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Symposium => "Open" Discussions => Topic started by: justanotherwaygook on April 18, 2011, 07:40:04 pm

Title: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 18, 2011, 07:40:04 pm
So it seems that all alcohol is banned at the upcoming GEPIK orientation.  I'm sure someone did something stupid in the past.  Still, I'm very surprised for (at least) 2 reasons.  First, we're adults and are not being treated as such.  Even more surprised because it's Korea practically every event, particularly work-related ones, offer alcohol during meal times (at least at the end of the day).

What do you think?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Jessica G on April 18, 2011, 07:41:48 pm
Banned!!? We'll just see about that muahahahahahahaha   8)

Seriously though that sucks. I hadn't heard.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: singletrackmind on April 18, 2011, 07:50:13 pm
Doesn't surprise me.  Last year it was embarrassing to see all the garbage that people left all over the campus.  Not to mention some idiots who started drinking at 8:00am.  One guy in my seminar had to be removed because he started rambling incoherently in the middle of a lecture.  The yearly orientation is a perfect example of why Koreans think all NETs are drunken morons. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Gunpojohnny on April 18, 2011, 07:51:50 pm
I guess I'll have to pour this soju... into a pepsi bottle  :-X Seriously though I'll just do what I'm told. It's just two and a half days... at a resort... ::Sigh:: It's my first year so I have no idea what to expect
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 18, 2011, 07:54:24 pm
Just for the record, here it is:
http://b2b.ybmedu.com/File/b2b/gepik_2011%20GEPIK%20Orientation%20Guidelines.doc

2011 GEPIK Orientation Guidelines

A) General Guidelines    

All participants are expected to adhere to the following guidelines.

1.   All lectures are mandatory. Please refer to the schedule in the orientation book. Be sure to always bring your own orientation book to each lecture and be seated 10 minutes before the start of every lecture.

2.   Always sign the attendance sheets in the mornings and afternoons.

3.   Please dress appropriately and be sure to wear your name tag at all times.

4. Notify the GEPIK Coordinator’s Office in the event that
(a) you will be absent from a lecture and/or
(b) plan to leave the premise.*
* For insurance and safety purposes, you must fill out an off-campus
permission slip (available at the GEPIK Coordinator’s Office) any time you
plan/have to leave the premise.
   
    5.  Damaging any facility equipment will result in a fine.

6. Be sure to keep your valuables with you or safely locked away.

7. It is your responsibility to keep your dorm room clean.

8. In case of an emergency, be aware of where the fire equipment
and fire escapes are located.

9. No outside visitors are allowed to stay in the dormitory over night.

10. Alcohol is strictly prohibited. This includes drinking alcohol
and/or being in possession of any alcohol.


B) Expulsion from the Orientation

If one of the following situations should occur, you will be expelled from the orientation and your school will be notified:

1.   If your attendance at the orientation is negligent.

2.   If you do not adhere to the GEPIK Orientation Guidelines or the
dormitory rules.

3.   If you drink alcohol and/or are caught in possession of any
alcohol.

4.   If you are found gambling or engaging in any type of
violence/abuse/loose conduct and/or behavior.

     5. If you do not follow the instructions required for the orientation
program.

C) Staying in the Dormitory

All participants are expected to adhere to the following dormitory rules.

1.   The dormitory is shared with other trainees (not only GEPIK teachers) so please respect others and keep the noise level to a minimum (*there is a strict noise out policy from midnight).

2.   In case of an emergency, please notify the Coordinators/staff and
follow their instructions.

3. Other:
a) For insurance and safety purposes, you are not allowed to change your designated room. If it is absolutely essential, permission must first be granted from the GEPIK Coordinator’s Office.
b) You are responsible for your personal actions and all of your personal belongings. GEPIK is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.


Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Mlatte on April 18, 2011, 07:55:10 pm
We are there to learn and not to party!  We need to have full mental capacity in order to learn in order to do our jobs.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: RatnaMH on April 18, 2011, 07:57:11 pm
Good... The TaLK folks were shacked up with the Epik people in Jeonbuk and they were having a mosh pit in the uni, the night before they were all shipped out to their schools...
With loads of Korean admin people around watching them go at it like retards...
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: JamericanTeacher on April 18, 2011, 07:57:35 pm
What's this?  Alcohol banned at a professional gathering?  GASP   ::)

Last year at one of the sessions a NT got so trashed that he went to the front desk and demanded a private room costing the govt an additional few hundred thousand won.  Not alot of money relatively speaking but unacceptable.

The next day he was so trashed that he missed all the workshops and had to be carried to the bus.  I know all this for a fact bc I witnessed it and proofread the warning letter the school (he was a second NT at my former school) that listed everything he did.  BTW, I was flabbergasted that he was warned as opposed to fired but *shrug.*

Yes, we are adults but you must admit, there are enough bad apples who spoil things for the bunch.  Some of the things we complain about truly amaze me.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 18, 2011, 08:06:02 pm
All the more reason to allow alcohol.

Allow us responsible ones to have a pleasant time and weed out the irresponsible ones (under penalty of firing).
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: yitzike on April 18, 2011, 08:15:31 pm
don't know the setup for yours but I was just at one recently in Daejeon (been here for 4 months before that) and yes, alcohol is banned on the campus we were on, but just go out to a bar at night if you feel the need to drink. that's what most of us did. I didn't hear about anyone causing any problems when they got back to campus out of our orientation group.

yes, koreans do drink at training events, but here's the difference: they say on paper it's a "teacher's training" but when they get there, no one actually does any training or attends any lectures, calling it a teacher training is just an excuse for the staff to take a short trip together.

as for us? we're at those orientations to actually learn a bit about our craft, get good ideas, network, etc etc, and also to learn a little about korean culture/language/how to adapt. believe me there is noooooooooo shortage of time for people to hang out and drink and party for the remaining 362 days of their contract.

suck it up for a few days, during the daytime at least. i'm sure your liver won't go into withdrawl.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 18, 2011, 08:27:14 pm
We're not allowed to leave the facility (it's a resort, so it's definitely not a policy of the venue).  No chance to go to a bar (and I think it's fairly remote).

Frankly, I feel that we're being treated like children.  Even back in our home countries you can have a drink at the end of a day at training seminars, meetings etc.

As for learning Korean culture, I don't think there's really all that much to offer in the time-frame (I know I'm just being negative now.  I've been in Korea for 2 years so I don't think a 30 minute class about saying "annyeong haseyo" will benefit me much).
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: yitzike on April 18, 2011, 08:48:15 pm
@justanotherwaygook: that sucks, ours was a lot different, it was 5 days long on a campus in Daejeon, 200 students (most of which were noobs or only a month old, many of which had been in country for several months or even years). there were some keen presentations on korean culture (not just stock), and as for korean lessons, they separated us into three groups, beginner, intermediate, advanced (i was intermediate but all that took was being able to read hangeul - though i'm told the advanced classes were generally useful for those who knew the language well).

maybe my sarcastic remarks were hasty :-) that does kind of suck about it being banned and all. it's really too bad a few people who don't understand the concept of "party without making yourself everyone else's problem" have ruined it for the responsible types like the rest of us.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Brian on April 18, 2011, 08:53:06 pm
At this point, though, GEPIK orientations are known for being nothing else than a big frat/tri-delt party---and have even made the newspapers because of the drinking---so it's not surprising. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Ley_Druid on April 18, 2011, 08:55:16 pm
Doesn't surprise me.  Last year it was embarrassing to see all the garbage that people left all over the campus.  Not to mention some idiots who started drinking at 8:00am.  One guy in my seminar had to be removed because he started rambling incoherently in the middle of a lecture.  The yearly orientation is a perfect example of why Koreans think all NETs are drunken morons.

Yeah, when I went in 2009, it was nothing but three days of partying. It was rather gross seeing everybody getting sick and puking on everything. Even the staff members were plastered and had poor behavior. I think it is good to ban alcohol. It shouldn't be a big party. It needs to be oreintation. Anybody who complains about there being no booze or bars to go to are just being childish.

If you are in Korea just to party and drink, go get a job at a hagwon. Personally, I am tired of hearing from Koreans how all foreigners are alcoholics. It is supposed to be a business trip, not a "get drunk and puke all over the tennis courts, front driveway and parking lot, bathrooms, classrooms, and dorm rooms." I felt very shameful that the people who have to clean the facilities had to take care of so much barf, busted soju bottles, and general garbage.

Ok, enough ranting, I am glad it is banned. I support the ban, and yes, I feel, after attending my GEPIK training, that many people who are here SHOULD be treated as babies because they act like it.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 18, 2011, 09:07:19 pm
It's unfortunate that people act like idiots.  I can understand why the ban is in place, but that still doesn't make me feel better. 

Don't assume I'm in Korea to drink and party; I probably average 0-3 drinks a week.

As for foreigners being viewed as drunkards, one only needs to look critically and see that this behavior is happens across nationalities.

I should say that I'm not upset over this ban.  Rather, I feel it is unfortunate and a bit demeaning.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: elzoog on April 19, 2011, 06:20:21 am
Yeah, out of all of the possible things to be worried about during a GEPIK orientation such as

1)  Will the lectures be useful?
2)  Outside of the lectures, can I get other practical tips?
3)  Will my sleeping accommodations be adequate?
4)  Will the food be good?

The question of being allowed to drink alcohol ranks way up there.   All those other concerns are trivial in comparison.   Especially since the orientation will be a whole 2 or 3 days.   Hardly anybody can stand to do without alcohol for 3 days right?

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Ectofuego on April 19, 2011, 06:26:37 am
the last time I went people got stupid with the alcohol.  Many people had hangovers.  When it got late, the store shut down and everyone moved to the tennis courts to drink.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: mboycuk on April 19, 2011, 06:33:27 am
Well i just have to say, that is really sad.  As adults no one can take your right to drink from you.  So i wouldn't worry to much.  Epik won't send everyone home.  They need english teachers.  Just don't show up to class drunk and you'll be fine
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: kneukels on April 19, 2011, 06:33:55 am
As a result of the reputation of these orientations (and the fact that our schools previous NET told my CT all about it) my school has decided that they will not let me go. I'm disappointed. I've been here 7 months and I am quite comfortable in my surroundings, but I haven't really met a lot of people and I feel a part of my Korean experience it being taken away. I asked my CT a few months ago if she would please look into letting me go, I might not learn a lot about teaching but I would meet some friends (and it's required according to my contract). She said she will let me know when the papers arrived. Now I'm hearing that orientation is coming up soon, and I haven't heard a single thing from my CT, so I guess, conveniently she forgot, or the school simply said no. I'm disappointed :( I'm not a big drinker, but I am a social person, and I live in a very small town so I haven't met A LOT of new people yet.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 06:40:51 am
Yeah, out of all of the possible things to be worried about during a GEPIK orientation such as

1)  Will the lectures be useful?
2)  Outside of the lectures, can I get other practical tips?
3)  Will my sleeping accommodations be adequate?
4)  Will the food be good?

The question of being allowed to drink alcohol ranks way up there.   All those other concerns are trivial in comparison.   Especially since the orientation will be a whole 2 or 3 days.   Hardly anybody can stand to do without alcohol for 3 days right?

You don't find it demeaning?

We're even supposed to get a permission slip if we want to leave the facility.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: mryogurt892 on April 19, 2011, 07:07:27 am
GEPIK is banning it for a good reason, a large amount NET come to korea and handle the new situation by getting drunk all the time. Ive seen it time and time again in my 1.5 years being here.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: ame on April 19, 2011, 07:12:54 am
You don't find it demeaning?

We're even supposed to get a permission slip if we want to leave the facility.

[mod edit - insult]
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: OThePestO on April 19, 2011, 07:13:37 am
Good, they need to ban it in more places. Boohoo, poor you, you cannot drink for 2-3 days. Why do you get treated like children? ......because you act like it! Not trying to generalize, but you all know the type of people we are talking about.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: frisbee649 on April 19, 2011, 07:14:30 am
I definitely think that this is a good thing.  At the orientation I went to, too many people were drunk.  One guy was so drunk that he went off on the GEPIK coordinator.  Extremely unprofessional and uncomfortable.  Unfortunately, too many people were not taking the orientation seriously. 

Honestly I have heard this is one of the reasons there is a move to reduce foreign teachers.  Because there are usually more crime issues with foreign teachers.  I am sure a lot of these crimes have happened under the influence.

Just my two sents.   

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: frisbee649 on April 19, 2011, 07:15:22 am
*cents..
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: natale_laplante on April 19, 2011, 07:19:15 am
I think it's a good thing too. At the EPIK orientation there were too many people going out and getting drunk every night and showing up late or half-dead the next morning at the lectures. I know no one wants to sit through lectures all day, but getting drunk the six days we were there was immature and unprofessional.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Epistemology on April 19, 2011, 07:21:19 am
Yeah, out of all of the possible things to be worried about during a GEPIK orientation such as

1)  Will the lectures be useful?
2)  Outside of the lectures, can I get other practical tips?
3)  Will my sleeping accommodations be adequate?
4)  Will the food be good?

The question of being allowed to drink alcohol ranks way up there.   All those other concerns are trivial in comparison.   Especially since the orientation will be a whole 2 or 3 days.   Hardly anybody can stand to do without alcohol for 3 days right?

You don't find it demeaning?

We're even supposed to get a permission slip if we want to leave the facility.

No one ever gives a permission slip. they will let you come and go as you please. thats just a formality they need to add in so the government can say to the rabidly xenophobic media that they are doing something.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: CellarDoor on April 19, 2011, 07:21:56 am
No, I guess I don't find it demeaning. =\  Dunno--it is what it is.

Granted, I've only been here for 7 weeks, and you've been here for 2 years (if I remember right, OP), so I'm actually looking forward to the networking opportunity.  Maybe some of the seminars will be silly, but hey, that'll give us Waygooks something to laugh about in our alcohol-free evenings, right? ;)

I'm sort of glad for the guidelines too, as other posters have said.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: hunterst on April 19, 2011, 07:34:00 am
I think it's funny due to Korea's own drinking culture.  If they wanted the new people to get a taste of Korean work culture they should do a whole section on how to drink with the Korean teachers, how to pour out soju, how to turn away, etc.  It'd probably be one of the more useful lectures.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 07:36:32 am
I think it's funny due to Korea's own drinking culture.  If they wanted the new people to get a taste of Korean work culture they should do a whole section on how to drink with the Korean teachers, how to pour out soju, how to turn away, etc.  It'd probably be one of the more useful lectures.

My point exactly.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: ISangHae on April 19, 2011, 07:36:49 am
I don't think it is a good reason.

1- difficult to enforce. I've been on trips off site where we stopped and drank, and another orientation where one guy had a car, took man won from each of us and came back with plenty of booze (two big bottles of Cass/Hite for each) This happened AND the convenience store on site happened to be selling alcohol also.

2- other recreational suggestions are not made. People come to these things to learn, but they don't want to be bored out of their minds. GEPIK could organize some team building/game activities to keep us busy in large groups and together- instead they offer a movie night/ game room suggestions which lets the group splinter off and find trouble
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 07:40:03 am
I don't think it is a good reason.

1- difficult to enforce. I've been on trips off site where we stopped and drank, and another orientation where one guy had a car, took man won from each of us and came back with plenty of booze (two big bottles of Cass/Hite for each) This happened AND the convenience store on site happened to be selling alcohol also.

2- other recreational suggestions are not made. People come to these things to learn, but they don't want to be bored out of their minds. GEPIK could organize some team building/game activities to keep us busy in large groups and together- instead they offer a movie night/ game room suggestions which lets the group splinter off and find trouble

To be fair, they keep us pretty busy; the schedule runs about 11 hours on the full day.  We won't have a lot of free time.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: elzoog on April 19, 2011, 07:40:40 am
Yeah, out of all of the possible things to be worried about during a GEPIK orientation such as

1)  Will the lectures be useful?
2)  Outside of the lectures, can I get other practical tips?
3)  Will my sleeping accommodations be adequate?
4)  Will the food be good?

The question of being allowed to drink alcohol ranks way up there.   All those other concerns are trivial in comparison.   Especially since the orientation will be a whole 2 or 3 days.   Hardly anybody can stand to do without alcohol for 3 days right?

You don't find it demeaning?

Maybe, but I find it even more demeaning to be in the same group of people (i.e. native teachers) who would have a thing like this be their primary concern.

Personally, I wanted to leave the facility not because I wanted to get drunk, but because I wanted some good pizza.   Although I suppose you could make the argument that I should have the right to do that, I figured that raising a fuss about such a thing wasn't worth it.

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: wafflebunny on April 19, 2011, 07:40:59 am
Good, they need to ban it in more places. Boohoo, poor you, you cannot drink for 2-3 days. Why do you get treated like children? ......because you act like it! Not trying to generalize, but you all know the type of people we are talking about.

Ummmmm...wow. lol
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 07:47:45 am
Yeah, out of all of the possible things to be worried about during a GEPIK orientation such as

1)  Will the lectures be useful?
2)  Outside of the lectures, can I get other practical tips?
3)  Will my sleeping accommodations be adequate?
4)  Will the food be good?

The question of being allowed to drink alcohol ranks way up there.   All those other concerns are trivial in comparison.   Especially since the orientation will be a whole 2 or 3 days.   Hardly anybody can stand to do without alcohol for 3 days right?

You don't find it demeaning?

Maybe, but I find it even more demeaning to be in the same group of people (i.e. native teachers) who would have a thing like this be their primary concern.

Personally, I wanted to leave the facility not because I wanted to get drunk, but because I wanted some good pizza.   Although I suppose you could make the argument that I should have the right to do that, I figured that raising a fuss about such a thing wasn't worth it.

It's not MY primary concern.  My primary concern is about getting work done and trying to get some positive experiences (professionally) to take home from this.

My secondary concerns regard the standards of the orientation, arrangements etc.

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.  I understand why they're doing it (past orientations).  I lament the fact that people couldn't (and, honestly, would almost certainly continue to) handle themselves as adults.

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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Vagabond on April 19, 2011, 07:52:19 am
I don't think this should be a major concern for anyone going on the orientation course this week. It's not like we're short of opportunities to drink on any other day while teaching in Korea.

I'm not sure what the orientation will be like in Seoul, but during the EPIK orientation last month (with GEPIK teachers attending as well) they weren't very strict about the rules. There were a few of us who would leave during lunch to get something else instead of cafeteria food for lunch, some who'd go during dinner too. And in the evenings once classes were done, the majority of attendees would leave to drink or party off site. About 50% stuck to the curfew and others, occasionally myself included would come back at about 3 in the morning... without anyone kicking up a fuss.
Just be reasonable and don't give them a reason to be forced to "discipline" you.

