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An Year of Dealing with an Orchestra

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When the club executives of the orchestra agreed to pick more members, no one expected that it could turn out to be a problem. All we wanted was an orchestra that was capable of playing grand music. When all the extra members were selected, we suddenly found that we had to lead a club of seventy people, which was almost half of a whole grade. We had to make all those people play instruments simultaneously and try not to have a cacophony.
     The conductor was not a musical genius (none of the executives were either), and he certainly did not have the magical ability to have everyone's attention on his baton at all times. The first few months of practice was chaos. The violins and cellos seemed to be playing at different scales, the gayageums (the Korean instrument I played) kept becoming faster than the supposed tempo, and the trumpets made a "farting noise," to borrow the conductor's words. People were repeatedly corrected and criticized, but there were too ma…

Flower: an animation inspired by Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre was quite a memorable book for me. I loved not only how Jane's complicated mind was described so elaborately, but the soul of Jane Eyre itself. It was sometimes like a wounded little bird, but was solid, honest, and warm at the same time. Jane was somehow so different from the people around her that I could almost imagine myself picking her out from a crowd - all I would need to do is to recognize her not-so-pretty face that has its own mysterious shimmer.
     Although I knew Jane possessed a strong soul, I was disappointed when she drew her own portrait and Blanche's, comparing them together and feeling inferior. That Miss Ingram did not even deserve to be compared with Jane! Why believe that she would be a beautiful AND nice person after only hearing about her appearance from Mrs. Farifax? Isn't Jane herself already a good example of how we should not judge people by their looks? 
     It was not until later that I understood Jane on that matter. The connectio…

How the Characters at Thornfield Hall Affected Jane Eyre

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How the Characters at Thornfield Hall Affected Jane Eyre-About the relationship between Jane Eyre and the characters at Thornfield Hall     There must be a reason as to why the titular protagonist of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is so strikingly memorable. She has such a passionate, inquisitive, and sharp mind that readers are almost overwhelmed by her presence throughout the novel. Jane’s development of personality and mindset is affected by the people around her. Among the various places she visits, Thornfield Hall is the first place she feels truly comfortable and sincerely loved at. The mansion does not only delight Jane but also continually reminds her of the unique perspective she has on the world. She silently fights against different kinds of pressure on her, trying to preserve her identity. The choices she makes at Thornfield Hall show her traits and extend further to other decisions in the future.


     Mr. Rochester is not exactly the ‘ideal’ English nobleman: he speaks in a …

About Music, Orchestra, and Memories

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Somehow, there seems to be a branch (or several branches) of art each person is profoundly attached to. For my mom, it's paintings that she enjoys the best––she seems to be capable of imagining a whole story, or a complex mix of emotions when seeing a picture. It's a feeling I don't thoroughly understand. For me, it's music that penetrates my heart and makes me suddenly want to smile and jump around, dance gracefully, or have my eyes fill silently with tears.
      I guess that's why I always wanted to be part of an orchestra. It wasn't that some classical piece I had come across was particularly memorable, but that the idea of contributing to a melodic tune was so appealing.
Think of the sound of a cello as crimson red, violin as striking orange, harp as glistening gold, flute as lime green, clarinet as transparent blue, and so on. Each instrument produces quite a charming sound, yet they on their own can never be a rainbow.
Although I love music and admi…

Beware: This is not a sonnet

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Schooled Gaeun Kim

The dazzling sun and puffy cloud
Sigh sadly upon the empty ground.
"Why are all souls not out and proud,
But staring at books, barred and bound?"

Days and nights the children had frolicked,
Along the rivers, along the lakes.
Joy was what life seemed to depict;
A simple tale without mistakes.

And now just gaze into their eyes
Where shadows wander, fear appears.
Screams of history, scientists' cries
Have shed them drops of deep blue tears.

Outside a skylark sings a song
But no one stands up and sings along.



