About my new challenge
This year, I took on the challenge of graduate school. It's been 20 years since I received my first master's degree in graduate school.
I am currently a painter and recently debuted as a writer, but my first major was nursing. And I actually worked as a nurse in the surgical intensive care unit of a general hospital for three years. And after seeing the guardian of a patient suffering from a lack of medical information in an intensive care unit, I decided to study more and completed a master's degree in medical informatics. After that, I worked as a researcher at the Medical Information Research Institute for 6 years. Until I left Korea for Germany in 2006, I never knew in my wildest dreams that I would become an artist and live another life.
It was just my first impression of Germany when I saw the checkered green fields before landing at the Frankfurt Airport in Germany and started thinking that the geometric patterns of the fields were very beautiful. But it wasn't long before a reality that shattered many illusions was unfolding before me. The gloomy climate where it is hard to see sunlight all year round, the food that does not suit my taste, life as a foreigner, longing for my hometown, and the blurry future... Living in a foreign country as a foreigner is gradually becoming a reality.
However, looking back, feelings of homesickness, deep loss, and depression rather gave me a good opportunity to look into the proposal intensively. I finally realized why Germany produced so many great philosophers, musicians, writers and artists. And it didn't take long to find out. I still sometimes remember the sound of rain and wind in Germany on gloomy climate and the dark German sky like a thick carpet. Under that dark carpet, I always thought and thought and thought again. And when the homesickness reached its peak, I picked up a brush to catch my fragile mentality.
That's how I started drawing. And those days, the struggling, and the pain gathered to become a fuse to become an artist. That's how my life turned on the light.
The moment of painting was the shelter for me when all the darkness, loneliness, worry, and pain in the world disappeared. I draw every day and look at the white wall and hang my picture there in my imagination. And those imaginations were realized through the exhibition one by one. I opened an exhibition and the paintings began to sell.
In the meantime, I left the Karlsruhe, Germany, which made me an artist, and relocated to New York. Like a nomad who could not settle down anywhere and had to move here and there, my life felt like moving in search of another settled area.
However, just as Abraham in the Bible lived wandering here and there, looking at the stars in the sky, constantly communicating with the Creator, finding comfort in his non-stable life, finding direction and dreaming of a vision, painting was like a star to me. I always picked up a brush when I had to move somewhere or settle down in an unfamiliar place.
When my heart is dark, painting has made me my own garden that sparkles like a dream.
When I felt lonely and empty as if I was alone in the world, painting became the best friend I could open up to.
When I was at a loss as to where to start or how to survive in an unfamiliar land, painting became a good means of livelihood for me.
And when the whole world stopped due to a pandemic, painting became a refuge for me to face my fears in a small studio. And while experiencing the joy, consolation, healing, and energy that this kind of painting gives, I came to think that I want to share this kind of heart.
This time, I wanted to be synchronized with the world through painting. At some point during the pandemic, I felt like I was isolated in the studio. With a desire to connect with the world, I applied to graduate school.
The school I came to study at is Adelphi University. I'm taking an online master's course in the major, the Educational theatre, Storytelling and Arts. At first, there was pressure to study literature together, not just painting. And there were also concerns about whether the online course would have an effect. However, after taking the class for one semester, I confess that these worries have completely disappeared. This course became another turning point in my life.
The dream of wanting to be connected to the world through pictures has been completed with a children's book. Before entering this graduate school, I never dreamed that I would be writing children's books.
Looking at the fruits of one semester, I realize that my choice this year to enter graduate school was not wrong.
The master's course I am studying is a program that I want to give excellent marks to in all aspects. First of all, professors respond immediately to students' questions within 24 hours. They always listen to students' questions with an open mind and answers them. They are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. In addition, infinite encouragement is poured out for each assignment. I feel that I am gradually developing in this kind of encouragement and support.
Above all, considering my hectic schedule with work, childcare, and housework, the Asynchronous Online Course is a perfect program. I can make a study schedule according to my life pattern and choose and concentrate.
And above all, it's not about learning to be negligent about being online. Rather, it was effective because I could listen to the last lecture over and over again, concentrate on it, and exchange assignments, thoughts, and opinions with other classmates.
Therefore, when you see these aspects, it is a program that I highly recommend if you want to connect with the world with a vision as an art educator while drawing as an artist like me.
Myungja Anna Koh