Published: February 15th 2010February 15th 2010
I had a realization while I was watching my students graduate last week...
When I graduated high school the students were much more rebelious.
The rebeliousness I witness in South Korea: dyed hair, make-up, high heels, dress clothes and hair cuts.
In the US students brought silly sting and beach balls to graduation to play with during the ceremony.
I'll be it the ceremonies are very very different. My graduation lasted maybe 1.5 hours, where as here the ceremony was maybe 45 min. and that would be stretching it.
Also, I graduated in a rodeo stadium outdoors at night, yet her my students were in the school auditorium at 11am... Classes were to continue after lunch time for the non-graduates.
At my ceremony students jumped around and made peace signs as they hopped off of the temporarily erected metal stage. The teachers stood at the ends of almost every aisle of students regulating.
My students here walked themselves to the stage, bowed any number of times, and walked back to their seats. Only one student turned around while on stage and made a heart with his hand on his head... Hardly rebelious.
I am aware that I am comparing two vastly different schools that were built with different ends in mind. I am comparing two small city schools, both hugging the perifery of a big city... One for future scientists and the other for the spectra of average Joe's along with anyone capable of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. I'm not trying to imply that I went to a bad school, but I would argue I went to an average or slightly above average high school that was not created to excellerate its students into a certain field of study, such as a science high school or arts high school...
Potentially at other high schools in South Korea the ceremony is experienced very differently. I would not know. For year two now, this is all I have experienced and it is only hitting my now how markedly different it feels here compared to the states.