Teen angst with a twist

I am currently lucky enough to be teaching the highest level English class that my school has to offer. These kids are incredible, barely sixteen years old and fluent. The literature we read comes from the worls of Walt Witman, Maya Angelou, Ray Bradbury, Pearl Buckman and Henry Longfellow. And they dig it. I dig it. They are the quietest bunch that I teach, but rather then being due to disinterest or sullen resentment, I find them to simply be shy in that painful, junior high. I'm-one-of-the-smart-kids kinda way. I can actually talk to them, and sometimes, they actually talk to me. One of their assignments was to write a poem for me.

During class we had talked about being young, getting older, and what growing up can be like for different kinds of people in different cultures. They acknowledged their cultures obsession with education and the stressees placed on Korean students as opposed to students in the western world. We then talked about high school drop-outs, teen pregnecy, the violence and the school shootings that are now a seemingly natural part of western society's school culture. I then asked them to write a poem on how they felt about being a teenager here in Korea. Anything and everything. The sky was the limit. Most of the responses I got related to the stresses of school, one even touching on the suicide rate among Korean young adults. Save one.

Ryan, barely fifteen years old. Top of the class. My unidentified favorite.

Two ways

By Ryan

abusive boys and girls
abrasive acts

not abstainigs non proper things
abnormal things around me

Non of them seem to understand
what thick mist is ahead of them

would you choose 25years of competition
inside the fence called family
and the rest enjoyable
25 years of cool life
and the rest regreting all the time?

take your pick

This job is interesting at times:)


Glenn said…
Found your page on the Korea blogs list. Nice words ^^

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