Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mom's diary - my new identity

   I got one hour to write this, which I'm not sure how it will turn out. There has been a strong idea in my head swirling and twirling, but every time I was about to write, life kicks in and I ended up being drifted away from the creative mood.

   It's been three weeks that my 4-year-old daughter, Sou Lynn started going her preschool. It surely had impacted on our whole life. No need to mention about the private meeting with her room teacher within a week, I've found there's something I have to accept regardless, which is being called "SouLynn's mom".

   When I drop her off to school, the friendly faces hi to me and calling me, "Hi, SouLynn's mom! How are you today?" When I pick her up from school, the new friend mom asks me, "SouLynn's mom, are you gonna go in the playground?"

   Now, I'm known as SouLynn's mom everywhere. Yes, I AM SouLynn's mom, but I also have a name. Silly me, who cares? It's my random ranting that no one really cares. Having few minutes of monolog and whistling through my nose, I tilted my head the other side and thinking about my mom.

   As long as I remember, my mom was called SunHee's mom all her life. Even at this point, I became someone else's wife and someone else's mom, my mom is still being called SunHee's mom. And my mom loved this title. One time I wondered if she would prefer to be called by her own name. And she told me, "I don't mind. I belong to you as much as you belong to me."

   My mom was always content looking at me and my brother. As if we were some sort of trophies of her own, she gazed on us long time with the happiest smile. My mom never spoke up loudly how much she loved us or care for us, but she showed us her unconditional love through her smile. And, we felt it. I always knew I have the best mom in the world, although I realized it deeply later on. 

   Being called SouLynn's mom doesn't sound so bad anymore. That's the constant reminder how much my role is crucial for my child. I belong to her as much as she belongs to me.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In a café

Haven't been this place for a while,
can't help but noticed how strong energies are gathered in this little spot.

Smiling barristers happily brewing fresh coffee, panting jogger who grab the water bottle, a mom with toddler holding hands waiting their turn.
Silver hair, mid 50' man dozing off, leaning his head back on the armchair.

Majorities are sitting behind their laptop, plugged their ears with iPod- refusing to face the people around them or desperately wanting to be connected through social network website.

What am I doing here?
I don't know, if you ask me frank answer.

I came here to read, then I felt like scribbling, and now sitting and observing others. Imagining what's their purpose of being here in this little spot- Perhaps simply an espresso coffee, or an escape from daily routine.

No matter what I think there won't be a right answer. After all, I should mind my own business. Now, I turn off my visual senses, instead I increased my hearing senses on my iPod, trying to focus on rhythm of words -its purpose on the page.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bilinguals Are Unable To 'Turn Off' A Language Completely, Study Shows

Bilinguals Are Unable To 'Turn Off' A Language Completely, Study Shows

ScienceDaily (Aug. 19, 2009) — With a vast majority of the world speaking more than one language, it is no wonder that psychologists are interested in its effect on cognitive functioning. For instance, how does the human brain switch between languages? Are we able to seamlessly activate one language and disregard knowledge of other languages completely?

According to a recent study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, it appears humans are not actually capable of "turning off" another language entirely. Psychologists Eva Van Assche, Wouter Duyck, Robert Hartsuiker and Kevin Diependaele from Ghent University found that knowledge of a second language actually has a continuous impact on native-language reading.

The researchers selected 45 Ghent University students whose native-language was Dutch and secondary language was English. The psychologists asked the students to read several sentences containing control words - plain words in their native-language - and cognates. Cognates are words that have a similar meaning and form across languages, often descending from the same ancient language; for example, "cold" is a cognate of the German word "kalt" since they both descended from Middle English.

While the students read the sentences, their eye movements were recorded and their fixation locations were measured--that is, where in the sentence their eyes paused. The researchers found that the students looked a shorter period of time at the cognates than at the controls. So in the example sentence "Ben heeft een oude OVEN/LADE gevonden tussen de rommel op zolder" (Ben found an old OVEN/DRAWER among the rubbish in the attic), the bilingual students read over "oven" more quickly than "lade."

According to the psychologists, it is the overlap of the two languages that speeds up the brain's activation of cognates. So even though participants did not need to use their second language to read in their native-language, they still were unable to simply "turn it off." It appears, then, that not only is a second language always active, it has a direct impact on reading another language--even when the reader is more proficient in one language than another.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Endless Realization

   I never thought being a parent is such a hard job. It's been four years that I've been calling myself a "mom".

