Journal #26/ Newsweek and Economist Coverage of North Korea/ 042409

1. How has the international media responded to North Korea’s missile launch?
The Newsweek article has a generally negative response to North Korea’s missile launch. The reporter uses some negative connotated words such as belligerent, threatened, and ignorant. The use of these words show the world’s criticizing view of North Korea and its aggressive actions. The Newsweek article also shows concern for North Korea’s silly moves and thinks that there will be a disaster soon. Both articles, however have a general sense of detachment from North Korea’s missile launch. They mention how many of the most powerful countries like the United States and China think that North Korea’s missile launch is a failure.  This shows how many countries think superior of them and are ignorant.

2. In what ways might international perceptions of North Korea impact how the world views South Korea?
I think that many of the more powerful countries like the United States might develop a negative view towards South Korea because they think that the North and the South are closely related. Because of North Korea’s silly and agressive actions, they might think that South Korea has similar characteristic and misunderstand, unless they know the clear difference between North and South Korea. Also, because South Korea is so close to North Korea, some of the countries with big armies might not want to send military help to South Korea because it may be too dangerous; North Korea can attack the South any time.

3. Has anyone ever asked you “which Korea are you from, North or South?” What does that question reveal on the part of the speaker?
Yes, when I went to a summer camp in the United States, many of the students asked me which Korea I was from. I laughed and said that I was obviously from South Korea because if I was from North Korea, I wouldn’t even be here. Even though I was young at that time, I was a bit embarrassed and shocked that so many people didn’t really know the difference between North and South Korea. I think this question reveals that to Americans, especially young students, the distinction between the North and the South are very vague and that they can get easily clumped into one country. I think it is necessary for South Koreans to spread the knowlegde that South Korea is completely different from North Korea to the different parts of the world.


June 3, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal #25/ Field Trip to the DMZ/ 040809

In the PBS documentary, the Field Trip to the DMZ, a group of North Korean defector students go on a trip to  the DMZ. This was a rare occasion for all the students to get to go near North Korea again after they have escaped to South Korea. It was interesting to see their different reactions and responses as they are on the bus to DMZ. Most of them seemed to have mixed feelings of excitement to get to go closer to their family and feelings of sorrow to have left their family behind. They havn’t seen their parents and other family members for a long time now and the fact that they miss them is shown when the group of students all shout out “mother”, while facing their homes in North Korea. This was interesting to watch because everyone became so emotional in thinking of their parents back in North Korea; some students even cried. Seeing the group of students shout so loudly even if they know that the parents probably can’t hear them was very sad. I thought it was very depressing how they will probably not be able to meet their parents ever again and I was touched by the idea that the parents willingly sent their children to South Korea for them to have a happier life.

May 27, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal #23/ Kim’s Nuclear Gamble/ 031909

(handed in hard copy)

May 27, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal #21/ Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs/ 031809


Abraham Maslow, the father of humanistic psychologist, was born in New York on April 1, 1908. He was a psychologist who came up with the concept of the hierarchy of human needs.

Maslow divided the hierarchy of human needs into five distinct levels. The basic lowest level, according to Maslow are the physiological needs which include the materialistic needs such as food and shelter. When the physiological needs are met, the next level, which is the safety need is taken into consideration. This includes the security of body, family, health, and property. Nextly, when the two lowest levels of needs are fulfilled, a person will search for love and belonging. This holds a more abstract concept than the more materialistic and visible survival needs of lower levels. A person would long for friendship, family, and love. When a person gets involved in a community that gives him love and belonging, he would then strive for esteem which includes confidence and achievement. People will constantly try to become a better person and try to gain respect from others in the society. The highest level of the hierarchy is self-actualization, which includes morality and creativity.

I do not think that this hierarchy of human needs applies to the people in North Korea who are starving to death. They do not have the basic physiological needs like food and shelter. Since they are constantly searching for the material goods, such as food and clothing, they do not even have the chance and ability to long for the higher levels. I believe that the lower levels must be met in order to move on to the next level.

March 18, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal #20/ “Faceless” artist touches divided Korea


Sun Mu is the first artist from North Korea who became famous in South Korea. He was trained to create posters and murals for the Communist government. He refused to be photographed and chose to be a “faceless” artist because he was afraid that people would attack his family back in North Korea for his controversial art. His art is considered to be controversial because he purposely intended irony on his posters and indirectly attacked the Communist government. He used propaganda to criticize and mock the North Korean government. Sun Mu’s works including the “Happy Children” series were thought to be very representative of the happy life that the North Koreans were living in the Communist community. However, when the works were brought to South Korea, people began to realize the irony behind the art, emphasizing how the smiles on the “Happy Children” were fake and sarcastic. I think his use of satire and propaganda in his artworks are noteworthy because they arouse deep thoughts and questions. He manages to make his art pass both as a straightforward Communist poster and as a satirical piece. I believe that artists’ works have very important roles in raising the people’s awareness of larger political issues between North and South Korea because with art, people can directly see the problems in the different governments. Sun Mu’s posters, for example, represent the happiness or unhappiness of the  childeren in North Korea under the Communist regime and questions the government. I believe that artworks are more approachable for people because they take require less time and are easier to interpret than long news articles.