I'm not saying use this as a guide for your actions, but consider that perhaps they will be flexible. Your not going off to a prison camp after all. It's just an opportunity for teachers to share ideas, maybe learn something new and perhaps make some friends. Enjoy it, the foods good for the most part, accommodation quite comfortable and it's a week away from school which you get payed for.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NZ4Life on April 19, 2011, 07:58:36 am
so to all the "teachers" who think orientation (or korea in general) is some sort of frat party, let me express my utter hatred and contempt for you, your general unprofessionalism, and your inability to exercise proper conduct where it calls for it the most. [mod edit: removed vulgarity] some of us actually like it here and want to stay longer.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jonpurdy on April 19, 2011, 08:00:01 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 19, 2011, 08:06:17 am

If one of the following situations should occur, you will be expelled from the orientation and your school will be notified:

1.   If your attendance at the orientation is negligent.

2.   If you do not adhere to the GEPIK Orientation Guidelines or the
dormitory rules.

3.   If you drink alcohol and/or are caught in possession of any
alcohol.

4.   If you are found gambling or engaging in any type of
violence/abuse/loose conduct and/or behavior.

     5. If you do not follow the instructions required for the orientation
program.


LOL that's great. Pretty well our entire staff would have been sent home had that applied to our last school 'workshop'. One night ended with me literally dragging my coworker away from a drunken brawl with a bunch of strangers.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: grajoker on April 19, 2011, 08:07:10 am
we took a drive to the venue and it is beautiful , very peaceful  ..people go there to unwind and i want to suggest to teachers going there to act in a professional manner because many families go there as well and they will check out the  waygooks who come to teach  their kids! Is it so much to ask to behave yourself ?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: derbear86 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Patrick Hanley 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: carr0444 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: elzoog 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?

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Brandondchung on April 19, 2011, 08:30:17 am
sorry to get off topic, but does anyone know if there will be a gym there?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Rowanteacher 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: minamteacher 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: pyeager 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Rowanteacher 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!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: adamwatch 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
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: elzoog 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!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: blkfaephoenix 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: hadley 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? 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: rogue85 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: flasyb 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: k.l. 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: adamwatch 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
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: TARRYNLEIGH 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!!!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: gifappeltjie 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!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jake.disch 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.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Billy on April 19, 2011, 10:11:58 am
Networking and becoming friendly with colleagues while drinking is an enormous part of Korean work culture.  It is expected. No one can argue that. Look at how universities ar operated here. Classes have been canceled at my school so the teachers can go hiking (bond) and then drink (bond again).
That alcohol is being outright banned should show you what they really think of you.
Koreans work hard and play hard. Telling you not to do the same while you are in Korea, training to work with Koreans, is ridiculous.
Foreigners defending the alcohol ban are simply trying way too hard to be ‘Super Waygooks’.

PS
If someone is drinking at 9am, tell them it’s not a music festival and drive to the airport if they argue.
If someone can’t make one of the (crushingly boring) talks or ‘get the foreigner to do some silly traditional Korean dance that 90% of Koreans have never even done’ events…drive to the airport.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Aklost on April 19, 2011, 10:18:15 am
Seriously, deal with it. If you can't do without alcohol for 3 days you need to go home. Its not belittling, its common sense. If anyones seen some of the worse off orientations you'd understand. Christ we had one drunk American begging people for weed.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: bern on April 19, 2011, 10:42:34 am
At my first orientation some people got drunk and made an annoyance of themselves, others didn't need to drink to irritate everyone else.

However, at orientation plus for people who re-signed the co-ordinators and attendees were a lot more chilled out, and the sessions were a bit more useful. Nobody got hammered and I had some productive chats over a few drinks with other teachers in the evening.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: atmosphere on April 19, 2011, 10:46:20 am
I like a good drink as much as the next man, but I can easily go 2/3 days without one! Plus, aren't the start times like 8/9am? I don't really drink midweek anyway if I have work the next day.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: ruhungry4beans on April 19, 2011, 10:50:40 am
I am a drinker, but can't you just wait to drink in your own time and not during work-related things? A little self-control will do you much good =)
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: OminousChris on April 19, 2011, 10:52:25 am
I haven't been to any orientations this year (not GEPIK) but when I worked near Seoul we had a similar, three-day event. There was no drinking allowed at the site itself but we were encouraged to check out the nightlife. Of course, we had a 1 a.m. curfew (which was almost unnecessary given the jet lag). The fact of the matter is this: banning alcohol on a work site is just sensible, even it the work site is just for orientation. However, telling adults that they're not allowed to have a couple drinks off-campus after work hours is belittling, but more telling of how this country views us. The fact that some people act like fools does indeed suck, but punishing everyone because of the actions of a few is stupid, especially when the GEPIK staff have the power to inform our schools individually.

And to the teetotalers tht this thread has drawn out: The point isn't that we're not allowed to drink, and I don't think anyone is arguing that we should be allowed to bring a liter of soju to the lectures. The point is that the ban is hypocritical and xenophobic when compared to how we're told to act in our schools. I've been chastised at school events because I didn't drink (it was 12 in the afternoon, for Thor's sake). So I don't think it's childish to assume that a similar view will be expressed at orientation.

On the other hand, we need some quality control up in here. If you act a fool -- drunken or otherwise -- at the orientation, meaning that you can't keep your head screwed on straight for THREE DAYS, then good luck scrounging up the money for your plane ticket back home. That should be the policy.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: cruisemonkey on April 19, 2011, 11:01:15 am
so to all the "teachers" who think orientation (or korea in general) is some sort of frat party, let me express my utter hatred and contempt for you, your general unprofessionalism, and your inability to exercise proper conduct where it calls for it the most. GO THE F*CK HOME. some of us actually like it here and want to stay longer.

... and the Ks will throw you away on a whim and with less regard than a piece to toilet paper. After four years at my current public middle school, they've decided not to renew my contract next August because "...you are old, bald and serious teacher." The new principal has decided he wants a "young edutainer" i.e. 'dancing monkey'.  ::)
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: twitch on April 19, 2011, 11:08:52 am
from past experience, i can honestly say that the alcohol ban is a good thing.
i know, i know, we are all adults etc etc....
but the sad truth is (and i've seen this more than a few times) SOME of the net's just get hammered, are irresponsible, cause damage to the facilities, don't go to the seminars because they are too hungover.
it's embarrassing and pathetic.

if all of the net's were responsible and could "socially" drink and still be responsible enough to show up for the seminars, then i'm sure it would be no problem.  unfortunately, many many many net's in the past have spoiled it for us all. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 11:34:18 am
from past experience, i can honestly say that the alcohol ban is a good thing.
i know, i know, we are all adults etc etc....
but the sad truth is (and i've seen this more than a few times) SOME of the net's just get hammered, are irresponsible, cause damage to the facilities, don't go to the seminars because they are too hungover.
it's embarrassing and pathetic.

if all of the net's were responsible and could "socially" drink and still be responsible enough to show up for the seminars, then i'm sure it would be no problem.  unfortunately, many many many net's in the past have spoiled it for us all.

I understand that, and that this ban is the unfortunate outcome.

What I don't get is why they just don't fire those few who do.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NZ4Life on April 19, 2011, 11:40:01 am
so to all the "teachers" who think orientation (or korea in general) is some sort of frat party, let me express my utter hatred and contempt for you, your general unprofessionalism, and your inability to exercise proper conduct where it calls for it the most. GO THE F*CK HOME. some of us actually like it here and want to stay longer.

... and the Ks will throw you away on a whim and with less regard than a piece to toilet paper. After four years at my current public middle school, they've decided not to renew my contract next August because "...you are old, bald and serious teacher." The new principal has decided he wants a "young edutainer" i.e. 'dancing monkey'.  ::)
lol did they actually say "you are old, bald, and serious teacher?" you can be fun and serious teacher at the same time. def possible.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jamlove on April 19, 2011, 11:42:12 am
Personally I couldn't care about the lack of alcohol, I've noticed there are far too many people who treat this job as an extension of college. Grow up, suck it in and if you don't like the rules leave.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 11:46:34 am
Personally I couldn't care about the lack of alcohol, I've noticed there are far too many people who treat this job as an extension of college. Grow up, suck it in and if you don't like the rules leave.

Do you care about being treated like a child?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NZ4Life on April 19, 2011, 11:48:49 am
Personally I couldn't care about the lack of alcohol, I've noticed there are far too many people who treat this job as an extension of college. Grow up, suck it in and if you don't like the rules leave.

Do you care about being treated like a child?

do you have a maturity complex or just take things personally way too often? like a lot of things in korea, decisions are made and rules are imposed because the "community is sick." as such, the "authorities" have deemed the community of orientation-attendees as "sick." i thank them for doing this because frankly, i'm tired of irresponsible GET's effing it up for the rest of us and making us look bad. i'd rather not give them the opportunity. i welcome anyone drink to drink themselves stupid but please, don't selflishly embarass the rest of us.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Davox on April 19, 2011, 11:50:43 am
I just kinda shrug at all of these sorts of things.  Is it a deliberate insult/show of disrespect to NETs that they forbid any drinking (which they would never do for any Korean group) and require written permission for teachers to leave the grounds even just to go to the store?  Sure, of course it is, hugely so.  It's also completely understandable that they would do so, given what I've heard about previous years.  More to the point, if you can't get used to being casually insulted/disrespected (deliberately or accidentally), Korea is really not the country for you.   
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: confusedsafferinkorea on April 19, 2011, 11:50:58 am
Personally I couldn't care about the lack of alcohol, I've noticed there are far too many people who treat this job as an extension of college. Grow up, suck it in and if you don't like the rules leave.

Hear hear, I am absolutely gob-smacked by the behaviour of the NET's I have the displeasure of sharing an apartment block with.  They go out partying EVERY night and return home 4 or 5 am, blind drunk and talking at the top of their voices and waking everyone who is asleep at that time.

They then have to teach a few hours later......... absolutely disgusting and unprofessional.  Why do people think they must get blind drunk and throw up all over the place in order to have fun? Beats me.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jrwhite82 on April 19, 2011, 11:51:46 am
I think it's a good idea to ban it.  The past seminars were given so many chances. 

First they got hammered drunk and were breaking stuff.  So they stopped selling soju.  Then people were so hungover they missed seminars.  So then they started having sign-ins.  Next, some teachers ignored quiet hours and left trash everywhere in common areas.  So they banned it. 

Is it everyone?  No.  But its enough people that action has to be taken against the entire group. 

It is NOT some kind of xenophobic/racism/hypocritical discrimination.  It is based on the FACT that a few bad apples ruin the bunch.

Think about your classroom when YOU start teaching.  You have a rowdy table that is playing with something annoying.  First thing you do is you take it away.  Now they are talking and disrupting the class.  You move their seats.  Next, everytime you turn your back, they throw papers at each other and the room is a mess.  Since you can't prove who did it because your back was turned, you make the whole class clean it up. 

This is not some kind of xenophobic hypocricy.  The decision to ban alcohol makes sense because EVERY time in the past, enough teachers have proven to be incapable of using moderation and self control.  It wasn't everyone, but it was enough people that this is good decision.  Trust me on that. 

When you start teaching, things will happen in your classroom where you have to punish an entire class for the actions of a few.  You will have to plan whole class activities that accomodate a handful of students.  This is the same thing.  You do it to provide the best learning opportunities for your students.  GEPIK is doing the same thing here. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: confusedsafferinkorea on April 19, 2011, 11:59:54 am
As an alcoholic I need my booze! Is booze legal or illegal in Korea? If its legal why ban it?

Adam

Wonderful example as a teacher you are setting !!!!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Pin on April 19, 2011, 12:08:49 pm
I think it's a good idea to ban it.  The past seminars were given so many chances. 

First they got hammered drunk and were breaking stuff.  So they stopped selling soju.  Then people were so hungover they missed seminars.  So then they started having sign-ins.  Next, some teachers ignored quiet hours and left trash everywhere in common areas.  So they banned it. 

Is it everyone?  No.  But its enough people that action has to be taken against the entire group. 

It is NOT some kind of xenophobic/racism/hypocritical discrimination.  It is based on the FACT that a few bad apples ruin the bunch.

Think about your classroom when YOU start teaching.  You have a rowdy table that is playing with something annoying.  First thing you do is you take it away.  Now they are talking and disrupting the class.  You move their seats.  Next, everytime you turn your back, they throw papers at each other and the room is a mess.  Since you can't prove who did it because your back was turned, you make the whole class clean it up. 

This is not some kind of xenophobic hypocricy.  The decision to ban alcohol makes sense because EVERY time in the past, enough teachers have proven to be incapable of using moderation and self control.  It wasn't everyone, but it was enough people that this is good decision.  Trust me on that. 

When you start teaching, things will happen in your classroom where you have to punish an entire class for the actions of a few.  You will have to plan whole class activities that accomodate a handful of students.  This is the same thing.  You do it to provide the best learning opportunities for your students.  GEPIK is doing the same thing here.

This is a really good way to put it.

Anyway, whether there is alcohol or not isn't important, and it shouldn't stop people from meeting and making friends with other teachers.  If you're going, then look forward to what could be a fun, educational time.  If you're not going, then the alcohol ban shouldn't be your concern anyway.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: woman-king on April 19, 2011, 12:27:17 pm
I mean, personally, whatever--the GEPIK orientation I went too had no issues with alcohol and we had a great time hanging out in the lounge by the convenience store with those giant beer bottles...but, it's a work thing, and if past orientations have gotten out of hand and I was a coordinator I'd ban it too. 

But I do think there's some hypocrisy in here that's bothering people--at my GEPIK orientation I felt that, during one lecture, one of the coordinators was reprimending non-drinkers who "think it's so difficult to drink soju after work" in a lecture on Korean culture.  And as a young female NET, I've been made uncomfortable by older drunken male teachers at required professional school dinners.  Since GEPIK is now banning alcohol at their orientations, I'd LOVE to see them hold Korean teachers to similar standards and provide some honest training on how to deal with these types of alcohol-fueled situations.  As far as I remember, neither the issues of hazing/forced-drinking that men especially experience in Korea, nor sexual harassment, were covered in any of the required-for-all GEPIK classes, and I don't think they were touched on in any optional course either.   

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: wafflebunny on April 19, 2011, 12:28:35 pm
so to all the "teachers" who think orientation (or korea in general) is some sort of frat party, let me express my utter hatred and contempt for you, your general unprofessionalism, and your inability to exercise proper conduct where it calls for it the most. [mod edit: removed vulgarity]. some of us actually like it here and want to stay longer.

Errrr...wow! You guys are very passionate about this topic.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: ame on April 19, 2011, 12:39:48 pm
Personally I couldn't care about the lack of alcohol, I've noticed there are far too many people who treat this job as an extension of college. Grow up, suck it in and if you don't like the rules leave.

Do you care about being treated like a child?

Do you care about acting like one?

Perhaps you should stamp your foot.  That'll really get the point across.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: seanerd on April 19, 2011, 12:47:11 pm
Over the past 5 years, GEPIK has tried to hold up an image of professionalism. Past GEPIK orientations have nad too many instances that have hurt that image. They spend a lot of money to book a venue (including places for us to sleep, food to eat, lecture halls) and have rooms trashed, lectures empty, due to the mususe of alcohol. Many of this venues have not asked GEPIK back due to such behavior.

The ban of alcohol is to protect their investment. If they are not selling it, distributing it, or allowing it in the rooms, GEPIK will not be held directly responsible if teachers break the rules and bring alcohol on the site.

Once again, GEPIK works very hard to give us the best possible lecturers and  best experience as possible. I agree that it is within their rights to create an environment that fits the image they want to promote. After all, they are paying for it.

Now to those who can't live without alcohol for a day and a half, my advice is this. Remember why you are here. Be responsible. and Don't get caught.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: richarquis on April 19, 2011, 12:51:37 pm
Having watched firsthand the amazing stupidity and disrespect shown by some at these orientations, I'm not surprised. At one of the courses in Gyeongju in 2009, some people thought, during an already noisy party on the 1st night (held on the 2nd floor of a hotel, audible from the 7th, by private guests who, with their very young children, were trying to sleep) that it would be amusing to set off the fire extinguishers inside the hotel room. Seconds later, an entire room was covered in several inches of white foam. The co-ordinators became aware of the situation very quickly, cleared the room of revelers, and rounded up the culprits. The culprits were sent home first thing in the morning, with a letter from the co-ordinators, to explain themselves to their principals. As far as I know, they were fired immediately, but that's just hearsay. Whatever the case, embarrassing at the least, and quite likely career-damaging. The hotel staff had to spend 2-3 hours cleaning the foam from the room.

Soooooo... This is the kind of crap that these people have had to deal with. Maybe you, OP, or others who sympathize, do not resort to this level of behaviour, and resent being tarred with the same brush. Fair enough. But it's also fair, from their perspective, that they shouldn't have to spend their time babysitting the kinds of people who do act as such. And it's also fair that responsible teachers shouldn't be having their reputations questioned because of a few dunderheads.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: cannjo83 on April 19, 2011, 12:54:31 pm
I'm kind of on both sides of the fence here:
As an education major and aspiring teacher of my subject area I really am interested in learning the different techniques and tools available at the orientation to help me become a better teacher.
On the other hand, I've heard so many stories from friends about how much fun they had partying with the other teachers they met at orientation. In no way am I saying it should be cool to abuse alcohol while on a business trip, but banning it does kind of dull the experience for those who know how to conduct themselves professionally.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 01:06:33 pm
Having watched firsthand the amazing stupidity and disrespect shown by some at these orientations, I'm not surprised. At one of the courses in Gyeongju in 2009, some people thought, during an already noisy party on the 1st night (held on the 2nd floor of a hotel, audible from the 7th, by private guests who, with their very young children, were trying to sleep) that it would be amusing to set off the fire extinguishers inside the hotel room. Seconds later, an entire room was covered in several inches of white foam. The co-ordinators became aware of the situation very quickly, cleared the room of revelers, and rounded up the culprits. The culprits were sent home first thing in the morning, with a letter from the co-ordinators, to explain themselves to their principals. As far as I know, they were fired immediately, but that's just hearsay. Whatever the case, embarrassing at the least, and quite likely career-damaging. The hotel staff had to spend 2-3 hours cleaning the foam from the room.

Soooooo... This is the kind of crap that these people have had to deal with. Maybe you, OP, or others who sympathize, do not resort to this level of behaviour, and resent being tarred with the same brush. Fair enough. But it's also fair, from their perspective, that they shouldn't have to spend their time babysitting the kinds of people who do act as such. And it's also fair that responsible teachers shouldn't be having their reputations questioned because of a few dunderheads.

I find this to be one of the most level-headed posts here.  I think it's just an unfortunate situation all around. 

I almost wish that this could just be daytime training over a few days.  But I know the logistics (being so spread out geographically, amount of material to be covered) require an overnight session.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Davey on April 19, 2011, 01:13:14 pm
Some of you guys are bickering--please stop it, and focus on the topic.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: singletrackmind on April 19, 2011, 02:06:04 pm

What I don't get is why they just don't fire those few who do.
At my last two orientations, it was quite a lot more than a few.  There were easily over 100 people acting like idiots every night and morning of the orientation.  And to those who say this is treating us as children, well it seemed to me that a large number of the teachers were acting exactly like children.  It's so embarrassing as a foreigner to be compared to a lot of these other individuals.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Denevius on April 19, 2011, 02:06:33 pm
so just to get this straight:

1) gepik already understands there's a certain lack of competence in their hiring process which is why a handful of people who come in and overdrink requires them to ban alcohol at orientation.

