Monday, July 12, 2010

On Vacay now...we haven't disappeared

Hello from Jeju Island. We arrived here yesterday around 10:00 am to catch a tour bus. We have been going non-stop for the past 48 hours, although we did take a dip in the outdoor jacuzzi last night. We've seen lots of beautiful sites (volcanic caves, unbelieveable rocky coasts, green tea museum, rock gardens etc.) and we are staying in a swanky hotel (Lotte Hotel, Jeju). Sorry for not being able to post pictures, but we are hoping to have wireless access once we arrive in China on Tuesday evening. We have a tour tomorrow up until our flight departs for Bejing tomorrow evening. We are looking forward to our adventures in China and cannot wait to share them with you all. Hopefully we will have a longer update for you once we reach China! Love and miss you all! Erin, Jana, and Elizabeth

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 11: Farewell to Korea University

Dr. Lee singing at the "Norebong" or "Song Room". We celebrated our last class with a little bit of karaoke!
We had bulgogi, rice, and Korean wine for our farewell dinner!

The girls... we decided it was time to look decent! Everyone's first comment was, "Wow, what did you do? I did not recognize you!"

Elizabeth presented on teenage pregnancy prevention in the U.S. When comparing statistics in Korea and the U.S. The Korean teenage pregnancy rate is 2.9% per 1,000 South Korean teenagers. In recent years in the U.S., the percentage was around 71% for teenage mothers between the ages of 15-17 years. According to our classmates, teenage pregnancy is almost "taboo". No one really talks about it with their children, terms are used discretely, and in the school systems girls are the only ones taught about "sex education" not even prevention. If a teenage girl becomes pregnant in Korea, she can no longer attend school. Instead there are centers for pregnant mothers that offer vocational resources. In the U.S., however, pregnant teenagers are still allowed to attend school, and it has become so much more prevalent over the years that no one looks down upon a pregnant female attending school. Causes of teen pregnancy in Korea differ than those in America in the sense that females are more likely to become pregnant due to sexual abuse, dating violence, socioecnomic factors, childhood environments, and lack of knowledge about proper birth control. In the U.S., the number one factor for teen pregnancy is peer pressure and lack of parental communication with their children, especially between mothers and daughters. There has been proven research in the U.S. that the more parents communicate with their children about the consequences of sex, the more likely the chances are of their children waiting longer before they begin engaging in sexual activity.
Sweet friends at our farewell dinner.
Our last class at Korea University. What an incredible class we had together for 2 weeks. We learned so much about one others' culture and the differences and similarities between us all. The three of us (Jana, Erin, & Elizabeth) realized that there is only so much you can learn from a book about multicultural diversity and awareness. Through our experiences at Korea University, our knowledge and awareness of our own culture and background has greatly increased, as well as our knowledge and awareness of Korean culture. Not only did we "do diversity" but we actually "lived diversity" over the past two weeks. There is no greater way to learn about a culture than to immerse yourself in it. We now have an even greater appreciation for Korean culture, and we also realize there is still so much more to be learned. As our journey in Korea ends, we would like to thank our classmates and new friends. We will forever be grateful for all the many things you taught us. We will carry the knowledge, wisdom, and memories we gained from you with us always.

Coffee mugs from our sweet friends at Korea University!

Day 10 (7. 7. 2010)

Jana's presentation: Self Esteem (prevalence and enhancement in American schools). Her presentation focused on how schools can foster students development and enhancement of self esteem. She gave specific examples of classroom recommendations and methods that have been shown to be effective such as: creating a community feeling within the school, parental influence and peer relationships. Korea focuses very little on the subject of self esteem within the school system. However, many students find themselves overwhelmed and depressed due to academic stress in the country which can have a negative influence on their self esteem. America uses a variety of assessments of self esteem, as does Korea. There seems to be more of a focus on subjective measures in regards to American methods.

"American sushi" for lunch :)....aka...not raw

Awesome noodles....and kimchi (Jana will miss you dearly)
Wee= We+ education+ emotion...This organization offers schools, classes and centers all aimed toward offering related support to adolescents (Which is often the school counselor's job in America)

Erin, Jana, and Elizabeth conducted classroom guidance for the Wee class. The focus was Multicultural diversity sensitivity and awareness.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Side Note

Hey everyone! We just wanted to remind you all to check old posts that you may have already read. We tend to upload our pictures one at a time, so we are constantly adding new pictures and comments! Hope you are enjoying our experiences.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 9: Korean Guidance Curriculum Day

Ewha Women's University Elementary School. This is where we did our guidance curriculum lesson on Multicultural/Diversity Awareness & Sensitivity

The school is founded on Christian principles

School lunchroom

The cafeteria food at Ewhaw Elementary School was much healthier than American School food!!

Counseling office
Counseling Center
Counseling Center
Elizabeth & Jana's guidance class

Which bag would you choose? Inside each bag is the same thing: assorted candies. The kids get to choose which bag they want based on its outside appearance. This is an illustration to show that although we are different on the outside, it is what is inside that is important. None of the kids wanted the bag itself...they wanted the candy INSIDE the bag!

After we discussed the importance of valuing our inside qualities, we asked the kids to draw what would be in their own gift box. What qualities do they possess that they offer their friends, family, school, community, and country?

Erin's guidance curriculum class

Erin explaining that even though both bags have candy inside of them, each student chose a different type of candy. We all have similar qualities as human beings, but we are unique and diverse--that's what makes us all so special. One person is not better than the other because of his or her own gifts.
Elizabeth and Jana's class

Erin's class singing the Diversity Awareness Song! Too cute. Their English is excellent.

Day 8

On Monday, Elizabeth presented on School Drop-Out prevention. We had a great class discussion on the differences and similarities between dropouts in the U.S. and in Korea. Students in the U.S. are more likely to dropout of High School due to a low socioeconomic status, a mother's age, lack of interest in school, high absenteeism, family stress (divorce, death, family moves), and failing grades. Korean students are more likely to drop out of school due to a lack of interest. School may not be challenging enough for them and they would rather study on their own, or they have no family support or reason to pursue further education. In Korea, students are required to attend school up until the first grade of middle school, where as in the United States students are required to attend school until the age of 16. Also, school may be boring to Korean students because many families provide private tutors for their students after school. Therefore, they have no desire to learn during the school day. In the U.S. if a student fails a grade they will be held back and must repeat that grade and pass before they can progress on. However, in Korea, if a student attends school but fails their class, they are still permitted to the next grade level. This is why Korea has a better retention rate when compared to American schools. American students who are then held back will become discouraged and lose motivation to try harder because their peers have progressed on without them.
Korea University Counseling Center

Individual counseling room

Another individual counseling room
Intake desk at the University Counseling Center
After our visit to the counseling center, we visited KU's on-campus ice rink! It was such a nice break from the heat.
We didn't get to skate because they were having private lessons, but we got to watch. Korea has a huge emphasis on speed skating.

After the rink, we went to the National Rice Cake Museum. Completely random, but so fun! We had no idea there were so many different types of this traditional Korean cake.
Afterwards, we went to the museum cafe and had plum tea and rice cakes! We fell in love with plum tea--it is so sweet and refreshing. We asked our classmates how to make it, and according to Won-young, you just put sugar and plums in a bowl and "let it be" for a few months........

Pumpkin paht bing suh