Audit

In the spring semester 2016, I audit the Russian History seminar conducted by Dr. Jo in the Department of Western History, Seoul National University. Every Tuesday seven future-scholars gather and discuss about various, multi-layered aspects of Stalinism, or the Stalinist period from 1928 to 1953, drawing on literature and researches written largely in English. At first, I wanted to attend this class with a sense of enthusiasm, but as things around me unfolded I could not stick to my original plan.

To make matters worse, I have to take the Korean History Evaluation Test this coming Saturday and virtually no preparation was made. Also I am supposed to take the GRE test in next Sunday. In September I am going to present at the Joint East Asian Conference in SOAS, University of London and any types of grant will not probably be rendered because I am nor a professor neither a phd-holder. What should I do? I just feel sorry for being a Korean Moondori, a Korean term for humanist whom you will fail to find within 20 years.

Rest when?

I succeeded in coming to the office of a project in which I am taking part as a research assistant. It was a long journey, taking more than an hour and a half in mass transportation, and I had to make a hole through a number of Korean people burying their heads into cellphones. Almost every day I do this and it is truly a numinous experience. One day I want to test myself standing against a surge of people in such cities as Rio in Brazil and Beijing in China. Being both inured to and forged by hell fire of this land, it would just be another pieces of cake to do that. A piece that you would not want to have.

I am supposed to present a brief article on the Socialist Internationalism in North Korea in the mid-1950s in the city of Vladivostok next week. However, I did not hear any news from a manager of conference yet. What on earth is going on? Meanwhile, it is going to be my second visit to the city and I am pretty much looking forward to meeting Russian friends as well as a statue of Mr. Lenin there.