Thursday, March 29, 2012

More From Min-ji

Debating whether or not to give this girl her own tag. I freaking love her, though. She is hilarious, extremely intelligent, and a good student. And did I mention that she just doesn't give a shit? Because she doesn't.

"My desk partner is from $another_middle_school, you know it?"


"It's for students with a lot of money. My desk partner, his parents have a lot of money, but he is stupid. And he says all the time, 'Oh, I have lots of money, and you don't.' So I say, 'Okay. That's nice.' And he says, 'I ride in a BMW, what do you ride?' So I say, 'That's a nice car, actually, but you are garbage.'"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kids Are Way Too Observant

My hair is temperamental at times. And not the good kind, where it's naturally curly and pretty at least some of the time. Hermione Granger, I am not:

No, my hair would rather just suck out loud. Based on what shampoo I use, when I've last washed it, whether or not it's been blown-dry, and probably all kinds of other things, it can be straight and dark, straight and very light brown, wavy and dark, or wavy and lighter. It can look dirty even if I washed it that morning; it can look clean on Sunday even if the last time I washed it was Friday. It only wavers between "okay" and "disgusting-looking"; "awesome" does not exist on my hair spectrum.

Every time I finish at the gym in the morning, or desperately try to scrub a weekend's worth of cigarettes and boozing on a Sunday night, it's basically a crapshoot. Will I look clean and decent? Or like a hobo?

And the kids always notice. And say something.

Days where I don't have time to blow-dry my hair before work, for example, are usually stinkers.

"Teacher, your hair. Wet? Why?" my advanced class asked me one day. Only it wasn't even wet, just piecey because I had given it a quick towel dry.

"I took a shower, but I couldn't blow-dry."


Or some days it dries very wavy.

"Teacher! Your hair! Perm?"

"No, it's just like this sometimes."

Other days it's inexplicably light to the point of being almost blonde.

"Teacher, hair change!"

"No, this is just my hair."

I would totally shave my head if I were a man, just so I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore. I would also cultivate a fine goatee, but that's another story for another time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Multimedia Monday: Mick Jagger

This post is straight-up useless, but for me this is particularly relevant.

The latest fad at my hagwon is Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger." I've mentioned before that a lot of the curriculum with lower-level students at my school is based on English language pop music. Even with the advanced students, we (both myself and the Korean teachers) will play a song or two to kill some extra time in class. "Moves Like Jagger" is one that's been popular lately.

"What's Jagger? What is that? Who is that?"

"Dancer!" one girl suggested. Which, I mean really, is not that far off the mark.

"Ehh, almost."

"Singer?" she tried again.

"You got it."

I tested the waters to see if they knew which band, but no. I told them it was a band from England and the only answer I got was The Beatles. Cue my School of Rock inner fantasy.

Just to provide them some amount of context for the song, we're watching this montage of young Mick Jagger. Not the whole thing, mind you, I think the first thirty seconds ought to do the trick.

I already showed this to one class because they had been singing "Moves Like Jagger" when I came in. Since we finished early, I decided to be lazy and see how they'd react to this. We had the same discussion I just quoted above, more or less, and then I opened the file.

"This is Mick Jagger," I explained.

The revulsion was palpable. "Teacher, stop!" the most vocal student pleaded. I obliged.

"You don't like it?"

"No, it's very old. I like Green Day, like Basket Case. And American Idiot. And Holiday."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Min-ji, continued:

Back when Min-ji's class was reading and talking about NYC, I asked them to work in teams to come up with reasons why either Seoul or NYC is the best place to visit. Min-ji and her partner, Kristin, had Seoul.

"Korean food is very delicious," she suggested to Kristin (more on Kristin in another post). Kristin enthusiastically agreed and they started listing delicious Korean food. This class is pretty late in the day so food comes up a lot no matter what the subject is. Everyone always seems to be hungry, myself included.

"Ddeok bokki!"



"Boshin—" but Min-ji caught herself before finishing. (Boshintang, as you may or may not recall, is dog meat stew.)

"Why not? Boshintang is very delicious," I suggested.

"Really? Teacher? You had boshintang?"

"One time. It was good."

The look on Min-ji's face was a mix of surprise and...not quite anger. Admonishment. Scolding. "Teacher, that is terrible. You shouldn't eat it. I have a dog!"

