Tuesday, September 09, 2008

오래 오래 기억할게

So I finally saw the end of my Korean learning road in Singapore after almost 3 years. That's three "bumpy and bumper" years. "Bumpy" because my Korean learning was disrupted many times along the way due to lack of higher-level course. "Bumper" because I met so many fantastic teachers and wonderful friends who share my interest and dream.

Today is my last day at the Singapore Korean School - a place where I call my school since April 2007. It is always not easy to say goodbye especially when I have already developed a habit of attending class every Tuesday and Thursday evening. But I guess I will just have to move on. A new beginning is always beckoning with each ending.

As a norm, the last day of every term is meant for cultural lesson. Today, we had a 윷놀이 (Yunnori) competition between the classes. There are only 7 classes this term, so E2 class was split into 2 teams to make 8 teams. The competition adopted the elimination format. The winner of each round would proceed to the next. Our class (A3), first eliminated A1 in the quarter-final. But, in turn, we got eliminated by I1 in the semi-final. After our loss, our teacher hurried us to queue for food at the back of the hall. When we were about to reach for our food, we were called back for the 3rd/4th playoff with one of the E2 teams. We lost again. The end result: the two teams from E2 claimed the first and third prize while I1 finished second.

You probably have to use some imagination here. "Yut" sticks were there on the blue mat but not captured. The guy standing is the teacher of I1 class - the only male teacher teaching in Korean Language Course. Our teacher, Ms Jeon, is second from right.

More spectators than players. Such situation can only happen for elementary classes. Everyone in our class has to play because there are only four of us. 1st to 3rd prize for this event are stacked up at the back.

After everything was over I had some chat with my teachers as well as the school staff before bidding them a final farewell. Just as I thought "that's the end", a relief teacher whom I have not met before came up to me. "Are you Equinox?", she asked. I was taken aback by this sudden introduction. "Do you know you are famous?", she went on to say. "그래요? 진짜 물랐어요.", I replied. Soon, my thought started to drift away. I was once a lonely soul in SKS. I knew nobody and nobody knew me. By the time I left, it seems like everyone in SKS, from the principal to the teachers to the office staff, knows me. The contrast is stark and I am still not too sure which part of me attracts their attention. But it doesn't really matter now or does it? From tomorrow onwards, they can probably start to forget me. Afterall I am just a passerby.

My final results slip and certificate issued by SKS on Sep 9, 2008.


  1. 축하해요, equinox-씨!

  2. 감사하구요 ^^

  3. Wow! Top student. 정말 축하 드립니다.
    - frm Lena

  4. Congratulations on your completion of what I believe was an arduous but rewarding journey. Best of luck with your upcoming TOPIK and please do continue blogging when you can spare the time.

    If I may ask, what happened to your plans to continue with Int 3 classes at NEX? Has the class been cancelled due to insufficient numbers?

    Best regards,
    An ardent fan of your blog

  5. 축하해! 한국어 계속 공부해.


  6. 축하해요, 그럼 지금부터 뭐를 할거예요?

    다시 한국에 가서 한국어를 공부하려고해요?

  7. 역시 인기많은 equinox이네.
    모두 다 알고 있어서.. ㅋㅋ

  8. Ummmm.....but this does not mean the end of the journey for your blog on korean studies, right??? You gotta continue ok....at least until Sung Si Kyung comes out of the military service.......

  9. 억, the "very-busy" Lena is back! Thanks for taking time to leave your comment. Pls don't call me top student. There are better students around. -_-"

    Hi anonymous reader, thanks for your well-wishes but try not to take my blog too seriously. I3 class is probably starting but I am giving it a miss. It's time I take a short rest.

    Spicebears도 낮이나 밤이나 할것없이 꿈을 이루기 전에 계속 노력해야 하세요.

  10. K, 감사하구요. 앞날의 계획은 아직 미정인 것 같아요. 한국에 갈까 말까 그 생각도 안 정해 두었어요.

    완소Ying2야, 처음 덧글을 남기는 것 같은데! 심장이 터져버릴 정도로 놀랐어 ㅋㅋㅋ. 고마워~

    Aiyoh Aini, you have given me a tough job. Not too sure if I can blog until your oppa's comeback. 고민 >_< ... but I shall give it a try lah *^^*

    Andy, 감사드려요!

  11. I am currently facing the same situation, which is my learning journey in Singapore seems to come to an end. Although there are more korean language learners now as compared to year 2008, there is still lack of higher-level courses.

    I tried self-studying but I think there is a limit... No one to explain the "느낌" for tons of similar grammar, no one to correct me etc. 답답해 죽겠어요.

    I am curious to how did you keep up with the language after that. Besides the option of learning it in Korea (which is the best option imo), do you have any suggestion/recommendation to improve on the language?

    1. Hi there, it's kinda weird replying to a 7-year-old post.

      Anyway, in Singapore, the highest level of Korean language proficiency one can attain through class lessons is probably 3 to 4 out of 6 levels. There may be some obstacles to self-learning if you don't learn the basic grammars, vocab and expressions of level 5 and 6. Having said that, language being language is just a mean of communication. People can communicate without actually understanding one another languages. You will be surprised foreign labors pick up Korean much better than language students. You don't really need to be overly concerned about "느낌". There are so much things to learn and "느낌" isn't something you want to spend too much time on as it will come naturally or someone along the way may enlighten you on it.

      You have to love what you are doing. You can read personal blog written in Korean on any topic that interest you. If Korean entertainment news interest you, read them in Korean. You can find everything in Naver. You can also watch Korean drama or variety shows that you like. Last but not least, you need a handy Korean dictionary apps. You can download Daum dictionary apps from the apps store.

      So that's it. Enjoy exploring Korean and have fun with it ^^

    2. While being overly concerned with the details, I guess I forgot to enjoy the learning process.

      Thank you for the advice! Will definitely continue to explore Korean (and have fun with it). ^^