About the poem After learning in depth about the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, I wrote a poem that was inspired by Romanticism, which is one of the important themes in the novel. Why do cheerful children somehow lose their bright energy as they become teenagers? In the case of Korea, it might be because they spend too much time in academies. But to think about it in another way, it could be the effect of what the children learned as they grew up. It's rep…

Back to Loving Green

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There's something I recently became an expert in: catching swimming tadpoles with bare hands.
     I still clearly remember that before, there was a time when I had been an innocent child who was never afraid of anything in nature. I had grown up in a neighborhood full of rows of apartments but had always been interested in insects and animals. I remember me taking my friends on an 'adventure' on the way home from elementary school, to observe the ants, find weird-looking berries, and even crouch down in a shelter made of some rocks (which I called a cave). I also liked to catch dragonflies with a vibrant pink net I bought in a small store in front of my apartment.
     As I became older, wandering around looking for insects somehow didn't seem to suit my age. I grew farther and farther away from nature and wildlife. And from some point, I found myself shuddering when finding an earthworm squirming or feeling a leaf brush against my bare skin while walking.      W…

Viewing The 2018 inter-Korean summit as a South Korean

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I still remember the moment--two months ago--when I had searched for Kim Jong Un's voice on the internet. The North Korean leader had appeared more than frequently in the news around the globe, but no one really knew well what he sounded like when he spoke. It was not different even for a South Korean: All that came to my head when I thought of Kim Jong Un was just a static image of him clapping his hands in silence while watching another missile being launched.

     So, it was quite shocking to see Kim Jong Un shake hands with President Moon with a smiling face, and even give a long speech during the inter-Korean summit on April 27th. His North Korean accent was not as strong as I had expected. Although his voice was a little stiff, if I had closed my eyes I could have thought of it as a voice of any North Korean young man.

     I could feel myself living right through history. I was actually alive at a moment that would surely be in future history textbooks! Just like when …

The Power of Macduff

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The Power of Macduff -Analysis of Macduff in the play Macbeth        A number of dramatic events take place in the play, Macbeth. The King of Scotland is murdered by his own trusted Thane, some noblemen flee to plot a rebellion, and Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plan even more treacherous acts to eliminate the ones in their way. The destruction of the Great Chain of Being creates chaos where the evil happenings take place like a speeding typhoon. In all this turmoil, there is a rather calm and humane nobleman who carefully takes action as these events happen: Macduff. Unlike many other characters in the play, Macduff stands his ground no matter what and remains loyal to his country.


Macduff is a figure who expresses his emotions honestly, having firm trust in the people around him. When he finds King Duncan murdered in the bedroom, he frantically comes back to his fellow noblemen and alarms them with an astonished and shocked voice, saying “Oh, horror, horror, horror! / Tongue nor heart ca…

Onion or not?

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It might have started all, from something not at all spectacular – a lunch tray at kindergarten. As a five-year-old kid, I found myself staring at a pretty large, whitish piece of vegetable placed in the corner of my tray, along with the Chinese-style sweet and sour pork. ‘So it’s an onion. THE notorious onion every kid I know hates to even look at,’ I thought. Normally I wouldn’t have thought of even poking the onion with my fork – I would simply have left it untouched on my tray, keeping myself safe from the hazard. But this time it was different because a thought suddenly flashed across my head. Eating the onion was actually a chance to test my courage. The adults always told kids to eat vegetables – and I, the solely brave kid, would risk my taste buds to carry out the menacing task of munching an onion.


     I proudly and solemnly carried the onion to my mouth, like a determined general marching to war. However, the next minute I was filled with the utmost surprise and aston…

The Girl Who Takes the Road Not Taken

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In the poem “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost writes, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.” Those lines were exactly what struck my mind on that day when I had a chance to ask a calligrapher at a flea market in Hongdae to write a phrase on a blank bookmark. I hesitated a little, and the old calligrapher looked at me questioningly, waiting for me to say something. Thinking of Frost’s work made me suddenly blurt out, “Can you please write… ‘The girl who takes the road not taken.’ ”

    That is how I got my one-and-only bookmark five years ago. At the time I was a twelve-year-old who had dropped out of elementary school. The teachers were astonished when they found out I was no longer coming to school. Why would such an obedient, high-achieving ‘model student’ decide to leave? They even suspected my parents of perhaps persuading me or even forcing me to drop out. Yet it was undoubtedly my own decision: a pa…