2) their decision seems totally wrong-headed, as what they're basically doing is passing off the problem to the schools. people who can't behave at orientation probably won't be able to behave once they've gone off from orientation. and i'm sure most have met people who obviously can't handle the responsibility of the whole work thing.

3) since gepik is the company doing the actual hiring, shouldn't it be their job to also put up with the headache of potential problems of native teachers? yes, it may cause them additional work, but if they were doing their job better in the beginning when they hired these people, maybe they'd have fewer instances of the kind being described.

having said that, alcohol is everywhere in korea. one thing they won't be able to stop people from doing is drinking. and if they are totally strict about dismissing anyone and everyone who they find having a drink, they'll probably accomplish more losing good teachers than finding the bad ones. it ain't gonna be easy to tell people in their late 20s, 30s, and 40s that they can't drink. or it'll be about as easy as telling koreans of the same age group, considering how people here social drink to the level they do.

ultimately, in a new environment, it is a great way to lower the many defenses that's gonna be there at orientation.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Burndog on April 19, 2011, 02:23:23 pm
I think that it's more to do with the media than it is to with Native English Teachers. 

Last year there was an article in one of the Korean newspapers that described GEPIK Orientations as being a three day party of booze and debauchary sponsored by the Korean taxpayer.  Predictably this means that in order to be seen to be clean, the organisation must demand that teachers do not drink at Orientation.

Never forget that as a Public School teacher your salary is paid by the taxpayer...and as an extension...your training is funded by the taxpayer too.  The first hint of media scandal and these organisations take whatever steps they deem necessary in order to maintain their public image.  When the article came out last year, there was a good chance that the entire Orientation program would be scrapped.

I think it's much better to have an Orientation, and meet some new people, hopefully learn one or two new things...and not drink....than it would be to have no Orientation at all.  But that's just my humble opinion.  It's a shame that the person who wrote the "expose'" chose to go over the top and fabricate a certain number of examples and quotes...but I can understand why it's made GEPIK a little gunshy.  It's always worth remembering that things are much bigger than you...this isn't about you...and your need to have a beer or two after work.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: hunterst on April 19, 2011, 02:41:21 pm
I'm disappointed because I want to meet new people.  While I can obviously meet new people without drinking, it is much easier and quicker to meet them while drinking.  This is doubly disappointing considering Korea's drinking culture.  It's funny that people bring up professionalism, drinking after meetings, especially after meeting new clients or workers, is how business operates here.  By drinking we would be professional.  I've been in Korea for 7 months, I doubt that I will learn much of anything here, I'll keep an open mind, but this might have been helpful at the start.  I'm so tired of people worrying about other foreigners behaviour, as if we all directly represent each other.  We don't, my actions are mine, and yours are yours.  The Korean peope are smart enough to know this as well, thoose that would point to some drunken waygook to blame the rest already have a bad image of us and want a scapegoat.  I have not really encountered this drunken foreigner sterotype that people talk about, I doubt that it is that prevalent.  Most Koreans really don't care about us one way or the other.  Get too drunk if you want to, it won't make me angry, or make me look bad.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: tfuller on April 19, 2011, 02:51:02 pm
"I’ve been talking to a friend who spent a lot of time abroad, and who used to drink with some of the English teachers and expat community in South Korea. Her theory is that something about being in a foreign country – a place where you don’t really have that many ties – makes people act irresponsibly, especially with regards to alcohol. She says that somewhere in the back of your mind, you just know that the consequences of your actions aren’t going to follow you home or stick with you for life in the way that they would if you did this stuff in your hometown."

http://peripateticpedagogue.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/tlg-drama/
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NZ4Life on April 19, 2011, 03:08:29 pm
  [...] my actions are mine, and yours are yours.  The Korean peope are smart enough to know this as well, thoose that would point to some drunken waygook to blame the rest already have a bad image of us and want a scapegoat.  I have not really encountered this drunken foreigner sterotype that people talk about, I doubt that it is that prevalent.  Most Koreans really don't care about us one way or the other."
it's funny because almost everything you said is probably the opposite of how things "really are". how long have you been here again? are you aware you are living in one the most homogeneous populations in the world?

moreover, westerners drinking with other westerners with western values are NOT practicing Korean "business" and you know it. Korean males do it in "business" because they have a hard time expressing themselves (although yes, they also do it to unwind,); we may do it for similar reasons but to say we're practicing Korean values when we get together is utter bull.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: dwebsterlfc on April 19, 2011, 03:14:50 pm
I can't believe this topic has had 5 pages worth of replies. I love drinking as much as the next person but how hard is it to have a few days off and then just organise to go out with every1 the following weekend?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: sunsengbu on April 19, 2011, 03:24:26 pm
I think the alcoholics are going to bring their own stash.  People will still have a chance to netowrk behind closed doors.  Who knows, people may flood into the gym during after conference hours~~ get a runner's high or something, I don't know. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: hunterst on April 19, 2011, 03:31:34 pm
  [...] my actions are mine, and yours are yours.  The Korean peope are smart enough to know this as well, thoose that would point to some drunken waygook to blame the rest already have a bad image of us and want a scapegoat.  I have not really encountered this drunken foreigner sterotype that people talk about, I doubt that it is that prevalent.  Most Koreans really don't care about us one way or the other."
it's funny because almost everything you said is probably the opposite of how things "really are". how long have you been here again? are you aware you are living in one the most homogeneous populations in the world?

moreover, westerners drinking with other westerners with western values are NOT practicing Korean "business" and you know it. Korean males do it in "business" because they have a hard time expressing themselves (although yes, they also do it to unwind,); we may do it for similar reasons but to say we're practicing Korean values when we get together is utter bull.

Are you so sure.  You must have a pretty low opinion of the Koean's people to think that they can not tell the actions of an indvidual and a group apart.  The Koreans I know have no prolme doing this.  Furthermore why are yo so concerned about what they think anyways?  Why is is it bull?  What do I do when I'm drinking at school dnners? Is it that intrinsically differnt than what I do with my western friends?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: atmosphere on April 19, 2011, 03:37:42 pm
"I’ve been talking to a friend who spent a lot of time abroad, and who used to drink with some of the English teachers and expat community in South Korea. Her theory is that something about being in a foreign country – a place where you don’t really have that many ties – makes people act irresponsibly, especially with regards to alcohol. She says that somewhere in the back of your mind, you just know that the consequences of your actions aren’t going to follow you home or stick with you for life in the way that they would if you did this stuff in your hometown."

http://peripateticpedagogue.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/tlg-drama/
I completely disagree and think the opposite is true.

I have no problems getting absolutely smashed when I'm in England. Generally, I can do what I want (to a reasonable extent) and talk my way out of it since I'm (obviously) familiar with culture and custom in England, so I know what will and won't offend someone.

Here, in Korea, I'm a lot more humble and respectful. I wouldn't dare get TOO drunk - I'm scared of getting deported haha.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: elzoog on April 19, 2011, 03:38:06 pm
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).

It's not about treating, or not treating people like children.   The reason we have laws is that people cause problems.   We have laws against murder because people murder and that causes problems.   We don't have laws against eating pepperoni pizza because although people eat pepperoni pizza, doing so doesn't usually cause a problem.   We don't for example say, that since you are an adult, you are responsible enough to decide for yourself whether murder is okay or not.

Similarly, the reason GEPIK has a rule about no alcohol, is that people were causing problems.  Maybe you in particular, don't cause problems, but there is no way that GEPIK could know that, even by reading this board. 

So basically, here is the problem

P) People go to an orientation, get drunk and become unruly.

One solution to P is to not allow alcohol at the orientation.   If you can think of a different way of solving P that is actually feasible, let's hear it.


Quote
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.

It's possible these NETs were fired when they caused trouble.   I'm sure it's possible.  Don't know how feasible it is because the public school is expecting a native teacher and doesn't want to not have one.

Quote
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.

The requirements are already, a bachelor's degree.   Which places the NET in the top 20% in his country as far as his education.   Adding to that, the requirement of a certification would weed them out, how exactly?

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jchoi911 on April 19, 2011, 03:49:13 pm
The GEPIK orientation is only 3 days...
"So you're not allowed to drink for 3 days :o WHOAAAAAAA ...that's insane,
that leaves you 360......wait ... :-[
I am a little drunk, so my brain is not functioning that well - :-\
....
that leaves you 362 days to drink your ass off  ;D

I think anyone should be able to go without alcohol for 3 days - otherwise you should check yourself into AA (not sure if there is such a support group in Korea for it - so, as a safe bet, you should fly home instead)


That orientation is considered part of your working hours - you are still getting paid for it - I don't think it's unreasonable for an employer (The boss) to have restrictions on their employees while they're still under their payroll.

Maybe I'm being CRAZY  :o 
back home -
when my boss tells me to do something, I do it
when my boss tells me not to do something, I sure as hell won't.
But why did i still do it when he's infringing my rights as a human being.  >:(

Because I don't want to get fired....
CRAZY Principle isn't it? ::)

GEPIK technically could get you fired :)
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: elzoog on April 19, 2011, 03:55:13 pm
It's always worth remembering that things are much bigger than you...this isn't about you...and your need to have a beer or two after work.

I agree with every word of that sentence.

When Mr. Swirl was caught and Korea decided to change the requirements to needing an apostilled background check I didn't interpret that to mean that they are treating me as a pedophile.   I interpreted it as, Korea does not have an infallible method of determining who is, or isn't one, and is doing the best they can to not have another Mr. Swirl in their midst.

No system for trying to determine this is perfect.  You get some pedophiles in the American education system as well even though they also require a fingerprint check. 

Similarly, you probably also get some teachers in America who get drunk and act unruly.  In fact, I think there is a rule against having alcohol on the premises of American public schools.   I guess the American system also, treats their teachers like children too.

The best way to change the rule is, don't act drunk and unruly.   If every foreigner did that, then GEPIK might think that maybe NETs in general don't act drunk and unruly.  Then they would be more open to the suggestion of allowing alcohol.

In other words, if you want to be treated like a responsible adult, act like a responsible adult.

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: elzoog on April 19, 2011, 04:04:39 pm
The GEPIK orientation is only 3 days...
"So you're not allowed to drink for 3 days :o WHOAAAAAAA ...that's insane,
that leaves you 360......wait ... :-[
I am a little drunk, so my brain is not functioning that well - :-\
....
that leaves you 362 days to drink your ass off  ;D

No JChoi you don't understand.

3 days = 72 hours = 4,320 minutes = 259,200 seconds

259,200 is a pretty big number.   If I had 259,200 bottles of Pepsi, this would be enough Pepsi to last me about 710 years (assuming I drank a bottle a day).  In fact, if I had 259,200 of any food item at all, that would easily feed me for the rest of my life.

So you see, in fact 3 days is a long time to go without alcohol.

This may seem like a stupid argument, but it is actually smarter than the other arguments for drinking at orientation presented here.   At least, I actually used mathematics.

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: adamwatch on April 19, 2011, 04:35:23 pm
I don't think its unreasonable for a no drinking policy at work, but after your work is finished and its not illegal then it should be your choice.  The Gepik thing is not just work it is your free time too.

Adam
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 04:43:07 pm

That orientation is considered part of your working hours - you are still getting paid for it - I don't think it's unreasonable for an employer (The boss) to have restrictions on their employees while they're still under their payroll.


Under that interpretation I should get overtime.  Overtime is a whopping 7,000won/her (for non-teaching hours).  Under that theory, since I am under their direct control (as opposed to my normal life in which I still conduct myself in a reputable manner 24/7), I should be paid from 10am Monday to 11am Wednesday.  That's 49 hours.  Subtract my normal 24 hours (8/day).  I should get 25 hours of overtime, or 175,000 won.

Now of course, I'm being ridiculous and don't actually expect that.  But my point is that this regulation is beyond our normal working conditions.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: timjspence on April 19, 2011, 04:46:30 pm
I like to drink, but I'd respect this.  Some bad apples ruined it for everyone.  A few years ago somebody had have their stomach pumped, I mean dang...I'd say that not all the NETs at GEPIK can be trusted to act responsibly so we all suffer...
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 04:54:37 pm
I like to drink, but I'd respect this.  Some bad apples ruined it for everyone.  A few years ago somebody had have their stomach pumped, I mean dang...I'd say that not all the NETs at GEPIK can be trusted to act responsibly so we all suffer...

Eek  :o.  That is bad.  I wonder if stuff like this caused their insurance rates to go up.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 19, 2011, 05:51:58 pm
I love you guys who have no problem with this. You have no idea how insulting they're being to you by KOREAN standards. It must be so nice to be so blissfully ignorant.

This thread is a good example of why I avoid any waygook PS stuff like the plague. To be treated like a child is one thing but to do so with a bunch of people who are happy to be treated like children is another.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jrwhite82 on April 19, 2011, 06:00:22 pm
I love you guys who have no problem with this. You have no idea how insulting they're being to you by KOREAN standards. It must be so nice to be so blissfully ignorant.

This thread is a good example of why I avoid any waygook PS stuff like the plague. To be treated like a child is one thing but to do so with a bunch of people who are happy to be treated like children is another.

I agree.  The POLICE do the same thing in my home country.  I mean, I'm an even better driver when I drive drunk.  I make sure to go slower and obey stop signs and traffic lights.  But get this....they say it's against the rules and I'll be punished if I get caught!!!!  WTH?!?!  I don't know how other idiots in my home country can stand to agree with these FACIST policies.  It is totally an infringement on my human rights.  That's why I came to Korea.  To get away from this police state.  And then to hear that GEPIK is also treating its employees like SLAVES!  This is an outrage. 

/sarcasm off
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: RatnaMH on April 19, 2011, 06:20:22 pm
Maybe if people didn't act like stupid kids we wouldn't get treated that way...

I sure as hell wasn't happy to wake up and find someone puked on the window by our elevators...




Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Craash on April 19, 2011, 07:15:35 pm
I am not too happy about the alcohol ban.

I enjoy a couple of quiet drinks each night, which puts me to sleep.

If I can't smuggle a few drinks in, I won't be getting much sleep.

I also feel sorry for whoever has to share my room with me, as I am a very loud snorer. :-X
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jrwhite82 on April 19, 2011, 07:25:08 pm
I am not too happy about the alcohol ban.

I enjoy a couple of quiet drinks each night, which puts me to sleep.

If I can't smuggle a few drinks in, I won't be getting much sleep.

I also feel sorry for whoever has to share my room with me, as I am a very loud snorer. :-X

You know that drinking makes you snore right?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jonpurdy on April 19, 2011, 07:44:28 pm
So basically, here is the problem
P) People go to an orientation, get drunk and become unruly.
One solution to P is to not allow alcohol at the orientation.   If you can think of a different way of solving P that is actually feasible, let's hear it.

Well, my suggestion was to give them a warning or fire them on the spot. Though...

It's possible these NETs were fired when they caused trouble.   I'm sure it's possible.  Don't know how feasible it is because the public school is expecting a native teacher and doesn't want to not have one.

…you're right in that their school would have to wait a long time for a replacement. So I agree now that it's definitely easier for GEPIK to just ban alcohol rather than allow it and have lots of problems.

Though hasn't alcohol been banned in the past? I'm thinking that the ban might incite certain people to drink more just to show off or protest the ban or whatever.

The requirements are already, a bachelor's degree.   Which places the NET in the top 20% in his country as far as his education.   Adding to that, the requirement of a certification would weed them out, how exactly?

Presumably, those with certifications would be here as professional teachers and not willing to sacrifice their professional reputation by getting totally inebriated.

I've gone through all the pages of this thread and I didn't realize the sheer number of problems that GEPIK has had in the past. I do understand what GEPIK is trying to do and I can understand why the ban is in place. Though I still think hiring more qualified people would weed out even more people who would cause problems (and generally up the bar for public school teachers in Korea, though that's a totally different can of worms, heh).
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Ley_Druid on April 19, 2011, 08:08:40 pm

What I don't get is why they just don't fire those few who do.
At my last two orientations, it was quite a lot more than a few.  There were easily over 100 people acting like idiots every night and morning of the orientation.  And to those who say this is treating us as children, well it seemed to me that a large number of the teachers were acting exactly like children.  It's so embarrassing as a foreigner to be compared to a lot of these other individuals.

Yes, it is important to remember that we are here as GUESTS. It is a PRIVILAGE to be here in Korea teaching English. I am not Korean and I do NOT have rights as Koreans do. I definatly do not have the RIGHTS granted to me by my country in another person's country.

You get paid to go to this thing. It is usually held during the work week, so being able to get out of class and see a bunch of people who natively speak your language is a treat in itself. You get paid to go. They feed you, house you, and even allow you to use all the electricity and water you reasonably want. On top of that, they offer computers to use and there si even a store on campus. They even have cell phone chargers there.

I have my own complains about the GEPIK orentation, but complaining about such a ban is silly. You don't have any RIGHTS here, you have PRIVILAGES. Don't bother letting it go to your head that they are taking away your RIGHT to drink. They don't take away anything. They didn't say you will die if you break the rules. They are rules, not unalterable scientific facts. It isn't impossible to drink there. But realize that there are consequences to your actions. If you choose to drink, you might lose your job. Tough cookies. I've had jobs that require even more PROFESSIONALISM and surely if I complained about what they asked, while I am getting paid, I'd would have been canned for sure. I believe that anybody who is thinking that they are above GEPIK's rules for a whole 2.5 days probably thinks they are better than Korean people. Sure, rip that one up guys.

Seriously, get your shit together. (Mods, go ahead and edit me if you must)

It isn't fair to all of us who decide to do things as we are asked when we are paid to. I feel like those who complain the loudest never had a job. They probably didn't have to work night jobs to go to school during the day. You do what you have to do. If complaining is what you do, make it your own crusade. If they ask me, I will tell them that I support any reasonable action to prepare us to be better teachers. There are millions of English speakers with degrees and just a few jobs. They could replace anybody in a heartbeat.

I bitch as much as anybody does about being in Korea. I vent a lot. I have to in order to get through the day. But the longer I am here, the more I realize that my bitching and venting is going down and those complaints are ever more trivial. This would be one of them as well. Go ahead and treat it like the 11th commandment:  Thou Shall Drinkith Wence Dusk Unto the Dawn of Every Morrow.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: christmas on April 19, 2011, 08:16:14 pm
it doesn't concern me since i don't drink beside why would anyone drink at any orientations.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: singletrackmind on April 19, 2011, 08:23:21 pm

That orientation is considered part of your working hours - you are still getting paid for it - I don't think it's unreasonable for an employer (The boss) to have restrictions on their employees while they're still under their payroll.


