Category Archives: events!

“today is festival?! start!! go!!”

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festival week here on campus was completely and ridiculously awesome. thursday was the cresendo of the event with the performance of Wonju and sinchon campus’ Akaraka groups (cheerleading squad dressed in freakishly traditional clothing + slightly awkward disco boots…) this was definately the highlight of the week for me as i think i gained more of an idea of the culture here than at almost any other event. the event opened with some Wonju campus student groups, bands, dance groups and the like, then there were some famous performers (thats the rockin’ thing about being in a small country – actually getting to see their celebrities up close – its just a lot more liely to happen here) one of which was my favorite hiphop group, Epik High, so i was ecstatic. Ivy also performed, i dont really know who she is but all of the guys in the ampitheatre were freaking out. i could barely see her on the stage, she was so thin. creapily thin. but thats what they’re into here.
Akaraka finally came on after all of the dramatic buildup, and proceeded to lead the huge, outdoor crowd in Yonsei pride cheers, all of which were spin-offs of random American theme songs like “somewhere over the rainbow,” “ghostbusters” and “we will rock you,” filled in with predominantly Korean lyrics that expressed how crazy they are about their university. the crowd followed the lead of the dancers on stage until nearly 10pm. i had spent five hours there, my energy was completely spent and my legs hurt, but i sure got my 7,000 won out of it.
but its saturday now, and the wild drunken bash has ended. i just cleaned my room and finished some homework (though i ought to do more, i’ve got two 10 page papers due in the next few weeks and finals are fast approaching. i am wondering if they would actually fail my in Korean if i fail the final too…..) i am trying not to be too irritated with my snotty roommate Eun-hye, who decided to stay in the dorms this weekend. we don’t even really talk to eachother anymore. its a pity. but we’ve only got a few more weeks together. i am leaving in an hour to go to the Sileuksa temple in Gyeonggi-do for the weekend. i’ll be waking up at 3am tomorrow. i’ve been waiting for this real experience of traditional temple life for a long time and i am really looking forward to the peace.

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Filed under contemplation, events!

soju and school spirit

i left my dorm this morning at 10am and just got back. its 10pm.
i guess you could say that i have been fully appreciating my quickly disapearing time here. or is it just because the campus has come alive with the sounds of celebration during this week of school spirit? there are strawberry waffle stands, soccer games and high-flying flags, free ice cream, fancy outfits and makeshift bars set up in tents outside of every building. drumming, megaphones and constant singing and dancing. why can’t school be like this all of the time? more realistically, why don’t we have these celebrations at home? okay, i realize the whole “tent bars on campus” wouldn’t really fly in the states, but we could still have fun. or maybe not. but the whole event is really ‘major centered’, so to say.
the wierd thing about school here is that everyone has close-knit circles of friends that they rarely wander outside of, and those parameters are usually set by one’s major. that is, korean students don’t know other korean students who don’t share their major. this event serves to initiate some contact beyond those parameters through sports competition and getting wasted in other majors’ tents. so it’s fun in more ways than one, sociologically speaking.

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white day

today was white day here in korea. white day is pretty much the same thing as valentines day, which they also celebrate, so yes, there are two- but both have limitations. valentines day here is strictly for gifting the male in a relationship with sweets, gifts, etc. (all made by Lotte inc. which is probably the hugest corporation here – they make EVERYTHING from plastic trays to v-day candy. and they have validated their corporate empire by building an amusement park in seoul called lotteworld – incidentally the more financially capable of my roommate’s grew up in an apartment on the lake there….in fact, i was invited on a trip there at the end of march and have not yet learned how to politely decline, if that can even be done here, i am not sure. lotteworld has a reputation for “unfortunate mishaps” in which unfortunate brave personages often plumet to their untimely and usually gruesome deaths….lets end this messy caption, shall we?) and white day is set aside for the females in the relationship. way to be hetero, south korea. so being the single (desperate-looking?) female that i am, i ended up scoring lots of sweets and treats throughout the amusing little holiday. the ginormous pile of oranges that i have accumulated have been left out of the photo. i have been given so many oranges over the past few weeks – the people here are crazy about them, they give them as gifts for any event. most of them are grown in california.

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Seoul: city of dreams

i spent 1/2 of the weekend in Seoul – friday through saturday night. two korean friends privledged us with their generous escort and toured us through the giant city to see all that a tourist may desire in one day. believe that my feet were achin’ when i returned on the bus that night.

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when we first saw this the whole group was perplexed as to what the heck it was. i joked that it must be a piece of the berlin wall and got jokingly sneered at for my idiocy. then we noticed the plaque next to the cement slab – and sure enough. it sits here in downtown seoul as a tribute to unification. i thought it was a really beautiful ode. how is it that that graffittied wall can be so distinct?
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MY BIRTHDAY –
march 9th was my birthday here, it was pretty swell.
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minwoo makes me snicker. a lot. ( some people think it originated from the shy south korean girls, little do they know that my distinct snicker-strain was passed down caringly from a ms. patti bursten…)
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Filed under events!, special trips