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The End is Not the End

The moment we had together is running to its ends and the time is ticking away alerting us that it’s already dawn of our life and it’s time to wake up to go out to the world where you walk a different path form others to achieve your goals. The safe environment that was there to support and guide won’t be there anymore. We, as individuals will be expected to deal with our own problems. And now it is time for us to come out from under the wings of our parents and teachers and jump off from the nest spreading our wings wide and fly away towards our own destination. But before all that let us come together as a whole, embracing and cherishing the memories that we made whether it is good or bad, happy or sad, sweet or bitter.

I’ve been in ICS for 3 years, which is not much. However, there has been so much that I’ve learned to love; I sincerely appreciate the friends I’ve made and the teachers I’ve encountered. As a whole, this school has provided me with many opportunities that have contributed to my development as a person and have helped create the road to the next stage in life: college and young adulthood. I am not ready; I also have military service to complete. I’m scared and frightened about the future. It seems dark because of the unknown. I believe there’s nothing but also I acknowledge that there is something. I have to fight for what I want. Thank you, ICS, for reminding me of my values.

I hope people remember me as a good friend who is always supportive and friendly. As the years go by, I have formed new relationships among the people of ICS: teachers, classmates, and underclassmen. I’m typically the optimistic one of the group, but I have learned that I should not always be happy. At this moment, writing this blog post, I feel bittersweet nostalgia. Knowing that we are graduating one week from now, my mind has both sadness and happiness. Reminiscing the memories that I made with different people who are loving, caring and understanding. We will be apart from each other but connected with emotions. The memories will stay forever in our hearts.

I cannot believe that we all are separating. And this came faster than I thought, I am not ready to say goodbye. I wish I could have spent more time with each one of our classmates and know more about them. I think the desire of wanting to have more time at the very end is because of the realization of how much ICS and the people over here are precious to me. While writing this blog I am going through my diary that I wrote since my first year in ICS. I can’t explain how precious these memories are and there are some people that I really don’t want to say goodbye. But with this feeling, I will go ahead and strive to come back to ICS with a better me. Leaving ICS is not the end, but it is the starting of a new part of our life.

Healed by Love

The brokenness of individuals follow up with the brokenness of families, communities, society, a country and lastly it ends up impacting the world. The solution for this brokenness is love and not so many people know the answer to this.

To be honest, for me saying that the solution for brokenness is love sounds really naive. But I do agree love can mend people’s soul and the brokenness of each individual. But love rarely solves problems that are physical. In the novel Cry, the Beloved Country, problems were not totally solved in the ending which was the agricultural developments and for Kumalo, it was his son’s death. Love cannot bring back Absalom from death. Likewise, love cannot solve all the problems of brokenness. But even though I still think that Love is really naive to say that’s the solution, I believe that LOVE is still the ultimate solution. Love and support can help people, but it depends on how the person reacts or accept their reality and moves on. In the novel, Stephen the protagonist accepts the coming death of his son and the reality he is facing in Ndotsheni. He could accept it because of the love and support that got from the people. Things were changing little by little with unity.

And the second protagonist Jame Jarvis who also faced a similar problem with Stephen which is facing the death of his son. Even though Stephen’s son killed his son, he still showed care and respect to Kumalo. Which is an act of love healing both the protagonists. Likewise, small things can end up becoming a huge influence on others, which mends deep scars and brings peace within the society.


In our world, everyone can see the damages in societies and nature. From internal to external, these damages can be stuck in a person’s heart or affecting the whole community. In fact, internal damages can lead to external damages within the human being. For example, there are still conflicts between the Japanese and Koreans. In the past, Japan colonized Korea under ruthless circumstances; they proceeded to do unethical actions that should not be named. I do not mean that I do not like Japanese people or Japan. However, as a Korean citizen, if I hear something about them, my first thought will be automatically negative. I cannot help it.

