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The Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement, passed in October by the U.S. Congress and last week by the National Assembly of South Korea, was seen as a political victory for President Obama’s push to revive the U.S. economy. But it produced winners and losers; the picture is a nuanced one.
Last spring, I landed in Beijing knowing little more than “ni hao” (hi) and “zai jian” (bye). The six non-Chinese speakers in the group were placed into a four-day intensive survival Chinese class. Each class ran about three hours and purely focused on teaching us just enough spoken Chinese to get around the city: how to grab a taxi, how to bargain down prices, how to say sorry and thank you, etc. After four quick classes ended, we were at a juncture point where we could either try to supplement our not-even-skeletal grasp of Chinese with clumsy real-life interactions, or drop it altogether and resort to our natural patterns of speech.
I recently asked a friend how she was doing. In not-so-typical Duke fashion, she—a philosophy and literature student—gave me a mouthful of a response. She told me about upcoming consulting interviews and described her sense of anxiety as being caused by a capitalistic system that values human beings for their economic output. Those who don’t produce become alienated within the system, according to her.
I recently watched Boon Joon-Ho’s “The Host,” a South Korean monster flick with familiar Hollywood conventions but unique Korean characteristics and context.
A friend in my study abroad program, Tim, was interviewing a microfinance borrower when his translator told him the woman spent $300 on two bulls. But Tim heard “bowl” instead of “bull,” and in disbelief, said, “I have to see these bowls.” The family took him around the house, where a bull was grazing next to a ceramic bowl on the ground.
Due to programs like DukeEngage, many more Duke students have summer experiences in places where the world’s “bottom billion” live, like Southeastern Asia, Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa. But once there, many of us might have conflicting feelings of guilt or self-doubt.
In Shenzhen, a rash of employee suicides in 2010 raised questions about the tough work culture at Foxconn, the primary supplier of Apple’s iPhones and iPads. According to an article in The New York Times, 19-year-old Ma Xiangqian worked 11-hour shifts seven nights a week to create electronic parts and earned about $1 an hour. Xiangqian jumped to his death from his dormitory window early in January, the first of more than twelve suicides that year.
Fighting over the bill was a custom I saw often between relatives or close friends while growing up in Seoul, South Korea, but not really in the States.
Last December, Shanghai students debuted in an international standardized test—the Program for International Student Assessment—and outperformed the rest of the world in reading, math and science while the U.S. scored 15th place in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in math.
A gender gap still exists at the School of Medicine, where there are fewer than four females for every 10 members of the faculty.
For the fourth year in a row, Duke received a B+ on the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, falling behind some of its peer institutions.
More than 20 campus organizations set up tables Friday in support of the LGBT community among the rainbow balloons and flags on the West Campus Plaza.
In an effort to cut costs, students in general chemistry and organic chemistry classes this semester are conducting half of their laboratory sessions outside of class on their computers.
Charles MacCormack said nonprofits are in desperate need of “orchestra leaders”: people with technical backgrounds and entrepreneurial instincts that can handle global problems in an increasingly complex world.
In a speech on civility in discourse, Jim Leach reminded the crowd that Thomas Hobbes had once called the life of man “nasty, brutish and short.”
More than 70 students packed into a room in the West Union Building last night for the fourth annual “Minorities on Wall Street” event.
A panel of state officials met for the first time Wednesday afternoon to discuss the search process for a new director of the State Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab after a report released last month revealed agent misconduct through evidence misrepresentation.
When junior Adam Banks sees a rainbow tie wrapped around his doorknob, he knows he needs to get lost.
University faculty publish research on topics such as color blindness in monkeys and asexual fungus-gardening ants—work that is sometimes overlooked by the general public.
This month, Duke law students launched the nation’s first chapter of the International Criminal Court Student Network. The group sponsored a training session last Friday.