Getting Settled Back Home

July 2009: I just returned from a week in New York City. While there I tried to drown my liver, managed to deprive myself of sleep, and spent far too much time talking to the 19-year old daughter of a famous tennis player. Call me slow on the uptake, but I knew it was "too much time" when she told me she named one of her breasts "Chloe" and the other "Coco." Chloe was mostly on display most of the night. Coco is a bit more shy it would seem...

Other than all that, I feel fresh enough to now resume the my Korea narrative.

1988: I eventually settled in to the ol' college routine. I decided to pursue a degree in International Relations. In addition to the required political science classes and whatnot else, the program required 2 years of a foreign language (student's choice). Not surprisingly I jumped on the Korean.

I was well ahead of the other non-Korean students and it showed in the test results. In one Korean class we studied "sound changes" for a while. Before we started on the topic, the teacher gave an assessment-like test to gauge the students' understanding of sound changes. We were to read several pages of Korean text, circle any sound changes and write in the proper pronunciation (example: if the text read "밥을 먹는데", you would circle it and write "밥을 멍는데" because that is how it's pronounced). I got the highest score in the class (even better than the one Korean girl). Sound changes are hard for most non-Koreans it seems, but I had them down. I only missed 4 out of 100 on the assessment test. (I missed "그렇다." I should have circled it and written "그러타.") See?

We then spent a week learning all the sound changes and took the test again. I got 100%. The Korean girl got 98%. The next highest score was in the 70's.

The point is, I quickly bailed on International Relations and switched to Asian Studies and Korean.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

now i'm seeing the connection....don't stop now!! more, I say! which university? how many students?