Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! and I got my hair chopped off! Why o why?

As the holidays creep up like a gust of wind that catches me by surprise, I begin to reflect on the events of this past year! Many great things happened and some even more challenging events occurred that I never imagined. One of the highlights of my year was returning to Korea after three years to meet other Korean adoptees and reconnect with some of my best friends! How awesome is that?

BUT NOW it's the holiday Christmas season and I love it. Christmas can be very depressing to some, but I choose to be happy and think of happy things. It's a great time of year...from the meaning of Christmas itself to the decorations, the holiday cheer, and all the good people!I look back to my time in Korea and think about the many cultural differences. Christmas in Korea is definitely a couples holiday and then a religious holiday if you're religious.  It was quite the experience for me.  Though I was single while living in Korea and see myself being single for now, I can respect the differences and enjoy looking back at the memories of cute couples walking down the streets while I had dinner with a friend.

There are parts of the holiday season that I'm not a big fan of. I don't like big spending nor do I like the greedy consumer aspect of Christmas, but I do love giving whether it be in something small and crafted or my time and service.

This year I chose to give up my hair! I decided I would do it about three months ago and I only told a couple of people that I would do it. Not that they would remember, but I know that if I tell people I can't go back on my word. I was having second and third thoughts upon entering the salon. However, there were so many reasons I knew I had to do it!  I donated it to Locks of Love, an organization that makes hair pieces for children with cancer.

It's funny how after chopping off my hair I got varied views and opinions. It's always pleasant and fun to learn about new cultures, but also to gain different perspectives from the different people in regards to preferences, tastes and fashion. I walked out not 100% liking the cut I received because it was  not what I had asked of them, though it still looked like a good cut. I remember getting a similar cut my first week of living in Korea and deleting all of those pictures. I spent a couple of hours searching for pictures that I did like. My American/western friend acquaintances like it and think it looks okay, whereas my honest blunt Korean friends say go back and get it fixed. Hahahahaha friends. I love you all so much! I do plan to wait a few months and go back for one of the styles that better match my face and body.

As 2013 comes to a close, Christmas finds its way and the new year quickly approaches, here are some of the very personal reasons that I gave up my hair and other thoughts I had while actually getting myself out of bed to do it (yes, I was in bed sick all week and recovering from a quick visit to the hospital)::

  • I wanted to give back and give something close to me to help others. Heck, my hair is a part of me and attached to me! 
  • I also have a rare condition. I've never met people face-to-face in person with this condition. I know that it's not easy to endure so much physical and emotional suffering and sometimes the feelings of loneliness. Yet, there is so much hope and happiness in this life that I want to spread that joy to others. 
  • I complain that the haircut isn't exactly what I wanted, but I am reminded how blessed I am to have hair. I can only be thankful that I still have my head full of hair!
  • I can be happy thinking about a child receiving this gift. I hope that a child will be happy and blessed with a head of new hair. Boy did I have a lot! My hair could fill several heads. There's so much and it's sooooo thick! 
  • I want to stop hiding. I like my hair being long and playing with it when I'm bored and I often use it as a way to cover up my body and "hide" from other things. I am ready to let it go. 
  • I am looking forward to a new start and a new do might help push that change!
  • My looks don't define who I am on the inside. Okay, so for Korean standards and many other cultures, looks are EVERYTHING.  Hey, I live in a America and while I try to look as neat and clean and live up to society's expectation only in as much as I need to get the job done and be respectful, I know that my identity is more than just what I look like.  I did have a good conversation with a woman that reminded me that looking good is okay and that it's our right to feel good. Yup, I agree!  I just don't want to focus too much on it! 
  • I also want to think less and do more. I over think everything including the whole idea of getting the haircut. I knew I had to do it before Christmas or else I would think it even more into the new year. 
  • I want to learn to give up more comforts. The past two years I lived in a lot of discomfort and there are a lot of things I don't have that I could use. However, I was blessed with much this year in some form or another. I hold onto things whether they be small material objects or past experiences or parts of me and my life that need to be put in the grave. 
    • I am always learning, from this past year, and will continue to learn to let go.
    • I want to take more risks. 
    • This quote of John Piper's, though slightly taken out of context, is one that I want to remember, "If you are wired to see other people's faults and failures and offenses, and treat them roughly, you will not take risks for their joy." It is my hope that I will take risks for both others and myself! I want others to have joy!
  • Cutting off your hair is LIBERATING.
  • I am free to be who I was made to be and who I am.
  • I like being happy. I like helping others and I like happy people.   
Cheers to the holiday season and the upcoming new year!! I can't wait. 


