Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010

Here are the Disney villains of my childhood for a special Halloween tribute.

Stuff Waygooks Like #5 - Halloween (할로윈)


Waygooks love Halloween!  We love it so much and truth be told, most of us are unable to explain to a Korean what the holiday is for or why we have it.  Today, it is most widely celebrated in North America and parts other English speaking countries.  I was recently put on the spot by a Korean what the holiday was for, so I decided to look it up.

Halloween traditions began over two thousand years ago in Northern Europe amongst the ancient Pagan and Celt religions.  They celebrated their New Years on November 1st.  This is when the weather started getting colder and the days grew shorter.  They associated this time of year with death.  They believed that the night before, on October 31st, the dead rose from the grave and would walk amongst the living once more.  This day became the pagan festival of Samhain and people would dress up like ghosts and ghouls to not be recognized as human beings by any evil spirits that rose that night.

In the 800s, the Christian church moved their holiday of "All Saint's Day" from May to November 1st to help incorporate church doctrine into already existing pagan holidays (same as with Easter and Christmas).  October 31st thus became All Hallows' Eve ("hallow" meaning "saint").

The church also made November 2nd "All Souls Day", a day set apart for the commemoration of all the dead.  In the 15th century, during the All Souls Day festival in England, poor people would beg for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants.  Families would give these away for a promise to pray for the family's relatives.  The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was taken up by children who would visit the houses of their neighborhood and they would be given ale, food, and money.

After the potato famine of 1848, millions of Irish emigrants poured into America and brought with them their adapted traditions of Halloween.  They called Halloween "Oidche Shamhna" ("Night of Samhain"), as their ancestors had, and they kept traditional observances.  Halloween has been a widely popular holiday in North America since then.

So, that's Halloween.  People carve pumpkins.  They dress up like anything they want.  They go to parties.  They watch scary movies.  They hand out candy to children.  They have fun.  Koreans that get a taste of what Halloween is usually enjoy it and it is only a matter of time before this holiday becomes more widely accepted and popularized in Korea.

Waygooks who dress up for Halloween while living in Korea also incorporate some of their costume ideas with distinctly Korean cultural aspects.  Here are some I found.

This waygook decided to dress up like an Ajumma... which is an old Korean woman.


I saw several people dressed up as "fan death."  A clever play on a hilarious Korean superstition.


This waygook dressed up as a nora bong machine.  There is a microphone in the guys hand.


Koreans love their phones and they love their phone charms.  This guy is his phone's charm.


If anyone remembers the insanity of the swine flu scare last year in Korea, this guy was dressed as swine flu.


Koreans get into it as well.  Here is a Harry Potter.


Cheers!

One in Three Korean Teens Would Exchange Sex For Money

South Korea is seen as much of a paradox to waygooks when it comes to sex.  Casual dating for Koreans before marriage is is not socially acceptable.  Living together before marriage is not socially acceptable.  Public displays of affection are taboo.  Sex is not to be talked about and the official position of every Korean is that they do not have it and nobody in Korea has it before marriage.

And yet... there are multiple red light districts in every major city in this country.  Women are for sale in windows for anyone with enough cash.  Hooker cards and littered all over the cities.  Coffee girls buzz around the city on the backs of motorcycles doing thirty minute house calls.  Love motels out number churches in this country.  Most barbershops and bathhouses openly advertise "happy ending" services.  This country is living a lie when it comes to the reality of their subversive sexual desires.

This is the result... nearly one in three teens would accept money for sex.  Because that is how it is now anyways.  And valuing your body and reserving sex for someone you care for and enjoy spending time with (but maybe don't necessarily plan on marrying) is forbidden.

Story in the Times:
One out of three adolescents said in a recent survey that they were willing to engage in sex in exchange for money. 
The Women’s Human Rights Commission of Korea (WHRCK) surveyed 2,894 teenagers — 2,538 students and 356 juvenile delinquents — nationwide in June and July to take a look at their views on sex. 
A total of 1,891 or 66.9 percent said they would “reject” having sex for money.
Eighteen percent of the respondents said they would take money “depending on the situation”; 3.5 percent said they definitely would take it; and 11.5 percent said they were “unsure.”
“This survey means that about one third of adolescents could be vulnerable to such offers,” an official from WHRCK said.
Some students said they had engaged in sex for cash — 101, or 3.6 percent, said they had experience in the sex trade, mostly sex resulting from Internet chatting. The two main reasons for prostituting themselves were suggestions from friends, and to make a living after running away from home.
“People have to recognize that trading sex is a crime. We will educate teenagers and support victims of the sex trade based on this survey,” the official said.
The research showed 7.3 percent, or 208, of those surveyed had experienced sexual intercourse. About 3 percent of students had sex, compared to 39 percent of the delinquents.
Among the 208 teenagers, the age of having their first sexual encounter ranged from nine to 19 — the average age was 15.4. 
Their partners were mostly boy or girlfriends, taking up 63 percent, followed by older or younger school friends. 
About half of the students said they had sex consensually, however, the ratio differed by gender. Some 63 percent of males answered both parties agreed to do so, while only 35 percent of girls said the same. More girls said they had their first sexual relations by force or involuntarily after getting drunk.
And remember, the legal age of consent in Korea is 13 years olds.  Paying a 13 year old to have sex with you may be a crime, but having sex with a 13 year old is not.
.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tokyo Needs More Bees?

It is the world's largest city with more than 36 million people visiting the city's center everyday.  Al Jazeera English did a short clip on the push to make Tokyo more green.  I think people need green space.  I am also a fan of making more space for insects, birds, and wild animals in urban areas.  I think people need to see trees and natural sunlight on a daily basis or else they get depressed or go nuts.

KPOP Korral - [Secret] - Madonna


The name of this four member girl group is Secret (시크릿).  They were formed by TS entertainment and their members are Hyo Sung (효성), Zinger (징거), Ji Eun (지은), and Sun Hwa(선화).  They debuted in 2009 but have made it big in the summer of 2010 with the help of their two big hits, Madonna (마돈나), and Magic (매직).

I know this video makes no sense, and is a complete rip off of a Beyonce song, but it is still enjoyable.


The other song I did not like as much, but was a bigger hit.  So here it is as well.

