Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has reached Korea

They're using the hashtag #아이스버킷챌린지, and their videos having been popping up on my NewsFeed all week. Yes, the Internet's most viral meme of the moment has hopped across the Pacific from the US to Korea. I've watched dozens of videos of my friends and students dumping (very large) buckets of water on their heads, and it's entertaining every single time! It's the funniest when I see my students sitting cross-legged in the school showers, flinching right before their friends gleefully drench them. I'm very happy to see them doing their part to raise awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's Disease/루게릭병) and for the Korean ALS Association.

In addition to my students, at least one fellow CSHS teacher has risen to the challenge -- his Facebook video was Liked by basically the entire population of the school, including me. I have also seen a few of my Taiwanese friends jump on the bandwagon, and now I wonder if the Ice Bucket Challenge has successfully made it all the way around the globe yet?
Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before someone nominated me. To my surprise, however, it was one of my Korean students, not an American friend! There are just two problems, though...

The first is that California is suffering from an extreme and devastating drought, and to fill and immediately empty a bucket of water for no reason other than to make a thirty-second video is a senseless waste of resources.

The second is a bit more trivial, but I maintain a bit of my teaching persona with my students even though I am Facebook friends with them and no longer even their teacher. So, I asked JH to translate her challenge into English so that I could understand it, first. ;)


Whatever your views on the Ice Bucket Challenge -- there are a dozen different ways to spin it -- I'm a fan. If you've otherwise been ignoring the fad, at least educate yourself and look up what ALS is, and donate if you can.

Oh, and if you want to watch a bunch of Korean celebrities get soaked... here's a fun collection of videos. (Makes me wish I could turn my friends' Facebook videos into gifs...)

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