Here are some of the before and after pics: 

Friday, November 8, 2013


Money can't buy happiness~~

Love, laughter, good friends, and a very hopeful spirit are blessings that bring joy beyond my own sometimes spirit of unbelief. 

I find myself caught up in the small details of life. AND some of the really big ones. Life has taken significant twists and turns since the passing of summer. New friendships, relationships, broken spirits, and renewed hearts to name a few.

It's November - the month of Thanksgiving here in the USA.  As I get lost in the heartache of the trivial things in life and some of the traumatic life changes, I stop to be still in a moment of thankfulness as I remember all that I am blessed to have right now .

Thank you~~~

As I continue in this Search of the Morning Calm  journey, I hope to continue in the spirit of thankfulness and begin to understand more of my Korean roots while persevering through the challenges of learning. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Summer Samgyetang. Ginseng chicken soup.

Samgyetang (삼계탕) is a delicious hot ginseng chicken soup very popular in Korea during the summer, especially on bok days (복날 translated as dog days).
The bok days are the three hottest days according to the lunar calendar.
Chobok: 초복 (begginning)
Chungbok: 중복 (middle)
Malbok: 말복 (end)

Samgyetang is often eaten for its health benefits and supposed internal cooling. I know! In America we think cold cold cold when it's hot whereas Koreans think just the opposite! Battle fire with fire, they say! When your body is hot, your blood pools at the surface of your body for cooling. That often leaves the stomach and internal organs without proper circulation and  weaker digestion. By eating a hot healthy soup, your body not only gets nutrients but the proper cooling and circulation it needs.
In the past, dog was the meat of choice in the soup during those hot days. Chicken or samgyetang is the most common meal of choice now. It is traditionally eaten on these three days as a way to rest after a long days work and replenish the body with nutrients and energy.  It is tasty and rejuvenating.

For 2013 the bok or dog days fall on:

Chobok: July 13
Jungbok: July 23
Malbok: Aug 12

Samgyetang is a soup made with a whole chicken stuffed with rice, garlic, ginseng, ginger, and jujubes (dates). It is cooked and placed in a broth made for samgyetang. The broth comes in variations with salt and more spices or even creamy milky-like mixes and flavors while other times it is allowed to take on the flavors of the tasty stuffed chicken. A simple broth that soaks the flavors of the chicken is my favorite!

I made a new Korean friend in San Diego and in honor of Chobok we went on a journey to find samgyetang.  We found this delightful dish at "Old Village" Korean BBQ Restaurant on Convoy St in San Diego. I believe it costs $16.99 for one bowl.Believe me, it is worth every penny and I would go back for more! It tasted fabulous! Even my friend said there was no difference in taste and feeling from the samgyetang eaten in Korea.

I felt a little uneasy and queasy that day, but after eating the soup my stomach felt calm, satiated, and satisfied. I was happier and had more energy to take on the next day!  Old Village Korean restaurant has a lot of other varieties of good traditional flavors and Korean foods that you may also consider trying, if your stomach doesn't favor this ginseng chicken soup!

I hope you will taste your way to some samgyetang this summer. I'm ready for more. There are a few days left of summer. Rest and enjoy!!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

So I went to Korea...the beginning of something new.

If you didn't get to see any pictures, I will share some first experiences here and include brief intermixed excerpts of the rare journal entry or two I wrote. :)

I went to Korea for 2 weeks on a whirlwind of a journey. I barely had time to process the events as we moved from one place to the next so fast. I was honored to be able to go to Korea with the InKAS Summer Camp program. InKAS stands for International Korean Adoptee Service. During our 10 day trip we traveled to various cities, toured cultural sites, learned a large amount of history, and made many friends. I also received the opportunity to reconnect with my Korean biological family, meet my brother from my real adoptive family (+ his bff and bf's gf) and spend the last few days of my journey meeting many old friends. I planned on journaling or spending time processing through the trip, but found myself rather busy meeting people and keeping up with the excitement.

Even three weeks after my return, I come back to ponder remembering the people I met and the novel experiences in South Korea.  Not until landing in Korea, did I realize how blessed I am to know so many precious people all in one small country.  There are many people in my life connected to that country. Korea will always have a large place in my heart regardless of where I live in the world.  

