From the BK to the SK
So I've probably talked about some of the side effects of living in Korea throughout all of my blogging the past nine months. I tend to fall victim to the word "maybe", and my friends and I all tend to speak in half-sentences that are empty of verbs, subjects - basically they're two word sentences. It's like a switch in my brain with this rhythm of speaking that is like some song I know by heart.
We also use gestures when talking a lot as a way of helping to explain whatever we are trying to say when our slow and steady pronounciation isn't working because clearly, no matter how we pronounce a word, there are people who just don't speak or understand english.
So the other day I was watching this documentary called "Jesus Camp" about Pentecostal followers in parts of the Midwest and all. The documentary was focused really on the younger children, about 9 years old to like 12 years old, and how (my opinion) absolutely brain washed they are by this religion. It's really tragic.
Anyway, as I was watching the documentary, there were obviously many scenes of the children gathered together in a church listening to lectures and sermons, interacting with adults, etc. As I was watching one of the sermons, where the preacher was addressing the kids with such passion and vigor and asking them questions and shouting these abusrdities at them, I found myself getting nervous.
In my head I was like, "Why are these people talking so fast to these kids? Why are they using such big words? What's going on - they need to slow down and speak clearly and use words the kids will know. How do these kids know what these words mean? Do they understand what is going on?"
I was literally unable to comprehend that these kids, who looked like they were in an age range from about 5 and up, were able to understand these adults and speak on a level of English normal for any other kid who was raised in the states, an English speaking country.
It kind of freaked me out that I couldn't get my mind around it. I guess it's because the only children I've been around are the kids at school, some of who may speak great English for their ages, but you still need to speak to using careful word choices and clear sentences. The other kids I've been around are the kids at the orphanage where we volunteer every Saturday who speak not a single word of English, but it all works.
I'm home in about a month or so for the wedding, so I can only imagine what it will be like when I am trying to talk to people. I remember coming home from Italy wasn't the hardest of transitions, because enough people spoke English and I spoke Italian, so it wasn't seriously shocking to encounter English everywhere, all the time. China was another story, and I was there only for three months; however, I remember being completely amazed going through airport security and customs when these guards and staff were speaking to me in such a fast-paced, natural rhythm. I have a feeling that after spending ten months in Korea and going back to the States for a week, my experience will be very similar to that of coming home from China.
So, I'm sorry in advance for any strange ways of speaking or gesturing that may be disturbing to many of my friends and family back home.

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