As I turned 30 some years ago, I began to feel more grateful for the good values that my parents instilled in me during my childhood. These two teachers, who were involved in public education for their careers, always emphasized morality, humbleness and politeness. By no means, their parenting project was entirely successful since I am still striving to equip myself with those values. However, these values have been the building blocks for who I am today and for pursuing being a better person every day. As a Korean who has lived abroad for about 10 years now, I aspire to take positive sides from both oriental and western cultures. I adore equality, diversity and liberal mindsets while trying to remain respectful.
My life cannot be summarized without sports. From early childhood, I have actively engaged in various types of sports, football (soccer), baseball, basketball, table tennis and more recently tennis, often representing the schools and sports clubs I belonged to. During my PhD program, I organized and managed a football club for five years, and another football club at school made it to the final at an intramural football league/cup. I often think that my life could have been easier if I had chosen a profession that required more of my physical abilities than my brain capacity! Unfortunately, due to injuries, I cannot play most of these sports anymore, but tennis has been a perfect replacement. Erasmus U. has great sports facilities.
Since I left my parents' house about 17 years ago, my cooking skills have improved slowly but steadily. While it was a mere survival instinct that forced me to practice the skills at the beginning, I lately enjoy cooking more than ever before. I mostly make Asian food but am definitely willing to learn how to make various dishes from different countries. I like making food for others as well. I might become an excellent private chef for my future partner. It used to be a bit too scary to make something for others due to the possibility that they not only get disappointed with my food but also start avoiding Korean food. Thankfully, anybody can be a good cook today because of all the amazing recipes on the internet. I often rely on them but improvise a lot as well. Cooking is like writing. There are formats and steps to follow, and yet in the end our identities and characters are reflected in the dishes.
My affection for cats was so famous that my nickname was wild cat during high school. I just love animals. I watch videos of different animals often, and, especially during my Ph.D. program, those videos helped me replenish my energy when I was exhausted mentally. Although the circumstances have never allowed me to have a pet in my life yet, it is one of my life goals to adopt a couple of cats and/or dogs and take good care of them. This is also why I became flexitarian and reduced my meat consumption lately, but I do not support any imposition of values upon people. Everyone has freedom, and I will design my life as my feelings guide me. Lastly, do not treat our lovely trash pandas, raccoons, badly. They are much cuter than you think actually!
Among the perks of being a professor that I appreciate the most are our regular trips to different conferences. I may not visit all the famous tourist attractions but enjoy walking around the area and observing how people live there. Sometimes, I discover my favorite spot in town that usually offers a great view of the sunset or night lights. The picture on the left was taken on a small hill in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where I attended a special AOM conference. The one on the right shows the night view of Seattle from the Space Needle. Since I watched Sleepless in Seattle over 10 times to study English, Seattle naturally became my favorite US city, and my visit to the city was very emotional and lovely.