Koreans are very hospitable to their foreign friends and especially loving and kind because of what they call "jeong" - a special term for a deep bond, love, or affection only known in Korean.  I was warmly welcomed and experienced this feeling of "jeong" immediately after arriving in Korea.  

The first day, I landed at 430am and had the whole day free. I spent some time lollygagging around the airport until shuttle service opened, soaking in the "fresh" hot, humid Seoul air. I use quotes here because I actually arrived on one of the hottest days of the year thus far and on a day with "ozone layer" warnings cautioning people to be careful and stay indoors because the air was so dirty! I began to process the weight of what was to be on my shoulders as I journeyed forward. On the limousine bus, I did some deep breathing and meditative prayer to prepare my mind for the next couple of days.  I felt extremely peaceful and in a state of complete serenity.  I knew that this is where I was meant to be at this very time. 

I checked into my guesthouse. It was really uncomfortable, and the beds had some bugs or dirt in them, but the joy and exhilaration of being Korea alone overrode any negative feelings.  God only knows if I'll be living like this in a developing country or a country that doesn't have clean running water one day, so I figured I might as well let this be the beginning of that experience (even though I paid a lot for the room!).  By noontime, within four to six hours of landing, I was waiting outside of the all too familiar Sinchon subway station. The Sinchon area is home to some of the best universities including Yonsei, Ewha, and Sogang as well as lots of nightlife, food, bars, shops, and things to do for the young crowd.  I met with JH (friend's initials for anonymity), a good college friend. 'twas a beautiful day spent with this friend. She took me to a park where we walked around and then found a shady spot to rest and converse. It had been 3 years since we last met. Though much time had gone by, we reconnected like best friends picking up where we left off. We both hadn't changed a bit, we even looked the same. (Agh, I'm trying to look older! My baby Asian face doesn't always gain me the most respect or best treatment in the real world.) That evening another friend barged into the room with the guesthouse owner while I was deeply sound in my REM sleep finally able to rest after almost 30 to 40 hours of no sleep and a whole lot of jetlag. After the initial shock, and eventually coming to my senses she pulled me out of bed. We went out around 9pm and enjoyed a hot soup called samgyetang made up of a whole chicken. Eating this hot soup on a hot day increases sweating to cool the inner body. This lovely friend stayed the night.

The second day I met up with a different friend I briefly met during her last week in San Diego before returning to Korea. She asked me to meet her if I went to Korea. I kept that promise!  
That evening,  the Korean adoptee fun began with our welcoming dinner. I sat with my roommate and her friends from the Netherlands and the special Danish guy on the trip! From that moment, people began building friendships and sharing their stories. We were each fascinated with the number of other people present in the room from different countries clothed with various expressions of curiosity. We began to engage in social activities and travel the countryside with the help of some of the best leaders, organizers, and one of the most amazing women I've ever met - the President of InKAS. Her story and history deserve its own post in itself. She inspires me beyond comprehension.

My connections to Korea and friendships extended around the world after meeting adoptees on this trip from many different countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, and France. Each and everyone of the adoptees had a very unique experience and background. Though different, we all shared the bond of being born in Korea and displaced or moved to grow up in another culture and country from the one of our blood.  This common factor brings the Korean adoptee community together creating an immediate connection. Korean adoptees as a whole have a unique history, a history that wants to be known and communicated to the Korean community.

We visited more sites than I can remember. We walked around Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, watched Nanta, traveled down to Mokpo to  visit the orphanage, met college students, toured a factory where gochujang sauce is made, visited COEX, went to the National Assembly, walked through Independence Hall in Cheonan and so much more. It was quite a trip.

The trip also had a fair share of its challenges and mini culture shocks. Having been to Korea in the past, I still find myself surprised by some of the differences. Despite these challenges, each time I return, I become a stronger person. There's always a new piece of me I didn't know existed until I return to the Motherland. Many of the other participants felt the same. After the short trip, several fellow participants already began making drastic changes altering the course of their life path.

I had been longing to go to Korea and only through a special opportunity such as returning with a program like InKAS was I able to return. To InKAS, I'm beyond grateful and indebted to you for this opportunity. Because of this trip, my eyes were opened to a parts of Korean history not only fascinating but relevant to the history of orphans and adoption in and out of Korea.  

This trip was only the beginning of many new things to come. I pray that my faith in the unknown circumstances of my current life situation will continue to grow as I prepare to find new ways to not only rediscover my own identity but give back in a relevant way that uses my life experiences.

