future

Wait for Me Until I Become You

Recently I’ve been giving my students mini essay assignments each week on various topics to improve their persuasive and creative writing. Below is the work of one of my strongest students. I asked him to write a letter to his future self in the year 2020. Check it out! It’s pretty great!

future

Dear myself in the future,

Hello, myself. I’m yourself. Precisely, I’m yourself in the past. I heard you’re 23 years old. Though you are older than me, I will not treat you politely. I have many questions. Most of all, what is your college? Seoul University? Really? You did a good job. And, did you go the army? Where? Katusa? Oh, I think you’re very good at English.


20 Positive Vibes

It’s not a time to be taking things for granted.

My youngest brother of four is in town for two weeks and antics are at large. Plenty of trips to traditional Korean spots such as E Mart and Starbucks have so far resulted.

+1 grows from strength to strength. She’s climbing, jumping, running, spinning, and aside from the constant exhaustion, she is nothing but a joy to watch and serioiusly addictive happy drug.


Guest Post: Davy’s Day Cometh

 

Everybody needs a hero, whatever walk of life they’re in. Sporting ones seem to hold an especial one in people’s lives. I’ve been very fortunate to have befriended many of my heroes over the years. People like Noel Meade, Trevor Brennan, Colm O’Rourke and Graham Geraghty. Heroes are particularly important in a sporting context – they inspire the next generation.


Letter from Korea, October 2013

Suwon, Korea
Ocotober, 2013

Dear Ireland,

It has been well over a month since myself, Herself, and +1 have been back in Korea, and what I expected would be my September letter got left by the wayside and is only being seen to now in October. You know you’ll get the usual excuses for not doing anything which isn’t vital to one’s survival, such as being busy with things which are vital to one’s own survival.

After two and a bit months in Ireland, returning to Korea for life, work, and more life, was less the shock we had thought it might be. A smaller home, no garden, no dog, less rain, and that view from all the way up at the top of our tower just seemed to be what was right at the time. There seems to be less culture shock the more we travel between Ireland and Korea.


K-Pop and the Future of Korea

Many Westerners who come to Korea to live or to visit quickly write off K-pop, Korea's mainstream music genre, as a cheesy, sugar-coated excuse for entertainment. They see outlandish costumes, boys in heavy eyeliner, and flamboyant choreographed dance moves.  They become annoyed with strange Engrish lyrics and seemingly identical tunes that blare from just about every storefront of the country.  But, what they don't realize is that K-pop is much bigger than skinny jeans and plastic faces.  In fact, K-pop is transforming Korea as the world knows it.

Nostalgia for a Despot: an Armchair Perspective of Korea’s Present

The big talking point in the land of the morning calm is undoubtedly the election of the conservative party candidate Park Geun Hye to the presidency. Park’s father is man by the name of Park Chung Hee, whose name is both revered and reviled in Korea. Park Geun Hye is a woman, but more in the vein of Margaret Thatcher, where it could be argued gender is incidental.

Park’s election has sparked plenty of talk due to her relationship with her father who ruled this nation with a very controversial iron fist for the best part of two decades in the 1960s and 1970s. While I didn’t follow the election race in too much depth, I know that Park’s victory ticked all the boxes in terms of surprise, disappointment, doom, and any other negative or positive political emotion you can think up.


Japlanning: or How I Can Sleep in a Space Odyssey

If you haven't noticed, I am super excited for my upcoming trip to Japan.  I've been doing a lot of reading and research, and yet I still feel nowhere near prepared.  Oh well, ready or not- here I come. 

I was talking to my friend Sam yesterday about how if you would've asked me when I was younger (before Korea had even got an invitation to the party), never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I would go to Japan.  Maybe that's why I wasn't too horribly upset when I didn't make it there my first year- it seemed like a place too far away to be reachable.

Letter from Korea, June 2012.

Suwon
South Korea
June 28, 2012

 

Dear Ireland,

Are ye well? I have been doing my best to find the time to write this month’s letter before the month is out for a very good reason. As much as I would like to write about Ireland’s disastrous showing in Euro 2012 and my efforts to watch each game at 4am, there are more important things to note in this month’s letter. The whole of my world as an Irishman in Korea has suddenly changed from its original Hemingway-in-Paris aspirations to an all too realistic situation.


What Motivates You To Write?

It’s probably a little cliché to write about what makes me want to be a writer. If you ever happen upon any websites that promote writing and offer advice on becoming a writer, you’ll probably not struggle to find a page of quotations about why such-and-such a writer writes, as well as a long list of links or articles about why people write, and all of them essentially say the same thing. They write because writing is just something they have to do. I would share the same sentiments.


Recognising Value in Korea

There’s a lot to be said for value. Much of what we value, or how we place value on something, depends on our recognition of the use and importance of the particular subject in question. Like a four day work week, which may have more value to a person who regularly works a five or six day week than to a person who only works three days a week. It’s all about how much worth we put in particular things.

Today is May 5. Up until around seven years ago this day meant nothing to me. There’s no reason to really celebrate May 5th in Ireland, other than when it is the first Monday of the month of May. In Korea, today is Children’s Day. In Mexico and the U.S. , today is Cinco de Mayo which is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and pride.


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