Studying Korean and My Irresistible Urge


I’ve been so as busy as bees these past few weeks that I’ve not been able to post any of my book reviews. I’ve not even been able to keep up with the books on my list. The culprit? My new interest in studying the Korean language.

It’s ridiculous of me that only this year did I realize that speaking Korean is fun given the fact that I have been teaching Koreans for nine years. In those years, the only principle I held against was that I should only talk to my students in English since their primary reason for going to the Philippines is to learn English.I was so staunch in my belief that my ears would not catch any Korean words, or the words would just go in one ear and out the other. Instead, I would always encourage my students to strike up a conversation with me  in English. However, it’s a crying shame that this illusory belief shattered when I met a teacher who is able to communicate with the students around because he can speak Korean. With that skill, I found out that  a teacher can establish more rapport with his/ her students, especially if a student is a beginner. Besides, the fact that when-you’re-in-Rome-do-what-the-Romans-do effect turns out to be efficient given that the community I am into is merely small. Students would adore you when  you know their mother tongue. Finally, the heart of the matter is that I’ve wanted to read Korean novels and other reads alike.

So far, I have been plowing through the  new characters I have not been used to yet. I can read like a kindergarten trying to get the hang of them. I can somehow speak with my students and catch some words whenever I eavesdrop on my students’ conversation s or within earshot of them. I just have to widen my Korean vocabulary  and study Korean grammar at the same time without cease. As a matter of fact, I’ve been all wound up because the examination day  for TOPIK is a few weeks off. So, I’ve been exerting a lot of effort to study my butt off despite that I usually busily spend time preparing lesson plans.

However, no matter how much resistance I do, I can’t take off my mind the irresistible urge to read novels or non-fictions. Whenever I pass by my favorite stomping ground, I will hold myself from entering it. But…recently, in the long run, I did.I couldn’t help it. I looked around, and was so excited to thumb through the spines of the books stacked on the shelves. As usual, I stayed around for  few hours or so ,determined to not leave the place. In the end, I lucked out and  found two  cheap books included in my 1001-books-you-must-read-before-you-die list.Then, I left  right away  because I saw some more as soon as I paid. Otherwise, I could have bought another sack of books to drag home. Gee whiz!

I’m no longer finicky if the books are  tatty . 🙂

The books are Captain Corelli’s Mandolin , a historical, romance , and war novel written by  Louis de Bernières, and Vox , an erotic novel by Nicholson Baker. Don’t get me wrong. Baker’s books are said to be kind of Anaïs Nin’s styles.  In fact, I’m now giving it a shot. 🙂


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