my travels around the world

Gould Generations (Seoul sa)

I spent my last day in Seoul with students… old and new. I got to see 4 students, two who will be juniors next year and two who graduated 4 years ago. I had seen two of them three weeks ago and the other two not since graduation.

Four of us, Jun Lee ’08, J.K. Lee ’14, Suengsu Han ’14, and myself, met four lunch in Gangnam, an area of the city know to be hip and cosmopolitan south of the Han River. We had a womderful lunch of chicken and spicy noodles, dishes that i would not have eaten on my own. After lunch we went to hang out is cafe (Caffe Bene) and eat a dessert that combined green tea ice cream, ice flakes, candied nuts, and red bean. It was a take on a more traditional Korean snack/dessert. It was interesting to me to hear the questions that the older student had about Gould today (and they were nice enough to mostly converse in English.) It was also fun to hear about summer plans (for all three of them it involved classes at least 5 days a week. JK is in class from 9 am to 9 pm five days a week and a half day on Saturday. Seems crazy to me.)

JK and Seungsu had to leave to do homework and meet with tutors and all sorts of studious things. As they were headed out, Hyung Shin Lee ’08 arrived and I got a chance to catch up with him (he just finished his 22 months in the Korean army last week. He had a desk job… not much time with a gun. He is glad to be out and ready for his return to civilian life.) and we talked about what a bunch of the alumni from about 5 years ago. I realized the the first class I taught will have their 5 year reunion this fall. I can’t believe that I have been at Gould that long already.

We made a quick stop at a batting cage. It has been a long time since I have swung a baseball bat, but by the end I was making decent contact.

Me and the “old guys” — I forgot to take a picture with everyone. Damn.

If you ever get bored at Incheon International Airport you can always go (roller?)skating in the “Ice Forest”.

This made me smile and fondly remember my late Latin II teacher Vincent Pascucci. An eccentric steeped in the tradition of liberal arts and a true lover of all things classical. That was a fun class. He would open the windows in midwinter and makes take our coats off, because “you can’t think when you are warm.” it was also the only time I every had to speak Latin. Gaudeamus Igitur!

I am currently on the plane to China and the next steps in my journey. The last two stops haven’t been that “far” from home (despite Seoul being on the other side of the world). I have been to DC and Seoul before and in both places much of my time was focused on visiting friends. But now, a week and a half into my trip, I have no more people to see until I get to Bangkok (or maybe Vientiane if the timing works out…). Mostly we are moving into my time rather than split time for the next 8 weeks. From now until August 7th, I will at most see a handful of people who I knew before this trip, maybe only one.

Onwards!

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