It’s the last Friday of the month, and that means it’s time for the very first Blogger Dossiers post! I’ve asked Chantelle of Callistonian.net to be my first featured blogger, and she agreed! Chantelle is a super sweet, lovely person, and she’s also graduating today as a valedictorian! I am able to attend her ceremony, and it’s an honour to do so. Do check out her blog, as well as her Instagram! She also has a Twitter, but she much prefers Instagram. Enjoy this post and enjoy getting to know Chantelle!
Hi! I’m Chantelle. I live in Korea. I’m intensely curious, so I’m always trying to learn something. I’ve just finished a Master’s program, but it isn’t the end of my formal schooling. Besides history and legal studies, the two subjects I take most seriously, I also adore music, the hard sciences, math, languages, biking, teaching, photography, wandering my city, purchasing stationery, mailing letters, reading, writing, cats, the color green, etc. Thus, I typically have several huge projects running at once and a very full schedule.
Snow days. They were magical. As a child, I absolutely loved them. If I had them as an adult, I’m sure I would love them too. I also love my job, but since I haven’t had a single day off in over a month and since the weather has been horribly humid and hot, the idea of a random and cold off-day really excites me. As kids, my friends and I would always wish so hard for snow and do our “snow dances.” Snow was always amazing: it meant no school and it never stayed long enough to get dirty.
It’s a Kpop song. It’s not a favorite, but I think it’s sweet, cute, and fun. It’s GOT7’s “딱 좋아 (Just right)”.
Coffee Break Conversation
If you could meet Henry David Thoreau what would you discuss with him and why that particular subject?
Honestly, I would be very shy or simply terrified at first, because he’s someone who died before America’s Civil War concluded…I don’t like ghosts! Joking aside, I wouldn’t know what to say to him. I wouldn’t even know how to greet him. I do think that we could probably get along, but I can’t imagine things not being incredibly awkward. As a historian, I might like to get some information on his contemporaries, learn some things about daily life during his time, and clarify some factual issues, but I doubt that I would want to discuss anything with him. I admire him as a historical figure, but generally I think that a meeting between people from different periods would be traumatizing for both parties. Also, I imagine that he’s traveling to the future to talk to me as I would NEVER wish to visit his era, so I might try to help him understand what life is like in the twenty-first century.
On a final note, I would be more willing to have “discussions” with historical figures I’m not that fond of as opposed to those I truly admire so I would really like to have a “discussion” with Thomas Jefferson.
Of all the independent cafes you’ve been to in Korea, which one is your favourite and would recommend others?
This is perhaps bad, but I don’t have a favorite independent cafe. When I go to a cafe alone, I want to be productive, so I want there to be lots of space, light, and excellent wi-fi. In my area, the independent cafes tend to lack space and outlets, so I visit the chains: Angels-in-Us, Coffee Smith, Hollys, Caffe Bene, Starbucks, etc.
Among the chains, I don’t have a favorite because I’m also a fan of change. I like for the cafe to be new. None of the ones that I regularly visit have been in existence for more than a year or two.
Regardless, when I’m with friends, I want to go somewhere comfortable and slightly fancy or weird. That’s when I go to independent ones. However, since there are literally more than 100 cafes within 20 minutes walking distance of where I live, we don’t visit the same one twice. Visiting new ones is too much fun.
If you could hop on a plane right now (or a boat, flying carpet, teleporter . . . ) where would you go and why?
I would go home and see my parents because I haven’t seen them in years.
If you could create a board game, what kind of concept would it be? Explain in details, even down to the kind of player pieces you’d create!
Conceptually, I’d probably go for the classic “defeat all of your opponents, take over the world, and establish a monopoly” type of game, but I don’t play many board games so it’s hard for me to imagine creating one. Still, if I were to design a game that I wanted to truly enjoy, it would be super complicated. It would somehow involve math, some kind of calculations, perhaps like some of the fantasy sports leagues do. It would also involve making alliances with other players, lying, and intrigue like Mafia. Ideally, it wouldn’t be a physical board game but a digital one because games life Mafia are best with a lot of people. It’s hard to fit a bunch of people around a board on a table. Certain groups may also need to have secret conversations with one another that wouldn’t be possible in a room with a regular board game setting. I’d also want the game to last more than a day or two, to give players time to ruminate on their decisions.
Other than the piano, is there any other instruments you’re interested in taking up? If yes, what is it and why that instrument?
Violin! I adore old violins; I used to play the violin. I wouldn’t say that I was obsessed with violins because I don’t have one in my possession right now, but that’s hopefully only a temporary problem; I like them very much. They’re awesome and there’s a lot of music written for them. As an adult, when I was deciding what instrument to study, the piano, the violin, and the gayageum were battling for my attention. My first choice was actually the gayageum. Once I saw an amazing koto performance and my mind was completely blown. I was determined to find and play it, but given that the koto is a Japanese instrument, the most practical solution for me in Korea was the gayageum, which is similar. However, it ended up being a bit of a pain (literally and otherwise) so I quickly gave it up and later switched to the piano, the most practical of the three. Finding time to practice the piano is hard enough, but with the violin it would have been almost impossible… With a digital piano, practicing at 3AM is no problem, but with the violin I’d be disturbing my neighbors because I can’t plug it in and wear headphones.