Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I've heard that the Korean way is work work work and play hard too. In fact, the children here go to school from 9-4 and then (if they are privileged) they attend after-school tutoring at a private institution (called a Hagwon), which lasts until 8, 9, 10 o'clock at night! These kids then return home to work on homework until the wee hours of the morning. Now, if you know me, then you know that I'm no stranger to burning the midnight oil. . . a tendency that partially stems from my habit of procrastination (sorry Mom: It's a vice, what can I say? It probably won't change too much in my life); but, this is undoubtedly self-inflicted. I don't think I've ever gone to bed so late from doing school work when it hasn't been because I procrastinated. On the other hand, these poor kids actually work ALL day for 10 and 11 hours. It makes my head spin. I've been experiencing a bit of this culture in my first week of orientation. We start class at 9am and finish around 8, 9, or 10 o'clock at night (granted with breaks, but my brain turns to mush anyhow). Tonight was a late one. We finished working on the next day's lesson plan a little after 10, which brought me to that delusional tired stage when everything seems funny, your mind can't focus on any one topic for more than a minute, your body feels heavy, and your eyes feel so scratchy that you'd like to pull them out. It's a bit tough writing this blog tonight, but I figured if the 7 year old Korean children can do it, so can I. My hat is off to them.