So it is...

More to come later!

PS. I'm sorry the photos are really bad. My computer crashed and I have no good source for photos at the moment. Editing to come  

Friday, May 10, 2013

Let's go to Korea!

And for the BIG announcement, if you didn't already hear it!!

I am going to Korea!

Yes, I am going to Korea


I will be in Korea for two weeks and leaving the last week of May. Let's look forward to some stories of travels in pictures!

Let's get ready to roll! The fun of kimbap making.

If you haven't already seen the pictures floating around my Facebook and Instagram, I thought I would share the tasty kimbap I made this past weekend! It was the first time I made a successful batch of kimbap. I am rather proud of it and am excited to make more tasty (and presentable) Korean foods.  Kimbap is Korea's version of sushi with lots of different goods stuffed in the roll. Some include a variety of foods including cucumer, yellow radish, fish cake, egg, spam or meat, carrot, and spinach.  Often this food is made and prepared to take on picnics or to send children off to school. My friends decided to attend a baseball game. Because I was in a cooking mood, I made some to bring along.

See below for basic instructions and pictures of the fun:

What are some things you need to make kimbap? 
  • kimbap mat also known as a sushi roller
  • rice and rice cooker
  • sesame oil
  • sesame seeds
  • dry seaweed for making kimbap and sushi. Grocery stores usually carry this labeled as such or will show a picture. 
  • and all the good fixings. I usually choose 6 or 7. Some suggestions include:
    • fake crab
    • bulgogi
    • fish cake
    • tuna
    • cucumber
    • carrots
    • spinach
    • yellow radish
    • egg
1. Prepare the rice. 2 cups of dry rice makes about 6 or more servings of cooked rice.  Prepare it as you usually would, but use slightly less water to make your rice more sticky cohesive.  After the rice is cooked, let cool while still maintaining its warmth. Warm rice makes for easier kimbap rolling. Then, add a teaspoon or more of sesame oil and one teaspoon of sesame seeds. Mix and keep warm. 

2. Prepare all other fixings. Some only include chopping or slicing. 
  • Spinach: Boil water and blanch or boil the spinach for approximately 1 minute (or one more if you like it cooked, but it begins to rob it of its nutrients). Remove from water and squeeze water out. You may add a small amount of sesame oil if you wish, but not necessary. 
  • Egg.  Crack 4 eggs and mix well. Add a small amount of water for better mixing. Fry like a pancake in a frying pan on low heat and flip. Cook evenly. Remove from heat. After cooling, cut in one centimeter thick pieces. 
  • Julienne (or cut/slice) carrots as seen below. 
  • Cut and prepare all other foods as you like. 
3. Let's get ready. Line up all the ingredients for the kimbap rolls. 

From left to right, these are the ingredients I used:
spinach, carrot, egg, cucumber, yellow radish, and tuna off to the side

Pull out the mat. It's best to wrap it in seran or plastic wrap. This makes the kimbap rolling much easier. I learned this while watching ahjummas prepare kimbap in church kitchens and at my favorite kimbap place in Korea: Kimbap Chonguk (translates: Kimbap Heaven). It's a heavenly kimbap place and considered the McDonald's of Korea. Don't worry, you can still find McDonald's in every major city in Korea! 

Put down a piece of seaweed on the mat. Add rice to the seaweed placing it from the bottom edge at .75 cm thick and covering 2/3 to 3/4ths of the seaweed.  If the rice does not spread easily, add some sesame oil to the spoon or the rice spoon as you spread. I had a bit too much sesame oil or just enough in my rice that it spread well.

Begin adding your goodies one by one. It's best to add the same amount of each. Or if adding different vegetables with various consistencies, add enough that makes them of equal thickness.

Now, let's get ready to roll!  Hold everything together and begin rolling the seaweed using the kimbap mat.  Hold it in carefully. Once you roll kimbap so that the insides are covered begin to pull the kimbap towards the edge of the mat closest to you again.  Finish rolling and wrapping to the end. To better seal the kimbap, wet your finger and dab the smallest amount of water necessary to seal the kimbap together.

This might be something you come up with! 

Full of good food. It looks tasty.

After rolling your kimbap, you will need to cut it into pieces. I bought a sharp knife just for this very task. In the past I tried to cut some rice rolls with a dull knife. Quite the disaster. Cut them into bite sizes. Once cut, wrap them in foil or place them in an airtight sealed container to maintain freshness. If you're like me, you'll begin eating right away!