Under that interpretation I should get overtime.  Overtime is a whopping 7,000won/her (for non-teaching hours).  Under that theory, since I am under their direct control (as opposed to my normal life in which I still conduct myself in a reputable manner 24/7), I should be paid from 10am Monday to 11am Wednesday.  That's 49 hours.  Subtract my normal 24 hours (8/day).  I should get 25 hours of overtime, or 175,000 won.

Now of course, I'm being ridiculous and don't actually expect that.  But my point is that this regulation is beyond our normal working conditions.

I was paid 180,000 won for overtime each time I went to an orientation.  I'd assume you would as well, so I guess now you can quit whining about not being able to have a beer on company time.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 08:28:08 pm


Yes, it is important to remember that we are here as GUESTS. It is a PRIVILAGE to be here in Korea teaching English. I am not Korean and I do NOT have rights as Koreans do. I definatly do not have the RIGHTS granted to me by my country in another person's country.

While one can definitely (watch your spelling  ;)) argue that there is discrimination against foreigners, including by the police, this is just being a little silly.  I have a right to not be beaten to death here.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: portlandzach on April 19, 2011, 08:40:25 pm
GOOD
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: hunterst on April 19, 2011, 08:52:57 pm

That orientation is considered part of your working hours - you are still getting paid for it - I don't think it's unreasonable for an employer (The boss) to have restrictions on their employees while they're still under their payroll.


Under that interpretation I should get overtime.  Overtime is a whopping 7,000won/her (for non-teaching hours).  Under that theory, since I am under their direct control (as opposed to my normal life in which I still conduct myself in a reputable manner 24/7), I should be paid from 10am Monday to 11am Wednesday.  That's 49 hours.  Subtract my normal 24 hours (8/day).  I should get 25 hours of overtime, or 175,000 won.

Now of course, I'm being ridiculous and don't actually expect that.  But my point is that this regulation is beyond our normal working conditions.

I was paid 180,000 won for overtime each time I went to an orientation.  I'd assume you would as well, so I guess now you can quit whining about not being able to have a beer on company time.

Do you know if this was through your school, if it is a standard thing.  This is enormously more important to me than drinking.  The thing for me is that this is something like an event.  People love drinking during events, that's why holidays and sports are so popular.  I think that for new people this could be very useful, but I know that many people going, like me, have been here for several months and won't get much out of the actual lectures.  My friends went and had fun, now I just want the same.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 19, 2011, 09:19:54 pm

That orientation is considered part of your working hours - you are still getting paid for it - I don't think it's unreasonable for an employer (The boss) to have restrictions on their employees while they're still under their payroll.


Under that interpretation I should get overtime.  Overtime is a whopping 7,000won/her (for non-teaching hours).  Under that theory, since I am under their direct control (as opposed to my normal life in which I still conduct myself in a reputable manner 24/7), I should be paid from 10am Monday to 11am Wednesday.  That's 49 hours.  Subtract my normal 24 hours (8/day).  I should get 25 hours of overtime, or 175,000 won.

Now of course, I'm being ridiculous and don't actually expect that.  But my point is that this regulation is beyond our normal working conditions.

I was paid 180,000 won for overtime each time I went to an orientation.  I'd assume you would as well, so I guess now you can quit whining about not being able to have a beer on company time.

Who said I was whining?

Seriously, I've created a monster.  I've turned this forum into Dave's.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: wiggum2012 on April 19, 2011, 09:52:35 pm
Personally I couldn't care about the lack of alcohol, I've noticed there are far too many people who treat this job as an extension of college. Grow up, suck it in and if you don't like the rules leave.

Can we stop equating a fondness for alcohol with a lack of professionalism? Yes, I drink more in Korea than I did at home, and yes, I've gotten more drunk than was probably wise on certain occasions. But I also make sure that I am always fully prepared and am giving my students the best educational experience I am able to provide. I've never shown up drunk to work (a little hungover maybe, but that's usually after staff dinners), been late, called in sick, or otherwise unfit or unable to teach because of alcohol. Like it or not, you can't deny that drinking is a large part of the Korean social scene and those of us who partake in it shouldn't be vilified as unprofessional or immature.

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 07:57:22 am
I love you guys who have no problem with this. You have no idea how insulting they're being to you by KOREAN standards. It must be so nice to be so blissfully ignorant.

This thread is a good example of why I avoid any waygook PS stuff like the plague. To be treated like a child is one thing but to do so with a bunch of people who are happy to be treated like children is another.

I agree.  The POLICE do the same thing in my home country.  I mean, I'm an even better driver when I drive drunk.  I make sure to go slower and obey stop signs and traffic lights.  But get this....they say it's against the rules and I'll be punished if I get caught!!!!  WTH?!?!  I don't know how other idiots in my home country can stand to agree with these FACIST policies.  It is totally an infringement on my human rights.  That's why I came to Korea.  To get away from this police state.  And then to hear that GEPIK is also treating its employees like SLAVES!  This is an outrage. 

/sarcasm off

Are you really so witless or do you just tend to show the same level or responsibility sitting in a hotel room as you would behind the wheel of a car?

Have you ever been on a staff retreat or workshop with Korean teachers? I'm guessing not. Here's what happens: after a long boring meeting every pigs out and breaks out the soju and beer. Then the guys take off to a noraebang / rooms salon and return to the hotel for a few more rounds. Someone breaks out the cards and the poker carries on perhaps all night while other teachers just pass out where they were sitting. The next morning everyone catches up on sleep on the bus or at any pointless morning meeting. This is usually mostly or all paid for with school money and is as much a bonding experience as anything else.

No booze, no gambling, and a curfew are what happens on a high school trip to Jejudo ... IF the homeroom teachers are really anal and can be arsed to enforce such rules. 'Cool' teachers might turn a blind eye or even let their students have a shot or two. But I'm guessing the GEPIK handlers won't be quite so cool with their adult charges.

I wonder if they'll make you kneel in a row and hold your hands up in their air if you're late for morning meetings?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Burndog on April 20, 2011, 08:27:31 am
Yes YBS...except that when our Korean counterparts do that there aren't any newspaper articles decrying the horrible waste of public money during tough economic times.  As Brian and I have both mentioned...this is most likely because of the newspaper article last year that slagged off GEPIK Orientation as an orgy of boozing and anti-social behaviour. 

Unfortunately writing a news article about Korean teachers drinking probably wouldn't effect things...but an article that plays to the popular 'drunk foreign teacher' stereotype...as well as screaming about the need to tighten belts in a tough economic climate...well...unfortunately that has had an impact...and this is the impact.

Like I said...it's a shame...but at the same time why would GEPIK risk further embarrassment in the press?  I think that with funding so tight these days, anything they can do to protect the future of the program (and surely the negative press would not have pleased the big wigs at the GPOE) should be welcomed.  I'm of the opinion that having a job is more important than getting tipsy on a school night. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NZ4Life on April 20, 2011, 08:29:30 am
I love you guys who have no problem with this. You have no idea how insulting they're being to you by KOREAN standards. It must be so nice to be so blissfully ignorant.

This thread is a good example of why I avoid any waygook PS stuff like the plague. To be treated like a child is one thing but to do so with a bunch of people who are happy to be treated like children is another.

I agree.  The POLICE do the same thing in my home country.  I mean, I'm an even better driver when I drive drunk.  I make sure to go slower and obey stop signs and traffic lights.  But get this....they say it's against the rules and I'll be punished if I get caught!!!!  WTH?!?!  I don't know how other idiots in my home country can stand to agree with these FACIST policies.  It is totally an infringement on my human rights.  That's why I came to Korea.  To get away from this police state.  And then to hear that GEPIK is also treating its employees like SLAVES!  This is an outrage. 

/sarcasm off

Are you really so witless or do you just tend to show the same level or responsibility sitting in a hotel room as you would behind the wheel of a car?

Have you ever been on a staff retreat or workshop with Korean teachers? I'm guessing not. Here's what happens: after a long boring meeting every pigs out and breaks out the soju and beer. Then the guys take off to a noraebang / rooms salon and return to the hotel for a few more rounds. Someone breaks out the cards and the poker carries on perhaps all night while other teachers just pass out where they were sitting. The next morning everyone catches up on sleep on the bus or at any pointless morning meeting. This is usually mostly or all paid for with school money and is as much a bonding experience as anything else.

No booze, no gambling, and a curfew are what happens on a high school trip to Jejudo ... IF the homeroom teachers are really anal and can be arsed to enforce such rules. 'Cool' teachers might turn a blind eye or even let their students have a shot or two. But I'm guessing the GEPIK handlers won't be quite so cool with their adult charges.

I wonder if they'll make you kneel in a row and hold your hands up in their air if you're late for morning meetings?
EVERYONE knows this.

thing is though.... WE ARE NOT KOREAN. i like how some ppl like to cherry pick which Korean standards they want to live by. ppl love it when certain Korean standards yeild to their sense of western individuality but haaaaaaate it when they threaten it by even the least bit. yeah you're right, KTs pig out, soju/sing the night away, and play poker after a long meeting. what they DON'T do however is set off fire extinguishers, yell "F*CK KOREA" at the top of the hotel, or start fights with locals (although they will fight within their circle.) THAT'S the difference. i love to booze as much as anyone else, but if a ban means making sure embarassing things like this don't happen then i'm all for it.

it's TWO AND A HALF DAYS. GET OVER YOURSELVES. or do you really need a beer that bad to have a good time?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NZ4Life on April 20, 2011, 08:31:30 am
I'm of the opinion that having a job is more important than getting tipsy on a school night.

this.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: mmaurer2004 on April 20, 2011, 08:47:22 am

it's TWO AND A HALF DAYS. GET OVER YOURSELVES. or do you really need a beer that bad to have a good time?

Kudos to that.  And are you familiar with the term LUSH?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: flasyb on April 20, 2011, 09:03:12 am
Quote
Have you ever been on a staff retreat or workshop with Korean teachers? I'm guessing not. Here's what happens: after a long boring meeting every pigs out and breaks out the soju and beer. Then the guys take off to a noraebang / rooms salon and return to the hotel for a few more rounds. Someone breaks out the cards and the poker carries on perhaps all night while other teachers just pass out where they were sitting. The next morning everyone catches up on sleep on the bus or at any pointless morning meeting. This is usually mostly or all paid for with school money and is as much a bonding experience as anything else.

You missed the bit about Koreans not turning up to work after drinking, setting off fire extinguishers, trashing rooms and ruining the reputation of Korean teachers in Korea....Oh yeah, doesn't happen. I see your attitude as being, "OOOOOO Korean teachers drink after meetings and at dinners so we should be allowed to drink at GEPIK orientation too. It's not fair! They drink until we pass out so why aren't we allowed to? It's discrimination. I'm a baby. I want I want I want. maaaaaaaaaaa!"

I think the orientation organisers are smart enough to realise that if they allow booze, some people will get wrecked. It has probably happened year after year so the best way to deal with it is a blanket ban on booze. It's not the end of the world, it's not an ideal solution for everyone but if it helps with the negative reporting of foreign teachers in the media then I'm all in favour. There will be plenty of opportunities to get as smashed as Korean teachers do at other times. It's two and a half days. They have good reasons. Get over it!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: shmoogrin on April 20, 2011, 09:11:07 am
I was at the EPIK orientation last year and there was too much partying, drinking, coming in late (and noisy) and people not going to sessions.  They will not really fire anyone for this behaviour, but why not put the threat where it matters.  If people miss sessions just dock their pay, say one day's pay per class missed?  Then the party people might pay attention and lay off a bit for a few days at least.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Vincent on April 20, 2011, 09:50:07 am
Part of me thinks that throwing a couple hundred people together from loads of different backgrounds and  without any social lubricant is a dumb idea  - especially for 3 days.

But there are well justified reasons for having the no alcohol too. If you can't handle 3 days meh !

I've done 2 orientations at this stage , first was very frat house but then again I made no bones about having a beer with dinner, a single one  - not drinking all evening stylee.

The second one was a much more relaxed affair  - shorter duration and less of the frat house antics. Most people just wanted to get the process over with and get back to work.

I don't think it's right or fair to demand people stay on site though either, keep it working hours no holidays and concentrate the damn thing, I'd rather be teaching my kids. It's the contract we signed though so can't complain too much.

Gepik could save a packet by not making us stay overnight, doing smaller community based training workshops  i.e. get to know the teachers in your own area moreso and they'd have none of the silly waygook carry on then bar trying to maintain attendance.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: elzoog on April 20, 2011, 09:55:30 am
So basically, here is the problem
P) People go to an orientation, get drunk and become unruly.
One solution to P is to not allow alcohol at the orientation.   If you can think of a different way of solving P that is actually feasible, let's hear it.

Well, my suggestion was to give them a warning or fire them on the spot. Though...

It's possible these NETs were fired when they caused trouble.   I'm sure it's possible.  Don't know how feasible it is because the public school is expecting a native teacher and doesn't want to not have one.

…you're right in that their school would have to wait a long time for a replacement. So I agree now that it's definitely easier for GEPIK to just ban alcohol rather than allow it and have lots of problems.

Yeah, in general things try to find the easiest solutions.   Not just people.   Electricity for example will follow the shortest path.   If you try to get a dog to jump over a pole that's too high, the dog will prefer to walk under it instead, etc.

So GEPIK would fire people only if it's the best viable alternative.

Quote
Though hasn't alcohol been banned in the past? I'm thinking that the ban might incite certain people to drink more just to show off or protest the ban or whatever.

If they are willing to do that for something trivial like drinking, then maybe they shouldn't be teachers.

Quote
The requirements are already, a bachelor's degree.   Which places the NET in the top 20% in his country as far as his education.   Adding to that, the requirement of a certification would weed them out, how exactly?

Presumably, those with certifications would be here as professional teachers and not willing to sacrifice their professional reputation by getting totally inebriated.

The thing is, teaching in Korea does not in general, help your teaching career very much.   There are people who have taught English in Korea for 10 years that can't even get a substitute teaching job back in the states.

The reason I stay in Korea is not because I think teaching is a great career choice for me (if I thought that, I would be a high school mathematics teacher).  It's because for now, Korea offers somewhat stable employment for relatively little work.   I do however, try to challenge the students' minds, and in fact, the students hate it when I do so.   However, challenging someone's mind is supposed to be a teacher's job.

Given that teaching in Korea doesn't necessarily help your teaching career I am not 100% confident that having certification would weed out the unruly types.  You will probably get a certain percentage that can't get a teaching job at home, and come to Korea just to kill time.

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 10:53:35 am
Quote
Have you ever been on a staff retreat or workshop with Korean teachers? I'm guessing not. Here's what happens: after a long boring meeting every pigs out and breaks out the soju and beer. Then the guys take off to a noraebang / rooms salon and return to the hotel for a few more rounds. Someone breaks out the cards and the poker carries on perhaps all night while other teachers just pass out where they were sitting. The next morning everyone catches up on sleep on the bus or at any pointless morning meeting. This is usually mostly or all paid for with school money and is as much a bonding experience as anything else.

You missed the bit about Koreans not turning up to work after drinking, setting off fire extinguishers, trashing rooms and ruining the reputation of Korean teachers in Korea....Oh yeah, doesn't happen. I see your attitude as being, "OOOOOO Korean teachers drink after meetings and at dinners so we should be allowed to drink at GEPIK orientation too. It's not fair! They drink until we pass out so why aren't we allowed to? It's discrimination. I'm a baby. I want I want I want. maaaaaaaaaaa!"

I think the orientation organisers are smart enough to realise that if they allow booze, some people will get wrecked. It has probably happened year after year so the best way to deal with it is a blanket ban on booze. It's not the end of the world, it's not an ideal solution for everyone but if it helps with the negative reporting of foreign teachers in the media then I'm all in favour. There will be plenty of opportunities to get as smashed as Korean teachers do at other times. It's two and a half days. They have good reasons. Get over it!

If they can't let foreigners act like Koreans for the sake of our reputations that's very touching, but then they should at least give people the option of finding their own accomodations. I for one would much rather pay W40,000 a night for a love hotel than have to live like I'm in a high school dormitory. I'm not in GEPIK, by the way, and based on this and a number of things I've read I hope I never am.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 20, 2011, 11:00:22 am
Quote
Have you ever been on a staff retreat or workshop with Korean teachers? I'm guessing not. Here's what happens: after a long boring meeting every pigs out and breaks out the soju and beer. Then the guys take off to a noraebang / rooms salon and return to the hotel for a few more rounds. Someone breaks out the cards and the poker carries on perhaps all night while other teachers just pass out where they were sitting. The next morning everyone catches up on sleep on the bus or at any pointless morning meeting. This is usually mostly or all paid for with school money and is as much a bonding experience as anything else.

You missed the bit about Koreans not turning up to work after drinking, setting off fire extinguishers, trashing rooms and ruining the reputation of Korean teachers in Korea....Oh yeah, doesn't happen. I see your attitude as being, "OOOOOO Korean teachers drink after meetings and at dinners so we should be allowed to drink at GEPIK orientation too. It's not fair! They drink until we pass out so why aren't we allowed to? It's discrimination. I'm a baby. I want I want I want. maaaaaaaaaaa!"

I think the orientation organisers are smart enough to realise that if they allow booze, some people will get wrecked. It has probably happened year after year so the best way to deal with it is a blanket ban on booze. It's not the end of the world, it's not an ideal solution for everyone but if it helps with the negative reporting of foreign teachers in the media then I'm all in favour. There will be plenty of opportunities to get as smashed as Korean teachers do at other times. It's two and a half days. They have good reasons. Get over it!

If they can't let foreigners act like Koreans for the sake of our reputations that's very touching, but then they should at least give people the option of finding their own accomodations. I for one would much rather pay W40,000 a night for a love hotel than have to live like I'm in a high school dormitory. I'm not in GEPIK, by the way, and based on this and a number of things I've read I hope I never am.

Yup, I'm still a bit iffy about living with this stranger for 2 nights.  Something tells me there's no lockers.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 11:13:25 am
Yup, I'm still a bit iffy about living with this stranger for 2 nights.  Something tells me there's no lockers.

Factor in say W20,000 for taxis and it would cost you about W100,000 to avoid all that hassel. If you stay at the conference hotel where they can tell you what to do for 24 hours a day that's basically 16 hours a day you're working for free. I'd rather spend W100,000 than put in 32 unpaid overtime hours.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jrwhite82 on April 20, 2011, 11:15:29 am
I love you guys who have no problem with this. You have no idea how insulting they're being to you by KOREAN standards. It must be so nice to be so blissfully ignorant.

This thread is a good example of why I avoid any waygook PS stuff like the plague. To be treated like a child is one thing but to do so with a bunch of people who are happy to be treated like children is another.

I agree.  The POLICE do the same thing in my home country.  I mean, I'm an even better driver when I drive drunk.  I make sure to go slower and obey stop signs and traffic lights.  But get this....they say it's against the rules and I'll be punished if I get caught!!!!  WTH?!?!  I don't know how other idiots in my home country can stand to agree with these FACIST policies.  It is totally an infringement on my human rights.  That's why I came to Korea.  To get away from this police state.  And then to hear that GEPIK is also treating its employees like SLAVES!  This is an outrage. 

