From the Editor

Melissa Kukowski, “Goldfish Market,” Hong Kong
Dear Readers,

Six months have passed since the latest group of grantees arrived in Korea. Regardless of if it was our first time in Korea or if Korea was like a second home, we knew there would be challenges; we would need to learn a lot. We could not have predicted, however, just how much we would learn about our own identity and that of those in this country. Situated in a foreign environment, we are challenged to view ourselves through a new lens. How fitting it is then that this issue of Infusion is filled with works that reflect our changing perspectives and what we may learn from them.

Pel Doski begins our issue with a poem aptly titled “Erudite,” embracing the new knowledge we may gain through this issue and our own time in Korea. We then learn how a new tradition can positively influence our understanding of grief through Carlee Wright’s “Unseen Spirits.” Isabel Moua teaches us about acceptance in an unexpected situation, as her host brother proves to us the universality of love and wonder. We continue with wonderment in a different sense as Jess McKay takes us into the mind of a school bus as it shares the pride it has for its job. Nathan Sieminski follows with a piece about overcoming the forced silence imposed by language barriers in order to create new connections. Next, Kyle Wardwell writes of a bizarre 경험 (kyeongheom)—an experience of thought and intrigue that sparks mid-transit. Finally, Mailé Nguyễn writes a powerful piece on bravery and embracing who we are. We end the issue with an Open Window feature where Korean students share views of their world through art, poetry, and prose.

Before I end, some thanks are in order. Thank you to the KAEC Executive Director Jai Ok Shim and Executive Assistant Heidi Little for their endless support and help. This issue would also not have been possible without the 22 amazing individuals that comprise the Infusion staff. Their constant efforts have created an issue of which to be immensely proud. I must also thank our contributors—thank you for sharing your story with us and letting us learn from you. Lastly, I thank you. Whoever you may be, I hope this issue offers you a new outlook as it has for the staff and our authors.

Please enjoy Infusion, Volume 12, Issue 1.

Lauren Lin
Editor in Chief