Tuesday, June 14, 2005

postal scrotum: Gumbi replies!

Gumbi writes:

Just read [the] Taken to task post and I would like to add in a few points.

I didn't mean for you to assume that I was attacking the fact that you were posting about Z, but rather I was just whining about the way you seemed to be handling her and most of that stemmed from the 'mic' incident. In fact I would be a hypocrite if I was telling you not to log about funny and strange student stories, my most... only read posts are when I have something outrageous happen at my school, like flashers, slashers and ...nope nothing rhymes... Anyways you get the point, I just need to make it known that that was the opposite of my point of view.

Also I would like to quickly say that I find it funny you would use Pagoda as a

typical Korean hagwons (e.g., Pagoda)

It is a grave injustice to those of us who do toil under their iron fascist fist of lies and deceit.

And [thus] the conversation with myself carries on into your court.

Gumbi .... you've already taken [me] to task, this was actually Marley this time.


I found your email very thoughtful and compassionate toward Z. I admit that my own thoughts regarding Z haven't always been of the compassionate sort (as the blog will attest), but I do feel my actions toward her-- excepting the Microphone Incident-- were the best I could do given the circumstances. If your complaint is focused on the Mike* Incident, well... I'd have to agree that I could've handled that better. A lot better.

As for Pagoda being a "typical" hagwon: In a sense, it's not typical, but only because it's the paradigm case for hagwons in Korea. Everyone knows Pagoda, either by experience or through a friend. They're a big-- probably the biggest-- hagwon chain in South Korea. Their classes are conducted in what is now the standard (read: typical) format for most hagwons: 10-15 (or more) students per class, student complaints and reregistration determining things like raises and bonuses, etc. To know Pagoda is to know 95% of hagwons out there: the mismanagement, the obsession with money to the exclusion of educational quality, the crazy hours, the high faculty turnover rate-- everything.

*Call me a stick in the mud, but I refuse to submit to the more than decade-old trend of writing "mic" instead of "mike." Whenever I see "mic," my mind hears "Mick." It's like the way some folks write "frig" as a short form of "refrigerator." I grew up writing the short form as "fridge," which obviously rhymes with "bridge." "Frig," on the other hand, rhymes with "pig" and is the verbal form of the adjective "frigging." Don't get me started on twisted spellings like "yea" for "yeah" and "yanno" instead of "y'know." Like fingernails on a chalkboard.


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