Friday, September 23, 2011

Here, of all places?

The past week-and-a-half or so, I've been tutoring the three kids who we chose to participate in the city's "English Golden Bell" competition.  (It's a sort of quizzing scenario, but that's about all I know.)  I was a little annoyed about it when I was told that I would be doing it, since I had just told them that I was not allowed to head up the English club, since my contract says I have 22 teaching hours a week, and I would have to be paid for teaching more than that, but whatever.  I decided not to push the issue, especially since this is a clearly limited situation.  Plus, it's kind of nice to have more people around that I know are fluent enough to be able to have a real conversation with.  (I can't tell you how tiring it is to try and decipher broken English... not that I want them to stop trying... it's just exhausting.)

So, this morning, I was working with the student who will be competing in the written portion.  Basically, I just read him riddles, and he writes the answers down.  No biggie.  (Listening comprehension.)  So today, we started into the famous people portion of my study materials.  We did Michael Jackson and Helen Keller (she's really big here, which always makes me chuckle... if only they knew...), and then we were almost out of time, so I thought I'd throw him a gimme and read the one about Jesus Christ.  "This man is the central figure of the Christian religion," it started, but the kid continued to give me a blank stare.  I read the whole paragraph twice, and at the end he looked at me and said, "I really don't know."  I finally remembered how to say "Christian" in Korean (기독교), but even that only resulted in him writing down "Aesu," which does resemble "Jesus" a little more...  Anyway, I got him talking about it, and it turns out that this kid really hasn't even heard of Jesus before.

In a developed society, rampant with Christians, this concept blows my mind.

I know I cannot just let this pass me by, but I have absolutely no idea how to approach this issue as a public school teacher.  I'm not sure how to bring up the idea of Jesus to him again, nor how to take time and explain all the ideas that go with Him.  I'm considering asking him if he would mind if I pray for us before we start each tutoring session (although I'm not entirely sure that's legal... but oh well), but I'm not sure how that will go over.  This kid is extremely intelligent and skeptical of most things that come his way.  If you have any ideas on how to approach this, please let me know.  Please be praying for him too (his surname is Park, but that's about all I know, sorry... he's assigned a number to be known as in class, although I'm working on learning names).

Thanks, I love you, and you should watch the video that is linked to the title of this post.


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