Imported Prostitutes Don't Need HIV Testing, But English Teachers Do

I have been in South Korea for more over a year and a half now.  In this time, I have been forced to have three HIV tests done on me.  The first when I got here.  The second when I wanted to renew my contract (you know, in case I spontaneously got it while only living in Korea).  The third was a mandated government physical that my schools told me that every government employee in Korea must get every two years for health insurance reasons.  They included an HIV test for me because I was a foreigner, but I am guessing they do not give the test to regular Korean teachers.

Many international human rights groups have been slamming South Korea the last two years for screening foreign work visas against people with HIV/AIDS.  I personally do not mind being tested.  I wish everyone was tested, and then everyone was educated about the dangers and health risks of the disease.  There is no reason why a person with HIV/AIDS cannot be a teacher in any country.  HIV/AIDS cannot be spread through sweat, tears, saliva, breathing, or by mosquitoes.  So, people need to calm down.

I would have no problem having an HIV/AIDS coworker or school teacher of my children.  I would shake their hand.  I would give them a hug if they needed it.  They are still a human being and a lot of good people in this world have the disease through no fault of their own (rape, contaminated blood transfusions, significant other cheated on them).

But then you read news such as this... and you just recall how backwards Korea thinking still is.  The article was on the Korea Times, and I got it via Brian:
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said it will scrap compulsory human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tests for foreigners seeking to acquire an entertainer’s E-6 visa, and workers renewing their E-9 visas here. 
However, the tests will still be required of those seeking E-2 language teaching visas.
Currently, those who are applying to come to Korea on the E-6 visa for more than 91 days should either submit HIV testing, or take a test within 72 hours on arrival. 
The E-6 is issued to those seeking to work in bars, in hotels as singers or dancers, and athletes playing for local sports teams. About 4,000 such visas are issued every year.
Those on the employment permit system, the E-9 visa, will also no longer have to submit results or be tested to renew their residency.
The health authorities will submit a revised bill to the National Assembly for approval in the near future.
“We’ve decided to ease the rules as HIV is not transmitted through air or water but through human contact most of the time,” ministry official Jeong Eun-gyeong said, explaining the reason behind the revision.
The move came as the HIV rules have been criticized by international civic groups and others. In May last year, former Health Minister Jeon Jae-hee was advised by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to scrap the system. [...]
However, the latest move is likely to spark more disputes over the continued testing requirement for E-2 visa applicants and holders. 
“Education is considered a very intimate relationship. According to an unofficial survey by the Prime Minister’s Office, the majority of parents wanted solid evidence of their children’s teachers’ HIV status,” said an official of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. 
“The continuation does not mean the government regards foreign teachers to be HIV positive or have the potential of transmission ― it is just intended to assure the parents. We are considering revisions in this area, too,” he added. [...]
Except continuation of the testing of English teachers DOES mean that the government regards foreign teachers to be a high risk group for transmitting HIV.  This is completely ignorant and ass backwards.  Foreign women from poorer countries, like China and SE Asia, who are brought here to be entertainers and sex slaves to Korean business men no longer need to be tested for HIV, but educated, college degree holding English teachers need to.  Astonishing!

I then also just read this in Extra! Korea this same week!
Police in Busan have arrested a 19-year-old* girl, Ahn, who had sex with 20 men despite knowing that she was HIV positive. It looks like she was engaging in “wonjo kyoje” (원조교제), so-called “compensated dating,” in which men pay schoolgirls for sex. The kicker in this story?
She [Ahn] reportedly said that she suggested using condoms, but they refused to do so.
What could be the cause of such a rash attitude? Lack of sex eduction? Naivity? The desire to experience the “full pleasure”? I bet Grand Narrative could write a lengthy post.
* I’m not sure if this is by East Asian age or international age. If the former, she could be as young as 17.
Koreans have a problem here.  Prostitution amongst Korean men is the problem, not native English speakers.  I hope the wives of these twenty men who paid to have unprotected sex with an HIV positive 17 year old girl realize that it is their fathers, husbands, and brothers who are more of a risk to their children than foreign English teachers.

College Humor Does Starcraft 2

College Humor had an American pro video gamer, Trevor Houston aka TorcH, come to their headquarters to talk about Starcraft 2 and to have a demo 3 vs 1 match against some of their employees.  It is funny in the interview that they reference South Korea and South Korean pro gamers so much during this skit.  Korea really is some bizarre nerd paradise where guys who play videos games get recognized on the street and date pop stars.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will.i.am... I Hate You

Korea's biggest pop stars have aggressively been trying to claw their way onto the American pop scene to no avail.  Even with English versions of their songs (here and here), they do not have the same effect as they do in Korean.

Reportedly, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas randomly watched 2NE1's space version of their debut hit song Fire on Youtube and decided he had to check out what the KPOP scene was all about.  He decided to collaborate with them on a song and here is the video of 2NE1 meeting him for the first time.  Here is a video of them working in the studio together.

Well, it looks like Will.i.am decided to bring back a little Korean with him to the studio in America.  Here it is.


Other blogs seem to be impressed that the Korean text flying all over the places actually makes sense.  I am more concerned that this is a terrible song with offensive and horrible English and soon every fifth and sixth grader in the country is going to be singing it in the hallways.  This song will inevitably be a hit in Korea because Koreans will be unable to resist having their written language acknowledged in any way over Japanese and Chinese.

Here are some of the disastrous lyrics
I stay n-ggerrific you don’t needa ask why...
I just pop up on these hoes on some pimple sh-t,
and put an iron to your face y’all wrinkled b-tch
This is mega-n-gger... ultra-n-ggermatic...
Then there is the brilliant chorus line!  Who ever got paid to write this probably does have a bright future in KPOP.
Hey check it out
check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, check it out, 
yeah yeah I’m feeling it now
check it out, check it out, check it out
I never had an opinion of this guy before now, but I have to say I hate him for making such a horrible song and dooming me to listening to for the next three months every time I go out in public.

