East Asian Language Skills and Global Competencies Workshop

Event: East Asian Language Skills and Global Competencies Workshop

Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019

The purpose of the East Asian Language Skills and Global Competencies Workshop was for students majoring or minoring in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean to learn how we can explain the skills and competencies we’ve developed from these majors and minors to future employers and companies. This workshop was the 2nd installation in the East Asian Studies Center’s Professionalization Workshop 2019. It is useful as being a language major, sometimes it is very difficult to explain what skills I have learned and developed beside the obvious, the language I’ve studied. By the end of the workshop, I was better prepared to identify what skills I have learned from my major as well as how to best implement these skills into a resume and future interviews.

During the workshop, we were given sample resumes from language majors showing what skills they had and more importantly, how they were able to use them. Rather than being vague and simply highlighting what skills we have, we were told to present them in a format that shows exactly how we used them and in what manner. Using this format, it explains your experiences while also giving insights into what skills you have, so that there isn’t necessarily a need for an entirely separate section listing skills without any further information.

The workshop also helps me understand what multicultural competencies I’ve gained from being a language major, and how I can explain this to future potential employers as well. This relates to the topic of international affairs simply because you need to be able to understand cultural differences in respectful manners, without trying to make sense of it in terms of your own culture but for what it is in its own terms. Cultural relativism is important for everyone, not just for language majors.

Genocide in Rwanda

Event: Genocide in Rwanda (Smith Steeb Glass Classroom)

Date: September 12, 2019

 

The Genocide in Rwanda event, even though I had heard about the topic before, reinforced and brought the Rwandan genocide back to the forefront of my mind. I learned a few more things than I knew before about it. I thought it was interesting how one of the first questions to get us interacting was a question based on if anyone could identify two more genocides that are recognized widely across the world as having happened in America, but that the United States refuses to recognize themselves. The two other genocides that were talked about briefly were the genocides against native Americans and African Americans.

This event relates to the topic of international affairs because it’s important to know about things that have happened in other places outside of America. The genocide that happened in Rwanda is in itself a historical event that should be not only spoken about but taught about as well. As international scholars, we must be able to understand these relationships within larger cultural contexts outside of our own.

This event also relates to a concept I’ve learned in other coursework, specifically a class I’m taking currently, Rural Sociology. Rural sociology is based upon the concept of the sociological imagination. The sociological imagination is defined in the class as the intellectual ability to see relationships between individual behaviors and attitudes, and a larger societal context. It’s a type of critical thinking that allows people to think outside of their personal experiences. Our community acts as a filter between us and trends, issues, and events in the world. Applying it to the genocide in Rwanda, it happened in 1994 and consisted of a rapid mass killing over the timeframe of about 90 days. Not many people I know, even the ones who were alive at the time, know or have even heard about the genocide against the Tutsis that happened in Rwanda. This is related to our communities filtering how we perceive events. For example, obviously someone living in Rwanda at the time of the genocide has personal experience with it and has in some way been affected by it, but others, like us, experience the event through news stories, without a personal experience attached to it for the most part.

I do have some questions after attending the event. Since learning about the sociological imagination in my rural sociology course, I think it would be interesting to look at newspapers and articles and assess how thorough the coverage of this event would have been, in turn, to see how people in communities like mine may have been exposed to it. I do think, since it was mentioned that the US and other western entities did not want to label the genocide using the term “genocide” as it would have made it so that these entities would have had to do something, that there probably wasn’t very much coverage at all to lend to the effort of escaping responsibility as well.

OSUMUN

Event: OSU Model United Nations conference (OSUMUN)

 

                OSUMUN was essentially a high school Model United Nations conference that was held over the course of 3 days. For these 3 days I participated in the conference as a staffer which meant that I was basically one of the people who would help create the story for the purposes of the conference. The committee that I was assigned to was titled The Future of Yugoslavia. With rising nationalism, a bad economy, and a national government that was on the brink of collapse, some of the committee members possibly thought unity was needed the recover from the problems that they were facing while others may have thought that keeping Yugoslavia together was overall a lost cause. The goal of our delegates was to work together and find an appropriate solution to the struggles that Yugoslavia was having after they had separated as a nation and collapsed for the second time due to the death of their leader Tito.

