dal niente

Month: March, 2008


I think Hope is like a placebo.

It doesn’t really change anything on a  biological level.

But, it makes you beleive you can do things that you couldn’t normally.  And that’s how we get shit done sometimes– sometimes getting shit done means ‘lying to yourself’ because really, what you noramlly think to be as base truth are your limitations.   You figure that, if you know anything, you know your limits.

I think that’s why the paradox holds true– the more you know, the more it is that you know what you don’t know.

And that includes your limits.

“Have no limitations as limitations”

So take the pill.  Wash it down.  And keep moving… or something.

Poison Damage

It’s something that happened a lot in Squaresoft games– if you were poisoned, you could take HP damage every turn, even if you did nothing.  It just hurt to exist, and that was that– you’d spend so much upkeep just trying to counter the effects of the damage that you didn’t really have much time for anything else.

Of course, if you had Esauna or an Antidote or something like that, you’d be fine.  I find that in real life it’s not so simple though.

Chocolate soup poisoning is one thing.  But the reason it happened was because I was down.  I’ll admit it– I was as low as I’ve ever been in a long time.  And it wasn’t just low, like when I was worried about Billy, or when I worried about not being able to handle my job.  I was feeling low, like, rock bottom, because I was lost.

On Saturday, I had a great time– from the time I woke up, I started cleaning my apartment in anticipation of a potluck I was hosting.  My apartment was filthy– it hadn’t been really swept since I broke up with T months ago.  The washroom had mold all over the place, the sink was just stained with all sorts of things and the stove was just disgusting.  Nevermind the fridge. 

I spent four hours cleaning my apartment, and the evening did not dissappoint– it was great fun.  Cooking was fun. The short drive to pick up EL was fun.  Getting to see some of my closest friends in one room was great.

That night, Sam stayed over.  He and I had a talk– a long talk– about until 4 in the morning.  We were just talking about life.

I think that talking to someone who you don’t know all that well, I mean, the process of getting to know that person, is interesting.  Depending on where in your life you meet people, you introduce yourselves differently.  When I was younger for example, there might’ve been different events that were more in the foreground.  These days, different things are on my mind.  And thus, how I present my history depends on what’s the current theme of my life.

And yeah, I say current because things change– we grow a little here and there, we die a little here and there– it’s push and pull between who we are and who we want to be.  And of course, there’s that strong tug from who we were that doesn’t want to die off.

This past Sunday, I hit as close as I’ve been to rock bottom in a while.  I’m feeling better now, but man– there are still lingering tendrils of poison damage that are slowing me down during my work week.

I went to taekwondo yesterday.  Last thursday, for the first time since I started trying to learn it on my own 3 months ago, I managed to pull off “necksprings”.  It’s what you do when you’re lying on the floor, and then you just whip your feet around and end up on your feet.  I’d never been able to do them before until the Gwanjangnim showed me the technique for it on thursday– however, when I tried the same technique again this monday, I wasn’t able to do it.  I think I just need more rest– body is pretty exhausted.

The feeling really sucks when it’s something that you know you can do but you can’t quite get back to who you were when you could do it.

On saturday night, Sam stayed over and we had our chat.  He’s about five years older than me, so he has a lot to say about life in general.  That was nice.  But the main issue was that after we decided to call it a night, he went to sleep– and started snoring like a freight train.  I mean, from 4pm until 7, I just lay there on the floor, tossing and turning, unable to get to sleep.  I finally fell asleep around 7pm but then was woken up at a quarter to 9 because Sam had to get going.

I went back to sleep, caught another 2 hours.  Woke up 15 minutes before mass was supposed to finish, so I hightailed it to the Church just in time to see everyone walking out.

I did manage to catch everyone so we went to lunch.  I was yawning all the way through it, but I don’t have more than my weekends to see friends, so I wasn’t going to waste them sleeping. 
I had the lunch, went out for coffee afterwards– then split up with the group.  I intended to go to sleep but I changed my mind since I hadn’t played badminton for 2 weeks.  So I drove home, picked up my gear and went to play. 

I played 12 games– all really tough fights– and lost 11 of them.

Usuually, I win almost all of my games.  But it just wasn’t working out on sunday– my shots were as much as an entire foot out of bounds, my smashes would go into the net, and my feet were sluggish.

Do you know that feeling, when you want to just do something fun to get your mind off things and then even that fun thing turns out not to be so fun?

