Archive for the Korea-Inspired Material Category

THE HELPLESS FEELING OF BEING IN LOVE…PART 1

Posted in Articles, Korea-Inspired Material, Short Stories on March 2, 2011 by Wesley Jansen

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Introduction

“The single young man can build a comfortable fortress of indifference from which he can observe relationships as an unbiased spectator”

I have gone through many significant personal changes since I’ve been in Korea. It’s amazing how being a foreigner in another country can teach you a lot about yourself, yet it is even more amazing how you go through personal changes that you couldn’t possibly predict. My dear friend and reader, I would like to invite you, once again, into one of the many fascinating experiences I have recently had here in Korea. Please read my words and consider my thoughts, for I am ever-compelled to share my feelings with you. Let us walk together as I tell you about my dramatically changed perspective on love and relationships.

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On the plane ride to South Korea, I truly wondered how I would emotionally adapt to being alone in a strange environment. More specifically, I wondered if I would find a significant other, a beautiful and sensitive young woman to share my experiences with, someone to be with me so that I wouldn’t get lonely. I must confess that during my first month here, I kept hoping that I would meet someone special. I was very uneasy about being alone. Every morning when I woke up I would ask myself, “Will today finally be the day when I meet her?”

But as time went on, my feelings began to change. I slowly began to stop anticipating when I would find someone else, and I found that being alone was not so bad. After learning how to get around the city of Changwon and do things on my own, I began to recognize the value of my freedom to use my spare time to do whatever I felt like doing. In fact, I learned to really cherish it.

While I was in this process of becoming emotionally independent, I began to look at relationships differently. When I lived in the States, being single all the time actually bothered me. Not only was I lonely, but I also felt like such an outsider because it seemed like everyone else I knew had a significant other. Whenever someone would ask me if I had a girlfriend, I would say no and then feel embarrassed. I really thought that I was strange for being single, and I always wondered if I was that one piece of the puzzle that just didn’t fit anywhere. It was almost as if I was an unusual specimen to be observed by other people who were in relationships, like I was an example of “what NOT to be like.”

A couple of months in Korea changed all that. I no longer cared if I was perceived as being strange for not having a girlfriend. (Hell, I’m already strange to everyone here because I’m a foreigner.) And I didn’t feel bad about being single…I loved being single!! I loved making my own plans, going on my own whims, and structuring my free time as I wanted. I felt free as a bird because I could enjoy my own imagination and my solitude. I thought it was so ironic that I learned to enjoy being single in a country that is just as romantic as it is mysterious. And believe me, Korea is a romantic country. (Well…South Korea is anyway) Married couples get along very well, and it is easy to see that they have built relationships based on mutual love, warmth, affection, and strong family ties. Younger couples constantly walk down my street at night holding hands, and it seems like the majority of Korean songs, both traditional and modern, are about passion, love, and romance.

So there I was, in a country full of romance, and I wasn’t making the slightest effort to start a relationship with anyone. Despite the abundance of beautiful and intelligent women, I was content to just sit back and observe other couples. I thought I was such a strong and unique person to be able to observe a happy couple and to take delight in the fact that they had found each other without feeling jealous or lonely.

As I continued to develop this inner-peace within my own solitude, I also reflected on my own personality. I thoughtfully acknowledged the reality that I have certain elements of my personality that would actually make it difficult for a woman to have a relationship with me. I have a very strange imagination, and my mind often wanders off on its own. Because of this, I tend to become withdrawn and absent-minded in social situations, and people can easily perceive me as insincere because I don’t always pay attention. I also tend to forget things that people tell me about themselves due to the fact that I am usually lost in my own little world. This would be very aggravating to a significant other, and I realized that this would fuel the perception that I wasn’t emotionally involved in the relationship. In addition to this, I also acknowledged that many of my personal habits, namely smoking and drinking, do not appeal to young, healthy, intelligent women. And it doesn’t take an active imagination to understand how these two behaviors alone can create multiple inconvenient problems in a relationship.

But personality weaknesses aside, I also had to accept the fact that I was very selfish about my own needs and wants, that I didn’t want to change anything about my personality or behavior to accommodate anyone else, and that I was too wrapped up in my own individuality to share my time or my feelings with someone. In a strange way, and I even chuckle at this, I got the idea that keeping myself single would benefit both me and the opposite sex. I would be free to explore and enjoy my own strange mind without frustrating someone else with my impulsive, absent-minded behavior or letting them down in any other way.

