Hannah O’Malley ’17 has created a blog to chronicle, contemplate, and process her experience on the Benton Scholars’ trip to Korea. Apart from explaining why the country’s name might be spelled “Corea” rather than “Korea,” Hannah encourages us to view travel through a self-critical lens. She writes :
I think it easy to notice and criticize flaws in and make generalizations about other systems without really critically looking back at one’s own system. Over the course of the trip, I tried very hard to think about ways in which we pretty much have the same, or worse, flaws in the US and about what the US can learn from Korea.
She also poses a series of questions inspired by Prof. John Palmer‘s FSEM for the Benton Scholars (fall of 2014):
- In what ways can the US education system learn from the national curriculum that applies to both public and private schools?
- How would the US benefit from rigor of the cram schools?
- Given that K-12 education in both South Korea and the US is driven in part by the university systems in both countries, in what ways might colleges be able to manipulate testing or entrance standards to influence the ways in which K-12 students learn?
- How can both countries make higher education more accessible and a less elite system?
- Is there corruption, whether manifest or latent, in our educational system? And if so, where?
- Who does our educational system serve?
You can see and read much more directly on Hannah’s blog by clicking here.
Hannah O’Malley ’17 provides the following pictures and captions from the Benton Scholars’ trip to South Korea.
Brittney Dorow ’17 recently returned from the Benton Scholars’ trip to South Korea. In this reflection, she discusses her youthful fascination with Asian cultures and her more recent interest in the vibrant mixture of “old and new” in contemporary Korean cityscapes–an interest that has lead her to the International Relations program at Colgate.
Growing up as a young girl with two brothers was a blessing.
I lived a life essentially free from gender. Yes, I was a female who loved dresses and tea parties and dress up dolls, but I was not limited to exploring one side of a culture many find to be split by sex. I played with cars, liked to wrestle and mess around, and I was equally as pleased to get the Pokemon Card as I was the Polly Pocket toy with my Happy Meal.
I think the greatest thing that came about being raised so openly centered on film and television.
One of my fondest memories was coming home from school on Friday’s to find my brothers down in the basement and a Japanese monster movie plugged in the VHS. I grew up watching these foreign films, moving from Godzilla movies with the boys, to dramatic and adventurous anime as I entered my teen years.
Overtime, my love for Asian culture developed. Entering into high school, it was safe to say I was obsessed. Watching anime and Korean Dramas with my friends while I picked at my meal with a pair of plastic chopsticks, I allowed myself to fall in love with it all, the people, the food, the fashion and so on.
More than anything else, I was enamored with the Asian city. Particularly in anime and film, I became fascinated with urban structure, a melting pot which combined the urban landscape of New York with the culture of traditional life. When I first discovered I could travel to Korea, I saw the perfect opportunity to finally see for myself if the culture I’d grown to idolize had been portrayed accurately or not.
I am happy to say, it had.
My picture shows one of the first markets we the Bentons explored in South Korea. Even from a glance, you can see the blending of new and old culture which I had hoped to find on this trip.
Tall industrialized buildings lit up with electric lights and neon signs.
Inside, traditional fans, bowls, street foods and cloth are sold.
Overall, I was not disappointed, but rather, in awe of the cultural phenomenon that is an Asian city, particularly a marketplace. I found a place of acceptance, of peaceful cultural blending, and well a preservation.
Most importantly, seeing a place like this reminded me why I love the study of culture and how I truly want to pursue my major in International Relations. I want to fall in love with all the cultures of the world, and feel this amazement for the rest of my life.
The following pictures and captions by Ishir Dutta ’17 continue our coverage of the Benton Scholars’ trip to Korea. Stay tuned for more posts in the coming days.
Click the image below to launch a slideshow:
Our blog series on the recent Benton Scholars trip to South Korea continues with pictures and captions provided by Andrew Isaacson ’17.
The following text and pictures were provided by Zachary Weaver ’17, who recently returned from the Benton Scholars’ trip to South Korea. Their journey was lead by John Palmer, Assoc. Professor of Educational Studies and Chair of the Educational Studies Department.
South Korea was easily the best trip I have ever been on. I can’t really compare it to anything else. Everything, from the culture to what the places we visited, allowed all the Bentons who went on this trip to really experience what South Korea was like, rather than just getting a voyeuristic view that is ever so common on shorter trips. It’s kind of hard to find a place to start.
The food was fantastic. Before leaving, I was worried about whether or not I would be able to find something that I could eat easily. I need not have been so worried. The food you can get in South Korea is delicious, comes in large quantities, and is cheap. You could easily find bulgogi (marinated beef that you often cook at the table) that probably feed at least 3 people for around $5 US Dollars. Often, we were able to find something for everybody (even with allergies accounted for) for a fraction of the price that we would have paid in the US, and with a lot more food as well. One thing about Korean food is that it isn’t based around one dish like it is in the US. Whereas in the US you would order a burger and fries and that would be you meal, in Korea you might order bibimbap (rice with various vegetables in a hot stone bowl, where you mix a raw egg in to cook before eating), but in addition you would get little dishes of sauces, vegetables, and never ending kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage) for the table.
Our trip through South Korea was a whirlwind of activity. We saw so many things and visited so many places; I would forget everything we did if not for the pictures. From the palaces in Seoul to a traditional folk village in the south of the nation, we really went everywhere. Thanks to Prof. John Palmer of the Ed. Studies department, we were able to see a Korea that many of us wouldn’t see if we had just gone there on our own. Ask anyone who went on the trip, and I’m sure you will see that all of us had the time of our lives in Korea.
A small group of Benton Scholars and Colgate staff visited the studios of local PBS affiliate WCNY last Friday, May 9, 2014. Students attended a taping of The Ivory Tower, a weekly political and current events round-table featuring a panel of local academics, hosted by David Rubin, Professor and Dean Emeritus of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and featuring Tim Byrnes, current Faculty Director of the Benton Scholars.
Following Nicholas Kristof’s recent critique of academia’s apparent insularity, students in the Benton Program saw first-hand how scholars from a variety of backgrounds could gather to discuss local issues in an engaging and public forum. They also received a behind-the-scenes tour of television broadcast operations at WCNY’s stunning LEED Platinum facilities–including sound stages, meeting rooms, and the broadcast control and editing room.
Students, faculty, and staff gathered this past weekend to celebrate Benton Scholars graduating in the class of 2014. The event, a barbecue at Merrill House, welcomed about 35 students from all years of the program. Each senior was given a book, a copy of The Hard Thing About Hard Things, along with a Class of 2014 Benton Scholars commemorative glass.
Graduating students have a diverse range of post-Colgate plans: from real estate and Teach for America, to Wall Street banking and Proctor & Gamble. We wish them the very best and hope to see them at future Benton Scholars alumni events.
This weekend’s lunch also celebrated the six-year tenure of Prof. Tim Byrnes, who lead the Benton Program from its inception. His leadership and enthusiasm shaped the Benton program in more ways than can be counted, and he served as a strong mentor and advocate for students in the program. Byrnes will be succeeded, beginning in the fall of 2014, by Prof. Karen Harpp.
Eleven Benton Scholars recently completed a successful four-day spring break trip to Washington D.C. While there, they visited a number of sites relevant to global leadership, including the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and The White House.