Humans of Hesston: Chanhee Hwang

by Olivia Copsey – Horizon Photographer

Chanhee for HOH 1 (1 of 1)Even now I still don’t have a dream about what I want to be. It sounds weird but I don’t actually want to go back to Korea. I like my family and friends there but I’ve already studied Chinese so now I want to study English. Actually, I want to study another major so I can get a good job working with international people. It will be good I can go back to Korea and get a good job but I want to stay here and continue finding places where I can practice my Chinese and my English. Before, I only knew Chinese, and I wanted to get a good job but they told us that, “English is a very important language to know.” So I quit my job in Korea, even though I’m 25 years old, and I came here. It was a really big deal for me to come to the US, but I wanted to do it. I just ignored my old work because I knew that I did my old work the best I could. I want to speak English very well and I also want to study very hard. I really want to get a job either in the US or in Hong Kong, but I don’t know my future so I just focus on this moment. If I do well, my future will be good, I think. I Chanhee for HOH 2 (1 of 1)hope and believe it.

Here in Hesston, people are very nice so every time I try to say hi to them they will answer. And many of my friends want to help me with my studies and even hang out with me and I will say yes and I go with them. But I really want to understand what they’re saying, what their topic is, but sometimes I don’t understand. I loose the topic and then it sometimes makes me feel very excluded from them. They always tell me, “Keep asking! Don’t worry about it!” But think about it this way, if I’m in Korea, and my friend is a foreigner, and my foreigner friend asks me “what does it mean?” all the time, I will want to explain things to them but eventually it will be too tiring to explain everything. I try to ignore this feeling and I will try to figure out their topics many times, but sometimes I shy away from asking them, because I think they’re too tired of explaining, even if I feel excluded because of my broken English.

But it’s not always like this. Molly Bruner, Jonathan Gonzalez, Olivia Copsey and Gracie Tijerina always help me. Molly was the first person who came to talk with me when I arrived on campus. Even if I have struggles, especially with my Macroeconomy class, I just talked to Molly about those feelings from class, and even though she’s really tired, she wanted to help me. For me, English reading is most difficult. And at that time she helped me with my summaries for my essays so I could catch up with the concepts and answer the questions and problems. I really want to say thank you to her. I don’t know how I can describe my gratitude towards her.

Next is Jonathan. He was the first American boy to approach me and talk to me. The first day I started studying macroeconomy I also began struggling to keep up with the class. I tried to read that book but I couldn’t understand the concepts. At that time Jonathan asked me, “How is your studying going?” and I said, “I don’t know. I don’t know what I can do. I don’t really understand what are they saying.” At this point it was already 12 am but he wanted to help me and he helped me until 3 am. Another time, he wanted to explain the concept of “value added tax” to me because I didn’t understand the specifics. He always helped me until I understood completely. For this one concept it took 1 hour. Therefore, thank you so much Jonathan, you help me feel like I always have someone who I can talk to about anything.

Another person is Olivia. I know I ask too many questions, but every time Olivia will explain everything about English to me. Sometimes I think she will be very tired of explaining things to me but she helps me feel like I can anything and that I should do it without hesitation. Sometimes when I feel excluded or I want to talk to someone I will always find her. This makes me feel very glad to live in the US. Even if I don’t miss Korea sometimes I am lonely, but she helps me not feel lonely. One time we were talking about my English and my English grammar and she said “There is English and then there is Chanhee language.” It was so funny. Thank you for taking time to learn my Chanhee language and for always being there for me.

The last person I want to thank is Gracie. Abraham Mateo introduced me to her and she was welcoming and showed me kindness from the beginning. Sometimes when I have a problem on my mind I want to talk to her about it. She is very understanding about my feeling and my situation even if, when I explain things to her, my English is confusing. She is studying Biblical things so sometimes we talk about the Bible. I’m not a Christian but she shows that she doesn’t care about that, she always just focuses on loving me the way I am.

I like America and I am very happy I met many very good people here. I hope I can advance in my studies and I know my friends will be by my side helping me. Even though I only mentioned a few specific people, I want to thank all my classmates and teachers as well because sometimes I ask my teachers questions but they don’t understand what I’m confused about. But they still try to understand and my classmates always help me get things right, even if they use their own study time to do so.


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