A friend of mine is an English teacher at the excellent Christian high school I’m associated with. She’d urged me to read The Orphan Master’s Son (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) last year and I did, and I thought it was outstanding. It’s the story of the terrible treatment of people in N. Korea and, as much as we know from the news, the book makes it clear there is a lot of evil we haven’t even heard of, there is a dictator hurting people in ways we can’t imagine. There is a mind game of broken promises, deprivation, punishing loved ones, surgical brain tampering, etc., that’s prevalent and beyond frightening.
Today I learned that Mrs. K had her AP (Advanced Placement) Seniors (graduating class of 2016) reading it this summer. She had 17 of them to her home last night to talk about it.
Each student brought a Korean dish for the dinner meal….one brought this drink with her!!…….They had a meal, they all talked about the book. One senior asked why, in his 11 years of schooling, he’d never learned of this situation in N. Korea. They then were given darts to shoot at a dart board on which Mrs. K had put a picture of Kim Jong Un!
I love this teacher and admire everything about her, but what she did with these kids regarding N. Korea took the cake. She opened the eyes to 17 kids who have been indoctrinated by the media, film, and the input of other school teachers, to the fact that tolerance rules over evil in our society. Not in Mrs. K’s world! With what she did last night, she taught them that to hate evil IS okay and to care about people in such horrible circumstances is a very good thing. Doing something about it is even better, so she reminded them that the reason she wanted to discuss the N. Korean situation via this book, the dart board, the discussion, etc., is that they will soon be America’s writers, producers, business people, etc., and they must expose the cold fact that evil DOES exist and it’s absolutely fine to call it for what it is.
I thought you’d like this story and couldn’t wait to tell you about it…..Throwing darts at such extreme evil felt so right to me on a lot of levels; let those kids feel what it’s like to hate something really bad, let them have a laugh about it, let them learn from this enough that they’ll fight for what’s right, fight for people in those horrendous situations. There was no political correctness last night, there was truth.
Until our society gets back to recognizing pure evil and not tolerating everything just for the sake of tolerance, where do we go? How does one fight evil if one won’t recognize it? How does one become a soldier if he’s been taught only to be tolerant? How does one become a leader if one might leave one’s people defenseless for his inability to recognize true evil? (sound familiar?)
I hope you enjoyed reading about the party last night and that you, too, see the merit. It was a party at the home of one of their favorite teachers but it became so much more. On so many levels.
Perhaps, through those high school kids, some day, young Koreans will be empowered to not only throw a dart at Kim Jung Un metaphorically, but in reality…….
And, perhaps those kids learned they need to pay attention also to what’s wrong in our society…….that they have every right to stand up with the pride of their convictions, with no fear of being considered politically incorrect, and without being shamed for how they feel.
God bless Mrs. K and those kids! And please pray for the North Koreans. They really need it.