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1학기 3주~ 좋은 점, 나쁜 점

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September 17, 2015 | 10:18pm
Mood: tired

It's hard to believe, but week 3 of grad school is already over. (I only have class Monday through Thursday, which is why I'm posting this today.)

Reading dozens of pages of Korean every day is hard, you guys. You know what's funny? I can read a 1000 page book in English in a day if I so desire... but reading 6 pages of Korean takes me 40+ minutes and it is making me dread reading. Furthermore, I find that reading research papers, essays and theses in Korean is a far simpler task than reading a fucking novel. Interestingly, my grammar isn't the issue; the issue is my vocabulary. I have a pretty large vocabulary in Korean as it is, but reading very literary novels from the 1950s/1960s is way different than reading a text message from a friend. A lot of vocabulary has changed since the Korean War, as Korea has grown and developed.

The reading is my biggest issue at the moment. The other big issue I have is 고전시 (Classical Poetry). First of all, just finding the original/transcribed into hangul versions of these poems is a pain in the ass. Then I have to find some sort of analysis because I don't know what the fuck the poems are about, since they were written anywhere between 200-700CE. Then I have to read this shit, which is difficult because every other word - even when written in hangul - isn't used in modern Korean, so I have to look them up in a hanja dictionary. Did I mention that I don't know hanja? Yeah. Plus the professor is extremely scattered and unclear about what she wants. I actually find the poetry and history behind it very interesting, but this class is not meant for me.

The best thing that happened in weeks occurred this evening: my favorite professor, who teaches my Literature Educational Theory/pre-requesite Poetry class sent me a message, telling me that I don't have to do any assignments for Poetry. "과제를 안 해도 돼요. 열심히 들으세요~" I just have to show up and pay attention. I love that man. Depending on how my reading skills improve, I may switch from a novel-focus to a poetry-focus for my thesis. Which, let's be honest, would be hella stupid. Can you imagine me telling people, "Yeah, I have a Master's degree in Modern Korean Poetry." Seriously? But yeah, that professor is making me contemplate matters...

Anyways, after class today, my head was throbbing and I came home and took a nap. I'm also extremely tired these days- probably because I'm spending so much time living my life in Korean.

Socially: last Saturday me, Kay, Nick, and Dulce met up, ate chicken and squid, and got bingsu and cake. Monday I got my student ID card. Tuesday I got my alien registration card (FINALLY!) and met up with Bong, who was in Seoul for an interview, and we ate bingsu and went to a so-called "Northern European" buffet- which, believe it or not, had some food that were kind of Northern European. And that's it. That's my life. Technically I have a few friends I could hang out with (가위, 민수) but I am so busy reading that the idea of taking away a few hours from my studying is horrifying...

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