Learning Korean

Currently reading Roadmap to Korean
Roadmap to Korean, Front cover
Tomorrow, Saturday, I will compile a list of web references for learning Korean. Sunday before the wedding (not mine, my Haidong Gumdo instructors) I will make a timetable for study.
Monday and Tuesday I will actually do some study.

First day, practise all the writing and typing of Hanguel
mayby more, but no sense getting ambitious

English Spectrum – Korean women are the victims, not western men

Invasion of Privacy Degrades Korean Women Twice Over
From http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200501/200501240027.html
Before the “entertainment x-file” hit cyberspace, the hot issue among local Netizens was a post by an English teacher in Korea who wrote that local women treated him like a king and were easy to sleep with. Oddly, however, it was not predatory foreign men who came under attack as a result but Korean women.

On Saturday, the Chosun Ilbo met with the 28-year-old manager of a club near Hongik University. She had become another victim of character assassination by Internet when photos her and eight regular customers taken at a party began making their way around the web. It was a “sexy costume party” held at her Mary Jane club last November. Some 70 percent of the participants were Korean men and women, while the rest were foreign men and women.

“Two customers were on the verge of quitting their jobs, and another was seeking psychiatric counseling,” she said Saturday. “Another customer had a job offer taken away. Our club is preparing to close. This is clearly an act of murder.”

In mid-December, photos from the party were posted on English Spectrum, a website frequented by foreign English teachers working in Korea. They had been taken by some of the foreigners who attended the party and depicted Korean women and Western men dancing together in a suggestive way, Korean women revealing their breasts or underwear, as well as Western men and Korean women touching and kissing.

The photos escaped public scrutiny until 10 days ago, when they sparked an outcry at the height of the cyberspace hysteria about “foreign teachers degrading Korean women.” Several inflammatory comments posted on English Spectrum by English teachers living in Korea even lead to the formation of a movement to expel foreign teachers from the peninsula. When the photos were discovered, it was like pouring oil on an open fire.

Online rage switched targets from foreign men to the Korean women in the photos. Some online media described the pictures as “scenes of women openly enjoying sex with foreigners.” These stories were often accompanied by malicious comments like, “Whores, are Western bastards that good?” and, “The English you learn from selling yourself is body language, not real English.” Even more frightening was that calls for the women’s names, work places, email addresses and phone numbers to be made public were promptly answered.

The club manager describes the pain that followed as “trampling on her life.” “I get anonymous threatening phone calls at the club all the time. ‘Why don’t whores like you just die quietly,’ ‘Foreigners’ whore! Why don’t you shut down your club?’ ‘We will hold a picket demonstration in front of your club’… I get nervous anytime I hear the phone ring.”

A 27-year old also in the pictures said, “It’s true that I enjoy dancing to relieve stress, but isn’t it going overboard to treat me like a whore?” Fighting back tears, she said, “My co-workers point at me behind my back…
“I don’t know how they got my email address, but I get tons of emails with frightening titles, so I don’t even turn on my computer these days.” Another girl pictured said she was offered a secretarial position in early January, but because of the photos, the job offer was withdrawn.

The same paradox – of the victims of Internet revelations being degraded again in vicious Internet attacks – was also at play when Korean entertainers were attacked following the publication of unsubstantiated rumors about them in the “x-file.” Meanwhile, there is no word on whether the men who left the degrading comments on the site were ever held accountable.

The victims are suing the Internet media behind publication of the pictures. Their lawyer Im Sang-hyeok said, “Just as the tsunamis in South Asia left wretched survivors in their wake, Korean women were left as victims in the places swept by excessive Internet enthusiasm.”

Dramatic lift in full-fee uni students

Dramatic lift in full-fee uni students
By David Rood
Higher education reporter
February 24, 2005
Article from the Melbourne Age, Australia
The number of Victorians paying for a university degree has soared, with more than half the students starting law at Melbourne University this year enrolling to pay full fees.

A big change from the eighties when I was a student and the concept of paying full fees for education was a relic of a bygone era, something that happens in far away places, like the USA.
How will middle class students like myself afford an education in the future? In the past university places were heavily subsidised. But now federal grants to universities have been cut back.
What effect will this have on the demographics of students? Will there be less students from low income/ middle class backgrounds?

  • Fee-paying students will also fill 48 per cent of first-year places in optometry and 37 per cent in dentistry when classes begin at Melbourne on Monday.

    The university has experienced an overall 38 per cent jump in domestic fee-paying commencing students, who will make up 8 per cent of total first-year undergraduate enrolments. Monash University has experienced a 12 per cent increase over last year.

    The universities have blamed decreasing Federal Government funding for their increasing reliance on revenue from fee-paying students.

    Under the Howard Government’s higher education changes, the maximum quota of fee-paying students has risen from 25 to 35 per cent of total enrolments in any course. Universities can enrol higher percentages of fee-paying students in individual years, provided the 35 per cent is not exceeded across an entire course.
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    Students can obtain a full-fee place with marks below the entry score for a Commonwealth or HECS place. The entry score for a HECS law place at Melbourne was 99.4, while the fee-paying score was 96.

    Opposition education spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said the student figures made a mockery of the Government’s claims that no more than 35 per cent of students would pay full fees.

    “People who can pay $96,000 to study law at Melbourne University, now have more than twice the chance of getting in as those who don’t have the money to pay full fees,” she said.

    HECS students will pay $32,000 for a four-year law degree.

    Ms Macklin said access to a university places should be based on academic merit, not bank balances. She warned that the Government could remove the limit on full-fee places when it assumed control of the Senate in July, leaving some courses with 100 per cent fee-paying students.

    The Government’s education changes also allowed universities a 10 per cent quota of fee-paying domestic medical students from this year. Monash University has filled its 10 per cent quota, with Melbourne to reach the quota following its mid-year intake of students.

    A fee-based medical degree costs $160,000 at Monash and $200,000 at Melbourne.

    Law remains the most popular fee-paying degree, with 35 per cent of Monash commencing students paying full fees. Full-fee students also comprise 25 per cent of first-year enrolments in pharmacy at Monash.

    The figures are based on preliminary or “year to date” data.

    The senior vice-principal at Melbourne University, Ian Marshman, said students were making informed decisions about their courses and utilising the new deferred loan scheme for fee places.

    Mr Marshman attributed the increase in fee-paying students to three factors: the university introducing minimum entry scores for fee places, students in combined degrees splitting their enrolment between HECS and fee places and guaranteed transfer from fee places to Commonwealth-funded places for students with marks averaging at least 75 per cent. “Some of our very best students are in fee-based places, opening up government-supported places for other students,” he said.

    Mr Marshman said Melbourne was ahead of its target of $20 million from domestic full-fee students.

    A spokesman for federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson said fee-paying students represented about 2 per cent of the total student population. “These places are only taken up after all HECS places are filled by students,” he said. “Every single one of those full fee payers is paying their own way, often freeing up a HECS place that they otherwise would have been eligible for in another course.”

    The spokesman ruled out any increase to the 35 per cent quota of fee-paying students.

    At Deakin University, full fees will be paid this year by 9 per cent of law students, 6.5 per cent of commerce students and almost 3 per cent of those in primary teaching. An RMIT University spokeswoman said it was too early to provide figures on the number of full-fee-paying students for 2005. But only a small increase was expected. Swinburne University is offering full-fee places for the first time, while La Trobe does not take domestic fee-paying students.

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