[My grandmother] was born…on the island of [Jeju]…On older maps, the island appears under the name of Quellepart. The [name] originated with the arrival of a group of French missionaries, who asked everyone they saw “en quelle partie,” in which part, of Korea they had landed.”
Kang Chol-Hwan, “The Aquariums of Pyongyang”
Quellepart. Quelpaert. Quelpart.
Numerous spellings in many European languages, but one meaning: “What part?”
I chose Quelpart, because for a brief time in my life, I lived on the Korean island as an English teacher. It was a beautiful time of my life. After my year in Asia, and as I grow older, those around me often ask me, “What are you up to?,” “What did you do this weekend?,” “Do you have a boyfriend?,” and my personal favorite: “Where are you traveling next?”
Quelpart is about the happy “what parts?” of life: books, travel, academic pursuits, outlet malls, food, libraries, National Geographic pull-out maps, and learning Mandarin (to list a few). Despite the evidence that our society is in ruins, my niche here is is happiness in light of this tragic world. I’m glad you’re here to read with me.
For non-familiar readers, I am a 2012 (BA: English) and 2015 (MA: Education/English as a Second Language) graduate of Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. From 2012-2013, I was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. My research interests include East Asian studies, English language acquisition, and cultural attitudes towards English education. For my daytime job, I teach gifted education. In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I am certified to teach English language arts and English as a Second Language. Finally, I am a happy, but-not-so clappy, Roman Catholic who seeks to serve the Lord Jesus. I have much to be thankful for.