Hey, husband

December 11, 2010

As I wrote in my previous blog post, I have a lot of unnecessary, rambling thoughts in my head. One of them is about my future: who will be my husband? What is he doing right now at this moment as I’m writing a blog post? Just in case, he might be able to see this, I will write “An Introduction To Your Wife Letter.”

Dear my love,

I’m a picky person as you probably know.

I am allergic to fake metallic accessories, and so you need to buy me only authentic jewelries.

That is why I almost only wear dresses and leggings; jeans have metallic buttons that give me skin irritation.

I am also allergic to numerous medical balms; make sure to check the composition of each products.

I don’t like coats with rough textures; they irritate me to death. Personally, I prefer duck or rabbit fur : ) They are fluffy and warm – the perfect combination for winter in Seoul.

I like to use hand cream, but I only use one product: Missha Manuka Moisture cream. DO NOT buy me a hand cream; I might just give it to my dog.

I don’t eat pizza, oilly pasta, Chinese black noodles, french fries, chicken nuggets, fried sandwiches, spicy meat/noodles, and other junk/fast foods. My digestive system is very sensitive to those foods, so make sure to reserve restaurants that are appropriate to my diet.

I like to wear dresses regardless of the weather; I almost have no choice but to wear dresses. However, this does not mean that I consider myself a princess. You know, I am type of girl who rips her ACL playing basketball.

I also hate repeating my words. GET my instructions right the first time, and do not forget anything that I ask you to do. For instance, my mom cannot coordinate her thoughts well in the morning, and usually forgets whatever I ask her to do for that day. This disturbed me ever since I learned how to speak.

I like orange roses, and blue roses; I think plain red roses are too cliched. I also like white dolls, animal dolls, and other stuffy dolls. No pressure. You don’t have to get me more. I already have plenty. I am very slow with music updates, and so I want you to update my ipod, but don’t select songs that will wake me up in the middle of sleep.

This is me, your love : )

From. Carol C.

Personally, I don’t like eating sweets. I know. It sounds very out of picture because at my age, most people are obsessed with chocolates, candies, cakes, etcetera. I don’t like them for three major reasons:

  1. You are almost one-hundred-percent guaranteed to gain weight if you eat excess amount of sweets.
  2. I like to eat vegetables and other organic foods rather than artificially created junk.
  3. It’s a genetic thing. I really can’t explain, but my dad doesn’t like sweets, and I don’t, too.

HOWEVER, this does not necessarily mean that I don’t like baking cookies, cakes, and cupcakes! I have always baked cake for my dearest friends (I do it only on their birthdays. I firmly believe that it is a privilege to eat Carol-made cakes).

Flora K. – my cupcake partner

I’m in the girl’s basketball junior varsity team, and our coach set a rule: every pair needs to bake a cookie, muffin or whatever that will help the team bond for every game. And so, it was our turn to bake goods! I heard last group baked wonderful cookies with each player’s initials. To improve on that, we baked cupcakes. (I’m not sure if I should says we, Flora and I, BAKED cupcakes or MADE cupcakes, because we really didn’t use oven).

Anyhow, we were all excited, despite the fact that we had plethora of homework to do. But, you know, homework is not a big deal after ten years of schooling. HA! (That’s what I thought until I realized that I had Macbeth essay due).

So here we go with our NINE boxes of instant cupcake making mix.

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Namaskara India,

December 11, 2010

Habitat for Humanity

Pre Habitat:
Namaskara India.
Our family has always been more interested in visiting Europe or other developed countries just because we were not used to “playing with mud.”

+“playing with mud?”
feeling the Earth…

Since 1994, my birth year, I have never listened to what the nature wanted me to do; my convenience – that’s what counts the most. That was my initial response to Mr. J’s

“Carol, you can go to India with us.”

+“With us?”
being a part…

I know what I want to do, but do I know what others want me to do? I have never tried to ponder about what other people might want me to do; not even when I was in a group. I was always on the front, as a leader, not listening to the members.

+“listening to the members.”
knowing what they feel…

Oral speech is not the only medium to communicate. Why in the world did I not know how to utilize my facial expressions, body languages, and postures? The effective communication is not done orally, but mentally, through every movement of my parts.

