Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

    Helo welcom 2 my websight

All is quiet on the Eastern Front

Warning: First World problems ahead

So far I’ve mostly been sharing stuff about my life here that would actually be interesting to you guys, but nowadays I’ve got so much pent up frustration that I just wanna throw it out here. Although Korea in general is awesome, and I’m extremely lucky to actually be getting paid to study here, it’s definitely not all rainbows and kittens.

Aside from the lack of money (we get 900,000 a month, which is a lot when you’re living in the dormitory, but not when your rent is 300, food expenses are 250, your mobile phone costs 50, internet 16 and your electricity and gas bill are about 100) my main problem is the change in the way we’re learning Korean at school.

Do it for her

As you know, we have to go to school every single weekday to study the exact same thing every day which is enough to drive any sane person insane in the first place, but where I was kind of starting to dislike Korean last month when we had 6 hours of class every day and several hours of homework, what we’re doing now is making me actively want to avoid the language altogether. Last month, even though it was extremely tiring, I still had the feeling I was learning a language. The teachers tried their best to keep us from going crazy and keep us interested day in day out and even though I wanted to give up multiple times because it was just too much I managed to motivate myself to get it all done (although haphazardly, but blame Keimyung’s excellent planning (doing what you’d normally do in two months in one month) for that).
This semester though…where do I begin.. Basically, it’s everything I hated about level 3 all rolled into one with a 4 stamped on it. Where we were forced to move fast in level 3 because of the ridiculous planning, we’re moving fast now because ‘it’s better’. Where teachers sometimes didn’t want to take the time to explain certain words (once again because of Keimyung), we now get basically no explanation and a ‘just look it up in the dictionary’ if we ask questions. Where the classroom used to be at least slightly interesting, now everyone does nothing but stare at their notes or at the teacher like a mindless zombie, writing shit down and not asking any questions. And why would they? I tried a few times, but it seems the new teacher either isn’t very used to teaching, has no idea how much we know/don’t know, or both of the above. Her explanations are often more difficult to follow than the actual word she’s trying to explain, she seems to dislike explaining anything but the bare minimum you need to kind of know what something is and when someone wants to know more she tells them she’ll talk about that ‘later’ and then never does.

The main problem is that nowadays we’re not learning Korean anymore – we started learning how to pass the Test Of Proficiency In Korean (TOPIK). TOPIK already reared its ugly head in level 3, but it was possible to just tune out and do something more useful when 선생님 went on one of her tangents. Now, however, basically 80% of all class hours are dedicated to this monstrosity. In pure Korean style, we are now studying to pass a test on a language instead of studying the actual language itself so we can pass the test.
This is why Koreans are so amazing at speaking English.

Today we literally (seriously, I’m not joking) had a class on how to guess in what order sentences should be arranged without understanding anything about the content. Because why would you want to know what anything means? All you need to do is pass TOPIK!I know this way of thinking makes sense to some (or maybe most?) of my classmates, since they won’t be studying in Korean, but I will. So I actually care if those 8 different grammars (no shit, this seriously happened today too) mean ‘the same’ or not. And of course they don’t because if they did why would there be 8 of them? However the students don’t care, the teachers don’t care, and I’m not supposed to care. I should just sit there, memorize that those 8 ways of saying something are ‘basically the same thing’ and pick the correct answer on the practice test.

So yeah, I get grumpy as fuck every single day because I can feel my love for the Korean language being sucked out of me by this soulless way of teaching and yeah, I feel bad for both my classmates and my teachers because I’m becoming a giant dick in the classroom. I explained to my teacher how I see things and that I don’t see the use of these classes, and she was sympathetic but all she could say was “Well tough shit, we all have to do this” which is true of course and something that I guess I should somehow deal with. But until I can, I’ll be eating myself from the inside out every day and I’ll just be hoping Korean will become fun and interesting again sometime soon.

Classmates, please pass TOPIK soon.


6 comments on “All is quiet on the Eastern Front

  1. MatJib_hunters
    11 March 2015

    Dear God, you poor soul!!! I feel for you ㅋㅋㅋ Do you have Korean friends you can practice with?

    • Anon Of Holland
      14 March 2015

      My girlfriend is Korean, so technically I should probably be improving faster than most but…no such luck.
      Well, I say luck but I guess I’m just not really comfortable speaking a language I don’t completely understand. With the European languages that I know it’s okay to guess grammar or words sometimes, but in Korean that just doesn’t fly so I have some trouble with it.

