Korea was hit by a pretty strong earthquake yesterday. The second strongest ever measured in history. It happened in Pohang, which is around 300 km south of Seoul, but the tremors were felt all over the country. I felt it in my office and immediately thought to myself “huh, wonder if that was an earthquake?” then a few seconds later, a national security warning ticked in on my phone, notifying me that a 5.5 earthquake had hit Pohang. A couple of hours later, it was followed by an aftershock of 4.6. Although no one was fatally injured, there were several accidents and collapsed buildings. It’s truly a miracle that it didn’t go worse.
All over the country, around 600,000 high school students were supposed to take the 수능, the national college entrance exam, today. Some 12 hours before the test was scheduled to begin, it was announced that the test was canceled due to fear of a new earthquake. So, for the first time ever in Korean history, this exam has been pushed back to next Thursday. Since I haven’t heard anything about my upcoming Korean proficiency exam in Daejeon this Sunday being canceled, I’m continuing to study like crazy (heavily fueled by unhealthy amounts of coffee).
I’m currently practicing my Korean essay writing skills, which will be the most important part of the writing section of the test. It’s been a while since I’ve been writing essays in Korean so I can feel that the intense brushing up is really making a difference.
I’ll also have to stay super focused during the listening and reading part, but I feel now that I’ve been practicing those two disciplines as much as I can before the test. Well, being the perfectionist that I am, obviously, I’m still going to work on that too over the next few days but for now, I’ll spend the rest of today polishing my writing.
Please wish me luck on Sunday! I’ll be sure to write a detailed account of my experiences when it’s over.
On a completely unrelated note, I seem to have aligned my departure from home in the morning with the campus army’s morning exercise routine. Whenever I pass the football field handsome soldiers are doing pushups, situps, and running. Although these Korean soldiers are wearing shirts (and I am not staring that shamelessly), I cannot help but be reminded of this clip from one of my favorite Korean tv-shows: Enjoy! (Fun fact, the man and woman speaking together in the clip met each other on set and were just married 2 weeks ago.)