Life · Life in Korea

“So you WEREN’T interested in Korean Culture?”

The conversation usually starts with them asking me why I wanted to come to Korea or how I got started learning Korean. Unlike most people who study Korean, I wasn’t drawn in by Korean pop culture. I was interested in exploring a new country, and the best option happened to be Korea.   So far,… Continue reading “So you WEREN’T interested in Korean Culture?”

Life in Korea · Travels

GUNSAN 군산: An Ambivalent Home to Many “Vestiges of Imperialism”

"Vestiges of Imperialism" (일제 강점기의 잔재) is a very charged term here. It has been grounds for a variety of controversial actions, from the 2014 banning of a song with the Japanese word for "shiny" in it to the demolition in 1995 of the former Japanese General Government Building (조선총독부 청사), at the time home… Continue reading GUNSAN 군산: An Ambivalent Home to Many “Vestiges of Imperialism”

How I Learn Languages · Life in Korea

Stellar Teaching: The Art of Breaking Down a Language

In my previous post, I quoted a language-learner who said that fluency in “a language cannot be taught; it can only be learnt.” That said, there are many other aspects of language that CAN be taught, and this semester, I was fortunate to have one of the most amazing teachers ever: Koh-seonsengnim (lit. "Koh-teacher," hereafter “Koh-ssn”),… Continue reading Stellar Teaching: The Art of Breaking Down a Language

Life · Life in Korea

How Korea made me American and Korean-American (?)

Surprising Development #1: Frances identifies more strongly as 'MURICAN. I have spent extended periods of time in Japan and Taiwan without feeling this way. But when I stepped on a plane back to the U.S. after three months in Korea, I felt extremely relieved to see FELLOW AMERICANS. It made me feel a little bit better when one… Continue reading How Korea made me American and Korean-American (?)

How I Learn Languages · Life · Life in Korea

Yes, it’s OK to Be a Foreigner (Read: “Look Stupid”)

Although this is not the first foreign country I’ve been to, this is the first time that I felt… truly foreign. I do feel that I’m slowly starting to blend in, by which I do NOT mean that I’m dressing k-pop style, dumping BB cream on my face, and dying my hair in trendy colors. Some… Continue reading Yes, it’s OK to Be a Foreigner (Read: “Look Stupid”)

Life · Life in Korea

3 Things I Learned as a Convenience Store Clerk in Korea

Coming from central New Jersey, where I lived next to a soy bean field, I was fascinated when I first saw 7-Eleven's on every street corner in Taipei. When I lived in Tokyo this past summer, I relied on the Lawson's below my apartment for everything from miniature tiramisus to photocopying. The set-up of convenience stores… Continue reading 3 Things I Learned as a Convenience Store Clerk in Korea