Final Blog and Speech – “FAREWELLS!”

Because I spent most of my middle and high school years at ISB, I hated to make a movement to ICS. Not only that, I am not that flexible person so I already knew that it will take me a long time for me to get used to the new environment and new friends and teachers. For these reasons, I feared and concerned to be a ICS student. However, as I got used to all the students and teachers, I discovered how much I feel comfortable to be a part of ICS community. Compared to my junior year, I got closer to more classmates as well as teachers who I can ask for help when I needed. In this sense, this final year meant something more than just a last year of high school.

I would miss every single moments at ICS. I would miss the moment when I fall asleep during band class and Mr. B took a selfie of him and me sleeping, the moment when I played games during Guided Studies and lunch period with all my friends, the moment when I shared laughter and sadness with my friends, and much more than that. I would also miss the nervousness I felt on the every Tea Day and the urgency I felt on the day before essay due-date. World Literature class was a meaningful subject to me because it allowed me to share my thoughts and also to learn from other classmates’ thoughts.

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Although we arrived at the “final station” of our high school years, I believe this is another starting point in our life. Thank you for making my senior year memorable 🙂

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Blog Entry #12 – “Damage and Healing”

Throughout the novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, Stephen went through various challenges such as the execution of his son, Absalom, and the weakening of faith toward God. Stephen’s suffering left number of scars on his heart and it was something that damaged him, not just as a father or a pastor, but as a human itself. Witnessing such damages he experienced, I discussed the psychological struggle that Stephen experienced throughout book one and two of the novel by comparing him to a person wandering the desert alone. Despite such conflicts, Alan Paton presented sources of healing in book three of the novel.

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Paton provided a way to recover damages Stephen received in Johannesburg through a character named James Jarvis. One of the burdens that caused Stephen to struggle was the death of Arthur Jarvis as his son murdered him. Stephen struggled to confront James which made him to be passive than before. Although it was Stephen’s son who killed James’ son, Arthur, Jarvis gave milk to Stephen. This not only reveals generosity and forgiveness of James but also possible harmony between two races, White and Black.

Through the resources of healing, Alan Paton shows the power of forgiveness and generosity despite one’s race, gender, etc.. The generosity James revealed toward Stephen to step forward and to be courageous. Forgiving someone enables a person to understand another’s situation. Without such power, not only the relationship between James and Stephen, but also relationships that people are having currently cannot be fully empowered and continued.

 

External Damage of Gender Inequality

When we are in need to divide ourselves into separate groups, one of the most common diving factors is gender: male and female. Throughout the history, men were perceived as superior beings while women were inferior beings compared to males. Such perception brought unbalancedness within the society which also sparks a conflict between men and women. Continued unbalanced separation between men and women later brought women challenging to demolish extant inequality within the society. Despite such contribution to make changes, the modern society still owes this characteristic. Such characteristic within the society still hinders some women from entering the certain type of careers, especially if that career requires excessive amount of power or etc..

The#MeToo movement started to take place in Korea by the public prosecutor, Ji-hyeon Seo. This prosecutor accused a former South Korean Ministry of Justice official for groping her during a funeral service in 2010. In Korea particularly, a lot of women experiences sexual harassment and assault and some perpetrators think that such action has no considerable problems because that is the position of women in the society. Her bravery has not only created a cascade effect in the Korean society and other sexually victimized women who has been suffering from stress and trauma started to come forward under the ‘me too’ slogan. Her bravery also helped Korea to reconsider the structure of our society that makes women much more vulnerable to undesirable situations. 

Despite such efforts to balance the society from this injustice of systems, the reputation of the #MeToo movement was not that great in Korean society. Some blamed and accused those who participated in the movement that some of the women are only joining to condemn the authority of males. Although the society is at the stage of making progression, the view towards the movement to make equality among males and females are not that great which makes females to be more damaged in a sense that it prevents them from earning opportunities and fair treatment.

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Whether you are a female or a male, whether you are from Asian countries, African countries, or European countries, and whether you are “white” or “black”, all the people living on the earth must have access to equal opportunities. The generations must be aware that gender, race, nationality, etc. are just some elements that help us shaping our identity. These elements should not be the factors that determine how valuable your are or how dominant your position is in the society. We all hold the power to have rights for oneself as a unique and special beings on this earth.

Blog Entry #11 – “Answering Che’s Calls to Action”

I first developed my dream of becoming a teacher through a club called “peer tutoring club”. To be honest, I participated in this club purely for my community service hours. However, after spending time with my peer student, I discovered something more than service hours. I felt achieved to see my peer student making improvement in his weakest subject through the process of sharing knowledge with me. This experience taught me, not only to serve others, but also the happiness of sharing and teaching others.