  2. Margaux
    12 March 2015

    welcome to korea~ waar resultaat belangrijkers is dan al het andere! (zelfs zo erg dat professoren rustig iedereen een punt extra geven als eindcijfer omdat ze dan beter lijken, beter voor de studenten is, en voor de schoolranking)

    • Anon Of Holland
      14 March 2015

      De reden dat we geen vakantie hadden in Februari is omdat Keimyung’s TOPIK scores laag waren de afgelopen jaren dus ze willen ons nu academisch afbeulen lol.

  3. Pingback: 가정은 마음이 있는 곳이다 | Anonymous of Holland           -A Dutchman in Korea-


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on 10 March 2015 by in Korea, Studies and tagged , , , , .

For e-mail updates!

Join 65 other followers

Forgotten Tomes


  • 25,629 Minds Expanded


#가을 인데 왜 #겨울 느낌 밖에 안 나?

It's supposedly #fall in #Korea feels a lot like #winter.

#창덕궁 #Changdeokgung #Palace #서울 #옛날 #전통 #역사 #한국 #Korean #KoreanPalace #Seoul #traditional #history #autumn You know, when it comes to the '#audiophile' #earbuds market, a lot of recommended #headphones are actually from China. The reason is that most Western companies have given up on earbuds in favor of #IEM, so basically it's either cheap no-brand crap or apple #earphones.

Thankfully, some of the Chinese offerings are actually just as great as people's online raving suggests; The #Yuin #PK3 is almost decade old now, but still delivers the best #audio quality I've heard in an earbud for under $50, and the #Edifier #P180 is seriously such a giant step up from your garden variety earbuds at a price of only 12 bucks that I can't understand why they aren't more popular.

The #Auglamour #RX1 was a complete and utter disappointment with tinny #sound I never expected after all the positive talk about it on #Headfi though. Seems like most of the budget from the $22 price went into the packaging, which is admittedly quite pretty.

Of course my main pair of headphones, the #Koss #Portapro - which hasn't changed at all in design since 1984 because they are just THAT good - isn't Chinese but good ol' Murrikan, and I always love taking them out even though they make my head look huge in compassion to their small footprint.

The #JVC #HAFXC51 were tauted as amazing IEMs back when I got them but although they don't sound bad, I just can't get used to having those little pieces of plastic lodged so deeply into my ear canal.. So..thank God for #China, I guess. 
For helping old-fashioned men like me find ways to still comfortably enjoy their #music.

#headphone #review #earphone #earbud #oortelefoon #koptelefoon #muziek #collection #sound #이어폰 #해드폰 The lure of #nature.

#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #traditional #wood #ZuidKorea #Namsangol #Hanok #ancient #trees #green #home #서울 #남산골 #한옥 #자연 #전통 #나무 #한국 So glad I finally stopped wondering why I never go to any #concerts in #Korea and just got up and went to one.

@emuartspace was probably the most 'homely' (#gezellig) venue I've ever visited, @bowhang_smacksoft was as impressive as expected, @imhyeonjeong enchanted me with her beautiful voice and the duet of @musicsollee (거꾸로도 #이솔이) and #조현정 made me wish they'd spend more time together.

It might be a bit more work trying to find concerts here, but it's definitely worth it. 
#Korean #Seoul #concert #Koreanindie #acoustic #band #guitar #indie #music #indiemusic #Emu #emuartspace #PantaGarage #콘서트 #서울 #황보령 #임현정 #인디 #인디음악 #어쿠스틱 #에무 #에무팡타개라지 #음악 I once heard a tale of a man
who split himself in two.
The one part never changed at all;
the other grew and grew.

The changeless part was always true,
The growing part was always new,
And I wondered, when the tale was through,
Which part was me, and which was you.

#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #traditional #religion #shamanism #grave #gravemarker #stone #statue #Asia #Asian #벅수 #장승 #돌 #표석 #샤머니즘 #한국 #서울 I know I use the phrase #concretejungle to describe #Seoul a lot 
#Korea #SouthKorea #City #Citylife #Buildings #Apartment #birdseyeview #panorama #Metropolis #서울 #도시 #건물 #파노라마 #도시생활
%d bloggers like this: