Orientation – Lectures and Taekwondo

Yesterday we had a full day of lectures and a Taekwondo class. The day before, we had lectures after the medical checkup and a Korean class that went until 8. We took a new South African friend to the grocery store so we didn’t get home until 9:30ish. Then next thing we knew, it was midnight. Probably one of the first times we’ve stayed up until midnight since we got here. We’ve been so busy/tired. But being tired probably influenced our day because I spent the day tired and felt unnecessarily cranky about some things (mainly taekwondo). 

So we woke up not feeling very rested on the day of lectures. It was almost 12 full hours of them and while all of them were entertaining and very helpful I was completely exhausted by the end of it. Also, we had to do Taekwondo. Which we hated  – Chris only with a mild hate and I hated it so very very much. We won’t go into details lest we become re-angry and just start ranting on this blog. We’re disappointed that it wasn’t good – because it was supposed to be a fun experience and a fun intro to Korean culture. Another reason we were upset some – we wanted to get more out of it. And, you know, tired and probably a little cranky. 

But we did break our boards in half – first try (because we were so irritated haha). We had to write a goal for the next year on the board, then break it in half. I’m not sure what the symbolism is for that, in fact, its seems counter intuitive because your shattering something you want. I would’ve said “put a fear for the upcoming year on the board and then smash it in half.” I got so caught up in how this didn’t make sense. That, combined with how disappointed I was in the class and how irritated I was- I panicked. So I had my board and my marker and I didn’t know fears or hopes or anything.

SIDE STORY: Korea is absolutely in love with the movie Frozen. Which, we have unfortunately not seen. Particularly they are absolutely in love with the song “Let it Go” – it’s playing in every coffee shop, out side of shops; it’s people’s ring tones. Initially you’re like “this song is depressing” but then it gets awesome and you listen to it a bunch. It’s about being who you are and not giving a crap what others think about it, letting go of the past, growing up, etc. It’s like an entire Bildungsroman wrapped up in an entire song. Here’s the song:

So, sitting there in taekwondo class, debating if I should break a goal in half or break a fear in half. But if I write a fear – not the instruction – people might judge. So then I’m trying to figure out how to write in German and hope no one else can speak it. I just panicked and drew the Frozen “Let it Go” scene on my board. And then smashed it. Unsure if this is symbolism to let this damn song go (it’s overplayed in South Korea but also in our dorm room – my doing, of course), or to let things go more in the upcoming year. Not really going to read too much into it.

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Chris just followed the directions and wrote his goal on the board.

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thickness for perspective: (supposedly 3/4ths of an inch)

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smashed!!

Here’s our whole class. These are just the people going to Daejeon and Chungcheongnamdo (the province Daejeon used to be capital of).

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(The really composed guys are the Taekwondo instructors.)

After Taekwondo, we had lectures and finally ended with the Korean class. Which we also finding a little disappointing. It’s moving insanely fast and only a few people are really getting anything out of it (the people who are just asking personal questions and the teacher is spending the whole class just answering them on the board for them). We’re just taking the mandatory hour to study Korean in our own textbook rather than listening to her explain things in a roundabout manner.

All the lectures have been great except the Korean class and Taekwondo – which I suppose are probably the best lectures to have failed because they are least necessary for teaching English. Hooray for that, then. 🙂 I don’t really need Taekwondo and I can study Korean whenever I want, the other lectures are far more valuable.

This picture totally looks staged but you can tell it’s not because Chris is scratching his nose which is unfortunate I guess. A Korean teacher presented ideas for teaching elementary school – she passed out books for us to look at so we could know what to expect (that is, if we knew what to expect – if we were getting elementary school or not). So it’s nice to have a picture with both of us together. 

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