I asked my students two questions

I was nervous going in to class today. The topic in the textbook was “Problems in the World” and well… given the current climate… I wasn’t too sure what would happen. I started with the obvious question: “What do you think is a major problem in the world today?” followed by “how would you fix this problem?”. The answers to the first question, were incredibly aware. These kids read the newspaper. Nothing goes unnoticed to them and once I convinced the murderous little sh**s that they could neither assassinate nor force anyone to eat “bin rice”, I was given solutions to these issues, that sometimes amused me, but mainly just blew me away:

  1. Children use smart phones too much – Break them. Change them to a 2G phone. Don’t have a smart phone, this is the best way! 
  2. Children use swear words – Teach children better words. You shouldn’t scold them, it doesn’t help. 
  3. Chinese Yellow Dust is coming to Korea – Plant many trees in China. Break the factories. Make the population smaller – One child!
  4. People are missing from the Sewol Disaster. The Sewol Captain was negligent. – Lift the boat. Rescue earlier. Teach workers everywhere about emergencies.  
  5. People are poor and hungry – Donate money. Give rice. 
  6. Smoking is making people sick – Quit smoking. Don’t sell cigarettes. 
  7. The Japanese Prime Minister spoke rudely – Persuade him to learn history. 
  8. Too much CO2 is creating Global Warming and hurting the environment – Ride a bike. Plant many trees
  9. North Korea is developing nuclear weapons – Become ready for unification. 
  10. Putin is trying to steal Ukraine land – Have a fair vote. 
  11. Bullying in schools – Everyone has home schooling. 
  12. The Fukushima Earthquake has made radioactive trash – Use tax money to rebuild Fukushima.

These answers got me thinking about perspective because many of these answers, could only be given by students in Korea. Teenagers in Australia wouldn’t necessarily know what “unification” or “yellow dust” is, or how the Japanese prime minister was offensive. Yet these words represent issues that hinder our lives on a global scale. As an Australian teenager, I can remember giving answers about immigration and mental health – issues that would never occur to my Korean students. I’m not sure what my point is, it’s just interesting that “World Problem” is such a subjective term.

Stay tuned for a couple more blog posts in the next week about a recent holiday, and the performing arts in Korea. 🙂 

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