Yujong Cho/Final Draft/ISS2017

< Sharing Feelings with Others>


Sharing and empathizing with others' feelings is a key tool to work together with them.

By sharing the feelings, you can understand others more than before, it makes your job works better.

Looking back on recent experiences, I would like to write about how I could improve my job well by trying to empathizing with others. .

One is that I've been doing English tutoring and the other was my time working at ISO.


Firstly, I'll talk about the English tutoring that I gave to middle school students.


I've been teaching English for one year at the middle school every Saturday.

When I am with them, I feel younger so I love it and applied for this tutoring program.

It was for students from low-income families.


When I first started, I was quite confident of tutoring students in English since I had done it before. Of course, to teach someone I need to know what to teach them in class and consider how much they would be able to understand me. Also I have to consider students' level of English and their attitude for class.

However, the students at the middle school were totally different from the students I've tutored before.

They barely knew English and didn't even pay attention to class.

They were 15 years old but they hadn't even learned very easy grammar yet, for example how to use auxiliary verb or passive form.

It seemed as if only a few of them understood the class. I felt frustrated at first but didn't give up on them.


Therefore I tried to change the style of teaching them.

Before I just focused on how to let them understand the class well but as this was with boring textbooks and one sided classes, naturally it must have been boring for them, so I started trying to make class more interesting.

I used English movies, dramas and introduced some games at the end of the every class.

I showed them the movie "Truman Show", which they really liked and it was useful material for the class. It seemed like it was not that difficult for the students to follow what I was teaching a lot of fun with them.  and could wrap up the class well though it.


I tried to know what the students were interested in and tried to engange them in conversation about for example their favorite boygroup. Knowing about what they like outside classroom and sharing their interest really helped me to empathize with the students. I could keep talking with them longer so I got closer to them.


After every class, I listened to the feedback they gave me.

I listened to it and improve the class according to it. I tried really hard to communicate with them.

 Afterwards it looked like they feel more comfortable in the class than before and with me as a teacher as well. I'm still trying to make them feel more comfortable with me and make class more fun.

Since I've been working at ISO I tried to be more considerate of others' feelings too.

I have worked with many foreign students so far and it was really refreshing experience.

Before this, I was not exposed to foreigners a lot and the students participating in ISS were all from different countries, so at first I had difficulties in understanding them. Even from small table manners to a way of thinking, I was not used to most of them. For example German students told me when they are at the table they would not talk at all while still having food inside their mouth. They would have felt embarassed when I talk to them while eating. After I got to know the manner, I tried to pay more attention to this when I ate at the same table as them.


And I also learned a lot about vegetarian. Honestly, I hadn't met vegetarian a lot before, so I didn't know much of them. But, while working at ISO, I had some chances to meet them and learned how to do when I'm with vegetarian. When I was with them at first, to be honest, it was really annoying because whenever I hung out them and go eat something, I always had to take extra care of them. However, after I heard why they started being a vegetarian, I understood them. Many of the reasons were health problem and it was more than I thought. They don't want to be it, but they have to be it. It made me think about it again and now I'm totally okay with them. If I hadn't gotten to know them, I would have not been conscious of vegetarian, but now I can empathize with them.


Through the time at ISO and teaching at the school, I learned how to share others' feeling and empathize with them. Both were really valuable periods to understand what I have never felt yet.

 I would like to be a English teacher after I graduate and I have learned a lot from being with the students. I can definitely say that it will really help a lot to be a better teacher in the future. 

Final Draft/ Noemí Fuentes/ ISS2017



I have always considered myself a person that does not fit the stereotypes of my own culture. Spanish people are said to be, among other things, a little loud, outgoing and lazy. Well, except for the last one, those are not adjectives someone would use to describe me. That could be one of the reasons why since I was a little girl I was interested in learning about other countries, maybe to discover the one that would suit my personality best. The first foreign country I set my eyes upon was England, possibly because of my fangirling years as a teenager, but most likely due to the image the world has of the British; they are seemed as introverted, well-mannered and discreet. When you start to enjoying things from other countries is very likely that you would also become interested in knowing their language. That's why, not being totally conscious of it, I started learning English. I liked their culture so much that my mother would always tell her acquaintances that I was going to live there once I finish college.  That was until later, when I discovered British reality shows and realised that maybe there weren't that polite after all. At that time, I was becoming slightly aware that stereotypes more often than not do not define a culture.


