A City Surrounded by MountainsPosted: January 3, 2013
As you might have seen on the calendar of upcoming events, yesterday we paid a visit to the Korean Development Institute. The very first thing I noticed when I walked into the seminar room was the beautiful view of Seoul. This city is surrounded by mountains! Who would have thought. Its absolutely beautiful! I have this deep desire to go mountain climbing now.
Anyways, the first presentation given by Professor Jungho Yoo of the KDI school was extremely insightful. It was interesting to hear such a unique perspective on the “Korean Experience” as it is referred to by the KDI. While much of the readings we mulled over in class focused on policies the government implemented to promote expansion this presentation focused on policies that removed impediments…a very different view. The first presentation kind of makes me want to reread all of the articles we read in class with this perspective in mind. From this point of view Koreas development was not as astonishing as it is made to seem. In fact its a matter of getting things right in terms of focus, timing, and policies to foster economic growth. A topic that I thought was particularly interesting was that the HCI Drive of the 70′s was started in response to a potential threat to national security. The presentation was so convincing I kind of just want to remove all of the essays from the Learn section of this blog…but I’m not going to do that because I still think the papers are worth reading. This is definitely the most important lesson I was able to take away from this day.
Later in the evening we had dinner at the Chosun hotel with Dr. Kihwan Kimย and other Grinnell Alum. I realized that Dr. Kihwan Kim is kind of like the Dr. Austin for black students except for Korean students…interesting. We were again reminded of the powerhouses that are coming out of Grinnell and encouraged to remain confident in our preparation for success.