Unanswered

Truly living definitely isn’t spending every last bit of my weekend on homework.

Truly living means that I get to do what I want. Of course, this “what I want” thing is rather broad. This includes having the best time with my friends, but also going to a college with somewhat of a big scholarship.

But then, does that mean me working my small butt off every weekend for good grades is truly living? Because that’s how I’ll end up going to college with a good financial support.

Wait no, doing homework is not what I want. What I want is to go to college. Wait what?

Wait, but then does this mean that If I wanted to become a mass murderer, I am truly living by killing everyone I wish? Because I want to be killing and I am doing exactly that.

Okay, so I guess the definition of truly living depends on the person living it.

For me, truly living would be becoming a psychiatrist and working as a profiler with the police department. Sadly, this means going to college with a major in Medicine. Do I want that? Not really. But do I need that. Yep, I do. It’ll be my steps to the life of truly living.

Wait, does this mean I’ll suffer because I really won’t be truly living until I finish 11 years of college for my PhD? Because if so, truly living might not even be worth it. But then again, during those 11 years, will I be in anticipation, just waiting to become the doctor? Because if that’s the case, then maybe the 11 long years won’t be a string of boring 365.25 days. Because then, it’ll be worth it.

So truly living is something that has to be earned and may take forever to earn. But it’ll be worth it… right?

Word of the Day: orphic
(adj.) mysterious and entrancing; beyond ordinary understanding.
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Sincerely,

I am someone who personally loves writing hand written letters; most people close to me know that. I even get letter requests from people sometimes.

I take joy in thinking about what I should write. This does not mean that I will write an outline, a rough draft, and then a final draft. It means I will sit down and just write what comes to mind. Of course, if I mess up or don’t like it, it would just end up being one of the many paper balls in my trash can.

I write letters to people on their birthdays saying thank you for being born. I write letters to my parents on my birthday saying thank you for giving birth to me. I write letters to my family and teachers during Christmas season.

However, there are occasions I cannot feel joy in writing letters. An apology letter is one of them. I struggle with apologizing sometimes so sitting down and actually writing about how I am sorry and why I am sorry is a great way to humble myself and also apologize at the same time. There are also I’m-so-sorry-for-your-loss letters and those aren’t too fun to write. But these are necessary occasions to write in.

Naomi Shihab Nye writes a letter “To Any Would-Be Terrorists”. There, she tells them that if “they [wanted to wound] a huge community of people in the Middle East, in the United States and all over the world, [then] the mission was a terrible success” and told them they “can stop now.”

Did this letter ever get sent to an actual would-be terrorist? Probably not, no. So did that letter serve no purpose? The answer to that question is also a no.

Yes, her letter is directed towards a specific group of people. But other people can read her letter and still take something away from her. Through the stories she tells about her grandmother and people of her nation, people with the stereotype of brown people are all terrorists etched into their minds can relook where they are standing and why.

People have tendencies to victimize themselves and this letter shows that they are not the only victims of the situation; they are are also creating more victims themselves.

Letters can be a way to communicate how we feel. But it can also teach lessons because it is something from the bottom of our hearts.

http://islam.uga.edu/shihabnye.html
Word of the Day: scintilla
(n.) a tiny, brilliant flash or spark; a small thing; a barely-visible trace

Talking Back

Rebelling could be me standing outside the White House and throwing raw eggs onto the windows.

It could also be me rotting in a prison cell because I murdered someone, innocent or not.

Or it could be me talking back to a teacher because I disagree with him.

So let me tell you a story of a seventh grade girl:

There once was a girl who was taught to speak her thoughts. When she was a little girl, she was taught to disagree with things she actually disagreed with. She was taught to defend her argument if that is what she believed was right.

When she was in seventh grade, she moved schools. And during that one middle school year, she was suspended just about every month. And through those suspensions, she learned that she can disagree and speak her own thoughts… unless it went against a teacher’s beliefs.

