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  • NZ4Life
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    • 114

    • March 11, 2011, 12:04:35 pm
    • Gyeonggido, South Korea
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #180 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?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 01:00:40 am by xblindx »
________________

"the fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves [...]"


Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #181 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?
C is for cookie, that's good enough for me.


  • jrwhite82
  • Super Waygook

    • 268

    • September 09, 2010, 04:29:15 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #182 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.


  • NZ4Life
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    • March 11, 2011, 12:04:35 pm
    • Gyeonggido, South Korea
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #183 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.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 11:20:30 am by xblindx »
________________

"the fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves [...]"


  • Browncoat Japhy
  • Veteran

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    • April 23, 2011, 08:32:30 pm
    • Taebaek
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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #184 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.


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #185 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.


  • Burndog
  • Super Waygook

    • 418

    • July 16, 2010, 11:49:17 am
    • Suwon
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #186 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.


  • cruisemonkey
  • Expert Waygook

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    • March 25, 2011, 02:17:57 pm
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Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #187 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?
The Ks once gave me five minutes notice. I didn't know what to do with the extra time.


  • jrwhite82
  • Super Waygook

    • 268

    • September 09, 2010, 04:29:15 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #188 on: April 27, 2011, 06:29:34 pm »
Aren't they the company that hosts the event?  (provides facilities, hosts, cooks, cleaning, etc...)


Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #189 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!


  • jgmenator
  • Veteran

    • 108

    • February 27, 2011, 01:49:56 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #190 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.


  • TylerO
  • Adventurer

    • 26

    • April 07, 2011, 12:14:56 am
    • Daejeon
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #191 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. 


  • H.W.
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    • September 09, 2010, 01:14:18 pm
    • Seoul, Yeongdeungpo
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #192 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.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 08:24:50 pm by H.W. »
"No matter how I struggle and strive / I'll never get out of this world alive."


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #193 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?


  • Burndog
  • Super Waygook

    • 418

    • July 16, 2010, 11:49:17 am
    • Suwon
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #194 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.


  • Gillod
  • Veteran

    • 125

    • December 01, 2009, 07:29:17 pm
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #195 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,


  • TylerO
  • Adventurer

    • 26

    • April 07, 2011, 12:14:56 am
    • Daejeon
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #196 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.


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

    • 2341

    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #197 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.


  • ame
  • Super Waygook

    • 338

    • December 02, 2010, 02:58:32 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #198 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.


Re: Alcohol banned at GEPIK orientation
« Reply #199 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.