Ye-eun's turning point in her life | Teen Ink

Ye-eun's turning point in her life

February 4, 2009
By Ji Young Chun BRONZE, Pottersville, New Jersey
Ji Young Chun BRONZE, Pottersville, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

In her fourth year of elementary school, Ye-eun was separated from her family in front of a big glass door in the In-cheon international airport of Korea. Recognizing the importance of learning English and studying in a big world, her mother had to say good-bye to little 10 year-old Ye-eun to send her to an international school in New Zealand. However, while her mother expected her to meet many friends from foreign countries, she was with thousands of Korean students who couldn't even pronounce 'apple' in English. In the peaceful, quiet rural grassland of New Zealand, Ye-eun played around with many Korean friends rather than absorbing the local culture and language. Undoubtedly, her English never improved there, so she had to go back to Korea after six months.

Still, her mom didn't want to miss the perfect moment for Ye-eun to study abroad (Korea's middle school and high school were infamous for their strict education). Her mom sent her to an international school in China, but Ye-eun faced a same problem. With extraordinarily large number of Korean students, Ye-eun couldn't focus on studying English and was sent back to Korea again. She was already a middle school student! She had hard time catching up to the classes, so she had to give up her studies. One day, her teacher told Ye-eun's mom that Ye-eun could no longer study in Korea. Her mom decided to give Ye-eun one last chance to study abroad, this time in the U.S.

In the middle of a peaceful and chilly winter evening, Ye-eun stood still in front of the admission office building of Purnell School in U.S, where she would have an interview for admission. Under her seemingly sprightly face, her deep brown eyes showed her serious solemnity. She sighed once, and glimpsed through the white wooden door of the building. She stepped her heavy feet into the building. The admission officer Ms. Bauch welcomed Ye-eun with a big smile in her luminous face. Ye-eun's face became brighter, while heading to a small and cozy room for her interview. When Ye-eun and Ms. Bauch sat on floral sofa facing each other, Ye-eun couldn't stop fumbling her hands under the table. The interview began and her anxious hands became firm fists. Ms. Bauch said, 'Can you tell me about yourself?'
Ye-eun rolled her eyes up and down for a moment, and started to open her mouth.
'Well, I wasn't quite a good student,' she made a dubious smile. 'I moved around the schools in many countries, but my I failed every time. Even when I went back to my Korean school, I didn't study hard.' Ye-eun's voice was vibrating, and her eyes were losing their luster. Ms. Bauch asked why she didn't study hard in Korea. Ye-eun fixed her pose and put off her hair.
'When I just went back to Korea from the great failure in China, my mom went to fortuneteller to hear about my life. He said a dragon would rise with a magic stone when I become 15 years old. The first year in Korean middle school was the time when the fortune was supposed to happen. Just believing fortuneteller's saying, I didn't study hard, because I believed I would success anyway,' she giggled a little, but her pose was solid.
'What made you come to this school?' Ms. Bauch asked.
'My mom gave me a last chance to study abroad after my series of failures in many schools. I thought of the magic stone that fortuneteller said. I came to the peak of my life with airplane, not a dragon. I regret having a wasted life in Korea. Now I am mature enough to know I have to repay my mom for her thoughtful consideration for me. I am thankful for my mother that she gave me a privilege to study in such this excellent environment and I decided to study so hard,' Ye-eun's voice was a little trembling. Throughout the interview, her opaque eyes at the beginning of conversation became more glittery and clearer like a glass. When the interview was finished successfully, Ye-eun's face was full of pep and vigor that alluded to her confident future.

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