All posts filed under: Personal

Law Schools: Oh-oh, Here Comes Trouble!

Public prosecutors, including the first batch of Law School graduates, are sworn into office, 2012 Image source: Joongang Daily 2009, the year I entered university, was a remarkable year. It was the  first year Law Schools as 3-year postgraduate programs were introduced (same for Medical Science, but this topic really deserves another post). The goal was to “offer law (and medical) studies to a wider array of students, instead of discouraging them at the high-school level”. As a result, the Gosi System (사법고시, or ‘National Bar Exam’, but I will use the term ‘Gosi’ in order to distinguish it from the National Bar the current Law School graduates have to pass) will end in 2017. Instead, Law School graduates will have to pass the National Bar, a much simpler exam, in order to start practicing. A difference is that one does not need to hold a Bachelor’s degree in Law Studies in order to pass the Gosi, but one does with the new Law School system. In reality, prior to this, many high-scoring students would retake their …

Seoul And Its “Tourists”

 Image source: Movieposter.com “Madame Butterfly” I have very little respect for Puccini, simply because of this opera.   My friend once met a marijuana-selling Frenchman in Seoul who said: I want to stay here forever. In France I would never, ever get laid, but here, girls are hitting on me just because I am French” He seemed to be under the impression that yellow cabs still exist. I would like to tell him “Hey, dung attracts flies!“.   Being a foreigner means many things in Korea. You’re “different”. This “being foreign” status entitles you to many advantages as well as prejudices (It’s really up to you to choose which to focus on). For instance, it you are a Caucasian-looking woman, men will assume you are slutty. But on the other hand, if you are a Caucasian-looking man, your mother-in-law-to-be won’t grill you with “What do your parents do? “Where is your hometown?” “Do you own an apartment in your name?” “How much do you make?”, like she would a Korean son-in-law-to-be. Korea attracts a very wide array …

My First Moral Dilemma In Korea

“Samsung Aptitude Test Center for New Recruits” Image source: Etoday News Yes, you read that right. A Moral Dilemma. And no, I’m not talking about political choice or anything fancy like that. Last year, approximately 100,000 graduates applied to take the SSAT, Samsung Aptitude Test. What? There’s a standardized exam to work for a private company? Just for a managerial job? And they rent entire school buildings for it? And people pay up to 200,000 KRW (approx. 200$ for online crash courses? And universities bring in private tutors and provide weeks or months-long courses to prep graduates? Well, actually, this may not have the shock value I was hoping for, since you already know I’m writing about South Korea. But anyway. Despite the booming economy in East Asia (as compared to the US and Western Europe anyway), it’s becoming tougher and tougher to find a job in South Korea, especially if you’re leaving university with only a Bachelor’s degree. What? Isn’t that what BA graduates do, go work in companies, just precisely because they didn’t want …

A Trip To Face-Factory Town (AKA Apgujeong)

Caption: “You all look so fake. God you should have gone natural, like I did” Image source: Cosmetic brand ‘NOTS’ Promo cartoon As I wrote in my last post, I went to the dermatologist’s two Saturdays ago with my friend Park. We were referred to ‘O Clinic’ (I think that’s what I’m supposed to do, to give them privacy) by a friend of hers, who said that their mole-removing was just perfect and didn’t leave any scarring. Turns out, it’s one of those dermatology/plastic surgery combo clinics! Wasn’t expecting that, but hey, always fascinating to take a look inside the funhouse. So, we checked in at the counter at 15:00, and were told to please wait someone will be with you in just a moment. So we went to sit in some of those nice puffy couches, which were almost all full, since it was Saturday. Then a plastic-looking-receptionist came to us and said: Receptionist: So, you are Miss Park, and you are here to have some moles removed, correct? – Me & Calculette: (in unison) Yes. Receptionist: …

Apgujeong, Plastic Surgery Mecca

Image source: Getty Images via Business Inside Note: Have you ever heard these punchlines in your life before?: “Hey, I’m going to start looking for jobs after graduation, so I’m on a diet. I won’t get hired looking like this!” (girl one year my junior) “I think the girl we just passed did her nose” “No, no, no, she did her eyes too” “And some fat in her forehead too” (my friend and I) “This stop is Hyosung Elementary School – If you are headed to Beautiful Face Plastic Surgery, please get off here” (broadcast on the bus) “Where did she do it, her with the perfect face?!” “She did it at XXX clinic, I must go there too!” (advert on the subway) Plastic surgery often makes its way into daily conversations in Korea. Not necessarily because you’re considering it, but because you see it and hear about it every single day. On the subway, on the news, and most notably, on the people. As an example I have gathered a review of how often plastic …

My Non-Valedictorian Speech That Was Never Caught on Camera

Me looking all grown-up and holding my $40,000 degree (no taxes!) Photo source: Un-graduating friend working as my assistant du jour Hello Citizens of the Internet! I graduated today, and since I was not one of those fancy valedictorian-summa cum laude people, I decided to write a little dedication to the wonderful people I met during my five years at university. There’s a little part dedicated to the horrible people too, but feel free to skip over that. TO THE HUMAN BEINGS: Dear Professors who wrote me recommendation letters for graduate school: Thank you for accepting and writing recommendation letters for me. Because I wasn’t an excellent student and you had no reason to write them. From one of you I took two development courses in which I got As, which was great. But from another of you, I’d only gotten Bs in history, and I kind of know that you didn’t really know who I was until I turned up at your office asking for a recommendation. But I know you were too gracious …