Friday, August 21, 2009

Crazy Man in Spanish Class & Calderón Legalizes Drugs (sort of but not totally related)

In every Spanish class I've taken here, there's been some Columbine/Virginia Tech crazy that makes me afraid to go to class. In the fall, there was a fella from the US that didn't like a girl in class. He was so frustrated with her one day that he let her have it, insulted the way she spoke Spanish, walked out, and never came back. It shook us all up, and even I was left in tears because of the sheer meanness that some people can have within them.

This summer, I switched language schools, and there was one very manic Korean guy. He had a bad experience in Mexico and seemed to want to take revenge on the teacher and all Mexicans. When we learned a new grammatical structure, he would practice it by bashing Mexicans. For example, "If you trust a Mexican, you will lose all your money" or "You can get whatever you want in Mexico if you bribe a cop."

Then, on Monday this week, we got into a discussion about the legalization of drugs, and the Korean guy insisted that marijuana was legalized a few months ago. Everyone disagreed with him, so he left the room, called his lawyer friend, and went to the library to print out proof (but he ended up printing an op-ed piece). His friend -- apparently the authoritative god for this guy -- reaffirmed that the law had passed. Our homework was to find our own proof, and we all came back with the same Reuters article: that the law had passed in the Congress in April 2009 and was awaiting the President's signature.

Well, this guy was beyond upset that the teacher didn't believe him, and at that point, I thought he was going to pull out a gun. He threatened to bring in his lawyer friend, and he said that he cannot respect a person that does not change their mind after being given definitive proof. Anyway, it was clear he had his mind made up despite our definitive proof, and it was also clear to me that "one's word" seems like a very important cultural value in Korea. Oh, the joys of our United Nations discussions in Spanish class...

And, now, after all the drama and Mexican disrespect, here is the TRUTH: Calderón finally signed the law this week, and many types of drugs are now legal in Mexico in varying proportions. No more crazy debates in Spanish class about the legality of drugs in Mexico because it's here. W-O-W. Imagine what this weekend is going to be like?!?!


  1. Hey it's Lee :) here's the word "Korean" again :) but I'm sorry to read this. and honestly, he seems unusual to me. so I feel that wasn't Korean thing. Korean thing is like this, when we feel something unfair, we are inclined to study harder. so get promoted, or better job. I think that Korean guy needs a theraphy !

  2. You'll have to report on all your interesting experiences and whatever kind of munchies you prepare.


  3. Hi Lee, thanks for your insight. The guy in my class insisted, "In my country, this is how it is!" Foreign language class discussions are always very lively as people come at issues from very different cultural angles, but some people take things very personally. I agree this guy needs therapy.

  4. OK, the Korean guy story is HILARIOUS (the part about him bashing Mexicans).