학교 2013

10

Finished watching the drama 학교 2013 (“School 2013”) while desk warming last week. Wasn’t expecting it to make me cry so much. There was no romance, but plenty of other themes that the drama touched on: smoking, studying, cheating, exams, suicide, energy drinks, the hurtfulness of rumors, student ranking, “shuttling” (a new Konglish term I learned where the more powerful students have other students buy things for them), parental pressure to achieve in school, abuse at home, violence against teachers, bullying among students, corporal punishment, school authority, education system policy flaws, gangs, pressure on teachers…I’m sure I’m missing more. But my favorite, probably the most important themes of the drama, was friendship and reconciliation. I loved the loyalty that the two friends showed to Oh Jung Ho, the boy who was the top bully of the school the first few episodes of the show, especially because the story line came as a surprise.

The main characters were not only the students, but the teachers as well. In particular, the teachers focused on were the two homeroom teachers put together to be in charge of the problem Class 2-2: one man who was a famous hagwon (private academy) teacher hired by the school to get the kids’ grades up and one woman dedicated to going beyond the call of duty to help her students.

I enjoyed it so much I watched the “special” as well–an hour long talk show where the actors all sat up on stage and talked about the filming, their real ages (one “high school student” was actually well into his thirties! I’ll let you guess which one) and their own past school days.

These are some behind-the-scenes photos I found on the KBS site!