Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More pictures (6.29)

Jana's presentation

Where we had lunch

Tons of food!!

Presentation is everything. So beautiful!

Elizabeth's bite taught her that she should check for bones first...

Traditional Korean dessert. It's rice in sugar water. We realized later that you are supposed to drink it...not eat it with a spoon. Ah cultural differences...

Rockin out in the subway

At the palace after the changing of the guard. These men portray the old police

Beautiful palace courtyard

The markers represent where each level of citizens would stand and then bow to the king. The front markers are for the most prominent, and the lower class citizens were in the back.

This marker would be for the prime minister. The "dash" symbol you see is the number "one."

Inside the throne room where the king sat

These bowls were filled with water because there was a superstition that if a ghost was behind you and you looked in the water, the ghost would see it's ugly reflection and run away!

Old world and new world united

King Sejong

Courtyard of the palace

Deoksu Palace

Day 2: Palace Visit

Our topic for class yesterday was bullying, and was the first time we experienced a cultural difference on how to approach this topic in schools. Both the Koreans and the Americans were extremely surprised to hear how the other country handles bullies in the schools. Americans work to help victims and improve the attitudes and behaviors of the bullies themselves through group counseling, guidance curriculum, and other prevention/intervention techniques. However, in Korea, the victims of bullying are usually asked to transfer schools. Although some group counseling has proven effective in helping victims feel connected to other victims, the most popular solution to bullying is to ask the victim to leave the school. Victims are thought to disrupt the harmony within the classroom, thus the fault of bullying tends to lie with the victim (so, for example, the victim has some sort of personality defect that is disrupting the class harmony and thus causing the other students to bully him or her). The classroom is considered a family (as is the nature of collectivistic cultures like Korea), and the disruption of this family atmosphere is considered extremely aversive. Teachers in Korea are very intelligent, highly respected, and represent a population that never experienced bullying during their school years. Therefore, it hard for them to relate to students who are bullied. School counseling is a relatively new occupation in Korea (it started around 2006), so Korean school counselors recognize this problem and are working towards trying new interventions to amend this problem.

We had a traditional Korean lunch with the faculty of Korea University's College of Education. This was the first restaurant that required us to take off our shoes before entering. The food was interesting, beautiful, and never ending. It is amazing how spicy the food is here, yet drinks are not a main component of a meal (which made for lots of laughs and watery eyes). We realized how often we take for granted the little things in the lack of fish bones (filet) and the word boneless (experiences of Elizabeth and Jana respectively). We enjoyed the company very much, and it was nice to hear a familiar American southern accent (our new friend John Marshall, a KU faculty member from Chattanooga, TN).

After class, we took a tour of Deoksu Palace. This palace was called "Geumnae" which means forbidden palace, and served as the King's residence starting in 1567. King Seonjong was the main King who lived here. He is well known for inventing the sun-dial, water clock, and the Korean alphabet known as "Hangul". His picture is also on the Korean currency "won".

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Pics from 6.29

This is us with our Korea University tour guide, Christine...

Our blog has become so famous that Korea University decided to do a nationwide interview on TV....or not lollollollolol

I love you too Korea...

Pictures from today (6.29)

Us in front of Korea University's main entrance and "Central Park" before our tour this afternoon. Apparently, when the weather is nice, students relax on the grass and have picnics. It's a lot like Auburn's quad... or that weird open field everyone calls "Auburn Beach" (except it's a lot nicer!)

Built into the floor is a 3D map of campus, and it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! They even encouraged us to walk across it. It was a really neat way to see just how large KU is!

Our feet over the school's "Central Park" and front entrance.

Before entering the media center, students must swipe their ID card and reserve a study table for 3 hours at a time. The yellow squares are open, and if someone leaves their desk for more than an hour, their table is given away.

