Friday, February 13, 2009

Korean Students and Rain

I've had three classes so far today. The first one was about the Separation of Church and State in regards to the teaching of creationism in school and the second was on the rise of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Korea. Both totally interesting and both classes were essentially empty. My first class has about 11 people registered and only two showed up. The second class has 19 registered and only 5 showed up. These two classes usually hover around a 90% attendance rate. My third class, while not as interesting or as full, usually has 9 students enrolled. How many showed up today? Zero. Not a single fucking student showed up. I have another class that starts soon. There are 11 people registered and I am expecting about 3 to actually show up. Why? Rain.

Rain keeps students away from class more than any other type of weather. In fact, students skip classes more for rain than all other excuses combined. Snow is no problem. Seoul snow is weak and Korea does not have a “snow day” culture anyways. Blistering heat isn’t a problem because Korean’s thrive is unnaturally hot conditions as seen on buses, subways and offices all across the nation. Boozing until an hour before class doesn’t matter either. That just shows excellent time management skills that Koreans love to boast about. (“I sleep in the subway/bus/taxi because it’s efficient and gives me more time to work/drink/whore around later.”) Nothing can stop these cats unless, of course, a single drop of rain falls. Then, attendance drops with it.

If you remember (which you don’t) I wrote about the rain + exposed head=baldness myth that exists in Korea. Well, I don’t think this has anything to do with it. I also wrote about how dangerous Korean drivers can be and rain only makes them worse, but this isn’t it either. It’s more that rain just sucks, discourages enthusiasm and makes people feel lazy. That’s all -nothing particularly cultural to look into except for the fact that Korean’s don’t come to class if it’s raining.

It’s just a teacher’s observation.