.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ask a Waygook - Renewal Vacation Time

Hi there,
I am planning to renew my contract to teach with EPIK in South Korea and I have a question about the time requirements for leaving the country. As I understand it, we get two weeks of vacation so we can leave the country, but looking at my school's calendar, spring break is barely two weeks -- graduation is Feb. 15th and the first day of the new school year is March 2nd.
Are we supposed to be out of the country for an entire two weeks or is the required time less than that?
Thanks for your help!
-- 
Angela

Hey Angela,

If you are renewing your contract with EPIK this March, then you should have signed this exact same contract that I posted:

http://www.thewaygookeffect.com/2010/09/ask-waygook-sample-net-contract.html

First, you should know that you already are allowed ten working days vacation to be used sometime during the winter recess at your school. That is in Article 14, Section 1 and that vacation time is separate from any kind of renewal vacation time.
① The Employee shall be entitled to a vacation period of a total of eighteen (18) working days during the Term of the Employment set forth under Article 5 hereof. If the Employees works in a school, the Employee shall have vacation for eight (8) working days during the summer recess and ten (10) working days during the winter recess respectively;
You have to plan these regular vacation days with your school at a time of both your convenience.  Christmas and Lunar New Year's are already holidays and should not count twice.  Also note that these ten days are "working days" and do not include Saturdays and Sundays.  Korean schools sometimes get this confused and do not immediately understand the difference.  Koreans work Saturdays themselves.

Article 10, Section 2 states that when you renew, the last two calendar weeks of your contract period shall be paid leave. 
② In the case of renewal of this Contract pursuant to the foregoing clause ①, the Employee shall be given two (2) calendar weeks paid leave which shall take place during the nearest school vacation to the first day of the renewal contract with the condition of the days not conflicting with the school schedule.
It however also says that it shall not conflict with the school schedule.  This appears to be impossible if you have classes through the 15th of February.

You should have a copy of your contract.  Your contract period is from Feb 26, 2010 to Feb 25, 2011.  Ideally, you should have your two weeks renewal vacation period from Feb 12th through Feb 25th. 

If your school or your coteacher is unfamiliar with your contract, then you will need to bring in your copy and politely ask them about this.  Students are already finished with their finals by this time, and these weeks in February are not the most productive classes of the year. Your school really should not object to letting you go the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th.

You also do not need to leave the country.  You get this vacation time regardless of what you do.  You can go back to your home country if you want.  You can also take a vacation to anywhere in the world if you like, but nothing states you have to leave Korea.  

If they ask you, I highly recommend telling them that you are thinking about going home and you need that time off to be confirmed so you can possibly buy a plane ticket (even if you really are not planning to).  If you say you are not leaving Korea or planning a vacation to some other country, they most likely will delay making a decision about letting you go those days as long as possible for no discernible reason.  This is just the Korean way.  Administrators and principals do the exact same thing to Korean teachers as well, so do not feel discriminated against.

Once they give you the green light for those two weeks they will have you sign something.  It is not official until you sign something, so do not buy tickets anywhere until you have the paper with your principal's signature.  After this time, you can then change your mind and do whatever you want.  If they ask why you are not going home, you can just say that it would have been too expensive.  They will not argue with that.

Enjoy your vacation time and prepare for your second year!

Good Luck!
The Waygook

South Korean President Debuts On Twitter

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak apparently has someone working for him under the age of thirty that can speak English and surfs the world wide web beyond Korea's Naver and Daum.  This guy was also bold enough to suggest the President start using one of the world's more powerful social networking devices in the world's more wired country.

I wonder if he did this in response to North Korea getting its first Twitter account?  I refuse to use Twitter, but if you want to subscribe, here it is.

.

Want a PhD in the Humanities? You Might Be an Idiot

Lots of people think that getting a PhD is a good idea.  They are good at school, and it is all they have ever known.  So, they just keep going and going until they are hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

Someone on xtranormal made a pretty accurate and funny summation of the internal conflict in every person that thinks staying in school forever is a great idea.  Too funny...

Monday, October 25, 2010

FBI Background Check Walk Through For E-2 Visa Holders

*** Update *** - As of March 2011, I have my completed FBI Background check and you can follow the link to see what it looks like.


E-2 visa applicants from The United States who want to either start teaching in South Korea as of January 1st, 2011, or currently teach in South Korea and want to renew their contract after this date, must submit an FBI criminal background check to Korean immigration.

The reason for this change in policy is obvious.  Example, if an American lives in the State of California their whole life, commits numerous crimes, maybe even serves time in jail, then moves to any another state, they then have a clean criminal background check in that new state.  Up until now, Korea has been accepting criminal background checks from any state, regardless of how long a person has lived in that state.

I actually have heard about several past E-2 visa holders (gone now) who have had criminal backgrounds in one state that would have kept them from teaching in South Korea, and they simply moved to another state, waited a month to establish residency, then applied to work in South Korea with their new state's criminal background check.  Nobody in Korean immigration could have possibly known they committed crimes in the United States and were able to teach here by way of this loophole.

The downside of FBI criminal checks is that they do not include everything.  Any time you are fingerprinted after being arrested, it is supposed to show up in your FBI background check.  However, state and local authorities have some discretionary authority on what to report to the FBI.  Likewise, the FBI might get a report and choose not to include it for whatever reason.  Then, there is also just the gauntlet of paperwork involved and stuff slips through the cracks and does not make it on.  Whatever...

If you have ever been fingerprinted for anything ever in your life, the only way to know what is on your FBI background check is to ask for a copy and see for yourself.  There is a process to dispute what is on there if you feel like a mistake has been made.

*********************************************************************************

BEFORE STARTING:

This process takes between three and four months.  Do not underestimate it because it could end up costing you your job if you do not get it done.  No other English speaking countries have a process that takes this long to get an equivalent national background check.  Additionally, numerous things could go wrong in this process causing further delays.  Americans are put at an extreme disability in applying to teach in South Korea from now on.

STEP 1:

If you are living in the United States now, then simply go to a local police station and request to be fingerprinted.  Let them know it is because you need to apply for a FBI criminal background check to work abroad.  They should be able to help you no problem.

If you are living in South Korea right now because you want to stay another year, then you need to make it to a local Korean police station to be fingerprinted.  You need find a Korean police station that has a CSI crime lab.  It looks like this.  The bigger the station, the more likely they will have one.  You can ask a Korean to help you call around to learn where they have CSI departments.  Going with a Korean is preferable, but you can also just go on your own with a written note.  I suggest trying to get time off work during the day to go get this done.


Before you go...

