During this past summer vacation, Hinsdale South English teacher Richard Sasso participated in the Korea Academy for Educators (KAFE). The conference, held in Los Angeles, California, was an educational and training opportunity for a wide range of k-12teachers from a variety of disciplines. The conference explored the history, cuisine, music, religion as well as the language and literature of not just South Korea, but the whole of the Korean peninsula. Speakers included USC Professor David C. Kang, UCLA Professors Dong Suk Kim and Jennifer Jung-Kim. Teachers also also heard lectures from esteemed writer Helie Lee, author best-sellers "In the Absence of Sun" and "Still Like Rice," who also coordinated the event. Teachers participated in drumming lessons, made Korean paintings and paper folding, and screened documentaries and feature films. Of particular interest to Richard were lectures on Korean sijo poetry, a genre similar to an expanded haiku. He is currently developing a unit on the Korean novella, "Our Twisted Hero" exploring themes of the psychology of bullying. "It was an amazing experience," Richard commented, "I highly recommend it to any instructor. Korea really is an emerging global influence, and this conference gave me the tools to successfully teach my students about it." The event was co-sponsored by the Korea Foundation, Korean Cultural Center, and the USC Korean Studies Institute. More information is available at the KAFE website www.koreaacademy.org.
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