                We had a lot of very creative delegates. For instance, one of them whom I cannot remember his name, kept trying to blow up churches for who knows why. Another delegate, Hassani eventually became president and they limited his powers immediately to only being a speaker and figurehead for them because they were bitter it wasn’t them who ascended to presidency and emotionally biased. There were many poisonings too although not many people died, a few delegates would visit other delegates in jail to poison their food for weeks and even had me flood another one of the delegates houses. Overall the conference was fun and the delegates of our committee since they couldn’t come to a proper agreement or actually pass any useful directives all ended up dying due to nuclear warfare with the involvement of the USSR and the US.

                This ties to international affairs in the fact that this was a model United Nations conference. Though it probably did not have much resemblance to an actual conference in the real world, the participation of the delegates allowed them to home their advocacy skills and to foster a stronger interest in world affairs in the United Nations. The conference allowed the high school students to show their abilities in critical thinking, debate, and both historical and current affairs. Within the individual committees students had to work together and fight to gain recognition within to either be recognized as new and independent nations or to come together for the unity that they sought.

Taste of OSU 2019

Taste of OSU 2019 was an incredibly culturally diverse event. Even though I was on trash duty walking around with my big old trashcan, I was able to interact with a lot of the tables and see what they had going on. I didn’t buy any food tickets but I was able to taste a Somali(?) cheesecake kind of food that was really good. The Pakistani Student Association’s display really caught my attention. They had a whole sort of display showing the efforts of some kind of project for youth in Pakistan. 

Another entertaining table at the event was the Japanese student’s table. They made Ramen and were all dressed in traditional Japanese clothing which made them stand out in my opinion. Not a lot of student orgs dressed up for Taste of OSU so the fact that they did was really fun. Honestly, the Pakistani and Japanese set ups are the only ones that I really remember well.

My one disappointment pertaining to the event was the fact that I was on trash duty. I originally volunteered to be either on guest check in or directing of the guests. Since it was such a culturally diverse event, a lot of people from different cultures showed up. I think it would have been quite an entertaining job to be able to interact with everyone. Overall, I’m not upset or anything. I just wish I had a better responsibility than picking up everyone’s trash.

The performances on the other hand were amazing. After my volunteer shift was over, I went down to the first floor for about a half hour so that I could watch some of the performances. By the time I got down, they were in the middle of a number on J2K (Japan 2 Korea) performances. Those were really fun to watch. I watched those before they moved into the Black/African org performances. It was really nice seeing both the culture I am fascinated by and my own culture be represented on the stage. I really enjoyed watching.

 

#Fight4Her “Letter to The Editor” Workshop

Event: Letter to The Editor Workshop held by #Fight4Her 

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 @ 6pm 

 

This image summarizes why we are leading this campaign: men who are making decisions about what women can do with their bodies.

#Fight4HER is a national campaign focused on mobilizing action against Trump’s Global Gag Rule and in support of the bill to block it, the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act. Activists, organizers, and community leaders around the country are working together to take direct action that puts pressure on members of Congress to support the HER Act. Donald Trump’s attacks on reproductive rights threaten people and communities across the country and around the world. By imposing dangerous restrictions that defy logic and eliminating necessary aid, his policies are having harmful and deadly consequences. The point of the event was to aid in continuing to fight against efforts to restrict reproductive rights and demand laws that respect, support, and empower women, girls, and people seeking reproductive health care both here and abroad.  

The campaign event relates to the topic of international affairs in the sense that even though the fight begins here at home in everyone’s individual states, it is an effort for not only us but for women abroad in other countries as well. Trump’s Global Gag Rule expands offensive restrictions on health care that will have life-threatening consequences such as putting ideology over health, being an undemocratic restriction of free speech, shifting resources to failed policies that will increase unsafe abortion, and ignoring the fact that family planning saves lives. The workshop essentially told us more about the campaign itself and then outlined how to write “Letters to the Editor” to submit to newspapers and bring awareness to the mission. By teaching and assisting us in possibly writing future Letters to the Editor we will be able to elevate the issue in the public view, tell stories and testimonies that aren’t being heard, and most importantly allow us to apply pressure on the people who have the power to do anything, our local and national decision makers. 

What I mainly took away from this event was a more honed skill for writing LTE’s with useful core messages of the campaign to include like the Global Gag Rule being full of disgraceful restrictions and appalling consequences, undermining, rather than improving, global health programs and outcomes. Because LTE’s are often so short, ranging from around 100-250 words depending on the newspaper you’re submitting to, it’s hard to come up with a message that does not look like it was written by one person and mass submitted by multiple people, which would make it less likely to be published in the paper by removing the personal touch that LTE’s should have. I thought it was a good touch that they walked us through the process of writing them so that we don’t all have the same sort of “troubleshooting” issues when it comes down to us writing them.

