Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Late fall hike--Pima Canyon...
...& the things one hears in a classroom

Last Thursday...My wife and I went for a hike in Pima Canyon--
     so close to the city, so far from the malls:
...cottonwoods turning golden, a chill in the air...


Recently heard in the high-school classroom:

....a conversation between teacher and 15-y.o. student:
St.: My P.E. teacher was so rude to me this morning.
Tchr.: What do you mean?
St.: He called me a b****!
Tchr.: Oh, come on--I'm sure he did not.
St.: No, really--he said to me that I was 'habitually late'...
Tchr.: (trying to stifle eye-roll and gasp) Wait--do you know what the word 'habitually' means? He was most surely not calling you a bad word.
St.: 'habitually?'--no.
Tchr.: Okay, think...'habits?' Like--are you always or usually late?
St.: Well, yeah, I guess so...
Tchr.: So, do you get now what 'habitually' means?
St.: Oh...Oh now I do.

"...oh, really? Ohmygod, I thought Asia was a country in Africa."


...and, speaking of Asia--the recent rumblings on the Korean peninsula got me looking back at a couple of old photos, and I came across this one:

...a glimpse into North Korea from a hilltop observation point--one of the few accessible to tourists--in South Korea. This view overlooks the Han River estuary, NW of Seoul; taken in the autumn, when the rice paddies are golden.

Note that all of the North Korean hillsides in the horizon are completely deforested. No North Koreans live permanently in this region, which is a 'propaganda village' zone; loudspeakers blare slogans, hoping to 'convert' the capitalist South.

This year is both the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Japanese colonization/occupation (which lasted from 1910 to 1945) and the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War.

It's crazy that this is sometimes referred to as 'the Forgotten War;' as many Americans died in the three years of the Korean war as during the ten years of Vietnam, and millions of Korean civilians, and hundreds of thousands of Chinese, perished.

The Korean peninsula was completely razed, napalm was first widely used--and all of that to end up with a cease-fire (the war is technically still 'on') and a border essentially where the line was at the beginning of the war...And before this, Korea was a unified nation for over a thousand years...

The last remnants of the Cold War--still simmering in NE Asia...  

1 comment: