Archive for June, 2008

I am sorry that I don’t come bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in less than a second after my honorable parents demand my presence
I am sorry that my body chooses to restore itself over a process of 10 or more hours.
I am sorry that I indulge in normal teenage tendencies.
I am sorry that I allowed the seed of expectation that was planted in me to grow. I should have killed it before it bloomed.
I am sorry that I cannot provide a living for myself.
I am sorry that I am not as worldly as my genetic counterpart
I am sorry that I cannot ply my personality to meet someone else’s taste, aka my “Boss’s”.
I am sorry for thinking that I am more than a speck of nothingness compared to what my parents claim to be today.
I am sorry that I am still not human yet. [direct quote, recorded 10:34 pm 6/29/08]
I am sorry that I have not endured through an experience noble enough to match my honorable father’s as to end up being able to control my innate, genetically inherited stubbornness
I am sorry that I cannot take in all the derogatory remarks offered to me with a smile on my face.

After all, I am nothing.

I am sorry that I cannot forget past offenses thrown at me. When I act a certain way, it must be all my fault and caused by no other logical reason
I am sorry that I cannot teach myself on my own how to be human, and that I needed someone to teach me story behind E=MC2
I am sorry that I forget that I am dangling on a chain held by my parents’ little fingers.
I am sorry that I do not have impeccable memory, and that I cannot automatically reply if I was taught economics with the term “company” or “enterprise” when asked, and that I need time to search my memory
I am sorry that I cannot keep a pleasant expression when I am tired, like when office phones turn on relaxing music while they have to spend time doing something offline and have to make the receiver wait
I am sorry that I have my own preferences in making decisions for myself over my parents’.
I am sorry that I dare to choose for myself the position with which I sit when listening to my father’s lecture, given that nearness in position does not have a direct statistical correlation with the ability to take in information.


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You see the candle protest on the streets, blocking traffick. You see the posters stuck on the subway walls, people waving signs. I admit that they do leave an impression. In fact, they had my school talking about it. At first, it was definitely scary. A disease in something that I eat practically 3 times a day? A disease that I wouldn’t know about for 10 years? A disease that hides in my veins and by the time I find it, that kills me within a week?


But let’s think about the past diseases that kicked up panic. I can remember allll the way back to SARS. My sixth grade school trip was canceled because of that thing 😦 so we were scared. and nothing happened. i never got the disease i was so scared of.

i’m not going to say anything about bird’s influenza because it’s still a hot topic and I don’t want to jinx myself, but tying it back to the mad cow disease. I lived in England when mad cow was around. I left when I was seven. I’m seventeen. Ten years passed, and I’m still fine. I don’t think this is such a huge issue to worry about, especially since there have been NO cases of mad cow disease in Korea. At least a bird influenza incident happened in a bird farm IN KOREA. The whole media coverage of mad cow disease could easily be a cover up of that bird incident.

As for the FTA agreement. Koreans should know that no matter how many demostrations they organize, the president will not destroy Korea’s political and economic ties by not agreeing to trade with the US. Heck, Korea did nothing when the terrorists took Koreans hostage and demanded troop withdrawal from Iraq. The government has to see things in the long term. In the greater good. And the government will willingly risk a few lives to keep hundreds of others and the posterity from economic poverty.

After being part of the student council, and being part of debate, I learned that people will find a fault in everything. What matters is if a bad outweighs the good–the longer-term it is the better. And seeing the whole greater good concept, I can see these issues with a clearer, yet colder view. Of course Korea has to agree with the FTA.

Do the demonstrating Koreans know that their efforts are futile? Do they just do it because if they don’t, this issue would just pass by too quickly? Maybe to show that they actually ARE watching the government and ARE aware of what’s happening? To confirm the will of the people to make a difference? That could actually be the roots of democracy, not the result of the power of the people.

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Flaws and All by Beyonce

I used to think that I was in control of my flaws.

The first step was to know them. And then acknowledge them to anyone before he or she finds it first. I thought that would make me a little more mature, and…a little more admirable. And at least, that the flaw was a little more acceptable to the other person.

The second step was to change them. I thought I could fit myself into anything I wanted. I thought I was amazingly flexible, able to fix my flaws. I couldn’t understand songs that screamed “this is me, accept me for who i am.” It all seemed pretty wimpy to me. I thought I could easily ply myself into something that anyone and everyone could approve of.

If only I had known the truth earlier.

My mistakes, I now see, have repeated. Over and over. No matter how many talks I had with people about it, despite their claims that “it’s no use,” I still had those flaws and those flaws still flowed out of my actions, baring their teeth at the victim. Now I realized that it was no use talking about my flaws–I used to do it all the time, asking people what they thought was wrong with me.

 Contrary to others, I actually like to expose my flaws and see others’. It’s just so human. And it actually feels good to be able to accept the other person’s flaw, because that indicates how much trust we built between us and how understanding I could be. But a lot of people are actually very good at hiding themselves. They like being happy and being liked and leaving the table feeling only the warmest sentiments. But I think what I really want is to be understood.

You can have a good time with anyone. It’s easy, really. But you can only be yourself, your whole self with flaws & all, with very few people. Although showing my flaws also made me susceptible to attacks over the years, it let me gain people I could trust.

I’m not a very independent person. I don’t really enjoy being alone–which would be strange to a lot of people. My time, my space, I’m not exactly desperate for. This being said, the bond called friendship is a treasure that exceeds most of the things I own. Many people make and break friends as if it’s made of lego bricks. One thing happens, and they suddenly hate the other person and never want to see the person again. I find that pathetically idealistic and ignorant of what makes up every bit of a human being–flaws. Mistakes.


