Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Study till your butt actually falls off.

I have mentioned before how many classes these students have to attend, and anyone who knows anything about Japanese and Korean students, it is that they are always studying. Interestingly, Korea has overtaken Japan as the country with the highest suicide rate.

Even more interesting is the parent who asked me yesterday which student I considered the in my class, in other words, is her daughter the best. Whether or not she is the best, I am not going to tell her that, even if she did send her to Canada for 6 months to help improve her English.

Let me get back to the students and their study time. Students here attend what THEY refer to as academies (English) and WE refer to as Hagwons (Korean). It’s strange how we use each others words, don’t you think? On my way to the doctor yesterday, I caught up with a student who was suppose to be in my extra class later that day, so I asked him where he as going. It went a little something like this:

“So, where are you going?”
“Urm, academy.”
“No English with me today?”
“No. Study for the exams.”
(It's next week, so I expected them to disappear on me.)
“OK. What subject are you going to?”
“All subject.”
“Really? OK.”
“Yes. Six hours.”

Keep in mind that he might have to do this all week before the exams and that this conversation was as he was leaving school to go to the academy, then you will get a day like this…

  • 7am, wake up and get ready for school
  • 8am, go to school to be there at 8:20am at the latest
  • 9am-3pm Classes with a 50 minutes lunch
  • 3:30pm (maybe) 9:30
  • I am not sure where dinner will fit in there though.

This gives you about 12 hours of study a day for a boy of 14 years old. WOW.

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