"But your dog isn't the kind of dog that's in boshintang, is it?"

"No, but that's still bad. My dad really likes boshintang, but my mom says he can't eat it now."

"Well, it was a long time ago. I'm probably not going to have it again."


And then back to work.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My EFL Arsenal

Having taught a small variety of EFL classes, I've assembled a short list of things that go a long way towards making my job easier. Feel free to add any more (or any thoughts) in the comments.

  • Good alphabet flashcards. Preferably, ones that are cute, durable, use short words, and that address the multiple sounds of letters in English (short and long vowels, hard and soft consonants, etc). Ones with separate diphthongs and digraph cards would be ideal, but I'm not sure such a set exists? Until then, this PDF set of printable alphabet flashcards is pretty good.

  • Good vocabulary flashcards. What constitutes good in this case? Not culturally-specific, unambiguous pictures, addressing variances within English (American versus British English, so listing both "truck" and "lorry"), and containing important, basic words: people, places, animals, important verbs, classroom words, colors, and so forth. If you're teaching business English, or academic English, you obviously have more specific needs.

  • A die (or two dice).

  • A soft ball, or stuffed animal, or something else you can safely throw indoors. Get a large plush dice and combine this one with the above point, plus you get the bonus of a dice that rolls quietly. My wooden one is kind of loud, which can drive me up the wall.

  • A watch with a secondhand, or a stopwatch.

  • Extra pencils.

  • A small notebook.

  • Small little somethings that little hands can easily manipulate (I use a set of wooden Jenga blocks in one of my classrooms).

What else has made your teaching life easier?

This also is brilliant, though perhaps too bulky to tote around with you while globe trotting. Certainly, you could MacGyver one up yourself (or alter it for preferred vowel pronunciations), or convince your school to order one: The Color Vowel Chart.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You Encounter: A Guy On Your Walk Home

A couple Fridays ago I went out for farewell drinks with a friend of mine who has since left Korea. A good time was had by all, and I went home in a pleasant mood. Pyeonghwa-ro was mostly abandoned by this hour, and for the longest time I didn't see a single soul.

Until I ran into a young, tall, slim fellow by the GS gas station near my officetel. He briefly made eye contact, but didn't say anything until after we had passed each other. I only caught his "hello" because it came in between songs on my mp3 player. I took out my headphones and turned around.

"Hi!" I replied.

"Are you lost?"

"No, I'm going home."

"Ah." Pause, thinking. "What's your name?"


"Ah." More pause. More thinking. "Are you single?"


"Ah." One last pause. "Good night."

"Good night!"

I'm annoyed at myself for having this conversation in English when I could have easily handled it in Korean.

I wonder how often this guy tries to chat up girls on their way home from bars. I wonder how successful it is.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Multimedia Monday: charity:water

The Kony 2012 movement was very conveniently timed, as right now the topic in my advanced students' textbook is water shortages. Relevant to issues in central Africa:

For other videos, check out the Multimedia Monday tag. If you need it, here's YouTube Downloader HD.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sexism, Korean Culture, and White Whine

This is old news, first of all (the blog post that inspired me to write this is from early November). But sexism is an issue that comes up a lot when foreigners complain about Korea and so blogging about it is always relevant, I think.

Second of all, this is going to be kind of scatter shot, so bear with me. To help navigate, I've organized my thoughts into sections.

How to Properly Complain About Sexism

Let me be clear: I think a lot of aspects of Korean culture are sexist. What gets left out of the discussion (usually populated by white American males) is that America is sexist, too. I have no hard data (or even anecdata) about this, but rather I will simply say this: if you are "outraged" at how Korean society treats women but have never given a second thought to women's status in American society, you are (as we say on the Intarbutts) "doin it rong."

I've seen this point come up vis-à-vis religion a lot, too—more specifically, about Islam. And again, there are parts of Islamic culture that are sexist. There is no doubt. But to say, "I don't like Islam because of how they treat their women," and then brush off instances of sexism within your own non-Islamic culture is not how you do feminism, y'all. That's how you use feminism to justify racism. That is how you use feminism to justify your own personal beef with religion. In short, that's how you fail at feminism and it happens in our awesome enlightened white culture all the fucking time, most recently with the "Elevatorgate" kerfuffle between basically "Team Richard Dawkins" and "Team Rebecca Watson."

