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Author Topic: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation  (Read 54418 times)

Offline derbear86

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2011, 08:19:03 AM »
I'm sure it feels demeaning to be told what you can and can't do, but as many have pointed out, there are reasons these rules are in place. The long and short of it is that we wouldn't have to be treated like children if we didn't act like children. At my EPIK orientation, I had heard from several irritated NETs that drinking was prohibited, but I had never heard a single word on the subject officially. Seeing as they hadn't said anything officially, I used my ignorance as an excuse to drink a few beers at the lobby bar in the hotel. A few friends and I had a good time, but nothing got out of control. Unfortunately for some, things did get out of control. It seemed as though many were getting hammered just to prove a point, as many could be heard saying things like, "I'm gonna drink and that's my right." They were drinking in the hotel hallways and outside and leaving a trail of empty bottles behind them. In the end there was one NET who went back to his room and ended up in a fistfight with his roommate, several who were late or didn't even bother to show up to the meeting on the following day, and a whole bunch who made a great first impression with their co-teachers looking and smelling as though they had spent the previous night under a bridge Good job guys. You proved your point! Anyways, my advice to you OP is that if you want to drink, do so discreetly. If you do not flagrantly disobey the rules, I'm sure that you won't get hassled. There wouldn't be a problem with drinking at these orientations if those few NETs didn't act like dinks about it. We should be blaming them.

Offline Patrick Hanley

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2011, 08:20:05 AM »
Is this the orientation for first timers?

If it is I did it March 2010 and not only weren't we allowed to drink we were also confined to the campus and not even allowed to go to the local 7/11. If that wasn't bad enough it was a public holiday so the shop on the campus was closed for 3 days and we couldn't get anything in between breakfast and lunch. I think it was crazy to treat us like that especially since the business men that were there were drinking and getting drunk in the same building and what they did is alot worse then making a little mess. I never had cabin fever so bad before in my life.

Offline carr0444

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2011, 08:20:45 AM »
Haha, sounds like most of the Korean businessmen would be kicked out.   A friend of mine does business training and lives at these retreat centers. Oh the stories I've heard.  The training sessions held at these places for Samsung and Hyundai Construction turn into a week long debauchery fests.  That being said, they don't get drunk and go to the classes....although if it's early enough, they may still be a bit loose from the night before. 

Anyway, it's just 2.5 days guys...and it's not even on the weekend.  Rules are rules, even when there are double standards.

Offline elzoog

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2011, 08:21:02 AM »
I guess you could say this is a tertiary concern, but it's one that sticks out because it seems that this is turning into a situation of babysitting the NETs. 

This doesn't make sense.

Would you complain if GEPIK made the following rules

1)  You are not allowed to have sex with another NET in public (such as out on the lawn in the afternoon).
2)  You are not allowed to urinate on the side of the building (this one is common in Korea too).
3)  If you make a lesson plan to do the next day in an open class for X, you are not allowed to suddenly change it to Y without giving at least 5 hour notice.

I admit 1 is not common in Korea, but 2 and 3 are.

What if you hear another NET complaining about 2 that "Well, I see Korean men urinate on a tree, or the side of a building all the time.   Isn't this an example of the pot calling the kettle black?  Why do they treat us like children?  In fact, how about they have a lesson during the orientation on how to take a leak by a tree discretely so that no girls will see you?"

Would you agree with a NET that would have that kind of complaint?

The thing is, the only way the rule that "no alcohol during orientation" would be a stickler is if you personally wanted to have alcohol.   Same as, the only way a "don't have sex out on the lawn during the afternoon" rule would bother you is if you were personally tempted to do that.

The thing is, if NETs drank responsibly, there would be no reason for the rule.  Since the GEPIK people are not psychics, they don't have infallible knowledge of which NETs are going to drink responsibly and which ones won't.  Therefore, the only way to prevent NETs from drinking irresponsibly which is within the power of GEPIK to do is, to make a rule that NETS aren't allowed to have alcohol.

You might think that making such a rule is treating you like a child.   But unless you have a better alternative, I say live with it.

Quote
Another reason I heard, as alluded to in a blog post I found about the one this past October is so that the Anti-English Spectrum folks don't get hold of any photos.

Since NETs are responsible adults, how exactly would the Anti-English Spectrum folks get those photos?


Offline Brandondchung

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2011, 08:30:17 AM »
sorry to get off topic, but does anyone know if there will be a gym there?

Offline Rowanteacher

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #45 on: April 19, 2011, 08:31:50 AM »
It's obviously not the end of the world, but it is disrespectful, demeaning and more importantly hypocritical verging on racist given the amount of drinking that goes on at similar events for Korean staff.

