Friday, 28 October 2016

Blade Runner on Steroids

There's always that delay, and not just down to jet lag, when you return from a trip and the processing of all the sensory overload takes longer than you imagine.

And there is a hesitancy about committing thoughts too early; as if, if you can't write everything in the style of Bill Bryson or Ernest Hemingway, why even start?

Let's let a picture tell a thousand words..
There are oases of calm, but generally life in Korea is played out at a hectic pace, amid a landscape of high rise apartments and motorways.

The resulting haze that greets you each morning is often slow to clear; and it is little surprise to see so many young people wearing face masks.

But it is a remarkable and in many ways beautiful country; it is certainly fascinating.  To understand the role of creativity and learning, you really do have to appreciate a culture that places great emphasis on achievement and academic success.  Advertisements are often the tell - key words like innovation, imagination, possibility, advanced technology... ideas rise like helium balloons to capture keys that unlock riches and golden eggs.  Yes I know that is a scrambled egg of a metaphor but it is one I witnessed on a (Samsung natch) TV.

There is a term, dolkee, which seems to refer to creative eccentricity, but it does not carry high status in the way that gifted and talented do. Children work long hours in school, and then many have private tutoring in the evenings. School work will often take up a 12 or 14 hour day, often finishing at 10:00pm.

I fear for the stress placed on the expectations of these young people.

Look out for reflections on health and diet in another post..

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