For example, the school she went to adored Christopher Columbus. She, on the other hand, did not respect him too much. The school said that he was the pathway to spread the Christian belief into America. Although she was and is a Christian, she disagreed. So she spoke up and told them that you cannot spread a belief if the people they wanted to preach to were all dead. She reminded them that the Native Americans are treated like wild animals on the brink of extinction, preserved and observed.

Of course, the teachers did not take it too well. And she spent the next 2 days in a teacher’s office alone. She was told to think about why she was suspended.

She thought it through. Mainly because she really had nothing else to do, but also because she was confused.

She finally figured out why she was depressingly sitting in an empty office; she had rebelled. She had talked back to an authority figure. But she had no idea why that would be the reason for her lock down in a lonely office.

But that wasn’t the only reason. By the third time she was sitting alone in a lonely and depressing dark office, she realized that rebellion does not just affect the people she rebels to. It also influences those around her and that was why the authorities were so scared.

Once the majority was rebelling, the authorities will start to lose the power and control they had over everyone. They were terrified the rest of the student body will speak up about their thoughts, too. So they made it a big deal and punished the first one to dare: her.

Kind of tragic how it works, don’t you think?

Word of the Day: tenebrific
(adj.) producing darkness

Christmas in the HaHaHaHa Family

My family consists of four girls: Hanny, Habin, Hajin, and Haju. Because of our names, we are often referred to as the HaHaHaHa Family. The interpretation, of course, is up to whoever hears it, but it usually means a family full of laughter: a family full of happiness.

When I was in 3rd grade, I woke up the day after Christmas, and there was a bicycle sitting right in front of my door. The back had a small container made of plastic designed to carry things and it had my name written on it. I remember squealing to my parents telling about how Santa Clause knew my name.

The next year, I got a Garfield pajama set. It was cozy and rather pinkish. I loved that thing so much, I remember how it looks so clearly. Sadly, not too long after, I found the box it came in in my parent’s drawer.

I was a pretty smart kid who caught onto things pretty quick. Imagine the despair on my face. Yeah, sure, 4th grade is kind of late for me to realize Santa isn’t real, but I’m rather glad my parents told me Santa was real even if it was a big fat lie. Every Christmas, I looked forward to Santa’s coming.

So now, every Christmas in the HaHaHaHa Family, we buy each and every family member gifts. And since we are a family of 6, we buy gifts for 5 people and receive gifts from 5 as well. Yes, a lot of money goes out, but a lot comes in too.

Though I must admit, I am slowly running out of things and money to buy presents for my family. For the Christmas of 2016, I also bought my family these presents:

  1. Father: Buying him a tie every Christmas is just tradition for me, even if he doesn’t wear ties too often. He also loves to construct and craft things, so I got him superglue since he ran out.
  2. Mother: …I couldn’t find something for her so I gave her a promise to get her something sooner or later.
  3. Daughter 2: A branch of fake cherry blossoms and a pink marble patterned clip board.
  4. Daughter 3: My sweater she loved to wear and a purple marble patterned clip board.
  5. Daughter 4: A pearl bracelet and some squishy things to play around with whenever.

However, this gift giving process doesn’t happen until right before New Years because we all go to our mission camp and spend Christmas with the people of Sosoma in the tribe of Kamba.

There, I usually become Santa’s elf. I spend a day packing Christmas presents. And on Christmas night, my father dresses up as Santa, big white beard and all, I help him pass out the presents to the kids there. Like I said, I kind of become Santa’s elf.

Other people may view these traditions as stupid. Why spend so much money on people you literally see every day? And why spend Christmas without water or electricity? I guess I can kind of see where their views come from, but I certainly don’t mind. I have fun and love doing these things and so does my family. And that’s just about all that matters when there is a tradition in the HaHaHaHa family.

Word of the Day: woodnote
(n.) a wild or natural musical tone, as that of a forest bird.

