English has become the lingua franca. It makes it possible for people who do not share a mother tongue to communicate and share their ideas. This is one of the crucial factors that makes English appealing to non- English speakers, including myself. My mother tongue is Korean. Still, I joined The Granite Tower (GT) with one primary goal. I strived for five semesters to deliver a Korean sentiment to more foreign students inside and outside of Korea University (KU).
I did not want to stop there. As one reporter, after delivering the facts and thoughts of Koreans to foreign students, and sometimes vice versa, I wanted to create a healthy discourse on various issues with participants with different perspectives. For this, GT flew overseas to Japan, a country so close, yet so far. There, we visited The WASEDA Guardian, an English press at Waseda University that shares a similar purpose with myself and GT. We signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) and began a cultural exchange. In an effort to share ideas, both organizations agreed to write a Special Feature section together regarding the Korean wave and Japanese wave in each country, which is a relatively light subject to start with.
Luckily, this topic went quite well with our December issue’s theme–– culture. The cover story frankly conveys the daily life of indie musicians, asking the general public for attention. One feature article points out why musical ticket prices continue to skyrocket. Furthermore, two reporters each worked on long-range coverage from September for this month’s feature and Student Life article, following troupes inside and outside of KU.
This time, the Photo Division portrayed a mother giving birth to a child. At the end of the pregnancy, there was the start of a new life. Editing the photo essay was moving. For me, the last semester in GT finally came to an end. I cannot say that I did a perfect job; honestly, sometimes confronting the indifference of Korean students was a bigger worry than my primary goal. Nevertheless, I can say that I did my utmost to capture the sympathy of my reporters, hoping to align my goals with GT’s long- term goals. I think I understand, just a little, how a mother hopes for her child to live a better life than she did. Similarly, I put full confidence that GT will bring a much better fruition in the future than this semester. Thank you to all associate editors, reporters, and readers who were concerned for GT this year. I hope for the best in 2013 for all.