Friday, 14 November 2008

Min Dae

"Min Dae", Afrikaans for “Few Days”, is what they use to say in the South African military when you were coming to the end of your service. Back then service was compulsory. Lucky for me if was abolished the year before I finished school. I would not have minded going for one year, but it was a two year service, with the second year seeing you sitting around counting your toes. Back to Korea though…

While I was working on my schedule for the remaining weeks, it hit me that I will not be able to finish the work I wanted to do. I think I have about three weeks before the end of year exams. There will be one of two days where my classes for the day will be inexplicably cancelled. There will be days where the teachers will ask me if they can take the class to catch up with tings they still have to do and then there will be days that, well, I have no idea what will happen on those days. All in all, when I look at my time for the rest of this year, I calculate that I have about two weeks of actual classes left, maybe even less.

Korea has this amazingly effective system where students will write their final exams and then still have about two weeks of school to finish. In those two weeks I, and I am sure the other teachers as well, will be unable to teach anything. The one problem is that there is nothing to teach. The FINAL exam already happened! The other thing is that the students just don’t care about anything other than tests. They care about tests because they must get the scores to scratch out their little place in this society. Just before you forget, this year’s FINAL exam is already finished! Therefore they have nothing to make them care about school any more.

Right now I am counting the day. Just a couple of weeks to go and I will be free to do almost anything I want. Sure, you would think that I would prepare for next year, but we are getting new textbooks, so I have no idea what the lessons will be. I will use the time to get motivated again to teach in a system that rewards students for doing nothing at all and puts the students who do at a disadvantage because of those students who DO NOTHING AT ALL.

* Update: One third year class taken away without explanation, a few more to go.


My "interesting" Clip for today is from YouTube. It is actually just audio so be sure to have stereo headphones and be very sure to listen with your eyes closed.

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