2) We also celebrated in class with a little party, involving some cake, snacks and cola products. We watched whatever videos on YouTube were of interest. On of my students pulled up this one, which is pretty funny, if a bit long:
3) I was directed today to this "This Modern World" cartoon from Salon (at this link, which tends to redirect to the front page, with attendent advertisement: http://www.salon.com/ent/comics/this_modern_world/2010/02/01/this_modern_world/index.html) which may explain quite a lot:
4) January, 1982 - a date which will live in infamy. At least if you are a Korean barber, for this is when the nationwide student hair length policy was changed. Up till then, a crewcut was the simple rule; coming up on thirty years later, as reported in the Korea Times, there is still considerable controversy regarding hair length, with students predictably on the liberal side, and school administrators on the conservative.
There is a hair length policy at my school, and a teacher assigned to visually inspect students as they pour through the gates at the beginning of the school day; he pulls out violators and they do push-ups and crunchs for a while.
At some school in Gyeonggido, however, a teacher was actually forcibly cutting students' hair with clippers to enforce the rules.
The National Human Rights Commission said Thursday that cutting students' hair without their consent for "breaching" school guidelines on hair length is a violation of human rights, advising a secondary school in Incheon not to repeat a similar act.
The agency said, "Such a forcible change of hairstyle by school authorities is an act that infringes upon human rights."
Now, I wouldn't go that far--hair length is a freedom, it seems to me. Still, in American culture, this kind of thing went out of style decades ago. At my schools back home, there were also grooming policies: in fact, I kept a supply of cheap plastic razors and some shaving cream (whose main purpose was pressure demos) for boys with facial hair--but I didn't do the shaving. For recalcitrant cases, at some point, a letter would be sent home and the violator could not return to school until he was in compliance.