Well, the potluck the night before was great… JC, Sarah, Sam, Young Joo, Euilim and Roger came over and despite a few failed recipes, it turned out quite well I think.  I didn’t get as much time to talk to people as I had hoped to because I was busy boiling tea and serving things and whatnot, but it was fun.  And before I knew it, the night was over and people were heading home.

After badminton on sunday, I rejoined the group for dinner.

And I think that’s where it really settled in– I mean, the doubts and things.  I ended up at a table with myself, Sam, Cindy and YJ.  The first thing was that we were at a different table from the rest of the group– but I think that mostly happened because of space constraints, but Sam was thoughtful enough to put me at his table since the number of English speakers was limited.

And I think there was the begining of all my sorrows.

It became apparant that I was the extra wheel– it was painfully obvious that, despite having many Korean friends, that I didn’t speak enough Korean to hold a conversation.  Sure, I could feed off the smiles and the laughter, but ultimately, I might as well have been watching television alone in my apartment.  I was at a diagonal from YJ so even when she tried to clue me, some of the sound was lost over the grill and I could only nod and pretend that I’d heard what she’d said.

Sam and YJ were right there– next to me, within feet– and yet, I’d never felt so insignificant before.  It’s not their fault– I think it’s really that I’d grown accustomed to being in English speaking environments.  This is just my colonialist outrage crying out when it doesn’t have it’s spoiled expectations met.

After dinner, we went to a coffee house, but they had some business to take care of..  I was at their table, but they all started working on some church project in Korean.  I spent the hour or so drafting story ideas for a new piece I want to work on with Nimbus, and when the meeting was adjourned, everyone decided that it was late and it was time to call it a night.

By this point I was pretty tired– running basically on fumes– and having sat through an hour of simply time killing only to disband, well, it bothered me.  It felt that I had been cheated or something.

By this point I think I was so sleep deprived and exhausted that I may as well have been drunk.  I probably wouldn’t have been good company.  I wasn’t thinking straight– I was getting uncharacteristically emotional.

We parted ways, I walked the long walk across the empty parkinglot to get to my ride.  I fired it up, and then suddenly had the urge to see YJ again.  I knew in general which way she lived, I just didn’t know exactly where.  I drove around the streets near the cafe trying to find her– and, beleive it or not, I found her.  As I passed by, I raised up a hand to wave at her, but she didn’t notice.  I just drove on by, and asked myself, “What the fuck was I thinking?”

I drove around for another 15 minutes.    Taking lefts and rights.  Eventually, decided to call it a night, set the GPS on “Take me Home” and made my way back to my apartment.

It was one of those nights where there were enough things on my mind that I couldn’t really get to sleep, and, further, it’s one of those times where I just didn’t want to sleep.  I was still living in denial about the end of the weekend, and dreading the new semester and the handful of new students that Monday would bring.

So, how does one start a relationship with someone with something as complicated as a language barrier?  It means a lot more than just than just not talking about certain things.  It has to do with being able to connect parts of who you are.

In some some sorta strange initiative, I’ve redoubled my efforts to learn Korean.  I’m going to be reading stories about Dragons and fat chickens and making friends that I use to teach my 8 year old kids English, except that I’ll be reading them backwards through the Korean translations.  Reading these things isn’t enough to really put me up to the level of Korean guys, who have an obvious advantage over me if only because of Korean speaking ability.  But well.  Let me have my dillusions, and we’ll see what strange places they take me.

I think this is a recurring theme in my life.

I see soemthing I want to get to.

I don’t really know how to get there.

So I figure that “From A to Z, I’ll probably need to pass a few points.  So, I know I can probably get to X.  Lets try that.”

So right now, yeah.  From A to Z, I’m just doing something remotely related– X– and seeing how it goes.

It’s tuesday now and I feel better about things.

To Zanshin,

…. with regards to the pudding your brought to the potluck this weekend that wouldn’t solidify and which we unseuccessfully tried to sell to the guests as “chocolate soup”.

I know now why people gain chocolate related weight when they’re feeling down.  Because chocolate and it’s effects tend to occupy every part of your mind.

I think you might be interested to know

If you put cold rice in your ‘pudding’ it makes an awesome chocolate ‘tapioca’ sorta thing.  It really tastes fucking awesome.

That said, not having a single bowl or spoon left after the weekend’s party, I ended up
serving myself some of this in a microwave container and using a fork. 
So I got to eat all the chocolate rice first and had to drink the rest in one go.

