Korean Schoolgirls

I’m sitting in the computer lab of this dorm for a girl’s school in Youngchen. There’s been middle school age girls coming in and out using the computers. I been here for a while catching up on my blog readings, checking my money situation to make sure I’m not bouncing any checking accounts and of course updating all the necessary social mediums.

Being in this dorm got me thinking about schoolgirls in Korea.

Most of them are in uniform, so they look much alike. But yet you can see personalities shine through.  It’s in in the way they laugh or the hip sneakers they wear, the only fashion statment they are able to make.

They love seeing English-speaking people. They have spent years learning English grammar and conversation, but don’t have much opportunity to use it. They use the greetings they were taught.

“Hello!” “Nice to Meet You” and oddly enough “I love you.” 

The third statement is scary considering how much fear there is from American girls and boys to use it when they are dating or in a relationship. I think back about how big of a deal it was when Jerome and I said that we loved each other. I laugh when these girls feel free to say it freely to people they barely know. But then again, when you are a schoolgirl, love is fleeting. So perhaps it is appropriate to express for a moment, how much you love that American or Canadian. That you love them because you can finally practice the English you were taught since the age of 9 or 10.

***

A young girl came in, answering her cell phone. She’s just one of many that are mobile. Reachable by dialing a ten-digit number. Like their parents, they don’t hesitate to answer, regardless of where they are.

***

When we were in sitting in on a group of 12th graders, it were the girls that asked good questions. The boys didn’t want to lose their cool. The girls, on the other hand, weren’t afraid. One asked us, “What don’t you like about Korea? Speak frankly, please.” Another asked, “What stereotypes did you have before you came to Korea?” They are shy at first to ask these questions, but you know inside they can’t wait to ask, can’t wait to practice their English.

 

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