Yes of course some people behaved like idiots in the past, of course that is unfortunate but maybe GEPIK should look at their hiring process rather than trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted.

I'm not in Korea to get blind drunk every night but I enjoy a few social drinks to unwind now and then, especially when meeting new people. Of course we are at training to learn but we are only paid for 8 hours a day, it would be nice to spend some of the rest of the time meeting new people in a relaxed environment.

I ain't gonna cry over it but I do think its pretty dumb.

Offline minamteacher

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #46 on: April 19, 2011, 08:33:33 AM »
Not being allowed to drink on site seems like a reasonable response to the unfortunate actions of people in the past. People constantly showing up drunk and trashing the GEPIK orientation casts a very negative view on the program in general and foreign teachers in specific. It's unfortunate, but people need to realize that foreigners in Korea are under a microscope and not in some special bubble just because they at a training seminar.

Offline pyeager

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2011, 08:38:09 AM »
Until GEPIK organizes a decent event, banning alcohol is pretty pointless. When I went to the refresher orientation, it was pretty much a waste of time. The most promising lecture, about teaching classes of varying ability levels, was so general that it was completely useless. A sample quote, "True/false questions are good. You know, students have a 50% chance of getting the right answer." The lecturer went on to suggest such innovative ideas as group work, pair work, and individual work...wow. One choice we had to make was between beginning Korean and learning K-Pop dances. Anyone who has been here more than a year should know beginning Korean, and don't get me started about K-Pop dancing as professional development.

My main point is that most of this time would have been better spent with teachers sitting around and talking about their problems. If having some beer makes you more comfortable, that's fine. For obvious reasons, putting people in a room and telling them to share something in turn does not lead to as much teacher development as just letting them relax and talk about their jobs.

Offline Rowanteacher

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2011, 08:43:05 AM »
My main point is that most of this time would have been better spent with teachers sitting around and talking about their problems. If having some beer makes you more comfortable, that's fine. For obvious reasons, putting people in a room and telling them to share something in turn does not lead to as much teacher development as just letting them relax and talk about their jobs.

Quite! With the exception of a useful lecture by Tim Thompson, I learned far more from relaxing and sharing with my fellow teachers than I did from the lectures. Luckily I've found this site so I can do that here now instead!

Offline adamwatch

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #49 on: April 19, 2011, 08:55:44 AM »
As an alcoholic I need my booze! Is booze legal or illegal in Korea? If its legal why ban it?

Adam

Offline elzoog

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2011, 09:00:05 AM »
As an alcoholic I need my booze! Is booze legal or illegal in Korea? If its legal why ban it?

Adam

Urinating on the side of the building, or a tree is also fairly legal, and in fact, common in Korea.   How about all of the guys do that during the GEPIK orientation too!

Offline blkfaephoenix

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #51 on: April 19, 2011, 09:00:35 AM »
So many things to say...

Frankly, I'm with the camp that believes there shouldn't be any restrictions. All the new teachers are adults and presumably can control themselves. Curfews and alcohol bans definitely makes one feel like a child (and perhaps people will act more like children if that's how they are treated).

For those who show up late the next day or appear hungover a written warning could be given. Three warnings could result in being fired For those who get totally inebriated and cause a scene, fire them and send them back home immediately. This would weed out the bad apples fairly quickly.

Furthermore, if this sort of binge drinking and partying is such a problem every single orientation, perhaps GEPIK (and other MOE/POEs) should be looking at the quality of people they hire. Increase the requirements (at least a certification) and you'll weed out a decent number of people who are only here to party and replace them with people who actually have interest in teaching.

I'm with jonpurdy. I drink rarely (pretty much only when going out with my co-workers), but I don't think that that same standard should be imposed on everyone. If you are a social drinker and that's how you feel comfortable getting to know people, I think that's your right. However, for those who drink too much and make asses of themselves, it's a different issue. Yes, we regularly see drunk Koreans, but you know what? They're relatively anonymous. Every one of us, by nature of being the 외국인 in a Korean city, is viewed as a representative of all teachers in Korea and foreigners in general.

I work very hard to maintain a professional persona in Korea. My private life is my own and I don't put it on display. We're too visible to act immature without being noticed. And honestly, I have to work my ass off to repair the damage that other foreigners (mostly short-timers here to party rather than teach) have done. Yes, a great deal of the blame should go to GEPIK for its lax hiring policies, but for those of us who are already here, surely a bit of self-restraint isn't too much to ask? I'm sorry that the responsible few people who like having a beer while talking quietly have lost that opportunity, but the people to blame are not GEPIK in this case; they are our fellow foreign teachers who completely lost control. I'm surprised this ban only happened this year. It seems like GEPIK was giving a lot of new groups the benefit of the doubt for a long time and it just didn't pay off.