It was awesome.

And then my stomach tried to fucking murder me, and it’s still trying
now.  I did the math and I think I’ve just taken in about half a litre
of pudding. 

My throat burns.
I’ve tried drinking water but it doesn’t go away

And oh GOD the CRAMPS

I’m living under a shadow underwhich not even God’s love can reach me

that shadow is the color of chocolate

kill me


Jinryu says:
you know what’s great

it’s a funny ironic habit that i have

i send her messages back like “You were part of my happiness this weekend”

and I write it in korean

and she assumes that it sounds corny because of my bad korean

but, i feel pretty damn honest that it makes me laugh

Kaz says:
oh you sly dog

More Or Less Human

From another student, with the same essay topic as the previous post:  The corrections are in progress.

I write about Korea, and  unfair things that  happened in school.

First, teachers like always girls
boys are noisy. but, girls are quiet.  bBut,
I think girls are not really quiet. Girls
are only quiet teachers come.

Second, teachers like smart students.
I think teachers should like everyone. bBut
my school teachers are only like smart student. tTeachers
don’t like stupid students.  tTeachers
are talk to smart students

some teachers
are like funny students.

Third, there are many students unfair things that
happened in school to studentspPowerful
students are strike week (weak
students. bBut
week (weak
students can’t talk to the teacher. I see
many bad actions every day. I see strong freind (friends) hit week (weak) students.
they are my friend.
I confused what I should do. nNext
day the weak student can’t play free.

I think, as we become adults, it becomes increasingly easy to think of childhood as something really awesome in retrospect.  “Those were the good old days,” we say, looking off into the distance with our feet up on the patio table with and a beer in our hand.  Maybe it’s an important– something expensive perhaps, one of those perks that you couldn’t get when you were 15 years old.

But the truth is, for most people, the level of difficulty doesn’t change from one age bracket to another.  It’s just difficult in different ways.  As much as getting through childhood would seem like a breeze given our physical size and mental strength now, I have to put myself in the context of a child’s physical and mental abilities in order to be able to truly teach them anything.

ESL teachers and I find ourselves in a strange position when it comes to dealing with Korean kids– your communication with them is bottlenecked by how much English they can speak.  This brings us to one quirk– it’s easy to underestimate the actual intelligence and maturity of a student based on the fact that they don’t speak English that well.  But in fact, try and remember of yourself– how much did you know when you were 15?

And further– even if you’re dealing with people in their native language– how much would you, as a 15 year old, tell someone who asked?

So, there are two barriers to getting to know someone– first of all, it’s their ability to express their thoughts, and secondly, it is their willigness to do so. 

The first condition is met by the education process.  The second one is met by trust.

I remember being in high school and having a certain math teacher get on my case all the time, because I wasn’t all that good at math.  I remember, very specifically, not wanting to learn math because that teacher treated me for a fool, and I got in trouble with my parents a lot.  I’m not saying that my attitude was mature or right– that’s beside the point.  The point is that I didn’t want to learn it.

And of course, there’s a hundred reasons why a student won’t want to learn something– everyone can be negative to the ends of the universe– but there’s comparatively few motivations why someone should really try their best when you consider all the uphill work involved.

When it comes to right and wrong, these are seldom things they teach you in school.  When it comes to ‘life’ proper, we just sort of assemble our ideas of it based on what we see– if it looks like we’re always dealt bad cards, we might think that that’s the way the system works.  Although there is a world of adults and a world of young adults, I think in large part the resentment  that I feel from my students comes from the fact that adults won’t teach them.  Adults hoarde their techniques and skills and logic for themselves– the youths are left to reverse engineer it for themselves, and try and understand things like “why is life unfair” without any consolations whatsoever.

Though I’m all for learning on your own, that’s a personal choice– and I propose it because that’s what fits best with my capacities as a person.  But every person is different– they have different needs.

So it’s not good enough when the family of one of my students is just biologically tied to my student– that’s, frankly, just despicable.  If you have no intention of raising your kids and teaching them right from wrong, don’t fucking start a family and don’t have any kids.

Nobody knows how tough parenting will be until it happens, I’m sure.  But a parent is the first teacher that a kid ever has– if that teacher drops the ball….

It doesn’t even have to be that a parent is smart or intelligent.  All there needs to be is love and devotion and a kid will turn out all right.

