Skip to Content

Recent Blog Posts



All Recent Posts

Dissuasion

Printer-friendly version

Image

What happens when you’re sure of a life decision, but suddenly get beaten down with an onslaught of criticism against it? For me, I have always carried my resolve through these kinds of storms (mostly to a beneficial end), but this time I find myself in the unique and rare position of being completely lost. How has a decision that I have been sure of for the past three years crumbled in a few days?

The storm winds started picking up a few weeks ago, on a Saturday night. I was at a bar with some of my friends when I ran into a local University professor and expat who I had met on the subway back in November. Upon hearing that I was planning to leave Korea in a few months to go to law school, he suggested that I have a talk with his lawyer friend who was also with him. I saw this as a rare opportunity to communicate with someone in the field that I wanted to enter, so I gladly obliged.

What ensued was a 40 minute, one-sided lecture about how stupid I was being by deciding to go to law school. At first I sat down listening carefully to the middle-aged former attorney talk about America’s current economic downturn and the surplus of lawyers out in the workforce, but at some point the conversation went from friendly advice to a grave warning. Multiple times he shared his predictions of my future: a late 20-something year old with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, living at home, working in everything BUT law, unable to start a life properly. For a Saturday night at a bar, no amount of alcohol could drown out that sobering speech. I left the conversation physically weak, feeling like my future had just been torn apart.

Everyone faces big life decisions at some point or another, many times at this particular nexus between schooling and a career. For months before deciding to go to Korea, I read up about it thoroughly. I ran through online message boards, blog posts, and any recommendations I could glean. I took every piece of advice to heart…at first. It wasn’t long before I discovered a veritable mire of horror stories, one after the other, outlining “midnight runs” and bogus promises made by shady characters. Fraud, illegal working conditions and language barriers. People complained about being isolated and confused in a country that they did not know how to properly defend themselves in. With many teaching job offers written in shoddy English, it wasn’t a stretch to believe that it was all a scam.

It’s been a little over half a year since I’ve been in Korea, and I can say that it has been nothing like the horror stories I’ve read. I have a well-paying job that pays on time, a decent apartment, and a generally happy and fulfilling life here. But while I still believe that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, I remember how much the initial uncertainty left me feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing. I could have heeded the warnings and stopped the application process, but I eventually decided to “take the plunge” and find out on my own. And I’m still thanking my confident stubbornness for that.

Now, as I prepare to go to law school, I face the same problem. I have read so many negative things and heard firsthand from lawyers that I shouldn’t go. As a usually decisive person, I planned and prepared this next move for a few years. Before coming to Korea, I had a law internship under my belt, recommendations written, and plenty of work experience. I was convinced that law would be the right place for me, but now, holding the acceptance letters in my hands, I find myself at a loss.

Am I being a strong willed person, or just plain stupid?

I think about my other options and honestly, what else is left for 20 somethings in America other than more schooling? Though law schools nowadays are churning out lawyers, many of the recent grads entered law school because they didn’t know what to do after college. In comparison, I’ve known the particular branch of law I wanted to study for years, researching the field and cultivating a passion for it. As for the option of staying in Korea, even though it has offered me a wonderful life so far, I feel like a year here is the perfect amount of time. I want to start a career. I want to begin the next part of my adult life. I’m at the very edge of the next step, but there’s no telling if there’s a landmine underground.

When I received my first law school acceptance letter in the mail, I told my parents that I wanted my grandfather to be able to hold it in his hands. Now blind from the complications of prolonged diabetes, he had once dreamed of continuing his education in America many years ago. What held him back then was his mother, who didn’t want her son to leave her behind. After staying in Guyana, settling down and having six kids, he could no longer pursue his education. He worked his way to the top of his field as the head of customs for Guyana, but his stories are always tinged with regret. When I was growing up he encouraged me to be ambitious about my education, and my successes so far have been a testament to his belief in me. When my grandfather held my acceptance letter in his hands, he cried.

I’m in a place where my heart is heavy and my wallet is empty. Although my parents are supportive and proud of me, I know that I can’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to pay for law school. If I was not able to pay off college on my own through grants, financial aid, jobs and scholarships, I would not have been able to go. I even made sure I could graduate a semester early to save money on tuition. And now I certainly can’t ask my parents for any support, as they have their hands tied trying to help my younger sister pay through college. What was already a complicated decision between choosing a law school in either Chicago or New York has turned into an even more basic, but pivotal choice: should I even go to law school at all?

At what cost should I pursue my passion?

Can a price change the course of the rest of my life?

It will certainly take a while before I can emerge from this limbo of doubt. In the meantime I’ll try to cash in these won coins and see how much I can scrape together.



