Sunday, September 27, 2009

I hope I don't inadvertently jinx Obama by tagging this post as "dead presidents."

I had an interesting political discussion with one of my sixth grade classes yesterday.

I forget why, but the topic of presidents came up. "Obama is very clever," one boy said. "Very smart. Face is very ugly. Dirty. Very old. I look at Obama, I see grandfather."

"Good president? Or bad president?"

"Good president," the class replied. "Lee Myoung-bak is bad president."

"Bad? Why?"

"Crazy cow in Korea."

"Mad cow disease?"

"Yes! Yes. Lee Myoung-bak bring crazy cows to Korea."

They then quizzed me on South Korean presidents, and to my shame, I only knew of the ones who had recently died.

"Yi Seungman?"


"Number one president of Korea."


"Yes, yes. First."

"Park Chung-hee?" (The dictator who ran the country for 18 years, from 1961 to 1979.)


"Chun Doo-hawn?" (Another dictatorial president, this one with only an 8 year term.)

"Kim Dae-jung?"

"Yes, yes. Kim Dae-jung good president? Or bad?"

"Good, good." They gave the thumbs up.

"What about President Roh?"

"Good president."

I wish they spoke better English, if only so I could have more conversations with them like this, but oh well.

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