Here they are:

What do you like in your kimbap? I also like to make kimbap wraps with kimchi and tuna. You can get creative and add whatever you like!

I hope you like them and will try making some for yourself in the future.

Happy eating and have a great weekend.



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Guess what?

Exciting news!!!

I completed my 10 week Korean language course! Though I did not learn much from the class itself, I do feel more motivated to study and learn Korean. Exciting right? Maybe not.  To be honest, I must admit that as I review my check list of things I will do to study Korean, the one key point I failed to do was to study hanja (Chinese characters). In the midst of my other courses, work, and personal life I felt that is one thing I could let go. Perhaps I slacked on the writing part a bit, too. From now on, I'm going to at least incorporate a little bit of everything from the "I will" list found on that post. It's been a challenging year that's about to come full circle (the crazy began exactly one year ago from now), so as life gets on track and I regain physical health and stamina I plan on putting myself in full force to study the language.

Even more exciting! Now that our class is complete, my classmates have put together our own study group. Many of the study groups and classes I joined were not motivating and were slightly below level. No, I do not say this in pride, but to honestly admit my classmates and I were not challenged. The teacher's style was not effective for language learning for our class, so I am proud to say that despite our inability to glean much from class, my classmates came together to create our own study group and hire our own teacher.  I am proud of this group of people. We didn't like what we were getting. We challenged it. And, then we put our heads together and solved the problem by determining what we really wanted and needed. Our hunger and desire to learn the language are very much evident! We are going to learn! I look forward to engaging with a new tutor/teacher and sharing knowledge, experience, and motivation with my study partners as we embark on this second journey of learning.

Okay, so that wasn't the big announcement or exciting news, but check back next week and I will reveal the real exciting news. I am waiting for a few more pieces of the puzzle to come together before I can reveal it.

There are much bigger motivations to get the ball rolling on this language learning process!

Let's go!!

아녕 annyoung and have a great day!


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy White Day!

해피 화이트 데이! Happy White Day my friends!

In Korea there are a plethora of fun romantic holidays to express your "liking" or love for someone or even express your kindred spirit and friendship towards another!  What's not to like about romantic holidays? They're just soo.... romantic....and gushy and lovy dovy. Awww…. Okay, enough! 

I am not the biggest romantic myself, but I always enjoy learning about the holidays of other countries and cultures.  In November (November 11th) we have Pepero Day because the elevens or ones look like peperos.  In February we have Valentine’s Day followed by White Day (March 14th) and Black Day (April 14th). Most other 14ths of the month are also smaller lesser known romantic holidays in Korea.

Traditionally, in Korea, females give chocolates and treats to their male interests and friends on Valentine’s Day. On White Day, the males give chocolates of similar or greater value to the female friends that gave them chocolate. On Black Day, the singles unite and share in their misery while eating jjajangmyun.

I thought I would give my brother’s best friend, Scott, a shout out. You can see his quick video on White Day (and some tidbits about his lady friend) here.  Apologies for not being able to get the video embedded, so you’ll just have to click here.  My brother and his best friend are spending their first year in Korea and learning all about these holidays for the first time. For a newbie, I’d say he sums it up quite well. I am looking forward to seeing what he comes up with for his lady friend. Perhaps you will see more of him here.

Happy White Day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I want to learn Korean! How? Why?

Haven't I always wanted to learn Korean? How do I go about learning Korean?

I made it a goal to learn and study Korean this year!  I started my journey to learn Korean several years ago on my first trip to Korea. I said I would learn. I did ... a little... I was able to get by, to read, to greet, and text or write basic emails. While in Korea for the one year between 2009-2010, I devoted a significant time to study Korean grammar and the basics. I had no choice but to learn if I wanted to travel in Korea. And suddenly out of nowhere I had this Korean family and relatives I never knew existed. Learning was necessary. I read books, watched Korean dramas, and talked to friends. I went from very little comprehension to being able to understand my fellow Korean teachers speaking at and to me.  Then...I came back to America.