Blogging

Honestly, every girl dreams of owning a super cute blog whether that’s about fashion, food, or life. We see Tumblr pages while stuffing our faces with food and just admire the art of blogging.

Why do we blog? Why do they blog? Why do I blog?

I mean, it all really depends. Those people with fashion blogs have their blogs as advertisements for their sponsors and to show off their fabulousness and probably also their body and looks. People who blog about food and traveling have their blogs to share with the world what they eat and do, but also to show off the lives they live.

I would love to be blogging because of that, I must say. However, no company is going to send me clothes for me to pose in. I also do not have the money to go traveling around the world and eat the fancy-looking foods. Realistically, it’s just not happening.

But guess what doesn’t cost me money or a sponsor: my opinions.

I am a pretty blunt and honest person. People don’t really get the gist when I say that so I shall share some real life examples:

  1. Girls have a tendency to tell each others that they look beautiful. If someone in my clique is unsure about what they have on even though everyone is telling her that she looks stunning, she will come to me because I will give them the truth, no matter how brutal that is.
  2. I am a member of the Student Leadership Team. We plan school events like banquet and Sadies. But the team consists of quite the number of people and we are bound to come across things we disagree with. Usually, if someone is against an idea, they come to me to tell the leader about it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they will stand on my side even if it’s technically their side. Instead, if someone disagrees with my–their–idea, they will quickly jump to that sides and start arguing against me, against their point. Logic.

As you can see, this honesty get’s used a lot. But I really don’t mind.

I am also a very opinionated person. So add brutal honesty with strongly opinionated together and produce the wonderful me. You probably guessed that if you had read my past posts.

And these blog posts are a great way to let my opinions out. No one has to read it; it’s just me ranting. People don’t have to agree with my stance; it’s just my opinion. But I would love it if someone read it, now or later, and learned something new, learned something that they had never known before. Maybe my posts, which contain honesty and opinions, can help broaden the view and ideas of someone else.

Word of the Day: alexithymia
(n.) the inability to express your feelings.

Advanced Placement English Language and Composition

Education is not granted to everyone. But it definitely is taken for granted often.

And I, too, take education for granted. I can’t help it; school is boring and often requires me to stay up either doing homework or studying for tests I will fail anyways. Just for your information, I suck at taking tests.

But guess what class doesn’t give tests: Advanced Placement English Language and Composition, also known as AP Lang.

We get vocabulary quizzes but that’s about it. It’s also not too often we have to take those quizzes. Plus, 15 words a week really isn’t too hard. Bahaha that’s a total lie. I failed half of those quizzes.

As far as tests go, that’s the only quizzing you get, apart from the AP exam given by CollegeBoard at the end of the year which contains reading comprehension and three essays. But that’s optional so…

Because it’s a composition class, the people in charge of AP’s apparently don’t care about reading literature works. Therefore, there hasn’t been a lot of book reading assignments. However, we have to read multiple essays and annotate them. And if we do read a book, instead of looking at the actual story line, we focus more on how the author wrote the book.

This makes most if not all of our projects and in class discussions about literary devices–imagery, tone, diction, connotation, etc.

The class’ main point is to write and surprisingly, I started with the biggest writer’s block. I used to be able to just stitch words together and formulate a poem, short story, and just… most types of writing. But ever since the beginning of my Freshmen year, that “skill” was no longer owned by me. I… don’t really know why.

And then it was the beginning of my Junior year where I walked into the AP Lang classroom, an empty binder in one hand and a frustrating writer’s block in the other. As a student of a college level writing class, we were required to do a lot of work.

I must say, I started the year on the wrong foot. We had two summer assignments, one of which we had to read a nonfiction book and post a small summary of it on a classroom site. I did it during the first half of summer, and had fun all summer, forgetting everything about the book. But turns out, something went wrong and the post did not post. Thus, I started with an F, a 0% in the class.

