Friday, July 2, 2010

Out of the Comfort Zone

I knew coming back to Korea and learning the language would push me out of my comfort zone. But I never could've predicted just how much...

First of all, Mark and I agree that neither of us has ever studied this hard in our lives. Ever. Spending 3 hours or so drilling vocab, practicing new grammar, and memorizing phrases after class is over is the norm. On a daily basis, my brain just plain hurts. And I know I've said this before, but I can't say it enough. Sogang's program moves FAST.

To give you an example, this past week, we've learned:
  • the past tense,
  • the future tense,
  • how to say you can/can't do something,
  • how to say you want to do something,
  • how to give and understand directions,
  • how to use adjectives,
  • a whole new style of speaking (the polite formal style),
  • how to indicate the method in which something was done, and
  • how to ask someone to do/not to do something.
All of this... along with about 100 new vocabulary words.

But besides studying, I've been forced to sing by myself in front of a class and to go out with a sheet of paper and ask 5 random Koreans for directions to places in Seoul and to write down what they said. Both were nerve-wreckingly huge LEAPS out of my comfort zone.

Basically, to survive in class, you have to throw any self-consciousness out the window and do whatever is asked of of you. Here's Mark wearing a kitten sleeping mask and stumbling around the room trying to follow our directions to pin the hot pink tail on the elephant. (For the record, he succeeded in record time. :o) I credit our team's amazing direction giving skills.)


But so far, I'd say all of our work and bravery is paying off as I'm definitely seeing big jumps in what we can say. Midterms are quickly approaching, so we'll really find out then, right? Next week, we'll have a writing, reading, listening, and speaking midterms. Then the following week is an actual speaking midterm -- one-0n-one interview style. I think that's the one I'm the most freaked out about. Wish us luck!


Julia said...

First that pic is hilarious and wrong and a little dirty.

Second you guys are intelligent and rockstars so I know you can do this!

Third,those peaches in your next post are made of gold or something....$30?!? Geesh!

Jennelle said...

I know you'll both do great on your midterms--good luck!

Jen said...

I'm glad you're learning so much, but it is summer so don't forget to take a break too!

And I'll keep holding my breath that Mark secretly snapped video of you singing in front of class, because I think we need proof! :)

Happy 4th!

Mica said...

Thanks for this "review" of your program. It sounds really intense, but I'm sure that all of it will pay off in spades. I wonder if my Univ. course will do things like this in the fall...

Good luck on your midterms! At least you two can be each other's study buddies, right?