+“my parts”
created for use…

I can move my parts. It’s not the question of prettiness. I am gifted to have all four limbs. Ignorant about what materialistic wealth I had; Ignorant about what I have as a person. I have my family; nothing can be more valuable than a healthy, living, loving family.

+“loving family”
kindred spirits…

Dhanyavadagallu (Thank you) BBonuma and Saagare. You were my family in India. The place where I have never even thought about visiting, but turned out to be the most memorable place. Above all the great arts in Italy, natural scenery in Norway, sumptuous dinner in France, I love India the most. Not just because it’s different, but because it’s teaching.

+“teaching”

….
I have nothing to write. Because I have not learned enough about you, India. I know once I revisit you, you will once again throw me into the wilderness of life. Confound me and leave me to figure out what matters the most in my life, and how to express my warmth and love. How I need to be more appreciative of what I have.

+“appreciative of what I have”

But, you know, you have way more than I do. Tears ran down my cheeks when I had to say punaha beti aagona to Bbonuma and Saagare. Be good to them until I return. It may take a while, but I left my heart there that I cannot live without.

+“without”
Finally, I realize I am still missing you, India. Without you, I am just another spoiled girl living luxuriously in South Korea, Seoul.

I am a “wise fool”

October 17, 2010

2010. Soon, 2011 – the year I will hate the most, but remember most accurately. It is an accepted FACT that junior year of high school is the most excruciating era of any high school students. Looking at KIS juniors, I don’t feel any thing particular; I don’t have the juniorphobia, yet.

If I do get juniorphobia, I want to recall this moment because it’s so nice being a sophomore.

SIDE NOTE: The “sopho” part of the word originates from the same Greek root used in the word philosophy, which means “love of knowledge.” The latter part, “more” comes from the same Greek root that gives us moron. Hence, sophomore means “wise fool,” who THINKS they know a lot, but really don’t.

I got over with the “WOW high school” pressure, and I don’t need to worry about junior pressure, yet. Nonetheless, I’m not as happy as I was in Freshmen year. In Freshmen year, everything was new, and I loved the fact that it was new. But nothing is as exciting as it was. I used to be proud of what I did, but not anymore. I don’t have much pride in what I do these days.

I think I forgot how I was.

I was a student full of initiatives. I had dreamt about things that practically will never come true. I had imagined scenes of glamor and music and spotlights. Even if I participate in activities that I  was in last year, I’m not satisfied with what I do. What I did last year became the norm, and hence if I don’t try to go further, I reproach myself, bitterly.

I want to be a leader, but I just don’t know the way. That’s why I am a “wise fool.” I know what it’s like to be a high school student, and I know what I got out of freshmen year that I don’t know what to do now. It’s already end of first quarter, and I haven’t done much things. I haven’t done anything that met my “satisfactory line.” In the second quarter, I should really work hard because  it DOES NOT feel nice to be “dormant.”

Yes.
I’ve found the right word: dormant.
I should really try to get over with this dormancy.

Dear Carol Choo,
Hello, this is Carol! I hope you’re having a wonderful time as a sophormore. It really is not fun to be on the verge of entering junior year, but it is definitely exciting to embark on a new journey. You know how I always had dote on adventures. I’m writing this letter to you because I want you to know that I feel “rich.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not materialistic (although I might be in some areas like dresses, but in general no). I feel rich as a character and that had been your goal since 9th grade, right? I’ve found what I really enjoy during winter break! I can’t tell you what it is right now because then, you won’t try various things that I did. Just keep on looking for it, and one day it will come to you. I’ve also been reading a great deal over the last few months. Some books made me cry, but others were humorous in EXTREME. I want to tell you that these days I don’t sleep much, but I feel ALIVE. I try to put everything in every single things I do and I try to lead the crowd instead of following. It was unfortunate how I couldn’t be in student council this year, but I got over with it because I have my own club now. I might as well be the president of my own club than stay as a representative in SC. It’s all question of perspective. Try to look on the bright side, if you’re down. And if you are nervous that you won’t be able to finish assignments, think of me. I had to pull all-nighter FOUR times this week. It’s lovely working hard. I’ll always be there for you. I’ll wait until you become myself. Good luck in everything you do!