Korean teenagers grow up listening to the stories about the colonial time from our parents and grandparents. My grandparents were young during that time period but still continue to live in the past. The Japanese influence still remains in both my grandparents from my father’s and mother’s side. They still say Japanese words, a result of the Japanese attempt to kill the Korean culture and language by banning the Korean language at schools. The aftermath is still relevant and prominent.

I have many Japanese friends who I love and care. And I think hating them is not the solution. The past is the past, not the present but I don’t mean that past history is not important, it’s just irrelevant to hate them with one single reason. The younger generation as individuals doesn’t have huge responsibilities for deeds done by the older generation. One of my Japanese told me, “I don’t know what to believe? What I learned in Japan is different from what you say”, this is the problem, both countries are not stating the truth(I guess).

I do not want any more conflicts between the countries of Japan and Korea. Unfortunately, the scars run deep and even extends down to the bloodlines through stories. In my personal opinion, both countries should talk about problems in history. Negotiations and solutions must be suggested. I am aware that this will not heal the scars of the Korean people, but it will be the first step of the vital healing process.

Go there and find out!!

To be honest with Che’s speech, it can be very daunting for many people. And his strong expressive words can make some people build barriers and ignore the reality of the society in the world. That was me in the past who isolated myself and put barricades all around me, not willing to go out to face reality and learn what problems are the people facing in society. All I had in mind were the problems and traumas that were in front of roaring like a strong predator who is waiting for the prey to come out of safety.

In my childhood, I really did not like my parent’s job which was a missionary because our family was literally exposed to danger all because of spreading the gospel and I really didn’t fully understand why is it important to help people who are in need. If I think of my childhood until 3rd grade, my eyes get wet with tears, by thinking of all the hardship that I went through as the only foreign child in my school and in the society that I lived in. The phrase “Get there and find out” used to hit me with reluctance because I lived closely with the people who are in need, but then if we help them then a group of people(they are not the people who are in need) who gets jealous comes and threaten us with the reason of spreading other religion in the society. And to explain how bad the situation was in India during the 2000s, extreme Hindus used to slaughter and persecute Christians, so my parents used to tell me and my sibling to never tell anyone that they are missionaries or we are missionary kids. Then I as a child was scared of the situation. The persecution of the Christians would come up in the news and radio. For me, it came to the point of having unstable mental states because of intense fear. I really hated to help people who are trying to harm us and never got motivated by the phrase “Get there and find out”.

After a year of getting mental therapy in Korea and coming back, I opened up my heart little by little, and my heart opened up a lot when I first went to my dad’s mission site. I could see many people who are in need and understood why my parents could not stop helping people in rural areas. And now I have a burning passion that burns inside me like a forest fire to “Go out and find out” who are in need. So what I think about the phrase “Go out and find out” is that for other people it can still be a strong word. But then by hearing this, we should not have a feeling of reluctance but try to step forward to them little by little which will eventually be big steps in the future.

“Travel and Tourism”

The word travel and tourism makes me think of all the adventures and the enjoyment of getting to know new cultures makes me enthusiastic. But there are times that I see the harsh conditions of the people who live in those particular areas and that makes me vulnerable which leads me to sprout passion in my heart for them. As a missionary kid, I have always encountered many harsh conditions that the people live in because my dad helped those people in rural areas. I want to share the experience that I had in the rural areas of India.

Ones when I followed my dad to his ministry, I remember my dad saying, ” Jiseok the thing that you see from now on is totally different from our lifestyle and you should understand how privileged we are. These people in the villages struggle hard to live in poverty, so it is our duty who are educated and privileged to share what we got because God wants us to share what we have to the needy.” and then I asked him, “then why did God left these people to be poor, He could have just made all the people in the world be equal and the same” he replies, “Maybe God wants us to learn something from there life, Jiseok why do you think you study?” I replied, “to get good jobs and live a happy life” my dad then says that “what you said could also be a good life but will you be really happy by only satisfying yourself? I think that we should study and get educated to give others, not just the satisfy yourself but to share what we have.” After listening to dad I was thinking about my future again, asking myself about the world and the system of how the world runs. And those thoughts hit me hard on the back of my head when I saw the conditions of the people who live in poor conditions.

