Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Short and Small


I've been finishing-up speaking tests with all of my students the past couple of weeks. It's made for some long days, as speaking tests usually do, but it's also been a bit better this time around as the testing time was cut in half by the Chuseok holiday.

Anyway, one of the short dialogues that is part of the grade 2 test looks something like this:

(Teacher draws a card from a deck of 3 - each showing two things to compare: Dogs or Cats, Spring or fall, Rain (K-pop star) or G-Dragon (member of K-pop group, Big Bang)

Teacher: I like ____ more than _____.(reason)
Student: I agree / I disagree.
(reason 1-extolling the virtues of the favourite among the two)
(reason 2 - stating why the other is not a favourite).

It could look something like this:

Teacher: I like dogs more than cats. Dogs make better pets.
Student: I agree. Dog's are very loyal and cats can scratch.

Very simple.

I was a bit sad though when I tried this test with a couple of classes who didn't bother to come-up with their own answers, but instead pooled their answers together to completely drown-out any originality their might have otherwise found.

What I got was this:

Teacher: I like Rain more than G-Dragon. I think Rain is cool.
Student: I disagree. G-Dragon is sexy and Rain has small eyes.

I'm getting pretty tired of hearing how important big eyes are in this country where an alarming percentage of middle school and high school girls are getting their eyes cut to look like their favourite K-pop stars.

Maybe that's why I like Rain - because, famously, he hasn't gone under the knife to alter his appearance. Sad that this is becoming more of a rarity here. It just pisses me off. I know it's something I don't fully understand, because I'm not Korean, but damn - a sad cultural turn.

Have a gander at someone else's much better blog posting from a few years back if you're interested.

Oh, and for those who felt the other way:

Teacher: I like Rain more than G-Dragon. I think Rain is cool.
Student: I agree. Rain is handsome and G-Dragon is too short.

To again quote my favourite John Sayles film, "It's always heart-warming to see a prejudice defeated by a deeper prejudice."

Pity those short Korean who happen to have small eyes - there are a few of them.

1 comment:

TechnoMonkeyX said...

Nice and short one Dave, have you shown your kids the Dove evolution commercial? I know Dove are as much to blame for the cause as any other, and even if this campaign is just an elaborate ruse, at least it exists. All Korean kids should watch this. http://www.dove.us/#/features/videos/default.aspx[cp-documentid=7049579]