When I was staying in America, with the host family I had explained in my previous post,  I got a chance to meet Linda. We visited Matthew’s house, where Linda had been staying in his house for several weeks. My first impression of her was that she was an Indian American who seemed to be in her mid thirties, tanned, and in a very emotional state. Somehow, as soon as I saw her, I just bursted into tears. I usually don’t cry, especially when I am in front of others, but I just felt really sorry for her but I didn’t quite know why. I heard her saying that her dad was sent to the emergency room the day before and we tried to calm her down.

Sometime later, I saw her again sporadically attending church services. Then I came to realize that she was a heavy smoker, an alcoholic and also a serious drug addict. I also learned that she was not in her mid-thirties, but that she was only twenty six. It seemed like that drug she had been taking had made her to age quickly. Her cheerful youth seemed have gone away since she was just in and out of jail her whole life. The drugs she had been taking seemed to have made her to lose confidence in herself because those drugs could not fulfill her. She would feel even more depressed and scared when she was awake, thinking all that she had done and all the times she had wasted. She knew her position very well but she did not even try to change.

One day, Linda came to the church service again, but it was a little different this time. She decided to attend church regularly and to accept Jesus Christ as her Savior. She said that she was afraid to come to church because she felt so guilty when she was listening to the sermons. She was crying and confessing at the same time. But after that  day, she seemed happy, much happier than before.

Then a weeks passed. We were coming out of the hospital after visiting Linda’s dad, who was said to have a major surgery pretty soon. He was afraid he was going to die. Its not that he was afraid that he was afraid to accept the death itself, but he was afraid that Linda will be left alone, and that she will continue walking on the wrong path. I did not get it at first, but Matthew later told us that Linda got a new boyfriend who is a bad influence on her. This boy friend made her to get back to the path she was in and she was smoking weeds and drinking again… I felt really sorry for her.

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A Boy

When I was studying in America, during my freshmen year, I was home staying at a American’s pastor’s house. The school provided this host family and I later moved in to a different house when I became a sophomore.

This pastor had a very small and a strange church; it only had less than thirty attendants as a whole. The church members were people who were extremely old and people who seemed to be in the lower level of the society. Almost every Wednesday, he would invite his church family to his house and there was a Hispanic family that I always thought was interesting. This family, only consisted of two people; a father and a son. The father got divorced soon after the marriage and now works as a cleaner in the local hospital. The interesting part was his son. His son, Andrew, behaved in a well mannered behavior when he came to the house, or to the church. He simply seemed like a very normal, average, a little chubby and cheerful boy. But when I heard about how he was like in his school, it was absolutely terrifying. At school, he was suspended several times, swore like a trooper, even to the school police and the principle, and would lay violent hands on other people. He almost went to jail but somehow his dad begged to the police and managed to give him one more chance. But he was now in danger of being expelled or being forcefully move to another school.
As I was hearing all of this, I really wanted to help him. I thought there would be hope because he was not always swearing and violent; he was at least really nice at the pastor’s house. I think he kept on possessing violent behavior because that is how people around him saw him as; they always begged the question that he was simply a bad person. I guess those beliefs made who he was at school. I really wanted to help him change his life. But even before I could take any action, my parents took me back to Korea to send me to KIS.

I sometimes wonder how he might be doing right now. His father even gave him up. Its not that I could have really be a help to him, well, that would be awesome, but I just wanted to give encourages and be his friend.

Movie Review: Maundy Sunday

Yu Jeong(Na Young Lee), though a successful college art professor and from a wealthy family, attempted suicide three times, but miraculously survived. Yu Jeong did not want to die. Living was not worth it nor was dying. She was never happy. She was never joyful. She was miserable not simply because she was raped. It was not because her mother slapped her cheeks for not being careful enough to be raped. Its because she kept her anger and her fear just to herself. No one would seem to understand.

Yoon Soo(Dong Won Kang) was abandoned from his mother and was left with a younger brother who soon after died in the cold. He was faced with poverty, hunger and a responsibility of his younger brother. He felt guilty for his brother’s death. He was miserable when he had to rob a house to earn a surgery bill for his wife, whom he love so much. He was accused for murdering three people when he killed only one and is sentenced imprisonment. Its not because of those factors that made him to wait for his execution day. He just needed someone he could talk to.
Yu Jeong’s aunt arranged Yu Jeong and Yoon Soo to meet. They are so different, both in status and background, but they had scars deep inside that they had been trying to hide. When Yoon Soo notices that Yu Jeong had a mark on her wrist, for the first time, he begins to talk about his sad memories. She also shares her painful past.

They soon become really close. Then they fall in love. They both wish that everyday was Thursday, from twelve to one(p.m.) because that is the only day they are allowed to meet. They, for the first time, desire to live. But Yoon Soo is soon sentenced to death.

The sole motivation for me to watch this movie was because my favorite actor, Dong Won Kang was in it. But the movie not only showed Dong Won Kang acting, but also the meaning of happiness. The happiest moment is when I am with someone whom I love, someone who can understand deep inside and someone whom I am willing to sacrifice myself. This movie was not anything close to romantic, but it made me really want to be in love with someone.

Movie Review: I Love You

At church, my youth pastor always showed us a video clip from a movie or any television which he could relate to his sermon. Last Sunday, he showed us about 10 minutes of the movie, I Love You(그대를 사랑합니다). Since that Sunday was Parents’ Day, the movie clip was basically about family. Even tough we only watched ten minutes of it, I was emotionally moved. Just in five minutes, my face was covered up with tears. I could not even dare to put my head up because I was afraid that people might see me cry.

