Blog Post #2
Though this week I am in charge of the Group Blog, I wanted to continue to add to my blog! This first week in Seoul has been amazing, filled with a lot of exploring and trying new things. It has been very surreal to be able to be able to discover new parts of the city, specifically in Hongdae where we are staying. I am even starting to feel familiar in the space we are inhabiting for the summer.
It has been eye-opening to experience a completely unfamiliar context and culture. I have found myself being shocked at a certain interaction while feelings of normalcy surround the same interaction with others involved. I’m sure others have experienced this type of culture shock, and maybe even with the things that I say and do, but it is interesting to be on the other side of this type of exchange.
As well as being fun and exciting, this week has also been full of anticipation. All of the group members have been brainstorming entertaining ways to teach and make learning an enjoyable experience. Our lesson plans for the week are almost finalized, and though I am sure we will do great, I am nervous for our upcoming task. Hopefully all of my nerves will melt away as I become more accustomed to our job.
Our Own Education This Week
As a part of our training before we start at Chiguchon School, we stayed three days at the Center for Re-Unification Education. Here, we learned about South Korea’s expectations for the future of the Korean peninsula, emphasizing a peaceful transition and possible unification of both Koreas. This center is specifically important now because of the current political climate. This topic is on the forefront of our minds while June 12th continues to approach, bringing the summit meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.
I can see that I used to take unification for granted, not realizing that some countries have to think about trying to bring two separate states together, or even coming to terms with the idea that they may not be able to achieve what they strive for.
Our three days there brought many informative class and discussions with governmental officials and professors that specialize in the topic, as well as conversations with those who had experienced the North Korean regime first hand. I greatly appreciated being able to earn about this topic in more detail.
One Last Thing
Don’t forget to check out the group blog for this week! It will contain more of a day to day of our experience here so far.