It's DiMitri again. I hope all is well with you guys. Before I start my post I'd like to give a little update on my life here in Korea: School isn't getting any easier, French is still hard, and Korean classes have gotten significantly more fun in the past month or so. There you go. That's pretty much all that's happened since I last posted...
One thing that the other students have failed to mention is the experiment that we did last month. Back in the United States, we did social experiments in my Culture and Conflict class. For 1 week you had to change something about yourself, record how others reacted, and then choose if you wanted to change back at the end of the week. My experiment was to give up all forms of lying. Now, don't take this as meaning that I'm a liar; I'm way too blunt for that. But everyone lies in social situations. If there's something you don't want to do, you tell a little white lie to get out of it. When someone asks you if they look good in a particular pair of jeans...sometimes you have to lie. My experiment was to give up all of that completely. At the end of the week, I chose not to change back. There's a certain freedom that you get when you only tell the truth. It feels good.
BUT ANYWAYS. Our experiments this time were different. This time, I had to give up music for 2 whole weeks. This was a problem. I am a music ADDICT. First of all, I dance. Secondly, I listen to music while I do everything. Needless to say, it was super hard.
The first few days were the most difficult, but after a while I noticed how much more I noticed about the things around me...all because I wasn't tuned into my iPod. I'm not going to say that my Korean improved during this time, because it really didn't improve that much. However, I noticed how much less I started to use my cell phone and social networks, and I also noticed how I really started listening to people when I interacted with them.
I guess this is just a really roundabout way of giving advice to other students. Try not to tune into your iPod for a change, and you'll start hearing a whole bunch of other stuff. Especially for students who are learning a language for the first time, when you go to your host country take some time to listen...it'll help you.
AND speaking of social networking...I don't know about other students, but I have to take breaks from it sometimes because it makes me feel awful.
P.S. I definitely changed back at the end of those two weeks because there's no way I could live without music.