01 October 2009

Teaching, Week 6 - Their Dreams (Year 3, Day 37)

Chuseok (추석) is this weekend, and I will be spending today through Sunday in Pyeongchang (평창) with the family that so graciously hosted me during my first year in Korea. Since I don't want to be a rude guest, I won't be preparing my customary Friday posting while staying at their house. Instead, enjoy the following early edition.

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Since this week was mid-terms for the first graders, there's not a whole lot to report about this week's teaching duties. The adult conversation classes were personally productive, and as an added bonus, on Monday, the faculty treated me to lunch at a mushroom restaurant, famous for its Pine Tree variety mushrooms (송이버섯). Some of the mushrooms there were imported from North Korea. These were actually half the price of the South Korean varieties which sold at over 1,000,000 won ($842) for about six mushrooms the size of a fist. We did not partake of those instead favoring the cheaper mushrooms that came with the more usual bancheon meal.

I did get around to finally grading the writing assignments sitting on my desk from last week. Usually, grading is a rush job for me. I don't particularly enjoy reading the same answers to the same questions over and over again. But this time, I took my time with it since I had ample time to spare.

Despite the effort involved in grading the free writing assignments I give, I am learning more about my students through this medium than I could ever hope to otherwise. I am discovering that besides the science researchers and professors that everyone expects them to be they also aspire to be linguists, travel writers, musicians, painters, magicians, and space explorers. They are letting me into their lives in such ways that I question the veracity of their responses. Would they share these secret desires with anyone in Korean? Does English serve as a kind of safe zone for freedom of expression at times?

Regardless, I am honored and humbled to be allowed into their worlds.

The prompt was "Someday, I want to..." Below are some of the responses. Enjoy!

My quietest student...
Someday I want to study everything. I don't want studying Math and Science only. And I want to speak at least five languages.
On taking tests...
I want to make a line in OMR card in test. [He means draw a line straight through all of the D's on a scantron card for a multiple choice test.] During middle school, I tried to do it, but I wasn't so brave that I could make it. I heard that second graders [American system 11th grade] who will graduate early do it. They said they play blackjack game (making his point to 21) in test.... I'd like to do this happily (without worrying about my point)
There were many aspiring world travelers, but this one took the cake...
I want to travel Africa on foot. Because there are so many kinds of animals and plants. So maybe traveling Africa will be very exciting. And I also want to travel Antarctica. Because Antarctica is wonderful. Antarctica has clean air, water, soil.. so maybe traveling Antarctica will be so fresh to me.
The future Vincent van Gogh...
Someday I want to draw picture. Actually, I want to more free life. So, I want to go traveling all of country in the world. There are many personal people, variety culture, etc. I want to go through them, to feel them. In short I want to art, traveling many other country. I think that it is more free than now.
A child of faith and service...
According to the Bible and many other predictor says, There will be a disaster in close future. So, I want to relieve other people from dreadful disaster. For this, I want to be engineer and improve life quality or solve problem.
A Korean who knows the difficulties facing his society...
Someday, I want to be one of the most famous people.... I want to find or to make a revolution in science. Sometimes, I want to have a revolution in Korean society. But.. I think it is too hard to do.
A future lover...
Someday, I want to marry a beautiful woman. I have dreamed that situation for a long time. If I marry a beautiful woman. I will give her all of my love. I don't want a perfect woman. because I fill her disadvantage. I think It is the LOVE. I believe somebody needs me. I want to feel the real love because I haven't love someone seriously. I want to sing a song for her.
A die hard fan...
Someday I want to see the scene which is Lotte Giants' victory in Korean Series. Their recent win in KS is 1992. At that time, I wasn't born. So, I can't see the Champion Lotte. I have liked Lotte since I was young. Thus, I long for their victory.
Serious ambition and an inspiration to us all...
I want to be a doctor of forensic medicine in the future. After do that, I'll be appointed to Korean science investigation. Then, I'll very busy, because there is few doctors of forensic medicine. It may be tired and hard, but it's my dream. I'll be a good adult. I'll not lose my dream.
May we also aspire to be good adults. May we not lose our dreams.

With special thanks to the 17th Class of KBSH.

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