Sunday, March 9, 2014

Our Hero, Pororo

At some point in my early-twenties, I turned anti-television. I think I described it in my journals as a sort of "morphine for life" that numbed one's desire to pursue relationships, spirituality, and other meaningful pursuits. That radical view, along with most of my other radical views, softened substantially during my Asian travels, but I never did reconcile enough with TV to actually buy one during the five years we've lived here in Athens. Then, a few months ago, a Korean couple who was leaving Athens gave us their TV. Although we haven't actually hooked it up to get channels, we did download some Korean cartoons (Tayo, Pororo, and Cloud Bread) for Ellie to watch.

Ellie became a quick fan, JooYeon has had more space in her final months of pregnancy, and I got the final burst of time needed to wrap up my dissertation. So, kudos to Pororo. I neglected to mention him in my acknowledgements section in the dissertation, so I'm doing it here in the blog.

Speaking of the dissertation, my oral defense was on Feb. 18. The roads were too icy for one of my members to make the four hour commute, so she agreed to join us on Skype. For the most part, things went smoothly. The hardest part was answering questions, because I had so much that I wanted to say on any given topic, but I knew that I needed to condense it to a reasonable-length answer. My committee members were wonderful, providing me with four fairly different perspectives to polish off the rough edges of my dissertation. Bob Klein, my chair, inspired, challenged, and encouraged me from start to finish.

With the dissertation done, I've had (slightly) more time to spend with Joo and Ellie before our second daughter arrives.

JooYeon's big event was a baby shower thrown for her by the Korean ladies at our church. Judging from the pictures, it was quite a wonderful time! It definitely made me glad once more that we had found a community where JooYeon and Ellie can maintain their cultural ties to Korea.


Ellie's sad news of the month, although she doesn't know it yet, is that one of her best friends will be moving to Japan. They were born just a couple months apart and, after 18 months of ignoring each other on play dates, they had finally gotten to the point where they enjoyed interacting.

Other than that, it's just preparing and waiting for Ellie's little sister to arrive... :)