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The Power of Positive Thinking in Search of Myself : Unfurling the Sail of Hope at UST

  • Hits : 1535
  • Registration Date : 2013-01-21
 
 
Dream come true on UST
After graduating from a high school where I studied for the natural sciences stream (serie scientifique) of the baccalaureat [French college entrance qualifying examination], I went on to medical school and worked hard to pass the ranking exam. At the time, I was really interested in genetics, DNA, and human evolution, but that exam was known as one of the really hard ones, and I failed it twice. So I decided to switch to a different department. The field that I was interested in after medicine was fine arts. To major in art history and archeology, I entered the department of humanities. After graduating and obtaining a degree, I had to choose between going on to the master’s program and once again challenging a field in the sciences. In the end, I went on to the master’s program and, for 2 years, studied the characteristics of past ages and age determination methods.

At the Michel de Montaigne University Bordeaux 3 (Universite Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3), there was a program where you could be trained abroad in related fields to obtain a degree. To graduate from the master’s program, I received two types of education. One was opening and running an artist’s studio in Bangkok, Thailand, for 2 months. The other was majoring in luminescence dating together with Dr. Jeong-Heon Choi, my current academic advisor, at a lab at the Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI) in Daejeon, Korea for 6 months, from March 2009.
Luminescence
A phenomenon where inorganic crystals such as quartz and organic materials absorb energy from the outside, accumulate it, it into light, and re-emit it. Because the amount of luminescence is proportionate to the time that has elapsed since the materials have been sedimented, it is possible to estimate the chronology of the materials’ sedimentation.
Last September, I left Daejeon to go back to France. Because my doctoral program at UST began this March, I came back to Korea at the end of February. So it’s only been four months. Of course, I miss my friends and family, but I don’t feel all that lonesome because I can keep in touch with them through the Internet. I talk with Mom on the phone often. Sometimes, I get letters and parcels from France, and, at times like that, it feels like I’m back home.

I come from an extended family. My parents got a divorce when I was in high school. My mother remarried someone who already had two children from a previous marriage, and I grew up with them, a boy and a girl, both younger than me, considering them my blood siblings. So I have five younger sisters and brothers! Some of them already have babies of their own. Because the babies are so little, I’m worried that they might not remember me when I go home to see my family in October.
 
