Our spring semester started only two weeks ago but I am already tired ㅋㅋ! Kidding! It is just that I feel so challenged by this semester’s classes. I am currently enrolled in two major subjects – Topics in Korean Culture and Statistical Methods in the Social Sciences plus a 12-hour/week Korean Level 5 class. Yes, Korean Level 5, which is more of an High-Intermediate to Advanced class.
I started my Korean language class here at AKS (Academy of Korean Studies) last semester with Level 3. I thought they are going to offer Level 4 for the Spring semester but they only offered Level 5 so I was kinda forced to jump from Level 3 to 5. So far I am enjoying the Level 5 class but I still encounter lots of difficulties especially with Advanced grammar and vocabulary. I feel that my Korean language skills will really be tested and challenged by this class because most of my classmates are reallllyyy~ realllyyyy~ good, especially in speaking ㅠㅠ. Anyways, I will just tell something more about my Korean language classes in another post.
Another challenging subject that I am currently taking is the class on Topics in Korean Culture. Basically, our professor planned to deal with culture topics like Multiculturalism, Hallyu and Confucian values for the whole Spring semester. The topics sounded so exciting, however, the class would be conducted in a ‘Korean style’ with readings in Korean but the discussion would still be in English. I do not have any issues in having Korean readings because I thought that it would help me understand Korean culture better and that it would also help me improve my Korean reading skills and vocabulary bank. We are currently discussing three Korean readings related to Korean family, generation and Confucian values- one Korean reading is assigned to two persons in class. I was assigned to read and summarize the first 14 pages of a research paper on the generational characteristics of Korean families. It took me 4 to 5 days before I finished translating each word that I don’t know! I also tried to make a summary of it, however, I wasn’t able to finish writing everything because even though I understand it in Korean, I find it difficult to translate in English ㅜㅜ. I only tried to translate Korean variety programs before but not Korean researches with technical vocabularies and really advanced level grammar.
Even though I find it really hard to read -> translate -> read -> understand -> summarize the article, I felt that I have learned so many things about Korean culture, Korean language and translating from Korean to English. I realized that I should not really stop studying, studying and studying Korean and that I should not regret that I enrolled in the Korean 5 class because it helps me with my journey reading research articles in Korean ㅋㅋ.
Aside from my academic activities, I also decided to enroll in a Janggu class! I have always been dreaming of studying Samulnori, even when I was still in the Philippines. When I saw a documentary about National Gugak Center’s traditional music class for foreigners, I quickly searched it on the internet. Luckily, their applications for the Spring semester was still open so I didn’t think twice to enroll! We are now on our 3rd week in the class and I can say that I am enjoying it soooo much! I really do not want to waste my time while I am here in Korea so I decided to just try every lesson that I can such as traditional musical instruments and other culture activities. I will try to make another post about their programs and our Janggu class soon for those who are in Korea and interested to study Korean music instruments.
In line with the new year and new semester, Blue Hanbok also has a new banner! Thanks to my good high school friend who designed the banner for the blog. The girl with the blue hanbok was actually inspired by another artwork and my friend did the editing and the background. I am also in the process of arranging and re-organizing my blog so I apologize if there are broken links or missing files. I hope I can finish fixing Blue Hanbok as soon as possible^^
There you go with a sneak peek of the beginning of our Spring semester^^ I am planning to post new book reviews soon! And I am currently studying Japanese again so I hope I could post some helpful book reviews, tips and cheats in studying both Korean and Japanese^^ ‘Till my next post!