Jeju is not special.

I have been asking my students on their introduction cards to write what their favorite thing about Jeju Island is. I get a lot of “beach” and “sea” but also a few have said Jeju women. (See below.) One of my fourteen year olds listed alcohol. Jeju people, apparently, think that 할라산 brand soju is famous. That is how my coteacher phrased it–they think so. Though I must say I am impressed that she knows the word alcohol. I must also confess that I am a sucker for the ones who draw me cute pictures.

One of my favorites is a girl who is very good at English (my coteacher showed me some of her other work) but refuses to try in class. She wrote, after being chastised for only writing “No” that “Jeju is not special.” Oh, little girl. The fact that you can create an independent thought in a complete sentence that logically follows from the question using an adjective not provided by the teacher betrays your abilities.

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