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  • jhboisselle 3:05 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The Fight for Dokdo 

    This posting is from Chelsea Gannon:

    While doing some “touristy” shopping in Insadong, one of the interesting but most heavily tourist-trodden locations in Seoul, the group I was walking with and I were stopped by a group of school girls collecting a “survey” for an assignment of public opinion of the rightful ownership of Dokdo. Dokdo, a small seemingly insignificant rock island between Japan and South Korea has long been the subject of territorial dispute between the two nations. The girls carried around signs reading “Dokdo is our country” in Korean and “Our Dokdo” in English, as well as handed out candy to all who were willing to put a checkmark next to South Korea as the rightful owner of the island rather than Japan.

    I found this appearance particularly interesting because it showed the prevalence such territorial land disputes plays in contemporary Korean politics and relations.  Additionally, one member of my group jested with the girls in Korean about sharing the island with Japan, to which he was met with absolute disgust. While it is true these girls were only as small subset of the population, it struck me as immensely interesting the power education can play in youth’s perception of current issues, particularly in a situation founded on such a tumultuous history between Japan and Korea.

  • jhboisselle 3:03 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Couple Clothing 

    This posting is from Chelsea Gannon:

    One “culture shocking” aspect of South Korean life I encountered was couples. Not only are there immense numbers of couples, but large cultural supports for the prevalence of these pairs. In Korean dramas and movies, love and dating is an incredibly popular subject.  Additionally, gender roles within these relationships are rather strictly defined with girls often acting cutesy and innocent, a trait known as “aegyo”, and the boys acting authoritative, strong, and as the caretaker of their girlfriends. With such a prominent role of couples, a culture has developed where each engages in “normal” activities such as the men carrying their girlfriend’s purses or most interestingly wearing matching accessories or clothing. More often than not, couple items are shoes or shirts, but it was not uncommon to see couples decked out in matching gear including shoes, full outfits, and bags. In extreme cases, couples would wear even matching nail polish. While this phenomenon was highly prevalent throughout Seoul, we witnessed extensive numbers of couple items due to the sheer number of Koreans we encountered on a daily basis. Couples, both dating and married, even purchased matching “USA Pavilion” cowboy hats and t shirts from our gift store, specifically asking if a certain item had one for the other gender so that it was “couple wear”. Although I couldn’t take photos while working, I was able to snap a few while on my breaks or off days, and I’ve posted them below:


  • jhboisselle 2:59 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Yeosu Bay and Mosageum Beach 

    This posting is from Chelsea Gannon:

    Yeosu was selected as the location for the 2012 World Expo with the theme of Living Oceans and Coasts because of its tropical -like environment and picturesque coastline. However, Yeosu was also picked for its industrial and economical ties to the sea. Because of this Yeosu has been a particularly interesting place to explore; full of beautiful beaches but also indications of Yeosu’s industrial significance.
    On one of the local beaches I’ve visited often, Mosageum Beach, is famous for it’s black sand. It is a small but pleasant beach with coarse, dark grey sand nestled between a cement jetty and jagged green hillside. The water is vibrant teal on sunny days (despite the grey hue in the picture) and spotted with small fishing boats and in the distance, with oil tankers waiting to be loaded with petroleum. The picture below is of Yeosu bay, which I took from a ferry to a nearby town.

    beach1 beach2

  • jhboisselle 2:56 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Yeosu’s Market 

    market1 This posting is from Chelsea Gannon:

    Fruits and vegetables are incredibly expensive (I have bought a single carrot for 3 dollars and seen watermelons priced at 30) so today  I decided to go to the local market rather than the standard grocery store in hopes of finding some lower prices. Not only did I find vegetables for reasonable prices (still pricy compared to the states- but no where near as mind blowingly high) I had a lot of fun exploring and talking with the ajumas.

    market6  market4 market3

    The meat section of the market was a little less enjoyable and I was nearly run over by an ajosshi pushing a cart of halved pig carcasses.


  • jhboisselle 2:47 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    양념오리한마리 (Marinated Duck) 

    This posting is on behalf of Chelsea Gannon:

    My favorite style of Korean restuarant is Barbeque, which involves using the hot griddle or grill over hot coals at your table and cooking your own order of meat. Tonight for dinner, two of my friends and I went out and ordered 800g of marinated duck for 30,000 KRW, which converts to around $27 (under $10 a person!).

    While our griddle heated up, the ajuma brought out an array of side dishes: kimchi, garlic, anchovies, cucumber kimchi, pickled sesame leaves, two kinds of sauces, rice, and lettuce leaves for wrapping.

    Pretty soon she brought out the duck.


    All of the ingredients in the final product!!


  • jhboisselle 7:35 pm on August 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Asiapod 2012: Mission Briefing 

    Greetings from Geneva, New York.  We are Doug and Juliet, the Asiapod Mission Control Operators at Hobart and William Smith.  Our job is mostly to get Asiapod participants the necessary resources (such as iTouch units and blog space), pose provocative challenges (we hope) and then get out of the way!  We can’t wait to hear the voices of our second year of participants studying abroad as they navigate language, space and culture.  We also hope to hear from Asiapod readers (yes, we love comments!) and that includes Asiapod 2011 participants.

