Wednesday, February 19, 2014


We finally got to meet for our first class.  Looking forward to traveling with this group.  


  1. We all look really tired that first night!

    (I am not sure where this needed to be posted so I am going to submit it here)

    Something new that I learned about in class is the mass integration of Korean, Japanese and Chinese culture that is in South Korea. I knew about the occupying of Japanese and I can see the reasons why China would have such cultural influences in South Korea as they are so close, but I did not realize that these influences from many years ago are still very prevalent and influential in the society. So much so that it effects the labeling and signs and languages that are used in South Korea. I knew that will the occupying of US military posts that there is a slow growth of American/western influences on the culture. It is so interesting to look at South Korea as a true melting pot of people. They have a strong culture that is prevalent in their social norms but also show great interest intermingling with other cultures.

    This information about South Korea is going to really help me open my mind about the ideas of how a culture absorbs another culture. I hope that by being exposed to yesterdays class and learning about some history of South Korea it will make me more mindful of the perspectives Koreans have of Americans, while visiting the area. I also hope to learn about the perspective taking Koreans have on us!

  2. I am really excited about going on this trip!

    I liked watching the video where they explain what might be considered rude or bad manners. Like when they said that leaving your chop sticks facing up in the rice is really rude, especially because they do that for funerals. I am glad I learned that because I don't want to do that and come off as disrespectful.

    I am also glad I learned the equivalent of Korean money compared to American money. This will help me decide how much money to bring on the trip. And finally I am also glad we went over simple phrases in Korean that will be very useful to know when going on this trip. I know that not everyone knows English so by at least learning simple phrases this will help us communicate. I am looking forward to practicing these simple phrases that we went over in class.

    -Cecilia Nunez

  3. I was very thrilled to meet everyone that is going on this trip!! I'm super excited!!

    The first class was very interesting and very educational. There was many things that I did not know about South Korea, and even about food in general. We all eat food, however, depending on our culture it defines what we can eat and things we cannot eat. It was very interesting to find out how when people started to plant and grow their own food, their height started decreasing. There was many things that I did not know about food, and I eat it everyday!

    It was also nice to know about how similar Koreans are to Japanese people, how they used to use the Japanese language until they decided to come up with their own. Everything about South Korea is very interesting and I am planning on doing research about various things on my own!

    Can't wait for the trip!

    -Stephanie Cruz-

  4. I learned a lot in this first class!

    I enjoyed learning about the Korean writing style and learning some Korean words. I'm going to try to memorize the alphabet so that I can have some sense of what some signs say on the trip! I also was really excited to learn about some of the different types of food that we may encounter and learning about the table manners that are associated with our meals. Those videos were so funny! I think it'll be helpful to know these things so that we don't look like the typical dumb Americans that I'm sure they're used to seeing. Plus I would definitely like to come across as polite and educated!

    Learning about Korea's history and non-food related culture may not be as useful practically, but I think it will give us a better understanding of our environment on the trip and make the experience more meaningful.

    I'm so excited for the trip!
    -Grace Stanton-

  5. There was quite a few things I learned from this class and a lot more than I expected to be honest. Some of the things I really found interesting that we learned is how much the invention of the fire really impacted our evolution into humans. The language was pretty helpful as well and I hope to get better at it our at least be able to fluently say the things on our list. There are a few other things I learned that I found interesting, like the fact that only physicians can give tattoos in South Korea and the chopsticks going straight into the rice is a sign of morning an ancestor.

    I think this group of people are going to be a lot of fun to travel with and I am defiantly excited as well.
    Kelsey Kattau

  6. I am so excited to be sharing this new experience with you all!

    I learned so many new things about Korean culture in class last week. I never knew that age was a big factor in how people communicate with each other in Korea. I think their way in showing respect for their elders is refreshing in a way and something to appreciate. I also learned a lot from watching those short blog videos in class. I thought it was interesting that the fast food chains in Korea, (McDonald's, Taco Bell, Burger King) that are also here, tried to incorporate Korean cuisine into their food menu items. Learning the proper etiquette while dining in Korea will definitely come in handy when eating with my family, I definitely don't want to make a bad first impression. I'm also excited to be learning some new words and phrases to use in Korea!

    Can't wait to learn more with you all!
    -Erin Adair

  7. Our first class in deed taught me a lots of new stuff. I have been loving food all my life but my sight is quiet limited because one can never resist the influence from the environment he is in. For instance, that was my first time heard about classify food culture by tablewares. It is not that I didn’t notice chopsticks is not as same as forks and knives, it’s because I am so used to classify food cultures with cuisines. I do that in China and I will use it when I look abroad without think twice. Now I can see that even cultures use same type of tablewares could have their own unique features. As it down to Korean specifically, I have mixed feeling toward this country. In Asia, China have historical problem with japan since two country joined two different group in world war II and again during the cold war period. So our attention is never pulled too far from Japan. Closer, we have this weird comrades relationship with our temperament little brother North Korea. We see Japan as the cat’s-paw of United States, and we help North Korean to regain the balance. South Korea, being in the middle of this situation, their position is very tricky. They clearly do not have a good memory with Japan but also can’t be too friendly to the communist countries fought Korean War with them. All these caused many Chinese know really little about South Korea. Most people will just know Korean drama(housewives), Psy(younger generation) and probably kimchi(everyone). By coming to United States, I saw how little China know about America and how poor understanding american has towards China. Same way, when I was in my teenage years, I know little about South Korea but already have strong feelings about it. I see South Korean as the enemy in Korean War, I see South Korean as a country claims they invented everything. I was a little bit racist when I look back from now. Came here to meet a totally different culture taught me how important to see things through my own eyes, and now I am eager to see the neighbor of us that I never really had a chance to get close. I believe I will learn a lot, not only knowledge but also for life, in our class.

  8. Only 2-3 months away from the trip and I am already panicking; albeit in a good way! There is so much to do and I am half-anxious and half-excited about this awesome experience.
    First, I would like to say that I really enjoyed the lectures on the traditional customs of South Korea; such as passing bowls and pouring drinks with both hands, letting the elder eat first, etc. To hear just how different this country is -- despite their integration in American culture -- is fascinating; and, in a historical standpoint, I would love to learn how much these customs have changed with that integration.
    In addition, I especially am excited to get to learn some Korean (however horrible my pronunciations will be). I am currently in the second semester of my Spanish studies, so to be able to dwell into a third language -- although barely -- is exciting. I am truly on my way to becoming a world traveler!