Mon Dec 8, 2003
I’m not impressed about a lot of things right now, but I’ll only share a little of my non-impressed ill feelings with you this evening because nobody wants to read a laundry list of complaints I’m sure. This is just a passing dark cloud, things in general are really quite good! Actually I’ve just been out in the chilly -4 degree centigrade night for a mini-photo shoot, it’s a full moon and the lighting is quite good. I got some good shots. It snowed last night, but just a light dusting. I’m sure we’ll get truckloads of snow soon, especially being inland and all. Those icy Siberian winds blasting down from the Russian plains onto the peninsula are even harsher than the bone-chilling Arctic winds from the Yukon that ravage western Canada. Sigh. I really need to get out of the Northern hemisphere.
Yesterday, Sunday, we were obliged to attend a regional speech contest for all the Wonderland franchises around the country. Our supervisor insisted that it was mandatory, but lo and behold, we were practically the only foreigners (besides from the judges) that pitched up. Furthermore, it turned out to be an agonizing six hour affair, not the one hour in-and-out gig that our supervisor promised us, but she wouldn’t know because she didn’t even go. AND our director didn’t buy us any food and was treating Sora like a little slave girl. Besides from these (quite legitimate) grievances, I’m not sorry I went because I was able to support two of my students who were in the contest, William and Buff. I think William did a sterling job, he presented a cute little story about a lion and a mouse. All the other kids were wearing suits and had high-faluting speeches about the pantheon of Greek gods and the effects of urban pollution and other such intellectual nonsense penned by their eager over-educated English teachers. These kids are six years old! They don’t understand a word of what they’re saying, although their memorization skills are obviously astounding. The kids that won weren’t particularly good either; I thought the whole thing was quite ridiculous.
Anyways, William’s parents were so grateful that we came to support him that they took us out for dinner (shame on you WJN). We went to VIPS in Ilsan where the salad bar is free, the food is gooooood and nobody goes home hungry. Yummy, it was delicious. William’s parents are so loving towards their kids, it was so nice to see. It makes such a difference on the character of the child, William is so well-behaved and kind and polite and always pays attention. It’s always great to see a couple that were so obviously meant to have kids. The father was doting over his boys and helping with the baby and being really humble with his wife and let me tell you quite frankly this is uncharacteristic for a Korean father. And they don’t force the kids to go to a billion different schools every day. It’s a sad fact that a lot of kids are so pressurized that they’re primed to commit suicide by the time they hit high-school. I can only admire people who buck the trends of their society to do what is intrinsically right and good and don’t care about ‘losing face’ by doing it.