Thursday, July 1, 2010

When in Korea...

Erin's presentation: Parental Involvement in American Schools. We had a really great discussion today about the differences between parents involvement in American schools and Korean schools. Surprisingly, the countries are similar in many ways. Both countries have a PTA, however, the American PTA is more collectively involved in the schools. In the US, parents work together to provide teachers with money or gifts; however, in Korea, when a parent gives a teacher money, it is usually as a bribe. American parents are asked to constantly volunteer in their children's academic endeavors, whereas Korean parents are asked to remove themselves from their child's education. In fact, it is becoming a growing problem that Korean parents will physically assault teachers in response to the teacher's treatment of their child. American parents are encouraged to stay involved, but they are also well-informed as to their child's yearly curriculum. Korean parents are kept unaware of their child's schooling and are usually mainly responsible for providing a respectable tutor for their child. Korean students receive tutoring because they want to achieve high scores and is usually long-term. American students receive tutoring on a more short-term basis and it is usually in response to a poor grade.

The students ordered Domino's pizza for us after class today. It was so excellent! This is the pepperoni pizza (you can tell that it was actually a LOT more greasy than American pizza...which is hard to imagine!)

Potato Pizza (Jana's favorite)

Bulgogi pizza (bulgogi is a type of sweet beef)

Jana was so excited to see pickles in the pizza boxes. We have jalapenos...Koreans have sweet pickles.

After class, some of our wonderful classmates took us to a traditional Korean tea room. We had some excellent conversations during this time. We talked a lot about American and Korean stereotypes. Americans tend to think that Koreans are smart (good at math, especially), and shy. The Koreans think that the Americans are outgoing...probably because we sing and dance at all times during the day (class...the subway...walking down Squirrel Road...). We also talked about female body image in both Korea and America. Apparently, eating disorders are becoming more prevalent in the college-aged women because students attend all female high schools until co-ed college, and the women begin to worry about their size and shape. In our opinion, there are no overweight Korean women, but our friends say that women compare themselves to famous people (just like America!) and so there is still a standard for "skinny" and "overweight."

This was our cute room that we shared in the tea room

How to make paht bing suh (red bean ice flakes): Ice cream, ice green tea powder, red bean paste, pineapple, cherries, rice cake. Mix together until you spill it all over the table...and enjoy! Ok, so you aren't supposed to spill it everywhere like we

Dr. Suh's alma mater, Ewha University for Women

"The truth will set you free" written on the outside of the education building

Us outside of the "Ewha Valley." This is a newer edition to the school, and it has become a famous landmark in the area. It is simply breathtaking!

The sides of the "valley" are actually classrooms, the library, and some other rooms. Notice how it's all technically underground.

This was absolutely beautiful!

Library at Ewha.

Our tour guide friends from Ehwa (Jenny, Sunny, and Ami) found our blog and memorized our names before they met us! They are so sweet!

Yummy street food! This is kind of like a donut with a little peanut butter in the middle. Well, Erin's was peanut butter...Jana and Elizabeth had some apple cinnamon ones.

Shopping at Insa-dong, we bought scarves, silver chop-sticks, and original pieces of art work. There was so much to see it was overwhelming! This is our sweet friend Ami before she had to leave.

This was definitely one of the best meals we have had so far...bulgogi is our favorite :) We are beginning to get the hang of meal customs...chopstick skills are improving as well as water- pouring duties :-) Jenny and Sunny were wonderful hostesses!

Lots and lots of pancakes (potato, kimchi, seafood, tofu, meat, spinach)

The cute! Apparently the name means something like a memory of hunger...or something like that. There's not really a good English word for it.

Buck and Colleen from New Port Beach, California. Colleen came over to us while we were waiting on our dessert, and we had such a great conversation. It was so great to hear "War Eagle" (Buck graduated from Arkansas!). Thank you, Buck and Colleen, for coming over and talking to us, and for letting us hug your sweet necks! It felt a little more like home here because of you two!

This was Elizabeth's favorite!! Green Tea Ice Cream, it is amazing!!! You pour a green tea syrup mixture over the top of it for more flavor and fun effects! (Erin's favorite part was that the syrup actually froze while on top of the ice cream! Yum!)

Sunny, such a sweet girl!! We really enjoyed the day with our gracious guides!

We had a fun-filled day of shopping with our new friends (Jenny and Sunny...Ami had to leave early) in Insadong!


  1. Now that's what I call a full day! Congratulations on making so many great new friends. Any talk of an American visit? You know, I bet a huge, group "War Eagle!" would sound pretty amazing as it ricochets through "the valley"!

  2. Hi, Erin. Looks like you're having a great time. Thank you for all the great photos and for sharing your experience with us. Can't wait to see what's next!! You are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs and blessings, Tamara

  3. Hyun's cooking diary
    - How to mkae paht bing suh
    (red bean ice flakes)

    1. grind the ice and put it in the bowl
    (or anything whant you want, e.g. cup, plate)

    2. decorate grinded ice with your favorites.
    - In fact, you can use anything what you can eat.
    In the picture, he used ice cream, cherry, green tea power, mixed fruit can.
    However, there are no rule, if you like walnut, then just add it. Choco chip, serial, watermelon etc.

    3. Mix and Eat your tasty art

    - End -

    Enjoy your trip to Pusan

    From. your male friend (남자친구)

  4. It looks like you 3 are having an awesome time. I am loving the pics and being able to follow you on your journey!!