Strangely, I began to perceive relationships as a burden. I suppose it was because I projected my own unique needs and wants onto the couples I was observing. I asked myself, “How can all these people be truly happy when they have to devote so much time, energy, and emotion into another person?” I imagined that these individuals would have very little free time to do what they wanted to do or even to explore their own interests. I also pondered the emotional strain of being in a relationship, and I asked myself, “How can any of them be happy when they have to compromise so much by investing their love in another person who may let them down or disappoint them? How can they find inner-peace when they allow themselves to become so vulnerable by trusting someone else with their feelings and emotions?”

I continued thinking about these things, and I really am sorry to confess this, but I even began to perceive myself as better than they were. I allowed my own foolish pride to take over as I began to think of myself as some kind of “bad ass” because I was so strong, tough, and independent that I didn’t need a special someone in my life. Yes, there I was, in a romantic country full of happy couples, thinking, “I’m Wesley Jansen, master of my own fate. I’m so tough that I don’t need love or personal attention, or any of that emotional garbage.” And I thought, “Hey. The world is too interesting for love anyway. There is too much to see, too much to do, and too much to explore. To Hell with love, I’m going to be Indiana Jones!!” Little did I know that I was about to have yet another change of perspective…

There is a small mountain in Changwon that I often like to climb on weekends. In fact, the city of Changwon is cradled within a valley of beautiful mountains. Mountain climbing is a very popular activity in this city as there are numerous mountains to choose from. Because all of the mountains have hiking trails and rest areas, anybody can climb them for exercise and leisure. It is not uncommon to see elderly people, young people, and even families on any given mountain trail. All of the mountains have small parks. These small parks are actually kind of neat. They have benches to sit on, water fountains, and even exercise equipment such as chin-up bars, bench press stations, monkey bars, incline benches for sit-ups and stretching, and sometimes even hula hoops. All in all, they are very quaint little outdoor recreation areas.

The small mountain I frequently climb also has one of these at its base. The mountain itself only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to climb, which makes it a very convenient area for brief exercise or even just a place to enjoy the outdoors. (without the strenuous physical activity of climbing a bigger mountain)

One Sunday afternoon, I decided to go and climb my favorite little mountain so that I could enjoy my newly found pride and individuality in a beautiful place with lovely weather. I walked from my apartment to the mountain, which took about 25 minutes, and I did a few chin-ups in the small park at the base of the mountain before I began climbing.

The scenery at the top of the mountain was just as fascinating as it always was. I could see the entire city, with all of its tall buildings and houses, from a view that was unobstructed by the numerous trees that decorate the mountain. I remember thinking, “Wow! I can see the entire city, and the view is all mine…the view is all mine, just like the rest of my life…it’s all mine, it belongs to me and me alone.” I was truly pleased with myself for finally obtaining a solid, individualistic perspective that would permit me the power to create my own experiences without worrying about someone else.

With this state of mind, I began my descent….

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THE HELPLESS FEELING OF BEING IN LOVE…PART 2

Posted in Articles, Korea-Inspired Material, Short Stories on March 2, 2011 by Wesley Jansen

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Upon returning to the park at the base of the mountain, I decided to rest my body and sit on one of the benches overlooking the rest of the park. I sat there for a while and just watched several small groups of Korean people going about their routines. Some were drinking from the fountains, some were reading books, and some were even walking their dogs. Everyone in the park was pretty much minding their own business, so I opened my small green backpack (which I always take with me to the mountains) and took out a book to read. It was a book about ancient and modern philosophies. I read for over an hour. As evening began to settle in, I put my book away and was about to get up and leave when I suddenly noticed a young Korean couple sitting on a bench about 40 feet opposite me. The young man, who couldn’t have been older than 25 years old, had a handsome, slender face and short black hair. The young woman, about the same age, was absolutely stunning. She had big brown eyes and long, straight black hair that went down past her shoulders. They both had medium builds with heights near 5 feet, 9 inches, and they both had perfect features. My very first glance at them told me the entire story. They were holding hands and looking deeply into each other’s eyes, completely oblivious to me, everyone else in the park, and the rest of the world as well.

