Friday, January 08, 2010

Gift Giving Gone Wrong.

While waiting for the taxi that never came I was accosted by two very nice (and hence very rare) girls that had attended camp.
One peeked around the street post I was huddled against for shelter. "Teacher. Why are you standing here?"
"Waiting for a taxi."
"You should take bus."
"... Yeah, I'm thinking there's no more taxi." After 15 minutes in 2 degree weather it was long past time to give up anyway.

She was carrying the wrapped gift from the Camp Closing Ceremony.
"Ooooh! What is it?" I grabbed it and started squishing it for consistency. It was obvious what it was immediately, but apparently not only to me since before I could declare what knowledge the fruits of my man handling had brought me, her friend piped in, "It's a note book."

That conversation ended as flatly as her statement.

But it did get me thinking about the rampant, pointless gift-giving.
The girls had gifts from giving speeches and so did the class leaders. Class leaders got an extremely exciting package consisting of a 3-ink ballpoint pen and yellow post-it notes!!!!

Seriously. Even if these middle school kids wanted a notebook in the first place - a dubious presumption at best - it's highly unlikely they wanted the generic, bargin bin leftovers bought enmasse that they were handed.
As gifts.

So what was the point of this shameful waste of money on unwanted gifts when they couldn't even provide the teacher's supplies to teach?

I realized then that the gifts were not for the children, but for their blind and adoring parents to see - Look. We, too, adore your preciouseses. We have given gifts to your preciouseses. We can't say we gave much in the way of an educational experience over this past week, but we did spend money on a real gift that you can hold and see for yourself.

And thus ends another torturous two weeks of English Camp.

Cheers! (^_-)-☆

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Anonymous said...

It's pretty awesome how you use English, the language we, sacrificial lambs, have to share with our Asian counterparts, to showcase an example of how fortunate they are to be so misfortunate.

yogaferret said...

sacrificial lambs, indeed.