Dissuasion

Printer-friendly version

Image

What happens when you’re sure of a life decision, but suddenly get beaten down with an onslaught of criticism against it? For me, I have always carried my resolve through these kinds of storms (mostly to a beneficial end), but this time I find myself in the unique and rare position of being completely lost. How has a decision that I have been sure of for the past three years crumbled in a few days?

The storm winds started picking up a few weeks ago, on a Saturday night. I was at a bar with some of my friends when I ran into a local University professor and expat who I had met on the subway back in November. Upon hearing that I was planning to leave Korea in a few months to go to law school, he suggested that I have a talk with his lawyer friend who was also with him. I saw this as a rare opportunity to communicate with someone in the field that I wanted to enter, so I gladly obliged.

What ensued was a 40 minute, one-sided lecture about how stupid I was being by deciding to go to law school. At first I sat down listening carefully to the middle-aged former attorney talk about America’s current economic downturn and the surplus of lawyers out in the workforce, but at some point the conversation went from friendly advice to a grave warning. Multiple times he shared his predictions of my future: a late 20-something year old with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, living at home, working in everything BUT law, unable to start a life properly. For a Saturday night at a bar, no amount of alcohol could drown out that sobering speech. I left the conversation physically weak, feeling like my future had just been torn apart.

Everyone faces big life decisions at some point or another, many times at this particular nexus between schooling and a career. For months before deciding to go to Korea, I read up about it thoroughly. I ran through online message boards, blog posts, and any recommendations I could glean. I took every piece of advice to heart…at first. It wasn’t long before I discovered a veritable mire of horror stories, one after the other, outlining “midnight runs” and bogus promises made by shady characters. Fraud, illegal working conditions and language barriers. People complained about being isolated and confused in a country that they did not know how to properly defend themselves in. With many teaching job offers written in shoddy English, it wasn’t a stretch to believe that it was all a scam.

It’s been a little over half a year since I’ve been in Korea, and I can say that it has been nothing like the horror stories I’ve read. I have a well-paying job that pays on time, a decent apartment, and a generally happy and fulfilling life here. But while I still believe that it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, I remember how much the initial uncertainty left me feeling like I didn’t know what I was doing. I could have heeded the warnings and stopped the application process, but I eventually decided to “take the plunge” and find out on my own. And I’m still thanking my confident stubbornness for that.

Now, as I prepare to go to law school, I face the same problem. I have read so many negative things and heard firsthand from lawyers that I shouldn’t go. As a usually decisive person, I planned and prepared this next move for a few years. Before coming to Korea, I had a law internship under my belt, recommendations written, and plenty of work experience. I was convinced that law would be the right place for me, but now, holding the acceptance letters in my hands, I find myself at a loss.

Am I being a strong willed person, or just plain stupid?

I think about my other options and honestly, what else is left for 20 somethings in America other than more schooling? Though law schools nowadays are churning out lawyers, many of the recent grads entered law school because they didn’t know what to do after college. In comparison, I’ve known the particular branch of law I wanted to study for years, researching the field and cultivating a passion for it. As for the option of staying in Korea, even though it has offered me a wonderful life so far, I feel like a year here is the perfect amount of time. I want to start a career. I want to begin the next part of my adult life. I’m at the very edge of the next step, but there’s no telling if there’s a landmine buried underground.

When I received my first law school acceptance letter in the mail, I told my parents that I wanted my grandfather to be able to hold it in his hands. Blind from the complications of prolonged diabetes, he had once dreamed of continuing his education in America many years ago. What held him back then was his mother, who didn’t want her son to leave her behind. After deciding to stay in Guyana, settle down and have six kids, he could no longer pursue his education. He worked his way to the top of his field as the head of customs for Guyana, but his stories are always tinged with regret. When I was growing up he constantly encouraged me to be ambitious about my education, and my successes so far have been a testament to his belief in me. When my grandfather held my acceptance letter in his hands, he cried.

I’m in a place where my heart is heavy and my wallet is empty. Although my parents are supportive and proud of me, I know that I can’t afford hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans to pay for law school. If I was not able to pay off college on my own through grants, financial aid, jobs and scholarships, I would not have been able to go. I even made sure I could graduate a semester early to save money on tuition. And now I certainly can’t ask my parents for any support, as they have their hands tied trying to help my younger sister pay through college. What was already a complicated decision between choosing a law school in either Chicago or New York has turned into an even more basic, but pivotal choice: should I even go to law school at all?

At what cost should I pursue my passion?

Can a price change the course of the rest of my life?

It will certainly take a while before I can emerge from this limbo of doubt. In the meantime I’ll try to cash in these won coins and see how much I can scrape together.