I wanted to leave, but I found that I could not take my eyes off them. They just sat there looking at each other as moments went by, lost in each other’s gaze. The young woman moved her hand behind the young man’s head and began to gently caress his hair as she drew his face closer to hers. They then proceeded to softly rub their noses together like two deer in a mystical forest. Without a care in the world, they rose from their park bench and started dancing slowly, moving their bodies in perfect rhythmic harmony to the music of their own souls. The young man had his hands around her waist while his head rested comfortably on her shoulder. She had her eyes closed, and her cheek was pressed lovingly against the side of his head as she continued to caress his hair and his neck. I couldn’t believe that I was even watching two individuals. Every movement they made was in such perfect harmony that I truly wondered if I was witnessing the movements of two bodies occupied by one soul. It was clear that they were no ordinary couple. They were inseparable.

As I kept watching them, I was drawn further and further into their world. I was like a welcome visitor who was allowed to observe the beauty and mystery of their love. The softness of her loving caress and the bewildering depth of her soul-penetrating brown eyes created the soothing bed of feathers upon which his spirit rested. I could hardly blame him for submitting to her eyes…eyes that exerted impelling yet pleasing dominance over the rationality of his thoughts, the changing seasons of his emotional being, and the vulnerability of his human heart…for those eyes could halt the wildest ocean storm. I could see that it was a cosmic impossibility for him to escape the magnetic force of those luminous, sad brown eyes…eyes that contained his entire world…and I knew that he would experience infinite languishing if he were separated from her. And if they were never together again, he would remember her sweet fragrance…and it would bring a waterfall of tears.

I could no longer escape. I was hopelessly drawn in by the unique and powerful aura that encompassed this eminent couple. In some strange and mysterious way, I was able to obtain a full sense of how deeply these two felt about each other. All the hidden secrets of the world, from the blue skies above to the depths of the oceans below, did not concern this young man. He would give them all up just to hold her in his arms for but a brief moment. And she as well, would cast away a glorious lifetime of experiences, with every promised moment of individual happiness and indeed the very feeling of soaring through the stars above, just to hold him close and calm the rhythm of his beating heart.

While I was in a state of being completely absorbed by this couple, a strange feeling slowly overtook me. It felt as though some hidden essence from within me rose from the pit of my stomach, tugged gently at my heart, and sent small mild waves of tenderness throughout my entire being. I could feel my chest tighten a little bit as a small lump began forming in my throat. Suddenly, my eyes began to well up, and my lips began to tremble. I had to look away for a moment…I had to regain my composure or else they would realize that I was watching them. I tried to focus my thoughts on rational things to calm myself down. Anything, anything…my weekend plans, my goals for the future, my favorite books, my favorite movies…anything! All of a sudden I heard innocent giggles of joy. I looked up and saw the two of them laughing delightfully at a couple of small puppy dogs that were blissfully playing and pawing at each other in a small patch of grass nearby. As the puppies continued tumbling around and pawing at each other, like young puppies often do, I kept watching the young couple. They chuckled at the two puppies for a few moments…and then…their eyes turned slowly toward one another…and they embraced each other in a kiss that could make the sun rise.

I was subdued gently by their harmonious, exquisite happiness…swept away by their captivating, youthful companionship…and settled gracefully within the easy confines of my own solitary existence. I realized that I had become hopelessly lost within the sweetness of the moment. And when I found myself again, sitting silently on my lonely mountain bench, I reflected on my own situation, I looked deeply inward, and I calmly and quietly asked myself a very serious question…

“What if this couple were suddenly blasted off the face of the Earth by some unknown, truculent entity and hurled ridiculously across the Universe and directly into a black hole only to be spewed out into a horrifying reality dominated by ugly, vengeful, man-eating spider-fish monkeys?”