I do believe in evolution– natural selection and all that.

But I also believe that what separates us from the animals is to not just leave the weaker ones to die off.

I originally became a teacher because I saw GTO, and in some of those delinquents, I saw myself back in my own student days.  There were teachers in college who would give me bad marks just because I didn’t agree with their opinions.  Sometimes they just didn’t like me because I didn’t write in the same style as their great students.  I was, twice, accused of plagarism because my teachers didn’t believe that I had written my papers.  And on what grounds?

They didn’t think that I was capable of writing that grade of paper.

The Fuck.
Are you to tell me what I can and can’t do?
Or what I am worth?

But I got through college and university (in Montreal, college and university are separate institutions for those of you who wonder why I always separate the two) because of some really, really great teachers who opened up my eyes to a lot of things.  And they didn’t just teach me about English, or sciences, or whatever the subject was– they taught me something about trust.  I joke around because back at my college I knew as many teachers as students.  It was true– there were some teachers who really were phenomenal people who I could ask about any problem.

Because of those teachers good and awful, because of Great Teacher Onizudka, and because of students like me, that’s why I’m a teacher.  Someone could argue that ESL teaching is nothing like “real teaching,” and on more than one occasion people have told me that this isn’t a “real job.”    That’s bullshit.  For all you teachers reading this, ESL ones especially– a life abroad may pay well and be easier than living back home, but the work can be as hard and as meaningful as you make it.  For some of these students, you are the only mind in their lives that cares about what they think. 

It’s part of the Asian mindset that values discipline, social order and education above other things– it comes at the expense of freedom of thought, in the same way the opopsite is true when you compare the west to the east. An ESL teacher’s job isn’t just in terms of English– it is in terms of friendship, philosophy and culture.  They need to understand, before they get numbed to the way of things, that whenever they feel something is not right, that those thoughts are not only natural but justified and that even if the society doesn’t allow for action, the thought in itself is not wrong.

I’m really tired of hearing about the failure of the education system.  No matter what the country.

Policy this, policy that– that’ll never be the answer.  Top-down solutions for something as humanistic as education aren’t possible.  What needs to be done is from the bottom-up. 

It means that when some bratty little kid kicks you in the shin or stabs you in the back with a pen, you try and understand: why?

And when you find out “why”, then you have the right to start reacting as if your way might be right.

What is different between us are the superficial parts– things like character, temperments, abilities…

But in the end, we’re all human.  If there’s one thing that should always be done, it’s to treat a human like a human.  There are philosophical connotations to that. I won’t go into detail.

If I tell you, we should treat everyone equal, everyone will nod and say “yeah, that’s good” because we’ve been drilled in North America to frown on racism and that everyone’s differences are interesting things to learn from.

But that’s not what I mean– I don’t just mean accepting diversity.  I’m not talking about cultures or histories that we have no choice but to live with, since we’re born into them.

I’m talking about the capabilities of people.  Someone being good at something and someone being bad at something doesn’t make them more or less human.

You treat a kid like trash and they will be as trash.

You treat him like a human and he will be.

How do you grade an Essay like this?


Essay Topic Question: Write about a time where you thought something unfair happened.


What is unfair happened in my life?
I don’t have unfair happend in my life.and I never thinking that happen.
Why? Because my life’s start is unfair.
This is destiny,I belive that.
Why I’m can’t play sports lot’s of time, I want that!
Why I’m study go out my country.
Why I’m can’t choose where I go.
Why I’m can’t choose what I want.
every one don’t know my think.
every one don’t know what I want.
My parents, too.
My life is very very lightly…..
teacher, don’t say my parent’s….
this is my mind….




(The following is a response that I wrote back and had translated into Korean for the student)

Hi Hyun,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  It seems like you have a very difficult life.  Do your best to be your best.  I don’t know if you want to be learning English, but please do your best to be happy.  You are right– it is not useful to think too much that things are unfair.  But, even if things are unfair, you can still make the best of your life.  Look at the bad things as challenges that will make you a stronger person.  I know that sounds silly sometimes, especially when life is difficult.  But it is the only way to come to accept that many things in life are very difficult, and turn these experiences into strength.

You show a lot of energy in my class– make sure that you use this energy to find ways to be happy about life, and not to be angry or frustrated.  When I was young, I too thought many things in life were unfair– but once I accepted that I could change my destiny if I tried to be happy, then life became much better.

