September 17, 2015

TBT: My mom. Korea. College Years. Maybe Late 60s, early 70s.


I love my mom's smile in this picture. It's natural and I like how her eyes look like they are smiling too. 

My mom went to Dongduk Women's University and majored in fine arts. She loved oil paining, which was her forte, but she also did water color and also charcoal art as well. She gave up her career though after she married and had kids. She worked at a Japanese company after college and also went by the name Yoshiko Ganda, which I think was a literal translation from her Korean name, when it was written out in Chinese characters. Yoshiko I think means Beautiful {Yoshi} Child {Ko} and my mom's Korean name is Mi Ja - Beautiful "Mi" and Child "Ja".

I think later on in her life she had slight regrets for not pursuing a career in the arts. She tried to pick it up again when my brother and I were all grown and were able to take care of ourselves, but she would always get frustrated because she said her hands felt like they hardened. Her paintbrush didn't flow like it used to. She used to sell her painting at local art stores in New Jersey and they didn't sell for much. I think that hurt her confidence even more. 

But my brother and I thought her work was the best. She hung them up around the house. My favorite was the one she drew of our childhood cocker spaniel, Bobby. 

I wonder where all her paintings have gone. After our family moved around so much, so many of our things disappeared. 

Anyway, that really wasn't the point of the story for today. I didn't realize though it would naturally flow to this. I guess just go where things lead, right?

I'm not sure where this picture was taken. Maybe on campus? Or maybe along Daehak Ro {which literally means college - dae hak -  road - ro}, which is the area or road right outside universities where there are a lot of cafes and little restaurants. I assume she is enjoying lunch with her classmates.

I wonder who took the picture. 

My mom used to tell me that I inherited all her bad genes. Like her crooked teeth and even the way I hold my chopsticks. She never held them correctly and I am absolutely, horribly, painfully bad at it as well. 

I laugh because in this picture you can see her crooked teeth and the slightly awkward way she is holding her chopsticks. 

It's a little odd to think that just a few years later she would marry and have her first child. And then I, the one who inherited all her bad genes, would come about 9 or so years later. 

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