waygook.org rant is totally misguided…
Good Afternoon Burnfans!
I didn’t plan on writing about the Sewol again…and I would rather not write about it, however there’s a lot of nonsense and rumour and speculation about shit, and I want to try to clear a few things up…specifically some bullshit that I read on waygook.org. I’m not going to ramp up the Burndog hyperbole machine, and will instead just jump straight into what was said -
I’m not looking to start an argument here, but I don’t really care if this is offensive or insensitive to Koreans, and maybe my co-teachers should read this thread to get some perspective.
So we’re off. The post was made by Orangeman on waygook.org. Orangeman has almost 1,000 posts over there, so you know that he really just needs a blog and a hobby (preferably just a hobby).So…we start with the usual fucktard about to say stupid shit statement about ‘not looking to start an argument’. If you say that…you probably ARE looking to start an argument aren’t you? Or you think that you’re so edgy and controversial, that there’s no doubt hearts will break and minds will melt…but you don’t care…because you’re….ORANGEMAN! One thing I do agree with Orangeman about is that his co-teachers should read what he wrote…and get some perspective. The perspective would be that their foreign teacher is angry and pissy and isn’t really sure why.
The reason I’m so put off by all these cancellations is because it’s just more window dressing. It’s more fake putting up appearances rather than actually working to change anything or looking within themselves to deal with this grief.
Cancelling field trips, sports days, festivals and events is only part of the mourning period. You’re supposed to replace those things with actual, you know, MOURNING. But is Korea doing that? Absolutely not. My school cancelled our trips this week. For what? So they can have more classes? How is that ‘mourning’? How is that ‘sensitive’? It means nothing. It’s just an empty act to make it look like they care.
Ummm…now I think this fella lives a long way from Ansan, because I promise you now, if anyone accused the good folk in my local area of ‘putting up appearances’ right now, they’d have to be blind, moderately deaf, and a little bit fucked in the head. Koreans are hurt by this tragedy. It’s not fake. It’s not ‘window dressing’. This bloke has no fucking clue.
Now, I want to clarify something that seems to be coming up a LOT in expat circles…why are field trips cancelled? How long are they cancelled for? Field trips (or excursions as we call them in my beloved homeland) have NOT been cancelled as a sign of mourning and sorrow. That’s fucking bullshit. Field trips have been cancelled because the government is reviewing all of the procedures and safety guidelines for field trips. The Ministry Of Education has banned field trips in all schools, across the country, for the whole of the first semester. They’ve said that they will work on creating guidelines for field trips so that teachers are adequately trained and prepared to deal with emergencies. This is NOT anything to do with mourning.
Although, anyone with any experience in dealing with kids and child psychology might suggest that these events have been cancelled in order to maintain a regular and consistent schedule, which is something that child psychologists recommend after a tragic event. Regular life going on in a well scheduled and well rehearsed manner is extremely useful in helping kids move on from a tragic event.
"But Burndog," I hear you ask, "a lot of schools have cancelled sports days too!"
Well, my dear old Burnchum, I hear you! When my school postponed (it will probably be cancelled) next week’s sports day, I was well miffed! How is that helpful? Poor kids! What the feck?!?!?! However, in the days since the cancellation, I’ve come to realise that the parents are the ones who are asking for sports days to be cancelled. Sports day is supposed to be a festival, and a celebration, how can you have a festival atmosphere while they’re dragging young bodies out of the sea? I don’t think that most schools are willing to try and drum up the enthusiasm required for a sports day right now. In a few weeks? Maybe. Probably. It depends on the school. I know some are having sports day on the 1st of May, and people will go along and enjoy it…but it’s something that each school must decide, and really, who knows better? The Principal and local community, or some knob from America who thinks he knows everything?
Yeah. That’s what I said too.
So, you ask, what could they be doing in place of those trips.
-Making cards for the survivors.
-Having an assembly about grief and how it’s ok.
-Learning about maritime safety.
-Practicing safety drills at our own school, which has never been done since I got here 3 years ago.
-Drawing pictures to cheer people up.
-Pretty much anything.
I suggested to my CT today that we should play a game for the classes we’ll have instead of the field trip. She told me it wasn’t appropriate. But having regular classes is appropriate? Why? None of this makes sense.
O.K Some of these are good ideas…but…and here’s the BUT…does this guy know that these things aren’t being done in Korean classrooms? Certainly at my school I am aware that the teachers and school counsellors are having discussions about what went on, and making cards and letters. In their normal Korean lessons, these issues are out on front street. During English class there has been very little discussion of events. I think that this is reasonable. Delicate subjects are best dealt with by Korean teachers in Korean classes. Any discussion of the tragedy in English could confuse and upset my students, just through a misunderstanding or miscommunication.
It’s not insensitive to call out this BS. What Korea has decided to do is ‘business as usual’ which is way more offensive to the victims of this disaster. I don’t even blame my elementary school kids for being bummed. Adults are forcing them to associate this tragedy with personal loss instead of teaching them that, yes terrible things happen but life goes on. We can hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time; we can mourn the dead and slowly get back to normal as well. Instead we have: something bad happened. Instead of addressing it and dealing with it, we’re going to cancel everything fun for for AN ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR and never talk about it again. Yet again, just a quick irrational bandaid solution to a bigger problem.