Do your best Hyun!  I believe that we all have a destiny, but do not be so quick to think that your destiny is to have an unfair life!  You cannot know that for sure.  Try and make the best of things and see how good life really can be.  I am sure you are frustrated about a lot of things, but remember one thing from class– like all those countries that we discussed who are always at war and fighting.  It is still possible to rebuild, and to make a great way of life– all you need is hard work and courage to want to make yourself a happy destiny.

If there is anything I can ever do for you, you have my cellphone number.  You can do it Hyun!  Do your best!






[More on this post later…]

Oh, for the love of…

So, this photo was taken by one of my students in class using my camera.  I fixed it up a bit.  You can see some of my students in the refection of my door writing on the whiteboard.

I look at this photo and I see a lot of changes.  I’m pretty different from when I was back in Montreal, for a number of reasons.  The hair is  bit different.  I’ve started wearing denim– I’m wearing jeans on the day of this picture, and in fact, what you see there is my ‘biker jacket’ which is also made out of denim.  Its one of the few jackets I have that’s somewhat stylish and okay for semi-formal things, and that’s also strong enough to keep down the windchill when I’m on the road.

But underneath the jacket and shirt, even with the collars turned up so that it doesn’t matter, I’m wearing a Penny-Arcade “Hadouken” shirt.  Down, down-forward, forward + PUNCH.

And on my face is that smirk that people have come to recognize as one of those things I do.  My eyes say “Oh, for Christ’s sakes…”

I don’t remember what the situation is in this picture that I’m thinking what I’m thinking, but I think it sums up two major things in my life.  One, it’s the game.  Everything about life is like a game, the way you build it up and practice and you specialize here and there and you use strategies to navigate against opposition and to win allies.  And on the other hand, there’s that cynical smirk that still is mixed with a hint of ironic, exasperation at this stupid world that I wouldn’t give up for anything.

The expression on the face may make you think “he knows something that he’s not saying”

… but really, the smirk is really saying “I don’t know jack shit about what to do next, and they don’t have a clue.”

But well, if I knew everything in advance, life would be boring– and I wouldn’t be smiling.

The more I learn, all I get for it is I look a bit more weathered and my smirks get bigger and more sarcastic looking.

Well anyway, that’s me nowadays, for anyone who wonders.

It’s about 1am here folks– goodnight!

Despite common misconeption…

… I believe in Love. Where does that begin?

More than I believe in God.  And this is  conflict within me, because, I’ve found, I really want to Believe.  Not just that He exists– but that he exists within me in some way.

But I can’t accept this idea yet, because I’m still a humanist.

So in the meantime, until I can find a way to believe in something
beyond us, I will believe in something that is strangely very much in
our ballpark: and that is love

Humanism sucks in many ways, but I can’t steer myself away from it.  It’s the result of thinking and thinking and being logical and mercenary about the way I race though life to learn and learn.  Along the way I’ve helped some people out, but like that old irony dictates, I’m more likely to be remembered by how badly I hurt some people in big ways than by how I helped people in small ones.  I try not to think about it.  But for those who I’ve really wronged, without ever meaning intentionally to do so, I just hope the understand that I don’t do it out of any malice.  It’s just clumsiness.  Really.

There are people we will meet throughout our lives who are just great.  You love people for this reason or that reason.  I don’t just mean romantic interests.  I mean people whose passions are so strong that you can’t help but be drawn to them and their characters.

I’ve met some people in Korea who are just like that.  Something about their characters makes them attractive, makes me want to stay near them.  Makes me want to try and open up so that we can just be equals in honesty rather than gamers in illusion and subterfuge.

I mean, a game isn’t bad– and if you accept the rules, it really is fun.

But every now and then you find a game that’s more real than any other game, and that’s when you find a root, a hardwire into the main game, the real life ex life.  And when you’re there, when you see things for what they are, that’s when shit gets crazy in the most wonderful ways.

It might be the way a guy says something inspiring.  You just love him for that.  It might be the way a girl frowns to herself when she reflects for a moment when about how she’s feeling sad  You just love her for that.  It might be the person who bows and says thank you, please come again with a real smile when you pick up a pizza from their store  You love them for that.

I’ve met kids, who in their moments, are happiest or saddest given the day. I’ve seen the elderly, who are much the same, eve on their deathbeds– some have good days and some have bad days– but one thing is certain, and that is that at the end of your day, you love them whenever they’re honest.

