Adam: Really Korean Mom? Really!?

Oct 05

Adam: Really Korean Mom? Really!?

I know you’re anxiously awaiting my Vampire movie review from last night, but there’s something else I need to get to before that.

Now, I know the people who read this blog are friends and family of Bethany and me. We write about our adventures in Korea (or lack thereof). There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other ex-pats who are ESL teachers living in South Korea, just like us, who focus their writing on the culture and such. We try to make our blog a little different. And maybe, more boring because of it. I’ve met many who simply denounce their love of home for this new sense of “culture.” “Oh Korea is the greatest place ever. However, with some, I believe they could move to Afghanistan and see the error of their American ways. People are so loving.” Yes, I agree. There are some AMAZING things about this place. But, I’ll call a spade a spade when I see it.  Now, this post is not to bad mouth those or anyone of the like. This is to bad mouth Korean parents.

In my next to last class today, we had the vocabulary word “balcony.” Immediately, my 8-year-old students start talking about people in their apartment buildings jumping off their buildings and “they die” (motioning their hands as if they’re cutting their throats). They do this while laughing hysterically. For some ignorant reason, I try to explain to them how suicide is no laughing matter. 35 Koreans die every day from suicide. I asked the girl who made the statement, “What if it was someone in your family? Would it be funny then?” Not being able to control her laughter, “Haha, yes teacher. Very funny.” I even went as far as to say, “What if it was your mom or dad, would that be funny?” Her answer was the same.

In America, we’re brought up on violence. If I had to count how many times I’ve seen death on TV and the movies, it might make my Christian beliefs blush. I grew up with guns in the household, deer heads on the wall. Death and violence was part of my upbringing. But I ALWAYS knew how precious life was and is. In Korea, children find it funny. When a child mentions that their grandfather died or a child they knew was killed in a car accident, they laugh. Now, I had people very close to me die from an early age. When a boy in my brothers’ class died when they were in 4th grade, I knew it was no laughing matter. When my dad died when I was 10-years-old, I knew it was permanent and nothing to joke about. But these kids find it amusing, like a Pixar movie, in 3-D.

Then in my final class of the day, with my 12-year-old girls, one tells me about how nervous they are about their upcoming tests. Now, Korean children take these “tests” all the time to see how well they’re doing. Think of it as a quarterly SAT exam, but not measuring how smart you are, but how much you can memorize. Anyways…the girl was telling me that her mom was threatening SUICIDE if she did bad on her test. My student thought her mom was joking, so her mom went to the elevator and hit the top floor. The girl said she started crying profusely, begging her mom not to do it, promising she would get a good score on her test.

I was speechless. A mom. Threatening suicide. If her child doesn’t do well on an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEST!

This is where I live. America has a lot of crap it needs to get together, no doubt about it, but South Korea, you need to get out of your bubble and realize what you’re doing. Watch this video that a friend of mine posted from YouTube. Watch how NO ONE does ANYTHING. This is where I live.

And now since that’s out of the way, we watched John Carpenter’s Vampires last night, continuing on our “31 Nights of Vampire Frights!” I’ve always loved this movie from the first time I saw it when it first came out. It had that “cool” factor that the “Lost Boys” did. Plus, Valek, played by the infamous Thomas Ian Griffith (you know, that guy from Karate Kid III), was one of the coolest vampires to hit the screen in a long time.

The gore was over the top, with decapitations, and bodies split in half. Vampires who didn’t sleep in coffins, but came out of the ground like the undead. James Wood talking about Mahogany. Priests who kill vampires by shooting them in the nuts. It was good times and it was loved by all. Well, Bethany has been sick, so she only made it through the first half or more of the movie. It’s her pick tonight, and I’m wondering if she’ll go with the sequel to this one, starring everyone’s favorite rocker, Jon Bon Jovi, Vampires: Los Muertos. I’ve never seen it, so I’m expecting cheese cheese and more cheese, please.

One comment

  1. Amy /

    Oh. my. goodness. That’s so sad.

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