Looking Back at 2012…
Jini Shim: Earlier this year, I came to Korea Daily and asked them if I can use some of their magazine pages to publish articles in English. The reason was that throughout the many months I was back in San Diego, I met people who were avid fans of Korean dramas, interested in learning the Korean language, enjoying not just Kpop music but Korean indie songs (nice taste), or simply wanted to know a new culture. And before I knew it, a coterie of “Korean culture enthusiasts” was turning into a big network, and I wanted to share their stories to a wider community. I am so grateful for everyone that I met through this, and am constantly amazed at the passion and knowledge they bring. And I can proudly say that we are connecting with one another on a quite personal and profound level, which is truly a blessing.
Clark Rhodes: I began writing and editing for KKonnect in its infancy. The newborn project was perhaps a preemie of sorts, fragile, but alive and hungry. When Jini Shim, Vong Phonsiri Jr., and I began brainstorming in April, we were (and still are to some extent) very idealistic. The project isn’t close to being a year old, but like any child, we always seem to be outgrowing our clothes. I began with the Korea Daily, writing simple articles about the Dalai Lama and UCSD’s Korean Culture Night. Now I find myself analyzing data, taking wacky pictures, scouting writers, and drinking more and more coffee each day. I don’t consider myself a parent of KKonnect, but more like a Godfather or crazy uncle. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity given to me by the Korea Daily to nurture this child. I’m also proud of my ever-growing KKonnect family and I see nothing but potential in San Diego’s Korean-American community.
Natalie Cisneros: Although I have only been with this magazine for a couple months, I am grateful for this opportunity and have had a lot of fun so far with the KKonnect family. I first started out here with my article on Gangnam Style, and would like to write many articles in the future about the impact of Korean culture around the world. As I am becoming more involved in the Asian community in San Diego, I hope to spread cultural awareness to more people through the many great aspects of Asian culture, including: film, music, language, and dance. I have never considered myself as a writer before, so I would like to become even better at sharing my thoughts and grow closer to the people I know and have yet to meet. To everyone in KKonnect, let’s continue to write great articles and give more opportunities for people in San Diego to learn about Korean culture!
Simeon Rodgers: Writing for KKonnect has been a great experience for me. Being able to place my thoughts and dreams on a page for others involved in the culture to read has been really rewarding. Because I love to think, I come up with lots of topics to write about and having a place to share them is priceless. Undoubtedly it’s also cool to have people recognize me from the magazine, or local businesses thanking me for featuring them in an article. Being a part of KKonnect is just one more way I can be involved in the Korean culture of San Diego and bring people together around the world. Not to mention that I have met a lot of cool people through this experience. What’s not so cool about that?
Francis Bautista: How did I get involved with KKonnect? Jini dug a really big hole, covered it with a tarp, and put a picture of SNSD’s Tiffany on it. I ran towards it and fell in. ….No? Okay, this is how it really happened. My friend Ivan called me up to the office to hang out, and Jini told me about the group, their goals, and the KKonnect magazine. Jini asked me to do an article on a restaurant, and out of fun, I did. I figured that I wasn’t doing anything better anyway. That article got published. Ever since then, I’ve been writing articles and publishing my manhwa “Strawberry Scented Burnout:Taekwondo” within the pages of KKonnect. I always figured that my knowledge of taekwondo and knowledge of Korean food and shoji would come in handy. I’ve enjoyed my time with KKonnect and I’m looking forward to what the next year holds. Maybe I’ll actually learn Korean. Serious.
Rhema Williams: Becoming an intern at KKonnect has been a fun part of my life. I really enjoy telling people that I have the opportunity to write for a Korean magazine. One of the best points about the internship is meeting all the cool people who work with me that have become good friends of mine! I have continued to broaden my knowledge of Korean culture through this internship and I’m very grateful to the KKonnect staff for all they have done for me!
Eli Shand: Oh, where should I start? Well, it’s been a real pleasure to work with the Korea Daily, and more specifically, the wonderful KKonnect family! We’ve had our shares of not-so-inside jokes and adventures, and have welcomed some new friends on board during these few months. I never imagined that I’d find an opportunity to become a published writer as a 16 year old High School student, let alone one in which I got to leave my mark in the San Diego community by helping those delve into the world of Korean Pop Culture! The fabulous friendships and memories made thus far have made the hours of dedicated work and commute worth it, and it’s a great feeling to be able to look back and watch how far we’ve progressed over time~ With 2013 right around the corner, I hope that KKonnect will continue to blossom and truly become something that I can look back at and be proud of always as I transition forward into college. Please keep your eyes out for our future issues and other endeavors, I can promise that we won’t disappoint!