I had not intended for my last journal entry to be the last in so long, but things have been on the hectic side, and it has been difficult to set aside both time and energy to write. Life has continued, as it is wont to do, and many things have happened. I just want to take a few moments today to write about them before any more time passes.
The first thing I should mention is that my wife and I celebrated our fifteenth anniversary this past Monday. That’s kind of scary, to be honest. Not because spending fifteen years with my wife has been scary—despite the challenges that life has thrown at me, they have been the best fifteen years of my life. No, it’s scary because it seems like it was only yesterday that I was going through my old photos and putting together the retrospective for our tenth anniversary. There will be no such photo retrospective today; I’ll save that for our twentieth anniversary (which, if time continues to move along at its current pace, is just around the corner).
I do have one photo that we took at a place in Itaewon called “La Petite France.” It’s not on the main drag, or even on the street behind the Hamilton Hotel, but up the hill to the north some way. We had passed by it while walking down to Itaewon from Namsan one day last year, and one of Hyunjin’s students later recommended it as a very good French place. We ordered the set menu there—Hyunjin got the steak and I got the fish. The main dishes came with bread (which was, as to be expected in a French restaurant, excellent), soup, salad, and chocolate cake and tea for dessert. Even though it was raining and a bit on the cool side, it was worth the trip, and a lovely way to celebrate fifteen years together.
Of course, the new semester has started as well. HUFS has a tendency to start the semester earlier rather than later, so we started in the last week of February. I’m teaching five sections of four different classes, which is probably my most strenuous class load to date. Two of those classes, though, are literary translation, and another is Korean studies translation, so I am happy with that. It’s just going to be a busy semester, that’s all.
Things are moving forward in other areas as well, particularly in the field of publishing. Long-time readers will know that I have been working on a translation of a history of Korean literature, and after some long delays that project finally seems to be moving along again. Equally as exciting is the progress that has been made on a novel that I translated a number of years ago—I spent a good portion of the semester break working with the editors to beat the manuscript into shape, and I’m pleased to report that we are now at the end of the editing phase. I don’t know exactly what happens next, but if everything goes well, the book should be published sometime this year.
And so life goes on. I’m going to keep this relatively short today because I have other things I need to finish up before tomorrow, when I will be joining the family to visit my mother-in-law’s grave. We will be holding a ceremony there called “saguje.” This literally means “forty-nine ritual,” and is a ceremony that is held on the 49th day after the passing of the deceased. Of course, yearly ceremonies will be held for my mother-in-law, but this is the last ceremony in the initial mourning period. It still doesn’t seem quite fair, but life moves on, and I know she would want us to keep up with it.
Hopefully I will be back soon with more here.