/sarcasm off

Are you really so witless or do you just tend to show the same level or responsibility sitting in a hotel room as you would behind the wheel of a car?

Have you ever been on a staff retreat or workshop with Korean teachers? I'm guessing not. Here's what happens: after a long boring meeting every pigs out and breaks out the soju and beer. Then the guys take off to a noraebang / rooms salon and return to the hotel for a few more rounds. Someone breaks out the cards and the poker carries on perhaps all night while other teachers just pass out where they were sitting. The next morning everyone catches up on sleep on the bus or at any pointless morning meeting. This is usually mostly or all paid for with school money and is as much a bonding experience as anything else.

No booze, no gambling, and a curfew are what happens on a high school trip to Jejudo ... IF the homeroom teachers are really anal and can be arsed to enforce such rules. 'Cool' teachers might turn a blind eye or even let their students have a shot or two. But I'm guessing the GEPIK handlers won't be quite so cool with their adult charges.

I wonder if they'll make you kneel in a row and hold your hands up in their air if you're late for morning meetings?

Those are the rules (or lack of) that your Korean school has made.  So, these are the rules that GEPIK made.  It is not illegal.  Training is part of the job.  If you don't like training or their rules, quit or don't work for GEPIK.  Carry on with your life.  Don't go TROLLING around on an online forum looking like a crybaby. It is not good for you image bro. 

You've never been to a GEPIK orientation in your life.  You have no idea what kind of ridiculous embarrassing shananigens goes on.  So in reality (where the rest of us live), your opinion means nothing.  You say they are treating us like children....well it's because EVERY SINGLE TIME we have acted like children.  Your arguement is based on them discriminating against foreigners.  But you keep ignoring the FACT that as an entire group, we acted irresponsible, immature and rude...everytime.  So we face the consequences as a group (a nasty article and a ban on alcohol).

Sorry to all the newbies....you can thank us "wise" veterans for screwing it up for you. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jujibi on April 20, 2011, 11:19:55 am
I'm glad to hear that alcohol has been banned at the GEPIK orientations because some people have no control over themselves. The first week I arrived in Korea I had to go to one of these orientations and it was a hot mess!!! I actually was sent to an orientation for pre-existing teachers so I guess that everyone was somewhat annoyed because they had been to at least one training session before. At night there were soooo many drunks wobbling around the training site. It was like I was back in college. I heard one kid even ran into a glass door and broke his front teeth (I'm not sure if he was drunk or not though).  Another drunk guy became loud and rude when I wanted to leave the lounge area after he started harassing me.  It's only a few days, there really is no need for alcohol.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jrwhite82 on April 20, 2011, 11:37:08 am
Yup, I'm still a bit iffy about living with this stranger for 2 nights.  Something tells me there's no lockers.

Factor in say W20,000 for taxis and it would cost you about W100,000 to avoid all that hassel. If you stay at the conference hotel where they can tell you what to do for 24 hours a day that's basically 16 hours a day you're working for free. I'd rather spend W100,000 than put in 32 unpaid overtime hours.

Wow. I wish I had your work ethic and your job.  You work and get paid while you're sleeping!  That's rich!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 11:57:53 am
Those are the rules (or lack of) that your Korean school has made.  So, these are the rules that GEPIK made.  It is not illegal.  Training is part of the job.  If you don't like training or their rules, quit or don't work for GEPIK.  Carry on with your life.  Don't go TROLLING around on an online forum looking like a crybaby. It is not good for you image bro. 

You've never been to a GEPIK orientation in your life.  You have no idea what kind of ridiculous embarrassing shananigens goes on.  So in reality (where the rest of us live), your opinion means nothing.  You say they are treating us like children....well it's because EVERY SINGLE TIME we have acted like children.  Your arguement is based on them discriminating against foreigners.  But you keep ignoring the FACT that as an entire group, we acted irresponsible, immature and rude...everytime.  So we face the consequences as a group (a nasty article and a ban on alcohol).

Sorry to all the newbies....you can thank us "wise" veterans for screwing it up for you.

I've talked to many people who've been to GEPIK or EPIK orientations and one of the reason why I avoid them like the plague is the inevitable yahoos. However, I don't think that they should result in everyone else not being allowed to kick back with a few drinks in the hotel. Perhaps if they started hiring more mature people this would be less of a problem.

In any case it does nothing to change the fact that they're treating them like teenagers and in a way that's very disrespectful by both western and Korean standards.

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 11:59:02 am
Yup, I'm still a bit iffy about living with this stranger for 2 nights.  Something tells me there's no lockers.

Factor in say W20,000 for taxis and it would cost you about W100,000 to avoid all that hassel. If you stay at the conference hotel where they can tell you what to do for 24 hours a day that's basically 16 hours a day you're working for free. I'd rather spend W100,000 than put in 32 unpaid overtime hours.

Wow. I wish I had your work ethic and your job.  You work and get paid while you're sleeping!  That's rich!

Every Korean employee gets paid for sleeping sometimes.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: giselle on April 20, 2011, 12:25:01 pm
hmmm... I might have guessed that the post about banning of alcohol would garner 7 pages of comments in just 2 days.
Hilarious!  I don't agree with this policy, but I have to say I can't blame them.  I'm not opposed to drinking, and in fact, partake often & regularly.  And drinking is a big part of Korean culture, yes, it's true.  But what I saw at my own EPIK orientation week was a little embarrassing.  More than a few people coming in way past 'curfew' every single night, missing classes, even sneaking into the building basement and up the back stairs to avoid having to check in, and as in my own experience, all but abandoning the group lesson project to go 'hook up'.  It's only a week, and high-ranking people in the MOE are trying to get a feel for our abilities.  I just thought a little discretion & professionalism was in order.  People, you have to know when to hold 'em & know when to fold 'em is all. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NZ4Life on April 20, 2011, 12:26:44 pm
Quote
Have you ever been on a staff retreat or workshop with Korean teachers? I'm guessing not. Here's what happens: after a long boring meeting every pigs out and breaks out the soju and beer. Then the guys take off to a noraebang / rooms salon and return to the hotel for a few more rounds. Someone breaks out the cards and the poker carries on perhaps all night while other teachers just pass out where they were sitting. The next morning everyone catches up on sleep on the bus or at any pointless morning meeting. This is usually mostly or all paid for with school money and is as much a bonding experience as anything else.

You missed the bit about Koreans not turning up to work after drinking, setting off fire extinguishers, trashing rooms and ruining the reputation of Korean teachers in Korea....Oh yeah, doesn't happen. I see your attitude as being, "OOOOOO Korean teachers drink after meetings and at dinners so we should be allowed to drink at GEPIK orientation too. It's not fair! They drink until we pass out so why aren't we allowed to? It's discrimination. I'm a baby. I want I want I want. maaaaaaaaaaa!"

I think the orientation organisers are smart enough to realise that if they allow booze, some people will get wrecked. It has probably happened year after year so the best way to deal with it is a blanket ban on booze. It's not the end of the world, it's not an ideal solution for everyone but if it helps with the negative reporting of foreign teachers in the media then I'm all in favour. There will be plenty of opportunities to get as smashed as Korean teachers do at other times. It's two and a half days. They have good reasons. Get over it!

If they can't let foreigners act like Koreans for the sake of our reputations that's very touching, but then they should at least give people the option of finding their own accomodations. I for one would much rather pay W40,000 a night for a love hotel than have to live like I'm in a high school dormitory. I'm not in GEPIK, by the way, and based on this and a number of things I've read I hope I never am.

they SHOULD do what??? KOREA OWES YOU NOTHING.

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 20, 2011, 12:37:13 pm
Quote
Have you ever been on a staff retreat or workshop with Korean teachers? I'm guessing not. Here's what happens: after a long boring meeting every pigs out and breaks out the soju and beer. Then the guys take off to a noraebang / rooms salon and return to the hotel for a few more rounds. Someone breaks out the cards and the poker carries on perhaps all night while other teachers just pass out where they were sitting. The next morning everyone catches up on sleep on the bus or at any pointless morning meeting. This is usually mostly or all paid for with school money and is as much a bonding experience as anything else.

You missed the bit about Koreans not turning up to work after drinking, setting off fire extinguishers, trashing rooms and ruining the reputation of Korean teachers in Korea....Oh yeah, doesn't happen. I see your attitude as being, "OOOOOO Korean teachers drink after meetings and at dinners so we should be allowed to drink at GEPIK orientation too. It's not fair! They drink until we pass out so why aren't we allowed to? It's discrimination. I'm a baby. I want I want I want. maaaaaaaaaaa!"

I think the orientation organisers are smart enough to realise that if they allow booze, some people will get wrecked. It has probably happened year after year so the best way to deal with it is a blanket ban on booze. It's not the end of the world, it's not an ideal solution for everyone but if it helps with the negative reporting of foreign teachers in the media then I'm all in favour. There will be plenty of opportunities to get as smashed as Korean teachers do at other times. It's two and a half days. They have good reasons. Get over it!

If they can't let foreigners act like Koreans for the sake of our reputations that's very touching, but then they should at least give people the option of finding their own accomodations. I for one would much rather pay W40,000 a night for a love hotel than have to live like I'm in a high school dormitory. I'm not in GEPIK, by the way, and based on this and a number of things I've read I hope I never am.

they SHOULD do what??? KOREA OWES YOU NOTHING.

There's no need for inflammatory remarks, all caps or rudeness.

By the way, it's not Korea, it's GEPIK (which I understand is a government program).  We are not slaves.

I've reviewed some of your previous posts and find this kind of rudeness common.  I don't know where it's coming from.  It seems to almost reflect, on some level, Korean nationalism.  I don't know.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: daveb on April 20, 2011, 12:42:11 pm
Who cares? Big deal!!  :o

It's not as if they've banned food and water!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: giselle on April 20, 2011, 01:51:01 pm
Hey, guys, come on!  There aren't even any jobs for me to choose from back home.  I'm happy to be here with stable employment & the opportunity to cross-train into a new field of work.  Pull your socks up, y'all.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: GrenWhit on April 20, 2011, 02:16:43 pm

Have you ever been on a staff retreat or workshop with Korean teachers? I'm guessing not. Here's what happens: after a long boring meeting every pigs out and breaks out the soju and beer. Then the guys take off to a noraebang / rooms salon and return to the hotel for a few more rounds. Someone breaks out the cards and the poker carries on perhaps all night while other teachers just pass out where they were sitting. The next morning everyone catches up on sleep on the bus or at any pointless morning meeting. This is usually mostly or all paid for with school money and is as much a bonding experience as anything else.

I have been on a retreat with Korean teachers.  The level of drinking was way beyond what I am used to, but somehow they managed not to destroy any property, make it to bed, and then get back on the bus for day 2 without any of the negative press that is common, and deserved, at GEPIK/EPIK orientations. 

The "they're treating us like children" complaint doesn't hold much water either.  One might just as easily argue that to ask you to rise above the Korean perception of respect is to treat you like an adult who might be expected to understand the concept of forgoing rights for the greater good. 

Finally, having worked for a company that facilitated corporate team building retreats, I understand asking adults not to drink while they are representing the company to the people in and around the training facility.  We actually stopped contracting with companies if alcohol was involved recently before or during our time slot.  Ironically we found that people bonded just as well if not better when sober, but that's beside the point.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: korr on April 20, 2011, 03:04:06 pm
Quote
I have been on a retreat with Korean teachers.  The level of drinking was way beyond what I am used to, but somehow they managed not to destroy any property, make it to bed, and then get back on the bus for day 2 without any of the negative press that is common, and deserved, at GEPIK/EPIK orientations.

That's pretty much my thoughts exactly. No one's saying the Korean teachers don't drink, but you don't see anywhere near the kind of behavior that you get at an orientation.

I'm EPIK and I like to drink, but honestly, I'd be perfectly fine if they banned alcohol for us too. I was part of the spring '09 orientation group and there was so much property damage that the entire EPIK program got banned from the host university. No, most of us weren't acting like we were at a frat party, but some people definitely were and it was completely embarrassing for everyone else.

I'm also kind of stunned at how many people are saying they absolutely must have alcohol. Surely you've gone more than three days without drinking before, right?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: singletrackmind on April 20, 2011, 03:09:15 pm


By the way, it's not Korea, it's GEPIK (which I understand is a government program).  We are not slaves.


Seriously? Slaves?  You said you weren't whining, but I'd have to disagree.  You are comparing the banning of alcohol at a work function to slavery.  So do you also feel like a slave because you can't drink alcohol at school?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: dbtm on April 20, 2011, 03:17:41 pm
I was embarassed by the drinking at the SMOE Spring 2011 orientation. Worse was that the native korean teachers who were managing the whole show didn't do anything to quiet noisy floors and tell people to go to sleep.

On the last night (first day at school the next day) there was people awake at 4am screaming that they were excited that they passed the HIV test and were loudly talking about running a train on some girl.

If you aren't going to take the training seriously then **** right off.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: flasyb on April 20, 2011, 03:22:05 pm
Quote
I think Korean teachers are being too nice to native teachers..
Korea treat you too nice.
Honestly, where? which country you go and they treat you well??
Hey Native teachers, if you want to complain of small this and that than there is 1 good answer.
Just leave Korea and please don't come back!!!

I agree that it is a small thing to get angry about. I'd like to point out that most people on this thread don't seem to see it as a problem that native teachers can't drink at the GEPIK orientation. "I think Korean teachers are being too nice to native teachers..
Korea treat you too nice." - are you saying that Korean teachers should not be so nice to NETs? What kind of things do you think KETs should do to treat us worse?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 03:22:38 pm
they SHOULD do what??? KOREA OWES YOU NOTHING.

They're an employer and their FTs are adults. They owe them a basic amount of respect if they want them to act as such. My school does and I respect them in turn, and thankfully they let me take care of my own professional development.


Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 03:29:25 pm
I think Korean teachers are being too nice to native teachers..
Korea treat you too nice.
Honestly, where? which country you go and they treat you well??
Hey Native teachers, if you want to complain of small this and that than there is 1 good answer.
Just leave Korea and please don't come back!!!

Here are some better ideas:

1. Get on good terms with your school and coworkers so that they can get you out of BS like this.

2. Interview a prospective teacher's references and past employers to try to find out whether or not they'll act like a frat boy at a retreat before you decide to hire them.

3. Don't hire people who are fresh out of university and have never had a full-time job before.

4. Place a hiring preference on maturity, not youth.

5. Stay in Korea and enjoy it's good points instead of BS like being treated like school children.

Have you ever heard the expression 'Korea gets the teachers it deserves'? Unfortunately, it is true sometimes.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: hunterst on April 20, 2011, 03:30:27 pm
The people who are going to act like drunken idiots are going to act like drunken idiots, rule or no rule.  I'm cuorious about how this will be enforced, I highly doubt it will.  It's not really that people can not be sober for three days, it's more that when meeting such a large number of people drinking togethor really is one of the best ways to bond and to meet others.  That, I think, for many people is the largest benefit of an event like this, as opposed to the lectures.  From what I've heard, and what I've experinced of similar events, the time spent talking to others outside of lectures is much more valuabe.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: GrenWhit on April 20, 2011, 03:37:22 pm
I think Korean teachers are being too nice to native teachers..
Korea treat you too nice.
Honestly, where? which country you go and they treat you well??
Hey Native teachers, if you want to complain of small this and that than there is 1 good answer.
Just leave Korea and please don't come back!!!

that's unfair.  and this is coming from someone who is in favor of the rule.  while i don't agree with the people who are complaining, you are essentially entering western territory by logging in to this site.  part of that culture is the right to voice our concerns and complaints.  some complainers shouldn't be teachers, but it isn't because they speak their mind on waygook, or because they complain.  it's because they are poor teachers, whatever country they come from.  as the saying goes, if you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 20, 2011, 03:38:20 pm


By the way, it's not Korea, it's GEPIK (which I understand is a government program).  We are not slaves.


Seriously? Slaves?  You said you weren't whining, but I'd have to disagree.  You are comparing the banning of alcohol at a work function to slavery.  So do you also feel like a slave because you can't drink alcohol at school?

Wow, you completely missed the point.  Read the quote above what I said (the portion that you quoted).  I was referring to him saying that Korea owes us nothing.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 20, 2011, 03:43:39 pm
I think Korean teachers are being too nice to native teachers..
Korea treat you too nice.
Honestly, where? which country you go and they treat you well??
Hey Native teachers, if you want to complain of small this and that than there is 1 good answer.
Just leave Korea and please don't come back!!!

Please, there's no room for nationalism on this forum.  I understand that you are Korean and have your opinions; that's fine.  All people are welcome on Waygook.org (Waygookins and Hangookins alike). 

I think for the most part, people have been fairly polite on this thread, with some exceptions.  Please don't turn this into a "Get out of Korea" or other kind of thread.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 03:46:40 pm
I think Korean teachers are being too nice to native teachers..
Korea treat you too nice.
Honestly, where? which country you go and they treat you well??
Hey Native teachers, if you want to complain of small this and that than there is 1 good answer.
Just leave Korea and please don't come back!!!

Please, there's no room for nationalism on this forum.  I understand that you are Korean and have your opinions; that's fine.  All people are welcome on Waygook.org (Waygookins and Hangookins alike). 

I think for the most part, people have been fairly polite on this thread, with some exceptions.  Please don't turn this into a "Get out of Korea" or other kind of thread.

And if this person is by chance in a position to hire or have some influence over the hiring of FTs, I'd very much like to know how he would go about doing it, and whether he would prefer a mature teacher with lots of experience or a very young inexperienced one.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: singletrackmind on April 20, 2011, 03:49:05 pm


By the way, it's not Korea, it's GEPIK (which I understand is a government program).  We are not slaves.


Seriously? Slaves?  You said you weren't whining, but I'd have to disagree.  You are comparing the banning of alcohol at a work function to slavery.  So do you also feel like a slave because you can't drink alcohol at school?

Wow, you completely missed the point.  Read the quote above what I said (the portion that you quoted).  I was referring to him saying that Korea owes us nothing.
Sorry, I guess I missed your point.  I still don't see the slavery connection, though.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: singletrackmind on April 20, 2011, 03:51:28 pm
I think Korean teachers are being too nice to native teachers..
Korea treat you too nice.
Honestly, where? which country you go and they treat you well??
Hey Native teachers, if you want to complain of small this and that than there is 1 good answer.
Just leave Korea and please don't come back!!!

Please, there's no room for nationalism on this forum.  I understand that you are Korean and have your opinions; that's fine.  All people are welcome on Waygook.org (Waygookins and Hangookins alike). 

I think for the most part, people have been fairly polite on this thread, with some exceptions.  Please don't turn this into a "Get out of Korea" or other kind of thread.