Im Gwangtaek – Scolding the Cat

Printer-friendly version

Kim Deukshin Pajeokdo

Im Gwangtaek (林光澤, 임광택, 1719?-1799?) was a Chosun Dynasty poet and petty official. He was of the Boseong Im Clan (寶城林氏, 보성임씨); his courtesy name (字, 자) was Shijae (施哉, 시재); and his pen name (號, 호) was Ssangbaekdang (雙栢堂, 쌍백당). Not much of his known about his life. He served in a petty government position called Seori (胥理, 서리) in an office at the capital primarily run by the skilled Chung’in class (中人, 중인) named the Gyeong’ajeon (京衙前, 경아전). Also, although he wrote about the same themes as those of his status, it seems that Im Gwangtaek was not active in any of the non-aristocratic poet circles (閭巷詩社, 여항시사). After his death, his grandson-in-law, Kim Jinhang (金鎭恒, 김진항, ?-?), compiled Im Gwangtaek’s poetry and published it in 1817. In the poem below, he complains about his cat — showing that perhaps cats have not changed much in their insolence since the 18th century. (The painting above is Pajeokdo (破寂圖, 파적도) by Kim Deukshin (金得臣, 김득신, 1754-1822)).

責猫 책묘

Scolding the Cat

不捉穴中鼠 불착혈중서
常偸盤上肉 상투반상육
無肉餒我腹 무육뇌아복
有鼠竊我粟 유서절아속

You do not capture in its rathole the rat;
You always steal the meat off my table.
Not having meat makes my stomach hungry;
Having rats make my grains be stolen.

Not • to capture • hole • inside • rat
Always • to steal • table • above • meat
To not have • meat • to starve • my • stomach
To have • rats • to steal • my • grains

養汝要捉賊 양여요착적
奈汝自作賊 내여자작적
快意一痛打 쾌의일통타
遠逐大路側 원축대로측

I raised you because I need you to capture these thieves,
But why do you yourself become a thief?
With a delighted disposition, I strike you hard once,
Chasing you far away to the side of a large road!

To raise • you • to need • to capture • thieves
How • you • by oneself • to become • thief
Delightful • intent • once • hard • to strike
Afar • to chase • large • road • side

佪偟終不去 회황종불거
暗入床下伏 암입상하복
狡黠良可惡 교힐양가오
題詩寄深責 제시기심책

Roaming and wandering, in the end you do not leave,
Furtively entering beneath my wooden floor to lie down.
Your craftiness and slyness truly can be despised.
Writing this poem, I send you a severe scolding.

To turn • to ramble • in the end • not • to leave
Secretly • to enter • wood floor • below • to lie down
To be crafty • to be tricky • surely • to be able • to hate
To write • poem • to send • to be profound • to scold



kuiwon.wordpress.com

 

Copyright Notice

 


Hungover with 2NE1

Printer-friendly version
Hello everyone!

I'm finally back, apparently I had a 24 hour hungover, weird thing is, I didn't drink ANY alcohol over the weekend, it might have been because on sunday we partied too hard and went to bed after 5am and at my age that's dangerous lol.

On sunday, we went to 2NE1's afterparty, Sally and I went earlier since Diana was at the real 2NE1 concert that night, we invited Oppa to come along and somehow more people tagged along with us, some cool, some not and another guy who seemed to be nice but wouldnt say a word or dance...lol

When we got in, there was a DJ playing, I was expecting bad music, cigarette smoke and dry ice like the last time we went to The A, to my surprise, this DJ was better and being with a group of crazy girls -ok, it was just Sally.... lol- made it even more fun, we danced and singed, the rest of the people was too worried waiting for 2NE1 to actually do anything...

Around 1am, Choice37 came up and the YG family was there, Choice37 set was better than I thought, he of course included 2NE1 songs, G-dragon, GD&TOP, mastawu, A$$AP Rocky, etc, by then, the audience was going nuts and everyone was pushing, people were on the floor and we ended up getting out of there and going to the back to enjoy the party, we were dancinc and singing even louder -lol- and then this pettite guy came and joined us, he was doing the coolest dances... I want to be friends with more people like him hahahaha, DUDE, if you are reading me,,,, call me! hehe

Oppa spent the whole night texting, I don't even think he notices when the crowd dragged him to the middle of the floor, he was too inmerced on his texting, when he finally came to the back, he went out and we didn't see him until like an hour later when I asked him where he was, he just casually said "behind you guys...." meaning, he was watching when we were going crazy LOL, well, he better know the real us now.

Around 2:30 we decided to call it a night, we were leaving the club and I saw Jay Park^^, too bad I didn't get a pic with him, I'm a fan :), Oppa drove us and since we hadn't had dinner, he took us to Tteokpokki Town and then he took us home, I went to bed after 5am and woke up at noon to ask my boss what time I had to meet her...I finally got up at 2, ate with my sister, took a shower and went out, I felt sleepy and had a headache the whole day...but I'm ready to hit the Hip Hop club next time!!