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I’ve left a lot of people in my life. I’ve left my Japanese nursery chums, the cool friends I made amongst the posh British pupils of my all-girls private school, the Korean community I met in England, my Korean school friends… When they sent me letters asking how I was, I just tucked them in my drawer and looked at them in fond remembrance of my past.

But I really shouldn’t have. I should have realized that distance does not matter–that they’re still alive and that I am definitely going to see them again.

Since last year, I started to reply to those letters. I sent out e-mails and arranged reunions; so far I’ve met a few of my Korean school friends and a best friend from England. But because of the long span of seven or eight years, we were a little awkward, a little far apart. If I had replied to their letters in the 90’s, our chains of friendship would have been less rusty.

But it was really good to meet them. Last year, London, in a little Starbucks table, chatting away about how life is now, picking up details from our childhood, pausing in awkward breaths of silence…but the Sana I knew when I was seven seemed much too faded to link with her now. We basically had to start our friendship over again. All those days trying to cartwheel on the grass, role playing Pocahontas (a minority-character movie for an ethnically minority group?),  and what other thing we might have done that I definitely can’t remember; all those memories that we stacked up together just rotted into the ground.

At least that’s what I thought first. Bitterly.

Maybe the past did mean something? It could have been the reason why there was a quiet, happy ring about our conversation.  Or why it felt so bittersweet when I hugged her goodbye.

By meeting my old friends, I realized that true friendship can be timeless. If you don’t see a close friend for a long time, your bond is just frozen in time. A little withered, yes. Needs some nourishment, definitely. But it’s still there. I guess that’s what people sometimes use to see if their friends really last.

Someone once told me to “collect” these kinds of friends, friends who will stay friends after the horrible storm of what life can be, friends who will do anything for you no matter what. To me, this process is more than “collecting.” It’s dragging myself up a random floatsam after the storm, dehyrdated, drenched, close to death, and seeing life. That’s the feeling I get when I realize that someone is really, truly, always there for me. I don’t get it very often, and I might be too young to make any conclusions, but it is definitely one of the best feelings in my life.

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I never had any specific hopes or dreams. Life was just exploring the place I’m in and seeing who I am. I think my personality had already sunken into shape–17 years didn’t pass by for nothing–but I haven’t had enough experiences to really know who I am. I’m just feeling around the corners and trying to guess at the whole shape of the cookie. 

So, I’ve come this far. Back in my middle school days I never thought high school would come.  And now I’m a senior. After being so jealous of my senior friends and dreading junior year all summer last year, I’m done. Although I know I have one heck of a semester in front of me, I have never felt so free in a long time. It almost feels like I will never go to high school again.  So…to sum up, it’s all been a cycle. One class goes up, one class leaves for good. And normally, I would have just thought, “Oh, it’s just my turn.”

But the next year is going to be different. It’s not only going to be a cycle, a hereditary hand-me-down, because I actually have a goal. I want to bring a change. To fix some of the problems I’ve been seeing year after year in the habitat that I call “school.” I want to make it so that the year after that, SISers will have less to complain about. I really can’t do much in one year, as one student, but I would be planting a seed for more difference and more improvement.

I still don’t have a dream. But I know the little steps I can take, steps that I can climb and at the way top see my deepest wishes crystal clear. And after planning these small changes for SIS, I realized that it’s a part of me to want to change things. To act. I can never just stand still talking about something. Some people say I’m too rash in doing that, some people wonder why I bother. But this is one thing about myself that I’m starting to feel…pretty good about.

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Many times, I’ve told myself that I just cannot live without music.

I couldn’t understand how my mom and dad could go through their days without having a pair of white Apple cords plugged up their ears. I would ask my brother where his iPod was every time I see him curled up in a sofa or rolling around on his blankets. He would shrug, and I would shake my head in disbelief.   

I have long since considered my iPod a second heart.  But when the Recently Played finally gets old and I have to hunt for iTunes Top 100 titles on naver (Limewire hates me), I wonder why. We all seem to need a background music for whatever we’re doing. Just like in a movie. The main character never gets into a car, meets someone, or rides on an elevator without a tune tagging him along. Is this all a subconscious want to make life feel hollywood? People wanting to exaggerate their lives with music? I remember a Calvin and Hobbes comic where Calvin adorns his entrance with a “dundududun!!” and tells his mom, “I thought my life would seem more interesting with music and a laughing track.”

Listening to music could also feel like talking to someone. My friend told me that she wished her birthday was September 19th so that Kwon JiYong from Big Bang would be really singing to HER in “This Love.”

This Love by Big Bang

When people aren’t feeling good, I think this is why some listen to sad music–they feel understood. Or if the song’s about a similar problem, they would feel that their problem is important enough to have a song written about it. Me, I listen to happy music when I’m moody. That could also be a someone cheering me up. People would find a friend in music, and they would always want to because many are afraid of being alone. I’ve only seen one or two people who truly enjoy spending time with their own self, walking around downtown or a city street full of strangers, with no supplementary company.

Maybe it’s because of my inability to multitask, but I end up ignoring myself and the rest of the world when I listen to music. I’m listening about someone else’s life, someone else’s world, and Rachel who is sitting at the way back is just hidden in the shadows. Only when I relunctantly press the iPod button and wait for the screen to darken can I really talk to myself. I haven’t been doing that a lot, so I still have a lot of unanswered questions about myself. What do I care about? What kind of person am I? What’s my favorite food? Heck, what do I want for dinner?  

I guess it’s healthier to not have music in my life. But it’s such a big part of it that I can’t stop. Like some theory I read about a while ago, music acts like a drug.

but then if…


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