Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Sunny Day During Monsoon Season

And a field trip to boot!

Well... more like a camp for "1st Graders" (10th graders if you're a canuck). A few days ago the head of the language department at school asked me to prepare an hour long presentation for the girls about Canada. The only problem is, I have been teaching these girls for over a week now and they already know everything about Canada (what? they're fast learners). So what do I write about?

Well, ever since I started teaching here I have never been more aware of the differences between Canada and Korea. In a hagwon, you are slowly transitioned into Korean culture and mannerisms- it's almost like you don't even notice you're becoming acclimatized. In my new school, many of the students have never met a foreinger before. They're curious about what is normal in Canada- normal fashion, normal passtimes, normal behaviour... and the more I think about it, the more polar opposite the two countries appear! So strange how these things creep up on you.

Anyway, I made up a *very long* slide show describing the differences between Canada and Korea. Like Canada, Korea is automatically compared to the bigger countries surrounding it (Japan, China) by Westerners. Likewise, Canada is often considered the same as the US by Asians. It's been a great learning experience these past few weeks, let me tell you.

Here are a few of the materials I'm using in my presentation:

Korea's capital city- vibrant, crazy, awesome Seoul.

Laid back, chilled out, and, compared to Seoul, very tiny: Ottawa

Considered by many (but not by me) to be a national hero: Wayne Gretsky

Every girl in Korea looks up to figure skating champion Kim Yu Na. She's in a lot of commercials here. Like, all of them.

Korea's not-so-loveable president: Lee Myung Bak

Canada's not-so-loveable Prime Minister: Stevo Harper

Canada's "funny guy": Jim Carrey

Korea's "funny guy": No Hong Cheol (he's on every TV show known to man)

Canada's favourite (?) food: Poutine! Yum!

Korea's national food: Kimchi, obviously! Yum. Yummmmmmmm.

The Rockies in Canada...

And Bekdusan in Korea (note: although every Korean person considers Bekdusan the most beautiful and famous mountain in Korea, it is actually located in North Korea- therefore, the South Koreans cannot climb it. Although they would very much like to. Oh! Also, this is the famed mountain that the trickster himself, Kim Jong Il, told the people of North Korea he was born on. And there was an iceberg in the lake. And the night he was born, a bolt of lightning struck the iceberg and broke it in two. And that's why he's god. And the poor people of North Korea know better, but they have to agree with him. Gah!)

Ugh- we have Avril...

And Korea has Rain (λΉ„). Hey Korea... wanna switch? I love Rain.

Finally! Korea's badass national animal!

...And then there's Canada's beaver. *Cough, cough*


rmac47 said...

Hey Jenn, do you think there was some kind of subconscious reasoning behind comparing Avril and Rain? Avril = April, and April = Rain (at least here in Canada)...there's some kind of craziness there eh. Or did you mean to have that kind of comparison, and I'm just slow eh?

Janinel said...

Dude, I never even thought of that! Too funny.