November 24th, 2010
On Wednesday I worked so hard on my presentation for Friday that I forgot to meet 이연순 Yi Yeonsun and hope she’ll forgive me. In the evening I had dinner with Kimberley which was nice.
November 25th, 2010
Class with Professor Hilary Finchum-Sung. Today was a day when I didn’t know much of what she was introducing, since she was talking more about contemporary Korean music (What makes something Korean music? How has thinking about music evolved as Korea has modernized?) She introduced important innovators and composers. It was pretty darn cool. Afterwards I had lunch with her, we talked about preparing for publication, since she’s also working on editing some of her pieces for submission right now. Awesome to have someone more advanced in this academia-thing than me to talk with.
I went to Yonsei then the Ahyeon Market for 반찬 side-dishes. On the bus I got a phone call from a TV program that wants to make a segment about me learning 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum. I would rather not have to deal with that sort of thing, but I feel a responsibility, too, towards all the arts I am involved with. So I explained I’m working on learning at four locations. They will call and ask for permission to film at each.
Back at home I worked on my presentation until it was time to go to 봉천놀이마당 Bongcheon Noli Madang. The class was even smaller, and we moved a little farther through our basic movement set, I’m starting to feel comfortable, I have chunks memorized. Unfortunately, I don’t remember all of it, certainly not as much as I’d want to remember in front of a TV camera. After class we had tea and bananas. All of the members, even 장미이 Jang Mi’i are quite adamant that they are not professionals, they all have other jobs and the Noli Madang is just their hobby.
November 26th, 2010
For some reason I had to give a presentation in a class I’m auditing. I chose (to keep it useful to me) to just present an analysis of the grandmother scene in the mask dance dramas, a paper I wrote for Professor Don Cosentino in the best class i ever had at UCLA, Myth Analysis. I stayed up until nearly 3 working on a video to accompany my presentation, so this morning wasn’t easy. I actually got to class 15 minutes late, my first time to be late since the first day. I gave the second presentation, talking for nearly an hour and twenty minutes. Fortunately 경진 Gyeongjin had edited the Korean on my slides, so I had confidence in what was on my PowerPoint and supplemented it as best I could, but the question and answer period was the hardest in terms of using academic Korean. The third (and last) presentation for the day was also very interesting, on changing attitudes towards sex, all delivered in a very dry manner, but with a twinkle in the presenter’s eye. Unfortunately class didn’t end until 12:40 (scheduled to end at 11:50).
After class I went to Severance Hospital and saw the ear specialist again who said I still have an infection, not much improved over two weeks earlier, and he insisted I take oral anti-biotics (as well as the ear drops), just a five-day course. I have an appointment to come back next Friday.
Cell photo: maybe your hospital will be better if you decorate it for the holidays
Karjam and I went out to dinner as a late Thanksgiving celebration, but the restaurant was so disappointing. (I found it by googling “best restaurant in Seoul,” someone who writes a foodie guide to Seoul claimed it’s by far the best Thai food… not).