Later on, and not surprisingly, my hobby would turn out to be my chosen career path. My experience learning English motivated me to know more about other countries, to learn other languages. That is why once I started university, majoring in translation and interpreting, I met a lot of new people. The city (details)I moved into is visited and inhabited by people from all over the world, as well as a popular choice for exchange students. Those poor central Europeans fleeing the freezing temperatures and thrilled at the perspective of a year spent at the beach rather than in the classroom (they would too late realise they've been fooled by Spanish stereotypes when they, in fact, pass the year at the beach but forget to pass their exams). So, it was very frequent to find myself speaking in English instead of Spanish. Those months I met all kinds of people; British than were way more extroverted than me, Asian people that talked perfect English, and even a Scottish that was not ginger (unbelievable). Jokes apart, I learned to not expect certain things from people just based on the country they are from, that I needed to leave behind these stereotypes.  


Even though I had acquired this mentality, when I came to Korea a month ago I could not help but have certain aspects of the Koreans set in my mind. I had heard that many people would stare at me, especially the older population, and that most of the time they wouldn't be welcoming, or even some of them would be racist. True to that statement, I definitely can feel how the people stare at me on the subway. The day I arrived here, when I was in the train heading to the university one of my friends sat next to an old woman and she immediately changed seats. During the time I've been here I've had a few experiences like that, however, I've also experienced the kindness of the people. The many times elders have told me to sit next to them when I was standing and when they ask me where I'm from with a smile on their face.


These are just a few experiences that have changed my view on/off cultures and their stereotypes. Starting with my own self that do not live up to other people's expectations, and continuing with the encounters I've had with people in my lifetime, from which I've learned that every person is different, no matter where they are from. We all have different personalities and upbringings that makes us who we are. Stereotypes are just a poor way of labelling a whole culture.


When we meet a foreigner, we must be open-minded and try to know them as a person, not as a representation of what a country should be like in our minds. Do not let stereotypes prevent you from living new experiences.






Wrapping Up Questions/ Rhee So Hyun/ ISS2017

Q1. Choose one of the Korean stories we read and discussed. What kind of emotions were in it? If you had to describe the story to a friend in a few sentences, what would you say?

In Krys Lee's "At the Edge of the World", there is a wave of different emotions. The characters display a sense of lost, anger, confusion, excitement, sadness, relief, and happiness. Mark's mother was constantly angry due to the fact that her husband was consulting with the Shaman, and Mark's father was feeling a sense of lost and guilt after the death of his brother. Mark felt confused after seeing his father in a ritual, crying for his dead brother, excitement when he fell in love with Chanhee, sadness when his father did not shower him with affection, and relief and happiness at the end of the story when his father tells Mark about his brother and when he tells Mark that he loves him. I would tell my friend that this is a short story that makes you feel a wave of emotions. Though it is a fairly short story and it does not delve very deeply into the characters, the story makes you feel for the characters, especially Mark and his father. Through this story, you will be able to get a glimpse of the daily lives and the hardships and sufferings the Korean immigrants went through when they immigrated to America.

Q2. How have the stories we looked at in class changed your perceptions of Korean culture and immigrants? Was there one particular character whose experience affected you strongly?

The stories have made me aware of the sufferings and the sacrifices Korean immigrants went through. Being a Korean who was born and lived in Singapore, I never thought about the hardships Korean immigrants went through. Soo-Ja from "This Burns My Heart" particularly affected me strongly. My parents are both Korean immigrants who moved to Singapore when they were roughly thirty. They immigrated to Singapore in hopes of having better jobs and earning more money to raise my brother and I. However, I never once stood to think that they were indeed Korean immigrants. After reading the Korean stories and Soo-Ja's experience, in particular, I realized that my parents did indeed sacrifice their lives in Korea in order to provide my brother and I with better lives. Soo-Ja loved her life in Korea; she loved Korea and had dear friends in Korea. However, she had to move to America for her daughter. I related to this story because it is somewhat similar to my parents immigrating to Singapore. Whenever I talk about this subject with my mother, she tells me that it was extremely difficult when they initially moved to Singapore. Both my parents did not speak a word of English and they did not know anyone from Singapore. My mother often tells me that she misses her Korean friends and whenever I see her reminiscing about her past in Korea, I feel sad but grateful for the sacrifices she made as I am very thankful for growing up in Singapore.

