Sunday, November 13, 2011

How big a deal could Su-Neung be?

What the heck is Su-Neung, anyway?
Su-Neung is, well, imagine playing hangman. Oh, except, you only have one shot to get the right answer and the hangman turns out to be you, not the stick figure. In more details,  it's this craze that happens once a year in November when 12th grade students take an exam on what they learned from 1st grade to 12th grade. What is worse, it is a college entrance exam. If you screw this up, you are, in fact, screwed.

The difference between Su-Neung and SAT is that Su-Neung is much harder and it happens only once a year compared to the SAT, which happens every month.
This is one big day where all the hard work from 1st grade to 12th grade gets evaluated.

Hey, it's still a big deal only for the students and their families, right?

                 (In the picture above, in front of the police bikes are written "Providing rides for the students".)

You see, Su-Neung is a national event. Public workers participate
in helping students get in on time.
To help minimize the traffic for the students taking tests,
people are given a day off at work, or at least
given a late start.

Students need as much luck and help as possible, but it is no use if they are sick from studying too much. This girl looks like she has a headache. Being in a good shape is part of being well-prepared for the test.

 As the test date gets closer, internets are bombarded with ways of preventing students from getting sick, do's and don'ts for the students' parents on the test date (such as "I believe in you" and adding pressure on their children, "this is your life", "All my friends sons and daughters are in ivy leagues", "Study harder!",etc).
I know these sound harsh, but these are the most common words the parents
say to their kids. The parents don't mean any harm, but they do not
really know how much pressure they are giving their poor children.
A moderate amount of pressure may help, but they are getting an amount that could
drive them to take their own lives already. No need to add more.

Tearing down every windows of internets in search of helpful Su-Neung tips aren't good enough?

Eat this.

Pun intended :)
A nutritious breakfast is widely known to improve brain function. Very important!

A fabulous breakfast!
What else...
Can't forget this magic amulet!
... that says study like a crazy dog, and succeed like an enlightened monk.

Of course, sales companies cannot help but take an advantage of this day to sell their "super Su-Neung lunchbox set". On the front of it is written, "God of Studying". Awesome.

I admit that I left a sarcastic tone about companies taking advantage of this day to sell their products, but I should have saved some distaste for what is coming up below.
There has been medicine/drug sales that were supposed to improve student performances and increased their grades and brain functions.

Thankfully, it has been caught by police. However, it shows that number of people bought this.
This could be seen gullible and naive, but it was more out of desperation that made people purchase this, excuse me, bull****.

Oooooo sahhhhh.... inner peace, inner peace.....(massages earlobes)


Like SAT tests, students are not allowed to bring any kind of electronic devices such as:
Cell phone, iPod, electronic dictionary, calculators, radio, audio player, any kind of watch that has anything else than time information.
There has been incidents where students used these electronic devices to cheat.
Thus, even if you did not intend to bring it with you, if you are carrying it, you are considered a cheater, and you will be disqualified to take the test.

Although this day seems like the day when everyone
will be thinking deeply and making logical choices, there are some that do something so heartbreaking.There has been several suicide cases every year before and after the test.The pressure and the stress of the test drives students away from realizing the values of their lives.It's a shame that such things happen. People should understand what these poor students have been through rather than criticize them for being reckless.

In order to fight back the pressure and the stress, students pray, but twice the number of students pray outside the testing room. Yes, both the students' parents waiting for their children outside prays with twice the desperation. You can tell by their tears.


I was lucky enough to avoid this because I graduated in the U.S., but seeing this gives me a nagging feeling mixed with guilt. As much as I feel bad for my fellow students, I am also very proud that they were able to pull this off and win the fight against this test, a huge obstacle in their lives.I hope they realize how strong they are and be prepared to meet their wonderful future after surviving the big storm of their lives.

Finally, "the storm" has passed.

It's needless for me to say how and what they are feeling right now, isn't it?
It's written all over their faces!
Those faces are really some golden sunlight after a big storm...

Here's a challange for you.
This is a sample test problem for you.
BTW. Native English speakers don't get credit even if they get it all right!
Let's see if you could get it all correct.

 How do you like Su-Neung now, huh?
...Please forgive my sass.

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