• Hye Kyung Park
  • 승인 2008.06.05 17:14
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This might sound awkward, but the biggest challenge I have ever faced was learning Korean as a second language albeit being Korean. Due to my father’s study, I used to live in the States during my childhood. Not knowing anything about Korea except that my family, including myself was Korean with dark hair, I was suddenly placed in a classroom where I was totally alienated.: my classmates looked the same with dark hair and yellow skin, but spoke a totally different language. And that ‘s when my dark days begun, at the age of eight.
 Since I couldn’t understand anything, I couldn’t communicate with friends or the teacher, and of course, I didn’t have any fun at school. I remember crying and begging to my parents to go back where we used to live. One day, I didn’t go to school, and my teacher in charge came over to my home, asking what was going on. Understanding my situation, my teacher started a special after-school program the week after. I reluctantly participated in the program every weekday after school two hours a day. She started out by teaching the Korean alphabet (Hangeul) with fun games and songs. As time went by, I started to like the program, and went on reading books, taking dictation tests and even writing my diary in Korean! It was not only Korean she taught me. She also helped me understand the Korean culture, especially food. Some of my classmates helped me prepare for the dictation test and encouraged me a lot. After fives months of hard work, I was quite confident with my Korean, and in two years since my arrival in Korea, I received on honors certificate from school. Can you imagine how exciting and grateful that was for me?
  From then on, my character changed very much. I used to be very shy and quiet with a lack of confidence, and couldn’t express my thoughts. However, I gradually became a very talkative, positive, challenge –loving and active person. That is what I am today. Since I moved around a log from state to state, from country to country, I was always in a new environment, which was very stressful as a young child. Going through this, I learned how to make new friends and fit into a new place. Moreover, who wouldn’t be positive after having such as different time learning and experiencing their genetic homeland? After all, I am Korean with a Korean citizenship. Due to all of the things I have gone through in such a young age, this sums up to be active and challenge-loving me! “I did something that seemed impossible when I was so young. Now being much older and relatively mature, what can I not do?” With this thought in my mind, I try and participate in everything I can; activity clubs, English-related contests (like this one), visiting abroad programs, external panel activities etc. Of course, I don’t have a pleasant result all the time and I do get depressed, but it is better than not giving it a try and losing the chance. By the way, if it doesn’t turn out well, I can always try again.
 In conclusion, my challenging experience as a young child influences my character very much. Although it was so depressing, difficult and gloomy at that time, I’m glad that I had such an experience. Because without that experience, I might be sitting in my room, resenting my parents for placing me in such a situation. So, even though I might fall down and bleed a little bit now, I’m going to stand up and march forward, because I know from my experience that this fall and this bleed will be a nourishment for me to grow bigger in the future.

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