Back in the [Korean Study] Saddle Again

Let’s see, in my notebook there are the following new vocabulary terms:

  • 신상 정보: personal ID information
  • 생물측 정보: biometric information
  • 심리학: psychology
  • 작업 멘트: pickup line
  • 몸이 좋[지않]다: to [not] have a good body
  • 핸드폰 번호 따다: to get [someone’s] phone number
  • 세계 구역기구: The WTO
  • 합병하다: to take over [something], for example, the WTO taking over the UN.
  • 세상: universe (to be used in the context of discussing baby universes)
  • 사고 | 나다: accident | occur (occur being the verb for accident)
  • 화학전쟁: biowar[fare?]
  • 증거: evidence

These words, of course, are all related to the two stories I’ve been working on for a few months — “The Bodhisattvas” and “Sarging Rasmussen: A Report (by Organic).” The latter being a story about pickup artists (sort of), which explains some of the weirder vocab there.

At about this point, when I was unable to say anything more, both I and my kindhearted tutor — a former student of mine whom everyone seems to agree is the perfect person for the job because of her patience and her imagined ability to kick my ass into shape — agreed that it was a BIG mistake to try talk about the stories I’d just finished or begun editing for submission.

Way too hard. Sort of a kind of trying to run before I can crawl, let alone walk.

Which saddens me: I used to be able to crawl kinda-sorta okay, but even stuff I used to be able to say without a second thought was a struggle last night. Pronunciation, more than vocab. I tripped on my tongue a lot. Maybe I’m just rusty. Maybe it’ll come back faster than I think.

So anyway, kinda-sorta undaunted, we moved on to discussing life with a pet (specifically cats), some politeness issues, general social chatter and gossip, and out ideas on how to proceed with the lessons. I’ll be taking a weekly lesson for the next few weeks, after which my tutor will graduate and I’ll be off for North America.  She plans on being around Seoul, but whether we’ll continue depends on a bunch of things like time, where she ends up living and what she ends up doing, and of course how the lessons go.

As for me, I haven’t decided whether I’ll be bringing a Korean textbook with me this summer. I will be spending lots of time on planes, and I bet even just that time could be usefully devoted to a little study. (I’ll have worked through my Astronomy text before going to Launch Pad, so while I’ll have it, I won’t need to review so much, I think.) My main Korean textbook will be WAY too heavy, but I have a smaller, lighter one I could do, which has better dialogs anyway. Hm. We’ll see.

Or maybe I should be trying to get a little French back, given that I’ll be in Montreal for a month. Or reading this Russian novel I’ve been putting off for ages. Or the rest of Pound’s Cantos? Hm.

Surely most people don’t sit around thinking, “What am I going to read/study while I am on vacation?” Do they?

But it feels good to be studying again. To hell with regretting that I stopped doing so. To hell with feeling embarrassed that my Korean should be better after 7.5 years. To hell with shame and all that. I’m studying now, and that’s the thing I can control, so there.

2 thoughts on “Back in the [Korean Study] Saddle Again

  1. This sounds positive and that is happy. ( :

    I applaud studying on vacation. Heck, if you called my visits to Montreal vacations, I do it all the time.

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