Wrapping Up Questions/ Rhee So Hyun/ ISS2017

Final Draft/ Rhee So Hyun/ ISS2017

The Price of Greed

Cristina Garcia's short story "Tito's Good-bye" describes the last seconds of a man's life in the instant he is hit with a massive heart attack. Tito tries to reminisce about his past during his last few seconds and wonders where he went wrong with his relationship with his family. Tito is consumed by money and the story shows us how greed and money inevitably cannot buy love and happiness.

Tito is described as a masculine man who reminds me of the men who appear in The Godfather. Tito constantly tries to make money by taking advantage of immigrants and leads a rather sad and pitiful life, which is highlighted during his last seconds of his life. Tito, like most people, loves money and believes that money is can bring happiness. To pursue his love for money, he has forsaken his family. He has given up his relationships with his wife, daughter, son, brothers and sister. Instead, he focuses on trying to earn even more money, even going as far as sending his secretory home early to save on her pay. I sympathize with Tito on these aspects as I too, am consumed by money as I measure happiness and success with money. Ever since I was young, I have always had an interest for money. This interest started young, due to the many fights my parents had because of financial reasons, which made me equate money with happiness. As I started growing up, I realized that money can bring a certain amount of happiness. For example, buying whatever I want without having to feel worried that I was running low on money, going to fancy restaurants to eat delicious food, and having the leisure to travel around the world. Though I know that money cannot buy better relationships with my family, it definitely does give me happiness in other ways. Ever since I was a child, my parents always told me that I had to be rich when I grew up. This is because when my parents first moved to Singapore, they only had a few hundred dollars between them and they had to struggle initially. Since my parents know of the hardships of poverty, they do not want me to go through what they went through and therefore, always instilled in me the idea of being rich and successful. My father often jokes about the situation by saying "I wish my daughter would marry a man who drove a Bentley." Though it is meant as a light joke, it inspires me even more to become successful and earn a steady income to buy my own Bentley car. I may not be as consumed by money as Tito, but I definitely do have the desire to be rich, which makes me sympathize with Tito.

However, it is clear that money did not bring Tito love and happiness in the end as he can be seen regretting his life decisions during his last few seconds. Money has not given him a moment for "the luxury of nostalgia", for remembering his mother's cheek, his father's hands, or his daughter's childhood dance. Money did not give him the time to help save the desperate immigrants, call his brothers and sister, or make his estranged wife happy. In his futile attempt during his last seconds, Tito is only able to utter the word "Coño" which is ironic and sad at the same time. His dead body is only to be found after a couple of days by his mistress and none of his family members showed up at his funeral. These, although a little dramatic, depicts the price of greed. Through this story, we are able to learn that money cannot bring love and happiness and that family ties are truly the most important thing in life. We should always treasure and cherish family members now as no one can tell when someone might have a heart attack and pass on. Money truly is not the number one thing I should be aiming for. In this day and age, money is indeed important, making it easier for people to become preoccupied with money and put family relationships on hold. We should be aware of the price of greed. However, the majority of people fail to notice the negative effects of greed as we are too consumed with greed itself.

Everyone loves money and many of us often equate money as happiness, much like Tito. Although the importance of money and family is subjective, through this story, I have realized that though I like money and want to earn money, I do not want to strain my family relationships like Tito did. As cliché as it sounds, money truly does not bring love and happiness. Money does make life easier and more enjoyable, however, if there is no one around you to share such happiness with, it is truly pointless. 

Final draft/ Yujin Jeong/ ISS2017

What Changed Me

Unfamiliarity, change and something new is a thrilling for some people but frightening for others. For me, it was what I wanted to avoid as far as possible. I used to be a person who only likes something familiar with me. When I was confronted with an unfamiliar situation that I had not experienced, I suddenly felt nervous and was afraid for not being able to act as I am. For example, whenever I give my presentation in front of strangers, it makes me sweat and I cannot keep eye contact with the audience. I was overly concerned about what will happen to me because I had no idea what to do in such a case. I didn't want to imagine a situation I couldn't help myself. I was always full of thoughts if I forget what to say during the presentation and everything in my head is blanked out, the audience will whisper about my mistake. Though I liked meeting people and was rather outgoing, it was challenging that being confronted with a strange situation and meeting unfamiliar people in particular. Before I was in university, I used to settle for the situation there is no variety and accustomed to me.

