Friday, June 14, 2013

Random Thoughts

You know, I'm thinking another post would be good today. I just have the feeling to write these days. I always have something on my mind. Hmm....what to talk about today? Ah, how about dreams or something to that effect?

Growing up, I had many dreams. The earliest I can remember was that I wanted to be in the military. I have no idea why, but I just did. So, many people when they talk about their dreams, it usually includes things such as what they wanted to be when they grew up. It's like everything wrapped in one. It's an explosion of 'what could be'.

I think it's really good for kids to dream about their future. If they don't, it takes away a critical aspect of their life. The ability to be creative. It helps to shape who that person is going to be as they get older along with the other traits they have.

Another dream I had was to be adventurous. I almost thought I would never get that experience, but I'm here now. I'm still dreaming here. I've already decided that I want to start learning a martial art, then as I was watching a radio broadcast, I was like 'o, you know...I don't think I would be too bad as a DJ on a radio show. I have a pretty decent character.' What do you guys think? Would I be a good DJ? Well, sound off in the comments box with any thoughts or even suggestions.

Dream big, but don't forget who you are and were. If you forget, you lose the whole reason you are where you are at now. It loses it's meaning. On this short note, I will go. Woo!

O wait! I finally sang my first full Korean song in a Singing Room a few days ago. I was so excited because I didn't do so bad! Go me, right?!?

You can listen to the original song here at this link. :) It's really a good song! Just please watch the video! It's a great song, and you don't even have to understand it to feel that.

Complete by Girls' Generation




Yours truly,
Jackson

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Now. Tomorrow. Forever.

Hey guys! So, it's been a long while, and I apologize for that dearly. Most of it was because I was truly busy, the other part was just because I was being lazy. Ah, wow. It feels like time has flown by here. I'm already halfway through my time in South Korea, and I'm so sad. I love this place. I might not fully understand how to get to places or where to go, but I do know that this place holds a lot for me to learn. One day, I know I will come back to here whether it is for vacation or to finally live here, that is the question. I've decided I'm going to try to make changes when I get back to the States to help me better prepare myself. Being here has definitely helped me to mature better. Don't worry! I'm still the silly goofball everybody knows, but I have stories to tell that I can pass on. I can teach people that life isn't just what you see, but what you seek. You have to reach for it, go for it, to be able to become a better person.
 Just this weekend, I went with many of my classmates and other exchange students to the border of North and South Korea. It was really awesome to see the DMZ and the tunnel there. We even got to go to the observatory.

That afternoon when everybody finished, some of the exchange students were staying in that area to go rafting the next day. After a quick, split-second decision, I decided to stay with them. I met other people at the place we were staying at. They were very nice! The owner of that pension was so hospitable. It was a great experience!


I give many thanks to my professor and classmates because it's an experience I would never have gotten otherwise. It was beautiful in that area.

Parting picture is of me and my friend, Song. She's quite the character, but the area is where we stopped at to visit the river. That river happened to be the area me and my 4 friends were going to go rafting down.



Much love and peace~
Jackson
잭슨

Monday, March 11, 2013

Beautiful.

One of these days, I'm going to make a video blog and just talk about it all. Just because I've always wanted to try that. I got my first homework assignment today. I have to make a 4 minute presentation over either water or peace. It doesn't matter what it deals with as long as it involves water or peace. A presentation is like telling a story, but this story has many climaxes. The teacher actually makes sense, even though he either calls me Kentucky or Wolf (because that's what my hat says) He's something else. It's due by next Monday. I believe that I'll figure it out by then. It's only cause I'm so awesome. haha Just kidding.

One of the things I've had the hardest thing doing is trying to venture out by myself and do things. Well, I went out by myself tonight down to the cafeteria. Even order something besides using a machine. I just pointed at something and thought 'yeah, that's something I'll try.' My philosophy here has become a 'don't ask, don't tell'. Some of the meat looks sketch, but it isn't so bad. It's definitely tastes different than American food. I can't wait to be home to eat a steak. Or a pizza!! :) I think I'm going to have to try the Pizza Hut that's in Seoul though. There are a few McDonald's around too. But I don't know if I want to try the fast food here, lol.