February 20, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal #19/ My College Quickstart/ 020509

College Quickstart is a personalized tool that uses PSAT and SAT scores to help students find the right colleges and careers. The tools available on My College Quickstart are an online score report, SAT study plan, college matches, and major & career matches. One thing I found inconvenient about My College QuickStart was that it required an access code printed on the PSAT report in order to first sign in. However, once I got this figured, the tools that followed up were very useful. I personally think that My College Matches was the most useful because the tool automatically suggests a list of colleges that match my PSAT score and interests of majors. Though PSAT scores shouldn’t be the determinant of “matching” colleges, I think it set up a good standard list of colleges to begin with. In addition, My Major & Career Matches were interesting to look at. I got to read about a variety of different majors that I am interested in. I also found out about new majors other than fine arts and fashion design such as visual communications. Though My SAT Study Plan gave a good list of questions that I missed on the PSAT and stated some tips for improvement, I don’t think they helped me much. The tips that they listed were really basic things, such as to understand sentences that deal with abstract ideas and to apply ideas presented in a reading passage. These were obvious things that I knew already. In order to make this tool more beneficial, I think they should describe in more detail “how” to improve on the skills, other than to just simply state what the skills are. But overall, I think the College Quickstart tool is very useful for students.

February 19, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal #18/ “Up and Coming Schools” and “Narrowing Your Choices”/ 020509

While reading the article, “Up and Coming Schools”, I realized how there are many colleges out there that are not yet famous and popular, but are still very educational and attendable. But, most of the schools listed are liberal arts schools, which I am not planning to attend because I know for certain that I specifically want to do art in college. However, reading this article made me wonder that there might be many good art schools in the United States that I am not aware of. I’m planning on searching some unknown art schools on and see if any of them are fit for me in terms of location, major, and size.

From reading the article, “Narrowing Your Choices”, I learned how there are many aspects of schools that I should take into consideration when I choose which colleges to apply to. The article mentions a variety of ideas, such as the school size, the location, the majors, and the campus. I personally thought that location was the biggest issue for me when narrowing down the list of colleges because I want to be in an urban area where there are many things to do outside of school such as hobbies and internships. The article also warned me how I shouldn’t be going to schools that my friends are going to or that my parents want me to go to. Afterall, I am the one who is going to go to the school, so I should be somewhere that I will be happy with.

February 19, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal #17/ Inauguration of President Barack Obama/ 012109

While watching the video of President Barack Obama swearing into office on January 20, 2009, I felt like I was living a very historical moment. I was glad that I was alive at the time of America’s first black president. It amazed me how most of the audience at the inauguration were African Americans. From their celebration and enthusiasm caught in the video, I could almost feel their satisfaction and pride at heart. I was surprised how there was no protection for President Obama. I thought that for such a big event like this, there would be glass shields or other protective devices surrounding the president, in case of accidents and crimes. In addition, when he studdered a bit while making the pledge, I thought that  this made him seem more human and approachable. I realized how even a powerful president could be nervous when he stands up infront of a lot of pe0ple. I am looking forward to his presidency of the United States and curious about how he will bring change to the nation.

February 18, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal #16/ The New SAT Score Policy/ 011909

I think students should have the choice of hiding low scores and selecting scores to send to the colleges in that a student may have been in a bad condition on the test date and unfortunately scored low. This will also allow students to present their best scores only and gain an advantage. However, at the same time, I also believe that schools should have the right to ask for all scores if they want. Getting access to all scores could help the schools in their decision making processes since they can learn more about to students because submitting all scores shows the students’ abilities to a greater extent. Meanwhile, having students select their highest scores will definitely make it harder for the schools with their admission process because all students will have such high scores. SAT scores will be very minor in the applications since there will be no high scores that will stand out from the bunch. Therefore, schools will have to pay more attention to other details in the applications such as extracurricular activities and other committments. Students will become more stressful when they are applying to colleges because they will have to have more committments that make them stand out of the applications pile and also have good SAT scores.

February 12, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Journal #15/ Hagwons in U.S. cash in and U.S. teens cheat/ 120708

Honestly, I am a little embarrassed to be a Korean student right now. Even though I believe that the Korean students that the article talks about does not include international school students like myself, I am still upset that the Korean students are doing so poorly in the universities. Hearing that almost half the Korean students in American universities are dropping out before graduation makes me feel discouraged and makes me wonder if I would be able to do well in college. I was also shocked to hear that hagwons are starting to develop in the United States. I am personally against hagwons in Korea because all they do is basically force the students to memorize vocabulary and give them extra help in an inappropriate manner such as doing the work for them. I believe that this does not help the student at all when looking at the long term situation because he or she will not be able to follow the college level courses and do the work by himself. Until I read this article, I thought that hagwons were mainly for highschool students. Seeing that even college students attend hagwons in America now, I think hagwons are overrated and overused. I am afraid that the hagwons will also affect the American students in a negative way like they did to the Korean students. I wish the hagwons would disappear so that all students will be able to learn their skills and do well in university.

American teens lie, steal, cheat at ‘alarming’ rates: study

I was shocked when I read that there were more dishonesty and cheating in religious schools than in non-religious schools. I think this is very ironic because I believed that students in religious schools would be more honest and good hearted since they are more devoted to God and follow the ideas in the Bible.  I think dishonesty is a very serious problem not only in the United States but here, in Korea as well. I’ve noticed recently that there has been quite a lot of stealing going on at our school these days. Reading this article made me realize that this is a very serious problem that should be fixed because several of my closest friends got their money stolen in the past month. Also, Lies became so common that they just became a part of people’s lives and everyone just got used to them. Because they are so common, it is very hard to trust anyone in the society. It is so sad to admit that it is a bit too late to be able to fix this problem of dishonesty in the world.

December 9, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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