So, if you are a Western guy blogging about how Korea is soooo sexist and how they could really learn a lesson from Western culture, kindly shut the fuck up.

In short, I am prefacing this essay with the huge and bold and super important admission that Korea is not the only sexist country in the world. Not by a large margin. Not even the only sexist "developed"/"First World"/whatever country. My own home country fails at feminism pretty hard, too, and I think overall the gap between the two countries is negligible at best, because it's give and take. Horrible abortion laws in Korea? Well, they also have cheap and readily available over-the-counter birth control.

You see my point.

Basically, I call sexist bullshit where I see it: US, Korea, the moon, whatever. I just usually keep my hairy-legged man-hating soapboxing off of here because it's not often relevant to Korea and I'd like this blog to be, for the most part, Korea-relevant.

Being the Fattest Girl in the Jjimjilbang

This time, the hairy-legged man-hating is Korea-relevant. Here is what is prompting me to write:  My Manifesto: Fat, Health, Why Don't You Have a Boyfriend? and Korean Culture, from ThingsEveWouldDo.

The teal deer version is that after fourteen successful (minus body-shaming comments and unwanted inquiries about marital status) months at a hagwon, Eve was told she "must" lose weight. She refused, and ultimately resigned because her principal went apeshit about it and presumably because fourteen months of your boss commenting negatively about your body is going to grind you down.

I had actually talked about exactly this kind of scenario in the form of a hypothetical with Jong-min before I returned to Korea and started at Cassandra. I was concerned that the economic upgrade from Uijeongbu (which, while looking very upwardly mobile these days, is still not as posh as Bundang) would mean greater scrutiny placed upon my personal appearance.

Let me also backtrack and remind y'all that I'm a bit of a chubster. Also, for any new readers: here, it's me! For my family and friends: look, I'm at a famous temple!

This is not an attempt at compliment-fishing or female neurotic body-hatred: it's just fact. My body does all kinds of awesome things for me and I love it for that. I'm pretty healthy overall and I rarely get sick because my immune system is baller. As far as bodies go, I've done all right for myself, and my boyfriend really likes it too (not that a body's worth should be based on whether or not a man finds it attractive!). I can go running on a regular basis (three days a week) without any pain or discomfort, I can take long walks on the mountains on the quickly-warming weekends and enjoy the beautiful nature out here in Uijeongbu.

So no "but you're not fat!" or "you're not THAT fat" or "it's just a bad picture" comments, or assumptions that I hate my body. That's not true, and that's not the point. As for the "lose some weight, porker" comments: whatever. Haters to the left.

Naturally, I was worried about the kind of situation that Eve outlined above coming to a head at Cassandra, despite not experiencing a single weight-related workplace issue at Sherlock. My kneejerk, loudmouthed American feminist reaction would be to flip some tables and give them the finger, but I knew that wouldn't get me anywhere. I asked Jong-min what he thought a reasonable reaction would be to such a request.

"If that happens, just look a little sad and say, 'I'm trying,' and they'll feel bad and probably leave you alone." 

As it turned out, I had no reason to worry. Cassandra would turn out to be a miserable place to work for numerous other reasons, but body-shaming was not one of them. As I mentioned in my comment on Eve's blog, I have worked at three different hagwons now and not a one has made my body or appearance in any way a professional issue. Sometimes students say something, but it's not all that often and they're kids. Kids have a notoriously poor filter between brain and mouth. This was the most "dramatic" incident, which happened with one of my kindergarten classes at Cassandra.

Jaymon: "Teacher, you are very big!"
Me: "No, I'm not! I'm very short!"
Jaymon: "No, I mean you are fat!"
Me: "Is that a problem? Am I a bad person?"
Jaymon: *thinking about it* "No..."
Me: "Okay then!"

And he never brought it up again. Though, I did also leave like six weeks later so maybe it would have continued to be an issue—but I doubt that.

That was it. That was the sum total of my experience of professional fat-shaming in Korea.

The Manifesto Itself, and "Korean Culture"
So when Eve posted her story and got responses from SMOE, other bloggers, and other Koreans that getting hounded about her weight and marital status was just "Korean culture" and that she should just shut up and take it, I went into Feminist Hulk Rage mode. When people linked to her as an example of how this was an example of how Korea is "omg so sexist," I went into Cork Up the White Whine mode.

