Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I'm a bad blogger. It's just that so much happens, and I don't have time to sit and write it all down. The main part of the course is over, and now I'm teaching a two-week Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) mini-prep course. This is the do or die test for many students--even those who have no immediate plans to study in an English-speaking country. A TOEFL test score (preferably high) is required for university admission, graduate-school admission, law school, many jobs in Korea, and probably gym memberships, also.
I love my students! They are sweet, friendly, considerate, fun, and studious. We have gone to lunch, dinner, hikes, and even an overnight outing with them. I wish I could do more for each one individually.
The two main adventures we had were a trip to Palgong Mountain with one group and to the traditional city of Gyeongju with another group. (I will try to post the pictures on this blog after I finish writing. If I manage, enjoy them.) There are lots of mountains in Korea, and Koreans climb them as sport, but you’ll see many older Koreans climbing than you will younger ones. Many Buddhist temples are located in the valleys of the mountains. Some of my students explain in one of the short movies I’ll post. Gyeongju was the capital of Korea during the Silla period (see http://www.upiasia.com/Society_Culture/2007/11/27/commentary_gyeongju_koreas_ancient_face/9740/ or http://www.lifeinkorea.com/Travel2/kyongju or send me a better link. We spent the night in a traditional-style Korean home with an under floor heating system (for Ami and other interested friends:
http://www.floorheatingonline.com/news/discover-ancient-korean-underfloor-heating-.html). I could say a lot more about these places, but I have no time. I have to listen to my students TOEFL speaking practice.
There are other pictures I’m going to try to post—from when I arrived, the trip to Seoul, some student dinners, in and around Daegu and Kyungpook National University, and odds and ends.