“So You Think You Can Do Research?” Panelling Event

Event: So you think you can do research? (Academic Event) 

Date: Monday January 28, 2019 @7:30pm 

The “So you think you can do research?” research panel included multiple students who are involved in research currently here at Ohio State. I personally thought it was cool how the range of interests spanned and how that tied into the work that each student was partaking in. For example, one of the students/researchers, Kate Greer, talked about how she was involved in research focusing mainly on German Theatre and how it has ties both into the German department and the Dance department. Her research topic arises a lot of my interest. 

For myself, I’m not necessarily interested in German or dance, but I am interested in Korea and other East Asian countries on the topics of women’s and gender equality in these countries as well as the effects of globalization on the homogeneity and collective thought of the people. So even though I don’t have an entire research proposal, I do have a general idea about what I would like to work on. I think it’s cool that there are research opportunities available for pretty much anything and would love to take part in it sometime. 

One thing about the event that really impacted me was the fact that more than one of them said that they at first didn’t actively pursue research opportunities until an experience finally hit them to push and act on their instinct. I honestly thought a lot about doing and getting involved in research but really didn’t think I would be capable of doing something of that extreme. I learned, however, that there are many other options to get involved in research rather than just heading your own project by simply branching out and talking to professors and advisors about possible opportunities within the major, and even just applying to be a research assistant for something that you’re interested in. 

I also learned that there are plenty of funding opportunities to help fund your research and also that research projects can fail simply from not having the funding. There are also presentation opportunities which I think is super cool so that students who are even the slightest bit interested in participating in or doing their own research can see other examples of research going on. 

Thinking along the lines of getting started with possibly doing my own research, I already talked about a possible topic of interest I would like to do a few paragraphs above. Within classes I’ve taken, a few other possible interests would be global hunger and inequality and if/how it would be possible to skew the trends we see in our current world today. Identifying faculty within the departments related to those topics such as maybe the International Studies department, The East Asian Languages and Literature and Korean Departments, the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies department, etc. would be my next step. After that it would mainly be about contacting people within these departments and potential faculty mentors to get involved with research they may already be doing.

Breathe Hope OSU Blanket Making Event

Event: Breathe Hope OSU Blanket Making Event

Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2018

Breathe Hope OSU is an organization on campus whose mission statement is their goals are to raise awareness on campus and around Columbus about Cystic Fibrosis, volunteer at events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, make craft projects for patients in the Pulmonary Unit at Nationwide Children’s hospital, and raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through yoga classes and other fundraising events. The organization focuses on the importance of community service and using face-to-face interactions with patients and families as a tool to inspire and unite those who care. At Breathe Hope, they believe that in yoga and in life, breath is the beginnings of mindfulness and helps focus on what they can do for others.

The event I went to sponsored by Breathe Hope was a fleece blanket making event to give to sick children at Huckleberry house for the winter season. It was a lot of fun meeting and working with other students who were all super excited to make blankets as well. The fact that it was for a good cause also made it a great experience. I spent an enriching hour of my life putting together these blankets and making cards with the hopes of making the day of a child in Huckleberry house just a little bit brighter.

The blanket making event lasted roughly an hour and included some people cutting a few inches into the fleece to create tassels to tie blankets together and roughly the other half of people making holiday cards wishing the children to have a happy Thanksgiving in the next few weeks or just including a short, uplifting message

Breathe Hope’s event didn’t really relate to the topic of international affairs at all. Even though international issues are a big problem in the world there are still issues prevalent in our own states and if we give them the attention they deserve then we can focus on larger issues outside of our own surrounding communities. And on top of that, illness and disease is sort of an international issue with disease being such a debilitation complication in so many countries. I think the support for cystic fibrosis is important since it is in support of an issue that is not only our own.

Personally, I gained an even deeper support for service oriented organizations. I’ve always been pretty big on trying to make a difference or just cheering for organizations that do make a difference in our communities. I think it’s really important to give back to others, or even just try to help lighten the load of others going through struggle. Breathe Hope’s event was really fun and for a good cause.

