Saturday, September 14, 2013

서영리 201201620

Young-Lee Seo


1.      What are your earliest memories related to writing?

Like all basics, writing starts with learning the building blocks, the language itself. The very first time I learned to write the alphabet was with a teacher in America. Because I had moved to the States with my parents when I was 2, I had to learn English. However, my parents were adamant about me learning Korean as well. So during the day I would go and learn the alphabet with my 1st grade teacher Mrs. Grace. She would write the letter 'a' carefully on the chalkboard and we would copy it down on our textbooks. Every letter I wrote would be written in that special childish writing, typical of an 8 year old. I still remember trying to grasp the pencil and attempting to carve each letter into the lines carefully. It was fun at first, when I tried to write. When I went home I would go to my mother, who would then teach me the basics of Korean. We had nothing to go by at first, but that was soon remedied. With the help of a friend in Korea, my mother brought over Nunnopi(눈높이) textbooks, which many have studied the basics of Korean and mathematics with during their childhood. I have to admit, it was very hard to differentiate between the two at first. In the beginning I simply thought it a bore and a chore to write all the letters, but as time went on and I learned how to write words and connect them with the things I knew, it started to become fun, like a game.



2.      Write about a bad experience you have had with writing. How did this experience affect your attitude toward writing?

The only time I can say I truly 'hate' writing is when taking a TOEFL test. Normally I don't hate writing. But when it comes to being graded and tested, my testphobia appears. I think this became a problem when I had to take tests in Korea to show my English grades. The pressure to 'do well' wasn't the problem; it was the constant expectation to 'be perfect' that unnerved me. Actually, I didn't do too badly on the test, but the writing section was always the one I did worst at. Practice could only get me so far, and after a while, I couldn't bring myself to like it anymore. Of course, I knew that it wasn't just me who was struggling with this test, but I couldn't help but feel that I wasn't good enough in anything. Eventually, I got over it, but I still struggle sometimes when I am compared with someone else, especially with grades.



3.      Have you done any writing for yourself only – letters to friends or relatives, journals, diaries, poems? If so, explain how this writing was different from the writing you did for school assignments.

I have done this quite often. Writing a diary was a must for most girls in my middle school, and we were caught in that strange paradox of wanting to keep our entries a secret, but also wanting to show our diaries off. Eventually, it became dull and people forgot about it, but I kept on writing mine even when I moved on to high school and college. My diary is not pink and glittery with anime characters on the cover anymore, but it is still precious to me because it gives me a place to write without thinking much about the consequences. I can write freely without having to think about grammar or criticism, and can write my deepest, darkest secrets there. It's not like an essay for school that has a set template or points for how well I wrote it, so I feel much more comfortable writing in my diary. Aside from writing, I can also have the freedom to make my own words, put in onomatopoeias, or make a doodle in the middle of the page, and draw hearts in my I's and j's. The freedom and ability to do what you want with your writing, without thinking of a topic or supporting idea, is much more different than school assignments.


  1. Fighting, you will become good in anything^^
    Jina Park

  2. That was very interesting. I am sure you will do great!

  3. I hate being graded too, especially on a huge test like TOEFL.

    -Jung Doyoung

  4. I also enjoy writing a diary. ^^ I think you wil also be good at academic writing!

    By Ju Yelam