Oppa, sorry if we were being annoying when we were singing in your car~~ hehe

Half of my tuesday is gone and tomorrow I have to pack for Osaka...since we are on a tight budget, I'm guessing we'll do lots of editing for our next vlog while being there....Yesterday I got great news but that's not for me to tell right now, just be happy for me^^

Ah..and if you are wondering about 2NE1 at their party, well, they came out and sang 4 songs, GD, Taeyang and Jay Park were there and were invited to the stage, CL came up with Choice37 for his DJ set, Minzy and Lidia Paek came to the stage to do some dancing as well as the YG dancers and the musicians.

So, Sally, Christina (sp?) and Diana... thank you for such a great night, it was THA BOMB!, hope we can do it again soon~

-Gisea V,

The Julie/Julia/Gisela Project
Food & Culture
TheJulieJuliaGiselaProject.blogspot.com

 
 
The Julie Julia Gisela Project

 

 


Video Every Day in February: Success!

Printer-friendly version

We did it!

We decided back in January that, during the month of February, we would try to upload a video to Youtube every day! Well, February is over now, and we did it! We managed to upload 28 videos in 28 days. Many of those videos were a new series we’ve started called KLVOGS – Korea VLOGS! These videos are supposed to just be casual snapshots of our lives here in South Korea. We really enjoy making them, and the response to them has been fantastic! Thanks! We also uploaded a few one-off videos, like Korean Money, Western Chains in Korea, and a few new Say What?! and Stories From Korea episodes.

We’re not done yet!

We really enjoyed putting up all these videos, and we loved the great responses we got from everyone! So we’re gonna try to keep it up! We might miss a day here and there, but we’re definitely going to keep doing the KVLOG videos along with the rest of our stuff. We’ve also got some really interesting video ideas ready to be recorded! Thank you so much for all of you support, likes, comments, and everything else!

What do you want to see?

Is there something about life in Korea, travel, or anything else that you’d like to hear about? Let us know! You can always leave comments here, or on our Youtube channel! We love getting comments and we love being helpful.

The post Video Every Day in February: Success! appeared first on Evan and Rachel.


 

 


R.I.P Michael Simning

Printer-friendly version

Okay, let’s see if I can do this without getting emotional.

While I know many of you may be expecting another silly comic today, I’m sorry to say that recent events in the city of Gwangju have left me feeling too emotionally and physically hollow to draw something worth giggling at. Instead, here’s some art I’ve done in the past few days.

A few days ago, a dear friend of mine passed away after years of being one of the strongest yet funniest men I had ever met. When I first arrived in this wonderful city I now call home, he was one of the first people to help my still culture shocked self feel at ease. I believe he had this effect on a lot of people who have passed through here. Our love for fatty foods, as well as his constant approval of my drawings of curvy women, brought us closer together, and I have considered him a great friend ever since.

Thanks to him, I have grown as both an artist and a person during my time in Korea. When I first started this comic, he was always eager to give me ideas while using any excuse he could to post my content on the city’s blog (which he ran). He was always there to congratulate me on even the smallest of achievements while having his share of colorful things to say whenever I was met with negativity. In recent years, he had enough confidence in me to let me take over the very blog he felt the need to advertise my work. Seeing how the blog in question started off as his project to make Gwangju a better place, it’s been an honor to have it trusted in my hands.

Honestly, I could go on for days about what he meant to me. My terrible addiction to poutine was triggered by him forcing me to try some. His likeness was featured in one of the earliest Dear Korea comics ever made. Due to his meddling, my artwork and designs can now be seen all over his restaurant, which serves some of the best food I’ve ever had. Sadly, despite him trying to convince me otherwise, I still think black licorice is absolutely disgusting. It’s a shame I never got to cook him a hot bowl of shrimp and grits.

Michael Simning was a hell of a guy, and the world is now a darker place without him. Beind told by his amazing wife just how proud he was of me was one of the most beautiful, heart wrenching things I had ever heard. Growing up the way I did, I was never the one to make those around me proud. To know that someone I looked up to so much saw me in such a way is something I’ll treasure forever.

Rest in peace, Mike. We all miss you. Thank you for everything you’ve done. Here’s hoping I can someday become half the bad ass you always were. You may be gone, but your legacy will continue to be an inspiration to everyone who had the pleasure of knowing you and beyond.

To learn more, feel free to check out this link. A simple internet search should also yield a number of results.

Welp, it looks like I failed at my own challenge.


Jen Lee's Dear Korea

This is Jen Lee. She likes to draw.
She also likes green tea.

Got any questions, comments, or maybe even some delicious cookies you want to send through the internet? Feel free to contact us at dearkoreacomic at gmail dot com.

You can also leave comments on the comic’s Facebook Page!

 


Repost: Special Music Episode 03

Printer-friendly version

Download here



Syndicate content

Koreabridge
Facebook Group


Features @koreabridge
Blogs   @koreablogs
Job Ads  @koreabridgejobs
Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge Google+ Community