I stared at the dirt by my shoes and pondered this question with much concern. When I looked up at the couple and saw that they were still holding each other, I found that instead of being “captivated” by their “companionship,” I was actually quite annoyed with them. I was annoyed with them because it dawned on me that they had never even given serious thought to this question. It was as if they weren’t even worried about it at all!! I became more and more pissed off at them. Who the hell did they think they were, anyway? Were they so damn special that it could never happen to them? Did they have some kind of special “divine” protection against the spider-fish monkeys? As these questions ran through my mind, my frustration at their lack of concern for this issue turned into a deep, cold anger. I asked myself, “What would happen to their precious love if they were actually cast into the world of the spider-fish monkeys? Would they still hold each other so close if they were being relentlessly pursued by multitudes of seven-foot tall bloodthirsty creatures with eight giant spider legs, monkey torsos with monkey arms and monkey hands, and football-sized fish heads with razor-sharp teeth?” And I answered myself, “Yes, of course they would because they’re just so damned better than everyone else!”

Much to my surprise, I suddenly began to wish that they WERE being chased by spider-fish monkeys. “YES,” I said to myself. “That would put a swift end to their”…I suddenly realized that they were both looking at me, both with perplexed and somewhat concerned expressions on their faces. But I didn’t care. I was furious, and I was going to let them both have a piece of my mind. I got up and threw my green backpack on the ground. I pointed at the young man, and in a language he didn’t understand, shouted,

“You foolish young lover!! Will you retain that lethargic, tranquil, love lost countenance when you come face to face with those merciless, unfeeling fish eyes…fish eyes that crave nothing more than to trample you with spider legs and feast on you with monkey hands before swallowing your soul deep down into a cold, fishy, dark, watery abyss of insubstantiality?”

Then I pointed to the young woman, and in a language she didn’t understand, shouted,

“And you!! You hopeless ‘love stricken’ young woman!! Will you still hold this young man close to you with the deepest, most secretive depths of your passionate love when he confronts that spidery, fishy abomination with all the courage and bravery of a four-year old girl? And will he still retain that cherished place as the true love of your eternal heart when you see him run away…screaming wildly and urinating himself uncontrollably …as those eight spider legs dance gleefully after him?”

Needless to say, the young couple took their leave from my presence…with a very hurried pace. And I thought to myself, “Yes, that’s right. You’ll both be moving a lot faster than that when the spider-fish monkeys are after you.” I could see it vividly in my own mind. The couple is stranded in a vast desert: no food, no water; no plants, no trees; no beautiful rivers, no magnificent mountains; no little puppies, no pretty flowers…and no hope…just spider-fish monkeys.

I had no doubt in my mind that the very first spider-fish monkey they encountered would immediately attack the young man. Why? Because he is bigger and would provide more food. Also, he will run faster, which would make it even more fun to catch him. I could see it happening…

“Running desperately through the sand, the young man tries to escape the eight-legged monster. Any thought or concern for his lovely female counterpart now completely vanishes as the unholy beast looms larger and larger behind him. He runs faster, he screams louder, he cries harder…and then he trips… Clumsily, he tumbles to the ground, face-first into the hot, unforgiving sand. Just as he tries to get up, he is trampled by the creature and knocked around hopelessly within a violent hurricane of spider legs. He lies on his back, bruised and bleeding. The spider-fish monkey bends down gracefully, all eight spider-legs shift appropriately to accommodate its upper-body, as it grabs the helpless lover off the ground. Clutching him firmly with powerful monkey hands, the creature brings him closer and closer to its ugly fish head with its cold, dead fish eyes. It opens its fish mouth and bears all of its razor-sharp, prehistoric fish teeth. The doomed lover tries to utter one last pathetic little sand-choked scream as his face is brought closer and closer to those horrible fish teeth from Hell. He can smell his own cold, fishy death right in front of him as the spider-fish monkey opens wide and then… … …”

Ok. I’m going to stop here because I realize that this lovely bit of fiction is starting to show you how demented I am. But since it is already embarrassingly apparent that I either have numerous, irreversible psychological problems or I am just a profoundly hopeless asshole, I may as well provide some insight into the inspiration I used to create this wonderful little work of art. The cute couple I observed was not actually in a mountain park. I observed them on a bus as I was going to some Korean city the name of which I cannot spell, pronounce, or even remember. (Whatever city it was, I had a good time) The couple was sitting in the seats just in front of me, and I was sitting in one of the seats in the very back of the bus. My seat was elevated, so I was easily able to observe them. They were a couple of teenagers, and it did truly seem that it would have taken a couple of pry bars to separate them. In other words, they were the closest couple I had yet seen in Korea.