This is how Korea University professors take roll. Students swipe a card before they enter class (so the professor can see if they were on time), and then students must swipe the card after class is over (so the professor can see if they "ran away from class," as our tour guide said)

KU is extremely high tech. This is the entrance to the study rooms in the media center.

This is "Squirrel Road." Tradition says that if you are walking with one other person of the opposite sex and you see a squirrel, the two of you will start dating. However, if you are walking with someone of the same sex and you see a squirrel, then you will remain single for your duration at KU. No squirrels were spotted today...

Beautiful spot at KU. Our tour guide told us that these trees are apparently very expensive, and if you were to steal it, you could go to jail! (Apparently, the pole sticking out of the ground is to hold up the tree, and NOT to strap it to the ground...we won't name names as to who asked that question...)

To commemorate the day, we went to a store that was full of those picture booths! It was so crowded! They even had funny hats and props to use for the pictures.

Apparently after you finish taking the pictures, you can draw on them and add fun clip art pictures!

We laughed so hard while doing this!

Getting the pictures laminated and cut. Thank you girls for such a sweet memory from our first full day in Korea!

Shopping :-) There was SO much to look at!

Sweet friends bought us a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts! They were HOT NOW, and who can resist that sign?

This is how excited Erin is to know Yu-Na Kim is a student at Korea University! Our school counseling friends are planning on taking us to the on-campus Olympic sized skating rink sometime this week. Apparently, the University re-did the entire rink to accommodate her practice needs while at school

Jet-Lag is a Beast

Today we had our first class and met a lot of great new friends in Korea University's school counseling program. We talked about the differences between multicultural & diversity sensitivity in both Korea and the US. We learned a lot from each other and how our two countries are similar and different. For instance, while Korea mostly focuses on multiculturalism (meaning different races and ethnicities), the US has shifted towards focusing on diversity (incorporating factors like religion, gender, SES, sexual orientation, etc.). However, both countries (especially the school counselors in both countries) are working towards establishing equality for all students and helping students who may not have the type of education they need simply because of their minority status.

After class we had lunch with the International Studies chair and her graduate assistant at a Korean Chinese restaurant. We tried LOTS of new food--in fact, we were so full from lunch that we had a bowl of ice cream (from Cold Stone!!) for dinner.

After lunch, we had a tour of Korea University. It is such a beautiful campus with lots of fun traditions. Their media center is the equivalent to our library--lots of places to study and do work!

Finally, we had two girls from our class take us to Janhul to shop (at least, we think that's what it was called...). We took the subway, and it was INCREDIBLE--extremely clean, lots of room to stand and sit, and we felt completely safe.

Now we are getting showers and headed to bed early because we are noticing that we are still severely jet-lagged (especially Jana!) and need to prepare for class tomorrow!

To our cohort: We think of you often and wish you guys were here with us! We miss you!

Monday, June 28, 2010

This is Jana eating a bite of seaweed soup....and one bite was all she wrote...Erin and Elizabeth were smart and did not try it.

"K guys.... this is it.... don't get scared now"....Elizabeth's favorite quote from Home Alone :)

"Big ole jet airliner...don't carry me too far away!!!"

Jealous??? should be! :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Testing, Testing

Hello friends !

Starting Sunday, we will be exactly 2 weeks from our departure date! We spent the morning coming up with a lesson plan for our multicultural sensitivity presentation for the 6th grade Korean students. We then re-wrote some lyrics to a traditional Korean children's song to reflect the importance of appreciating the differences of others. After pulling out all of our hair (except Jana, her hair got bigger...), we finally arrived at some lyrics that we are proud of! We are happy to say that our friendships are still intact.

From here, we are working individually on our two other presentations (Dr. Suh...have you started yet?!) as well as wrapping up our intense 5 week summer classes. Did we mention the fact that we still have to pack?

And did we mention...we leave in 2 weeks? No, seriously, 2 weeks!!

Lots of love from the group study room of RBD, 3rd floor.

Jana, Elizabeth, and Erin