Cause and Effect…Korean Style

I asked my older Korean students to write short essays dealing with “Cause and Effect.” In other words, they had to write about some type of situation or event and describe the causes for that situation or event.

Please forgive the spelling errors as these are the ACTUAL WORDS that were written in my student’s journals.

Before I introduce this first piece, I should explain that at the time…(Spring, 2008)…many Koreans were angry about Korean President Lee Myoung-Bak’s negotiation with President Bush to lift the ban on the importation of beef from the United States despite the risk of “mad cow disease.” Like I said, many Koreans were furious about this, and there were major demonstrations in Seoul that led to violence.

Essay #1

Title: “Cause and Effection”

“I’m write about Topic ’cause and effection.’ My topic is mad cow disease. In this situation, cause is FTA. Our President negotiation with America. We can imfort 30 month’s cow. In this cow has ‘mad cow disease.’ This disease means cow is mad. so if we eat this cow, we can be crazy and dead soon. so effection is our Korean is angry, so they have a demo. Thousands of people did demo. So this is cause and effection of mad cow disease.”

It is a well-known fact that Koreans study constantly and that they go to school day and night. It is not uncommon to see students walking home with their backpacks at 1:00 in the morning. It’s absolutely insane how much school they go through. They all go to regular day schools, but they also go to various “academies” after school, whether these are English academies, math academies, or science academies. Another odd fact about Korea is that prostitution is everywhere, especially in downtown areas. So basically, you have two things that are extremely abundant in any downtown area in Korea…academies and hookers. (One night, I was sitting outside of a GS-Mart drinking a beer and relaxing at about 1:30 in the morning. I watched three very drunk and loud hookers stagger down the street and around the corner. Then, I saw four middle-school students, each with backpacks, riding their bikes down the very same street and around the very same corner. (I mean…what the fuck!!! It was like watching a parade…first you see drunk hookers staggering down the street…and then you see tired students with backpacks right behind them.)

Anyway, I diverge. (I just wanted to talk about hookers for a while) Back to my original point. Korean students are under extreme academic pressure…

Essay #2

Title: The Final Test

“I finished the final test a few days ago. So, I felt very happy and good. But the feel was not continue. Next day I got report card. When I saw it, I dischourged. My grade was so poor. I studied very hard, but I didn’t got a grade I wanted. Why couldn’t I get? This time, I did my best. So I don’t want to be punish from my mother. I hid it. However she found it in my school bag. I said to my mother, “Mom, I’m sorry, I love you.” But she hit me all day long. I think its lucky that I didn’t die…I realized, Cause is always as same as Effect.”

I have no way of gracefully concluding this writing piece, so I’m going to go smoke a cigarette.


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