log: midterms done

I probably should have studied.

I did my written and oral 한국어 midterms. While my marks aren’t yet back, I think the oral went pretty well but the written could have gone a lot better. In reviewing my answers, I quickly realized I had made a stupid error on a series of questions. Had to do with dropping a part of words that only occurs in dictionaries and how you modify a verb. It was the sort of error that makes you slap your own forehead. Shit happens. I probably should have studied,

After shit happening.

My marks aren’t all that important to me. Not in any class, particularly in this one. I’m more interested in learning than in grades. When it comes to tests, I view them less as assessments of my skills and more as opportunities to learn. So what if I made a stupid error? I learned from it and I doubt I’ll make that error again. I count that as a win.

More importantly to me, today Wife and I visited a 커피집.

pre-covid pic from same shop

Now the word 짚 also occurs in the term for bakery, 빵집, which translates directly as “bread house.” So I asked my professor about this – can you just sort of use 집 like this and be understood. Like, if I’m looking for a butcher, can I say 고기집 and hope to be understood? Turns out that the answer is basically yes. THAT HELPS! SO MUCH!

And today, I ran into this video on a local restaurant.

It refers to this place as a 브런치 맛집. A brunch taste house. I know 맛 because it’s part of how you say delicious, which is a thing you need to learn to say here, and I know 집 because I was asked a stupid question about some local dog, and now I basically know how to refer to restaurants in general and other places in a basically understandable way. And this stuff sticks with me — when one word is part of another word or phrase I already know, it really sticks. One dumb question about a dog set off a whole chain reaction of learning. It’s ridiculous. But that’s why I try to get out and use whatever I’ve learned every day – no matter how inane it may be or what a public nuisance I may become. You just don’t know.

Learning! It’s more contagious than COVID. But you have to ask dumb questions.

But, aside over.

The thing that happened today that I’m terribly happy with is so simple. I was able to ask a question that I hadn’t been taught. I had to cobble together things I had been taught. The 커피 집 I like has, I think the best 커피 in the neighborhood and I was curious about where this 커비 was from. When you don’t speak a language, you really have to just not know things. That shit is really frustrating. “Where is this coffee from?” is sort of a hard question to ask if you don’t know how. A lot of things you can mime. Not that. It’s too abstract.

Now, this, obviously, isn’t the first time that I’ve been able to ask about something but I think it’s the first time that I’ve been able to ask about a random point of curiosity without actually knowing how to ask or having memorized a specific phrase. And I was understood too!

무슨 나라 커피요?

And, I think, I probably could have dropped the 무슨 but I think some redundancy helps.

I mean, it’s such a small accomplishment. Totally puny. But it made me very happy.

And the 커피? It’s an Ethiopian and Kenyan blend.

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