Jeffrey Miller

A Writer's Life

Tag: Woosong University

Well, there goes the neighborhood…

At least a part of it.

For the past two years, many of the old houses in this area of Jayang-dong, just down the street from Woosong College (part of WEF, the Woosong Educational Foundation, which includes, Woosong College, Woosong University, and SolBridge) have been torn down, and in their place, 4-5 story apartments with prison cell-sized apartments have been built.

This is looking out my back window, the only window I can open because to my right is an apartment building. If I open the window, I get a good view into the next apartment.

You can see another apartment going up in the background.

I really liked the view, sitting at my desk and looking out the window, especially in the morning, like this morning when I can see the night easing itself into day, the sky fading in from black to pink and orange.

I’m on the second floor, so I know that once another one of those apartment prison blocks is built I will lose this view.

I liked being able to see the mountains in the distance.

These homes will be next. Time is money in Korea. By next week, I suspect a row of apartment buildings built here.

There they go…

Picture of the Day: Snow Tree, Woosong University — Daejeon, South Korea

It has snowed a lot in Daejeon the past two years; in fact, I have seen more snow in Korea the past two years than I had in the previous 18 years (except the late winter blizzard of ’04 and the January blizzard of ’02).

Picture of the day: Woosong University

A snowy day at Woosong University in Daejeon, South Korea. The building in the background is the university library.

Korean War Monuments on Bomun Mountain, Daejeon — 24th Infantry Division/UN Monument

On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the fall of Daejeon during the Korean War, I got up early this morning to visit Mt. Bomun or as it called in Korean Bomunsan to visit two Korean War memorials/monuments. I had no idea about these monuments in Daejeon until Mr. Chi Kap-chong told me about them when I was working on the article about the Korean War Participation Monuments for the Joong Ang Ilbo.

I thought it was quite far from where I live in Jayang-dong (near Woosong College), but as it turned out it was only about a fifteen-minute taxi ride away (well, maybe it wasn’t that close—I walked back and it took me about an hour). The monuments are located about a hundred meters up a small road that branches to the left (another road to the right takes you to a Buddhist temple).

The first monument is one dedicated to the United Nations and the U.S. 24th Division that bought crucial time for other US and UN forces to establish the Pusan Perimeter. It’s a simple, yet sober monument reminding one that the Korean War was fought under the flag of the United Nations and the great sacrifice that so many made in the defense of South Korea.

This is the inscription on the plaque:

To the Heroes of the Taejon Battle

Freedom is a lofty aim of man and the lifeblood of his soul. Eternal peace is another equally sacred ideal of man. Here was written a page of the glorious history of the United Nations in its efforts to defend freedom and peace for mankind.

The Communist army, which launched a treacherous invasion into the free south at the dawn of June 25, 1950, continued its advance after occupying Seoul. As free nations of the United Nations rose in repelling the aggressors, the 24th U.S. Division—the vanguard of the U.N. Forces—first engaged the enemy at Osan on July 5. The enemy finally surrounded and attacked Taejon on July 17. The 24th Division, outnumbered, staged a furious defense which lasted for 20 days until its commander Maj. Gen. William F. Dean, was missing in action while commanding the battalion at the front.

This humble monument is dedicated to the heroic action of the 24th Division in defense of freedom and peace.

March 31, 1959

Finally…

Yes, I am finally—after two extra days of “vacation”—back in the classroom and teaching again. 

After having my classes cancelled on Monday and Tuesday for orientation stuff, I finally got to meet the students in two of my classes today. My morning class—on “Woosong Hill” which I have decided to call it after the exhilarating 20-minute walk to get there this morning—is for freshmen architecture students, thirty-one in this class. Thirty males and one female. Guess there aren’t too many female architecture students, at least not too many studying English on Monday and Wednesday mornings. 

And in the afternoon it was back up Woosong Hill, to the other side of the campus for a class of freshmen tourism management students. A smaller class—twenty-three students—and a little livelier than my morning class. 

Tomorrow I have to interview students for a conversation class and then in the afternoon, I have one more freshmen English course.  

And then my week is over. 

Can’t complain with this kind of schedule. Just wish I was making a little extra money. And for all the years that I have been in Korea it would have so nice, not to mention needed very, very much to have gotten a bonus or severance pay for having completed one year of teaching here. Of all the years and all the bonuses, this is one year when I needed it the most.

If only people knew just how much.

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