After returning, I found myself lost in a land of no Asians or Koreans.  My focus remained on job searching and exploring other professional opportunities. A part of me was resistant to studying or learning because I knew it was my duty to learn to communicate with relatives and friends in Korea, but I hadn't fully processed my experience. Nor had I understood on a heart level the urgency to bridge the cultural and physical gap by learning the language like I understand today. I slowly phased myself out of watching dramas, as well.  Soooo..... as the saying goes, "if you don't use it, you lose it". It's true! Some lost. BUT NOT gone forever is the Korean I learned.  Once I got back into the Korean community in San Diego, I beat myself up over not remembering everything.I was ashamed to read and hear conversations that I recognize all the words and grammatical structures to and do not remember the meaning of!  I know it's there.  That is a journey of overcoming and forgiving in itself still in process. This next phase of study and review is going to need some careful extraction and nurturing back to life!

After some time meeting those interested in learning, feeding off their passion, and finally beginning to process some past experiences I had suppressed, I knew it was time... time to study. Time to learn.

I am ready!

I originally attempted to enroll in a Korean Language course at a university in San Diego, but the cost was too high and conflicted with my current work schedule. Instead, I registered for an evening class taught through an independent program. I promise to study several times per week outside of the two class sessions each week. Even if I learn nothing big or new in the class, it will be a great refresher and hopefully a confidence booster in the department of speaking. Unfortunately my speaking and writing skills are down the drain. We shall see where the class takes us.

Now that I have met many other friends or students trying to learn the language, I have stumbled upon many different resources and sites to learn Korean or to communicate with others that want to teach their language in exchange for another language.  My favorite way to learn and share culture is face to face where I can see expression and observe body language, but I realize that wasn't always easy for me and it's not going to be easy for people in other countries wanting to make friends in the target language and culture.  As part of my study, I will explore these sites and expand my understanding of human interaction through online relationships and educational websites.   Recently, I became interested in the online dating phenomenon. Many of my friends have found themselves in a whole new world of online dating as they seek life-long friends and partners. Though I haven't registered to online date or plan to do so, I believe that nourishing my hunger to learn Korean language through internet resources will give me a better understanding of what it means to build relationships with strangers through a common interest of learning and sharing online. I really desire to learn as much as I can about human interaction and thought processes.

Some weekly challenges I want to hold myself accountable to doing:

  • Challenge myself to meet others, to learn from them and share with them. 
  • Be willing to be vulnerable, make mistakes, and ask questions for my own learning.   This entails being confident in the shoes of a learner and not being afraid to ask questions. Curiosity is a precursor to knowledge and understanding. The more we ask, the more we learn. This is a mountain for me to climb because I am always shy to ask for help or even to ask too many questions.  I am always willing to offer others help in their times of need, I will do the same myself. 
  • Be curious! Mentioned above, but it needs its own bullet!
  • Study at least 10 hanja per week.  Hanja is the name for the Chinese Korean characters that you see on old Korean texts and on Korean newspapers. Learning hanja is helpful because it builds vocabulary. Many Korean words have roots from the Chinese characters. See future posts on hanja. 
  • Learn a set number of vocabulary words.  Looking for resources to find and learn vocabulary words at the moment.
  • Try to watch at least one or more episodes of a Korean drama during the week.  Okay, so this isn't a tough one for most people that probably devote hours to drama, but I haven't had as much time or interest in recent dramas due to the length of time I spend outside of home. Dramas will sharpen listening skills and observation of social interactions.  
  • Find an article to read and dissect. 
  • Practice speaking by talking to at least one friend in the target language. We can practice English conversation and pronunciation afterwards. : ) 
  • Write at least one or two diary entries per week. I agree, this should be more, but I'm trying to make a habit of learning to do this in English first!  I will increase the numbers as I go. Don't forget folks, let's not overwhelm with too many goals. 
  • Listen to kpop or kballad. Oh no!  Can't get sucked into that world again...but it's just another avenue into the language and culture.  
  • NOT give up!
So why the sudden change? You can probably infer from the gibber jabber above that I did some thinking and reconciling with my own thoughts.

Motivations to learn:

  1. Graduate school. I am interested in international-ly related fields.
    • second or third languages are a requirement for graduation and for jobs. 
  2. Communicating with friends.  They already say I comprehend a significant amount and pronounce words well. It's that word extraction part that I have trouble doing in English and my second or third language.
  3. Building a relationship with relatives or family and other friends in Korea.
  4. Make sure my brother doesn't surpass my Korean ability if he ends up staying in Korea for much longer! ; )
  5. Learn my mother tongue! 

Let's keep growing and going!  I hope that by posting these goals and motivating factors I will be held accountable and you will too!