Tuesday, August 22, 2006


more reflections - culture shock in reverse

it's been a little over a week since i returned from pusan. i've done quite a bit of sleeping since i returned. i think it was a combination of the jetlag and sheer exhaustion from all i/we put into designing and executing the curriculum for the course. it wasn't until about saturday where i started to feel like i was finally on a "normal" sleep schedule, whatever that is.

what's been interesting is the disorientation to my own culture i've felt at various times over the past week. i was a bit surprised by this since i was only gone for five weeks. my other overseas experiences have been much longer (one year), so i expected disorientation with that length of stay. however, i wasn't really expecting it with this one, but it's definitely been there. for example, driving a car has been an interesting experience. more so than riding my bike, although yesterday in about 10 minutes i nearly ran off the side of the road and nearly ran into three other bikers. i guess i forgot that when you're riding, you can't look around at the signts. i guess i got used to this with all the walking and bus riding we did while in pusan. what also has contributed to the disorientation is the comparisons i've tried not to make but still do of certain things in this culture with the same things in the korean culture. it seems that now that i'm back in my own culture, it's easier to "romanticise" the other culture, which i found myself doing with the american culture while i was in pusan. it's pretty interesting how our brains process the information about a new place and what it does with that.

i mentioned in a previous post that at some points the experience seems surreal and that i'm afraid i'll forget about it. however, i've found that talking/chatting/e-mailing with people who are still there or who were there and went through the same experience keeps it alive. i've received several e-mails from students, one who is considering coming to the states to study. it seems the course had a remarkable impact on him. wow! e-mail from friends i made while there keeps me in the loop of what's going on in their daily/weekly lives. then chatting/talking with some of the team members, lisya and charm, and dr. h has helped to continue processing the experience.

Hi, Cate. I'm Euddeum.^^
I send you photos again.
please check your e-mail and answer me.
Every teachers except Stuart don't answer me about photos.
I am worrying that e-mails did not be sent to anybody.

I hope you are always good in health...^^;

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