Friday, May 22, 2009

Free Notebooks for Everyone!

Once or twice a month, a couple of people stand outside the gates of the school I work at and give a free notebook to every student walking in. These are usually 12 or sixteen page newsprint jobbies stapled in the middle. There is no excuse, therefore, for a student to come to class without a notebook.


In reality, these things are actually a form of commercial. The covers, inside and out, plus the first couple of pages, carry advertising--usually for hagwons, the after-school academies most students attend. Sometimes, instead of student notebooks, they're handing out packets of tissues. Tissues come in handy because most restroom facilities do not provide paper. I've seen little packets of Post-it notes, too. Not just in front of school, but politicians and businesses also hand out little promotional giveaways on the street. Anyway, here is the inside back of the one for Hanguk Sports Academy:


Whenever these things are issued, the security guy at school sets out a big trash barrel, and many students just drop it in--it's impolite not to take it, so they take it. The school authorities frown on these freebies, because the advertising is a classroom distraction.

Today, I saw a new one. Talk about distracting (remember I teach teenage boys)! I'm not sure what they're selling here, but I'll take two!


Just kidding. I'm guessing this isn't a freebie, but one the student had to purchase. The inside had twenty pages or so of fresh, unlined paper, ready for him to take notes in English class. Yeah. Like he heard one thing I said all period ...

2 comments:

Foreigner Joy said...

hilarious!

SuperDrew said...

That is hilarious. Incidentally, I have the hardest time getting students to bring notebooks to class.

When my school gets these freebies, my students just throw them on the ground, and I see the hand out people go around after and recollect them. I wonder if they hand them back out again...