My schedule isn't too bad, I'd say. On most days, I only have class in the morning. On Monday I have two hours of class from 4-6, and on Friday I have one from 1-2. Other than that, though, I only have either one or two classes each day in the morning, so I'm free by 11 some days and 1 on others. I have the same teacher for two classes who is from Great Britain, so his English is fine. The rest of my professors, though, are Korean... I met my Korean Language and Taekwondo instructor today. The Language teacher - Ms. Yoon - seems to be pretty easy to understand, although her English isn't perfect and sometimes she uses very strange phrases.
My taekwondo instructor, however... well... she speaks NO English whatsoever, so that was definitely interesting. There were a few students who spoke Korean and a bit of English who were able to translate the basic gist of what she was saying for us, which was nice. Even though none of us had particularly work-out friendly clothes on today, we started learning the basics of class, like the stretches and stances and how to make a proper fist (which I already knew, so thanks, James, for that :) ). When we stretch, if we don't stretch as far as the instructor (I wish I knew her name...) wants us to, she goes around and pushes and pulls on people to make them stretch farther. It hurts... but apparently it works.
Angela determined that eating in the cafeterias on campus was like being in prison because the trays, cups, spoons, and even the chopsticks are all made of metal. I have come to realize that if you get hungry enough, even something as plain as steamed white rice can taste really good, especially when the alternative is kimchi. Our meat this evening was pork, which wasn't too bad. Meals on campus, though, are definitely not something I look forward to...
Tonight, too, we had our first Korean art class, which was a lot of fun. And the fact that it takes place in the traditional village just makes it SO much more awesome.
The topic for this class was "Korean Traditional Drawing Art," so I didn't have very high hopes for it since I'm not an artist by ANY means. The man teaching the class was really nice, though, and since he only spoke Korean, Mr. Lee (the head of the international office) was there to translate. The man leading the class said he had done this kind of art for 30 years, and he pointed out that that was longer than any of us had even been alive.
Each picture has a very specific technique that is to be used to draw it. He taught us the first four strokes of the grassy-like plant. We each had plenty of paper to practice with, and after we'd been doing it for awhile, he said that there was going to be a contest for the best picture. So as we all started perfecting our masterpieces, he walked around the room to observe our techniques and such.
To my utter shock, mine was the first he picked to tape up on the wall. I thought it wasn't very good because I had too much ink in my brush at first and left blotches at the bottom, but when he was evaluating each individual piece at the end of the class, he said that my third stroke had a perfect curve. Aw. I'm so proud. =)That's his example work on the left, with each of the strokes numbered. That's my blotchy one on the right...
Once everyone was finished and had their work he picked out hanging on the wall, he started the official judging. Jennifer, an exchange student from Tennessee, was voted first, and mine was second! Ah! I did NOT see that coming! As a prize, he gave me the art he'd done of the cherry blossom, which was my favorite anyway, so I'm excited.That's Chinese written down the left side, but he never said what it means. I think it's probably just the name of the flower, but it looks really neat.
Evaluating the artwork.
All of us together with our lovely Korean art. ...and some not-so-traditional pictures, like Jonathan's beautiful onion and Nikolai's adorable house. :)
We're continuing the same lesson next week, although this time the instructor will be bringing some kind of Korean alcohol for us. Mr. Lee said that it's like soju, only thicker like milk. And the instructor said that it was because having alcohol in your system apparently makes a person paint better. Ha! We'll see...