastly, to my fellow current grantees:
By the time you read this, winter will have passed, and we’ll all be on to a set of new challenges and changing relationships. I hope these pieces, like they have for me, remind you that you’re going into all this newness with a community of brave, brilliant, thoughtful Fulbrighters at your side.