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2017-12-27 Eben’s Notes: “Lack of donations”

I remember back when I was a high school student that many lazy students would read Cliff’s Notes based on books rather than reading the original books. Of course, I was never one of those students, I would read the original texts.

But I feel like being a lazy reader because of Eben Appleton. Sometimes I feel like reading Eben’s Notes rather than my own Korea Times column. She reads my columns, then will write a summary on Facebook. I don’t know how many people read my column, but I can be sure that at least two people do so–Eben and the opinion page editor of the Korea Times. And sometimes I’m not so sure about my editor!

You can read her latest summary, and/or if you have time, you can read the original column. You decide: Eben’s Notes or Casey’s Column. 🙂

And here is Eben’s fundraiser for TNKR.



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2017-03-18/19 Active, not busy

A bit earlier, a friend I haven’t seen since September asked me if I’m still busy. I said: “I’m not busy. I’m active!” That means that I’m doing many things, meeting many people. But I can always squeeze fun into my schedule, no matter how busy I may look to some people.


TNKR’s upcoming schedule.

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2017-03-07 Korea Times Roundtable: Trump vs. Kim

The Korea Times roundtable invited Korea Times columnists with many years of journalistic experience and Park Jin, former lawmaker and experienced hand in foreign affairs, to take the pulse of the rising tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Thanks to Youngmin Kwon for scanning these articles.

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2017-02-28 Don’t Even Think About… Taking My Photo

TNKR volunteer tutor Arrooj Nawaz was teaching her student the phrase “Don’t even think about…”

As usual, they showed the enthusiasm of military draftees when I said it was photo time. So I taught the student the phrase: “Don’t even think about taking my photo.” I think such ‘Live English” helps students remember key phrases. 🙂

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2017-02-26 On the 7th Day, TNKR still didn’t rest

We had an incredible speech contest yesterday! We should have taken the day off, but instead, we were back at the office today.

  1. Training session for the new TNKR curriculum
  2. Tutoring session
  3. Feedback sessions with refugees
  4. Storytelling by Michael Breen as part of the TNKR-Korea Times discussion.
  5. Nuclear-fire chicken fundraiser for TNKR!

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2017-02-23 Korea Times discussion

I had a great time at a Korea Times Roundtable discussion. I had planned on skipping it because it was a high-level policy discussion. But my boss, Oh Young-jin, Chief Editorial Writer at the Korea Times, gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I also didn’t plan on writing a column based on the discussion, but other columnists, especially Michael Breen and Don Kirk, encouraged me to do so.


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2017-01-22 “Time and a Dime” discussion (hongdae)

I led a discussion about my recent Korea Times column, “Time and a dime.” We had a great turnout, the largest I have seen at this particular discussion group.

There’s an old saying: After being in China for a week, you are ready to write a book. After being in China for six months, you think about writing an article for your hometown newspaper. After being in China for a year, you put your head down and mutter.

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2017-01-19 NK refugees learn English to survive here

Today’s Korea Times has a feature on the establishment of the TNKR-Korea Times Newspaper Discussion Club.

TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue presented his recent column “Time and a Dime.”

He will also be discussing the column at two English-language discussion groups:

Friday January 20, from 7:30-9:45 pm (Gangnam)

Sunday January 22, from 10:45 am-1:00 pm (Hongik University)

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2016-12-20 TNKR knows no season

We are just a few days from Christmas, but our office was non-stop busy today.

I was reminded today what a real reporter is like. She read many articles and watched videos about TNKR in advance. She had good sharp questions. Everything interested her. She talked to me, refugees, tutors, volunteers, everyone in the office.

I have had a couple of lousy reporters show up, look around, interview one or two people briefly, then do their show or article without any perspective. In some cases, it even seemed they had made up their minds before they talked with us.

The reporter who showed up today will be doing a feature article about TNKR sometime in January. She even read about my days when I was volunteering for the Mulmangcho School.

Welcome to TNKR! It was her first day tutoring-and she got interviewed by a reporter with a huge media outlet.

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2016-12-10 Brainstorming, not blamestorming

“If you organize a planning meeting for 100 people, but only three people show up, then you know what? You’ve got three people to work with. Get started with them, don’t focus the meeting on the 97 people who aren’t there.”

Korea Times, April 2014, “Man in the mirror, not the magnifying glass”


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