Hello, I'm Tae (pronounced tay).
I am a senior at the University of Florida, where I am majoring in journalism and studying Asian studies and international relations.
My love affair with newspapers began when I was a kid, when I began reading the news every day because I could not stand not knowing and understanding what my parents were talking about at the dinner table. It did not take me long to fall in love with the stories being told in the black-and-white pages of the local newspaper -- this was a different world from the fiction I had been used to reading. These journalists were storytellers just like my beloved J.K. Rowling or Douglas Adams, to be sure, but they wrote of real events happening to real people, and to my young self, it all seemed rather...wonderful.
Paired with my constant need to write, my natural curiosity toward anything and everything, as well as my long-founded love of journalism, drove me toward J-School -- if I could, I would sit down with everyone I ever met to listen to and learn from their stories. It is my belief that journalism, more than anything else, is the source through which people globally and locally get to know and learn about and from one another.
Although I started out wanting to learn the skills needed to work in a traditional newsroom, I have become more and more interested in online media and communications. As a result, I have been a blogger/writer for the Hawaii-based DISFunkshion Magazine and maintain my own blog, The Netizen, which is focused on Korean pop culture, an area in which I have been a lifetime observer.
I am currently a staff writer and the content editor of Sparks Magazine, a campus-based publication that serves Asian American perspectives and issues. The topic of Asian and Asian American studies has never ceased to both fascinate and engage me, especially because my roots as an immigrant from South Korea who came to America as a young child have strongly defined my perspective. I have a particular interest in Asian politics and social issues. I have also been a contributing writer for The Independent Florida Alligator.
In addition to being a K-Pop aficionado, I am a history nut (which resulted in an internship at the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, where I came to appreciate the importance of the preservation of local history), notorious television addict (this admittedly includes a majority of those terrifyingly entertaining reality shows on Bravo, E! and TLC), and an amateur cook (and by that I mean I experiment with food a lot more than anyone should). You may have also guessed at this already, but I am a lover of books, in particular biographies and historical nonfiction.