    So, without further ado…we thought it might be nice to re-introduce ourselves virtually (thanks, Melissa for getting us started!) to help us all start anticipating transitioning into Fall 2012 adventures.

    Symphony Village, Lisbon, Portugal 1983

    Juliet here. My enthusiasm for this project stems from two primary areas ~ 1) An early love of language learning.  At age eleven, I had a life-changing experience as a CISV Villager.  In 1983, I lived in Lisbon, Portugal for a month with 11-year-olds from twelve different countries in a “village.” Within the first few hours of arrival in Lisbon, I became frustrated that I could not speak (all of) the native languages in my camp.  It was evident that the American children had the weakest language skills of the group.  Then and there, I resolved to make language learning a priority for the rest of my life, and so began my journey of exploring languages. Since then, I’ve dappled in Latin (“dead ” language, I know but still a very powerful base!), Spanish, French, Mandarin and Italian.  That’s all to say, I find language learning a fun personal challenge and sing praises whenever possible to Children’s International Summer Villages for such a rich childhood experience.  2) My professional path currently meanders around all things technology and learning in higher education.  While I’m not a gadget geek (at all), I am always interested in identifying ways that technology can enhance learning.  Who knew Skype was on the horizon twenty years ago when I learned Mandarin via cassette tapes in a basement language lab?  Digital touch devices such as the iTouch that facilitate vocabulary building and drilling from the palm of your hand? Practicing character strokes? Wow.  What a time within which we are living.  It’s a constantly shifting landscape and it’s my job to try to help us all be mindful of what works…and what doesn’t.  I’m eager to do some more vicarious traveling through our participants’ postings. Bring ’em on!

    Doug here. I’m the programming coordinator for the Center for Global Education (study abroad office) at HWS, and my job is more or less to do neat projects like Asiapod that can enrich student experience abroad, as well as back on campus. Far as I am aware, I’m the only person in the study abroad field with this job description, and I feel very fortunate for that. What many of you might not know is that the impact of mobile computing has the field of study abroad quite frightened. The idea that a student can be constantly tethered to their home  (family, friends, language, culture) has us worried that participants in 21st century study abroad may not have the same powerful experience of place that Juliet did in Portugal (where she was restricted to snail mail for communication) or I did as a Junior in Seville, Spain. I also wrote letters. On paper. And licked stamps to get them where they needed to go.

    But rather than be a Pollyanna about it, I’d rather explore ways in which connectivity, and these powerful little handheld devices, might truly augment our experience of place. We designed Asiapod as a way of lightly structuring the exploration of place with mobile computing. We’ve got some great challenges lined up for this year that are designed to, step by little step, ask our participants to step outside of their comfort zones–and report back to us!

    Like Juliet, I am neither luddite nor gear geek. I’m most interested in the ways in which technology can truly enrich our experiences. I don’t believe every technology is innately good, that newer is necessarily better, or that market forces alone should guide technological adoption. I like bicycles better than cars (look, if the Ipod killed 40,000 people a year from use, do you really think we’d be using them? Cars do, and we do!), still have an old 1948 Corona typewriter (thing of beauty) and am both a digital and film photographer.

    I have developed a methodology for traveling that makes me feel like I’ve really been in a place, which involves getting a haircut, going down back alleys, finding some kind of counterculture, and trying to introduce myself to people, maybe to take their portraits with one of my cameras. I have visited countries and not seen a single thing that’s in the guidebooks, but have felt all the richer for the simpler pleasures of communicating across cultures. And eating. I love food. And talking about food. And writing and photographing it. And eating it. Did I say that?

  • jhboisselle 5:48 pm on February 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Asiapod Re-mix(ed) 

    Asiapod Re-mix(ed)

    For bloggers and readers alike…

    Asiapod is going to a national conference and we need your voices!  What did you like best about the initiative? Carrying the trusty iTouch? Having someone bug you to publish reflections on encounters? Did Asiapod affect your experiences in any way?  In the spirit of the program, share a  “digital story”, write a haiku, or limerick or two, sing us a song…share your Asiapod love!

    Here’s a limerick to jump-start us.

    The ‘Touch

    Seven travelers snatched a ‘Touch
    Signed up they did to sleep, shower and munch
    With it, traverse the globe
    Language learning to probe
    Gee, fantastic, they said, can it also make me lunch?

    Asiapod Re-mix(ed) awaits your contribution — please post to the main blog, per usual — with a tag “remix” and then Doug and I will collate everything to Asiapod Re-mix(ed)

    Deadline March 25

    And, yes, there will be a treat on the other end of it for you, we just aren’t sure what yet…

    Let the fun begin – Cheers, Juliet and Doug


    [Background photo on app screen taken by Tra To, WS ’12 .]
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