Sunday, June 29, 2014

What does Confucius say?

Korean Fun Fact #10: Education
Okay, so this is one that my companion and I have been discussing for a while. You'll have to tell me what you think about our theories.
As you may already know, the basis for most aspects of Korean society and education is Confucianism. Now I don't know a whole lot about Confucianism, but I do know little snippets here and there--seniority has all power, respect the elders, listen and accept. Someone will have to send me some lines from the Wikipedia page. But anyway, my point is that because so much of Korean society stems from Confucianism, so does Korea's education system. From what all my Korean companion's have said, learning goes something like this: Listen. Record. Memorize. Repeat back. And on and on and on. But as we know, much of Western education is quite different. Since our education system comes mostly from the Greek philosophers, we base much of our learning on discussion. Thought-provoking questions. Answers that lead to more questions. Allegories about caves. And so on and so forth. When we teach the gospel, we follow this pattern--we ask our investigators to think and to pray about the questions we ask them, the questions they have themselves, and the reading they do in the scriptures. Then we ask them to act on the conclusions they come to. But more often than not, the response we get to the question, "What do you think?" is "I don't know." And then on the inside I'm kind of like, "ALKSDFJOASIDASDFH. Yes, I know you don't know, but what do you think?" 아무튼.
So here's our theory. Maybe when learning about a gospel that requires so much careful thinking rather than rote memorization, the slowness of the work in Korea isn't the language or people or the Buddhism. It's the Confucianism.
Or maybe I'm just looking for someone to blame.
Let's just go with a list this week. No time and all.
1. Yesterday we went to J... and M......'s house to celebrate the 14th birthday of their son . It was so fun! J... is an American born and raised in Chicago. M...... is a Filipino who grew up on an island near Manila. And 제... is their son (from M......'s first marriage to a Korean) who has lived in Korea his whole life. 제.... speaks mostly Korean and a little bit of English. M...... speaks Tagalog, English, and quite a bit of Korean. And J..., as Americans normally do, speaks only English. And yet they are a family that has been sealed in the temple for time and all eternity! Isn't the gospel wonderful? 
2. We got stuck in the 시골 (country)this week. We were going to visit a less-active who turned out to not be home (her crazy dogs were though) and so we had a whole hour to kill, wandering around amidst the heat and the rice fields. I thought this would be a great time to 가가호호, but none of the cranky grandmas would talk to us, since they were all busy watching TV or working in their gardens. We ended up just asking everyone we came across for water, which worked nicely. "Anxiously engaged" in not getting dehydrated.^^
3. After church yesterday we watched these two little boys in our ward play the most ridiculous game ever. I took a video, but since I can't send it, I'll try to explain. You start by playing "Rock, Paper, Scissors" (fun fact: almost every game in Korea involves "Rock, Paper, Scissors"), but instead of saying, "가위, 바위, 보" you say, "삼겹살!" which is a kind of meat. If you win then you grab the cheek of your opponent. With their cheek still pinched you play again. "삼겹살!" If you lose, they grab your cheek and the game continues. But if you win, you take their pinched cheek and saw it from your grip with your other hand. It's so hard to explain, but it's kind of like an Indian Burn, but on your face. It's absolutely horrible, but my companion and I were dying. Ha. Little boys are weird.
4. Okay, so I have no time to talk about investigators because I had to answer some other emails this week, but I'm giving you all a commitment! I've been listening to Conference Talks lately (it's pretty much my new favorite thing to do) and I found an amazing one by Elder Holland (I know, you're surprised). It's called "An High Priest of Good Things To Come" and it's incredible. Seriously, everyone should listen to it. Even if you have no clue who Jeffrey R. Holland is, I commit you right now to go and listen to that talk. (Jess and Jordan, I'm looking at you.) You'll  never regret it. There'll be a quiz next week.
I love you all!
Sister Abba.

I played this fancy drum and then I used the stick as a wand.

The Indian Burn face game

Bugs for a side dish and no, I did not eat them.  

Rice fields.  I think this man suspected me sneakily taking his picture.  

Stuck in the country.  Not happy.  

This one's for Ana.  The tropical flowers are growing, but in Korea, wearing flowers in your hair means you're crazy so, I wore this one only for the picture.  ^^

The mascot of Jeungup.  Maple leaf people.

This baby did NOT want to give up his basketball.  

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