Joon Chung


Joon Chung
Your name: Joon Chung

Your home town: Midlothian, VA

Your major(s): Sociology

Are you fluent in any language(s) other than English?
Conversational Korean

What are your career plans?
Academia – professor

What is your favorite book or author and why?  Clive James – Unreliable Memoirs. The memoir is not entirely factual (as the title suggests), but I found it to be funny and emotionally honest. It tells the story of a boy growing up in Australia in the aftermath of World War II and all of the awkwardness, self-consciousness, and discovery that accompanies the growth of a child through adolescence to early adulthood.

What is your favorite word? Sleep

Describe a significant breakthrough in your development as a writer.
My first rejection letter from an academic journal was highly instructive. Although I had learned previously that writing should be crafted for a specific audience, I secretly clung to the belief that “good writing is good writing”. I thought that if I could organize my paper well and turn a few phrases, my writing would be accepted anywhere. I incessantly revised my paper and polished it to maximal eloquence – it was to be my first solo journal article. One of my reviewers on that paper barely touched on the substance of my argument and instead torched my writing style as inappropriate for a scientific journal (e.g. too stylistic). What was harder to swallow was that the reviewer was right! I learned that academic writing consists not of a single style but rather a set of genres that have various conventions, even ithin disciplines. This experience taught me that what was considered great writing in one context could be interpreted as unacceptable in another. With this understanding, I later revised the paper and got it published!