Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cultural Musings 3 세

Sorry about missing Tteokbokki Tuesday but I didn't really have any new pictures to share. I shall work on taking more pictures. Anyways, I learned some interesting tidbits at my language exchange last night that I thought I'd share.

Musing 1: University
So last night we were talking about what everyone in our groups major in university was/is and I asked how they chose these majors, innocent enough question right? No! It took us awhile to overcome the language and cultural understanding barriers but I think I finally got it. So I had already heard that students take an exam during their 3rd year of middle school to determine what kind of high school they can go to, which in turn can influence where they get into university. No pressure. So what I learned was that high schools here are primarily broken up into two areas of concentration, sciences and society. I am still a little unclear as to what that means precisely but the two girls who said they went to society high schools either didn't take science at all or stopped after their second year. So anyways, majors. Seniors in high school take a huge test that determines what universities they can get into. Think SAT/ACT but with like 10x more pressure. Your score on this exam plays two roles. First, which universities you can get into, similar to how schools in the states said you need an SAT/ACT score of .... to get in. Second, which major you will choose. So from what I understand each major within a school is also given a score, for example they said you needed to get at least a 1500 on the exam to major in English. So instead of choosing based on interest like I did, they chose based on the score that they got.

Musing 2: Animal Control
I don't know too much about how animal control works in the States, all I can say is I don't see half as many strays walking around. Even when I lived in a city, not a huge city, but a city nonetheless, I didn't see this many strays. My alley alone must be home to at least 3 or 4 cats. I also saw a stray dog crossing a huge road this morning. I don't know what he was thinking crossing it 3 times, but it nearly gave me a heart attack. Not much else to say with this one. Just be prepared and watch were you are walking, the street is their toilet, when you visit Korea.

Here is an old, but pretty picture to make up for Tuesday.
I used some kind of magical filter on my camera and now it looks like a painting!
This is from our trip to Jeonju hanok village

I am now curious how you guys chose your majors?
Does anyone have a system to Korea?
What do you think about such a system? Pros? Cons?


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