An ever-growing market for “spec” engineering in SK has expanded again, beyond our imagination. For those who are not familiar the term “spec” and how it is being dealt in SK, I’m going to brief about it first.

As we can read from a dictionary, spec, an abbreviation of specification means “a detailed precise presentation of something or of a plan or proposal for something,” which can usually be seen printed on a package of a product. I don’t know whether it is the same in the Western culture however when it is used to a person, it refers to things to decorate one’s résumé: alma mater and GPA score, scholarship, anything that can give appraisers a remarkable impression—e.g., having fought for freedom in Lybia. From this, we may see the mentality of the SK people that voluntarily accepts their presence as commodities but this is not, although this is an extremely interesting subject, what I mean to discuss here right now.

A piece from today’s issue of the Chosun Ilbo depicts an interesting case of this “spec” engineering market. It begins with a punch line of an advertisement of spin doctors: “a career of a president [of a student council] is a major charm [what it literally said was “power spec”] to admission officers.” The best part of this advertisement is that it targets mothers of elementary students.

Unfortunately, these spin doctors would not give our little candidates a lesson as Malcolm Tucker would do. They just teach them a method of speech and write a campaign speech for them. (I don’t think I have to add that it’s expensive but I’ve just did in case of…)

Why? The doctors say that “getting elected [to a prez of a student council] in an elementary school means a lot when the student tries to enter an international middle school and it even affects to an admission into a specialized high school.” An international middle school and a specialized high school are SKorean equivalent of prep schools. Here again, moms are trying their best to engineer their children’s future.

This is not a national phenomenon and would’n be, not to mention that we should consider the media’s inevitable sensationalism when we deal with this kind of story. Anyway, what’s clear is that this perpetual war of envy and jealousy, in which children are held as hostages, will only lead to exploit children’s life and their own dreams. There will be no victory for anyone, only casualties will remain.


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