Life Update: Episode 7

So February has actually been pretty eventful! This month I actually did a lot of things. Grad school wise, I feel kind of drained. I think I’m doing too much this quarter and I haven’t mustered the energy to try super hard on my assignments or on my grades. So I’m getting sort of average grades but thankfully still passing.

I’ve also been very active on my blog and one of my goals this year was to visit more blogs. I have literally met so many new inspiring, wonderful people through blogs already this year and am feeling very blessed, haha.

This post is long, as my life update posts tend to be, so feel free to skip to sections you find most interesting.

This Month I –

  1. Went on a short two day Sunday school retreat and watched Silence
  2. Attended a Ignite Lab hosted by the Seattle Times on education
  3. Attended my friend’s wedding
  4. Went to the annual Children’s Literature Conference that I go to every year!

Next month I will hopefully –

  1. Continue to save up money for my trip in April
  2. Take more film photos
  3. Help out with the Junior High Rally
  4. Go to Portland and help out the Portland Korean church with a middle school retreat

I attended the Ignite Lab with my sister, who is a high school freshman teacher. The talks were really interesting! They’re each about five minutes long and the speakers come up and talk about different subjects. There was a lot of diversity and most of the topics focused on social issues. Two that stood out to me was one talk about breaking the rules and another about how black hair mattered (to her students of color).

Later in the month, I attended the Children’s Literature Conference. Right now, I’m currently in the Library and Information Science program at the UW and currently struggling between choosing two potential career choices. One is to work in archives and the other is to become a children’s librarian.

I thought I was leaning more towards working in archives until I attended the Children’s Literature Conference and now I don’t know what I want, haha. One of the illustrators that came this year was Christian Robinson and his talk was absolutely amazing! One of the things he talked about was how anyone can find themselves in picture books and that words and pictures are tools for communicating messages, like messages of empowerment.

If you haven’t read a children’s book since you were a child, I have to say, you’re missing out! If anyone needs a recommendation, let me know because I am a strong believer in that children books are for everyone. Which is one of the reasons they’re so amazing because they can be enjoyed by people of all ages – not just adults!

Family –

A new section but I’ve been researching my grandpa’s history (which was mentioned in a previous life update post) and thought I would share a few different interesting tidbits about him!

  • His name is Park Byoung Won (I already knew this though)
  • Born in the year 1912 in (what is now) North Korea
  • He attended Waseda University in Japan
  • He had 3 sons and 4 daughters with his first wife
  • Worked in governmental affairs in China
  • Spoke 3 languages: Korean, Japanese, and Chinese

My aunt wrote me a document about my grandpa in Korean and I’m still in the middle of translating it. Korean isn’t my first language, so I’m reading through it sort of slowly >.> I found this really interesting though! But that may be because I’m researching my own grandpa, haha. I had no idea he was so learned! He also escaped via the Nam River with his oldest son after the war broke out. And the only reason he left his family behind in North Korea was because he thought the war would die down but the war ended with a division between North and South Korea, meaning he never got to see his family again.

I’ve been going through his letters and journals and you can really tell how much he missed his family :/ War sucks.

Books

The most memorable book of February was Magic of Blood and Sea by Cassandra Rose Clarke. I was a little dissatisfied with how the book ended and the characters weren’t all that memorable but the premise was really interesting. I also hadn’t read a book about a pirate (pirates & magic!) in a long time, so I actually really enjoyed it. This book was a gamble (I usually pay for most of my books since I don’t have time to go to the library) because there were only 30 reviews on Goodreads and most of them were just only starred reviews.

A pirate princess and a cursed assassin find their fates intertwined in this gorgeous and thrilling adventure.

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an ally pirate clan. She wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to a handsome and clueless man. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns that her fiancé’s clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when this assassin, Naji, finally finds her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse—with a life-altering result. Now, Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work to complete three impossible tasks that will cure the curse.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must face the repercussions of betraying her engagement that set her off on her adventures. Together, the two must break the curse, escape their enemies, and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.

The book is very much about adventure and I liked the sort of romantic classic plot it had going on, only Ananna wasn’t a damsel-in-distress.

Another memorable book was Wintersong. Great book until I reached the end of the book and I resisted tossing my Nook to the other side of the room. I can deal with bittersweet or sad endings, as long as they make sense. There was no closure whatsoever, neither sacrifice was justified in any kind of way and it was abrupt. There were too many plot holes. Not to mention it was stupid. Sorry >.> I hate using the word stupid, but that’s the way I feel about the ending.

Here’s the summary for any that are interested:

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

But I’ve warned you. The ending wasn’t satisfying at all.

TV Shows

I’ve already talked about this but I’m continuing to watch New Journey to the West (a Korean variety show). I’ve also been watching a lot of Youtube and love the Korean Englishman. I already mentioned him but if you haven’t had the chance to watch him yet – highly recommended! They also made a second channel called Jolly (Josh + Ollie = Jolly) that is also equally great.

Other than that, I’ve been re-watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. I love that show. Literally one of the greatest American animated TV shows.

As for Korean dramas, I recently started Strong Woman Do Bong Soon. They only have two episodes out so far and air every Friday and Saturday. Since the drama only just started, I can’t say how good it is so far but as of right now, I’m really enjoying the show!

Bong-Soon (Park Bo-Young) was born with superhuman like strength. Her strength is hereditary and passed along only to the women in her family. Her dream is to create a video game with herself as the main character. One day, Bong-Soon helps out a bus driver who is being attacked by a thug. Soon, a small mob of thugs attack Bong-Soon, but she is easily able to wipe the floor with them. During this time, Min-Hyuk (Park Hyung-Sik) drives up to the scene of Bong-Soon beating up the group of thugs. Min-Hyuk is the CEO of video gaming company Ainsoft. He has recently received anonymous threats and even followed by an unknown person. Min-Hyuk believes Bong-Soon would make a great bodyguard with her amazing strength. Besides offering Bong-Soon high pay, he even offers her the chance of working in the planning department of his gaming company if she does well.

Meanwhile, crimes against women take place in the neighborhood where Bong-Soon lives. Detective Kook-Doo (Ji Soo) also lives in the same neighborhood. They have been friends since they were kids. Bong-Soon is also madly in love with him, but he has a girlfriend. Kook-Doo tries to solve the case and Bong-Soon and Min-Hyuk are pulled in.

Comics

I’ve been loving Wind Breaker (윈드브레이커). It’s a Naver webtoon that can be read here in English and here in Korean. If you’ve read any sports manga, it’s basically a sports manga about bikes. I don’t particularly like sports in real life but for some reason I like reading comics about them LOL

Jo Ja-Hyun (Jay) is the student president of Taeyang (Sunny) High. He is not just a smart student but an extreme biker with high techniques. As you follow his bike, you will meet his friends, love, and adventures.

Misc

And that’s basically sums up my February! In other unrelated life news, white cheddar popcorn is the best. I’ve also discovered a 7 skin step in my skincare routine and have reduced my skincare routine to basically 3-4 steps (instead of 10). I may or may not blog about this if my skin continues to show improvement!

As always, thanks for reading!