No…it’s not ‘insensitive’ to ‘call out this BS’. Not at all. It’s ignorant, because you’ve based your entire fucking rant on a couple of incorrect ‘facts’. Firstly, you’re now claiming that ‘business as usual’ is offensive to victims of the disaster, yet you spent the first two paragraphs complaining that things were cancelled and that it wouldn’t be ‘business as usual’. So which on is it? Secondly, the cancellation of field trips is NOT about mourning, so your ENTIRE premise is wrong. Korea will ‘mourn the dead and slowly get back to normal’, but cancelled field trips is not a sign of ‘mourning’. Finally, the ban on field trips is currently for the first semester only, so no need to write ‘AN ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR’ in caps, it just highlights your mistake.
So what’s an appropriate mourning time? I have no idea. I don’t think there’s an answer. But there were baseball games in NY one week after 9/11. They didn’t cancel proms or graduations after Columbine. At my high school we had a series of tragedies that killed over 20 of our students (and seriously injured many more) over a week before Christmas. We had a moment of silence before our usual Holiday Show, but it still went ahead. We also had seminars on safety, grief and even how to speak to survivors and families even if we didn’t know them. Grief councellors were on call and every morning they played songs dedicated to those that passed. But life has to go on. You don’t respect the dead by ending your life. You respect the dead by living your life to the fullest with them in your memory. I didn’t know any of the victims in those tragedies at my school, but I feel like the experience helped me when I had to deal with tragedies in my own life later on. That’s what should happen.
Well, it’s fascinating that you wrote this on the very day that Danwon High School’s first year students returned to school. The second and third years return to school on Monday. Why? Because the students need to get back to their usual routine. Because life goes on. There is a team of counsellors and social workers at the school, to assist the students. Everything possible is being done to assist those kids. Columbine and 9/11 are totally different events in a totally different country, and your decision to use them as examples shows the weakness of your argument. Columbine was an attempted domestic terrorist attack that became a school shooting when the attacker’s bombs didn’t detonate. 9/11 was (depending on whether or not you’re a conspiracy nut) an attack on America by organised terrorists. In both of the examples you provided, the tragedies were caused by malicious actions, not by ignorant and avoidable inaction (to a point). After Columbine, students in many American schools were treated like criminals, and had to pass through metal detectors every morning. Did you try catching a plane in America in the month after 9/11? I didn’t think so. How selective your memory that you think that America went from tragedy to prosperity time and again without any period of concern, mourning or introspection. it’s sweet that you honestly don’t remember how much shit changed in America because of Columbine and 9/11, and using them as examples of how Korea, one week after the initial tragedy of the accident, and prior to the rescue and recovery effort actually being completed, is not as awesome at dealing as America is.
And I’m sorry to say it, but I doubt the majority of Koreans even care all that much. I don’t mean they don’t care at all, I just mean I doubt they care as much as all these cancellations and other window dressings make it seem. We all know Koreans are very good at appearing to do something while not actually getting anything done. It looks like Korea is in national mourning, but what’s actually being done? Are people demanding more attention to safety? Are they protesting the response? Are they actually doing anything besides cancelling these things? Look at your own school and see if anything’s changed. Does it have a fire plan? Have teachers finally started telling kids to stop running up stairs with scissors? Have schools banned those little knives? I think you’ll find your answer there.
Dude clearly doesn’t know a lot of Koreans. I’m sorry, but it’s obvious. All of my Koreans care about this. It might be that I live in Ansan so I know a lot of people who know people…but I don’t think so. I’ve only lived in Ansan for one year, so most of my Koreans chums live outside of Ansan, and they’re angry, and embarrassed, and sad. So let me answer your questions.
1. Are people demanding more attention to safety?
Yes Captain Ignorant, people are demanding more attention to safety. This is why field trips have been cancelled..which is what made you get your knickers in a knot in the first place. So you want more attention to safety, but you want it to happen in about three minutes instead of three months? Reasonable.
2. Are they protesting the response?
Can you read the newspapers? Do you have the internet? How the fuck you don’t know that people ARE protesting quite strongly the response to the original incident, and the subsequent actions of people linked to this tragedy is totally beyond me. You must be a loon.
3. Look at your own school and see if anything’s changed.
Ummm…it’s been a week since the initial accident. You’re accusing people of window dressing and then demanding that everything is changed for the better within seven days. Sorry pal, but no…my school hasn’t changed every emergency protocol in the wake of the accident. Right now, the only thing that has changed is that there are no field trips.
4. Does it have a fire plan?
Well…not a great one…or a new one…but I suspect that these things will change in the next few months. Be patient lad.
5. Have teachers finally started telling kids to stop running up the stairs while carrying scissors?
Wait? What? How often does this happen at your school? i mean…no offense pal, but I can’t remember ever seeing a kid here running up the stairs carrying scissors. If they did, I doubt that a teacher would give a fuck to be honest. Kid will learn more from falling over and getting a cut than they’ll ever learn from some pinhead yelling at them. It’s not a nanny state mate!
6. Have schools banned those little knives?
Ummmm…9/11 again? I’m sorry, but I fail to see why schools need to ban boxcutters in the wake of the Sewol ferry accident. This is the weirdest part of your entire rant. Ummmm…no? Schools haven’t banned boxcutters…and none of my students are going to hijack a jet with them any time soon…so we should be gravy.
I think you’ll find your answer there.
So…there you have it. Orangeman’s little rant which was a misguided load of old cobblers. I’m sure he’s a decent fella who means well…I’m not looking to start an argument here, but I really don’t care if this may be offensive…