1) The website with the information on requesting a criminal background check is here. (LINK)  Read it.
2) Fill out and print off the application form. (LINK)
3) Print off five copies of the standard fingerprint form (FD-258) and fill each of them out.  Printed on a color printer is preferable.  (LINK)  You should get a full set of prints on three of them to mail in, but if the officer or you makes a mistake, it is good to have two extra blanks to start over if needed.  You need to send in three in the event the FBI rejects one because of smudging and wants a new one.
4) Print one copy of an example of a completed fingerprint card.  (LINK)  The officer who took my prints had never used an FBI print card before and really appreciated the example I brought him.
5) Fill out and print off the credit card payment form.  (LINK)  They do not accept personal checks.
6) Bring with you to the station your passport and alien registration card.  You actually should not need to provide them, but they will want to see them to confirm your identity and make a copy for record keeping purposes.

STEP 2:

You need to write a cover letter for your application form to the FBI.  On it, you are going to need to add several important things.

1) Include any kind of contact information you have.  Your e-mail, your phone number, your mailing address and possibly a mailing address in the United States or a person and contact number in the United States if they need to contact someone about the processing.
2) Include a request to the FBI asking them to use their official seal for the document and have a division officer sign it..  You can say something like this:
"Please include with the background check a FBI seal and signature from a Division Officer.  The purpose of this document is to be sent next to the US State Department for a Federal Apostille."
Mail your cover letter, your application form, the three copies of your finger prints, and your credit card payment form to the following address:

FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306

The FBI contact number for the FBI Office in West Virginia is 304-625-5590 if you have any questions.

STEP 3:

Once you have received your FBI criminal background check with official signature and seal.  You then must mail it in to the Office of Authentications for the US Department of State.  (LINK)

Part 1:

Effective as of March 1st, 2012, the US Department of State has altered their paper work process in the Office of Authentications. Before, there was just a regular PDF to download, print off, fill out, and then mail in.

That has changed and now "copies of the DS-4194 form are not permissible!" The new instructions for filling out the form to get an Apostille Seal placed on your FBI background check are as follows:

1) - Download form DS-4194 using this link (HERE)
2) - Install Cerenade Visual Reader Application (HERE)
3) - Open Cerenade Visual Reader Application
4) - From within Cerenade Visual Reader Application open DS-4194.FAR
5) - Complete the entire form for the finalized barcode to appear

For more information on this form and program click (HERE)

Part 2:

1) Include a personal check or money order for the processing fee made out to "The US State Department".  They do not accept credit cards.  The amount you owe can be found in the estimate cost section of the form.
2) Include the FBI background check and be certain that the signature and seal of the agency is present.

On the notes and special instructions, be certain to mention you need a Federal Apostille for this document for the purpose of obtaining a work visa in South Korea.  It is important that they know which country wants this and why they want it.

The State Department explicitly says this:
Please include a cover-letter ( see example) with your name, telephone number, address and email address. Please indicate the name of the country where the document will be used. We suggest using a self-addressed stamped envelope for faster return of your documents. Documents received without a return envelope and postage will be returned through the State Department regular mail, which can result in a 2-3 week delay. You can use Fed/Ex, UPS, and express mail services for faster receipt/return of your documents. However, you must enclose a prepaid airbill and envelope.
Mail to:

U.S. Department of State
Authentications Office
518 23rd Street NW SA-1
Columbia Plaza
Washington, DC 20520

 STEP 4:

Bring this document with you to the immigration office when you renew, or else supply it to your recruiter when you apply.  Congrats!
.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Woman Marries Herself Because Guys Suck

Earlier this year I read about Japanese men who marry their pillows.
Lee Jin-gyu fell for his 'dakimakura' - a kind of large, huggable pillow from Japan, often with a picture of a popular anime character printed on the side. 
In Lee's case, his beloved pillow has an image of Fate Testarossa, from the 'magical girl' anime series Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. 
Now the 28-year-old otaku (a Japanese term that roughly translates to somewhere between 'obsessive' and 'nerd') has wed the pillow in a special ceremony, after fitting it out with a wedding dress for the service in front of a local priest. Their nuptials were eagerly chronicled by the local media.
I read this and kind of wondered how women would respond.

Well, one woman from Taiwan has decided to marry herself.
TAIPEI - Chen Wei-yih has posed for a set of photos in a flowing white dress, enlisted a wedding planner and rented a banquet hall for a marriage celebration with 30 friends.
But there is no groom. Chen will marry herself.
Uninspired by the men she’s met but facing social pressure to get married, the 30-year-old Taipei office worker will hold the reception next month in honour of just one person.
“Age thirty is a prime period for me. My work and experience are in good shape, but I haven’t found a partner, so what can I do?” Chen said.
“It’s not that I’m anti-marriage. I just hope that I can express a different idea within the bounds of a tradition.”
Her T$50,000 ($5,675) wedding comes after online publicity that has netted 1,800 largely sympathetic comments.
“I think there will be more and more girls like this,” said “divagirl,” who did not elaborate.
Taiwanese women are marrying later and less often as their economic status advances, fuelling government concerns about a drop in the birth rate and its impact on productivity.
Only 40 percent of women surveyed earlier this year by the education ministry said they imagined married people could live better than singles, local media said.
“I was just hoping that more people would love themselves,” said Chen, who will go on a solo honeymoon to Australia.
Chen said her mother had insisted on a groom at first but later jumped aboard the solo marriage plan.
But as Chen cannot officially register a marriage to herself, if she finds a man later she will wed again.
“If I had a steady boyfriend, I wouldn’t do this,” Chen said. “it would be offensive to him, anyway.”
Poor thing.  Once you stop thinking how weird it is, you realize how sad it is.  She has got to be a little crazy to book a wedding hall, invite all her friends, spend almost $6,000, and plan a honeymoon trip to Australia by herself.

But... can she possibly be any crazier than this guy?

.

Again With the Robots!?!

I have been hearing about these English teaching robots being developed to replace me since the moment I stepped off the plane.  Not going to happen.


