The Extremely Normal, Paradoxical Ninja

The extremely normal, paradoxical ninja: that’s me:) Not to brag or anything but I bet you never would have imagined that these three words together could describe a person.

Extremely normal: I guess the most unique aspect of myself, if there could be one word that describes me, would be that I am normal, probably even the paragon, epitome, symbol (add anymore synonyms) of the word. Normal in the sense that nothing about me really stands out. I’m one of those students that teachers always forget, I’m not amazingly brilliant at anything, my friends would describe me as calm and serious (the few times that I am hyper are actually self-inclined), I have a good brain thanks to genetics but intelligence otherwise is average (Hey, what can I say. I’m the one who finally realized that Yugoslavia wasn’t a country anymore last year. Go figure.), I’m not that social (I’ve tried. And if you know me well enough my “social” right now, which is still pretty awkward, took me years to develop. Couldn’t believe it right?), I’ve failed more times than I’ve succeeded (Failing. Not Asian-failing but failing. You can ask my previous or even present teachers about that.). The list would go on and on.  Don’t take this wrongly. I am very proud of being normal. In a world where uniqueness and novelty, even to the point of strangeness, is praised, being normal in itself is actually pretty special. Maybe I’ll never win American Idol or become president, but I will always be my calm, steady self.

Paradoxical: From the few abilities that I have been graciously blessed with (not as Thomas Edison would say “one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration” for me more like “one percent ability, ten percent perspiration, nine percent luck, eighty percent blessing/faith”) are pretty weird. I have still yet to understand the many paradoxical aspects of my talents. A few examples would be

  1. I learn things extremely fast especially when it comes to sports. However, when it becomes for me what I describe as more “conceptual” (learning how to write APUSH or SAT essays or trying to understand Physics) it takes me a long time to grasp. When I do grasp it though, I mature very quickly.
  2. I have perfect pitch for only the note A. Really only the note A. I know, I know I could just sing a scale up or down to find different pitches in relation to the note A, but I really can’t. I will never be able to sing notes off a sheet of music on the right key but I could be used as a pretty good tuner:0
  3. I’m really good at memorizing things. I can memorize practically any melody of a song just by listening to it once or twice, speech, bible verse, lyrics,… But I can’t memorize history dates/figures or the spelling of words to save my life. What?

Ninja: I can understand all languages. Seriously. You could speak German, Italian, or Japanese and I would understand… Just kidding. Yes, I am a fraud. But ask my friends, sometimes it does seem as though I can understand when they speak Chinese in front of me (which I still don’t understand why they do that to keep secrets because I can still understand the basic idea of what their talking about). I guess my brain is really good at picking up cues and details from various facial expressions or gestures and tone. So, if you want to speak to me and I have some sort of context beforehand, I will probably know what you are going to tell me to some extent and how you will feel about it (angry, annoyed, happy, etc.). Also, the most literal reason why I am a ninja, I suppose, is because sometimes spell check corrects my name to the word “ninja.” Can you see the resemblance?:)

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We Are Family

I am American. Yes, that may be a surprise to many of you. I was born here, I have live here my whole life, and my most comfortable language is English.

However, I guess in a way I am not “American.” I am a first generation American born Korean. Most, if not almost all, my relatives live in/are from Korea (the South one, not the North one as I have often been asked) and many have never even stepped foot into the United States. My parents moved to the United States around the 1980’s in order to pursue their education having finished their undergrad studies in Korea.

According to my mom, the oldest relative that she has ever known is her great grandmother (which would be my great-great grandmother). At first my great-great grandmother was a sculptor of little idol statues. However, the day she believed and submitted to Christianity, she went back home and smashed every single one of her statues. She even had her daughter marry a Christian man not because he was wealthy, well-known, or kind-hearted but because he was simply a Christian. Surprisingly, she would become the first and most obsessively devout Christian in my family on my mom’s side. From her and on, Christianity would become an essential and substantial part of my family’s culture even all the way down to me.

I will always be proud of becoming one of the first Korean-Americans in our family and hope that someday one of my future descendants will remember me not as one who couldn’t ever do her homework on time but as one who helped set a path towards a more unique and fusioned culture.

