At School


Text: We taught at a hagwon (private institute) about a fifteen-minute walk from our house. The director was Mr. Yoon. Most of our students were under twelve years old, including a few pre-school classes. We taught "English conversation," which mostly involved memorisation of words and phrases. We also ended up playing a lot of games. The number, frequency, and length of our classes was subject to change without notice. Halfway through, the school changed franchises and went from BCM Junior English School to Can Top Academy Town.

(Page 2) In the mornings we learned Kumdo, the art of fencing with split-bamboo swords. At first Helena went along intending to translate, but ended up joining in for the first two months. Doug spent five months in the class and became fairly adroit at stomping, yelling, and whacking, even though he kept stubbing his toes on the seams in the floor mat.


Pens: Micron black (01)

Scissors: Fiskars ripple

The titles were cut out of paper with a craft knife. For the picture of Doug with his jukdo I had to use a 5"x7" enlargement to get it big enough. I think the result was worth it!


"Hagwon" means "learning place." Korea is full of hagwons for all sorts of things--math, piano, art, computers, and, of course, English. Many parents send their children to hagwons after school to work on things that they show promise in or need extra help with. Some kids go to more than one hagwon.