(source)
(CNN) -- It's a typical classroom scene: Students working at their desks as the teacher calls out instructions. But, unlike your average teacher, this one is made of plastic and computer circuits.
This isn't a sci-fi movie; it's an English language class taught by Engkey, a robot teacher, in the coastal city of Masan in South Korea.
Part of a pilot program launched by the South Korean government, students in two elementary schools in the city are being taught English by robot teachers.
In high-tech South Korea, robots serve a variety of educational purposes and the government is pressing ahead with plans to expand its robot learning, or "R-learning," program.
Mun-Taek Choi is a senior research engineer at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, the government-funded research institute that developed the Engkey.
He told CNN that government evaluation has shown that "the educational robot system indeed helps increase students' interest and self-motivation in studying English and improves their English skills."
What?  If this is the pilot program, how can there possibly already be a government evaluation that shows robots increase students' interest and self-motivation in studying English and improving their English skills.  I am going to go ahead and call BS on that one.
Thirty-six Engkeys are due to be implemented in 18 elementary schools across the Korean city of Daegu by the end of this year, according to KIST.
The Engkey is linked to and controlled remotely by a human teacher outside the classroom, whose face appears on the screen of the robot. The robot links students to teachers located as far away as Australia.
Besides being popular with children, the telepresence robot also helps address South Korea's shortage of qualified native-English speaking teachers, Choi said.
Using telepresence robots can be beneficial to students, according to Tucker Balch, associate professor of interactive computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
"This type of technology can bring many types of teaching that would otherwise be unavailable into more classrooms," he said.
"It may be better to have a telepresence robot from a highly skilled teacher than to have just an average teacher in the classroom," Balch added.
No... it really is not.  Ideally you would want a highly skilled teacher in the classroom, but an average teacher in person has got to be better than a robot.  Being a highly skilled teacher... in person... also does not necessarily mean that person will be a highly skilled as a... telepresence robot... This train of thought it so stupid I cannot even finish this argument...
Robots haven't replaced human teachers in South Korean classrooms. Instead, they currently serve more as assistants.
Another version of the Engkey, which doesn't connect students to a human, uses voice recognition technology to help students practice their English pronunciation and dialogue.
Robots are a cost-effective way to help teachers when relatively simple and repetitive training is required, Choi said.
"We do not intend to substitute real teachers with robots," he said. "Rather it is important for us to develop robot systems that provide satisfiable assistance to teachers."
The Engkey isn't the only type of robot being used in schools.
Pre-school teachers in the city of Daejeon have received a helping hand (or wheel), thanks to iRobi and a robot dog named Genibo.
iRobi marks students' attendance and uses a face recognition program to ask children about their mood. Genibo, originally invented to be a pet robot, was redesigned to teach dance and gymnastics moves.
South Korea aims to introduce 830 of these types of robots into pre-schools by the end of this year, and its goal is to have them in kindergartens nationwide by 2013.
"Children feel the robot is their friend," said Bum-Jae You, head of the Cognitive Robotics Center at KIST. "Robots are very helpful to enhance the concentration capability of children in class."
For now, teachers don't have to be worried about being replaced in the classroom.
"Due to the limitations on the current robotic technologies, robots cannot completely supplant human teachers in the educational field," said Choi.
And there are doubts about whether they will ever be capable of doing that.
[...]
Students already now do remote English learning with distance teachers on web cameras in school computer labs.  How does spending thousands of dollars of an easily breakable robots improve upon on the current technology of a $20 webcam and microphone?

Technology is also a problem in schools because it fails to work... often!  I cannot tell you how often I have been told as I walk into a homeroom classroom that either the television or the computer in the class is not working that day.  That pretty much blows my lesson out of the water.

TVs and computers are the easy things that most reasonably tech literate people can figure out and fix themselves.  If Korean homeroom teachers are handed $10,000 robots and the blinking red check engine light comes on, they will just get rolled into a closet somewhere and forgotten about until the next semester recess.
.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coastal South Korean City Has Fastest Internet in the World

Everyone knows that South Korea has the fastest internet connection of any country in the world, but now we know they have the city with the fastest internet connection as well.

Source:
A South Korean city has been found to have the fastest broadband speeds in the world by the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai Technologies.
The coastal city of Masan in South Korea, which has a population of over half a million people, averages a broadband speed of 20 Mbps.
South Korean government has invested billions of dollars in developing the broadband network in the country. Perhaps this is the reason why all the top ten cities with high broadband speeds are from South Korea.
Asian and European cities are demolishing the US when it comes to broadband speeds. The country's communications watchdog, the FCC is on the verge of bringing another broadband revolution in the country.
Akamai Technologies is a global content delivery services company and handles around 15 percent to 20 per cent of the world's web traffic on any given day. [...]
Where is Masan?  It is about 40km west of Busan along the coastline.

.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Protester Torches Himself ( + a flame thrower video )

From the Jeonju Hub:
Are you thinking about a trip to the labor board? Here's something to keep your plight in perspective. A group of about 20 workers were outside of the Chonbuk KCTU headquarters, protesting that they had not received payment for the Route 88 expansion project. One men, Mr. Seo (47), a cement truck driver, was owed 800 million won in wages and material expenses. Amongst the other protesters, he poured a bottle of thinner over himself. Before anyone grasped what he was doing, he lit himself. Fellow protesters and police smothered the flames and police rushed him to hospital. He was later transferred to a burn unit in Seoul, where he died. Courtesy, Jeonbuk Ilbo.
That is one way of getting everyone's attention...

Protesters in South Korea are pretty intense like this.  I have seen many "peaceful" protests in my time here, but they are still creepy to watch because Koreans are so uniform and militant about demanding stuff.  I found a couple interesting videos on youtube for you to watch if you are unfamiliar with how Koreans protest.

This pretty much is the craziest thing I have ever seen a group of protesters do.  In 2000, veterans were protesting and demanding certain retirement benefits.  They made their own flame thrower and turned it on the police forces.


Here is a video from 2006 of a labor protest in Pohang:


Here is an apparently impromptu protest outside an American military base

.

Namwon Paying Big Bucks For You To Get Busy

I saw this on the Jeonju Hub and thought it funny.  South Korea has a declining birthrate and eventually the population of the country will begin to decline as Koreans will be unable to replace their own numbers.  This apparently concerns some people enough to take action.

Namwon decided to bump up it's "baby bonus".  (Source Here) originally from (Jeonbuk Ilbo)

In order to fight against the plunging birthrate, Namwon has ratified a new baby bonus program. They have raised the amount, and introduced assistance for thefirst child. Now, monthly assistance for the first baby is 500,000 won; the second is 1 million won, the third is 2 million won; and if you have a fourth baby in Namwon, the government will support you to the tune of 4 million won per month. This is in addition to subsidized fertility clinics, prenatal care centers, breastfeeding clinics and nutrition support programs all offered to encourage procreation. Namwon is pleading with its citzens, "Don't go forth; but multiply."
The solution to Korea's birthrate is not bribing people with small lump sums of cash.  What good is a one-time payment of 1 million won when the woman loses her job for getting pregnant?  Korean women are openly discriminated against by businesses and employers who do not want to compensate or plan for a woman's right to maternity leave.