Music That Leaves a Mark

From one of my most favorite movies:D

Sixteen Going On Seventeen (from The Sound of Music )[second time]

lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II

sung by Julie Andrews (Maria) and Charmian Carr (Liesl)

Maria:
You are sixteen going on seventeen
Waiting for life to start
Somebody kind who touches your mind
Will suddenly touch your heart
Liesl:
When that happens, after it happens
Nothing is quite the same
Somehow I know I’ll jump up and go
If ever he calls my name
Maria:
Gone are your old ideas of life
The old ideas grow dim
Lo and behold you’re someone’s wife
And you belong to him
You may think this kind of adventure
Never may come to you
Darling sixteen going on seventeen
Wait a year. ..
Liesl:
I’ll wait a year. ..
Maria:
Just wait a year. ..
Maria and Liesl:
Or two

I’ve grown up so much. The first time I saw this movie was when I was around ten years old and now I am really Sixteen Going on Seventeen. As this song portrays, I also have been given a new perspective on life. A life that seems so different and where my “old ideas grow dim.” I am more unsure of myself then I have ever been before yet I see endless doors opening in my life.

Although I am still too young to have a sincere relationship, I love how this song portrays the innocence and confusion of the journey of transitioning from a young child to a young adult who is trying to discover the true meaning of his or her life. Swayed by even the most delicate touch of love, rushing to grow up, and slowly losing the grasp of childhood, I, like Liesl, feel as though I am a stranger journeying into a new world.

Yet there is a sweetness of young adulthood. A sweetness distinctly different from the naive joy of childhood. A sweetness that I cannot wait to experience.

When troubles or uncertainties come my way,

When I feel as though I will never grow up,

When I am unready to face the real world

“I’ll wait a year…

or two”

Both literally and metaphorically:)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYf_TaNUOvk

Literature Suspended

A few weeks ago, a group of parents from Highland Park High School spurred an inflammation of protests against the coercion of reading books with excessive “sex scenes and references to rape, abuse and abortion” in their children’s public school English reading curriculum. A number of parents expressed how “high school students should not be expressed to some of the hardships and controversies of adulthood.” As a result, seven books were suspended from the curriculum.

Although opposers to the suspension do respect and understand the worries of the parents, many still believe that the suspension is unnecessary. They still agree that teenagers who will soon become adults should be exposed to the real world.

Jeannette Walls, the author of one of the suspended books, The Glass Castle, encompasses both stances.

“‘My book has ugly elements to it, but it’s about hope and resilience, and I don’t know why that wouldn’t be an important message. Sometimes you have to walk through the muck to get to the message.'”

“‘There are so many complicated situations out there. And we can begin to give kids the tools they need to deal with it, if only to say, ‘You are not alone.’'”

On the other hand, she respects and admires the parents’ strive to protect their children. However…

“‘What I worry is that in order to protect them, we may be taking away the tools they need to protect themselves later on.’”

Transitioning into more mature and eye-opening novels is a big step, but I do agree somewhat to the opinions of the parents. Parents should still have the right to be informed of what their children are reading and be able to intervene if it is truly meant for the protection of their children. However, children do grow up quickly and sooner or later they will be out into the real world where mom and dad won’t be there to help them cross the street or wake them up in the morning. I think that any novel or masterpiece, to any extent, should be able to be read or part of a curriculum if under the guidance of a teacher/mentor and if the ideas of the novel illustrate a unique and important aspect or perspective of life.

 

Books suspended:

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/park-cities/headlines/20140921-highland-park-isd-suspends-seven-books-after-parents-protest-their-content.ece

Blogs Written by Some of My Awesome Classmates

Check out some of the posts/blogs that my other fellow English III AP classmates have written:)

“Choosing the right stone”                                                                                                            http://www.zthought.wordpress.com

“ununique”                                                                                                                            https://grizzlyest.wordpress.com/

“Who knows what you’ll find in the Happiness Market?” http://www.enigmaticideas.wordpress.com