Once the class actually started, we needed to write different kinds of essays. I also failed that. Previously, I had enough essay knowledge to ace essays with a writers’s block. However, now that I was in a college level class, my essays had to be in the college level, and it was to be graded with a college rubric.

Yeah, sucks to be me. My essay grades aren’t that impressive anymore. But now that the first semester is ending, I look back and I am rather impressed at myself. At this point in time, I have learned more about writing and my essay skills have improved greatly. Looking back at the first couple essays I did, I really don’t understand how I got the grades I did; I was such a horrible writer back then.

Basically, this class has taught me how to cope with my writer’s block instead of overcome it. It has made me feel like I can actually live with this stupid writer’s block. I honestly don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I know how to survive with it, but now I don’t feel the need to recover and get over it. Maybe it’s both.

Word of the Day: soigné
(adj.) possessing an aura of sophistication in dress, manner, or design; presented or prepared with an elegance attained through care for the finer details

Count Your Blessings

  1. I am thankful for my family: all five of them.
  2. I am thankful for the way my family is; we love to talk and just be in each others presence.
  3. I am thankful for my sisters; they love me and I love them.
  4. I am thankful for my grandmother. Though she is awfully ill, she is still alive. She also loves me tremendously.
  5. I am thankful for my friends: each and every one of them.
  6. I am thankful for being a Korean. The Korean passport is rather useful.
  7. I am thankful for being able to speak, write, and read Korean.
  8. I am thankful for being able to speak, write, and read English.
  9. I am thankful for being able to learn to speak, write, and read French.
  10. I am thankful for living in Kenya. It is a beautiful and peaceful country.
  11. I am thankful for being a student of Rosslyn Academy. The pressure of grades and perfection is not enforced as much as elsewhere.
  12. I am thankful for being a Christian.
  13. I am thankful for being able to be a Christian. Some people don’t even get the chance the to consider it.
  14. I am thankful for being a third culture kid. I have been to so many places, seen so many things, and done so many things most other teenagers haven’t.
  15. I am thankful for having a house. Some people worry about paying rents, but we own a house since we bought an apartment about five years ago.
  16. I am thankful for having food all the time. Sure, our fridge goes empty once in a while, but I have never starved against my will before.
  17. I am thankful for having a mother who enjoys cooking. I have seen mothers who always order pizza and burgers because she doesn’t want to cook for her two poor sons.
  18. I am thankful for having a mother who is good at cooking. She not only enjoys cooking, but also is good at it. My mother’s food is always good and fulfilling.
  19. I am thankful for nature. The beauty of it all is mesmerizing and often breathtaking.
  20. I am thankful for having clothes to wear. With the height and body type I have, clothes rarely fit me. But I never have to walk about going to school naked because I do not have clothes.
  21. I am thankful for my education. As a Junior with more than eleven years of learning, I can tell you how much my education helps. Plus, women all around the world are denied their education.
  22. I am thankful for my school. Though over 60 years old, it is still beautiful and always improving.
  23. I am thankful for being healthy. Yeah, I have asthma and allergies, but I do not have a disability that greatly impacts my daily life.
  24. I am thankful for having all of my senses. I can see, hear, and feel. My taste buds and smelling skills are outstanding.
  25. I am thankful for being able to sing. I may not be the best, but I certainly am not tone deaf or horrible… I hope.
  26. I am thankful for being able to play guitar. Again, I may not be the best, but I can read and play most music.
  27. I am thankful for having my phone. Although my phone always malfunctions, it still helps me communicate with everyone.
  28. I am thankful for getting a better phone: not a new one, but a better one. Sadly, there went all my savings.
  29. I am thankful for WiFi. I get to talk to people across the world, read the news, and learn more new things daily.
  30. I am thankful for PowerSchool. It is very much like a drug where it is harmful to me, yet I cannot stop. It constantly updates me on my grades and shows me which teachers I should consider buying chocolate for.
  31. I am thankful for words. A way to express myself, said or written, is always nice.
  32. I am thankful for Jesus. He died on the cross for our, for my, sins and gave us eternal life. No one could have ever given a better present.
  33. I am thankful for pork. I awkwardly always crave pork in one form or another. I feel sorry for those who have never tasted it before.
  34. I am thankful for books. It helps me enter a world totally made up, totally in my head. It expands my imagination.
  35. I am thankful for loving food. Although this causes the number on the weight scale to keep going up and down, it is so satisfying. I can also always try new food wherever I go, since I welcome almost every food.
  36. I am thankful for having one and a half years left of high school. Awfully sad, yes, but it’s already my second and a half year in high school.
  37. I am thankful for being able to play most sports. Those students in Korea can barely to anything other than pretty much… study.
  38. I am thankful for the realm of acting. Being able to be someone else that is not you and get applauded for that is amazing.
  39. I am thankful for the life I have. Though we all go through a suicidal phase at least once in our lifetimes, I value my life now and know the preciousness of it.
  40. I am thankful for being loved. Wherever I turn, I am surrounded by people. Some may not care about me at all, but there is always at least one person loving me and being on my side.
  41. I am thankful for electricity. I can live and function in the night as if it were the morning.
  42. I am thankful for being in leadership groups: Student Leadership Team, National Honor Society, Worship Team, etc. I get to use my leadership skills to help and be the voice of others
  43. I am thankful for this earth. It contains so many lives and beauty, it’s impossible to describe in just a few words.
  44. I am thankful for music. It can be an escape sometimes, helping us to think in different angles and different situations.
  45. I am thankful for never running out of money. Sure, I feel bad asking for expensive school trips and I sometimes don’t even, but I never have to worry if our family will have a house to live in tomorrow, food to eat tomorrow, car to ride tomorrow, school to go to tomorrow, and so forth.
  46. I am thankful for surviving the WestGate terrorist attack. Though my case was not as extreme as those of others, I still survived and made it out perfectly unharmed.
  47. I am thankful for not getting carsick, airsick, or seasick. I can travel just about anywhere and I adore the art of traveling.
  48. I am thankful for being respected: as a female, as a student, as a friend, as a family, as a teenager, and etc.
  49. I am thankful for always getting the possibility to hope. The glimmer of light never fades away.
  50. I am thankful for second chances. Really, the chances I get are never ending. I never have to worry about the world crumbling beneath my feet because of a small mistake I made.

