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Journals from Yonsei University, Korea

2009-11-24 Tae Kyun Update

Earlier I wrote about my Tae Kyun class, but I have a few funny stories to update you on- 1. A few classes ago we played these games where you tried to step on top of someone's foot or sitting cross-legged in front of one another tried to touch the top of your opponents head. I apparently freaked out all the Koreans I went up against with how quickly/aggressively I moved. I beat all of the girls and most of the guys too. Too bad they all called me "scary" though... 2. Part of the class is becoming more flexible, and what better way to do this than forced stretching?!?! We've done a few different exercises where your partner sits on your back or knees during the butterfly to force you into a complete stretch. Well I keep getting partnered with this girl who is practically half my size. She is incredibly flexible, though. Its just hilarious when she wants me to put my entire weight on her back. She keeps saying "I can do it! Your full weight please!" She is such a champ, and much better at this game then I am. Every time we do these my face gets really red and she or the professor keeps calling out to see if I'm ok. They get such a kick when I respond in a half-breathed "Ne" (Korean for yes). 3. Last class the professor had an above-average amount of information to give to students, so spoke for 50 straight minutes in Korean. I understand that since I'm the only English speaker in the class it really doesn't make sense for him to speak in English or stop to translate. Every once in a while I would hear my name, most likely in relation to how I couldn't be understanding anything. Then at the very end he calls out "Ash-ul-ri, I love you!" and the whole class cracks up. He came up to me after the lecture and apologized for his lack of comfort speaking in English and promised to fill me in after class. He is such an animated speaker that I really wish I could understand him, but I do appreciate how much he tries to make me feel comfortable in the class. Ashley Price, Yonsei Fall 2009

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