Monday, February 23, 2009

가슴이 답답해

My class this morning started with only 4 students. My teacher was feeling rather upset about the class attendance. This was not the first time she felt upset about students not attending her class. In fact, absenteeism is a rampant problem among students who are buying time to enter local universities. The problem arises because KHU, in particular, allows "conditional admission". What this means is that students can be admitted even if they do not possess advanced Korean language certificate but the condition is that they must attend compulsory Korean language lessons in the afternoon (on top of their daily lectures and tutorials) for another 1 year. This "conditional admission" system created two-folds problem for the teachers at IIE. First, some students waiting to enter university are not interested in learning Korean. Their main objective is to ensure that they can continue to extend their D-4 visa until such time they are admitted. It can be rather demoralising for any teacher teaching a group of indifferent students. The next problem is once this group of students is admitted, they will be "recycled" back to IIE to re-learn their Korean. The same outcome will prevail and that is they will still not be interested in learning Korean since their stay in Korea is already guaranteed by the fact that they are undergraduates in a local university. To put it simply, conditional admission system is a double whammy for IIE's teachers. They have to face the same group of problematic students not once but twice. Despite of that, there is nothing much the teachers can do.

Next issue of the day is my end-of-term test results. I am too distraught to comment about my results. What I need to do now is to face the wall and do self-reflection for the next 3 days. The test may be difficult but it is not an excuse for me to get such poor marks. I am especially saddened by the fact that I messed up my vocab/grammar test. Anyway, here are my results:

Reading: 75
Vocab/Grammar: 72
Listening: 75
Speaking: 72
Writing: ? (Result will be out tomorrow)

After lesson today, I have lunch with my Chinese classmate. He told me that he is going to exchange money at Myeongdong later because the exchange rate there is the best in Seoul. Sometimes, you just have to believe what the Chinese students are saying because there are so many of them living in Korea and they are also very well connected. So I suggested that I follow just to check out the place and the exchange rate. Guess what is the exchange rate for Sing dollar at Myeongdong today? It is S$1 to KRW950. I feel like crying and banging my head against the wall. I have exchanged almost all my money that I intend to spend in Korea. 가슴이 너무 답답해!


  1. where? which part of myeongdong? i went there to look but couldn't find any money changers :(

    original time stamp: 24 February 2009 04:04

  2. they are in hoehyeon underground shopping center.

    original time stamp: 24 February 2009 21:05

  3. ahh i went there but couldnt see though? is it well-hidden?

    original time stamp: 25 February 2009 17:04

  4. no, they're not hidden. in fact, there are many money-changers there and they all give about the same rate.

    original time stamp: 25 February 2009 17:10