First, such reactions are bullshit because Eve's experience totally fucking isn't Korean culture. Not for Western women, anyway. Like I said, if professional body-shaming were part of "Korean culture" for Western women here, I would almost certainly have experienced it by now. I would have heard of it more often by now. And while my friends and I trade stories of "awful shit our students say" and it sometimes comes up, it has never been a professional issue.  I will admit, though, that maybe I've been lucky. Maybe my friends have been lucky. 

Don't get me wrong. There are loads of other things you can use to support the "Korean working culture can be really sexist" thesis, definitely: sexist remarks and awkward personal questions at job interviews, ageism in hiring, disproportionate numbers of layoffs falling on female employees, a rather low and shatter-proof glass ceiling. These are all widespread, institutionalized things that are awful and should change. These are most certainly sexist aspects of Korean culture. 

Eve's experience was not a result of Korean culture, but the result of one jackass. That jackass may have been informed and influenced by Korean culture, sure, but the fact that neither I nor my heavier female teacher friends here have experienced major professional issues because of our size is a pretty strong indicator that his behavior is far from institutionalized and condoned. Lest you forget, the US has its fair share of douchebag body-shaming bosses. Japan was looking at a program to make waist measurements mandatory for employees and to punish employees above a certain threshold just a few months ago. A culture isn't sexist because you hear about one $cultural_member_douchebag, it's sexist when wide-scale sexist practices are the norm within that culture. Taking it that way treads dangerously close to the "White Whine" category.

The second reason they're bullshit is that even if it were "Korean culture," neither Eve nor a Korean woman should ever be subject to body-shaming and body-policing from an employer. Ever. It's that fucking simple.

Closing Words

Maybe Eve could have handled it in a more "Korean" way (see Jong-min's suggestion). Maybe they weren't happy with her as a teacher and were looking for a way to pressure her out without firing her outright. Maybe Eve's version of the story is unfair and there was more going on than she told. Even if these things were true, it doesn't matter. How people react to a story and what they say about it can often be more important than the story (and its truth value) itself. While I think I may have reacted to that situation differently than Eve, I can't know for sure. I'm just glad she successfully got herself out of what sounded like a very poisonous place, and I can only hope her former principal will either be removed from his position or be less of a jackass in the future.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Seat of My Pants: Biographies Game and Corners

When I was doing my CELTA (check the tags if you're interested in reading about that experience), one of the instructors cautioned me not to rely too heavily on improvising in the classroom.

"You're extremely good at it, but you shouldn't rely on that instead of lesson planning," he told me during one of my evaluations. He's right, of course. Occasionally, though, I have a class where I really have no other option other than to go in flying blind. I have become a master of endlessly modifying ESL/EFL games, and occasionally creating new games on the spot.

Like today: a review class where, for the moment, the two students (Max and Jerry) were on completely different pages. The Jeopardy! game I had based on material I knew Jerry had studied would not be fair to Max.

I ran through my stable of EFL/ESL games: Pictionary, Simon Says (in the form of "Please Game," to hopefully teach some manners), and Corners (which I'll explain in a minute). Fortunately, the boys were happy and excited enough to not even mind fairly dull sentence drilling, which I used to stall for time until I came up with: Biographies.


Goal: To practice third person singular conjugation and vocabulary; forming questions; it can probably be an okay ice-breaker (but honestly I think there are better ones—maybe use this to follow up "Two Truths And A Lie").

Materials Needed: Blackboard/whiteboard; flashcards (totally optional)

Levels: All.

Ages: All.

Procedure: Choose one student to sit in a chair facing away from the board. The other students come up to the board and write sentences about the other student. For example:

"Jerry likes chicken."
"Jerry doesn't like puppies."

If you have a lot of students, you can do this in teams, or figure out a way to take turns. When you have a predetermined number of sentences on the board, have the subject of the sentences turn around. Another student then turns the sentence into a question. You can make the question yourself, of course, if the students are as low as Max and Jerry are.

"Jerry, do you like chicken?"

