Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Apparently, I can skate.

I am at an English camp for elementary school students and yesterday we went skating.

Before we went, campers asked if I could skate and at first I nonchalantly replied, "yes". After being asked again and again, I began to think about the question. It has been about fifteen years since I last skated. I began to offer more qualified responses.

Man, I can skate! I'm a bit of a superstar when it comes to skating - in Gangneung, anyway. Despite my boastful tone, I am not really proud of myself...No, that's wrong; I am proud of myself but not exactly boasting. I didn't think I would be able to skate well at all and was very pleasantly surprised by how I managed. I didn't necessarily do well, but I did much better than I expected.

Lost in the joy of effortless speed and grace, I ignored how the rented skates dug into my skin and didn't pay attention into how hard I was working my leg muscles.

Now, a day later, I have 500 won coin-sized patches of skin missing from my feet and ankles. Also, I legs are slowly tightening up. It feels as though I am being bent over a rack and every time I sit down for a few minutes, the rack is ratcheted one gear-tooth tighter. Tomorrow, or possibly Friday, I will be nearly unable to walk.

I need to look for a rink in Sokcho.

2 comments:

theDarkLady said...

Hi, there

I couldn't find your email address so instead I'm leaving a message here. I'm International Relations Officer at Gangwon Pronvincial Office and was asked to get inputs from foreigners living in Gangwon on the English slogan candidates the office came up with. I will really appreciate if you could help.

These are the candidates:

1. Green Future Gangwon
2. Gangwon UP! (yes, both capitalized)
3. Green up Gangwon (this time just small u)
4. O2 Gangwon

You can probably tell what Gangwon wants its slogan to express: it wants a slogan that reflects Korea's "Low Carbon,Green Growth" initiative and enhances Gangwon's brandimage as the greenest province (fyi, it has the most natural resources in Korea and is well known for its beautiful mountains, sceneries, winter sport resorts and green tourism).

A slogan needs to deliver Gangwon as a green province since Gangwon is heavily investing
in new and renewable energy such as wind power, etc. It already has the nation's biggest wind power plant in Dae-gual-lyung (대관령), which produces and supplies a considerate amount of electricity throughout Korea.

You can help me by doing the following:

1. Let me know what you think of the candidates, and when you do this, please, don't be polite.
The whole point of this is that Gangwon needs honest feedback.
(you can even suggest one if you would like to)

2. Please provide me with info of:
a. name
b. where you work
c. position

Please note that I need such info in order to add credibility to the opinions I will submit to Gangwon Provincial Office. In other words, I need proofs showing that I did not make them up.

3. If it's not too much to ask, can you please ask your friends to do the same?
The more inputs I can get, the better it is for Gangwon.

Phew, I don't think I ever wrote an email this long. Again, I really appreciate your help and
I will be collecting inputs/suggestions until this coming Sunday.

Thanks a bunch!

Sinae Jeong

kwandongbrian said...

Sinae Jeong,

I notice you left no email address for me, either.
I am Kwandongbrian Dean (drop the Kwandong, of course) and work at Kwandong University in Gangneung. I am a professor of ESL.

I think I am your target audience as I spend as much time as possible enjoying Gangwon's natural areas. I have hiked Seoraksan (many times), Odaesan and others. I have cycled across a large portion of the province. I have skied here and gone rafting on the Donggang - first in 1998, as part of a newspaper's attempt to publicize the beauty of the area and protect it from 'development'.

On the other hand,I am not so excited about slogans. This is for two reasons; first, it's hard to make a catchphrase that has real descriptive value and second, I am more interested in actions than words.

I do admire the windfarm that towers over Gangneung and I do find the province relatively unspoiled, with some great areas of great natural beauty. I would be upset though, if Gangwon used such a slogan , then began building LMB's cross-country canal.

Anyway, I dislike options #2 and #4. They don't make sense to me. Does the "O2" in option 4 mean oxygen?

However, #1 and #3, seem to say Gangwon will be green but might not be now. I like them better, but I would prefer seeing Gangwondo as green now: "Gangwon, Korea's green space" or "Gangwon, green space", even "Green Gangwon"
.

I hope this helps.

I have been away from the computer so I can ask for input today (Saturday) but don't have time to get many responses. Sorry about that.

KwandongBrian