Thursday, November 18, 2010

No Trains, Planes or Automobiles

Today is the worst day of most kids lives here...the university entrance exam.  Entrance to most universities is based solely on this test.  It can not be understated how important this test isGood Score=Good University=Good Job=Good Life (maybe).

Everyone accommodates the test. During the listening portion of the tests, flights and trains do not run in the area of the testing centers.   Most businesses start late to provide a quieter atmosphere for the test.

Yesterday the kids bid farewell to the third year students.  The third year students were given some words of wisdom from the teachers, and then the 1st and 2nd year students lined the walk way, played drums and cheered for them.

I do not have much belief in the university entrance system, but I gotta say I love the comradery the kids show.

This morning I went to the high school where the test was being taken in our area.  Again, kids lined up from all the local schools and cheered for their schoolmates. A few parents walked their kids through the crowd, one did something I have never seen here: kissed her daughter on the lips. That maybe normal in the US, but it never happens in Asia.

As I was walking out, I saw one mother turn wistfully back at the school, her daughter inside determining the rest of her life. Funny how I never think of the stress on the parents until I saw that mother's eyes.

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