Sunday, January 24, 2010


A while back, another online debate question was asked of my students for the English debate. The question was this: "Should students be allowed to have any hairstyle that they want to?"

Korea is a relatively strict place in terms of public school dress codes and such. I heard stories that up until 3 years ago, students at my middle school had no enforced rule for their hairstyle. Apparently, the elderly people that live around our school complained to the school staff that these kooky kids and their crazy-ass hair were contributing to the moral decline of the community. Hence - a new hair rule was developed. It's what you'd expect: keep it short, keep it clean, and if you're a girl, wear bangs and/or a ponytail.

I post the following responses because they were interesting for me to read. I have students who responded with one line, students who wrote complete and complex paragraphs, and students who wrote nothing.

The responses below are at least in part the result of pasting the Korean response into a translator of some kind and seeing what it comes up with. More often than not - it is completely unintelligible. Sometimes, there is a hint of the original intent. Anyway, it's always interesting for me to read these and try to glean some level of meaning from them. This way, teacher and student are both speaking in code, and it feels like the playing field is being leveled a bit. It's actually kind of fun.

Here (unedited) is what some of my students had to say on the subject. See if you can figure out what they really meant to say...

Student #1

"Because the head plentifully there are long students to surroundings. Of course I am not am not long. Bud dyes and the person is and the head route [lu] I think like that because the person who wants being. And the school rule [manh] is long with my thought and is many. Is like that but only the head is freedom."

Student #2

"I approve to hair freedom. The freedom which raises the head because the student being human rights must be is in order to think that. The head grows automatically and the thing we capacity even the necessity which will cut think the money that is not."

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