Sunday, January 8, 2017

We are here

   Hello and welcome back to another book blog! Reading 20 minutes every day was something that was really tough for me to do throughout this semester but I am thankful that I was able to read more books than I’ve ever had. As of right now, I am currently in the middle of reading Night by Elie Wiesel. Night is an autobiography/memoir about Wiesel experience with his father in a concentration camp during WWII.  Throughout the book he expresses his emotions towards the Nazis and questions his faith in God’s justice.            

   After Elie and his father arrive at Auschwitz-Bikenau (concentration/extermination camp) and find out that they have the potential of being burned alive, he claims, "Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky. Never shall I forget the flames that consumed my faith forever. Never should I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live" (Wiesel 34). 

I don't think anyone can really put into words the kind of suffering that was thrown at these people for simply being. The hate, the brutality, the pain that these people had to face is something so unimaginable. How could another human being bestow that onto another human being? I am not Jewish. I'm a Christian, so in a way there is a disconnect with me and this history but the only way I feel connected is because I am a human and no human being should be treated in that sense. If someone removed everything away from me for what I believed in I don't know how much longer I would be able to proclaim my faith just like Elie. Something even crazier is that these concentration camps were not far away from cities and the fact that people knew millions of Jews were being killed but most people did not do anything about it. This book reminds me of North Korea because concentration camps still exist there. You can see that history is once again repeating itself. Almost 70 years have passed since the end of WWII but this violence still exists and here we are, privileged  high school students and adults complaining about the things we deserve. Here we are...
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

The richest love

Hello hello! I'm back again with another new book blog! I've been lacking a bit when it comes to reading 20 minutes outside of class but I've been able to squeeze in some reading time here and there. But on a more exciting note I'm currently in the middle of reading  The Great Gastby . It's an intriguing story told by Nick Carraway. It's an intriguing love story told by Nick Carraway about his cousin Daisy Buchanan and his mysterious next door neighbor, Jay Gatsby.

*** WARNING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS***

   Gatsby throws magnificent parties for vast amounts of people he doesn’t even know in his huge mansion every weekend. Why you ask? There is only one answer to that question and that is, “ it wasn’t a coincidence at all…Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be right across the bay… He waited five years…[and] expected her to wander into one of his parties” (Fitzgerald 84-85).

   Although I’ve never fallen in love with someone and I don’t know too much about loving a significant however, I can tell you about sacrificial love. Gatsby spends most of his life earning money to provide and meet Daisy again. This something I would like to call sacrificial love; putting someone else’s desires and feelings first other than yourself.  Like Gatsby, when I was about five years old, my parents decided to immigrate to the United States. Of course, I was really too young to understand why we would move half way across the Earth to “live a better life” when everything in my life was already perfect.  At five years old, I had just started kindergarten, I met so many new friends and I loved being with my grandparents and my cousins. When we first moved, my parents were always stressed about finical problems and cultural differences but I also added to that stress by always complaining about how I didn’t get that one toy or if things never went my way. I think I can finally understand how much it took for my parents to move to the states. They had to give up their social life, being with their own parents, and even their jobs that they were most passionate about for my brother and I to live a more successful life. If I put myself in my parents shoes, I don’t know if I could offer up my entire life for someone else but on the other hand I don’t what it means to be a parent. I’m so grateful that my parents have poured out so much sacrificial love for our family and without it, I doubt that my life would have been the same. Like Gatsby unconditional love for Daisy my parents have its also for our family.
 Just thought that I would add a dashing picture of Leonardo DiCaprio who plays Gatsby in the movie, cheers to a new blog!! :)) 



Monday, November 7, 2016

An ordinary blog about an extraordinary story

   Hello! I just finished my sixth book of this school year and I am currently reading my seventh. Surprisingly, I've been doing great in my reading journey and I brought myself back to reading 20 minutes outside of class. As of right now, I am reading Miss Periguines Home For Peculiar Children and its a interesting story about a teenage boy named, Jacob Portman, who sets off a journey to a mysterious isolated island off the coast of Wales because of his grandfather. When Jacob was younger, his grandfather used to tell and show him strange stories about peculiar children he lived with in a orphanage ran by Miss Periguine. Of course, Jacob never really believed his grandfather until he, himself discovered the actual home and real pictures of these "peculiar children".


***SOME SPOILERS MAY BE AHEAD***

   Jacob ends up meeting a one of the girls from his grandfather stories and she leads him into a portal to the past, which takes him to the day of September 3rd 1940. He recognizes all the children his grandfather lived with and finds out that they repeat the same day every day so that the children are keep safe from the real world. As Jacob begins to realizes his place in the world of these strange children, he says to himself, " I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was" (Riggs 224).