There are days when your eyes are magnifiers because you take the time to see the beauty in people.  Or maybe it’s not beauty– it can be something ugly and outrageous and totally ‘out of character’.  These days are the highlights of human existence I think.  They are the highlights because they allow us to see glimpses of true honesty, and through that honesty we can see essences of souls.  And that connection between your soul and those of others is love.

On Sunday, I took YJ out for a ride on my scooter.  I’d grown accustomed to the terror of driving on crazy streets of Korea… but it was her first time on a scooter.  She actually screamed out, half in terror and half in excitement, sometimes when I accelerated to beat the yellow light, or as my shooe scrapped asphalt on the tighter corners.  It reminded me of some things.  How much I love it when people can just sorta throw away public image and just shout out, scream, or whatever.  To just really not be afraid, for moments even if only, to be themselves truly.

Tonight, I drove in the conditions that were my favorite back home for biking– in the night, in heavy rain.  Now, I’m sure my scooter doesn’t thank me for it, but I love riding at night.  It’s fucking dangerous, but I’ll admit it– I like it when my body is cold from the windchill, and I’m hunching over so that my sunvisor cuts the rain out of my vision.  I like the shivers I get from the cold, even as I struggle to keep my hands loose so I can keep control of the bike.  I like the feeling of water running down my face.  I like being forced to concentrate whenever a car next to me hits a puddle that makes me go blind for a second.

And most of all, I love clamping my chattering teeth down and screaming, to nobody but myself, “HANG ON, HANG ON!”

Because it’s honest, and it’s a moment when I can love myself.

Of course, I always wear a helmet.

It’s Easy as 1-2-3…

Or is it?


So, I’ve been offered saturday teaching position at my firm.  I accepted it.  It will pay an extra 300 000 won per month for me to be at work for about 3 hours, only 2 hours of which I will spend actually teaching– the other 1 hour is downtime.  On one hand, the extra pay will really be nice– that much pay pretty much covers my living expenses for an entire month including luxuries.

On another note, I feel like being with the same students for 4 more months is going to be somewhat troublesome.  As always, i put in some requests for some of my students to level down.  But it’s not going to happen.  Realistically, I see why this is so– because if a student levels down, that’s pretty likely to discourage the kid with a sense of failure, and that means that they’ll try even less hard the second time around.  It also means that for the next few months, they’d have an entirely new teacher with entirely new classmates, who perhaps aren’t even the same age as them.  Age, at their age, means a great deal– a single year of difference changes the dynamics of student friendships completely.  And of course, there is always the fear that if a student is so shamed that they’d have to repeat a level, their parents just might pull them out of the school and go to some other one.  Which is only logical– if your kid wasn’t doing well at a particular school, wouldn’t you want to think it was the teachers’ fault?   Wouldn’t you think it’d be a better idea to try somewhere else, with new materials, rather than the same system again (and pay a second time)?

Anyway, from a business perspective, there are a hundred reasons why a student shouldn’t be leveled down.  From a parent’s perspective, there are similarly a dozen or so why their kid shouldn’t level down.  And all this stands in the face of one reason why a student should level down– because they need to try at a realistic difficult level so they won’t just die whenever there’s a test.

The odds seem pretty bad.

I’ve asked a good number of students to level up, and herein lies one of the ironies of the situation– I’m basically asked by counselors to see who they think is best suited to skip a grade in our system.  But that means that my class average drops– I just signed away something like 6 of my best students this month, which means that each one of my classes has that a few less hands raised on the questions that I ask…

Public Image:

This brings us to one pretty important observation that becomes more concrete the longer I live in Korea:  appearances are very important.  It sounds prett ovious right, but that doesn’t mean that I agree with it.  One of the big problems is how one of the motivations that the parents have in sendig their kids to my school is that they’re doing it just because they want to keep up with the Jones’ next door, basically.  I think that’s a terrible reason to send a kid to school.

Quite frankly, for all the students who I tell you about who have inspired me to go on, they are outnumbered by a bunch who simply don’t care.  They’re not there to learn english– they’re there, resenting the class because they Hate Learning English and because their parents are basically using the school as a babysitting service.

And why not let the kids be kids and do fun things?  Let them go out in the world and make their own mistakes, rather than attempting to shelter them against everywhich possible problem by keeping them in schools from the early morning until the daylight is hours gone?

Why do it for the sake of saying that you did?