Thursday, 16 August 2007

the daily grind

Sorry, FSTK readers, but some fellowship application deadlines have been putting substantial blogging on the backburner.

I started phase 2 of my research today, waking up early(9:20 A.M.) to conduct some interviews over at Ediya Coffee near the front gate of Sogang University.

I tracked through Sogang, Yonsei, and Ewha Universities, three of Korea's most prestigious universities(all conveniently located within a 15-20 minute walk of each other where I live in Sinchon), on Monday afternoon, posting flyers that promised free coffee and English practice for any student willing to do an interview with me about multiculturalism in Korea.

I've only had a few bites so far, but the first bite called up two friends who I interviewed after we finished our iced coffees and mochas. Just those three interviews have been enormously helpful in giving me insight into how Koreans think about race; though my first interviewee thought that multiculturalism meant the different Korean regional cultures, and immediately began singing his praises of Cholla-do, a region in southwestern Korea, where his mother's family is from.

After the interviews, I head over to City Hall for a meeting with a racial discrimination lawyer at the National Human Rights Commission. He wasn't much help, but he gave me a copy of 2003 report on mixed-race people published by the Commission. And my Mom, whose been worried about how I'll be able to work after she leaves next Tuesday, embarassingly harassed a London School of Economics intern into agreeing to translate for any interviews I do next week.

And Saturday evening, finally, I'll be interviewing a mixed-race male my age!

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