Week 5: Nicknames, Bingsu and Quizzes

Monday was extremely unique and an experience I will treasure a lot. We had club practice for TTE and this practice, there was no instrument playing. As mentioned in a previous post (found here), everyone in the club has a nickname and so it was time for me to get mine. It’s actually kind of nervewracking the way they went about it but in the end, I think it will definitely be one of my favorite memories.

The way that the club members get their nickname is by telling their life story. I talked about where I was from, my family, and things that I enjoy doing, etc. I talked a little bit about school and how I think other people might perceive me. Then it was question time, they asked me about my favorite activites and clarified things I said like about volunteering since I’ve done so much. They also gave scenarios to us and asked how we would respond. One of the questions was to put the following 5 things in order of importance: Honor, Friendship, Power, Love and Money. I won’t say what I put but I think there’s quite a few people out there who could figure it out. They also asked me this: If your boyfriend cheated on you with your best friend, what would you do?

After all the question and answer, they start giving out ideas for nicknames. Since I talked about the meaning of my names (English and Chinese), a lot of them were jokes from that, but there were some meaningful ones. After making the names, everyone voted. First was to narrow down the choices, and so everyone got three votes for their favorite name. After that was a final vote. My nickname is 엄마, which literally means mom, but in this case, it is also short for 엄청나게 마음이 넓은 사람. 엄청나게 means incredibly,  마음이 means heart, 넓은 means broad or wide, and 사람 means person. This phrase is basically saying that I an an incredibly big-hearted person. Getting my nickname was definitely a memory I won’t forget. While I get called 엄마 and we make jokes about how my friends were almost called 아빠 (dad) and 누나 (older sister for a male) and we were amost a family, the meaning behind is there, even if I don’t think about it at the time.

Paige also got her nickname on Monday too after telling her life story and she is now called 포도, which literally means grape but also has a second meaning related to what she told everyone. Jiwon, aka 도마, short for donation master, got his nickname the week before so we didn’t get to hear his story but we know the meaning behind his nickname too. The local students in the club asked if volunteering was the norm in the States because all three of us do it and really enjoy it. We told them it wasn’t really the norm, but there are people who enjoy it as well.

After practice, we went out and joined with friends to get some Oreo bingsu. I’m pretty sure that our group is addicted to the stuff. It’s absolutely delicious and with the fruit on top that we get sometimes, it’s got to be healthy… right?? 😛

While Monday was really awesome and a lot of fun… Tuesday… Tuesday was a struggle. I had two quizzes, a vocab quiz in Korean and a quiz for Antenna engineering. It was… quite a struggle. It’s interesting becauses quizzes and tests here aren’t done during class time. During class, the professor asked when everyone was available and so our quiz ended up being at 7pm on a Tuesday night.

On Tuesday, the TA (teacher’s assistant) came and watched over the quiz. They gave a special paper specifically for tests and quizzes that’s… maybe two A4 pieces of paper next to each other in size? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll measure when I get the quiz back. When you flip it, you have to flip it over the short side instead of like a normal book, which got me for a while. To be honest, for some reason I didn’t realize there was a back at all for a good part of the quiz. Another part that was different was where you put your name. Maybe I just wasn’t reading the Korean closely enough but I definitely put my name in the box where you are supposed to put the score…The TA said it was fine, and that it was his fault for not explaining it to me since it was the first time I’ve taken a quiz in Korea, but I will also take partial blame, because I definitely could have read the Korean and figured it out…

Anyways, today is April Fool’s day but I don’t think anyone is pranking today~

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