And if this person is by chance in a position to hire or have some influence over the hiring of FTs, I'd very much like to know how he would go about doing it, and whether he would prefer a mature teacher with lots of experience or a very young inexperienced one.
I'm actually in the process of starting my own hakwon.  I really wish it was possible to see real names because this site would be great for weeding out the undesirable applicants!  To answer your question, I'm definitely looking for more mature teachers who would know how to represent their respective countries. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: elzoog on April 20, 2011, 03:53:53 pm
How about this as evidence that NETs are childish?

It's been two days almost and this thread is still active.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 03:55:49 pm
I'm actually in the process of starting my own hakwon.  I really wish it was possible to see real names because this site would be great for weeding out the undesirable applicants!  To answer your question, I'm definitely looking for more mature teachers who would know how to represent their respective countries.

Well, then I'd advise against trying to tell them what they can and can't do in a hotel room *after* work, lol.

Good luck with the search. The local GnB in my town bucked the trend and hired a 50-something who's married to a Korean and wanted to experience more of her culture. I've heard nothing but good things about him. Pity GEPIK probably wouldn't even look at him.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: flasyb on April 20, 2011, 03:57:28 pm

Quote
I'm actually in the process of starting my own hakwon.  I really wish it was possible to see real names because this site would be great for weeding out the undesirable applicants!  To answer your question, I'm definitely looking for more mature teachers who would know how to represent their respective countries

Send some personal messages to people who catch your eye. There does seem to be a majority of public school people on this site though.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: singletrackmind on April 20, 2011, 04:01:26 pm
I'm actually in the process of starting my own hakwon.  I really wish it was possible to see real names because this site would be great for weeding out the undesirable applicants!  To answer your question, I'm definitely looking for more mature teachers who would know how to represent their respective countries.

Well, then I'd advise against trying to tell them what they can and can't do in a hotel room *after* work, lol.

Good luck with the search. The local GnB in my town bucked the trend and hired a 50-something who's married to a Korean and wanted to experience more of her culture. I've heard nothing but good things about him. Pity GEPIK probably wouldn't even look at him.


Send some personal messages to people who catch your eye. There does seem to be a majority of public school people on this site though.

Thanks.  Most of the better teachers I've met are over 40.  It's too bad the public schools don't see it the same way, but that's their business. 

Flasyb, that's a good idea.  There are definitely a few people on this site that have caught my attention!  We're not all bad LOL.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 20, 2011, 04:23:11 pm
Thanks.  Most of the better teachers I've met are over 40.  It's too bad the public schools don't see it the same way, but that's their business. 

Many of the public schools do in fact want a more mature, and especially more experienced, teacher. It's the morons in the hiring departments and / or their higher-ups in organisations like GIPEK who prefer young newbies.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: hunterst on April 20, 2011, 04:30:55 pm
Younger teachers can get paid less, therefore are more desirable.  I do wonder what about this job is attractive to older people though, the pay is good for fresh out of college, but not that great beyond that.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: cruisemonkey on April 20, 2011, 04:40:53 pm
Under that interpretation I should get overtime.  Overtime is a whopping 7,000won/her (for non-teaching hours).  Under that theory, since I am under their direct control (as opposed to my normal life in which I still conduct myself in a reputable manner 24/7), I should be paid from 10am Monday to 11am Wednesday.  That's 49 hours.  Subtract my normal 24 hours (8/day).  I should get 25 hours of overtime, or 175,000 won.

The clause in your contract that specifies W7,000/hr. for non-instructional overtime is null and void because it does not meet the minimum under the Korean Labor Standards Act.

You should get 25 hours of overtime at 1.5 times your regular rate of pay.
 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: eigenfuzzy on April 20, 2011, 04:52:01 pm
Some of this has been said before, but I doubt all of it, so here it goes:

The reason the rule exists is because of previous incidents where a bunch of kids right out of college continued to act like a bunch of kids right out of college.  The first ban on drinking at orientation happened a couple of years ago due to a bunch of irresponsible individuals creating serious problems.  When I went to orientation last October, drinking was allowed again--but no soju.  Guess what?  Despite clearly marked (and plentiful) trashcans and signs IN ENGLISH, the grounds were a mess the next day.  The people who were hired to help do administrative tasks must have felt like babysitters when they politely asked people to go to their rooms at the time mentioned on the schedule--12am.  Many people just moved to another location, drank more, and did anything they could to NOT go to bed like responsible adults at a decent hour.  The administrative babysitting team had to continue to cajole a nontrivial number of holdouts to get the hell in bed. 

Now, this year alcohol is not allowed again.  This is NOT because of the majority of individuals who can act responsibly, but because of a smaller but shockingly large contingent of people who simply would not act responsibly.  GEPIK has banned alcohol before, let it return but in a more controlled manner, and now has made the (in my opinion) right decision to get rid of it again.  It's only three days (actually, closer to 48 hours) so put on your proverbial big-girl panties and deal with it.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Mitchell on April 22, 2011, 10:32:47 am
9 full pages on this topic. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jrwhite82 on April 22, 2011, 10:37:55 am
9 full pages on this topic. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

But one page worth is just people remarking on how many pages this thread is.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: thepeoplestrust on April 22, 2011, 10:47:48 am
I don't know if this has already been said in previous posts but my co-teacher is currently on the training/orientation for Korean co-teachers. In light of this thread I asked her if there was alcohol available to them and she said no. It would appear that the policy of no-alcohol at orientation does not discriminate against foreign teachers. Even the Korean teachers are no longer allowed to drink on orientation. You cannot get fairer than that.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 22, 2011, 11:07:54 am
I don't know if this has already been said in previous posts but my co-teacher is currently on the training/orientation for Korean co-teachers. In light of this thread I asked her if there was alcohol available to them and she said no. It would appear that the policy of no-alcohol at orientation does not discriminate against foreign teachers. Even the Korean teachers are no longer allowed to drink on orientation. You cannot get fairer than that.

Overnight?

Banned or not available?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: thepeoplestrust on April 22, 2011, 11:12:50 am
I don't know if this has already been said in previous posts but my co-teacher is currently on the training/orientation for Korean co-teachers. In light of this thread I asked her if there was alcohol available to them and she said no. It would appear that the policy of no-alcohol at orientation does not discriminate against foreign teachers. Even the Korean teachers are no longer allowed to drink on orientation. You cannot get fairer than that.

Overnight?

Banned or not available?

It's a two night training session in a facility near Bundang. I will check with her but I would think it is not available and the only way to get any would be to leave the premises. If the facility is anything like the one used for training the 2nd year+ NTs last December, it is likely to be located in the middle of nowhere.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NMonk on April 22, 2011, 12:07:58 pm
All the more reason to allow alcohol.

Allow us responsible ones to have a pleasant time and weed out the irresponsible ones (under penalty of firing).

agreed
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 22, 2011, 12:44:09 pm
I don't know if this has already been said in previous posts but my co-teacher is currently on the training/orientation for Korean co-teachers. In light of this thread I asked her if there was alcohol available to them and she said no. It would appear that the policy of no-alcohol at orientation does not discriminate against foreign teachers. Even the Korean teachers are no longer allowed to drink on orientation. You cannot get fairer than that.

Overnight?

Banned or not available?

It's a two night training session in a facility near Bundang. I will check with her but I would think it is not available and the only way to get any would be to leave the premises. If the facility is anything like the one used for training the 2nd year+ NTs last December, it is likely to be located in the middle of nowhere.

I'm guessing no one cares if they bring along some beer to drink while they play poker *in their own* hotel rooms.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: ne0ica on April 22, 2011, 01:14:07 pm
Guys,

Maybe some of you should be asking yourself why this is so important to you. Seriously, can no English teacher last a day or two without a drink in Korea.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: rahzel on April 22, 2011, 01:29:17 pm
Some of this has been said before, but I doubt all of it, so here it goes:

The reason the rule exists is because of previous incidents where a bunch of kids right out of college continued to act like a bunch of kids right out of college.  The first ban on drinking at orientation happened a couple of years ago due to a bunch of irresponsible individuals creating serious problems.  When I went to orientation last October, drinking was allowed again--but no soju.  Guess what?  Despite clearly marked (and plentiful) trashcans and signs IN ENGLISH, the grounds were a mess the next day.  The people who were hired to help do administrative tasks must have felt like babysitters when they politely asked people to go to their rooms at the time mentioned on the schedule--12am.  Many people just moved to another location, drank more, and did anything they could to NOT go to bed like responsible adults at a decent hour.  The administrative babysitting team had to continue to cajole a nontrivial number of holdouts to get the hell in bed. 

Now, this year alcohol is not allowed again.  This is NOT because of the majority of individuals who can act responsibly, but because of a smaller but shockingly large contingent of people who simply would not act responsibly.  GEPIK has banned alcohol before, let it return but in a more controlled manner, and now has made the (in my opinion) right decision to get rid of it again.  It's only three days (actually, closer to 48 hours) so put on your proverbial big-girl panties and deal with it.

I've noticed that the majority of ESL teachers didn't drink or get their "drinking license" like a normal person would - in college. They go all out and look like fools once they come to Korea.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: ne0ica on April 22, 2011, 01:37:04 pm
Some of my friends here in their early 30's appear to have reverted to their college drinking day habits. Korea appears to give westerners a licence to revert to behaving like teenagers again.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: n00b on April 22, 2011, 03:52:33 pm
Wow.

There's been a whole lot of name calling, hyperbole, repetition, and poor English bouncing around on this thread, and even though I'm a n00b (note the name), I feel like I should say something in defense of my fresh-from-college cohorts and our displeasure with this new policy. First, though, let's clear some other things up:

1. We have rights; drinking at our paid and required orientation is not one of them.
2. There is a double standard pertaining to our treatment re alcohol consumption at training events. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been here for longer than a week.
3. Some people cause problems, some don't. This does not really have much to do with age or experience.
4. GEPIK orientation, from this humble American's experience, is often poorly scheduled, inadequately staffed, and all around unhelpful.
5. Many of us are immature, inexperienced, and here for various reasons that have little to do with teaching. This is largely GEPIK's fault.
6. Many of us (regardless of age, maturity, or experience) really suck at English enough to make us suck as English teachers.

With that settled, let's get on to why I think I have a right to be bummed about a dry orientation.

I've only been here seven months, but my school is suggesting that I might need to go to another orientation a couple of months before the end of my contract. That's ridiculous. My first orientation, which came too late as to be helpful, only reiterated things I had already learned, either on the job or just existing in Korea. The most valuable experiences I had at that orientation came after the lectures and required play-time on the schedule. Sure, I got hammered drunk. But, as those here who consume on the regular know, it's usually not the professional drinkers who get out of control at sanctioned drinking events; it's those teetotalers who don't know their boundaries, the people who say "I don't usually drink, but what could it hurt?" who end up defecating from a flagpole at 2 A.M.

Sorry. I got off topic. What I was trying to say, before my inner alcoholic interrupted to defend himself, was that the evening festivities were where I really learned some stuff. It was the time when we all let our guards down for a little, met new people, talked shop, traded stories. It was by far the most valuable time spent during those two and a half days. Would it have happened if we hadn't been drinking? Of course, to a certain extent. But I doubt many of us would have gotten as much out of it if we hadn't been at least a little socially lubed. Also, let the record show that this drunk stayed up 'til five, didn't cause any trouble, and made it to every required lecture on time. And he participated 'n stuff.

OK, I've wasted far too much of your time (although if you made it this far in the thread, you obviously have plenty of time to waste), so I'll finish up my rant. It's true that, while we may not want to, we do represent our home countries and NETs as a whole. It's not really up to us. Complaining about it is like when professional athletes say that they don't want to be seen as role models. They are. It's part of the job. So we've got to deal with that. And those news stories about GEPIK being some sort of western bacchanalia make the PR issue pretty clear. GEPIK has to deal with that. What I'm really getting at is this: we don't have a right to drink at orientation, but we have a right to be bummed that we can't.

Peace
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 22, 2011, 03:55:18 pm
Guys,

Maybe some of you should be asking yourself why this is so important to you. Seriously, can no English teacher last a day or two without a drink in Korea.

It's a very simple matter of principle: I do not want to work for an employer who tells me what perfectly legal activities I can and can't do outside work hours. Let's say that they banned exercise. Fine, I can go two or three days without working out or jogging and often do. But their mere act of telling me what to do AFTER training sessions are over would make me feel like getting my own hotel room so I could go for a jog after every day of training.

If they want to tell me what I can and can't do 24 hours a day then pay me for 24 hours a day. If not then bugger off out of my life when training's over.

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 22, 2011, 03:56:55 pm
1. We have rights; drinking at our paid and required orientation is not one of them.

No, actually doing what legal activities we like in our unpaid time is in fact one of our rights.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: RatnaMH on April 22, 2011, 04:05:11 pm
Let me just reiterate....

Why is socializing and drinking hand in hand these?

Why is this "lube* even necessary to facilitate people getting together and talking?

Whatever happened to people coming together because of other social *lubes* like mutual interests, survival etc?

Maybe this is the way the world works now  I suppose...

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: n00b on April 22, 2011, 04:11:40 pm
1. We have rights; drinking at our paid and required orientation is not one of them.

No, actually doing what legal activities we like in our unpaid time is in fact one of our rights.

Listen,

I don't think I'm being too unreasonable. For one, someone earlier said that his school paid him overtime for going on his orientation. Maybe yours would do the same if you asked them. Maybe mine would, too.

I'm all for protecting the rights that we deserve, but in addition to paying for our working hours during the trip, GEPIK is also supplying meals, transportation, and accommodation. They don't have the right to tell us not to drink, but they have the right to restrict us from drinking in what are, legally, their rooms. I don't want to get into the whole thing about not letting us leave (especially since it was a total non-issue for me; my orientation was out in the middle of nowhere), but if they pay for the rooms and for our stay at the resort/hotel, I'm pretty sure they have a say in what we do there. I'm not a lawyer, though, so maybe I'm wrong.

Enough of this, though. Let's stop arguing about drinking and actually do it. It's Friday.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 22, 2011, 04:31:56 pm
1. We have rights; drinking at our paid and required orientation is not one of them.

No, actually doing what legal activities we like in our unpaid time is in fact one of our rights.

Listen,

I don't think I'm being too unreasonable. For one, someone earlier said that his school paid him overtime for going on his orientation. Maybe yours would do the same if you asked them. Maybe mine would, too.

I'm all for protecting the rights that we deserve, but in addition to paying for our working hours during the trip, GEPIK is also supplying meals, transportation, and accommodation. They don't have the right to tell us not to drink, but they have the right to restrict us from drinking in what are, legally, their rooms. I don't want to get into the whole thing about not letting us leave (especially since it was a total non-issue for me; my orientation was out in the middle of nowhere), but if they pay for the rooms and for our stay at the resort/hotel, I'm pretty sure they have a say in what we do there. I'm not a lawyer, though, so maybe I'm wrong.

Enough of this, though. Let's stop arguing about drinking and actually do it. It's Friday.

I've still got time to kill until my evening (yes, Friday evening) class starts. So, this is not the military and we are not on duty. If they want to drag people out somewhere then of course they need to provide accomodation. What happens inside that accomodation is none of their business, just like what I do in my own house (which my school owns) is none of my school's business. Of course, some teachers abuse such things. I knew of one English camp teacher who started smashing the furniture in his own apartment for kicks. Yes, he was very, very drunk. However, that doesn't mean that the school district can impose an alcohol ban inside my house. In fact, they can't even enter without my permission.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 22, 2011, 04:33:32 pm
I don't want to get into the whole thing about not letting us leave

Well, see, that's the thing...
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: adamwatch on April 22, 2011, 04:36:53 pm
You must remember that "Democracy" is less than 30 years old here. They (the Koreans) are used to be told what to do.

Adam
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NZ4Life on April 24, 2011, 12:41:08 am
Listen,

I don't think I'm being too unreasonable. For one, someone earlier said that his school paid him overtime for going on his orientation. Maybe yours would do the same if you asked them. Maybe mine would, too.

I'm all for protecting the rights that we deserve, but in addition to paying for our working hours during the trip, GEPIK is also supplying meals, transportation, and accommodation. They don't have the right to tell us not to drink, but they have the right to restrict us from drinking in what are, legally, their rooms. I don't want to get into the whole thing about not letting us leave (especially since it was a total non-issue for me; my orientation was out in the middle of nowhere), but if they pay for the rooms and for our stay at the resort/hotel, I'm pretty sure they have a say in what we do there. I'm not a lawyer, though, so maybe I'm wrong.

Enough of this, though. Let's stop arguing about drinking and actually do it. It's Friday.



this thread is probably worn-out but i think this has to be said as the following has not really been expressed, but [i feel] is really important to understand.

see this is the thing.... when we look at things in terms of "rights," we're still looking at things in a "western" point of view (and understandably so, since we ARE westerners.) i'm going to try to explain this from a "korean" point of view, and i may be butchering a few things but nonetheless, here i go: when you talk about "defending rights," you are essentially choosing to uphold some abstract idea rather than respecting the preexisting structure of relationships. abstract ideas to many traditional/contemporary koreans are COLD AND LIFELESS, as may value the structure and warmth of human relationships. this is precisely the reason there are a lot of rulings/decisions which may not make logical sense but are made instead to preserve relationships we may have amongst each other (waegook/native, teacher/co-teacher, etc. whatever.)

think about when you were young and when you fought with your siblings (if you don't have any just try to imagine.) when you and your siblings fought, no matter who was wrong/right sometimes, BOTH of you got in trouble for bickering even tho clearly one was being a bigger jerk than the other; your parents probably made you get along and accept their decision on shutting you both up and forcing you to apologize to each other because they felt that the relationship between you two was more important than some abstract/individualistic idea of who was right and who was wrong. maybe even some of you saw the value in this when you got older and grew closer as a result of accepting the discipline that contradicted your individual sense of justice. this is typically how korean authority works, and why "rulings" often defy/threaten our sense of "rights" and logic. it's RELATIONSHIPS that matter, NOT ABSTRACT RIGHTS.

to me this makes perfect sense. take the united states for instance in which "rights" or upheld for the smallest disputes. you go through some taxing, high-cost, legal/bureaucratic process and essentially sever whatever sort of organic relationship/means of dispute you may have with the accused through the heated discussions/analysis of these abstract "rights," often even involving third parties who had nothing to do with the dispute to begin with. yes your rights are upheld but people are not necessarily told to play nice, nor does the ruling necessarily enforce such actions. one can even argue you grow further apart from your fellow man in this whole mess.

i know many of  you think "well.... i'm not Korean." imo, this is laziness, ignorance, or flat out defiance, but do what you want. i'm sorry if you think i'm a "nationalist" for trying to play by their "rules" but i honestly think a lot of us have forgot that this is THEIR country, and the Korean citizen is our employer as it is THEIR tax payer money that lines our pockets. their decision for this particular affair may contradict logic our whatever western ideals we may possess, but in the end, authorities are trying to uphold the organic/"real" relationships amongst korea's inhabitants rather than cave to cold abstract ideals, in a KOREAN way. if you can understand that, try not to take things so personal while your out here and put the individuality thing aside every once in a while. it's just liquor, there are bigger things to worry about.

