Literally I twiddled my thumbs yesterday, nothing blog worthy there. BUT today, I started my first day of class at Sungkyunkwan University, one of the best schools in South Korea and their MBA program is ranked number 66 in the world
So my first class of the day, “Ethics, Innovation, and Leadership”, started at 9:30 am. Ohhhh man, one of the slowest classes I have ever taken in my life. Allow me to paint you a picture. My professor is a 77 year old gentleman from the UK who wore a tailored suit. He began his lecture by exploring the “death and life” of Socrates and Pericles. If that was not exciting enough, my professor was giving his presentation off of a WORD DOCUMENT. He was not reading it word for word, oh no, home boy had it memorized. The only visual images he had in his “presentation” was 2 political cartoons. With a class of 100 students, I have to say this method of presenting was not effective at all. I know this because people were sleeping, and I was on facebook the whole time. Not looking forward to going back to that class tomorrow morning.
It’s lunchtime, and my friends and I hit up a Korean stand. I ordered a small cup of spicy chicken. I paid for my food and the chef goes to work, deep frying chicken right in front of my face. I turned my back to the stand and start cracking jokes with my friends when all of a sudden grease popped on my back and I screamed really loudly, grasping my shoulder as I quickly try to figure out what was wrong. Hue, my Vietnamese friend, examines my back and said “Oh your fine, I don’t see a mark”. I looked at her and said “HELLO! I am dark skin, don’t be surprised you can’t see a burn mark on my back”. As I composed myself, I turned around and tell the chef that I am ok. He immediately began apologizing profusely, then handed me a mountain due to use as a cold compress on my back. I smiled and said thank you, he continued cooking my food but his whole demeanor has changed. He is sad while he makes the food. Hue informs me that Koreans get freaked out when their customers are not happy especially when they are the one to caused the unhappiness. I said “How do I reassure him that I’m ok?” Hue said “Tell him that you are ok again, make sure you take the food with both hands and say thank you 2 or 3 times.” Still feeling bad, he slipped me a long spicy chicken skewer in my bag,and says sorry again. I bow to him slowly and said “thank you for the soda and the extra food” with a BIG smile, waved at him and left. (FYI, I ate the chicken skewer then took the photo)
My second class, “Evolution of the Smart Phone”, was alot more interesting, especially when we had to introduce ourselves to the class. The teacher said we had to say our name, country, major, and hobbies. When it was my turn I stood up and said “Aloha…” “ooooooooohohhhhhh, wow” many of the Asian students start to gasp in amazement. “ My name is Victoria, and I came from Hawaii…” “Ooooooooohhhhh wwooww”. At this moment I start to feel flustered, “ I am getting my MBA, and I have 3 hobbies. 1) I like to watch anime, 2) I’m a freelance model…” “ OOOOHHHHHH WOOOOWWW”. I rub my eyes to conceal my nervous laughter “ …and 3) I like to make cooking videos on youtube.” The class applauds and I sit down. After the rest of the introductions, the teacher told us to get into groups of 5 to 7 people, and pick a group leader to speak for the group. I ask the man right next to me to be my partner, his name is Min. After that, I was too lazy and not in the mood to find more group members. Min leaves me for a moment, and a Chinese girl walks up, bows to me and said “You are beautiful, we like you, please be in our group” I said “Awww thank you, ummm I have a partner, so if you want me you have to take him too” I said anxiously. She bows again and says “ok, we want you, so we take him too.” LMAO. We meet the other 5 members of the group (all of them are Chinese women), they automatically make me the leader of the group. Great! More work for me, but I’m excited though. This is a true test of my leadership ability. Will I be able to successfully manage a group of people who are from a different culture from my own? How can I delegate tasks to them without coming across as the “pushy-aggressive American”? We just have to wait and see.