Differences

Letter to Korea, August 2014

Dear Korea,


4 Years in Korea – How Korea Has Changed 2010-2014

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but July 13th marked 4 years in Korea for us! We’re a little bit late on celebrating this, but with our Youtube milestones and summer vacation, we didn’t want to overwhelm you guys with too much of the same thing (that thing being awesomeness hehe)!


The Koreans of Europe

No two cultures are the same but every one is similar, right? You could certainly say that about much of Europe, where thousands of years of breeding, trading, warring, traveling, and sharing across ever-shifting borders has caused a mixology of international characteristics of which one can be difficult to discern from the other.

In Asia, it is a little more difficult to separate the differences because the continent has suffered less fluctuation of its borders, and in terms of today’s map, colonialism for the most part decided on today’s borders. But still you can throw in the changes, regardless of actual influence, of international trade, development, colonialism, the sharing of ideas, television, and migration, and the wind at the weekend if you wish, and you will soon realise the stark similarities between peoples and cultures there.


Positively 47th 번길

This evening after running some post-work errands, as I was nearing my apartment I decided it was too nice out to go home.  Does anyone else ever feel that way?  The weather was too nice, and there was still too much of the sun hanging in the sky to go sit in my apartment.  So instead, I decided to roam my neighborhood, specifically my street. 

As Far as the Eye Can See: a Tour

I have long since given you a tour of my apartment, so I guess it's only fair to get a tour of my school.  Worwick is very different from the public school I used to work at, but still fairly common as far as Hagwons or private academies go. We are the 5th floor of a building not too far from my house.

Cat Bus!

South Korea doesn't have school buses. 

Or at least not how you and I think of school busses.  For public school the students either live close enough to walk to school, or get rides or take public transportation. 

But for pre-school/Kindergarten and afterschool classes the kids get picked up in vans that are kind of the equivalent of Church vans.  They hold about 10 kids or so and are usually bright yellow with the name of the school on the side. 

The Worwick vans aren't yellow, they're blue and gray - I guess to go with the color scheme of the school and the kids uniforms and whatnot. 

Anyway these vans are pretty much only used for schools so they're easy enough to spot on the street. 

Every once in awhile as I'm walking down my street on the way to school I see the COOLEST van ever. 

CAT BUS!! 

A Month

I've been back for over a month, and this first month is VERY different than my last first month (yeah that's very confusing isn't it?).  This time around Korea feels a lot more like real life instead of a magical dream.  My school does require a lot more work out of me than my old school, and yet I don't mind.  It makes my days go by really quickly and it also makes me feel so much more like a real teacher instead of this weird and beloved prop.  Not to say that I didn't love my time at DaeGyo- just that teaching at Worwick is much more like teaching at a real school with more lesson plans and less down time. 

Welcome to Kindergarten

Tomorrow rounds out my first week teaching at Worwick and I will say in some ways it's very different from DaeGyo, but in others it's as if nothing has changed.

This time around the class sizes are one of the biggest differences.  This year my largest class is a whopping 5 kids.  Their parents call constantly to critique everything from my handwriting to the types of assignments I give (and yes I am expected to give even my kindergarteners real homework).

Dublin -v- Seoul

Founded
Dublin – 988 AD
Seoul – 1394 AD

Area
Dublin – 114.99 km2
Seoul – 605.25 km2

Population
Dublin – 525,380
Seoul – 10,464,051

Density
Dublin – 4,398/km2
Seoul – 17,288.8/km2

Population of metropolitan area
Dublin – 1,801,040
Seoul – 23,616,000

Citizens
Dublin – Dub, Dubliner
Seoul – Seoulite, 서울시민(Seoul simin)

Ethnicty of population
Dublin – 90.85% White (81.25% White Irish, 9.23% White Other, 0.37% Irish Traveller), 3.34% Asian/Asian Irish, 1.12% Black/Black Irish, 1.47% Bi-Racial/Other, 3.22% Not Stated
Seoul – 285,618 foreigners registered in city at end of 2011 (186,631 of these were citizens of the People’s Republic of China with Korean ethnicity)


Letter from Korea, September 2011.

Suwon, Korea
23/9/2011

Dear Ireland,

You may not know this but Koreans are known as the Irish of the east. I didn’t know this until a while after I arrived here first in 2005. Of course, when I was young and heard the main reason why I thought it was great and I looked forward to challenging this accolade to the best of my ability; could Koreans out-drink me, a then twenty-three year old post-university drifter who had ended up in Korea with the promise of earning enough money to travel around the world. The fact that I never made it past Malaysia is beyond the point.

Of course, there are more reasons why Koreans are known as the Irish of the east than the fact that both countries are famous for the amount of alcohol that is consumed by their citizenry.


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