A picture taken after our last game against Still Kickin on October 31, 2015. At the game we lost 0-1 and failed to win first place for this fall season. But we, Spicy Boys, did great work and had a good season. Spicy Boys is a regional soccer team composed mainly of doctoral students at UNC and Duke. In the following winter, the team plays under a new name Spicy Boys II Men, while I am going to be off for the season. See you all again in Spring 2016.
It’s been a year back in academia, spending a growing amount of time in this small, isolated, windowless, corner cubicle. Wish I now have a more nerd-like look. It’s time to dedicate myself to building up knowledge base my future research will build on, and how I look may showcase how successful I am in that. But, I will need to spare a growing amount of time to level up my oral communication skills at later stages of my education, at the expense of my time to do research. A distinct feature of business professors is that they teach MBA students and so are expected to be a good communicator as much as they are expected to be a good researcher, which are oftentimes conflicting missions. A timely look is always of the best quick-and-dirty proxies of where one stands.
Since I moved to the United States last summer, I have suffered a guilty conscience for my mere presence abroad whenever I read about Korea. What are addressed in news articles have been those with a direct and immediate impact on my family and friends and few of them have been transient. They have been about social justice destroyed and growth potential undermined at the huge expense of generations to come. Of the reasons I am here is to help my country move forward by means of independent, long-term research. But, I am already afraid of a rising possibility that my lifetime role for my country is limited to a recovery rather than an advance. Another thing is that to follow current issues in Korea, which has been unavoidable for years given their consequence and my role as a social scientist, has brought about a substantial loss in my productivity. It wouldn’t be, I presume, different for other overseas Koreans. Another big expense we Koreans all together are bearing.
Last Saturday I and my classmates formed a team and won the 6-on-6 tournament hosted by the Orange County Adult Soccer League. Eight teams signed up for the tournament and played four 40-minute games each – the first three games in two groups and the last game against teams paired by the ranking within each group. It was the second time to play formally at Chapel Hill; I played intramural soccer last fall with UNC economics PhD students where our performance wasn’t as good as we initially expected. On top of the intramural soccer, there are off-campus opportunities to play soccer at Chapel Hill. This small city has three adult soccer leagues including the OCASL, the fact that surprised me and most other new comers. It offers me rich opportunities to run with guys who I work with. I am really grateful for that.
One winter day at Davis,, grateful for days allowed for me to make steps forward in the way I have long aimed for in academia, although even more demanding than before joining in. This may surprise those who are aware of how my life was in past years. Wish my days here begin to reward me in five to ten years time to help improve societies to become places where everyone can do so if one wants and works hard.
One of the two Korean musicians who communicated, though unilaterally, most with me in 20s passed away today, following the other one who passed away around 20 years ago when he was as young as I currently am. It makes his death more sad the fact that he was about to come back with his new albums; he wrote few songs since 2000 and it had been via words, rather than lyrics, through which he communicated with his fans what was in him for more than a decade. I share three of his songs including two from his new albums and one that is my favorite, wishing him to rest in true peace.
 “I Want It All (2014)” – his uncompleted, so involuntarily posthumous, joint work with his 23-year old band NEXT released a month ago.
 “A.D.D.A (2014)” – his (last) solo single released four months ago
 “Dream Of A Freshwater Eel (1999)” – my theme song
This year I signed up to play for a team of econ PhD students. We lost 2-1 at the first game, so we would better win the next game to enjoy as a team the competition longer. Two teams out of four win the tickets to the second round. The game played by 8 players per side began at 7:30 pm on Oct. 20 at Hooker Fields and took 40 (20 + 20) minutes. Pictures below were taken by Jineui while I was playing a pickup game after the match, with those who wanted to play more.