You must remember that "Democracy" is less than 30 years old here. They (the Koreans) are used to be told what to do.

Adam

i'm not sure what you're implying by this. i know of no country that practices pure democracy. most "western" countries exercise a form of representative democracy, but none are ever pure democracies. lastly, EVERYONE does what they are told to do. even the notion of individuality and democracy is something you were "told to do." what? do you think Koreans are robots without impulses, private thoughts or feelings?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 24, 2011, 07:32:32 am
xblindx, you make a strong case.  However, it is wrong of you to say rights are cold and abstract while relationships are warm and real.  You don't seem to have much basis for this assignment of characteristics.

Relationships are just as cold and abstract, then.  Relationships exist because they serve your interest.  All relationships do, both Korean and Western.  I've heard plenty about how in Korea, the emphasis on relationships involves reciprocity.  You do something for them, so that later they may do something for you.

I'm not saying this is inherently wrong. If it works for you, that's fine. However, it seems that your holding Korean values above Western ones.  Isn't that just as bad as what your accusing Westerners of?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jrwhite82 on April 24, 2011, 10:10:07 am
xblindx, you make a strong case.  However, it is wrong of you to say rights are cold and abstract while relationships are warm and real.  You don't seem to have much basis for this assignment of characteristics.

Relationships are just as cold and abstract, then.  Relationships exist because they serve your interest.  All relationships do, both Korean and Western.  I've heard plenty about how in Korea, the emphasis on relationships involves reciprocity.  You do something for them, so that later they may do something for you.

I'm not saying this is inherently wrong. If it works for you, that's fine. However, it seems that your holding Korean values above Western ones.  Isn't that just as bad as what your accusing Westerners of?

Well I think he is being appropriate, in that we are in Korea, not the West.  So it's not a matter of holding one over the other.  It's a matter of applying the appropriate set of values to the culture you are living in.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: NZ4Life on April 24, 2011, 10:27:20 am
xblindx, you make a strong case.  However, it is wrong of you to say rights are cold and abstract while relationships are warm and real.  You don't seem to have much basis for this assignment of characteristics.

Relationships are just as cold and abstract, then.  Relationships exist because they serve your interest.  All relationships do, both Korean and Western.  I've heard plenty about how in Korea, the emphasis on relationships involves reciprocity.  You do something for them, so that later they may do something for you.

I'm not saying this is inherently wrong. If it works for you, that's fine. However, it seems that your holding Korean values above Western ones.  Isn't that just as bad as what your accusing Westerners of?

Well I think he is being appropriate, in that we are in Korea, not the West.  So it's not a matter of holding one over the other.  It's a matter of applying the appropriate set of values to the culture you are living in.
this.

thank you for understanding.


i think a lot of us think that because they look like us (american/euro fashion), are trying hard to adopt english, are using a somewhat representative democracy for their system of government, eat our food, and are familiar with western pop culture, we should hold them to the same set of morals and conduct. this is precisely wrong. THEY get to decide that, not us, and no amount of whining and sense of entitlement is going to change that.  of all the things i just mentioned every single one of them has been modified to fit korean culture, in their own image. moreover would you go into say... zimbabwe, israel or india and judge them for NOT thinking the way we do? or would you play by their rules to get around/survive/whatever much better?

don't get me wrong, i do absolutely agree with the point that "relationships" can be just as cold and abstract, but that's under a western microscope/basis and presumptions of individual "life, liberty, pursuit/property" and logical positivism. if you try to understand it within the notion of "filial piety" or "confucianism" (the prevalent value system) then their actions hold water and make COMPLETE sense. this is not to say however, their system of beliefs are better; my point is just that this is the prevalent standard. i just think it's funny when people put confucianism under trial in a country where they have little to no jurisdiction. this thread has turned into a people's court which has absolutely no bearing since a) the people holding discussion are not citizens, and b) most are using standards which have little to no application in a country founded in eastern values. imo, you'd do better to understand their way of thinking to get what YOU want, instead of beating your fist on a stone wall of western values in an eastern country. the faster you understand that you're not in kansas anymore, the more comfortable you'll be living here.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Browncoat Japhy on April 24, 2011, 12:36:14 pm
I am at an EPIK orientation right now and we have to be in by midnight and there is no alcohol allowed on the property!!! Since we are alcoholics we are having to literally run from class to the bar to get tossed before 12. It's super weak.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 26, 2011, 03:50:26 pm
Despite being a non-drinker, I'm with the people who are for there being no restrictions, and I'm curious as to whether or not the same no-alcohol restrictions apply to the Korean camp coordinators and facility staff...it'd be interesting to that out, I think...

At the ones I've been at it seems as though the younger teachers pretty well have no choice but to drink. Which most are quite happy to do.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Burndog on April 27, 2011, 03:23:24 pm
Despite being a non-drinker, I'm with the people who are for there being no restrictions, and I'm curious as to whether or not the same no-alcohol restrictions apply to the Korean camp coordinators and facility staff...it'd be interesting to find that out, I think...

The same restrictions do apply to all YBM and GEPIK staff at the Orientation this year.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: cruisemonkey on April 27, 2011, 06:14:00 pm
The same restrictions do apply to all YBM and GEPIK staff at the Orientation this year.
Please enlighten me. What does YBM have to do with GEPIK?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jrwhite82 on April 27, 2011, 06:29:34 pm
Aren't they the company that hosts the event?  (provides facilities, hosts, cooks, cleaning, etc...)
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: bonnieflares on April 27, 2011, 07:16:34 pm
I was at the last orientation and they made a huge deal about how we could drink a couple of beers after 9pm in the garden/convenience store area...but we had to be in bed by 10 (in our own rooms), and no drinking was to be allowed after that. I thought it was a little ridiculous. Some of us went out to the field to drink and talk but it was freezing and we were afraid they would lock us out, so we went to 1 room. Of course 20 people in 1 room can be a little noisy but it wasn't bad and yet we were yelled at and she looked soooo mad and disappointed by the constant "failure" of the foreigners. I just think it is so hypocritical when our school hands out drinks DURING SCHOOL AFTERNOONS right after the children leave. And then the drunken faculty dinners where I am harassed openly by at least 2 of the older male teachers after they drink too much and get pissed if I don't drink with them. Gee, force me to drink when I don't want to because it's YOUR CULTURE and I have to respect that, but don't let the foreigners have some drinks and mingle with each other/get to know each other when they want to. Let's not respect WESTERN CULTURE. It's ridiculous but there isn't anything you can really do about it. Go, try to have a good time, and be thankful that western culture has progressed past this phase. I certainly appreciate a lot more about the US since I've been in Korea.  You ever see how the block out smoking on movies? It's funny since I've met more smokers in Korea than back home!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: jgmenator on April 27, 2011, 07:27:14 pm
The same restrictions do apply to all YBM and GEPIK staff at the Orientation this year.
Please enlighten me. What does YBM have to do with GEPIK?

If you were at the orientations, you'd know...
YBM is hosting the actual event, meaning they are responsible for all the technology, the bookings, the clean-up staff, the meals, and all that good stuff.
They have their own office at the resort and the GEPIK folks told us multiple times if there were any problems with the facilities (internet, rooms, etc), please talk to them.

I just got back from the elementary orientation today. I quite liked it. A little dry, yes, but I'm being paid so it evens out.
It was a great way to meet some new folks and talk shop for a bit.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: TylerO on April 27, 2011, 07:51:07 pm
I was at the last orientation and they made a huge deal about how we could drink a couple of beers after 9pm in the garden/convenience store area...but we had to be in bed by 10 (in our own rooms), and no drinking was to be allowed after that. I thought it was a little ridiculous. Some of us went out to the field to drink and talk but it was freezing and we were afraid they would lock us out, so we went to 1 room. Of course 20 people in 1 room can be a little noisy but it wasn't bad and yet we were yelled at and she looked soooo mad and disappointed by the constant "failure" of the foreigners. I just think it is so hypocritical when our school hands out drinks DURING SCHOOL AFTERNOONS right after the children leave. And then the drunken faculty dinners where I am harassed openly by at least 2 of the older male teachers after they drink too much and get pissed if I don't drink with them. Gee, force me to drink when I don't want to because it's YOUR CULTURE and I have to respect that, but don't let the foreigners have some drinks and mingle with each other/get to know each other when they want to. Let's not respect WESTERN CULTURE. It's ridiculous but there isn't anything you can really do about it. Go, try to have a good time, and be thankful that western culture has progressed past this phase. I certainly appreciate a lot more about the US since I've been in Korea.  You ever see how the block out smoking on movies? It's funny since I've met more smokers in Korea than back home!

Was gonna leave this thread alone, but since it just won't die, figure I may as well speak out.  Not gonna say I'm necessarily a proponent of the new rules, but really, I've been at orientations and job trips back in the states where drinking rules were much more strict.  As in: people got caught drinking and being up past curfew and got let go.  Rather than  finding 20 people in one small room drinking and being given the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.  Of course she looked disappointed: you guys did something directly opposing the rules you were given, and it probably reflected badly on her.  I really don't see how those rules are reflective of Korean culture...I mean yeah, you don't like those rules, but one organization having a few rules about curfew and drinking during training time is NOT a portrayal of an entire culture,

Also, you can always say "no" to drinking at school.  I'm sure you were told about either offering other people to pour you water, or just pretending to sip the soju. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: H.W. on April 27, 2011, 08:18:46 pm
If there is one thing that has not been mentioned on this thread (and I read all 10 pages like a trooper with absolutely no social life) it's that in the context of Korean culture, we are all collectively responsible when a member of our group misbehaves.  All foreign teachers lose face and the respect of Koreans when seen to be behaving like drunken louts with no thought and concern for others.  In the same way that my co-teacher has lectured a class of fifth graders about how their bad behaviour in my class makes all Korean students look bad, and casts their entire NATION in a negative light, the same standard is applied to us.  We are all drunk and puking like morons at the GEPIK orientation if one of us is.  Doesn't matter if you have been here for 10 years or ten hours.  You represent your country, your family, and your entire socio-cultural milieu with every great class you deliver, and every rude remark you shout from a roof when drunk.  Take it or leave it, but that's the way it is in Korea.  Our Western minds may fail to grasp this notion of collective responsibility, but it's an aspect of Korean culture that I have a great deal of respect for.  It's part of what leads them to be deeply concerned about others, not to say that it doesn't lead to negative outcomes, but the spirit of it is something worth considering, in my mind.  I work hard and behave to the best of my ability with high character and morality, because that is how teachers must be seen in this culture.  What you do behind closed doors is your own business, but when you are out and about, at orientation, on the street or wherever, you are not just putting your name on everything you say and do.  You sign your name something like this:

"H.W., son of H.W. Sr., Canadian, Westerner."

I represent all of those constituencies, and thus I am responsible for the image of the members of everyone of them.  And so are you.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 27, 2011, 08:28:43 pm
I was at the last orientation and they made a huge deal about how we could drink a couple of beers after 9pm in the garden/convenience store area...but we had to be in bed by 10 (in our own rooms), and no drinking was to be allowed after that. I thought it was a little ridiculous. Some of us went out to the field to drink and talk but it was freezing and we were afraid they would lock us out, so we went to 1 room. Of course 20 people in 1 room can be a little noisy but it wasn't bad and yet we were yelled at and she looked soooo mad and disappointed by the constant "failure" of the foreigners. I just think it is so hypocritical when our school hands out drinks DURING SCHOOL AFTERNOONS right after the children leave. And then the drunken faculty dinners where I am harassed openly by at least 2 of the older male teachers after they drink too much and get pissed if I don't drink with them. Gee, force me to drink when I don't want to because it's YOUR CULTURE and I have to respect that, but don't let the foreigners have some drinks and mingle with each other/get to know each other when they want to. Let's not respect WESTERN CULTURE. It's ridiculous but there isn't anything you can really do about it. Go, try to have a good time, and be thankful that western culture has progressed past this phase. I certainly appreciate a lot more about the US since I've been in Korea.  You ever see how the block out smoking on movies? It's funny since I've met more smokers in Korea than back home!

Was gonna leave this thread alone, but since it just won't die, figure I may as well speak out.  Not gonna say I'm necessarily a proponent of the new rules, but really, I've been at orientations and job trips back in the states where drinking rules were much more strict.  As in: people got caught drinking and being up past curfew and got let go.  Rather than  finding 20 people in one small room drinking and being given the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.  Of course she looked disappointed: you guys did something directly opposing the rules you were given, and it probably reflected badly on her.  I really don't see how those rules are reflective of Korean culture...I mean yeah, you don't like those rules, but one organization having a few rules about curfew and drinking during training time is NOT a portrayal of an entire culture,

Also, you can always say "no" to drinking at school.  I'm sure you were told about either offering other people to pour you water, or just pretending to sip the soju.

What they hell kind of American orientation sessions are these? Jehovah's Witness and Southern Baptist conventions? How in America can any company tell you what legal things you can't do outside work without paying you for being on duty?
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Burndog on April 27, 2011, 08:31:17 pm
The same restrictions do apply to all YBM and GEPIK staff at the Orientation this year.
Please enlighten me. What does YBM have to do with GEPIK?

I'm happy to enlighten you...GEPIK hire YBM to organise the Orientation.  This means that there are YBM staff on hand to work with the technology and equipment, as well as staff to assist with the guest speakers and the teachers attending the Orientation.  I'm sorry that I wasn't more clear about what I meant, I assumed that people reading this thread would be GEPIK teachers who have attended an Orientation, or other training camp, in the last two years.  Sorry about that!  I realise that YBM is quite a big company, and most of us here would probably be more familiar with their ESL business, so I should have been a little more clear!

Sorry if I caused any confusion.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Gillod on April 27, 2011, 09:50:34 pm
Here's the thing plain and simple: For like 5 years, they let people drink and do whatever they wanted.  For 5 years, people acted like children, made an enormous mess, got sick and one dude even got his stomach pumped. For 5 years, people made fools of themselves- Is it any small wonder that they put their foot down?

Look, you might be a grown up and a responsible drinker, but your 2-300 orientation mates might not be. For 2 days, get over it and pull it together. WHen you all get off the bus in Seoul, head over to Ho Bar and have a great time. Problem solved,
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: TylerO on April 27, 2011, 10:02:21 pm


What they hell kind of American orientation sessions are these? Jehovah's Witness and Southern Baptist conventions? How in America can any company tell you what legal things you can't do outside work without paying you for being on duty?

Orientations and small jobs where I'm getting paid for, under contract, residing in company-paid housing, and expected to be in a position of responsibility.  Think RA training, working at tradeshows basically all day, etc.  The contract is the key part there, just like EPIK.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 28, 2011, 07:37:44 am


What they hell kind of American orientation sessions are these? Jehovah's Witness and Southern Baptist conventions? How in America can any company tell you what legal things you can't do outside work without paying you for being on duty?

Orientations and small jobs where I'm getting paid for, under contract, residing in company-paid housing, and expected to be in a position of responsibility.  Think RA training, working at tradeshows basically all day, etc.  The contract is the key part there, just like EPIK.

Except that you're not, in fact, getting paid to be on duty 24/7 but nevertheless expected to act as though you were.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: ame on April 28, 2011, 07:44:42 am
Except that you're not, in fact, getting paid to be on duty 24/7 but nevertheless expected to act as though you were.

Oh, FFS!  Have some self-respect.  Try to show a little decorum.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: ohyeawonderful on April 28, 2011, 07:48:38 am
That is too bad. It seems that drinking is a part of the social/ workplace (ish) in Korea anyway. At least, I mean, at teachers dinners I have never not been offered multiple drinks and shots. We have all finished college... we can handle some drinks.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 28, 2011, 07:49:37 am
Except that you're not, in fact, getting paid to be on duty 24/7 but nevertheless expected to act as though you were.

Oh, FFS!  Have some self-respect.  Try to show a little decorum.

Which is exactly why I avoid anything EPIK-related like the plague.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: conorsean on April 28, 2011, 07:56:55 am
It's also banned at most football (soccer for the Americans), underage discos, a lot of public places such as parks and stuff, in most cinemas, and the Houses of Parliament or the Senate.

Never stopped anyone else before.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Gillod on April 28, 2011, 08:00:24 am
That is too bad. It seems that drinking is a part of the social/ workplace (ish) in Korea anyway. At least, I mean, at teachers dinners I have never not been offered multiple drinks and shots. We have all finished college... we can handle some drinks.

Again, what we're saying is YOU can handle some drinks. But year after year after year, NETs have made complete fools of themselves at these orientations by getting completely and totally wasted. A few bad apples, man. And if other orientations wree anything like the 2 I went to, it wasn't just a few bad apples.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: cruisemonkey on April 28, 2011, 08:08:21 am
I was at the last orientation...but we had to be in bed by 10 (in our own rooms)...
- What time was 'lights out'?
- Did they give you warm milk & cookies?
- Did they issue Dalki or Hello Kitty jammies?
- If you were 'bad' and missed a session, could you be sent to bed without dinner?
... so many questions!  ;)
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: minamteacher on April 28, 2011, 08:33:20 am
This is the most unintentionally hilarious thread on Waygook. Over 200 posts on drinking alcohol at a training event!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 28, 2011, 09:25:30 am
This is the most unintentionally hilarious thread on Waygook. Over 200 posts on drinking alcohol at a training event!

I created a monster.  :D
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Burndog on April 28, 2011, 09:36:52 am

Is the GEPIK/YBM association further proof of GEPIK reducing itself to a hagwon?

Yeah, I have classes of 6 students, all of whom have roughly the same English level.  I work with a few other foreign teachers and a few Korean teachers.  My pay doesn't come in on time most months and I have two weeks worth of vacation that I can take whenever I like.

All this because YBM provided technical and other assistance at their Orientation.

This is the most unintentionally hilarious thread on Waygook. Over 200 posts on drinking alcohol at a training event!

It's over 200 posts on NOT drinking alcohol at a training event!!!  It's mental!

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: randarchy on April 28, 2011, 09:40:37 am
I just finished the EPIK orientation, and alcohol was also banned. Including at the farewell dinner restaurant. However, we had from 9-midnight to get in as much as people could..and I think a lot made use of that!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: JoannaB on April 28, 2011, 10:28:10 am
Thats silly, having a few drinks with people is the best way to get to know people!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: hkg123 on April 28, 2011, 12:48:47 pm
All the more reason to allow alcohol.

Allow us responsible ones to have a pleasant time and weed out the irresponsible ones (under penalty of firing).

Hmm, that's actually kind of a good idea.  Never thought of that.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Davox on April 28, 2011, 01:35:19 pm
All the more reason to allow alcohol.

Allow us responsible ones to have a pleasant time and weed out the irresponsible ones (under penalty of firing).

Hmm, that's actually kind of a good idea.  Never thought of that.