Love you love you love you,
Carol Choo from June 10th, 2011
P.S. I remember my November trip to India for Habitat For Humanity had been my BEST trip ever. You’ll love it.

Sometimes, talking to yourself really works. You get to picture a positive future!
I should try to love myself more because Carol Choo from 2011 clearly adores me. Until I feel more ALIVE, I should work hard. I don’t know what to say more to me: run Carol, RUN!

It’s quiet extraordinary to regard my pet, Anna, as an inspiration, but I would like to say that she really does inspire me. She is so distinctive, and true to herself. She never tries to deceive anyone; she is fine as long as she gets her necessities. Her emotions are always easy to tell, because she directly communicates through her motions. She does not think what other people would think about her. Her naivete, bravery to do what she wishes to do, and simplistic perspective inspires me.

[1st and 2nd pictures] If she is tired or hot after a walk, she goes straight to the table, where it’s made out of glass. I can tell that she needs to cool her off, and I shouldn’t bother her theraphy. [3rd and 4th pictures] She builds her own “zone” to stay warm. It was the day when heating system was out of order; she stayed warm by creating a mini-home. [5th and 6th pictures] She is loyal to anybody who has food. She never tries to get on a diet; she is happy to eat anything, and does not act picky about the menu. [7th and 8th pictures] I know that she likes soft blankets, and even if the space isn’t enough, she likes to stay on top of a soft textured area. [last picture]I can also tell when she is bored… : )

It’s quiet surprising to watch an ordinary soap opera, or a TV show these days, because they have changed, or maybe I changed. Previously, I thought of them as a cheap programs to watch. I did not find it entertaining or inspiring. It was always my brother who used to say, “don’t judge a TV show by a glimpse.” (I could tell that his quote was adapted from “don’t judge a book by its cover.”) Anyway, he was right. These days, TV shows aren’t what they used to be.

Their ultimate aim is not only entertainment, but also to act as an inspiration. There are a lot of programs that approach to the collapsing ecosystem with lessons intertwined. I’ve also noticed that some programs even lecture about life.

“Qualities of Men – 101 things to do before one dies.”

It’s a program that I recently started to enjoy. Seven men get together to complete 101 things a men should do before one dies. Last week, each men delivered lectures about life.

Out of the seven inspiring speeches, I’ve selected the best one.

Kim Gook Jin prepared the most inspiring speech; he said, “Life is like riding on a roller coaster.” He probably got this idea from his own life – one that fluctuated a lot. His life story could have been boring, and mundane, for everybody experience failures, but his story was different. He was like the one to break the records, wipe out all the awards, and sway the public. There seemed to be absolutely NOTHING that could bring him down. Then soon with a weary and trembling voice, he introduced a new phase of his life. He could not resist the tears running down his red cheeks, when he recalled the hard times. But, oddly enough, he said that he had never thought of those times difficult. Because he knew the faster he hit the bottom, he was going to rise to the top in the same speed. As soon as his tears were apparent, the students in the lecture hall, clapped to encourage him. It was just too engaging, that I cried in front of the TV. He was crying, yet he looked bigger, and stronger than ever. How is this possible?

He is right. Life is like riding on an anonymous rollercoaster. If one is scared of descending the rail, then one will not rise up to a higher peak. We know that we are going to fail again at some point; we are going to taste the bitterness of life again; we are going to cry for help, but after a failure, we’re always going to rise up to a higher point. The lower we go down, the higher we will rise. The faster we go down, the faster we will come up. So, he said, “I’m not scared of descending anymore.”

On top of this, he said we should never be afraid of falling, because roller coasters have seat belts. The prevent a person from getting injured. Now that I think about it, I think there is no reason to be scared of anything, because I have my seat belt on, and I’m already riding on it. There is no turning back.

Surprisingly, he is not the only person who thought of this more-or-less philosophy. I’ve found a blog post called,

“Why life is all about the downs – what the rollercoaster analogy really means!”