It's just a few days. If you desperately need alcohol that badly on 3 weekdays that you are not required to teach, please consider a different career path. You're making things very difficult for those of us here to teach. I say this with no judgement or anger, just weariness.  :(

And to Brandondchung: if it's the same venue as last year, yes, there's a gym.

Offline hadley

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #52 on: April 19, 2011, 09:16:06 AM »
I don't care at all about the alcohol thing it's 3 days. BUT I have been here for 7 months now and this is my first chance at an orantation. is that odd? :/ Is anyone else going to this orantation that is over half way through their contract here? 

Offline rogue85

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #53 on: April 19, 2011, 09:21:59 AM »
Wow, I think you guys seriously need to chill out. I think it's ok for some people to feel like the alcohol ban is demeaning and others to feel that it's right. I don't understand why there is so much hostility around this conversation. Some of you say that it's childish to want alcohol during the orientation... it seems to me that it's childish to not be able to conduct yourselves like adults on a chat forum.

Offline flasyb

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #54 on: April 19, 2011, 09:38:44 AM »
If it makes them happy, just lay off the booze for a few days. A lot people on some very high horses here.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

We are not "guests" in Korea. Korea didn't invite us over for Pimms in the garden. We are paid employees.

Offline k.l.

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2011, 09:48:06 AM »
Just a few things to mention,

1. It's orientation...why would drinking be involved anyway...it's still officially work. Many places, dependng on the venue ban alcohol just to keep things clean. The ones who do drink in excess sleep in lectures, snore, make problems for others...I could care less if there is a little social drinking or free time but one person breaks the rules and that validates the whole reason for not allowing something in the first place.

2. Why are we comparing this to Korea???? Does this have anything to do with Korea or Korean culture? Didn't think so. Keep on topic. :P

3. I always find these courses refreshing and after 10 weeks of classes, it is a great break and motivator. Keep an open mind and shut off that part of your brain that says...I'm a great teacher, I don't need this. Just relax, take in some new ideas and learn from it.

Offline adamwatch

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #56 on: April 19, 2011, 09:53:50 AM »
"Urinating on the side of the building, or a tree is also fairly legal, and in fact, common in Korea.   How about all of the guys do that during the GEPIK orientation too!"

*** When in Rome!

Adam

Offline TARRYNLEIGH

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #57 on: April 19, 2011, 09:55:58 AM »
agg you know what as adults one should know when and how to behave i dont think there is anyhting wrong with taking away alcohol at an event like this people should have more respect for themselves and their school for that matter. and if no alcohol upsets you so much for a three day period then you will just need to deal with it!!!

Offline gifappeltjie

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #58 on: April 19, 2011, 09:58:01 AM »
I really think that this is not such a bad thing. It is only 2.5 days! Can you people seriously not stay without alcohol for 2.5 days? I think you have a problem then...At my orientation last year we were also not allowed to have alcohol in the dorms, but we were allowed to go out to drink. We had a curfew after which they locked the doors and you would have to sleep outside if you didn't make it home in time. Frankly I don't know how people even had the energy to go out drinking. I was so tired of having classes all day and the jetlag didn't help much either. But anyway some bad alcohol related things happened at our orientation. One girl got so drunk, came back to the dorm and fell down the stairs. She broke her leg and had to meet her co-teacher and go to her new school the next day. So what do you tell you co-teacher when she asked what happened? Oh, I got so drunk last night that I fell down the stairs...Nice to meet you! Not such a good first impression, now is it? Some other disobedient people sneaked some alcohol back into the dorms and somehow got up on the roof and drank and discussed how they hate Korea and how koreans suck etc etc and the korean staff members heard everything. I think people like that should be sent home!
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 10:05:10 AM by gifappeltjie »

Offline jake.disch

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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #59 on: April 19, 2011, 10:02:13 AM »
During my orientation in February 2010, we had NETs staying out until 5AM because the dorms were locked at midnight. They'd come back, go to bed, and miss all of the morning lectures. If you've never taught EFL before, that means you're missing out on some information that'll help you do your job better. Not to mention trashing the dorm and the courtyard outside and keeping the NETs who actually want to learn awake.

Sure, you can have the right to drink, and some may choose to do it responsibly. Those that choose to get tanked, however, shouldn't have the right to create a fraternity-style environment for everyone else at the orientation. It reflects poorly on NETs in general and drags down the quality of the training for those that actually care enough about it to comport themselves like adults. If it's between that and no drinking whatsoever, I'd consider the fact that those who choose not to are still affected and go with no drinking allowed.