Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Random Writing

Well, I don't know what to writet today, so I will just start writing something, and hope something comes out of it. I refuse to edit it, so take it as you will. SOrt of James Joyceian stuff, just let it flow and see what comes out. It's the best way top start writing, just go, keep going and don't edit. It's the way I write things when I write things long hand.

My students are writing too, in their blogs. Theyu seem to jsut want to write internet or sms ENglish. Today I found some of the boys looking at a website where peoiple talk about the first time they had sex. They are 14, so of course they are curious, but that is not why we go to the compoutert room. So I told them that if I see them doingf it again, I will report them to their Agama teacher. (The muslim religion teacher). That brought a look of total shock anf horror to their faces. I told the next form 2 class I had that if they lookk at the same site, I would report them to Mr. Rahim, which would be even worse than reporting them to the Agam teacher. They looked at me blankly. They had never heard of the site before, and wanted to know what it was about. I think some of the boys might have written down the URL for future reference. YIKES! Not exactly what I ewanted! I just told them it was porn, and that if I found them loking at it during class time, they would have to tewll Mr. Rahim what they found so interesting about the site, so he could tell their parents.

Not that I am condoning kids looking at porn. Far from it, but the schedule her is so regimented, with every minute oif the day accounted for, that kids don't have a chance to be kids. They have to be little groewn ups, even though they are just kids, 12 and 13 years old in form 1 and 16 -17 in form five. Sure, there are boyfriends and girlfriends, but nothing serious. It's cute to sdee the form 1 and tweo students with their little puppy love affairs, but wouldn't it be much healtheir for them and their sense of identity to develop relationships, and be able to have friends outsied of this restrictive atmosphere. I'm not talking about letting them run around loose doing anything they want. If this was my son or daughtrer, that is the last thing I would want. Thisa school though is like an academic concentration camp- work work work, and they get an hour a day for cocurricular activitites, anf that is it. Then they have to find time to do theuir laubndry and shower, so I don't mind and understand when a student comes to class smelling bad or with stainded clothes anfd looks like they've slept in their schoolclothes for a week, because they probably have.

I know I probably looked worse in college, or probably lokk worse now, what with the stress and worry of having a baby. I probably look like some sort of insane alcoholic, although it's been like 14 years since I last had a drop of alcohol, noit that I miss it, praise God! Even though my Korean students in Cebu tried to get me to drink. They had this alcohol that had real flakes of gold in it, that was supposed to be good for your health, but still that didn't get me to toucvh it, despit emy curiousity. At most I just touched it to my lips and pretended to drink it. That's how it is when you come from an alcoholic family- you are terrified of becoming the monster you lived with. I can't do that to anyone- myself, my friends, and especially not my wife and my soon to be born daughter. Drinking is so much a part of Korean culture. Even in a small town where I was on Jeju Island. At night you could see well dresed businessmen staggering down the sidewalks, puking their guts out after too much soju. It's part of doing business, a team building exercise- you all go out and get pissed together and barf togetherr in the bathroom, and somehow that is upose dto make you feel closer and love each othe r and get along. In my experience, that is counterproductive- it does the opposite, and brings out all the hidden feelings and jrealousys and things are said and fights break out and you alllhate each other. But hey, if it works for them, fine, just leave me out of it. I stayed at home watching videos and trying all the different varietys o kim chi I could find- (hmmm- kim is one of the most common family names in Korea, Chi is Chinese for life. So does that mean-? Probaly not. Gim using the same symboll is alsoi used to describe the dried seaweeed wrapper used for the Korean version of sushi- Gim Bap. Bap is not something yopu do to somebody in a drunken fight after a busineess meeting. It is KJorean for rice)

Still, despite spending a year in beautiful Jeju Island, one of the most beautiful places on earth in ESL Hell, I like and admire Koreans. They are tough, because they have to be. It's all about the group, being strong, sticking togeyther and working together for the common good. The bad is it's also very much about keeping up with the Joneses.Plus they think nothing of cutting in front of thre checkout line and pushing you bck, and you just want to clober the idiot, but if you do they'll probably gang up on you and put you in the hospital, becase he is someones cousin or somehow connected to everyone else in the store, either by school, job, family, or whatevr. Plus,the Hagwon owners make it a hobby to cheat their foreign teachers. It almost seems like they have a unsung competition going to see who could do it the best.

I mad it through Korea. It was one of the hardest years in my life. Spiritually though it was worth it. Emotionally, it ewas exhausting.

Then came CHina, orking at the orphanage, which was one of the highlights of my life. So the good balnced out the bad in the grand cosmic scale oif things. (WHat the hell is "orking at the orphaage" mean? It means I need typing lessons. Unlike my brother who can tyupoe as fast as he thingks, I twiddle along like a lost bird in a windstorm. My thoughts are so far ahead of my typing it's amazing I can capture any of them.

That's it for now. I will try to write something more normal tomorrow.

Happy Blogging to All!

Practice the Zen of just doing, not thinking in your Art. Carol Fox Prescott taught me that in her acting classes.
It does work.
Just do. don't think.
You'd be amazed at the results.
That's what I amm doing now.