My name is Eui-Rim Koo and until this class assignment I could not thoughtfully considered what my ethic background is. I was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Growing up, I was a real busy kid playing baseball and soccer with friends. My face was always tanned and my voice often became very husky from all the debates I had with my friends. As I look back at those years now, my heart stats to race as if I look at the sunshine through green leaves. I always had reasons to laugh and smile never left my face. My parents were quite open minded and let me grow up with much freedom.
I did not have to go through the agonizing stresses like attending after school academies like other students. Only one thing my parents asked from me was to take full responsibilities for my own choices and actions. At times, I wished my parents were more attentive to my agendas and felt that they should be more concerned about me. However, I am really grateful to my parents now because I have realized that the “self-reliance” and “sense of independence” I learned from my parents are the greatest strengths of mine.
I was a student who was good at setting plans and studying. In high school, I had to put lots of thoughts in deciding my concentrations between liberal arts sciences because I had much interest in math. Economics caught my attention because I wanted to apply my knowledge in my real life and take more practical profession. So, I decided to move on to a liberal arts college. I really tried to do my best for enter the college which I wanted. While I prepared for the test, my health was getting worse and I could not take the test.
At that time, I felt like the world is over. My twelve years of effort became nothing, and I did not have patient to wait one more year. (In Korea, the test which is like SAT in America is once a year) First time my parents blame me that I did not care my health. But they became worried about my condition and understood my condition. And also they encourage for going America. At that time, I did not have any goals in my life. My parents suggested having another chance in America and I accepted it. While reparing going America I could get free time and I experienced many things. Among many experiences I had during free time, volunteer works at home for orphans was by far the most memorable one. I learned that the “sharing” could be easily found in places very near our lives while reaching and interacting with the children. Even though I have not been able to visit there too often since I have to college in America, the two years I shared with those children have become one of the most valuable moments of my life and I think that I will never forget their innocent eyes.
Another thing that I am now aware of which I am sure I was not previously aware of as a child are my strong emotions. Even though I remember being very angry and extremely happy at various occasions in my childhood, and I also remember expressing my feelings, I could hardly give them a name at the time. All I would know is that I was feeling upset, but I did not know why. But after growing up and after served military service I found that there are many different kinds of emotions and many different ways to experience and interpret them.
It was very good place to meet many kinds of people and all of them has different personality. I learned during military service the different emotions and their varying degrees that a particular person feels and how these feelings affect the mood of the person. The experienced in military life also explains how these different kinds of emotions come about and how the presence of these emotions affects the way a person behaves and his or her moods. And also, my parents used to use on me to make me learn things.
For example, I remember that I would get a rap on the back of my hand for touching the electric cable that would hang from the electric iron. When this happened a few times, I would then never touch it since I knew that my mother would hit my hand and I did not want to be hit. I think all of these things that my mother did with me ended up in making up the personality and the identity that I have today. At the first time when I came here America, everything was different between Korea and America. I had to adjust in America and prepare for my life.
From that time I had to live alone. Coming back to my memories, I remember my 11th birthday so very clearly. My mother gave me one of the best gifts that I have ever received in my whole life. It was a beautiful snowball shaped in a shape of a butterfly. It is still the most valuable and cherished item that I possess. I am really attached to that piece of jewelry and I am always set up on my desk that I could see easily. I do not know why but somehow watching the snowball gives me strength and I feel that I am close to my family.
Whenever I feel troubled, I feel heavy or missing family or friends in Korea, all I have to do is watch the snowball in my hand and close my eyes and suddenly everything becomes alright. It is a symbol of my parent’s love for me is the most precious of my belongings. I still remember the day of my birthday when my mother gave me the snowball as a gift. I have always loved and I was so happy when I received a gift from my mother packed in a wrapping paper that had many snowballs on it.
I remember the stab of happiness in my heart and a glint of tears in my eyes as I opened the packet and found the beautiful snowball inside a rectangular box. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I cannot see it because I lose it during my military service, but I can image the snowball in my mind and I can feel the presence of my family with me and all around me. The reason that I include this piece of jewelry in this essay is because this is what ties my family to my personality and my emotions. The gift that my parents gave to me makes me look deep inside of me every time I look at it.
It has also brought be great luck and happiness and I now associate all these emotions with my family. It is a physical piece that links my soul with my parent’s. After writing this essay, I realized many things about my own psychology and my own self that have stemmed out of this powerful relationship that I have developed with my parent through this medallion. It has given me a lot of confidence and has my self-esteem in various situations. I am and forever shall be grateful and obliged to my parents for treating me so well and for providing me with the personality that I have today.