Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kim Sumi/Past experiences with writing/Tue 56


My very first writing experience starts at age 5 or 6. Back then, my brother who is a year older than me did his everyday diary homework – and it looked such fun, I was almost envious. So I began to write my own diary homework (which was actually diary 'volunteered') on some kid's notebook at home. The big task was how do I write words that I only knew how to speak. I asked my mom every time I don't know how to spell a word. The one that I had most trouble was the letter '' in '꿰매다(sew)'. I remember I spoke it as '깨매다' and the right word looked too scary to me, I had to re-write it again and again. But eventually, I got it right – I was such a stubborn 5-year-old kid. I guess I was a grammar freak even then.

Later on, I went to school and started to hate diary homework, but still I had some pleasant experiences in writing. One was a blog I had since middle to high school. I used to write lots of nonsense along with my few blog friends. They were also my real school mates, the closest ones, so my writings on the blog were literally free from any pressure or worries towards reputation. It was the very 'free writing', though I got the idea just several days ago. I had put my whole teenager emotions in the blog, some were wild and some were vulnerable, and it was such a relieving experience to me. Now I think of that, I think I learned from my own blog that sometimes free and open writings can be helpful when resting a writer's head. It helped me fear writing less and write just the way I am. 

And there was much fewer experiences of academic writings. In Korean schools students do not really have a lot of chance to write essays – which would be a problem if you went to English college. I only remember writing book reports or essays for entrance exam. Book report was a regular homework, we had to do about 3 reports every semester. The teacher gave full marks when we just finish them, but I did not like it nonetheless. I felt much pressure with how could I write the sentences and expressions perfectly. If I wrote creative and free report that would had been a good writing enough. I sometimes regret not doing that way.

When I was in third grade at high school, I did essays for entering university. Logical, academic essays were my weakness as ever, so my teacher gave comments saying 'lacks logical links' or 'awkward sentence flow'. The teacher could not give a lot of feedbacks for it was not a private tutoring, so I still struggle with that issue. It is what I will have to work at in this class, I think.


  1. Hello Sumi,

    I enjoyed your story. You have interesting experience with writing in Korean for the first time. I like it.

    Wonpil Lee

  2. my biggest weakness of writing is also lack of logical links... I really agree with you that our elementary, middle, and high school educaton system dont make students to practice writing a lot which is not good

    - yeonsoo seo