If he does, the student/team that wrote, "Jerry likes chicken." gets a point. If he doesn't, no one gets a point. If you want, you can also award points for writing a perfect sentence, forming a perfect question, or correcting a mistake. It's up to you.

My examples here are pretty simple English because I was working with young, low-level students. Obviously the only limit to this game is the level of your students' English. More ideas off the top of my head:

"Jerry has a large family."
"Jerry wants to travel to Europe."
"Jerry thinks Lee Myeong-bak is a great president."
"Jerry ate a frog in France."

For the flashcard variation, you can give the "subject" student a pile of flashcards to rifle through. She can hold up ones she likes (or doesn't like!) to give the other students hints (or to try to trick them).

The points are optional as well, if you think your students might be the kind to purposefully throw the game for the other team. It's been my experience, though, whenever I find a potential exploit in one of my games, it simply never occurs to my kids. You might have to be mindful with the younger ones (or even with all ages, sadly) that they don't use it as an excuse to bully or tease anyone.

Never forget that you can also sit in the chair and make yourself the subject of their sentences!


Goal: Reviewing vocabulary; thinking about categories and ordering.

Materials Needed: A classroom; flashcards (optional)

Levels: All. 

Ages: Probably best with elementary age children; I find the older my students get, the less they want to get out of their seats. 

Procedure: Designate one corner of the room as one category ("fruits") and the other as another category ("vegetables"). You can use more than two if you want. Say a sentence, vocabulary word, or hold up a flashcard and have the students find the right category. If they're right, they get a point. If they're wrong, no point (or out). Or eliminate points and do it like reverse "Four Corners" style, only instead of students getting out at random, they get out if they make an English mistake (going to the "vegetable" corner when you say "banana"). If there's an intermediate or grey area and one student goes against the grain (you say "tomato" and she chooses fruit even though everyone else chose vegetable), she can even stay in if she gives a good argument about why her answer is right—in English, obviously.

When I played this today, I had two corners: "good" and "bad." We reviewed adjectives (okay, fine, terrible awesome, etc) and phrases (I like..., I don't like..., I can't stand..., etc). Really, the sky's the limit on this one. You can use it to review characters in a story, minimal pairs (have a P corner and an F corner and use words like "frog" and "piano"), and so much more. You can also choose a student to run the game and say the words/sentences or hold the flashcards—and see if they can decide who is right and wrong on their own.

Enjoy! Post any improvements you may have, and let me know how these go over in your classroom.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Multimedia Monday: New York, New York

The first chapter in my advanced classes' new textbook is on New York city. Unfortunately, The Daily Show's 2009 clip about "the douchiest sports fans" isn't entirely appropriate for a classroom setting—much as that impotent, forgotten-middle-child rage that is peculiar to natives from the Philly metro might have tempted me otherwise. Instead, I decided to go with Ol' Blue Eyes.

(I considered a scene from On the Town, because more than anything else I love Gene Kelly, but unfortunately there's none of his trademark choreography during "New York New York.")

My eldest and most cynical, burnt-out class hated it. Enough that I'm rethinking doing anything with it in my other two classes, but they're so much more open-minded and mellow than this particular class that I'll probably push ahead with it anyway.

Sometimes English teachers here are accused of having agendas and of overreaching their purview as teachers: as far as our work is concerned, we're not here in Korea to address social issues or "fix" whatever we may think is "wrong," our job is to teach English. Some teachers forget that, the argument goes, and they spend too much time thinking about how to address beauty or gender roles instead of infinitives and gerunds. 

Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. You could accuse me of the same, I suppose: why should I expect Korean pre-teens to go wild over Frank Sinatra? Why is it at all important to their language acquisition? The honest answer is that I can't really justify it pedagogically. I like music, and I like listening to music, and I like sharing music with other people, so whenever I have the chance, I use pop music in class. Same goes with movies. There's a whole academic debate over whether learning a language necessitates learning the culture, or the pop culture, but I just do it because I like to. It's fun for me

I'd like to think that at least one of my students, years from now, will hear this song at a bar when some asshole New Yorker expat requests it, and they'll think: "I know this! One of my English teachers at my hagwon used it in class!" If it hasn't been replaced by Empire State of Mind by that point.