Victim

How exactly does slut-shaming work?

Just pointing fingers at women who open their legs too easily for guys? But what about the males? What about the men who are so desperate to enter a girl?

With the messed up logic society has provided us, we point fingers at porn stars and people who get pregnant before marriage. But… what about the men?

I mean, you can’t really be a slut with no one else, you know? Why do people only look at the woman’s side of the case?

If she was raped, then everything about it is her fault. Who cares about the guy anyways? She will be haunted for the rest of her life because she won’t ever be able to escape that trauma. She will also have society pointing fingers at her no matter what. Maybe she’ll even never be able to trust a guy, denying herself happiness.

And the male? If caught, then he will be sent to jail. If he has money, he will be able to come out soon. But in jail, he may even brag about how he has raped this poor girl while that specific poor girl may be hating herself and feeling filthy.

But she would still be a slut because she should have said no, because she should have known how to fight off the man. And now she’s being shamed because of something a bastard has done to her. Logic.

Most of all, teenage girls are slut shamed all the time. I must admit, that not all teenage girls are innocent of this. Some do open their legs wide open for guys. But not everyone does. One girl may have tried it out, and ended up hating it. But who cares? You’re still a whore. Another girl may have been pressured into it and hates herself for it. But who cares? You are still a slut. Episodes like these happen way too much, way too often.

And this finger pointing really doesn’t help the girls. Would the world lose anything if we learned to support the girls? What if we tried to help them, whether it was getting them away from scary men or helping they get over their desperation for men? What does the world have to lose?