While I was in the master’s program, Professor Choi asked me whether I wanted to enter the doctoral program in Korea. I was really interested in the field of optically stimulated luminescence (OSL; a type of age determination method). Also, because I was already getting along well with the lab team and enjoying life in Korea, I accepted the proposal. So the professor recommended me to UST, and then I took my graduation exams in France and came to Korea this spring.
My doctoral research topic is still related to archeology. Likewise, the thesis of my dissertation is to ascertain the chronology of human evolution in East Asia and Southeast Asia in the Pleistocene epoch [period in which volcanic activities clearly occurred and the ancestors of modern humankind emerged] using luminescence dating and, in particular, OSL. It will help us to understand better the rise of modern humankind’s tools such as hand axes and doubly processed flints and, internationally, goes against Mobius’ theory. That research will encompass cooperation from not only France and Korea but also Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Cambodia.
Mobius’theory:
While studying art history and archeology, I learned about a lot of chronologies, incidents, tools, and artifacts. I became curious about who could determine the chronologies of such ancient civilizations and through what means. Afterwards, I took several courses on radiocarbon conducted by enthusiastic professors. Those professors convinced me that I should enter the master’s program in archeological dating at the University of Bordeaux, and that enabled me to study anthropology more scientifically. So I studied thermoluminescence (TL), and I think it was something I needed. After completing training at KBSI and entering the doctoral program at UST, I ended up changing my major to luminescence dating and OSL.
While studying art history and archeology, I learned about a lot of chronologies, incidents, tools, and artifacts. I became curious about who could determine the chronologies of such ancient civilizations and through what means. Afterwards, I took several courses on radiocarbon conducted by enthusiastic professors. Those professors convinced me that I should enter the master’s program in archeological dating at the University of Bordeaux, and that enabled me to study anthropology more scientifically. So I studied thermoluminescence (TL), and I think it was something I needed. After completing training at KBSI and entering the doctoral program at UST, I ended up changing my major to luminescence dating and OSL.
Q. 평소 하루일과를 어떻게 보내시나요? 특히 여가시간에는 주로 어떤 일을 하시나요?
Usually, I spend the morning in the lab. In the afternoon, I focus on research and analyzing data. I also read academic papers. Last semester, I took courses to broaden my knowledge of my field and to learn more about other efficient dating methods like isotope earth science, radioactive mechanisms, and potassium-argon (K-Ar) or argon-argon (Ar-Ar) dating.
Q. UST에서 학위과정을 하면서 느끼는 소감이 어떤지 궁금합니다.
If your question is about how classes are structured, I think there are vast differences between France and Korea. At French universities, there are no textbooks. We focus on note-taking and professors’ lectures. They become our reference materials. Afterwards, we up by going to the library and looking up books that have explanations or details related to the lectures. But the courses in Korea I’ve taken have textbooks and PowerPoint presentation files related to the courses that you can print out beforehand. They help students to focus more easily on the fields, get more specific information, and interact with professors. So I prefer the way classes are run in Korea.
Q. 부서 동료들이나 UST의 다른 학생들과는 어떻게 지내는지 궁금합니다. 그리고 그들과 함께했던 추억들을 몇 가지 얘기해 주세요
We sometimes get together for fun. They try to show me diverse facets of Korea and, at times, take me to nice places. For example, several days ago, one of my colleagues took me and others from KBSI to the Daejeon Citizens’ Observatory, where you can gaze at stars and planets. Many pictures of outer space are on exhibition, and they have a planetarium [domed facility at institutions such as science museums that artificially projects stars and planets indoors] and astronomical telescopes, too. We had a great time. Also, we see foreign movies with Korean subtitles at theaters. It’s a good way to see movies together.
Q. 한국에서 특별히 인상 깊었던 사람은 누구인가요? 그분과 어떤 인연인지 말씀해주세요
In April last year, I had a chance to go to a fan meeting with the actor Jun-gi Lee, who’s now doing his military service. I never even imagined I’d get to see him in person, and it was really good. I think that will be my happiest memory in Korea. The second most memorable thing is the time I spent with my best friend on a vacation in Korea. We visited Jeju Island and Seoul and even stayed in Japan for several days. I wish my friend could come to Korea again and take a better look around the country.
Q. 그동안 한국에서 생활하며 좋아하는 음식이나 음악, 장소 등 기억에 남는 일이 있다면 소개해주세요.
I really love rice cakes, and, for dessert, I like patbingsu (ice shavings topped with sweetened azuki beans and other ingredients) the most. Also, I enjoy samgyeopsal (grilled pork belly meat slices), gimbap (steamed rice and other ingredients rolled in a sheet of dried edible laver), and bibimbap (steamed rice mixed with diverse ingredients in a bowl). Spicy foods are still hard to eat, but I’m getting used to them gradually.

Because I love live concerts, I’m going to concerts by Super Junior and KAT-TUN [Japanese group; their first concert in Korea]. And if there are seats left, I’d like to go to CN Blue’s concert, too. Even though I have difficulty watching TV because my Korean isn’t good enough, I still try not to miss MTV and programs like “One Night, Two Days.” And I often watch Korean dramas.
Q. 학위를 마치면 본국으로 돌아갈 계획인가요? 앞으로의 각오와 꿈을 말씀해 주세요.
I want to continue working in archeology. And, even after I obtain a doctoral degree, I’d like to study further the chronology of diverse civilizations in particular. Also, to understand Korean culture, I want to live in Korea for a bit longer. End
Whenever she misses her country and loved ones, Mailys Katia says she thinks about why she has come here and how so many envy her for doing what she does. So she commits to memory even the smallest thing that will make her like Korea. We hope that the time that she spends here will remain for her the most precious and beautiful memories of her life.