Additionally, children are expensive.  Sending kids to hagwons can break a parent's bank.  Having more kids means less money for each child's education.  That in turn could mean their kids do not grow up and get good jobs.  Which means their kids someday might not be making enough money to take care of their own parents in their old age.

In case you get the urge to move to Namwon before having your next kids, here is where it is.

View Larger Map
.

KPOP Korral - [BoA] - Copy & Paste


Boa Kwon (권보아) is one of the most successful Korean pop stars of the last decade.  She released her debut album in 2000 at the age of 13 and speaks Japanese, conversational English, her own native Korean, and she has recorded a few songs in Mandarin Chinese.  This has led her to be one of the most commerically successful KPOP stars in foreign markets.  However, her numerous attempts to promote her music in the US, China, and Japan has hurt her popularity at home in Korea.  Though most people know her, few seem to have strong feelings about her anymore.  Peoples' most frequent casual comment about her is that she is a really talented dancer.

Her most recent single is titled "Copy & Paste", and I have no idea why.  Maybe she is commenting on how so many Korean pop stars just copy whatever they seem to fancy from American pop?  I think someone should do a digital cover of this song and call it "Ctrl C & Ctrl V".


Her other big hit of the year was "Hurricane Venus".  Once again, no idea what that is supposed to mean.  I didn't like it as much, but here it is.

.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thanks for Reading and the First 10,000 Hits

My blog just went over its first 10,000 hits.  I just wanted to thank everyone who visits, comments, or is reading this.  I am new to the world of blogging about Korea, and I have been enjoying it as a part-time hobby.

If you like my blog and have one of your own, consider adding a link on your page to increase my traffic.  I am also down for doing the same if you blog about anything related to South Korea.  Leave a comment or e-mail me.  (thewaygookeffect [at] gmail [dot] com)

My first post was on July 12th, just over three months ago, and I have made 128 posts since then.

For fun, I am going to post all the statistics about my blog if there are any other bloggers out there who like analyzing data as much as I do.


Not surprisingly, more than 2/3rd of my visitors are within South Korea right now.  I am also happy to see all the Google Chrome users.  That is what I use and think it is the best.


I only recently added my blog to the Korean Blog List last week.  I really should have done that sooner.  It has already brought me tons of traffic.  Likwise, facebook sharing of my posts seems to be the best way to reach people.  Google searches is a distant second.


If you are reading this blog, you probably first found it because of the video I made about Hitler having to desk warm.  I really did not think it would have been that popular when I making it, but apparently I struck a cord with native teachers in Korea with that one.
.

Native Korean Speaking Teachers Are Sexual Predators

Of course this is not true.  The title of this post is horrible thing to say.  However, there is a growing movement amongst Korean netizens to demonize native English speaking teachers for the actions of a microscopic few.  I argue the same horrible standard can be applied to Korean teachers.  Gusts of Popular Feelings has some posts of late about native English speaking teachers being treated as an entire group as sexual predators (here) and (here).  I try not to let it bother me, but I do not like being targeted.

It was national news this week that a Korean middle school teacher had sex with one of her 15 year old students.  (source here)
A 33-year-old female middle school teacher has been found having inappropriate relationship with one of her pupils. According to Gangseo Police Station in Seoul, the contract female teacher allegedly had sex with a 15-year-old student in her car at an underground park last week. 
The teacher, who has worked at the school for more than a year, is married and has two children attending elementary schools, police said. 
The relationship was revealed by the student’s mother, when she saw a text message between her son and the homeroom teacher. 
The mother reported it to the police, but the police said they terminated the investigation as the two had sex under mutual consent and there was therefore no legal grounds to punish the teacher. 
The current law punishes only adults having sex with those aged under 13. However, the school plans to fire the teacher for the unethical relationship. 
The incident is causing a huge stir on the Internet, with some netizens demanding the teacher be prosecuted.
Some netizens were already disseminating the teacher’s personal information, with the school’s homepage inundated with critical comments.
Wow, there was a lot that needed to be bolded in this article.  First, you read that correct, the age of consent to have mutual sex is 13 years old.  That is disgusting.  Even more disturbingly, this does not appear to be young enough for some Korean men.

It is also really sad that this woman has two small children and they have to suffer through this national embarrassment.  Likewise, this boy now has to keep going to school everyday when everyone he has ever met knows what he has done.  I imagine this will effect his studies.

I am also interested if the fact that this was a female teacher that had sex with a male student if that is why there will be no criminal prosecution.  What if a male teacher was the one who had sex with a female student?  Would they have said then that it could not have been consensual?  Would a prosecution have gone forward then?

This reminds me of an episode of South Park that was created in response to a national scandal in America in which a gorgeous 25 year old female teacher, Debra LaFave, had sex with a male 14 year old student and the authorities declined to prosecute her.  Many people back then joked that the boy was a hero because the teacher was so "hot".

South Park took that scenario to absurd levels and created an episode where Ike, a boy in kindergarten, had sex with his teacher and authorities did not take it serious because it was a younger guy scoring with an attractive older woman.


North Koreans Like Porn Too!

A common theme in all classic dystopian literature is the failure of the omnipotent state to suppress the human desire for sex and love.  I am sure despite the Orwellian regime's best effort at attempting to control every thought and desire their people have, no amount of brainwashing can stop the people of North Korea from wanting to look at porn to get themselves off.