Word of the Day: venial
(adj.) able to be forgiven or pardoned; not seriously wrong, as a sin

What We Deserve

The question of justice verses mercy is an important question in society just like the question of nature verses nurture.

I have mixed feelings about the question. Let me show you my thought process.

Of course, I would choose mercy. Forgiving everyone and loving everyone sounds great. But it is far more easier said than done.

Because if a situation were to pop up, would I be able to say that? If I find out one day that one of my sisters were raped, I am willing to chase that man to the ends of the earth and even go to the extreme of killing him. Forgiveness? Forget that. I went after justice, and that’s what he got.

And then my actions, to me, would be justified. But I would need mercy from that man’s family and friends, to get away with murder. Or would it be justice to let me go?

I read articles about cases from all around the world and shake my head. The world has fallen so far and we are all slowly running out of mercy. There’s only so much we can forgive and let go, and only so many times we can forgive and let go.

What does the world deserve? The world deserves justice. There are people, innocent people, dying all over the world. There are innocent people going into jail because they didn’t have the money to bribe anyone. These people deserve justice. The world deserves justice.

Rich people getting away with crimes because of their wealth deserve justice. People who got lucky and got away with a crime deserve justice. The world deserves justice.

But the world needs mercy. That’s where it gets confusing in my head. We deserve justice but we need mercy.

Which one helps people more? Mercy will let them know that they are loved and that they get a second chance. But let’s be honest here. They will also find out that they can get away with crimes, that that second chance can always be used to commit yet another crime, that there might also even be a next time. On the other hand, no one gets the chance to do any of that when in jail. No more victims have to be made, no more grief has to be caused, and no more pain has to be inflicted on anyone, on anyone else.

Because in that case, the act of showing mercy to someone ended up taking justice away from another.

Word of the Day: cupidity
(n.) eager or excessive desire, especially to posses something; greed; avarice

Resume

My mother used to tell me to stop reading. This might rub off as weird but she only said that because I often stayed up all night trying to finish a book. I hated putting my books down; once I started a book, I had to finish it. Little me sat next to her nightstand on her bed and allowed the book and story to consume her. She kept her ears wide open for any signs of her mother coming to check on her.

I got my first phone when I was in 8th grade. Since then, I have had electronics in my hands more than I have had books. These days, I usually lie in bed and occupy myself with my phone, keeping my ears open for any signs of my mother coming. Now, my mother keeps telling me to read.

She says the words that I longed for in my childhood years. Yet when I hear it now, it’s annoying and frustrating.

In my defense, I read on my phone and on my kindle. But I must admit, it is different than being able to turn physical pages and smell the scent the books radiate.

I still value my books. I hated it when people folded the corners of the pages as a bookmark. I felt like and still feel like that ruins the books. But writing in the margins and highlighting a quote I really liked was not rare. I also know for a fact that other people did that, too. I enjoyed going back and reading the highlighted lines afterwards.

But to be totally honest, I practiced my highlighting skills to do so–my underlining skills as well. I wanted my book to have neat marks. My highlighting skills are still pretty on point.

My parents barely bought me any books because I usually finished a book in less than 3 hours no matter how long. We would have had to spend so much money on books if they bought me books in general. Because of this, I read most of the chapter books in the elementary library and when I walk through the middle and high school library, I usually see a book I have read wherever I go.

The downside of that was that I couldn’t highlight any of the books. But I still managed to write down a few lines I really liked from the book. One I have up on my wall are the last few words of the whole Divergent series: “Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, every one. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.” It doesn’t mean I liked the ending; I just really liked the quote.

What kind of reader do I want to be? I need to become more of a reader now. I need to have a book in my hand instead of my phone. I need to let myself be engulfed by the book once again.

Word of the Day: tsundoku
(n.) buying books and not reading them; letting books pile up unread on shelves or floors of nightstands.