The other thing about this song, and older songs in general, is that the lyrics are really great for language instruction, as they tend to be written in complete, grammatically correct sentences and what not. You could totally do a lesson with this song comparing simple future to present continuous verb tenses, for example: hand out the lyrics and have students underline actions happening in the present, circle actions happening in the future. Or helping verbs ("going to" and "want to"). Or personification ("city that never sleeps," "these vagabond shoes are longing to stray").  Or the difference between spoken and written English (how we write "going to" but often say "gonna"). Or idiomatic expressions ("make it" in the sense of being successful, or "king of the hill" and "top of the heap").

Beyond the words, there's the option for really high level conversation about cities and their personalities and meanings to people. New York has a certain aura of mystique around it, hence why we keep writing songs and making movies about it. What about Korea, what cities are very popular? What characteristics does Seoul/Uijeongbu/Kimhae have?

For other videos I've shown in class (and their various rates of success), check out the Multimedia Monday tag. If you want to use YouTube videos but don't have Internet in your classroom, I recommend using YouTube Downloader HD to save any videos you want to show.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Obligatory? Korean Tourist Spot #5: Hoeryong Temple

The obligatory nature of this destination is questionable because there are certainly larger and more impressive temples in Korea. However, I think for anyone living in Uijeongbu, Hoeryongsa is absolutely a must-see. The scenery is just too gorgeous not to.

 Take exit 2 out of Hoeryong Station and you should see signs directing you to Hoeryongsa (they're usually brown, not blue like typical road signs). You'll be walking through a more ramshackle part of Howon-dong, and eventually through a neighborhood of hanoks that look like they were thrown together immediately after the Korean War and never really updated since. At the end you'll find the entrance to a number of hiking trails, along which you can find thirty-odd temples that aren't listed on the road signs along Pyeonghwa-ro. I was shocked to find that there were so many little temples in the mountains out here. It's a destination that bears repeating, if only to visit them all (or at least a few of them).

Despite feeling a bit under the weather today, I took the trail to Hoeryongsa just for the sake of doing something on the weekend that wasn't sitting at my computer or abusing my liver in a bar. It was a glorious day and a pleasant reminder that spring is coming soon.

Hoeryongsa itself is small; like I mentioned earlier, if you want breathtaking size and grounds you can get lost in, then somewhere like Bongeunsa or Bulguksa is more what you're after. As it stands, there's simply a main meditation hall, what I presume is living quarters, a pavilion for the bell, and public restrooms for the visitors. It looks like they're adding more buildings, as there was some construction going on. The buildings themselves are very new, having been rebuilt after they were burned down in the Korean War. I'm not sure if this is the kind of place that welcomes any random Mr. Kim to wander in and sit and meditate as he pleases (contrast Bongeunsa), so I just skulked around, got some pictures, and then sat on a nearby rock to enjoy the nice day.

Pyeonghwa-ro, the main drag that runs mainly parallel to subway line 1. Just to give a sense of where I started.

guidepost on the hiking trail to hoeryongsa temple

dry spring at hoeryongsa temple
Temples all have freshwater springs for the visitors' use, but the one here at Hoeryongsa was dry. Not sure if it's just because the river is still frozen (see below), or if it's a permanent issue.

hoeryongsa temple uijeongbu
Hoeryongsa itself.

In case you can't tell, "Korean War" has been crossed out, and "Japanese Regime" has been written on top. I'm not sure if that's supposed to be a factual correction, or a political sentiment.

One of the things I love about living in Uijeongbu is that it is greener and calmer than in Seoul. From my apartment, I can walk to the downtown neighborhood: shopping, Indian food, bars, a new performing arts center, people-watching, and the subway into Seoul. Or, I can walk to a Shilla-era temple set in the side of a mountain. How awesome is that?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Independence Day

Oh wait, not that one.

We herewith proclaim the independence of Korea and the liberty of the Korean people. We tell it to the world in witness of the equality of all nations and we pass it on to our posterity as their inherent right

We make this proclamation, having 5,000 years of history, and 20,000,000 united loyal people. We take this step to insure to our children for all time to come, personal liberty in accord with the awakening consciousness of this new era. This is the clear leading of God, the moving principle of the present age, the whole human race's just claim. It is something that cannot be stamped out, stifled, gagged, or suppressed by any means.

Hopefully we can add a "Peaceable Reunification Day" to the list of Korean public holidays—sooner rather than later.