It's a bad idea.  I was a little on the fence before the orientation on the alcohol issue, but having just come back from there, they made absolutely the right call.  Yes, we could allow alcohol, and yes we could just fire the few teachers who act badly...except for a few things.

1) GEPIK can't fire them.  Only the principals can do that, and only for reasons stipulated in the contract, and only after the requisite amount of written warnings, etc.
2) If they do get fired, who's going to teach the children in the meantime?  It costs a lot of time and money to hire one of us...schools are short of both now.  Are they really going to fire someone if they don't know when or even if they can be replaced?
3) Even if they do get fired, what does GEPIK do when the day after, newspapers in Korea run "Foreign Alcoholic Teachers Get Drunk With Students Using Taxpayer Money*" on the front page and GEPIK funding gets cut to fund some other thing...again?  Why do you think GEPIK has had so many funding changes and restructuring recently?  For fun?   Every time one of those articles runs in a paper, we get a little bit closer to the program being ended.  Do you want to go back to working in a Hagwon?  I don't.

Banning alcohol was absolutely the correct call.

*Yes, there were students in the hotel with us.  Hundreds of them. 

BTW Burndog...I really liked your presentation.  It was one of the more useful ones, and definitely one of the most entertaining.  It's a real shame the videos had problems.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: caddycatcat on April 28, 2011, 01:40:21 pm
They only banned it because too many people were getting out of hand.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Chezlinl on April 28, 2011, 01:47:38 pm
I attended the training this past week in Seoul and I am glad that alcohol was banned.
The guest teachers behaved like a pure example of an elementary class. They knew the rules and boundries and worked with in it successfully. There were still a few who "tried to swim up stream" but all~an~all the guide lines were maintained.
I can only imagine what the results would have been if we were allowed to do what we wanted. there were a number of strong willed characters, who if unleashed could have brought the house down.
To all it was a great training and i learnt 100's
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 28, 2011, 01:54:28 pm
All the more reason to allow alcohol.

Allow us responsible ones to have a pleasant time and weed out the irresponsible ones (under penalty of firing).

Hmm, that's actually kind of a good idea.  Never thought of that.

It's a bad idea.  I was a little on the fence before the orientation on the alcohol issue, but having just come back from there, they made absolutely the right call.  Yes, we could allow alcohol, and yes we could just fire the few teachers who act badly...except for a few things.

1) GEPIK can't fire them.  Only the principals can do that, and only for reasons stipulated in the contract, and only after the requisite amount of written warnings, etc.
2) If they do get fired, who's going to teach the children in the meantime?  It costs a lot of time and money to hire one of us...schools are short of both now.  Are they really going to fire someone if they don't know when or even if they can be replaced?
3) Even if they do get fired, what does GEPIK do when the day after, newspapers in Korea run "Foreign Alcoholic Teachers Get Drunk With Students Using Taxpayer Money*" on the front page and GEPIK funding gets cut to fund some other thing...again?  Why do you think GEPIK has had so many funding changes and restructuring recently?  For fun?   Every time one of those articles runs in a paper, we get a little bit closer to the program being ended.  Do you want to go back to working in a Hagwon?  I don't.



To be honest, I was being a bit facetious.

As for point 2, it's a bit unfortunate that schools have to keep these teachers around.  It seems like it's saying to the potential troublemakers, "I'm going to make it impossible for you to expose yourself as the irresponsible person that you are."
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 28, 2011, 01:58:01 pm
Anyways, it wasn't terrible not being able to drink.  I think most people didn't go into withdrawal (I sure didn't) and were still able to unwind at the end of the day and get to know each other.

Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: w4z on April 28, 2011, 02:36:32 pm
People smuggled alcohol into the GEPIK orientation anyway.  One guy was bragging about his suitcase full of soju.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Gunpojohnny on April 28, 2011, 06:17:06 pm
If people did smuggle soju into the orientation I sure didn't notice. There wasn't a lot to do after hours. We did sing like idiots and play ping-pong.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 28, 2011, 06:18:03 pm
If people did smuggle soju into the orientation I sure didn't notice. There wasn't a lot to do after hours. We did sing like idiots and play ping-pong.

Maybe we were in the same noraebang.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: hkg123 on April 28, 2011, 07:02:32 pm
Yeah, out of all of the possible things to be worried about during a GEPIK orientation such as

1)  Will the lectures be useful?
2)  Outside of the lectures, can I get other practical tips?
3)  Will my sleeping accommodations be adequate?
4)  Will the food be good?

The question of being allowed to drink alcohol ranks way up there.   All those other concerns are trivial in comparison.   Especially since the orientation will be a whole 2 or 3 days.   Hardly anybody can stand to do without alcohol for 3 days right?

You don't find it demeaning?

Maybe, but I find it even more demeaning to be in the same group of people (i.e. native teachers) who would have a thing like this be their primary concern.

Personally, I wanted to leave the facility not because I wanted to get drunk, but because I wanted some good pizza.   Although I suppose you could make the argument that I should have the right to do that, I figured that raising a fuss about such a thing wasn't worth it.

The food was gross.  If there had been a pizza place nearby and we weren't allowed to leave, then I'd be pissed, no doubt.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Yu_Bumsuk on April 29, 2011, 07:36:12 am
The food was gross.  If there had been a pizza place nearby and we weren't allowed to leave, then I'd be pissed, no doubt.

The pizza and chicken delivery places will bring you beer - just make sure to ask that it comes in an opaque bag.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: andyfoggy on April 29, 2011, 07:47:32 am
soju too :)
opaque bag applies too
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: fatboy on April 29, 2011, 08:26:10 am
A lot of the new recruits will be fresh out of uni and still in the student mindset. Of course they're going to want to get plastered when they are all put together for 5 days. Those orientations are 90% pointless and could be done in 1-2 days max. I've been to two orientations (1 GEPIK and 1 SMOE), and they were both just a week of mind-numbing lectures by day, and boozing by night. Both times the food was awful, so not allowing people to go outside is harsh.
They really should cut the crap out of the orientations and make it a one-night deal.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Burndog on April 29, 2011, 08:38:21 am
Well...they've cut it down from a full week the first time I did one to two nights...so that's a good start isn't it?  For me, the main thing that I got out of Orientation was friends...and if we had only been there for one night, I don't think those friendships would have been forged...but that's just me.

This thread is like M.A.S.H...it's lasted longer than the battle that it's about!!!
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on April 29, 2011, 09:28:50 am
Yea, the food was less than great; especially breakfast.

Cold sausage, cold eggs, cold french toast.  The stuff wasn't even the slightest bit warm.

and one key to a room was fun.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: w4z on April 29, 2011, 09:35:18 am
2nd day there was no food for the vegetarians  to eat for dinner besides white rice.  (there were quite a few of us there)

The coordinator told us to buy groceries and make our own food...
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: James_Duffy on May 02, 2011, 09:11:11 am
All the more reason to allow alcohol.

Allow us responsible ones to have a pleasant time and weed out the irresponsible ones (under penalty of firing).
Exactly, just be strict and release anyone who acts inappropriate. Simply as that. Not a big deal.
Also must add, top marks for the food and the rooms.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: rach.m on May 02, 2011, 10:40:46 am
Ive just had my orientation, there was only about 30 of us, so relatively small. Although we werent allowed to drink on the premises we could go out in the evening and have a drink. The only time we were told to not drink under any circumstances was the day before we were meeting our co teachers...
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Swillow on May 02, 2011, 10:51:40 am
Most people could go without drinking (give or take) - but absolute prohibition just drives people under the psyche of rebellion. I don't feel an ultimate ban is the way forward, but i understand that some rules should be in place after all the nightmare experiences that have happened before.

The ones who get trashed just ruin it for everyone  :( The recent orientation i was one had a few birthdays - and they were disallowed alc.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: suigeneris on May 02, 2011, 10:59:16 am
In my experience, principals pretty much force you to drink at school dinners and get-togethers so it sure would be weird if they fired someone for drinking at orientation, after training, at the end of the day when we're meant to socialize. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: phathank on May 10, 2011, 06:31:01 pm
Personally, I was glad of the alcohol ban and glad of the curfew. I would undoubtedly have stayed out later and drank more if neither of these had been in effect, and wouldn't have got so much out of the presentations and classes, which were, on the whole, excellent. Also, there were clearly a few idiots on the orientation and if they'd been allowed to drink more/come in later, would have annoyed people a whole lot more.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: piccoloso on May 10, 2011, 07:20:59 pm
I personally think that the no alcohol policy is decent. However, I found this news laughable seeing how at my particular MOE orientation, we had a presenter actually bring in bottles of soju for us to practice drinking etiquette.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: lisafoca on May 10, 2011, 07:57:41 pm
hey,
Im new in Uiryeong, Gyeongnam! does anyone know when is the next orientation? i would like to meet more people and share. :)
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: bonnieflares on May 11, 2011, 12:45:54 pm
I was at the last orientation and they made a huge deal about how we could drink a couple of beers after 9pm in the garden/convenience store area...but we had to be in bed by 10 (in our own rooms), and no drinking was to be allowed after that. I thought it was a little ridiculous. Some of us went out to the field to drink and talk but it was freezing and we were afraid they would lock us out, so we went to 1 room. Of course 20 people in 1 room can be a little noisy but it wasn't bad and yet we were yelled at and she looked soooo mad and disappointed by the constant "failure" of the foreigners. I just think it is so hypocritical when our school hands out drinks DURING SCHOOL AFTERNOONS right after the children leave. And then the drunken faculty dinners where I am harassed openly by at least 2 of the older male teachers after they drink too much and get pissed if I don't drink with them. Gee, force me to drink when I don't want to because it's YOUR CULTURE and I have to respect that, but don't let the foreigners have some drinks and mingle with each other/get to know each other when they want to. Let's not respect WESTERN CULTURE. It's ridiculous but there isn't anything you can really do about it. Go, try to have a good time, and be thankful that western culture has progressed past this phase. I certainly appreciate a lot more about the US since I've been in Korea.  You ever see how the block out smoking on movies? It's funny since I've met more smokers in Korea than back home!

Was gonna leave this thread alone, but since it just won't die, figure I may as well speak out.  Not gonna say I'm necessarily a proponent of the new rules, but really, I've been at orientations and job trips back in the states where drinking rules were much more strict.  As in: people got caught drinking and being up past curfew and got let go.  Rather than  finding 20 people in one small room drinking and being given the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.  Of course she looked disappointed: you guys did something directly opposing the rules you were given, and it probably reflected badly on her.  I really don't see how those rules are reflective of Korean culture...I mean yeah, you don't like those rules, but one organization having a few rules about curfew and drinking during training time is NOT a portrayal of an entire culture,

Also, you can always say "no" to drinking at school.  I'm sure you were told about either offering other people to pour you water, or just pretending to sip the soju.

No, literally, if I ask to have water or not drink they get mad, say something in Korean under their breath and walk away. I have mastered the throw the soju shot into my glass of water while they have their heads back with their shot, but I was told by my co-teacher, that if I was caught doing that, it would be even more disrespectful than telling them 'no.' I guess all-in-all, it doesn't bother me too much and I'm not even a very big drinker, I just get upset when they are so hypocritical.  So many of the faculty get drunk, some puke, and make asses of themselves and even harass me in an inappropriate way (these are mostly male teachers from my school, the female teachers have started protecting me from them at dinners), and this behavior is looked over the next day....nothing is said to them. Drinking is a huge part of their culture and they told me, you never bring up what a person did when they were drunk...because they were drunk. You drink, act dumb, go to work the next day, and move on.  Where, in America, if you acted like that in front of your boss or harassed your co-workers, it would certainly be brought up the next day and you would be judged for it.  So basically, they are judging the foreigners when it comes to drinking but they do not hold their Korean faculty to the same standard. That's what makes me upset.  And even if I don't drink, I don't like being told what to do in my spare time (this was after payment hours.)
Besides Korea, I have only worked at one other company who 'didn't trust' their employees and I couldn't work there very long. I think big kid jobs should come with big kid ideas, like, do your work, do a good job, and then do whatever in your spare time as long as I see you tomorrow for the same awesome work.  Some jobs even let you leave...just leave if you are on salary and you have everything done, as long as you keep your phone with you. I know these are some privileged positions but the concept is nice. Why sit around and do nothing? You should be rewarded for working hard all day, not locked up in a room like a child being disciplined.  I could never be on a sports team. 
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: adrian_s on May 11, 2011, 01:24:40 pm
foreigners getting drunk? you dont say...they should ban alcohol at EPIK orientation too.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: snafuman on June 21, 2011, 06:16:44 am
At the GEPIK Anseong orientation location there was a convenience store that sold any kind of alcohol you could imagine and the GEPIK coordinators would drink there well into the night.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Janitor on June 21, 2011, 08:59:19 am
I was at the last orientation and they made a huge deal about how we could drink a couple of beers after 9pm in the garden/convenience store area...but we had to be in bed by 10 (in our own rooms), and no drinking was to be allowed after that. I thought it was a little ridiculous. Some of us went out to the field to drink and talk but it was freezing and we were afraid they would lock us out, so we went to 1 room. Of course 20 people in 1 room can be a little noisy but it wasn't bad and yet we were yelled at and she looked soooo mad and disappointed by the constant "failure" of the foreigners. I just think it is so hypocritical when our school hands out drinks DURING SCHOOL AFTERNOONS right after the children leave. And then the drunken faculty dinners where I am harassed openly by at least 2 of the older male teachers after they drink too much and get pissed if I don't drink with them. Gee, force me to drink when I don't want to because it's YOUR CULTURE and I have to respect that, but don't let the foreigners have some drinks and mingle with each other/get to know each other when they want to. Let's not respect WESTERN CULTURE. It's ridiculous but there isn't anything you can really do about it. Go, try to have a good time, and be thankful that western culture has progressed past this phase. I certainly appreciate a lot more about the US since I've been in Korea.  You ever see how the block out smoking on movies? It's funny since I've met more smokers in Korea than back home!

Was gonna leave this thread alone, but since it just won't die, figure I may as well speak out.  Not gonna say I'm necessarily a proponent of the new rules, but really, I've been at orientations and job trips back in the states where drinking rules were much more strict.  As in: people got caught drinking and being up past curfew and got let go.  Rather than  finding 20 people in one small room drinking and being given the equivalent of a slap on the wrist.  Of course she looked disappointed: you guys did something directly opposing the rules you were given, and it probably reflected badly on her.  I really don't see how those rules are reflective of Korean culture...I mean yeah, you don't like those rules, but one organization having a few rules about curfew and drinking during training time is NOT a portrayal of an entire culture,

Also, you can always say "no" to drinking at school.  I'm sure you were told about either offering other people to pour you water, or just pretending to sip the soju.

No, literally, if I ask to have water or not drink they get mad, say something in Korean under their breath and walk away. I have mastered the throw the soju shot into my glass of water while they have their heads back with their shot, but I was told by my co-teacher, that if I was caught doing that, it would be even more disrespectful than telling them 'no.' I guess all-in-all, it doesn't bother me too much and I'm not even a very big drinker, I just get upset when they are so hypocritical.  So many of the faculty get drunk, some puke, and make asses of themselves and even harass me in an inappropriate way (these are mostly male teachers from my school, the female teachers have started protecting me from them at dinners), and this behavior is looked over the next day....nothing is said to them. Drinking is a huge part of their culture and they told me, you never bring up what a person did when they were drunk...because they were drunk. You drink, act dumb, go to work the next day, and move on.  Where, in America, if you acted like that in front of your boss or harassed your co-workers, it would certainly be brought up the next day and you would be judged for it.  So basically, they are judging the foreigners when it comes to drinking but they do not hold their Korean faculty to the same standard. That's what makes me upset.  And even if I don't drink, I don't like being told what to do in my spare time (this was after payment hours.)
Besides Korea, I have only worked at one other company who 'didn't trust' their employees and I couldn't work there very long. I think big kid jobs should come with big kid ideas, like, do your work, do a good job, and then do whatever in your spare time as long as I see you tomorrow for the same awesome work.  Some jobs even let you leave...just leave if you are on salary and you have everything done, as long as you keep your phone with you. I know these are some privileged positions but the concept is nice. Why sit around and do nothing? You should be rewarded for working hard all day, not locked up in a room like a child being disciplined.  I could never be on a sports team.

I think that you are missing a bit of the culture in the reason why. The dinners that you are talking about are for the teachers to get to know and trust each other. There is a lot of culture behind the meetings and it goes far deeper than just putting back a shot of soju. A lot has to do with manners and status.

The drinking ban at GEPIK and the rules that they enforce as many others have said, are there because others have broken them in the past. Korea is a very knee-jerk society when it comes to certain issues. Many rules (especially dealing with foreigners) have been slapped down to curtail things like drugs and drinking. Little thought goes into how it reflects on Korean drinking culture because they don't see it as the same thing. They are simply addressing the issue of foreigners drinking too much at the training session, causing problems, and not showing up for their required training.

Furthermore, there is also the point of "Who says it's okay to drink" Most of the time when you drink with the school it is because the Principle says that it is okay. Most of the time when foreigners drink we do it on our own and it simply doesn't jive well with the higher ups. A lot of these problems come from those negative stories that circulate around the offices when one foreigner screws up. It is just how things work here.

You can't judge Korea especially in this case by the standards that you have accepted from abroad. There is no logic in this, it is just simply how problems are solved. Had the foreigners in the past been a little more respectful of the rules back then I feel that they wouldn't be as strict now.

Also, 20 people in a dorm room is a party by my standards. I can see why they would be sort of upset. I know maybe it was a quiet party by your standards but if it was enough for them to come and yell at you, I am sure it was pretty bad.

As for the drinking and refusal, there is no problem. I don't drink at school dinners and they know this. I am not trying to win over anyone, I just politely say that I can't and they leave me alone. In my 8 years here, there has never been an issue and I have even refused the Vice-Mayor on my city at a business lunch. They don't hold grudges if you are polite. Just offer to pour them one, many times that is simply what they are are looking for, a simple gesture to assert their status.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: justanotherwaygook on June 21, 2011, 09:31:09 am
When will this thread die?  Can we lock it now? (coming from the OP)
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Burndog on June 21, 2011, 09:32:00 am
Quote
So basically, they are judging the foreigners when it comes to drinking but they do not hold their Korean faculty to the same standard. That's what makes me upset.  And even if I don't drink, I don't like being told what to do in my spare time (this was after payment hours.)

Actually...no.  I covered this earlier in this thread...but this has nothing to do with trust, and everything to do with use and abuse of taxpayers money.  A reporter wrote about how much drinking and carry on there was at an Orientation last year...and the story was framed as a "the GPOE wastes your money paying people to party" kind of story.  From there the GPOE told GEPIK they had two options...no drinking at Orientation...or no Orientation.  We need to remember that we are on the public purse...if people (in any country) think that their tax money is being squandered...they will get pissy.  That's what happened.  It's not about whether they trust us or not.  It's about the media, and who pays our wages.
Title: Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
Post by: Janitor on June 21, 2011, 10:05:34 am
Thread is now locked at the request of the OP.