I am not letting you go, physics!

When I figured out that I had ruined the finals, I did not stop rubbing my glasses with my sweaty hands. I wanted the lenses to get as dirty and foggy as possible. Looking around through my glasses, I found everything covered by a strange, translucent sheet of contaminated mist. All I could do was sigh, and regret how I looked at the world through these foggy glasses. All I could do was suffer from the painful thought that I cannot yet see what I wish to see.

I have believed for all these years that I am a "STEM kid." Well, I don't want to divide people into "natural sciences" and "liberal arts," but it is true that quite a few students are a little bit more interested in a particular field. In my case, I know by heart that I love science. I have always craved for the knowledge about how and why things work in the world. I feel joy when I figure out a new fact about a natural phenomenon that I had never taken notice before. It is as if I am given a se…

Thoughts on disobedience to school rules

I was a so-called "model student" in middle school. I never wore my skirt short, never grew my hair too long, and never, ever wore accessories nor makeup. I believed that was absolutely what a student interested in learning should look like.
One morning as I went to school, the usual teacher was standing in front of the school gate. She was scolding another girl who was caught probably because of her short skirt and heavy makeup. The teacher suddenly called me who had just been passing by. She pointed at me, telling the other girl, "Look at her! This is how you should look like." I felt sorry for the other girl but at the same time thought that it was her fault that she got scolded. I did not understand why she did things that were forbidden by the school.

Now I think, what if I asked the teacher, "What's the matter with wearing a short skirt? What's the matter with wearing makeup, and having curly and long hair? Why should every student look the same,…

Argumentative essay: Is artificial intelligence beneficial for us?

The way of providing goods and services has evolved significantly throughout human history. Starting from simple labor and witnessing the development of machines, humanity is now facing the rapid growth of artificial intelligence and automation. There is much doubt on whether the development of AI would positively affect us. Many fear that we might end up in a dystopian society where artificial intelligence takes away a lot of human jobs and even attempts to conquer the world. However, I believe that AI at the end would not destroy us, but contribute greatly to society.

   The rise of automation increases the efficiency of work. Humans are much better than artificial intelligence in the aspect of creativity. Connecting ideas and bringing new ones into existence is what machines are not yet capable of doing. Some say that AI has the ability of creation, mentioning AI-generated music pieces or artworks. Nevertheless, those works do not result from intention or emotion, but merely imi…

Finding the real me: looking into the past

Time changes everything, and of course, I am not an exception. Looking at some photos and videos from my childhood, I could not help but feel very sad. To be more precise, I felt a strange feeling of loss. The 10-year-old me I found hidden in the digital album was confident, energetic, and deeply into books. I liked to be a leader in every group. I didn't hesitate to accept challenges. And I was never bored of anything. Everything in the world seemed to be an interesting subject of observation. I thought there was nothing in the world that was impossible if I had enough passion and courage. Even though it might sound a bit optimistic, part of it is still so true. Now, I guess time has changed me into a more realistic person. Now I care more about the consequences of what I do, worry about the possibility of failure, and hesitate to think of extraordinary ideas. My expression has changed too, with a somewhat tired, faded light in my eyes. Is this what "becoming older" mea…

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

A few years ago I came across Do not go gentle into that good night  for the first time while watching the movie Interstellar. Though I had an abstract idea of what this poem was talking about, the poem hadn't really touched me deep down in my heart. I could not even imagine myself in a rage. But now, listening to the Interstellar main theme music and rereading this poem, I have noticed a new kind of emotion awakening inside me.

It would be great if you listen to this while reading below!

Do not go gentle into that good night
Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And …

The Silent Town Where Only Cicadas Sing

It's afternoon. When I look out the window, I find a familiar scene; endless rows of rectangular apartment windows, trees and so-called patches of garden here and there, playgrounds comprising red, yellow, and green plastic slides and swings. But they are always empty. It's summer break, but everything seems so quiet and deserted. No kids are running around. Teenagers are nowhere to be seen. Only the sound of cicadas fills the hot, humid air.

     This is not at all a surprise. People here just accept it. They do not raise questions – at least not out loud – about why there aren't any kids jumping about. We all know where they are. Instead of going to playgrounds and parks, children sit on chairs, listening to lectures and solving math problems in academies – hagwons in Korean. Some are as young as nine or ten. Others mostly teens.

     For high schools students like me, it is very natural to spend long hours in hagwons. I have never met anyone who loved being there, …

To Be Who We Are: Reflection on "The Mold of Yancy"

My reflection essay is based on the short story The Mold of Yancy by Philip K. Dick. Here's the link to the story: Summary: Yancy is a virtual person made by the "Yance-men" who is loved by the people on Callisto(a future moon where people live). He has opinions on every single subject that could be thought of. This makes the people of Callisto unable to have their own opinions and rely on Yancy's thoughts when they face a problem.
To Be Who We Are
Time makes changes to people. It brings change to everything from one’s opinions on a certain topic to one’s appearances. Knowing this made me eager to search on Facebook for some of my friends from elementary school. I was curious about what time would have done to them. I found the search result quite shocking. Almost all of the girls looked similar in a way; they had no glasses on, had long straight hair, and had red – very red lips. Was that really them? I had expected a significant chan…

Some thoughts on La La Land: Dream, Love and Freedom

When I asked what the movie "La La Land" was like, most of my friends said that they didn't like the ending so much. They said that it was very disappointing. I finally watched the movie a few days ago, and decided that I liked not only the ending but every single part of the movie.

Dream and Love. I believe that if the ending was different, the movie would have lost its meaning. If Mia and Seb had gotten together and lived happily ever after, the movie would have been nothing but a beautifully depicted love story. Mia and Seb did not think that being together was everything of love. They believed that even though they might get apart, they would be happy enough to imagine each other achieve their dream and live a good life. I think that is true love - when people care more about the happiness of each other than the fact that they are in a "relationship".

Scent of freedom. Another thing I liked about the movie is that I could sense freedom melted into it in ev…

Essay after U.S. trip: The World of Colors

I went on a school "Vision Trip" to the U.S. and wrote a short essay.
The World of ColorsBefore the Vision Trip, the United States seemed like a vast and deep ocean to me; a place where I could easily drown if I did not do my best to keep myself floating. I had spoken the language of that country for more than ten years, and still the U.S. had merely been an abstract and unknown place for me. As I spent night after night in the U.S., I slowly got the idea of diversity, noticing how different everything was from what I had been used to. The trip was definitely more than meaningful.  The biggest thing I learned in the Vision Trip came from the difference I noticed between Americans and Koreans. It was unfamiliar but actually pleasant. Whenever I entered a store and bought something, the cashier would say “Good day,” or even “How are you doing?” At first, it was kind of awkward to start a conversation with someone I had just met because cashiers in Korea never said such a thing…

Essay: Students should be required to complete community service hours in order to graduate

In many schools, students are required to complete a certain number of community service hours in order to graduate. Some people think students benefit from mandatory service. Others disagree. In your opinion, should schools require students to complete community service?
The word “mandatory community service” gives us a rather compulsory sense. In today’s society, which is filled with all sorts of regulations, we usually dislike doing things that are forced upon us. Required community service is one of them. However, it presents students unusual experiences that teach them in a way far from that of ordinary school textbooks.

 The experience of community service impacts the students in many positive ways. “If you are not a fish, how do you know if the fish is happy?” This is an old Chinese saying that describes how hard it is to stand in someone else’s shoes. Students can “become fish” by doing community service and can learn in depth about ones who live in entirely different environmen…