I just passed my Korean exam. I feel great! I am so glad that it’s finally over. Seven months of Korean study culminated into a single speaking and reading exam. I know that Korean will be an ongoing battle and that this is just the beginning of non-stop Korean for the next couple of years. Nevertheless, it still feels great to be finished with my Korean class and language exam. It’s an accomplishment I can savor until tomorrow when I being our final packout. I did not do so well during my two mid-course Korean exams, so passing today is especially rewarding to me. My mid-course evaluations pointed out to me that I needed to study harder, and I did. I was on shaky ground this past December and January, but in the past few weeks I’ve studied very hard to perform well. It’s important to do well so that I meet department expectations and arrive at my new job prepared to converse with Koreans at a proficient level. I felt that I was ready before the exam, but the actual exam was very brutal. It exposed all of my language deficiencies. The testers pushed me to the limits of my Korean knowledge. Many of the subjects I had prepared for weren’t even discussed, whereas on several occasions I found myself thinking, “Why didn’t I study that word?” and “What in the world are we talking about this, of all things?” No matter what, I met the target I needed to achieve, and now I’m ready to head out and use this language I’ve spent the last seven months drilling into my head.
Now though, it’s time to go out for a drink and celebrate. Many of us who are studying Korean will meet tonight with me and another colleague to celebrate our exam results and our imminent departure. Normally they would buy us drinks, but as sambei (advisors) we have the obligation to treat them instead. We passed the test, now we get to pay. That’s OK…I don’t mind one bit. If I hadn’t passed, they would probably buy me drinks!