I just thought this a humorous report, but a good reminder that the people up there are still like everyone else in the world.  As long as it is practiced safely, sex is natural and sex is healthy.  Don't let your government tell you otherwise. (source here)
Foreign pornography is spreading in North Korean market, Radio Free Asia in the U.S. reported Friday. 
Quoting a North Korean source, the radio station said the regime is trying to clamp down by distributing players that will only play North Korean-made DVDs and replacing parts of foreign players to stop them from being compatible, but an increasing number of people are looking for foreign videos. 
The bestsellers in the market are pornography from Japan, a resident in Hyesan, Yanggang Province, said. And many of the customers are teenagers. 
A source in North Pyongan Province said, "It's easy to buy a smuggled Chinese video player, and it's possible to reproduce DVDs at home with Chinese-made burners. Foreign porn has spread so widely that any home with a player usually has one or two porn DVDs." 
Parents in the North are concerned because there is no video ratings system in the North nor proper sex education for children, RFA added. 
"It's difficult for North Korean residents to watch foreign TV programs, but now a few enjoy foreign porn as well as South Korean soap operas on DVDs," a North Korean defector said.
That border with China is a problem.  The standard of living in China keeps going up and people in the North keep smuggling across information and technology outlawed in their own country.  Funny how there are people risking their lives to smuggle Japanese pornos across the Chinese / Korean border.  I wonder what these people would do if they found out people in South Korea can download whatever they want offline for free at anytime they please.
.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy 25th Birthday, Nintendo!

Nintendo is now old enough to rent a car and run for congress!  Haazaa!


I still have my original nintendo entertainment system.  I am 26 years old and my mother purchased it for me when I was five years old.  My original NES is 21 years old and still works great.  On the other hand, my XBOX 360 has got the blinking red ring of death three different times and has had to be sent in to be replaced.  They just don't make things like they use to...

Big Shiny Robot with the story:
October 18, 1985– not exactly a day that will live in infamy but one which forever changed the world. Twenty-five years ago, the Nintendo Entertainment System was first sold in America, almost two years after its introduction in Japan as Famicom.
Initial sales were not good. Nintendo had to guarantee purchases of systems by retailers, who were promised they could return unsold units for a full refund. What a contrast to today’s blockbuster releases of the PS3 and XBox 360, or the NES’s great-great grandchild, the Wii. Like the Wii, Nintendo marketed its system differently– as a system that came with a zapper light gun and a robot– A FRICKIN’ ROBOT!!! –as opposed to just controllers.
NES launched in the US packaged with Duck Hunt and Gyromite and only had 11 other titles:
10-Yard Fight, Baseball, Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Excitebike, Golf, Hogan’s Alley, Ice Climber, Kung Fu, Mach Rider, Pinball, Stack-Up, Tennis, Wild Gunman, Wrecking Crew
Here is a time attack video for Super Mario Bros.  Nintendo's highest selling game at with over 40 million copies.  This guy (with the help of a hack) beat the game in under six minutes.

.

Japanese Robot Pop Star Debuts

Numerous Korean pop groups are attempting to fight for a share of the Japanese pop music market.  Well, now they have to compete with machines who do not eat, sleep, or gain weight.

Source:
Scientists in Japan have revealed a life-sized robot that is designed to sing and dance with performers. The Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology developed the entertainment software called Choreonoid, formed from choreograph and humanoid.
HRP-4 uses synthesised voice technology to replicate a human pop singer and has a realistic face that appears to sing.
Masataka Goto, from Japan’s Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, was quoted as saying: “This is a new technology, which synthesises a singing voice on the computer side, as if imitating a person’s singing voice.”
He added, the robot’s facial expressions use Vocawatcher technology – which analyses video of a singer to create natural movements.
The Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has over 50 autonomous research units working in a number of fields including life science and biotechnology, information technology and electronics, nanotechnology, materials and manufacturing.
Here's the video.  I can't decide if I'm amused or bothered by this.

.

Libraries Get More Specific

I found this on facebook and don't know where this is from (not Korea), but judging by the font and color I guess this is a Barnes and Nobles bookstore.  Funny that there is so much of this now that this needs it's own section in a bookstore.


Did you hear about the teen wolfs?  Goth kids in high school like dressing up like vampires... but they now dress up like werewolfs because of these twilight movies... I'm waiting for gangs of teen mummies or teen zombies.

.

Even China Wants Brett Favre To Go Down

If you are not American, then you probably do not know the names of very many American football players.  But if you could only name one player that is still active today, it might be Brett Favre.

He currently is being investigated for sending inappropriate text and picture messages to a New York Jets sideline reporter when he was with the team in 2008.  My belief is that the NFL would not even say they were "investigating" unless they were 100% confident he did it.  Favre is the NFL's most recognizable player and the NFL's image is intimately tied to his.

I cannot tell if this is a joke to lampoon Favre or a genuine attempt to inform Chinese speakers of the situation.  Either way, I think it's funny.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Korean Women Still Getting Sh** On In The Business World

When you analyze the data, there really is no other way to look at the results.  Korea's patriarchal favored society has been holding Korean women back.  As a result, they are virtually second class citizens as a group and are being economically and socially bullied and discriminated against by Korean men.

The Chosun Ilbo ran an article aptly titled "Korea Flounders Near Bottom in Gener Equality":
Korea climbed 11 notches on the World Economic Forum's gender gap index as an increasing number of women hold senior government posts, but the country still languishes near the bottom among 134 countries surveyed. The reason is the low proportion of women in the entire workforce and big differences in salaries between men and women.
In the Global Gender Gap Report released Tuesday by the Swiss-based WEF, Korea ranked 104th overall, up from 115 last year. By category it ranked 111th in employment, 100th in education, 79th in health, and 86th in politics. Korean women earn only half the money of their male counterparts, and only 11 percent of lawmakers, high-ranking officials or executives were women. [...]
There were 134 countries survey and Korean women really do get sh** on in this country.  When you look at this ranking, which is published every year, Korea ranks near the bottom with the most notorious African and Arab nations.  You would not think this possible considering how liberal and free a society they have, but men here are vicious and do not play fair.  Women are also overly submissive, and seem to just take it.

Korean society still has a nineteenth century paradigm belief that the man should go out and work and the woman should stay home and raise the kids.  If a woman does want to work ("isn't that cute"), then she should pursue a classic profession as a teacher, nurse, or secretary.

Laws also do not exist or are not being enforced to protect Korean women.  Koreans themselves joke that every time a Korean woman gets pregnant, somewhere a Korean woman loses her job.  In the cut throat competitive business world, where it is not uncommon for employees to put in 65+ hours a week, the idea that a woman would need to take off work for three weeks to six months to perpetuate the human race is seen as an assault on the economic progress of the nation.  Many woman get pregnant and just lose their jobs.  Or else it is made clear to them that they have no future at the company and they should just quit.