Here, the author states that people don’t ride roller coasters for the fun of going up; we ride them to enjoy the thrilling moment of falling. This is absolutely true, since people ride roller coasters to get that sweet feeling of going down. The process of going up is just to prepare to fall down. This is an interesting insight, and I do agree that life functions in a similar fashion. Personally, I try by best at all times, and I’m highly motivated to learn for my good. I ask questions not only because the material is confusing, but also because I want to know more than what I know. All these processes, if you think about it, is to test my capability. I’m not sure what my limit is; or, do I even have a limit? I’m constantly trying on me to test what how far I can go. This is the thrilling moment, because I never know when I will fall due to going beyond my capabilities. Also, falling should be fun in theory, because that is when you learn your mistakes, and get a new chance, new start.

Another video from a man has this theme of roller coaster. There are numbers comparisons that he lists in the video, but I think the more catchy one was “it’s always never long enough.” People often ride it twice because the roller coasters are too short. It seems like a long way, but it’s actually shorter than one thinks. I totally agree with that idea, because I cannot believe that I’m already a rising sophomore. I still remember my first day in KIS, and my first day in middle school. It is so clear in my head that it seems like yesterday. My school years went by in a split second. I wonder how the railways, that are ahead of me, are designed. This is another exciting part of roller coaster; you can’t predict what’s ahead of you.

To live as an honest student, I have to frank: I put things off as well. I am not a like the studying terminator or some sort. I have to relax, and sit back sometimes. I guess this applies to everyone. So, over the past few weeks, if I had extra time, which I don’t think I had that much, I went on a cycling trip and visited some interesting sites. One of the sites that I found on the Internet was shimshimhe.com (in English, it means bored.com). It had some fascinating psychological tests, and other statistical results of my name. In short, it’s a place to play when you don’t want to work, or have nothing to do.

One of the tests that I did was “Brain Cluster Map Test.” It outlined what types of ideas were running through my head, and which one of those occupied the most areas in my brain. Of course, this might not have been the most reliable place to get a “brain check,” but I just did it for the sake of entertainment.
The result was hilarious. According to the background information on the site – which is not the best place to rely on – it said that the results were taken from the general population with the same name. So, for instance, they have actually tested all people with the name Choo Ye Lim (추예림), and then did few psychological tests. As a result, they would have some sort of statistics. They did this for the most common names (probably). Although my name is one of the not-the-most-common names due to my unique surname, they had my brain map.


So to start off, I can already see that sadness is quite small, and that it occupies like 0.0001% of my brain. I guess I am destined to be a happy girl. Everybody, including all my teachers, friends, cousins, and even like people on the supermarket counter, have complimented that I look very happy. Honestly, there is nothing that I should be sad about. What do I not have that makes my life so intolerable? At the most, I suffer from the evil grading systems, but that was my choice. I chose to go to school. If I suddenly decided to drop out of school right this moment, I can. So, I have nothing to say for my choice.
I can clearly see that I’m very fatigued. I’m constantly drowsy, and in need of relaxation. I personally think that this is an effect shown due to genetics. How awesome is to have a similar hobby with your father? We love to sleep. We are constantly tired, although we might have slept like 17 hours straight. My dad always accuses his mom for this one. All Choo people are in need of relaxation, I guess.

I don’t understand why I have lot of secrets. I really don’t have my secrets in my head. Usually, people talk to me about their secrets, and their concerns. They tell me what’s hot these days, and make sure that I don’t tell anyone. I’m like the secret bank, and the mom of freshman, because I never tell secrets to anyone. Some people might have already noticed by now that I’m usually the listener when it comes to open-your-secrets-time. People should respect other’s privacy, and therefore they should not share with the public. It is essential to keep trust between people when it comes to building relations.
Indeed, I am very sociable, and I care A LOT about human relations. I think our life goal is to build good human relationships. We study to improve ourselves, and to be a better person. Better person would make wiser choices in the courses of their life (although it’s not guaranteed, but it is most likely). We marry, and have children. This is why we live. We have fun with people, and we don’t feel lonely with them. Hence, we can sense the spirit of life in a crowd.

This piece of picture really inspired me at that moment. All these thoughts were crisscrossing in my head. I was able to look back what my priorities were, and why I lived, and what I lived for. Since I trusted this game so fervently, I tried other people’s names as well. Sometimes they surprised me, but I was always aware that this was only a game – a game that is so real.