Monday, June 1, 2009
I need to preface this with a general description of my job.
I don't have to pay rent. That's taken care for me by my school. As is my airfare to and from home. If I need a new Visa, they fly me to Japan, on their dime. I have full medical insurance. I work about 6 hours about 5 days a week. Each weekend, I can travel and explore the city or the country. I don't make a huge amount of money, but I can easily send half my paycheck home each month. All because I have a clean background check, university degree and speak English fluently (aka Native speaker).
It's a pretty plush deal.
I know a factory worker. He works 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. His housing isn't taken care of for him and I'm not too sure about his health insurance. He has to pay for his own housing and makes less than half of what I make.
He works 4 times as hard, 3 times as long, and makes less than $2 an hour Its a pretty bad deal, but it's the best he can do.
What a difference a degree makes...
Korean High School is geared towards a massive test. A massive test that makes anything I ever experienced during my 17+ years in school seam like paddie cake.
In university, we gained the freshman 15 (pounds) because we got away from mom's home cooking. Here, they gain the weight their senior year....because they don't move from their desk....they just sit in front of a desk/computer and cram, cram, cram. This test is the main factor that it takes them to get into university. If they don't get into university, they are stuck in a factory job.
Needless to say, there is a lot of studying going on in high school and a lot less goofing off. In fact, you can go to the mall on a weekend and not see a single high school student. It's a crazy contrast to America...where the malls are swarmed with students with nothing better to do.