A One-Time Ehwa Voice Column, A One-Time Name Change!
In Black and White!
Every two weeks, I do proofreading for the Ewha Voice, and the semester's first issue came out this week, but it also included a column that I was asked at the last minute to write because the professor who had promised the column this time hadn't come through with one. I dashed one off in half an hour and sent it, which I suppose means that I was 29 minutes late, but it made the paper anyway. Unfortunately, even though I'd signed the article with my full name, that was shortened to the one you see above (with the photo) and below (with the column). When I saw the result, I sent a gentle suggestion:
Dear Ewha Voice,Here's the column, though with "reast" corrected to "rest," and it's generally not one of my best compositions, so be forewarned:
I just today read my Professor Column article. The title was well chosen, so thanks to the one responsible.
I see that I ought to have proofread my own article more carefully, however, for I misspelled "rest" as "reast"! I was tired and in a hurry, but that's no excuse, I realize.
Incidentally, I never go by the name "Horace J. Hodges" in print. I use either "Horace Jeffery Hodges" or "H. Jeffery Hodges" for that. The latter can be seen on the same page as the Professor Column, where I am listed as one of the proofreaders: "H. Jeffery Hodges."
My advice is that one always ask about preferences on names.
Professor's ColumnAt least, I can hope with this 'kindly' article to make a positive impression on Ewha students so that they won't be nervous and intimidated by my naturally stern-looking face.
Having a healthy mind in a healthy body
Horace J. Hodges
I have been asked to offer my thoughts in this first edition of the Ewha Voice for the academic year 2012. Many issues could be addressed -- from the political rise of Kim Jong-un to the political demise of Lee Myung-bak -- but I am no expert on many of these. Let me therefore offer remarks upon what I do have some expertise: riding -- I mean writing!
Well, either one will do, and both are important. A healthy mind in a healthy body! I have a bike of my own and enjoy riding up the Jungnang Stream whenever I have a free Saturday. I usually ride about ten or fifteen kilometers upstream, halting along the way at a pathside tent for beer to quench my thirst and food to nourish my body. I emphatically recommend this for exercise and pleasure. Downstream offers even greater possibilities, but upstream guarantees more scenery.
With riding out of the way, let me talk about writing. There's no better way to integrate your learning that to write down your thoughts about what you've learned each day. Try keeping a daily journal in which you reflect on the day's events -- or on anything that strikes your fancy! I maintain a daily blog, which I've titled Gypsy Scholar, and I write on all sorts of topics. Seven years of daily blogging has profoundly improved my writing, and I've also learned a great deal about any number of things. You can, too, merely by daily writing.
Aside from riding and writing, there is the need to take your studies seriously. While American and Korean university experiences cannot be closely compared, I imagine there are some things in common. The shock of the new, for instance, in the case of first-year students. I recall being shocked by 'new' grades -- scores far lower than any I'd earned in high school! Or so my first midterms revealed. I brought those grades up by the time of my finals, and so will you first-year students. Older students have likely reached some sort of compromise between study effort and acceptable grades.
Most important of all is to take some time to relax. You've all experienced Korean high school's "study hell" and know the toll that such a constant grind can take on your health. Study in Korean universities is less hellish, as you older students will know, but Korean students have a tendency to procrastinate and then try to cram everything into their brains the day before a test. My advice is that all of you, no matter what your university year, spread your study out over the semester so that you don't harm your health before midterms and finals by lack of sleep. After several first-semester experiences of studying all night, I learned this lesson very well.
But do you really need my advice? You know to eat balanced, healthy meals for your bodies -- which I'll refrain from belaboring -- and the importance of regular sleeping patterns for sufficient rest, daily exercise for relieving stress and staying in shape, and sensible study habits for decent grades. You know all this, so I'll just say "Welcome!" to the first-semester students and "Welcome back!" to all others.
But if they start calling me "Horace" . . .