Kangnung children play under a tree at recess (May 2000).
(Please read this before you copy our photos or text.)

It's tough for us to imagine what it's like to be a child in Korea. Koreans seem to be better than we are at letting their kids be kids -- that is, until they hit school. Then, wham, the pressure is on.

Korea has standardized exams. Every kid's entire life from then until college is aimed at aceing the exams and getting into a good university. That pretty much determines how successful he'll be in life.

Once they've settled into college life they finally relax, maybe even a bit too much. But that's another issue for another time.

This is John's school, though that's not John playing under the tree. Mrs. Kim, director of Best Language Institute, is his mother, and she also went to school here. The Kims have a long history in Kangnung (Gangneung).

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