Yoon Yong is edging closer to the end now. Just so you know, hagwons, in Korea, are privately run academies, which children attend as well as school. They are largely English academies, however there are math, science & art hagwons too. They fill a void school’s cannot fill due to the Korean school system not being arranged in levels of ability as they are (or were) in England, where students are placed in groups suitable to their ability. In Korea all abilities are put together in the hope that every student has the same opportunity. However, what this means is the level is set lower than a proportion of students, who just get bored. So hagwons challenge them & enable improvement. You must have money to send kids to good hagwons. It illustrates status & good hagwons can provide students a higher level of proficiency than their class mates at school, mother’s with a social milieu, teachers with jobs & business owners with a competitive though often profitable venture. In short, there are tons of hagwons.
The dilemma of loving a child
…My daughter must be taught to be an individual
—I can’t bear the thought of her becoming mechanized.
Little Sarang bashing at an iPad & squealing
as chunky characters pop & parade | singing nonsensically.
She must suffer for it like me—then I’ll love her.
She’ll succeed in being unique.
Is it not a life of agony to be an exile in your own culture?
Dual heritage will marginalize her perhaps
—her English will be naturalized
which will elevate her above all the other kids.
That’ll irritate all the fuddy-duddy stuck-up girls
I knew in high school | who now make-up
their daughters like princesses.
I won’t get those exorbitant hagwon bills.
She’s already on top. We are individuals against our will.
The democracy of character the cult of personality.
The Falun Gong of I
—our organs gauged out like a trowel foisting up a root.
Beaten for blood to test the resilience of our bone & muscle
by truncheons of our own making
—our leader AWOL overseas | with a permanent Visa
& eating well | living in luxury while
slowly | in pain we lose bits of ourselves
physically & then (after terms of endurance) mentally…