One of the thing that was very shocking was child marriage. We visited a house, there was a girl who looked the same age as me and at that time I was 13 years old. And a man comes out of the room who looked around thirtyish and says that the young girl is his wife… I was so shocked that I could not speak a word and could not hear anything clearly until we left. That was one of my biggest shocks that I ever got in my life, I knew that there was child marriage in rural areas and the emotions that I had was just a sense of sadness. But then experiencing it in really totally blew me off. I was thinking about the life of that girl. How painful would have it been for the girl? Why does this even exists? What is life? and fundamental questions about human rights and women’s right started to rise up inside me.

There are more things that I can write about those topics based on my experience but it is too much to type… hahaha anyway I think that the novel Nectar in a Sieve precisely describes the rural areas in India and the poor conditions. So I think that we all should travel and adventure the world to see and feel all types of conditions of the world and be passionate for making the world a better place for all human beings in the world.

Creative Writing – “The Many Sides of a City”

Dear XXXX,

Hello, my dear love. It has been years that I haven’t visited you. I still remember memories that were good and bad, sweet and bitter, love and hate and other mixed emotions that I had when I was with you and think through those memories and recap how you shaped me into me that exists right now in the present. If it was not you then I wouldn’t have been me, who really care about you and the personality that I have now would not be shaped in the way that I am nowhere. And to be honest, at first, I really hated you and did not care about you because it was hard for me to live up as the only foreigner. I really hated you because of your racist people you always pointed fingers at me and talked bad at me. I even cried at night on my bed telling my mom that I can’t live anymore and could not sleep because I did not want the day to go and face the next day.

But all of a sudden I started to like you more and more after knowing more about your culture and the people. And then the feeling of like turned into love and that made a strong attachment for me to you. Your people are from different cultures and backgrounds even though they are from the same country and this is because you are the hub of education in India. Many people with different caste and colour gather together and harmonize as one unit. The mix of different cultures of different people makes your culture totally unique from other parts of India.

One of the best parts of you is the geographical location that you are situated. You bring us enough amount of rain, cover us from the sunshine with the trees that waves their branches with the pleasant blow of the wind which makes the leaves clash to each other and make the pleasant sound that fades into the sound of nature and by those relaxing music, for me I feel that I finally found a home that I belong to. And before I left you, I could not think of leaving you behind, where there are my beloved people and the attachment that even till now holds me tight are there. I really Love you and please do not forget those memories that I made with you and shaped me to be myself. I will soon visit you and I hope that I won’t feel awkward about how much you changed now.

To. Beloved Pune city.

SE Asia Unit Reflections

There are two things that I think are the most important among all the topics that we discussed and they are the Women’s rights and Poverty. I think that it’s because I have grown up in India where women are oppressed and poor gets ignored and treated as very low class. In the past I didn’t know that women getting oppressed and the poor getting treated bad was really a problem until I left India. If I think of women getting oppressed in India, my heart just tears down thinking of my friend’s mom. For poverty I really care because I have seen lives of many people and met them personally in rural areas and in slums. Their life is very tough especially for the children. Because they are poor instead of getting education they go for work with their parents. Others could say that why not just go to school and get education, but the thing is that if they don’t work their family will be in financial crisis. And the factories or places they work pay them below minimum wage which is messed up. They just pay them low because they are low in the social status which is kind of tied to the caste system and most of the poor are harijans(it is a polite word for dalit/untouchable). It is very confusing and hard to let Indians know what is right because Indians up their culture and religion ahead of the human’s right or any other rights. But I believe that one day India will be a better place than today and I hope that I could contribute in the change of India.

