Race in Korea: bad, but better? (Korea Times, November 20, 2012)

By Casey Lartigue, Jr.

Shin Chul-ho's "Racial discrimination in hiring teachers" reminded me of a pleasant Korean-American teacher I worked with in the 1990s who said she was delighted to meet me.

The reason? She said she couldn't wait to meet "the black man who wasn't really black." Educated, good credentials and not a criminal is what she and the Korean employees in a special three-day program I had designed were told about me. "He's black, but not really black,” my recruiter friend told them and other clients. “When you meet him, you won't even remember that he's black."

Because Koreans I talk with almost automatically tell me that things are similar in other places, I gleefully concede without argument that Koreans aren't alone in tripping over racial language or of being outright prejudiced.

Back in America, I would occasionally have Caucasians tell me that I "just happen to be black." Just happen to be black? According to my birth certificate issued by the state of Texas, both of my parents are "Negroid." So I don't just happen to be black, at least according to the state of Texas. It would have been a surprise, if not a miracle, if I had been anything else.

Directions: New Millennium Hall for Mulmangcho fundraiser

Directions to New Millennium Hall for fundraiser at Yonsei University 6:30 pm 11/20 for the Mulmangcho school for refugee children located in Yeoju. 10,000 won donations, find out more info here https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/403227543084175/.

Starting from the Sinchon subway near Yonsei University. I would suggest taking Exit 3. Walk straight towards Yonsei University.
You'll pass a lot of stores and people along the way, then arrive at the front gate.
Walk in, on your right you'll see a map of the campus.
Look closely at the map, you'll see the route that you can take to arrive easily. The route I took kept me walking on the right side until I arrived at the building. That meant passing buildings 83, 82,78,77,40,41,58,59, to arrive at 61.


Harvard admissions process (The Korea Times)

Harvard admissions process 

(Korea Times, November 9, 2012)

By Casey Lartigue, Jr.

Outstanding Korean students who are now agonizing over the college admissions process at top North American universities should take a moment to curse Abbott Lawrence Lowell, president of Harvard University from 1909 to 1933.

Concerned that there were too many Jewish students at Harvard, Lowell first tried to implement a quota. Later, he and the Harvard Board of Overseers agreed on a more subjective standard that included recommendations, interviews, and “geographic diversity” (thus, reducing the number of Jewish students from New York).

The admissions process that is so common today has a sordid history ― and it bedevils Korean students applying to Harvard and other top universities. A few years ago when I looked into the statistics, about 5 percent of Korean students who apply to Harvard College were getting accepted (compared to about 7-8 percent overall for others).

Although I am a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education who declared at graduation that “I’m done with school,” I recently joined a conference call with the dean of admissions at the Harvard Graduate School of education from Cambridge and interested people here in Seoul. I joined because so many Koreans ask me for tips about getting into Harvard. I wasn’t surprised by the response that the admissions dean at the Harvard Graduate School of Education gave to my question: What’s the most common mistake that Korean students make when they apply to Harvard?