I could tell immediately that I was gaining some “writer’s inspiration” from watching them. But before I wrote this, I had to ask myself, “Do I really want to devote and exhaust my artistic abilities describing the most romantic couple on the face of the Earth only so that I can heartlessly plunge them into a black hole and have them devoured by imaginary creatures?” After a thorough questioning of my morals and personal values, and after much soul-searching, the answer was…ABSOLUTELY!!

After all, wouldn’t they do the same thing to me if they had the chance? Let us consider this very seriously by asking ourselves the following rhetorical question: If it is completely possible that I, as a single person, can observe couples who are happily in love and then sacrifice a tremendous amount of precious time and energy constructing an imaginary world in which they meet their humiliating doom…is it not also completely possible that they would observe me and construct a similar (if not worse) fate for me? After a considerable amount of personal reflection on this matter, I would have to say that the answer is…ABSOLUTELY!!

And why, you may ask, would I do such a thing to them? Because I have nothing better to do…and I think it is tremendously funny.

And why, you may ask, would they do such a thing to me? Because secretly they are really bored with each other, their public displays of affection are nothing more than a deceptive mask they wear every day that ironically fools only them into thinking they actually like each other, they have nothing better to do…and they think it is tremendously funny.

But far be it from me to claim that romance and true love do not exist. For I have no doubt in my mind that every couple that stays together has a hidden spark deep down that will burst into a flame of passion at just the right moment. And I always pride myself on being able to see the positive things in life. So after I was delightfully granted the opportunity to observe those enchanting young lovers on the bus, so romantically enthralled within each other’s warm and caring embrace, I thoughtfully formulated 4 ways in which I could use the inspiration I so blessedly received from them. I could:

A) Devote my time and energy to helping others and improving the lives of those around me by engaging in socially meaningful activities.

B) Improve my personality so that I could spread blessed cheerfulness to others and strive to awaken the beautiful radiance of many smiling faces.

C) Absorb myself in a captivating, spiritually enlightening book that would enhance my knowledge, bring out the best of my spirit, and transform my outlook on life in such a way that I would embrace each and every morning as a new opportunity to change the world in my own small, humble way…

-OR-

D) Ruthlessly cast this couple into an ugly world full of horrible, repulsive creatures that would cold-heartedly tear down the sweet fortress of their love by frightening the young man so bad that he urinates himself and runs away terrified, only to be trampled on and then eaten by razor-sharp, prehistoric fish teeth.

I submitted myself to a lengthy personal struggle as I sought the inner-truth that would guide me on the right path… and a big, beaming smile broke out across my face as I began to see the light.

With a sparkle in my eye,
an overwhelming amount of joy in my heart,
and a sweet little tear of happiness rolling down my cheek,

I chose option D

The End

Hagwon Hell

Posted in Articles, Korea-Inspired Material, Poetry on March 2, 2011 by Wesley Jansen

Ode to the unfortunate English Academy Teacher in Korea

REFRAIN:

Up in the morning and down the road
to Hagwon Hell you go
The hours are long and the students are jerks
My friend, this is going to blow

Your students are stressed; they go to school all day…
They always do homework…they have no time to play

But it’s not really their fault that they study too much…
Their parents are forcing them…to be doctors and lawyers and such

The Korean economy is tough, and these kids are out of luck…
Because if they don’t learn English…their futures are fucked…

And it doesn’t really matter what dreams they hold dear…
If they don’t study their asses off…they won’t have careers

REFRAIN

Up in the morning and down the road
to Hagwon Hell you go
The hours are long and the students are jerks
My friend, this is going to blow

These children have pressure, and they feel quite blue…
But when they vent their frustration…the target is YOU!!!

