Picture This

Like most native teachers in these parts, my classroom is coated in teaching materials. The walls and windows are covered with shades that double as  huge, fully-illustrated English vocabulary flashcards. IT’S RAINING. BADMINTON. TUMMY. HAMBURGER. Useful? Only kind of. But certainly more so than the…extra-curricular shades printed with pictures of American culture. (I do hope this irritated my Canadian predecessor fiercely.)




Let’s just zoom in on this one for a moment, shall we?

Once you spot him, he's all you'll see.

Yes, these three pictures are pasted side by side across the back wall of my classroom. One can only assume they are meant to be viewed as a triptych, each photo informing the others. Which is what makes the inclusion of Weird Lonely Man Lunch photo so bizarre. I have pondered it many an afternoon from my desk, wondering what about it shouted “AMERICA!” to some English classroom interior designer. (This is probably a very real job in South Korea.) If these images are honest Korean ideas about American Culture, I should be able to learn how my people are viewed in this foreign land. (I already know how we sound to everyone.) Certainly this photos must contain clues…

To the slideshow!

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Well that’s…..stock photo-y. Where’s the football? The cowboys?  Ellis Island? Racial diversity? (That single photo of a black family seems pretty weak. Integration, por favor. ) The trends I spot here are  white people, toothy smiling and family dining. Maybe this is supposed to be Canadian….

6 responses to “Picture This

  1. The first four images are busted for me unfortunately. I have pictures of a fruit market, a train station, a kid in a tuxedo ‘doing science’ and some more children in a library and in a classroom ‘writing.’ There’s one of a red-headed girl at the doctor, and ALL of my students ask ‘Is that you, Anna?’ or ‘Teacher teacher, your daughter?’

    One black kid is featured, and when I took photos of my kids one day they complained because of the ‘negro’ in the background. Pic is here: http://karoritokorea.blogspot.com/2011/04/sent-from-my-ipod.html UGH RACISM.

  2. My kids get super distracted by my blinds as well, because not only do we have Lady Liberty, but a picture of the Eiffel Tower (englishee??) and the Tower Bridge, which has a guy sitting on the railing that my students swear is about to kill himself.
    It’s still better than the “animals” poster at the back of the room that labels a horse as “snake”, though.

  3. Can’t see the first 4 photos either. 😦

  4. Hey now! If it was Canadian, there would also be racial diversity, just more maple syrup.

    Photos also busted. I want to know what would enrage my countrymen!

    My English zone has a mural on the back with cartoon stereotypes painted across it. All are the same colour (including Mexico sombrero boy, Japanese kimono girl, Russian military uniform, and American cowboy), except for the African boy, who is dark, and also in a grass skirt.

    • Gah! Sorry everyone, trying to determine what’s wrong with the pictures. Can’t see any problems from this end, other than I loaded them from my wonky Korean school computer. Anyway, the problem will be addressed as soon as possible. Totally lame!

      for the record, they’re just highly patrioitic images of Mt. Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, and some bizarre restaurant and some bizarre man within the restaurant. sadness.

  5. Yay! I can see the pics now! Rofl, what is that guy looking at? Also, is he wearing pants? I hope not… sexy!

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