“DEEP QUESTIONS from our Novels”

I read the book Nectar in a Sieve. And the novel goes through a lot of deep topic such as poverty, women’s status in the Indian society, caste system, the faith of Hinduism, and so on and on. The biggest thing that Nectar in a Sieve makes us think is hope. So why is hope so important? I think that hope is very important because for a person to live their daily life they need hope. Humans cannot live without hope. But to maintain that same hope is not easy because there always comes difficulty which is like a storm in our life that gives us hopelessness. So the hope of a human changes as time goes by. I think that we need to focus our hopes in the spiritual world because the physical world is never eternal and the more you get the more you want because of human greed. So why not focus on the eternal thing rather than the physical world. Having too much hope could be dangerous because if your hopes are too high then you could get hurt by the results you get because of your high standards. I don’t think that hope is an illusion, I just simple think it as a fuel to go on and live.

“Holocaust Survivors’ Stories”

The story that I read was a story of a holocaust survivor who’s name is Eugene Black. He was a slave labourer in the Auschwitz and the Buchenwald concentration camps. He was born Jeno Schwartz in Munkacs, Czechoslovakia in 1928. He had 3 sisters and a brother. His mother came from an orthodox Jewish family but his father did not. In 1938 the area where Eugene’s family lived was given back to the Hungary. 19th March 1944 the German forces occupied Hungary completely. Immediately all Hungarian Jews were ordered to wear the Star of David and within ten days the Jewish population was moved into ghettos. Eugene’s house was within a ghetto area, so his family took other people into their home. One day Eugene was coming home from school. He saw a German military lorry outside the family home with his two sisters and father on board. He saw an SS man hit his mother across the face and push her on to the lorry.  Eugene wasn’t allowed into the house, he was forced onto the lorry with the rest of his family and other Jewish people from the ghetto. Eugene and his family were ordered into railway cattle trucks and from there transported to Auschwitz Birkenau. He was quickly separated form his sisters and his mother without saying goodbye or a kiss, that was the last moment to see his mother and sisters. After that he was also separated with his father which was also the last to see his father. After getting selected as a slave labourer he was transported to the Little Camp at Buchenwald and then on to Dora Mittelbau in the Harz mountains, where the Nazis used slave labourers to manufacture V1 and V2 rockets underground. Eugene’s job here was to load small trucks with rocks dug out from the tunnels for 12 to 14 hours at a time, without rest and on starvation rations. He became increasingly weak and after five months caught pneumonia. A German doctor saved his life. In mid March 1945 Eugene was sent to Bergen Belsen, which he describes as “a hellhole”. People were lying all over the place. Typhus was rife and sanitation non-existent. On 15th April Eugene was liberated on the arrival of the British Army.

To learn and study about the horrific story like the holocaust is very important because it teaches us why is it bad to treat other people like what happened in the concentration camps and we get to know how do the people feel getting killed and tortured in the holocaust. So by learning these horrific stories our responsibilities are to prevent an another genocide like the holocaust by spreading stories and alerting people about the bad history that humans have gone through and learn mistakes from it.



The poem Apocalypse is written by the poet JOHN FREDERICK NIMS. He is expressing his anger of the war. The poem uses expressive imagery to explain is feeling during the war and tells how scary is a war. The poem is in figurative language that shows as if there is an apocalypse that is swiping away all human beings in the planet. The tone of the poem is like the sounds that are around the soldiers in the battlefield with gun noises, people screaming, blood all over the place with dead bodies.

The thing that I feel that outstands and makes this poem very impressing is the imagery and the tone of the poem. As we see in the first stanza, it is all about the tone and the setting of the poem which feels like the poet is taking us to the live scene of a battlefield with bombs exploding here and there and guns firing at the enemy.

The second stanza is mostly imagery kind of stuff. Which talks about the scenery of the battlefield and how the soldiers shots and get shot by bullets. This is crazy because I can really imagine what is going on right here in the poem, a bloody field with dying soldiers in front of me with there clothes turning red. It is a massacre. It is kind of relatable with the Book Thief in massacring the jews and the other groups which are against the Nazi regime.

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