Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jeju Self-governing Province

So here is a pictoral recap of our TaLK cultural tour to Jeju island. Yes, Jeju. The Hawaii of Korea. A favorite destination of Korean honeymooners. It's not quite so romantic in February, but what can I say? It was a free trip with free food, transportation, and lodging at a nice hotel. Yeah. It was torture.

Jeju has a distinct culture from the rest of Korea. There's a Jeju dialect and lifestyle. I heard in ages past, criminals were sent to Jeju. I can imagine life here used to be quite harsh. Nowadays, it seems the main industry is tourism.

Strangely, one of our first destinations was this sex museum called "Loveland". Haha. Korea likes to pretend they're so conservative, but really they're just as sex-crazed as the rest of us, eh?


Another, er, more culturally relevant place we visited was a traditional Jeju village with it's destinctive thatched roof houses.

Marie taking a break from her asian male fetish.

Collecting water

Traditional Jeju dinner.

Yakcheonsa Temple. Scott is amused about something.

Jeju orange grove

what a cute baby pinapple!

The promise of spring!

well darn it, I love being had.

Yeomiji botanical garden

Why you cryin'?

Music producer JYP in portrait form.

Glass Museum

Whew! The end! I can go to bed. Unfortunately, it's morning now.


Are Women Necessary?

Darn you! Seducing us with your pizzas!

Buahahaa! I have your attention now, don't I? In the words of a famed "Onion" columnist, "It's been a while since I last rapped at ya." Whatchu want, a brownie?! I make no apologies!!

Months of bitching have bourne fruit: Last week, I finally recieved my own classroom. Now my students have a new location in which to be unruly, disrespectful, and rude.

Yes thespians, despite what you may believe, I cannot rule a classroom based on sheer force of personailty and skill. Classes can be chaotic and devolve into glorified babysitting. Here are some the usual suspects:

Class Clown-- Class clown is usually a boy too silly to be in class. Needs to be at home drinking milk.

Miss Needy--Cries daily. She needs constant coddling and attention. Another calcium-deficient infant.

Mr./Miss Cool--Better than the other kids at English. Think they're the hottest things since Rain's chicken breast -sculpted abs.

Pet Peeve--repeats everything you say in a mocking manner. Smiles cause he knows you can't strangle the hell'outa'm.

So, those are some of the bottomless pits you can pour your efforts into, if you so choose. Still ,there are those who are enthusiastic and want to learn. If only we could just teach them!

If you would be so gracious as to call anything I do "teaching." I do try, and it's encouraging to see one's work appreciated. Of course, the opposite is discouraging.

As I may have mentioned before, I'm fascinated by the ideas of masculitnity and femininty, and how they are represented in culture. One sees a lot more overt femininity here in Korea. Girls here act "cuter". They make more of an effort to look cute. But I've been wondering for a while; ARE WOMEN NECESSARY?

What I mean by that is, are what society generally agrees upon as being "feminine" traits of behavior or style essential for survival? What value does being feminine have other than guys think it's cute?

Cause I've been hard-pressed to think of anything that would be considered exclusively "feminine" that has any practical value other than people thinking it's desirable for some reason, but it's benifits aren't particularly quantifiable.

For instance, hunting, being able to win a fight, and getting a promotion to a high-powered job ( considered tradtionally masculine achievements) are all quantifiable. You can eat, you can survive, you can get rich. People who don't even know you will admire you for accomplishing those things. They're glorious.

Scrubbing the toilets to a glossy sheen is nice, but nobody will congratulate you for it.

Not that I believe that just because something isn't immediately quantifiable, it has little value. Quite the opposite. For instance, art and music. They improve quality of life exponentially. But they have little to do with you eating, having shelter, food, or clothing.--which is precicely why schools cut art and music programs when they're looking for ways to save money. Lord forbid they cut sports... games sell tickets, and victories against rival schools are glorious. Star players become heroes. And most men want to be heroes.

I've been thinking for a while what a pain it is to be a woman. As a woman, you have to constantly be worried, subconsiously or not, about your own safety. Yes. there's always that spectere of rape or physical violence in general in the background. Also, you gotta put up with crap your body does every month. And of course there are the "joys" of pregnancy and childbirth.

Sheesh. Am I sounding like some non-armpit-shaving, shrieking feminist that resents her own gender? Or maybe a lesbian? I don't mean to. I've just been wondering (as I'm surrounded by a culture that seems to value femininity more) perhaps because I'm on the outside. I feel distinctly un-dainty, dumpy, and unfeminine at the moment, I must admit.

What do y'all think? Are women neccessary?

Even peeing is inconvenient!! Gah!