Monthly Archives: February 2009

Journal 20.

“Faceless” Artist

  Sun Mu, a North Korean defect, paints propaganda pictures of North Korea in order to spread awareness of North Korea’s poverty. The picture on the right is an example of Sun Mu’s drawing of overly happy children singing about happiness. His other pictures include a portrait of Kim Jong Il in pink pants, many children hand in hand with happy smiles, and other funny drawings of Kim Jong Il. This artist does not reveal his true name and hides his face from photographers because he does not want to put his family in North Korean in danger. He is afraid that Kim Jong Il will send his family into prison camps.

Some South Koreans did not understand the irony behind Sun Mu’s paintings. They thought Sun Mu was pro-communist because all the pictures of the children are extremely happy. Even the slogans on the bottom, such as “There is no poverty in this world”, hints at a successful communist country. However, this faceless artist painted these paintings to raise awareness that these smiles are fake. People in the North are unhappy, but they pretend to be devoted and well-off because they fear the communist government. The fact that South Koreans could misinterpret the paintings is very sad; this shows that they either don’t know or care about the North Koreans (and also that some have a hard time understanding irony/sarcasm). I think many Koreans neglect the poverty and sufferings of the North because they cannot see it. Although Sun Mu’s efforts to promote action and awareness did not make much of a difference in Korea yet, I am hoping Koreans take these paintings more seriously.

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Journal 19.

My College Quickstart

“My College Quickstart” has four main tools: A critique on my PSAT scores, an SAT study plan, a major&career match, and a college match list. Honestly, I’ve only found one of these tools useful. The other tools were either too vague or annoying. The critiques or suggestions that Collegeboard gave me after the PSAT results were actually very useless and generalized. For example, my writing and math critique said that they could not find a pattern in my needs. Also, the college match tool was very strange because there were only two colleges on my “matched” list–they were both colleges from Canada. Since this system is simply a programmed and systematic approach, I don’t think it is appropriate to tell me what kind of colleges I should consider…

On a positive note, the personality and career tests were very helpful. The questions made me think about what subjects I like, who I interacted well with, and what my working habits were. Although it took a couple of hours to complete these tests, the results were worth it. Surprisingly, the one-page essay on my personality results was very accurate; I was able to relate to each statement. I also realized that before I choose what kind of career I want, I must consider the environment of the job. I’m the type of person that must work with other people, so I am now looking at careers involving social activities.

Journal 18.

“Up and Coming Schools” and “Narrowing Your Choices”

“Up and Coming Schools” was about the colleges that are making substantial improvements in quality. These colleges may not be in the top rankings yet, but they have new resources, courses, and job opportunities. I guess college administrators want students to apply to a wider variety of schools in order to create more diversity. Also, they are trying to get across the fact that ranking is not the most important aspect of a college. This leads to the second article, “Narrowing Your Choices”. In order to choose my top colleges, I must avoid rankings and instead focus on the college environment. My major is probably the biggest consideration because I have to like what I study, no matter where I am. Secondly, I need to think about the size of the school, the weather, and the diversity. Lastly, I must research, research, and research.

Journal 17.

Inauguration of President Barack Obama

Charisma–from the momment Obama stepped on the stage, he was filled with charisma. It was amazing to watch the speech because of his deep voice and sincere expression. What was more incredible was the size of the crowd in front of the White House. There were thousands of people standing quietly as Obama was sworn into presidency. People were tearing up, smiling, and hugging each other. Even as I listened to his poignant speech, I was so touched that my eyes were teary. I feel like Obama really brings hope to America not only because he is the first African American president, but also because he promised many policies that would improve the economy, welfare, and end the war. Some people say Obama is too idealistic and celebrity-like, but I claim that Obama truly brought change to people’s attitude and outlook towards the future America.