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I believe sharing knowledge enables people to serve a greater purpose in society. In a process of education, people learn to understand others and to widen their perspectives toward different cultures and societies other than theirs. Furthermore, education is not just about getting information from books, but a process of discovering one’s own interest, learning how to respect others’ culture and personality, and gaining different skills for future. This can contribute the betterment of the society and the world as well.

Although the majority of the world population are receiving education, this does not mean that everyone is. By achieving my personal dream, I would like to move around the world and present an opportunity for those who are not able to receive proper education. One person serving others may not bring a significant change to world; however, it is the first step to make a great change to the world.

Blog Entry #10 – “Travel and Tourism”

 

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Many people decide to travel abroad in order to release stress or to take a rest from the works they’ve been doing. However, traveling is much more than just a way of entertainment. Traveling to new places gives a chance to encounter and understand different cultures, languages, history, and values of that country, which in turn widen the perspective toward our society and world.

People should behave appropriately during their trip in order to be a “responsible tourist”. A specific behavior or gesture that is normal in one’s country may not be in other countries. For instance, a lot of people make a V sign when taking a photo. However, such hand gesture is an insulting gesture in England and Australia. I believe it is the responsibility of the tourists to learn basic manners in foreign countries. I believe it is tourist’s responsibility to learn basic manners before one’s trip. In addition, it is essential to embrace the cultural differences rather than criticizing such differences as weird or odd traditions.

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I think it is damaging to just stay under the air conditioner rather than visiting and observing the sites that have historical or cultural values to the country because that shows how one is not interested in the cultures of foreign countries. I once an irresponsible tourist. Before I moved, I visited Thailand for the purpose of traveling. During that trip, I refused to go out of car because I was too lazy to walk around the temples under such hot temperature.

Although it is important to seek entertainment during the travel, people should remember the true value of traveling and try to be a “respectful/responsible tourist”.

The Many Sides of “Seoul”

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When you are asked to draw an image of Seoul in your head, you may think of massive people walking so busily with the numerous of high buildings at the background. Well, that is partially correct. For me, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is like a ‘chameleon’. Just like the color spectrum of chameleon, Seoul has various aspects that make the city itself special. 

shot_tree_of_seasons_01.gifThe scenery of Seoul differentiates every three months. From March to May, the affectionate wind and fluttering cherry blossom wake up the seeds taking nap in the ground during the period of severe cold. From June to August, the hot breeze and vibrant sunlight hit you. From September to November, the rustling sound of maple leaves catches your ears. From December to February, the cozy snows warm the frozen ground. The different colors of each season creates a special memory of Seoul.

The Han River running through the Seoul is where the nature breathes. I used to go to the park of Han River whenever I feel exhausted about all the works I have. Looking at the river flowing serenely despite the neon signs flashing and noises of car klaxon relaxes my mind.

Seoul is not only a city of businesses, nature, and entertainments, but also is a city where history and modern society coexists. It is not hard to experience how the lives of Korean were in the past. The city still contains the traces that the Korean ancestors have left. The Gyeongbokgung Palace, the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty, and the Hanok Village show the beauty of the Korean traditional architectures. The preservation of all the architectures and records of the past allows visitors of South Korea to directly discover the development throughout the time. In addition, I believe it also gives a chance for Koreans to remember and to feel the history of our ancestors in daily lives.

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Seoul is a place to explore history, nature, and joy.

 

 

Blog Entry #9 – “SE Asia Unit Reflections”

Through the several discussions in the class, I find the topic of poverty as the most intriguing social issue to me.

Poverty-1-938x450.jpgI believe this is a topic that relates to both novels: No Way Out and The Nectar in a Sieve. As reading the Nectar in a Sieve, there were several scenes depicting how Rukmani and her family members go through a period of starvation as the owner of the land. Although I did not read No Way Out, there were some scenes that portray the characters under poverty that even caused tragedy at the end (hinted from the presentation). Both novels convey how complex the poverty is in the society, especially among the low social class. Not only the novels, but also the discussion about the poverty well-demonstrated the complexity of poverty. Poverty is like a cycle that passes down from generations to generations. One of the discussion questions asked “Is it really the poor’s mistake to die poor?” After pondering about the question, I believe the answer to be NO. It may be possible for the poor people to escape from the poverty by working hard; however, without receiving the opportunities, they won’t be able to reach standard of living regardless of their efforts. In order to lessen the gap between the rich and the poor as well as the poverty, it is important provide more opportunities for those in low social class to have proper education that can lead them to better workplaces.