They shout and they whine, they insult and abuse…
And all they do is laugh at you…when you blow a fuse

The students are tired, and they don’t give a shit…
They hate learning English…and they think you’re a prick

You thought you’d love teaching, but after this year…
All you’re going to care about…are hookers and beer

REFRAIN

Up in the morning and down the road
to Hagwon Hell you go
The hours are long and the students are jerks
My friend, this is going to blow

If-Then Statements…Korean Style

Posted in Articles, Korea-Inspired Material on March 2, 2011 by Wesley Jansen

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I asked my students to create some “if then” statements because I wanted them to reveal their logic in English words. This is what they came up with…

If someone kill you…then you die

If you kill someone…then you go to prison or die

If you jump from building’s roof…then you hurt a lot

If you have a car…then you must give to government a tax

Dissatisfactly, If you are a foreigner…then you draw a distinction by people

If I study English hard…then I will talk well by English

If there is hurricane…then I will crazy

If I can’t have my spirit…then I feel confusion a lot

If it wind…then the tree and anything will be fly

If you hit me…then I hit you, too

If you watch TV…then you will be fun

If you catch the ball…then your team is win

If I have ball…then I will exercise the soccer

If I have brain…then I will study English

If it winds…then the people is die

If it rains…then the many building destroy

If it strange winds…then many people will be dangerous

If you leave here…then I’m sad

If I don’t study…then my test is bad

If she hate me…then I’m sad

If you like me…then I’m so happy

If I buy game player…then I’m so fun

If I get some pocket-money…then I will buy many snack

If you give us little homework…then we will be happy

If my glasses are break…then I can’t see anything

If I hit you…then you will be die

If I call you every day…then you will be happy

If you play computer game a lot…then you will be stupid…

and finally….from the notebook of the sweetest, prettiest, cutest, and most innocent-looking little girl in the classroom…

If I have a dog…then I will eat the dog

So much for Fluffy….

SPIDERMAN AND NOODLEMAN

Posted in Articles, Korea-Inspired Material on March 2, 2011 by Wesley Jansen

A Story About A True Hero

Throughout the history of literature, stories have had the power to spread knowledge, inspire people, and evoke the deepest of human emotion. In fact, some of the greatest wisdom can be found in short stories. The words and details of a good short story can dance gracefully through our minds and give us the wings of knowledge by which we can soar through the very heavens above.

The deep passion I have for short stories inspired me to give my Korean students a special homework assignment. I asked them to write their own short stories.

They wrote many interesting stories, but there was one story that stood out among the rest.  (It was written by the prettiest, most adorable little Korean girl in the entire class.  She looked like an absolute doll.  I’ll never forget her cute, innocent, and expressionless face as she handed me her notebook.)   

It is a story about a true hero.  The details of the story magically bring the characters to life. I’m sure you will agree that this special story provides phenomenal details as it captures the true essence of what it really means to be a hero.

Here it is:

SPIDERMAN and NOODLEMAN

Spiderman and Noodleman is friend.
One day, Spiderman and Noodleman is fight.
And child shout, “Help, I can’t see any.”
Noodleman and Spiderman is hear that sound and go there.
Noodleman is help the child
But Spiderman is not brave.
So Noodleman is famous.

Noodleman say…”My noodle is not thin.”

The story left me speechless

What The Hell Was This Kid Trying To Say?

Posted in Articles, Korea-Inspired Material on March 2, 2011 by Wesley Jansen

Since I’ve been in Korea, I’ve run across many strange sayings. When the Korean language is translated into English, it often comes across as very odd because Korean words don’t always find their true counterpart in the English language. I also understand that the word patterning is different. (For example: in English we say “It is very sunny outside.” When the same sentence is spoken in Korean, the word patterning would come across as “Outside is very sunny.”) Korean and English are very different languages. Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen the following:

1. A Notebook that says:

“Be chic about a notebook. Tasty character is our best criterion”

(Well…I’m not chic and I don’t think notebooks are tasty)

2. A fast food restaurant with the logo:

“Enjoy deliciously, good food and happy time”

(Does that mean I get a blow job after my meal???)

and…

3. A bar called:

“No Name”

(Right…probably no business either)

Anyway, I have now run across something that has me completely baffled and speechless. A true riddle wrapped in an enigma. I asked my students to take out a piece of paper and write a short paragraph describing their personalities. This is what one of them wrote:

“My personality is dirty and smell…
because I like to violent…
I play to hit the my friend…
and we play at the pc room…
so we use bad speak (for example ㄳ ㅑㅗㅎ)…
My friend is violent…
My personality is very very dirty…
Ok, yes…
Describe is shark.”

and people wonder why I drink…

Cause and Effect…Korean Style

Posted in Articles, Korea-Inspired Material on March 2, 2011 by Wesley Jansen

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.

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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.