Archive for October, 2009

race/ism in seoul

first thought: even the most oblivious of oblivious of white folks is bound to come out of their year in seoul with an inkiling of what “white privilege” means – and also what it means to be other in a culture. No where else have we (white foreigners)  been photographed and laughed at while at the same time given seats on the bus, cuts in the lines and unyielding tolerance at our ignorance.

 

second thought: Korea’s pretty racist. There’s a lot of shame in being other. My students are not all korean – hell, I’m not even the only non-Korean teacher in the school. But no one wants to say this. Of course, I’m white. I kind of stick out. I see it in the girls that are South East Asian or multiracial, the way students comment about them. “Oh she’s not smart teacher.” I see it in the push to be white. The “brightening” cream, fast bleaches and chems, the impressive  sun-shielding visors that the ahjummas wear. I try to present the USA as multicultural, as a place where racism still exists, but where strides are being made. . . however haltering on the side of white blindness. I try to send out the message: you are all smart. You can all do this. (and they are. No lies.)

 

third thought: I wonder, who am I to come here and judge what I see – from the other foreigners and from the city and country that is my home for the next year. HAHA am I so enlightened, so aware a person? no ways… not in a long shot. Just as racist and clueless as the next fool. I’m just saying what I see. Seoul’s been good for my soul – ha! For my self reflection. Maybe when I leave Korea, I’ll have some other thoughts – and actions- to pile on.

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shammmmmme. shame!

One of my coworkers filmed this video 🙂

On sports day I danced on a stage in front of half of my students.

This video is from the first time I went drinking with my coworkers, and violated just about EVERY Korean drinking rule. It was major fail, and I felt like a giant water buffalo of cultural unawareness. But, the othe rnight I went out for a second time with the Hyewon crew, and it was amazing! We did Korean BBQ and NoriBong (karaoke) followed by the bars. Drinking culture is pretty serious here, and it’s been awesome to break through some of the lang barriers – a few drinks in everyone, and no ones so worried about how their english sounds – or, in my case, how my Korean plodddles along.  No shame, no worries, just a bunch of teachers getting trashed relaxing outside of school. Nothing better  🙂

SPORTS DAY!!!

Today is sports day at my school!! AAA I’m SO EXCITED!

Here’s some vids of the 3rd year classes prepping for today!! AAAA go 3-1!!!

Our hero becomes a Korean movie star

when I woke up this morning I thought I’d never wipe the tired from my eyes.

Today is the 2nd day of an intensive training for “native english teachers” and I’m up at six again. Someone is seriously ready for the weekend. . .

some things you can’t make up

I’ve been sitting on these videos for about a week since I come off as a huge fool. But, that’s just who I am!

Seoul has a few dog cafes; regular coffee shops where you can bring your dogs or play with the owners dogs.  Bau Haus (House?) Cafe is one of these. Located in Hongdae, one of the university-artsy neighborhoods, Bau Haus did not disappoint. I absolutely love dogs! I  made friends with a girl waiting in line to get in with me, and we sat at a table together. With your coffee you can order doggie treats, a way to lure the dogs to you. The dogs are so fat~~~ I was in some kind of doggie bliss! It’s probably more than a little bit pathetic, but I had so much fun!  u_u Anyway, here’s a handful of the videos I recorded while there.  HAHAH please just watch the Beyori videos at the end. . .

And there you have it 🙂