The movie shows the typical life of common Korean families. It had a message that everyone, including parents, are simply a person who goes through enough, or sometimes too much, troubles each day. Parents always seem to look strong, that they seem as if they can do everything. Perhaps its because they try not to show their weakness or sad faces. They had to do so much just to make their children happy and to look proud. In the beginning of the clip, they show the grandparents giving money to their sons and daughters whom they constantly ask for financial help. They always say that they will pay back soon which they never did.

By the end of ten minutes, the grandmother had gotten seriously ill. She suffers from some sort of disease. The grandfather demands their sons and daughters to come and gather at his house. As they all come, they talk of how they are worried that this father in law might make them live in the same house and talks behind his back. Then the grandparents and the whole family gather in one room, he looks at all of them and then says that they should go back home. This is somehow awkward, but I think it showed that he was satisfied to just to see their faces and do not want to bother taking too much of their time. But none of the family seemed to care much about the health condition of their mother(also a grandmother).

The behaviors the daughters and sons(or parents) made me to reflect on my own behaviors. I get to caught up with my own work that I sometimes forget about how precious it is to be simply be with my family. I sometimes complain and whine about what I am going through, like doing my homework, but I forget that they are also going through things that are much difficult and harsher than mine. I felt so sorry for my parents how I was not such a good daughter. Its not like I am going to be dramatically changed because I watched this movie, but it is sometimes nice to think more about the people whom I sometimes take for granted.

Asian Studies

In Asian Studies class, I was assigned to write about four diary entries about a girl who lived in Korea during 1937. At that time, Korean women, from ages 12 to even 40 were sent to places like Singapore, China, Japan, Taiwan and etc. as comfort women by the Japanese. It was a great experience to learn in details about the lives that two hundred thousand Korean women faced.

I was actually shocked to learn about this subject. Later I learned that one of student, who was assigned the same topic, refused to do this. Well, I did not know that I had the option to change topics or anything like that. I read through quite a lot of testimonies of actual former-comfort women during that time. To even read about the tortures they went through was just disgusting. The Japanese soldiers

Not only the tortures they went through in foreign nations suffered them. Even after they could come back to their own country, they were humiliated by Koreans and sometimes had no where to go. For most of them, by the time they got home, their homes were destroyed and their families were missing, or dead.

They, despite their pain, they kept their pasts deep inside and did not even try to let others know it; they thought it was a disgrace to tell others about that they were raped. But about few decades later, about in the 1990s, they began to speak out. They formed organizations and websites that told about what they had to go through during the Japanese invasion.

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My Grandmother

My grandmother passed away because of cancer last summer. She had been in and out of the hospital because of her cancer for the past few years, and it feels just sad to think of how she could not enjoy her life and do whatever she want before death. She was administered 32 anticancer drugs, and how that would make her suffer! Since the anticancer drug is so strong, strong enough to kill tumor cells, also the normal cells, she would suffer greatly from the pain and fatigue. Her body immunization gradually got weaker, and she soon got pneumonia. But despite these pain and suffering, her desires to live, even a little longer, were so strong.

The last time  I saw her was when she was in a coma. She was lying in her bed, motionless, with several tubes that went into her mouth. The moment I saw her, tears fell from my eyes. I never cried in a public place before. I usually tend to look like that. Even all of my close friends said that I am so heartless. But when I saw her, I thought that she was not the kind of person I used to know. It was so shocking that this strong person, strong in both mentally and physically, my loving grandma, was in a coma, powerless in the course of nature. She seemed so pale. I was there with my brother. He seemed very still, and extremely quite, not knowing what to say or how he should react. What made me even more sad was the thought that my mom is going to come into this room, see her mother being in a coma and feel much more depressed than I did.

When I recall this sad moment, I feel like I am going to cry. She so longed to live. To her, every moment, every second was so precious. I regret that I did not visit her a lot when she was in the hospital. The hospital wasn’t even far from my house. How lazy was I! I was just busy caught up with my own schedules, doing what I wanted to do. From this experience, I should learn that spending time with my loved ones is the most important, and that I should make better use of my time.

Image: Me and the  picture I drew…

Teenage Violence

I was talking to my mom, also watching a Korean drama, Kangrukban, and began to discuss about the seriousness of teenage violence happening in Korea. Of course, there are many other crimes happening in other countries as well, and could be worse, but since I am currently living in Korea, this issue makes me feel scared and worried at the same time. My mom told me about a documentary show that she saw the other night.

It was about a seventh grader, who was coming home back from school at seven or eight o’ clock, then some other middle school kids showed up, and took him to the top of a strange building. The kids not only beat him up and took his money, but they also killed him, tried to burn him with fire, and took his clothing to wear them. That poor seventh grader’s only parent, his father reported to the police, that his child was missing, not knowing any thing. Then soon the police and the father found out some of the middle school kids who were going to the same school as his son, were wearing the exact same clothing that his son used to wear. Then they later found out the truth, and those kids were simply sent to the juvenile hall. But I think that is not enough. There  should be more laws that could make them realize how much that crime was bad.

Kids under the age of 17 or 19 usually do not go to jail. Even if they commit murder, they are not sentenced to death or anything serious enough to make them fear. Because of this reason ,immature teenage gangs in elementary schools or middle schools make violence and crimes without much thoughts. They do not really care about their crime records yet, because they do not recognize how it would negative affect their lives. So since these kids usually don’t learn much from just being sent to juvenile hall, they should get punished the same as adults’ crimes do. Teenagers, like me, might be immature in thoughts, but they do know that committing crime is not a good thing to do.


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