    Through this book I began to question, in today's society what does it really mean to be "ordinary"? or who decides the standard between normal and abnormal?  I think society has created this imagine of what it means to be perfect in our world by drawing a generic line of what someones "normal" life should be: to study hard and get good grades, go to collage, find a stable job and get married and have kids. Isn't this what most people dream of? But what if you don't follow that path? This book has shown me that humans tend to struggle to find a place they fit in but its perfectly fine to stand out from the rest of society. We all dislike and like different things and enjoy our own hobbies and shouldn't that be considered the normal standard because otherwise we would all be the same?

   


Friday, October 7, 2016

Social phobia: a fear of judgement

   Hello again! If I'm being completely honest, I've lost my flow of reading 20 minutes outside of class everyday but I'm working on bringing myself back to reading. It's challenging for high schoolers to just sit down for 20 minutes and read when we live such engaging lives. Although there were days I missed my reading time, I often regretted not sacrificing enough time to read. If I come to think about it now, I could have given myself 20 minutes each day before I went to sleep but instead I had thoughts in the back of my mind questioning," I wonder what going to happen to that character?" or "I really want to discover the ending of the story " all throughout my day. I just finished reading my fiction book, None of the above ,by I.W. Gregorio and its an compelling story about a popular teenage girl named,Kristin Lattimer, who finds out she is intersex. Kristen struggles with finding her real identity as a female or a male or as something in between. 
   When the rumors spread and everyone in the entire school finds out about her diagnosis they begin to make harsh jokes at her and her relationship with her best friend and boyfriend starts to go downhill. She undergoes a feeling of depression and isolation from her "world". But through the help of loved ones she is able to overcome her internal conflict within in herself. One of of her great mentors, Gretchen, leaves an interesting statement that permanently changes Kristin's perspective on life. Gretchen says, " I'm telling you to be careful of letting other people define who and what you are."
 I relate to Kristen on a emotional level. I'm terrified of the opinions of others. I am constantly worrying, " I wonder if they like me?" or " are my actions pleasing them?" But this was the past me. It's taken me years to come to the realization of not caring about the opinions of others. I can just choose to assume that people are not judging me but assume that they see the best in me as I will try to see the best in them. Most people are constantly scared of what others think of them and its a human nature to judge others but it shouldn't effect the way we completely express ourselvesOne of the most important values I believe in, is the idea of loving yourself and understanding self importance. Whether you believe in a God or the theory of evolution, some way some how you are what you are and love who you are. Forget about the insecurities and break down the wall of fear.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Journey to Freedom

   Hello! So far, in my journey of reading I've finished my first book, A Walk To Remember by Nicolas Sparks and I have been keeping my promise by reading at least 20 minutes outside of school. Its been hard to take 20 minutes out of each day to read especially when I am taking an AP class and have other extracurricular activities but reading more has open up my eyes to have a more passionate love for reading. Just recently, I began reading my non fiction book called In Order To Live written by Yeonmi Park. Its about a teenager who lives between the border of North Korea and Northern China and is constantly starving to death, So her family decides take on a huge risk to escape North Korea in order to live.
   Early on in the story, Park goes into detail about her childhood before she escaped North Korea. She explains how elementary students learned math. It is very simple math but it was not the way most people taught addition and subtraction, in North Korea,"arithmetic is a propaganda tool. A typical problem would go like this: If you kill one American bastard and your comrade kills two, how many dead American bastards do you have?” (49).
As for anyone reading this heart breaking story would feel sympathy for the author, but for me as a South Korean, I feel guilty. I was born in Seoul, South Korea and lived their until I was about 5 years old. Although I cant exactly remember my years in Korea I know for sure that it was contrasting to Parks childhood. I grew up  with electricity, a roof over my head and had enough food to be full every night. It so devastating to see that people that speak same language and share the same culture to be living such different lives. Most people can't seem to remember when the peninsula of Korea used to be a one nation. It actually pretty weird for our generation to know that it was once a whole. I began to wonder what would of happened to Korea if we never separated. Would we be a communist state? or would we be republicans? How would that have affected the way I've become today?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The very beginning of it all.

   Hello, my name is Jaemin Cho and I am currently a sophomore at Hebron High School. Growing up, I was always required to read constantly. I never considered reading to be a hobby but more as a homework. I wasn't crazy about books or neither did i loathe them. Reading to me is just something that has always been in my life until i became a freshman. During my freshman year I was required to read a certain amount of books per each nine weeks. I easily accomplished my goals and started to have a love for books.My favorite genre of books is fiction but lately I've been very interested in finding a non fiction book. As I matured through the years,I've become more fond of real life stories rather than a made up one. Although I've been interested in non-fiction, my love for fiction books will remain the same.I love to read books that end up turning into movies because it helps to but a picture to the words described in the book. An example such as Nicholas Sparks.
   This year i want to read at least 12 books or more and also take time of my day to read at least 20 minutes outside of class. Including a nonfiction book called In order to live, Lord Of the Files , and two AP books. One of them being To kill a mocking bird and the other being The color purple. I'm looking forward to accomplishing my goals and developing a better relationship with reading.