It is beautiful to look out my dorm room window. I mean there is still the busy busy street down below, but that's okay. It doesn't bother me to much. I mean after all, I am 15 floors up.

For all of that is Korea, it is busy and can smell pretty rank at times, it's still an amazing place to venture to. I am so glad I made this decision to come here. Have I said how I made the decision? I will tell you then.



Basically, the idea got put in my head when we were at the first International Club meeting in August of last year. Kathryn, who is Mrs. Suzy's (the International Director) workstudy, came to the meeting and said that LWC had sister schools in South Korea, Japan, and other places. This is going to sound awful, but I was like everybody goes to Japan. Why? I decided right then.. 'You know what? I want to go to South Korea. I made a promise, and I want to keep it and learn.' So, that very next day, I went into Suzy's office and told her I wanted to go to South Korea. She gave me the pamphlet to Kyonngi University and let me go through it and everything. I thought for the longest time that I wouldn't end up coming because I would either get denied or not have enough money. Just something would come up. I really don't know why, but I was just being all negative about it. There was so much paperwork to fill out! It was insane! I had to get my passport before I sent it, and I got it issued Oct. 10 of last year. It didn't take too long because it was off season. At least, the plus on that was I'm okay with the picture for the next ten years because I didn't look bad at all. :D
I got the acceptance letter and everything! I was getting pumped. The first person I told was the one I promised I would see her again and visit her country. My friend, who picked me up from the airport, Bo Kyeong. She was one of the first people from another country I met, and she introduced me to the music of 2NE1. I was hooked!
Now, that was the acceptance and the decision. The scholarship came as a surprise while I was on my way to New Orleans on a mission trip. We stopped at a McDonald's in Alabama somewhere, and I got the email telling me about the scholarship and what I needed to do to complete it. Let me just say, I've never been more than happy to have by some off chance took my passport with me. Everything just worked for me so awesomely. I was glad the church we were staying at had a scanner, and that another friend had a computer. She let me use it whenever I needed to. If it weren't for her, there is no way I would have been able to complete some of the documents I needed too. I want to give a huge 'Thank you' to Breanna for that because without her letting me use her comp, I wouldn't have had the chance to get this scholarship I have. So, I guess this is kind of my thank you to everybody who has helped me to get here. My family was hesitant, but they have backed me on my decision to come. Heck, my twin wasn't even upset that I was going to have to miss her wedding. She knew that this was something I've always wanted. Then, there's my mom, my big sis, my nieces and nephews, my aunt and cousin...I just miss the crazy dysfunctional family we are a little..just a little ;p. I'm thankful to the help that Mr. Phil and Mrs. Brittany (the librarians), and Mr. G and Ms. Sohn gave me by donating money to help me get my plane ticket to get here. That would have definitely been a huge problem otherwise. To my two best friends...if you read this...you've constantly asked me if this is what I wanted or you've just constantly reassured me when I've felt unsure. To my many friends who I also miss dearly, I thank you just because you guys kept me distracted from thinking too hard about it.

Just a thank you to everybody for reading my blog and keeping in touch with me to give me support and encouragement. It's going to be a hard few months, but I will come back as a more understanding person.


With much regards,
Jackson

Thursday, March 7, 2013

'Explore. Dream. Discover.'

So, when you are in a new place, so many things can happen in just a short time span. It can be pretty awesome or pretty bad. Depends on the area that it affects, you understand what I'm saying? I went out to a little supermarket with a couple of my friends. They are some pretty great people who happen to be pretty funny, and they have become my friends here.

video


Everywhere here you either walk or you take the bus (Which the nearest subway station is 30 minutes away at Sadang) to get to the subway. I don't mind it though. I think I have already lost a wee bit of weight cause I am starting to realize Korea is like a freaking mountain. IT'S ALL HILLS!!!! I swear it is even worse than Western Kentucky University's campus. It is still beautiful though!



This is my campus. Isn't it beautiful? There are so many buildings here.
It's huge compared to Lindsey's.




