Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Training - Day 2

Okay - so that title was less than interesting. I'm pretty tired, so I don't know how much I'll bother to relate about the day. The first half was fairly decent. We had a few guest speakers who spoke about the day-to-day dealios involved with being a public school teacher in Seoul. It was mostly informative and helpful. I realize that isn't glowing praise, but it's not a comment on the quality of the speakers - just the quality of my thought process this late at night. So far I continue to greatly appreciate the quality of the time we are all spending here. Again - not to belittle the experience I had at my hagwon last year, but I can see how valuable this new kind of experience can be to any teacher coming to a new country to teach for a year.

After dinner, we all went to the "Harmony Hall" where a small group of musicians led us in learning traditional dance, singing and playing of zany instruments. It perhaps went a little too long for some, but the great majority seemed to be having a great time. In a way, it was the perfect example of the differences between some people who come here. Remaining in the room were the people who were either 100% onboard with the activities, or those who were nervous but stayed anyway - enjoying themselves by the end. Others chose to leave at the break.

Speaking of choices, I nearly pissed myself at dinner tonight. Drew, a mathematician from Berkeley, and John, a Christian from Indiana, began a discussion about the nature of universal truths, logic VS. religion, and all that comes with it. It was actually a very fair and interesting discussion - there was a lot of insight shared on both sides and it was a fun and illuminating discussion both to participate in and to observe. Comically, three people who sat down at our table during the discussion, eventually excused themselves to go to another table - not in a rude way, they just quietly left. I must also stress that this was not a debate about the value of either side in superiority over another, but rather a discussion of meaning. Two of those three who left the table were among the handful who left the dancing activity tonight as well. Not a judgement - just an observation.

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