ISO, international student organization, changed me. ISO marked a turning point in my life. I had no intention of joining to the buddy program at first, which is a program of ISO, matching an exchange student to a Korean student. One day, walking through the campus, my friend and I found a booth in front of the Globee Dorm where ISO staffs were promoting their program. My friend was interested in the buddy program and took the application form. She happened to take two papers so she gave me one. I still don't know the reason why I filled out that form and hand it in without courage to talk with foreigners in English. Ironically, my application was accepted but my friend's not. The orientation of buddy program arrived quickly. The auditorium, crowded with strange people from all across the country, made me feel that if I could turn back the time, I would. If my friend asked me, just at that time, to apply for the buddy program, I would answer her 'No way!' As the partner, matched with me, sat beside me, I got so nervous I froze up. Whenever a buddy asked me questions, I just gave one-word answers, yes or no. Though it was the first for me to talk with a person from another country, I was almost mute. I hated myself who knew how to speak in English but said nothing and regretted that I was such a bad partner for the buddy. I didn't even try to ask her to have lunch together because I was not sure I could keep talking while having our meal. I should have just gone for it. I hoped to overcome that whenever I meet new people or situation, I became too much nervous and I couldn't do anything. I made up my mind to be a staff of ISO and have a more experience to meet new, unfamiliar people and various situations.

I joined the buddy team as a team leader of a group. I had to lead a group of ten pairs of buddy from Korea, France, Germany, China, Mexico and Morocco. Though I had more buddies from a half year ago, it was much easier to talk with them and had confidence to be a friend with people who speak other language. Even if for the three months when I was in the buddy program, it was absolutely hard experience for me, the experience turned out to be worth enduring hardship. After I began not to be afraid of meeting foreign friends, I got to know I was a little biased. To be honest, I thought that foreigners would be more individualistic than Korean, they would like to take away from the smell of kimchi and are disgusted with sharing food eaten by others. However, it depended on person. It was like a taste that someone likes kimchi but someone does not. One of my foreign friends always asked for a refill of kimchi in a restaurant and was not reluctant to eat the food I left if he wanted more. If I didn't know how to say some words in English, they didn't get annoyed and waited for me until I finished what I was saying. I found out that everyone from other countries is the same. The taste doesn't come from the difference of language. Because of the untried prejudice, I paid too much attention to, was frightened beforehand and ran away from the chance to be close with new people.

I have never imagined that I would be a friend with foreigners from all over the world, travel with them and meet them in their country. While I was in ISO, I have been experienced a series of changes and something new at every moment. Every moment was unpredictable and full of unfamiliar experiences. I made different friends every semester and have heard about their own culture. I tried a lot of food from different countries such as halal food, taco and kebab. By the way, it is not terrible and dreadful memory for me as I felt at first. To meet strange people and be faced with unfamiliar situation doesn't make me shrink into myself. I might be inexperienced and immature at the beginning, but I can get more wonderful value from the experiences. I cannot think of going back to the former monotonous life.

Wrapping up questions // Repishkova Tatiana

Question 1. Choose one of the Korean stories. What kind of emotions were in it? If you have to describe the story to a friend in a few sentences, what would you say?

Krys Lee's story "At the Edge of the world" is not that kind of story you can easily describe with one word or even one sentence. "At the edge of the world" unlike the other stories does not have main and supporting characters. All characters have important roles; all of them have their own story. A genius 9 year old fell in love with neighbor girl and his parents are against her; father cannot forgive himself for his older brother's death and mother is trying to keep family together and lead a normal life in a foreign country. "At the edge of the world" tells you more about one normal family with their problems rather than about life of North-Korean refugee family. Every reader could find something for himself in this story or could even recognize his own family in it.


Question 2.  In "At the Edge of the world" the scars of deprivation and suffering mark the older characters in the story, Find and discuss them.

One of the examples of deprivation in "At the edge of the world" story is when Mark, a 9 year old boy, caught his father holding on to a branch with leaves in his hands and shaking it into a bowl of uncooked rice trying to talk to his dead older brother. Mark was sitting on the floor next to his father hugging his knees. He was afraid that his mother came home early and mother never forgive dad and they would never be a family.

Another example of deprivation in the story is when mother of the boy got to know that father asked shaman to make a ritual in order to talk to his death brother. She was crying for the first time in front of her child and screamed to her husband "He's dead. They're all dead. Just don't think". She was scared that he tried to turn back times she didn't want him to keep live past. She wanted to live a normal life.