Learning abroad to Studying in Korea

To be honest, I did not study in Korea during my adolescence.

So that doesn’t make me an authority in studying in Korea. I studied throughout my youth in Malaysia, Singapore and Canada. Perhaps people in Korea find that more interesting. But, studying itself anywhere, is not fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Joke aside, I think studying is a personal journey. Learning results in personal growth. When these two work hand in hand, the result is enlightenment and change for the better. So any study should allow people to learn, realize something, and then change for the better. I repeated that because so many educational institutes, systems, academies, etc, struggle to bring the student all the way. Their role is just half of the equation, no matter how great, the other half relies on the person.

Korea tends to focus on that one half, ignoring the person. They often make studying itself such a hardship that students do not have time to learn, realize and change on their own. They often do not even think they have a role to play. They fail in study, and they fail in learning about who they are, and then blame the system. It’s a vicious cycle.

How do I know this? I taught Koreans, both young and old, for nearly two decades.

Teaching is in the other half of this equation, and it is a representation of the system. I realized very soon that I do not represent the system very well, because I do not agree with it. It did not help the system, but it helped me to become a system of my own. It’s a shame because if the teacher agrees with the system, the result would be optimized. And this is why Korea floods with private schools or academies. They do not agree with the system and decided to come up with their own systemS.

It’s a huge waste of centralized resources, time and effort.

Not to mention, personal learning becomes tougher.

As the students grow, they have to figure out all over again, what they must learn. I’d say that’s the reason for the abundant personal growth books and rise of help guides market. It’s good that people are trying to learn, but students are still in the same system from ages ago.

Studying is necessary beginning, it must be done in as many various fields as possible, from as many angles as possible. And when it’s done, the individual must learn with it by application, experience and trial and error. Only then the process is complete. New technologies and connectivity will assist in this process. But what we must do on our own, is to be brave enough to learn.

Learning abroad allowed me to be brave. As I mentioned above, I did not study in Korea. But it is clear to me, studying Korea do not allow students to be brave. I think that’s the missing key.

It’s a tall order to ask the system to teach ‘bravery’ to students here. But we gotta start somewhere. If the parents are not strong enough to allow their children to be brave, or the teachers do not agree with the system, and the system do not allow room for students to learn, we cannot ask the students themselves to be brave alone. For maximum result, the biggest authority must be brave.

I wonder if that can happen anytime soon.



Connectivity and Dreams~

There was a time when no one had a cellphone or access to internet.

Today, I wonder if we are able to dream a lot more, or less, thanks to lightening speed connectivity everywhere.

Right now, the whole world, as heavily connected as we are, suffers from an unprecedented outbreak of virus, infecting tens of thousands and deaths by hundreds. Needless to say, this dire situation could be irrelevant to the human ability to dream. But I felt such disturbance when I realized no one is ‘safe’ from this connectivity, from head to toe, literally, from the brain to the body.

We are fed gigantic amounts of information and data, updated and shared every second of the day. It can fill us up, and then leave no room for our own brain to do its own magic. All types of food, organic and man-made is available at our fingertips, at times it gets confusing to pick out what is really good for us.

So we are left to our own ability to make something out of all that is given. Are we wiser?

I mean, to dream.

I would say it has become ‘different’.

To dream, we need space.

Going back to connectivity, surviving is a different word now. Money, strength, power, knowledge, can all help. But losing balance between them all, can lead to instant death or destruction of life. The randomness of life, or simply put, luck, play even bigger role today because of this connectivity. When we were segregated, the sphere of luck was smaller, and the consequence was localized. Now, it affects everyone, instantaneously.

In such a world, how do we begin to find the space we need to dream?

I say, surviving and dreaming has become closer to each other than ever. If you just focus on one of it, you could live your life becoming an empty vessel of living being, or floating away from modernity, losing touch with progress that can aid in realizing the dreams in the biggest ways possible.

Humans are now not just one. Humans are a WE now. Therefore, helping someone to dream, can help us become better humans, helping someone to survive, can help us become stronger than ever before.

I think it’s time we redefine the word ‘space’. We will need space, but the world must help us to survive in the meantime, and while surviving, the world must allow room to dream. Because today, we can’t run away from connectivity, nor should we, as it can become a matter of life and death. But to be a human, in this hyper connected world, we must dream. ๐Ÿ™‚


2020 New and Old beginnings~

It’s been 18 years in total since I’ve returned and lived in South Korea. And it’s also been 9 years since I began to develop stories furiously on my own and took them to film markets.

So, to commemorate the time I’ve been through, I’m planning to share more on this blog with thoughts, learnings, and feedbacks on various topics, ranging from filmmaking, teaching, living in various places and so on.

I know there’s no end to learning, growing and becoming the best version of myself, and I feel I’ve managed to become proud of myself in certain aspects. So, in a humble yet confident manner, I hope my writings will help, advise, or encourage you to live better, learn better and become the best you can ever be in your life path.

Hope to catch you here soon!