Thursday, May 16, 2013

Opening another door

Time flies by so fast.
A few days ago, I graduated elementary school.
Because I am a homeschooler, I had to take a school qualification exam to get into middle school.
The exam was super easy, so I easily passed the exam and got a certificate.
In Korea, homeschoolers are not treated very fairly, and the first thing people ask children is, "What school and grade are you in?"
But now I am officially recognized as a person who graduated elementary school.

I attended the certificate giving ceremony, feeling sort of proud of myself, to graduate elementary school early.
The ceremony was not so big.
It was held in a small auditorium in a high school.
There were old people everywhere, and no one like me.
They were people who couldn't go to school in the old days.
When I thought I found someone my age, I soon found out that she was a short lady with a ponytail.

Soon, a lot of people were called up to the stage to receive the certificate.
On the stage, there was a man with a neat suit and a neat necktie.
He was standing beside a bunch of dark-blue certificates.
One by one, people received the certificate, bowed, and shook hands with the man.
Every one of them did these three things, and went down the stage.
It was as if there was a doll-making machine on the stage, making dolls that did the same gestures.
It became my turn.
Of course, I didn't want to be a doll; I wanted to act differently from all the other people who received the certificates.
However, I couldn't think of a special act.
All I could do was to take the certificate, bow, and shake hands.
The man on the stage gave me a nice smile.
Probably the same smile he gave everyone who got the certificate.

When I was in the 1st grade of elementary school, I wondered what it would be like to graduate elementary school.
Those 6th graders would be on a big stage with shiny lights, given flowers, and sometimes making a Korean deep bow to teachers.
At that time, I never expected my graduation to be like this - to be given a single certificate.
Even though I am a bit disappointed in my graduating ceremony, I don't regret homeschooling.
The fact that I graduated elementary school does not change, whether there was a fantastic ceremony or not.
And the fact that I am happy to graduate does not change either.
I am opening another door.