The First LiNK: Documentary Night

Event: The First LiNK: Documentary Night

Date: Friday, October 19, 2018 in Hitchcock Hall

Picture this: You’re a young girl living in North Korea. Your mother leaves you, your younger sister, and your father due to financial struggles. You have to start working a very difficult job at a young age to contribute to your family’s finances. Your father then passes away when you are in your late teen years. You eventually move back with your mom who, at twenty-two, asks you to move in with a man much older than you are to lessen the financial burden. You don’t like this at all so you leave your hometown in search of a better life somewhere else. Walking for a few days, you reach one of the largest cities in North Korea. You find a lot of odd jobs that provide you the opportunity to make a little money, just barely enough to buy food for yourself. Not being able to save any money, you decide to head home where having you back was just a burden on your mother and sister. After some experiences, you can’t handle all the bad things that keep happening to you. You feel hopeless and pathetic, deciding to commit suicide. Right before you go through with it, you have the thought, “Why do I have to die? Why? I’ve not done anything wrong. I’m still only in my early twenties.”

You decide to live and make the better life you wanted for yourself; by leaving North Korea.

____________________________

This is the story of Yoon Ha, one of 939 refugee rescues with LiNK. LiNk stands for Liberty in North Korea and is an organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of North Korean refugees out of the country. For decades, hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have risked their lives to escape the political and economic oppression they are subjected to in their home country. Even if they make it out of the country, the danger does not stop then. China is just as dangerous because the Chinese government arrests and repatriates then where they will then be subject to beatings or admitted to political imprisonment camps.

The featured documentary was called The People’s Crisis. The short film was directed and produced by the members of LiNK themselves. It was a depiction of a rescue of North Korean refugees like the one whose experience is detailed above. The documentary relates to the topic of International Affairs in that it shows the process it took for a group of individuals working across the globe in the U.S., South Korea, and Southeast Asia in coordinating overseas programs to rescue these refugees. LiNK’s mission is not only to rescue, but to change the narrative that goes along with North Korea. North korea is one of the greatest difficulties facing humanity today. By changing the image that the global society has of North Korea, LiNK is helping to make it easier for the people of North Korea to get the international support that they need.

I found the documentary night and the documentary itself to be exceptionally informative and engaging. It brought the challenge of North Korea to a more close to home space, in a place where I can help with the fundraiser being held by the event’s organizers. It’s an opportunity for the attendees, including myself, to take an active role in aiding LiNK’s mission.

Through LiNk, many North Korean refugees have successfully escaped and resettled in safer nations where they are not being subjected to political and economic oppression, but there are still many more to rescue. The People’s Crisis still continues.

Train to Busan (부산행)

Event: IA Movie Night featuring Train to Busan

Date: Monday, September 17, 2018 in the Smith side basement

Train to Busan (부산행) Korean Movie Poster

The film, Train to Busan (부산행) directed by Yeon Sang-ho, was not at all what I thought it was going to be. To be completely honest, I had no idea what to expect in the first place but when I saw a strange woman boarding the train looking sickly and ravenous, that definitely wasn’t it. My initial reaction was one of skepticism, what exactly was I watching? As the film continued on though, I realized just how action packed, thrilling, and yet emotional it was all at the same time. I was interested to find out more.

Personally, I find myself incredibly interested in the subject pertaining to East Asia, its culture, and how popular media takes form. Upon doing my own research, I discovered that the movie was made as an allegorical response to both South Korea’s MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome/Disease) and economic disparity of 2015. I find it interesting that the creative head behind the film chose a zombie movie to reflect on the outbreak, but also oddly fitting. The quick exposition that immediately throws us into the rapid spreading of zombification throughout the train cars must have been just about how quick MERS spread throughout Korean cities.

On another note, the film is also particularly critiquing of Korean society as a whole. If observed closely, you can easily see how certain themes are portrayed within the movie. Relating to the film, I came to find out that during the MERS epidemic, Korean government did not inform its citizens on very important information such as where people were being treated and what efforts they would use to contain the outbreak. Korean people have themselves come to realize the change that had occured in the few years before, some saying that they have to “recognize [they] are pretty selfish,” and that they “don’t trust anyone but [them]selves.” I think Su-an’s father, Seok-woo, is a prime example of the government and even the sole individual being selfish and only trusting themselves. His job as a fund manager doesn’t play much part, but when Seok-woo scolds his daughter for giving up her seat in the train car to an elderly woman telling her only to watch out for herself, it truly highlights the cruel dog-eat-dog world we are in.

Watching Train to Busan didn’t necessarily change any beliefs or perspectives of mine, rather it just gave me more knowledge on a subject that I’m already pretty knowledgeable in. The impact that Train to Busan left on Korea, being a widely well received and original film, extends into my own studies of the culture of Korea. I haven’t yet been able to reach the topic of film and visual culture yet in my Korean Culture courses. Train to Busan opened a window for me to explore a new aspect that I hadn’t before, one that I will admit I thoroughly enjoyed.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]