Category Teaching

A Letter to My Students

Dear Students,   Welcome back to Mokwon University. I hope you had a wonderful vacation and I hope you’re rested for the new semester but what I really hope is that you take the opportunity to do something cool in 2016. It’s true that cool stuff is more fun but that’s not my biggest reason […]


It’s important to protect children. If we don’t give them safe places to play, they might get cuts or get bruises. If we don’t give children a safe environment, they might experience failure and be sad. We should never, ever let children play with fire or touch machines. Fire is dangerous and it makes smoke, […]

Cruelty and Clemency

Concerning Cruelty And Clemency, And Whether It Is Better To Be Loved Than Feared Niccolo Machiavelli COMING now to the other qualities mentioned above, I say that every prince ought to desire to be considered clement and not cruel. Nevertheless he ought to take care not to misuse this clemency. Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; […]

Hostile Takeovers

Melissa, 11 or 12 years-old and dressed in an expensive yellow vest with fur lining, walked with the rigidity and formality of a senior vice president for human resources. She stood before Jenny and spoke with a seriousness both upbeat and weaponized. “I’m not your friend anymore,” Melissa said. “The circumstances make that impossible. I […]

The Meaning of Life

This is a translated version of the speech I delivered yesterday in my Toastmaster’s Meeting. Yoon Du-kyeong, Kim Hyeon and Lee Kyeong are my students, and fellow Toastmasters, at Mokwon University. The original is here, in Korean. What is the meaning of life? That’s a very deep question, so I’ll give you a second to […]

인생의 중심

이런 기사는 저의 토스트마스터스의 연설입니다. 윤두경, 김현과 이경은 토스트마스터스 멤버와 목원대학생입니다.  영어로 쓴 각본은 여기있습니다.  인생의 중심 뭐에요? 아주 깊은 생각입니다. 윤두경, 인생의 중심 뭐에요? “즐거운 삶을 지내면 인생의 중심입니다.” 흠. 흥미로워요. 틀리지만, 흥미로워요. 김현, 인생의 중심 뭐에요? “가족은 인생의 중심입니다.” 아뇨. 인생의 중심은 철학입니다! 어린이부터 저의 인생을 이해하고 싶었습니다. 초딩때 백과사전을 읽었습니다. 특별히 공룡의 […]

Osama bin Laden, A Retrospective

I teach a class on English-American culture at Mokwon University. I wrote the textbook, I chose the topics, I designed the curriculum – this class is as much mine as any class can be. What’s interesting is that, even with all this design and predetermination, I learn something new almost every lecture. Today, my students […]

The Completely Practical Value of Imagination

In addition to writing this blog, playing with  distastefully modified cars and mystifying Koreans with my awesome hanguel skills, I am a graduate student in Paichai University‘s second language acquisition (TESOL) department. As part of my studies, I’ve been collaborating with one of my professors on a scientific paper investigating motivation in language learning. This […]

Condensed Friendship

One of my professors at Paichai University is an enormous tech-guy and he was very excited the other day because, it seems, Korea is on the verge of replacing its paper books with e-book enabled iPads (or their Samsung/LG made equivalents). My first reaction was, typical of my largely tech-indifferent self, to shrug and go […]

Looking Back on Looking Forward

Hi, this is 29 year-old Ben and I’ll be writing in italics for the duration of this article. I’ve lived in Korea four years now. This means a lot of the things I found fascinating and amazing at first have become entirely mundane. This normalization of what, four years ago seemed very exotic, makes it […]