During the first four weeks of Korean History, I have engaged in class materials, found different ways to prepare for class, written weekly reflections, and recognized patterns in the materials that were taught. These skills have set me up nicely for the rest of the semester even though it has just been the beginning classes. By improving and learning more every class, I think this semester of Korean History, a subject that I had never previously studied, can continue to expand my knowledge of not only Korea but also the world around us.
The fact that we were able to come up with the topics we wanted to study this semester has really made the class material more personal and easier to learn. As far as the primary and secondary sources that I was provided, I found it difficult to understand them at first. But as time went on class after class, I was able to understand Korean language better which, in turn, gave me the skills necessary to better connect with the class material. I think the ability to read the sources well and comprehend them will become even easier the more sources that I read and evaluate.
Preparing for class has been somewhat of a challenge for me. I like the fact that we had an input in what we are learning, but when it comes to reading the chapters of the textbook I still struggle putting the pieces together between what names go with what kingdoms and what time period I am learning about. Because the language is foreign to me and I do not have a good background on Korea as a whole, I constantly have to remind myself what we learned before and how that connects with what we are learning now. As far as the website goes, I am not very good with technology, so I know my website is a little bland. This is something that I want to work on so that I can create more appealing posts and hopefully inspire others to look at my website.
Weekly reflections have helped me throughout this course. By going back and reminding myself of what we did during the week, I can better remember what was taught. It also gives me a platform to dive deeper into the material. For example, I found it very interesting to learn about how historians gather information about a time period’s culture by examining the tombs that were made for the aristocrats at that time. When we learned about that in class, I wanted to know more so I spent more time, while writing my weekly reflection, researching archaeology and how historians examine the tombs. The weekly reflections give me more motivation to dive deeper and explore the subjects that we talked about in class or read about in the readings.
Because we have not made it super far into the course yet, it is difficult to recognize patterns in Korean History. However, with the knowledge that I now have of the Three Kingdoms, I can see how the order of the Three Kingdoms came into place and the conflict that Korea still has today with China over what culture belongs to what country. Learning about Buddhism briefly last class has helped me realize that The Three Kingdoms adopted the religion from China because China held a lot of power in that time period and Korea wanted in on the action.