Korean business men also still have a "good old boys club" business philosophy.  Late night drinking with the boss is seen as an imperative to get ahead.  Korean business men will go to singing rooms and party with strippers or prostitutes and talk business.  Or they'll go to a bathhouse and get naked together before closing a deal.  They do not want more women doing business because the party would be over.

Indeed, 46.3% of Korean women between the ages of 15 and 64 are not working and have given up looking because they do not see how they can prosper in an economic system and political culture that is rigged against them.

The gender wage gap has also been growing in the weak job market.  (source)
The gender wage gap appears to be widening again after narrowing over the past few years, according to a recent study. 
The analysis of 520,000 resumes by job website Incruit shows that women still earn less than men with an average of W22.47 million per year, which is 77 percent of men's W29.16 million. Last year women earned W21.76 million or 77.7 percent of men's W27.99 million. 
The wage gap had been shrinking in recent years. In 2005 women took home W18.5 million or 77 percent of the W24.03 million for men, but in 2008 women caught up to 80.5 percent, at W20.34 million compared to W25.28 million. However, the gap started widening again last year, and has become even broader this year.
"The gap had been narrowing thanks to changing perceptions of gender roles and diminishing gender discrimination," an Incruit spokesperson said. "However, the worsening job market due to the financial crisis seems to be having a relatively larger negative impact on women."
What this means is that when companies had to let people go to slim down during the economic recession, the women were the first to get dumped.
.

Stuff Waygooks Like #4 - Korean Baseball (한국 프로 야구)

Koreans love baseball.  Did you know that?  I had no clue before arriving in South Korea that baseball was so big here, but they really love their baseball.


Waygooks like Korean baseball, too.  Going to the games is tons of fun and every waygook who lives in Korea for any amount of time needs to experience a game.

Tickets are cheap.  It varies from team to team and stadium to stadium, but generally the price of admission is between 7,000 won and 20,000 won ($6 ~ $16 US) for an adult.  Games normally never sell out, except for the playoffs, and you can always buy tickets at the gate right before the game starts.  Games always start at 6:30pm Tuesday through Friday (no games on Monday) and at 5:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The food and drink options are every waygook-sport-fan's dream.  There is absolutely no price gouging tolerated in Korean baseball.  A can of beer at the stadium will cost you between 1,000 and 2,000 won (about $1).  Snacks and typical stadium food prices are also comparable to any local convenience store just outside the stadium.  Independent vendors from local businesses also show up at the game and sell everything from fried chicken to dried squid to anyone on their way into the ballpark.  AND!  If you still do not like the prices or your options, you can just bring into the stadium whatever you want!  Korean baseball games allow people to bring in their own food and beverages.  It is the greatest thing EVER!

The seating at Korean baseball games is also interesting.  In that, there is no assigned seating.  There are a few "reserved seating" sections for people who pay higher prices, but somewhere around 95% of the stadium is a free-for-all game of find your own seat.  Whoever shows up at the stadium first and sits down gets that seat for the game.  When games are not crowded, usually Koreans of the home team sit behind first base to form a cheering section and Koreans of the traveling team sit behind third base to form a cheering section.

Koreans are also amazing and devoted fans.  They are actually the best part because they are so monolithic and involved during the games.  There is nothing comparable in North American baseball.  For each team, and for every player, there is a song that the fans of that team sings for when that person is at bat.  They cheer loud and love to jeer the opposing teams as well.

Eat Your Kimchi has a video to give you a feel for their zeal:


The Korea Professional Baseball league was formed in 1982 and currently has eight teams.  The teams are generally named after the companies or business conglomerates which own them.


The teams are:

Seoul - Doosan Bears (Official Site)
Seoul - LG Twins (Official Site)
Seoul - Nexen Heroes (Official Site)
Busan - Lotte Giants (Official Site)
Daegu - Samsung Lions (Official Site)
Incheon - SK Wyverns (Official Site)
Daejeon - Hanwha Eagles (Official Site)
Gwangju - Kia Tigers (Official Site)

The league has a sleek structure.  Each team plays 133 games in the regular season.  Each team plays every other team 19 times.  At the end of the regular season the four teams with the best records advance to the playoffs.  The season culminates in its championship series, known as the Korean Series.  The team with the best record gains a direct entry into the Korean Series, while the other three teams compete for the remaining place in a step-ladder playoff system:

- Semi-playoff: 3rd vs 4th; best 3 out of 5 games
- Playoff: 2nd vs. winner of Semi-playoff; best 3 out of 5 games
- Korean Series: 1st vs winner of Playoff; best 4 out of 7 games

The 2009 Korea was particularly exciting.  The Series ended in a walk-off home run in game seven and the KIA Tigers won it.  Check out this clip to feel the excitement.

.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hankyoreh Issues Correction For Horrible Math

Two weeks ago I wrote a post about multiple Korean news outlets asserting wildly absurd statistics about native English teachers in Korea quitting at "alarming" rates.  The figures were so obviously impossible, that I honestly thought these news agencies were actively conspiring to just make foreigners look bad for personal or political gain for the conservatives in government.

According to Extra! Korea, Korean newspapers almost NEVER issue corrections, even when they are so obviously wrong.  But in this instance, they must have been so IMMENSELY wrong, that they were compelled to issue a correction.

Here is the article and this is what they said in their correction:
The Hankyoreh English Online Edition published a News Briefing entitled “Over half of native English teachers quit job after six months, Education Ministry says” on Sept. 30.
Due to both a misinterpretation of the both data and source of the report, the article erroneously stated that up to 66 percent of native English teachers in public schools, while the number of teachers quitting is in fact less than 5 percent.
The report on native English teachers at public schools was confirmed to be an analysis by Grand National Party(GNP) Lawmaker Kim Se-yeon and Park Yeong-a on the basis of central and a number of local education administrations, not a press release of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST).
We would like to issue an apology for our mistake and our late correction, and look forward to more active responses, comments and participation of readers of the Hankyoreh’s English Online Edition.
You know... they said 66% and the actual number is less than 5%.  They were only off by a mere 61%.  I could see how any reputable and responsible news agency possessing true journalistic integrity could make such an honest mistake and believe it was true... NOT!  

These guys printed the article and did not bother to second guess their own mistakes because they actually believed it was possible that native English teachers in this country are so worthless and irresponsible that they would be quitting their jobs at a rate as high as 66%.  These guys are un-freaking-believable.
.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...