So, it's been a week. My first week of classes. I like the classes even though they are pretty much random ones. I am taking Presentation (Which is basically Public Speaking), Theory of International Management (It's a business class), and Global Culture and Organization. Here the schedule is different. It's not like at LWC where you have 1 class, 3 times a week for 50 minutes or 2 times for 1 hr and 15 mins.
I have Presentation on Mondays from 2-430, ToIM is on Tuesdays at the same time, and GCO is on Wednesdays at the same time. I will have my Korean Language course starting the 18th which will be 9-1. It's going to be intensive! 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 10 weeks! I guess I'm a glutton for punishment or something because shew! lol.


That is my dormitory. Well, it's the one on the right that looks shorter actually. It's the girls' dormitory. The boys' dormitory is the one on the left. They are both connected on the 1st floor where the cafeteria is located, the mail boxes, the mini stop, and there is even dry cleaning!

 Left to Right: Yu, Me, Nana, Jing, and Vida
These are my friends that I've made here. They are some pretty awesome people. 3 Chinese and 2 Americans, what a mix that is in Korea! I recommend anybody to study abroad. You will meet people who will change your life. Yes, you meet people back at home to who do the same, but it is different when you actively search for something out there in the world. This world is huge! It holds so many people with so many different cultures. Each person you meet has their own story to why they are where they are.

I'm in Korea because I've always dreamed of going to another country to study. I dreamed of doing bigger things with my life than just being stuck in a small town. I am me. I am what I believe I can be. haha, I'm going to take a line from (I think) Miley Cyrus, 'Life is what you make it.' This is one the most true things you will ever hear.

Go out and grasp life with your own two hands. Explore! Mark Twain had it right by 'Explore. Dream. Discover.' You don't even have to go as far as I have. That's just been me and who I am. I am someone who loves to learn about people, the different cultures, and the different languages. I may not know you, but I know that deep down inside of every one of us is a piece of you that has been waiting to burst out. Just let it! Go to that club you wanted to join but didn't because you were afraid of what people would think. Dye your hair if that's what you want. JUST BE YOU! Do what you dream!


That's all for the day, folks! This girl is signing off! Comment down below with any questions or encouragements for me! I'm always looking for them! It's a good day! For some, it's a good night.

Jackson


Monday, March 4, 2013

The First Few days

It's been a few days, and I have had a lot happen. I have successfully navigated using the buses and subways here. It's quite the experience. They have doors that protect you from falling onto the tracks.
You can see to the other side too! I'm a small town Southern girl from Tennessee, but I got to tell you. It's fun! So many people on a train. If a seat opens, it's like a race has been set in. It's okay though. I don't mind standing. When I do get a seat, I try to offer it to the older people. You know, as a sign of respect for their age and wisdom, but the ones I seem to offer it to don't want it. O yes, for any who know the song, Gangnam Style - Psy , I have actually been to the real place. Trust me. Not the prettiest place ever, but still so active with life. It's crazy!
I've been to a few places in Seoul so far. I got a hand towel for 2,000 won. This would be equivalent to a little under 2$. I just usually say 2$ and be done with it. I might like math, but doing that kind gives me headaches! haha.

My first day of class was yesterday for me. I was really kind of terrified to know where I was going and if it was to the right class. I was outside the International Office with the other American, Vida, when we met with 2 guys. We started talking to them, and the amusing part was that each was in one of our respective classes that day! So, I walked with I-vul (Not sure how to spell his name) to our class..and it was a good class. I even got to get out early. That was epic! haha

Not So Spicy Corn Chips
My roommate and I talked for a long time last night just about random little things. It is hard for us to talk to each other because of the language barrier, but we tried. It was really nice. She even shared these chips with me. Chang Koo says they are like imitation spicy corn chips. I would say so because they aren't that spicy.
That's some Korean like funny talk show (I think) in the background on her laptop. It has Chinese subtitles!






I am not really sure what else to say. I've never written a blog. I don't really write in a journal. So, if you have questions or anything, just ask, please!

I did go to a type of mall Sunday, and I saw a store. It was called Giordano. So, all my CJ majors, know what I had to do. I took a picture! hahaha

There you go, G! Just for you!
O right! I went to a Karaoke room too! I almost forgot about that. In Korean or Asian culture (I'm not sure which), they don't normally invite people to their place. They go out. So, there are many cafes, karaoke places, and there are even places to watch dvds. Though those, I fear, would be a bit sketchy. lol Just think about it.


