It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything, so I wanted to give an update. Molly and I are both applying for a graduate program in Applied Anthropology that we can do online while we work in Korea, so we’ve been kind of busy focusing on that. We completed the GRE last Friday and got decent scores, so I think we’re both pretty competitive for the program (on top of our stellar letters of rec, writing samples, and our statements of purpose). Molly wants to focus on environmental anthropology and non-profit management, while I want to do anthropology of education, non-profit management, and design anthropology (interactive web design—ultimate goal is being able to create educational web apps and mobile apps for museums, archaeological organizations, and various other education based organizations). We’re both excited for it and hope we get in. We only work 25 hours a week at our current ESL job, so it’d be nice to have something else to focus our time on and I love taking classes, so win win. The program is also fairly cheap and offers scholarships that would cut down the price to nearly nothing.
On top of that, we’re planning for our next vacation in February. We’re thinking of either road tripping around Korea or staying in an AirBnB in Seoul and exploring the city (or going to Jeju Island, haha). I’m leaning towards Seoul. I’d like to go to Jeju when it’s warmer so I can swim and take scuba diving lessons.
I’ve also picked up a lot more Korean. The Talk to Me in Korean books are seriously amazing. I’ve almost finished the level one books and should be starting level two by next week (I’m working on past tense conjugation now). I’m also about to start the Korean Folk Tales book that Molly got me for Christmas from the same company (learn Korean while learning Korean Folklore!). I’m getting pretty decent with conjugating present tense, past tense, and “I want to ‘verb,'” so I’m also currently working on memorizing a ton of verbs. I use the Drops app for iOS and this vocabulary book (also from Talk to Me in Korean) for that.
Not sure what else to mention, so here’s a list of some of the verbs I’ve been working on:
하다 (“ha-da,” to do) becomes 해요 (“hae-yo”) for “I do,” “You do,” “She does,” etc.
보다 (“bo-da,” to see) becomes 봐요 (“bwa-yo”) for “I see,” “You see,” “She sees,” etc.
가다 (“ga-da,” to go) becomes 가요 (“ga-yo”) for “I go, “You go,” “She goes,” etc.
먹다 (“meok-da,” to eat) becomes 먹어요 (“meok-eo-yo”) for “I eat,” “You eat,” “She eats,” etc.
Not sure if you’ve noticed the pattern there, but it doesn’t change at all. Conjugating Korean verbs is super easy. It doesn’t change for I, you, we, he, she, it, or they. If the verb stem ends in ㅏ (“a”) or ㅗ (“o”), you add 아요 (“a-yo”) to the end of the stem for present tense. If it doesn’t end inㅏ (“a”) or ㅗ (“o”), you add 어요 (“eo-yo”). If the verb ends in 하 (“ha”), you add 여요 (“yeo-yo”). Note that it doesn’t become 하여요 (“ha-yeo-yo”) though. It becomes 해요 (“hae-yo”). That’s all it takes for present tense. It’s very easy (a lot less to memorize than Spanish). Just remember this, memorize a ton of verbs, and you’ve already got a huge chunk of Korean down.
Also, winter here is pretty (from the mountains near our apartment)!