Growing Up

in instablurt •  last month 


Down by the Riverside

The Riverside was busy this weekend and so were we. The warm weather this weekend brought a lot of people outside including us. We got some much needed exercise and fresh air.

We rode on the South side of the River near Gangnam. Across the River is Yongsan the place where the American Army base used to be in Seoul. In front of Seoul tower behind the apartments is the hotel that Joe Biden stayed in when he first arrived in Korea.

He seemed more interested in making business agreements than any political things in the area. It seems that mostly he enjoyed his stay here and there was no incident except right before he landed one of his boys started making trouble in the lobby. I guess that kind of thing happens. Full report from the Guardian here.

We all can't be perfect. I just enjoy the cool breeze coming off the river and the nice view. I ain't no fortunate one. We rented out bikes from Yeouido and the guy getting the bikes charges per hour. He took ten minutes to get our bikes out and the time was ticking. We brought the bikes back five minutes late and he charged us an extra two dollars for overtime.

My son told me we are not going to that guy again. There are plenty of other places to rent bikes.



In the evening we walked up the mountain on the North side of the city to get a better look at Seoul tower and to get another view. Here we are above the rive and above the city. This is our favorite mountain and one of the best places to just forget about things.

In the past only a few hikers would visit these places but now they are overgrown with yuppies. There aren't many kids running around as there used to. I guess that is good for some people, but for my son it is pretty lame. He is only in sixth grade of elementary school but most of his friends are busy studying in special after school institutes called "Hakwons". They don't have the time to hang out or ride bikes or just goof around. They are all on a schedule.

It seems that the only ones who actually have freedom in Seoul are the dogs. They are treated really well and the people call the dogs "children" and the actual human children they call "puppies". It's like the world is upside down. The dogs hand out at the park and play ground. The dogs ride in strollers while their "mommies" push them through the park. But when it comes to human children they leave them at some institute and give them a crick in the neck from studying so much.

It's not like these kids will actually get anything out of all this studying. They might get into a good school and graduate and get a lousy job at best. It would be better if kids were able to learn some social skills and just get out and play. It would do their lungs better if they got outside once and a while.

The most difficult obstacle I have in teaching classes is social problems among students. They don't know how to play or get along with others. One of the essentials of English conversations is talking to another human being. But whenever these kids meet they freak out and complain. I am considering having them complete the dialog with their pencil case rather than having to do pair work.

The other obstacle is confidence. Many lost confidence and think they cannot study English and just give up and work on other subjects.

One of my favorite subjects is lunch. We had dimsum for lunch. It's not Korean food, but it is a very good snack in the middle of the day.



Tough Decisions

After lunch my oldest son talked about going to the army. He is getting close to the point where he needs to make a decision. If he doesn't go to the army within two he then he will have to give up his Korean citizenship.

The laws may change this September and we are watching closely. His generation is the first generation with this many multi nationality citizens. Most of the multi cultural families are poorly represented. And we don't have time on our side. It's a tough decision for a kid to carry a gun or go back to live with grandma and grandpa in the states.

Sometimes it is better to be a dog.

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The most fun times of my life was playing with my friends when I was younger especially when we got bikes to ride on and go to places.

Times are changing now and maybe we could see the future as different the way we expect today all because of technology on how people now socialize.

South Korea's citizens are brought now to be more competitive which is why they are brought to a strict way of learning or education so they will get the best positions in their future jobs all the while sacrificing their time for other things starting from their early years of life until graduation in their chosen fields. So I think the imbalance just affects the way they live and not enjoying life fully.

It's their loss. It seems the richer the neighborhood the more unhappy they are. I teach in a mixed neighborhood so kids stay around after school and play. I can hear kids playing right now, but when I visit my son's school it is empty after school. Kids go right to after school academies.

I know it is not the situation that makes one happy, but when we are surrounded by just one kind of thinking then it is easy to fall into that kind of thinking. It is hard for anyone to change and even more difficult here. Local elections are coming up. The School superintendent position is up for grabs. I should read up on it because my vote counts as well.

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Have you seen a correlation between screen time and social interaction over the years? I have a suspicion that it may be easier to engage for many through the use of a device rather than through traditional interactions especially given the last few years.

There is so much that you learn by being outside and just playing. I suspect there might be a growing trend to limit technology and get back to the basics again. We could all a some of this.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, this was an interesting posting to read.

Hi @casualfriday,

I don't know much about you, but I know that you are trying to support a witness node on Blurt and I hope it works out well. I also know that you are interested in music and know how to read my random meandering posts. Life never gets easier. It just gets a little muckier.

Posted from

I understand the muckier part and luckily we can usually clean ourselves off easily or with a little help from others. The meandering as you call it is the most interesting part. A free flow of whatever is on your mind out into the world. I love it.

You're right about the witness node on Blurt, I'm a fresh face looking to do my part. There is a lot learn with all the terms here and I'm having a fun time. There's so much interesting content here too so I find myself reading most of my time.

I've always enjoyed the arts and music is so easily accessible now it's hard not to have something on in the background at every waking moment.

Congratulations, your post has been curated by @dsc-r2cornell. You can use the tag #R2cornell. Also, find us on Discord

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Felicitaciones, su publicación ha sido votada por @ dsc-r2cornell. Puedes usar el tag #R2cornell. También, nos puedes encontrar en Discord

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I wish, sooner to be with my son and wife back in the Philippines and not leaving them anymore for good. For now, I need to work hard for the near future.