Wednesday, June 10, 2009

봄학기 수료식

Inside the Crown Hall where the graduation and closing ceremony for spring semester was held. The time was 10:35am and 25mins to the start of ceremony.

Yesterday, I finally reached the end of my Korean language programme. I was jubilant when I received my result slip. Spending 6 months studying in Seoul has done a lot of wonder to my listening, speaking and writing skills. At the beginning, I was only good in vocabulary and grammar and perhaps reading. But 6 months later, if I am to trust my results, thing changes 'tremendously'. In particular, my speaking and writing skills went up 3 grades within a span of 3 months (still quite unbelievable). I would like to think that my teachers are really lenient with me this semester. I do believe I have made some improvement but not to that extent. Anyway, one point is clear to me. It is not how long I have been studying but the quality of learning that matters most.

Comparison of results between winter and spring semester. My listening and speaking have since become two of my 'strongest' subjects (I am taking this results with a pinch of salt) while my writing narrows the gap. Relatively speaking, my results are only considered average or maybe below average. There are a lot more better students in my class.

Closing ceremony used to be a no-event and it is not uncommon for students to skip it especially when they are not the one graduating. Speaking of graduation, last semester, there was a long queue of graduands but this semester there was only one. To graduate, a student must study right through from Elementary 1 to Advance 2. Graduand receives a diploma issued by the school while people like me, who joins midway, can only receive course completion certificate. Nevertheless, we have more or less concluded that TOPIK Grade 5 and above pass is still more valuable than the diploma.

Just when we thought that it was going to be another boring closing ceremony, our teachers took us by surprise. Advanced-level teachers were seen dancing on stage to tune of "Sorry, Sorry", "Nobody", "Saturday Night", " Rainism" and "Gee". The students loved it and we showed it with our earnest clapping. I bet our class almost fell off our chairs when our teacher came on stage as one of the 'Wondergirls'. But it was really a pleasant surprise. She looks great in her retro outfit. Her dance moves, though a bit conservative, was absolutely entertaining.

Our teacher as one of the 'Wondergirls'. Totally unexpected but totally entertaining.

With the end of the best-ever performance (attested by those who have been around for a very long time) put up by the teachers, the ceremony also came to a close. Below are some of the snippets for the rest of the day.

We call her "이모님", a 52 year-old Japanese housewife. She proves that age is no barrier to learning a new language although her favourite phrase is "나이탓이야". If not for some slight health problem which forced her to stop the course midway, she would have successfully completed the course with us. I don't think she is good because she is smart, she is just simply more positive than many of us.

One of the last few class photos. The top student for Advance 2 is first from right - a Chinese from Shandong Province. She writes essay almost like a Korean and is just 17 marks shy of a Grade 6 pass in the recent TOPIK exam. I like being a small fish in a big pond.

Relaxing inside the underground "녹원", the only teahouse in the vicinity of our campus whilst waiting to join our teachers for lunch.

Our first and last "회식" at "닭한마리". The original plan was to go for buffet at Marisco but the price, 18,000won per person, was kinda prohibitive for some students. Nevertheless, it is not the place but rather the people whom you are with that matters.

The joke was, one of our classmates had just revealed that she had 20 over ex-boyfriends and in response to her 'shocking' revelation, our teacher cautioned our Indonesian classmate, an expecting mother, to better educate her daughter well in future.


  1. Congratulation on your achievement.

    Welcome back to Singapore

  2. Well done! Congrats!

    original time stamp: 10 June 2009 12:27

  3. Thanks ^^

    original time stamp: 11 June 2009 23:37