How’d a philosophy major from rural Canada end up in Seoul?

A picture of a professional-looking English copywriter & proofreader
Photo courtesy of Cristian Bucur

Hailing from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada, I came to Korea for an adventure at the tail end of 1995. I only intended to stay for a few years…oops! I’ve now lived in Korea longer than I did in Canada.

I taught at several different private academies throughout Korea from 1995–2003. I then got a position at a small college-come-university in Seoul. While working there, I got my master’s degree in TESOL from Sookmyung Women’s University in 2011. FYI, only the undergrad program is female-only—I didn’t need to complete my degree incognito! 😉 I enjoyed completing my degree and was a much better student than during my undergrad days. But it became painfully obvious that I had no desire to move on to a Ph. D. program. At all. Ever.

I enjoyed teaching & assumed I’d be in the classroom for good

Truth be told, after 17 ½ years at the same school, I expected to continue working there until I retired. I had a private office, a decent schedule, and for the most part, I enjoyed my job. When my job was taken away from me, my initial thought of getting another teaching job was quickly replaced by another one—it’s time for a change.

A picture of Dean Comeau, English copywriter and proofreader
Photo courtesy of Cristian Bucur
A picture of friendly neighborhood English copywriter and proofreader
Photo courtesy of Cristian Bucur

Perry Como? Albert Camus? Dean Comma?

An amusing (but daily) annoyance at my school was the spelling of my family name—Comeau. I’m used to people mispronouncing it, but at my school, it was written no less than three different ways in Korean. In the official computer system, it was 커머 (Kuh-muh). My office door proudly bore the name 커뮤 (Kuh-myu). The building directory had me listed as 거모 (Guh-mo). Three attempts and not one of them was right! For reference, it should be 커모 (Kuh-mo). Would’ve been an easy fix—if anybody had bothered to ask me about the actual pronunciation.

Grammar police or friendly copywriter/proofreader?

That “change” I was looking for was copywriting and proofreading. I decided I wanted to help fix the errors (like the one with my name at my old school) that I see on a daily basis. I want to help people get their message out there in fluent, compelling English.

I play guitar and take weekly lessons. During my lessons, I often feel like I’ve played a passage well—hey, I got all the notes right! But my teacher will then point out several mistakes in my playing that I was totally oblivious to. And that’s what I’m trying to do with this business. I’m not looking down on anyone in a pretentious manner. Just as my guitar teacher points out things I’ve missed, I correct things you weren’t even aware were wrong. My guitar teacher makes me a better guitarist. I want to help make your message more professional and effective.

A picture of an English copywriter and proofreader showing his fun side.
Photo courtesy of Cristian Bucur