Anyways, good night to you all and a good morning to me!!!

Jackson


Friday, March 1, 2013

From Nashville to Seoul to Suwon

So, it's a totally different world over here. Well, sort of. There are still people roaming around. Running. Trying to catch the bus to get to work. You still have the students with their own friends. It's still pretty awesome. I forgot to take my camera with me yesterday because I actually went out into Seoul. It took like 30 minutes by bus to get to the subway station to catch a train. It was all a great experience. I met the other American here. She seems to be really nice and has helped me out. She met some Chinese students when she was picked up by the guy who picks up some of the International students. They invited her to go out to shop with them, and she invited me. So, since I had nothing to do, I went. :) It was really fun! The Chinese students were so nice too! They even helped me learn some Korean (which I'm sad to say I have forgotten some of it). I do remember 'we're friends' though. Chin'gu imeda (i think is the alphabet phrasing). I got cute little things, and shocker, I bought nail polish.
My Hotel Room in Japan
Outside my hotel
Anyways, just getting to South Korea was an experience. My flight from Nashville to Chicago was just great! Not bad at all. As I get on my second flight from Chicago to Narita Airport. We get grounded for almost 3 hours. This made me miss my last flight to Seoul. So, the airline paid for me a room at the Nikko hotel. It was a nice cozy little room. It had all the little commodities you would  need to refresh yourself. It had a tootbrush and paste. A brush. A sleep gown. and some slippers. It was great! Trying to get to the hotel was sort of simple. I had to figure out how to get out of the airport first, but alas, I came, I saw, I conquered (some) Japan. :)
When I got to Seoul finally in the afternoon, my friend, Bo Kyeong, picked me up to take me to the University. It was so good to see her! I had missed her! I am so thankful she was able to pick me up, and her mom even made me kimbob (a type of Korean sushi). I liked that! I can't wait to meet my friends I made at Lindsey in their home country, and I'm excited to make new friends here!
I start classes Monday! Eeep!!! haha
My room is on the 15th floor! So far up! It's still so wonderful to look out the window though!

Will update soon,
Jackson :)
Outside my dorm room
Outside my dorm room

Friday, February 15, 2013

Good Fortune.

It has been quite a while since I last posted on here. It's been crazy busy trying to get everything done. After I got all of my papers done to get accepted to the University. The day I leave for New Orleans to help rebuild the houses, I get an email asking me to apply for a scholarship. Boy, that was fun trying to get everything I needed while down there with practically nothing. I had awesome people to help me out though. A girl I was able to make friends with let me use her laptop to fill out the paper, the staff in the church we stayed was so nice to me by letting me use their scanner for my passport, and the business office was able to let me get my transcript. I just had to write a note with all my info with my signature and send it in an email to them. Shew, was so crazy!!!
It paid off though! I just got confirmation earlier today after waiting for almost a month that I received the scholarship! I was so pumped about it I screamed out, 'Yes!'. Also, yes, yes I did do a fist pump. haha...couldn't resist I was so excited. I've had so much help and encouragement since I decided to go on this journey. They have just been amazing. Just deciding to do this and going through the process has already made me look at things differently.
I am going to miss so much while I am gone. I'm going to miss my family, my friends, my dog (Zoey), my fish (Fishy Cat), and the little things about my life. First package I'm going to ask for will be filled with fruit baby food, nutella, and slim jims! Yes, yum!  I've been dreading things changing. I value my friendships with people, especially those who are close to me. That's what I fear the most is losing friends because I don't know how to communicate well. Some have already pulled away this school year, and it sucks! So, in a way, this journey is a fresh start to experience a new culture with new people. One of my Korean friends is going to pick me up at the airport, and I just can't wait because I haven't seen her in almost 2 and a half years. She introduced me to the music of 2NE1, and after that, I was hooked. haha I plan on trying to go to a 2NE1 or F(x) concert. F(x) would be awesome cause they have more English in their songs. :P Speaking of which, some of their music just got shiffled to play on my ipod. Anyways, I'm off now. Looks like I wrote enough for a bit. I will try to update soon!

O yeah! I also bought a new laptop!

Jackson