It really bugged me that a student had decided it was OK to erase what I had written on the board. I felt it was my personal conversation with myself. It wasn't for their use. It wasn't part of a lesson. And it was written small enough so that one needed to be right up close to even read what it said. So I doubted they found the subject matter offensive. It just continued to fester overnight to the point that I decided to confront the class the next day.
Instead of jumping right into the scheduled lesson about Mr. Bascomb and his lorry, I asked the class at large why someone would erase what I had written on the blackboard. Silence. I encouraged them to speak out and practice their English. Silence.
At long last one female college student opened up. She was a little cutie who had chosen the Western name of "Maggie" for herself. Go figure on that choice. At any rate, instead of answering my question, she asked me if I knew the band "Pet Shop Boys." Secretly, it was a bit lucky she didn't ask me about Modern Talking or Murray Head (two of the most oft played bands in Korea at the time). I might not have been able to answer politely.
I told her I knew the Pet Shop Boys. She wanted to know if I knew their song called "West End Girls."
"Of course," I said.
"That song is banned in Korea," she said.
At first I wasn't sure if I understood her correctly. Her English was not strong, and I couldn't process the fact that a government would ban a song. Nothing better to do? I tried to run through the lyrics in my head and figure what could be so objectionable. Maybe it was the idea of East end boys and West end girls together in the same sentence. Who knows? I still don't know. All I know is the song was banned.
At least somebody learned something in class that day.