This article was originally written as a guest post for I Dig Culture, an international media channel that explores human cultural diversity and exchange. You can view the full article here.  The year 2013 marked the twentieth that W3 Internet server technology has been freely available to the public. [1] Fittingly, I know that thanks to my Facebook news feed. That this […]

오늘의 곰돌이 모험

오늘 아침에 수업에 갔다 오는 길에 뭔가를 본 것같았다… 좀 더 가까이 가고 보니… 아~아주 큰 곰돌이란 걸 알게 됐다! 그랬더니 예의있는 곰돌이 친구랑 사진을 찍을 수밖에 없었다~

From What Are We Trying to Escape?

  It is only in the last few days that the principles governing my actions in this world have come to light with a clarity different from, and perhaps greater than, ever before. I don’t imagine that I will succeed at capturing even half of my novel comprehension by putting these newfound perceptions into words, but I have no choice […]

Not Today

I encounter a deluge of frustrating microaggressions every day I am in Korea. Simply because I am white, I must be unable to speak Korean, use chopsticks, eat spicy food, keep my floor clean, or successfully engage in any activity that the locals (often incorrectly) assume to be a unique aspect of their own culture. Normally I try to clamp […]

Your Chance Has Come

Once upon a time five years and about a month ago today, an overworked and underslept college student peered over her nearly finished dinner at a face that would change her life. This wasn’t the first time she had noticed this face, oh no. She had had her eye on it for some months at the all-too-brief moments every few weeks […]

Our Stupid Brains

A small restaurant I pass every day on the way to my lab has a dog. It’s a medium-sized stocky yellowish fuzzy dog, with a face and build approximating something between a dingo and an Akita. He lives outside in a small dwelling made of wood and decorated with the words “진돌이 집 (Jindori’s House)” scrawled in black marker across […]

Note that this post is not titled “How to Have Skin Like A Korean.” Misplaced modifiers and ambiguous grammar notwithstanding (news flash: Koreans have skin, and so can you!), I avoided this phrasing because I am a purveyor of information, not a false guarantor of results. Also note that while the original title of this post was “How to Care […]

    Within my first week of arrival to Seoul last January, one of the first lessons with which I was inculcated as an intermediate Korean language student was that “한국 음식은 손이 많이 간다 (Korean food is very labor-intensive).” I suppose that might be the case if one is following the fold and striving for perfection in all things. […]

Driven blindly by that regrettable desire for ever-richer experience, today I decided to practice mouse handling and dosing at one of my P.I.’s auxiliary laboratories. I met Park Taehee* at the other hospital around 9:30. She led me up to a small laboratory, where I prepared the syringes while she disappeared momentarily to retrieve our subjects. She returned with a large […]

  As a foreigner to Chinese, Korean, and Japanese friends, I seem to incite conversations on international topics more often than would seem the norm in strictly native circles. And, perhaps as some perverse gesture of solidarity with the Westerner in the room, these conversations quite often turn into xenophobic venting sessions directed at East Asian neighbors. The catharses usually […]

    One thing I’ve learned during my three-year adventure in Mandarin Chinese and now Korean is that throughout the course of developing proficiency in a new language, subconsciously picking up on foreign physical mannerisms as well as vocabulary, grammar, and the ever-elusive intonation is inevitable. Launching into automatic imitations of your new society’s body language is at once a […]

Science is Hard

No, I’m not talking about science classes (though those can sometimes be hard too). I’m talking about IRB-forms-signed-in-blood, strap-on-your-goggles-and-get-ready-to-kick-ass, thrown-out-to-sea-sucking-down-methanol laboratory science (and often its friendly cousin let’s-sit-behind-a-computer-and-spit-out-all-our-thoughts-into-SPSS dry lab science, but I’m quickly discovering that these are two games that use completely different racquets). So you’ve finally gotten you hands on your very own little pilot study, with a […]

  During a break in my immunology course on Thursday, our professor suddenly expressed her opinion that Ph.D. holders who choose to stay in a university setting and become science professors are the ones who lack 조직성, or organizational skills. She went on to say that among university academics are many naive “free spirits” either unwilling or unable to enter […]

My Mice Hate Me

My mice hate me. Of course, I would hate, as well, anyone who belonged to a giant hand that picked me up by the tail two to three times a day only to slap me onto a cage lid, press me down flat, pinch my ears, squeeze my scruff, and turn me practically upside-down to shove a gavage down my […]

Hua Dan


Tiger of Fire