Why would anyone respect a protocol that suggests you bow to someone at every opportunity but then those “someone’s” (plural) leave you standing at the bus stop a 45 minute ride from home?
Continuing the bowing theme; before Saturdays football match (against a school that is perceived to be the “elite” womb of football in Dullju) we bowed and scraped so many times my forehead was green! Unfortunately that was respects final volley. During the game, after an impressive banshee scream and swallow dive, an opposition Korean schoolboy left the field. You would think that a substitution was next? You would be right but he was not replaced by a schoolboy (the élite school didn’t have enough subs); no he was replaced by the teacher. Despite my protestations I received no back-up from my school dignitaries. They merely accepted their status as that “shit country school” and let them press ahead. Of course it never resonated that I’ve spent three years nurturing and improving my boys to compete with the city’s best. To compound matters another Triple Salco and scream ensued followed by the “injured” boy to returning to the field. Yes Jesus had been a spectator, he’d laid on his hands and thrust the disciple back into battle at the expense of any F.I.F.A. rules.
We lost the game after a satisfying first half display and the science teacher trying to orchestrate a change in formation at half time. He persuaded my centre back and skillful midfield tattooed enforcer to swap positions resulting in two central defence misdemeanours. He (my enforcer) responded with a spectacular individual strike which may be forgotten in the wake of a third central defence error that eventually left the final score at 3-1.
It’s now Monday and despite my anger, frustration and disappointment it was my intention to get the boys to train today but no. I’m told “hey today I think its better to let students take time to recovery from injury or muscle fatigue.” My response is heartfelt and sums up how I now feel about Korea. “OK, it wouldn’t happen in any other part of the world but I just have to accept this country is far from normal. I’m so tired of the Korean way it is incredibly negative and exhausting but I don’t intend to argue or question any more. I’ve decided to just see out my time in the quietest way possible. See you later.”
My belly is also becoming the stuff of legend, “teacher, baby?” Answer “yes, eyes, surgery?”
Today’s morning class began with a description of a female students weekend. “Teacher, church, seminar, gays spread AIDS”; make of that what you will! Whilst the former UK Education Minister pontificated about the superlative qualities of the Korean education system this bigotry is symptomatic of its failings. Rote learning, lack of debate and the exclusion of individual thinking are central to its flaws.
Here ended this weeks short blog, my creative juices are being destroyed here, I need to get back to taking pictures and searching for a new job.