International Week: Korean Club

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International Week: Korean Club

A student in Korean Club practices the traditional drums during a club meeting.

A student in Korean Club practices the traditional drums during a club meeting.

A student in Korean Club practices the traditional drums during a club meeting.

A student in Korean Club practices the traditional drums during a club meeting.

By Alli Lipsit, Staff Writer

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International Week has finally arrived, and as everyone munches on their favorite cultural foods and watches the different traditional dances, it’s important to remember that there are a lot of clubs behind these festivities, and a lot of hard work has been put into not only making International week a diverse, fun, and educational experience but making the whole year like this as well.

One of the clubs behind these festivities is Korean Club, hosted by ELL tutor Gee Sook Baik

Baik came to work at Niles West in 1999, and became an essential member of the club, always organizing events and making fun activities for the students.  Baik officially became the sponsor of the club in 2005 and has been a prominent asset to the club ever since.

Baik is an especially great sponsor to the club because of the various new and unique activities she creates for the club such as teaching the students Korean, cooking traditional Korean foods, and even taking the kids on field trips sometimes.

“The first semester we mainly focus on the international festival, so we normally practice the Korean traditional dance, drums and K-Pop for the first hour of the club, and spend the second half learning the Korean language. A lot of kids are interested in learning the language, but we don’t have an official Korean class at Niles West,” Baik said.

But just because International week is over, doesn’t mean that Korean Club is out of new adventures to go on!

“I like to take them out to experience Korean food a lot. And every year I like to have a traditional Korean game day where we come to school the whole day from morning to night and play a very well known game from a TV show. It’s sort of like running man, it’s very popular in Korea.” Baik said

Baik also likes to host Korean cooking competitions for the kids as well where they get to make and eat traditional Korean foods and turn it into a contest.

Not only are the kids getting an educational and cultural experience out of the club, but social ones as well, which is why many of the students seem to especially like the social aspect of the club, as it gives them a time and a place to connect with new people who have the same cultural appropriations as them.

“My favorite part of the club is really just that I get to make new friends who share the same interests as me. You get to meet a lot of great people and you have a great time learning about the Korean culture while you do so,” sophomore Megan Lu.

Lu’s opinion isn’t an unpopular one, as many other students feel the same way about the club.

“The overall environment is so positive and upbeat, I encourage anyone to go ahead and join! Be prepared to make friends and have fun if you do,” explains an anonymous club member.

International week may over, but Niles West’s Korean Club is still going as strong as ever! Feel free to pop in to a meeting any time, which are hosted every Tuesday from 3:30-6:30.