Breaking the News

Three girls rushed into the classroom for our club class. I was setting up the computer at my desk when I looked up to say hello.

“Teacher, when do you leave Korea?” asked Hyun Jeong, plopping down in a seat in front of my desk.

Chil-wol,” I answered. “July.”

“Oh. Why are you leaving?”

As casually as I could, I said the answer I had been rehearsing since my co-teacher asked me to stay another year. “I miss my family, and I want to see them again.”

“Oh, okay. When are you coming back?”

Uh oh. I paused. Another student, Ji Hye, saw my hesitation and asked in a small voice, “…Never?”

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“V” for Victory!: Celebrating from Afar

I’d like to take a break from posting about Korea to post about something else: the Villanova Wildcats won the NCAA Basketball Championship!

I admit, I didn’t care very much about basketball while I was an undergrad. I was laser-focused on my schoolwork, part-time jobs, and extra-curricular activities, so basketball was not a high priority. Toward the end of my senior year, I finally attended my first game in the Pavilion and watched several more games on TV. I generally dislike sports, so I was surprised to learn that I enjoyed watching my college team play.

My mom, however, is the real Nova basketball fan. She has texted me about the games and the players since the 2015-2016 season began. I heard players’ life stories over FaceTime and received live score updates over WhatsApp. I learned more about the Villanova Wildcats from my mother than from four years on campus. (Sorry,  guys. Falvey Memorial Library didn’t broadcast the games!).

For most of the fall and winter games this year, I slipped back into my usual apathy toward basketball. After all, I had so much to do and see in Korea! But since I’ve settled into a new semester and have (somewhat of) an idea of what I’m doing, I decided to follow March Madness again and fill out a bracket with some other Fulbrighters.  Korea is 13 hours ahead of the eastern US, so sometimes I would wake up early on Sunday morning to catch part of the weekend games. And when Nova kept winning, my interest kept growing.

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Cherry Blossom Festival in Jinhae

On Saturday, I met with some Fulbright friends to attend the famous Cherry Blossom Festival in Jinhae. Despite the crowds and the traffic, we had an amazing time looking at the trees and eating the street food at the green and white tents that lined the road.

I don’t have too many stories from the trip, but I will post some of my favorite pictures!

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