   In a life, there are things we get used to it as time goes and get comfortable doing it or get confidence in it. I have to admit being a mom isn't that category.
   Once my little person was born in the LaSalle hospital in Montreal in July, 2007, I thought my job was done for a while. At that precise moment my mom warned me, " you were lucky when the baby was in your belly." I never understood this comment. My huge belly at the last month of pregnancy was not so pleasant. I was looking at myself into a mirror and saying," please come out baby! Let me feel like before."
   I was wrong, in fact, very wrong. Everything seemed odd and accelerating against my wish. I couldn't sleep, couldn't sit and eat and rest. This little newborn drove me insane. One point I was so resentful about everything and everyone. Why nobody warned me this would happen beforehand?? Is it happening to every mom? I stared harshly at happy looking mom on the cover of magazine. She's faking! That's phony concept! I even hated myself fooled by it. My dreamy eyes opened up widely in a reality. Yes, it was time to face the reality and deal with it.
   Did I cry a lot? Sure, you bet! Did I torment myself? Absolutely! Did I scream, yell and punch the pillow? Yes, I did. I was on the verge on insanity.

   Some says time heals everything. I guess that's the phrase of the wisdom. Already four years passed since then. Now I'm sitting in a cafe, writing my story while my daughter is in her preschool. I never thought this would happen. Well, it's not true. I was hoping for it for a long time, but it seemed too far to reach it. But it turned out it was not that far. I got what I wanted to have such a long time - tranquility and serenity.

   Sometimes I wake up and hear my daughter's humming in her bed, being content, showing me the brightest smile in the morning. I think to myself, what a gift I've got here.
   It is not an easy road that I've chosen, but look at her! How beautiful she is! How wonderfully she's grown! This is the price I get - her being content and showing me the innocent smile. I don't know what kind of obstacles and challenges lie in front of us, but one sure thing I know is I'll be there for her no matter what, no matter where. She's born from my body, and I'm born to be her mom. Indeed, I'm her mom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mom's diary - 9.12.2011

   I feel literally struck by lighting!
   I'm utterly discouraged by your teacher's comment this afternoon.
   I need to think clearly. I need to chill out.
   I'm not going to take it personally. I can't be too sensitive on everything.
   Parenting is just too hard... Discipline is part of parenting and so it is.
   I just don't know what to do.. but I need to figure out what to do.

   My heart sinks in, my sigh is heavy.
   How should I raise you?? How should I guide you? How should I nurture you?
   Every mom wants her kids for the best.
   But what's the best for you??

   My knees on the ground, my tears falling on my cheek.
   I'm desperate to figure it out.
   I won't give up until things get right.
   I will work together with teachers for the best out of you.
   I'm not gonna let you spoiled. I'm not gonna let you neglected either.
   I just need to figure it out how..
   I pray and pray to find the way...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Late Summer Breeze

Thought it was the end of hot summer,
packed summer clothes in, pulled out autumn outfits,
even hung up the fall inspired wreath at the entrance.

Surprisingly, I woke up with beautiful mix of summer and fall this morning.
In this weather, I could stay outside all day doing nothing.

The burning summer sun has quieten down, the heavy humidity has freshen up.
The sticky breeze has changed to the refreshing, crispy one.

Although I was ready for the season changes,
the feeling of missing something swirled deep in my heart.
I don't know exactly what it is really -perhaps the lively, cheerful mood which I wished never to stop.

Since I was a little girl, I've felt something indescribable in my mind whenever the weather changes.
And the significant changes in me occurred right this time of the year.
I wanted to know what it is since then, and still I can't figure it out.

All I know is I can stand outside,
closing my eyes, feeling the warm sun and filling this feel-good air in my chest and my soul.
I guess it's the time to appreciate the maturity of the nature.

The late summer  breeze with deepening autumn sun fills me with gratitude and appreciation.
Thank you, Mother nature for giving us the opportunity to realize the changes in us.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Midnight echoes

     I went to bed at 9 p.m. It was ridiculously early to go to bed on a regular base. However, I corresponded to the way my body and soul told me to do so - Sun Hee, you need a rest.
    I was in deep sleep until the clock turned to midnight, something remarked to my unconsciousness to wake up and write. I don't know how and why, but once this idea was floating in my head I just couldn't fall asleep again.  
   Taming our body, our mind can be tricky, but I know unquestionably it's worth it. Having same routine made me bored for a while, and I've got new routine to adapt, which is rather fast speed and lots of actions.
    Don't I love actions in a life? Oh, yes! Totally! I love it. I've realized the more I live within my permitted time, I felt the better I was juicing out of my life. I have a great imagination even at the point, entering my 30's. And, I have the energy burst from out of nowhere. I guess it might be called a passion. I do agree on the idea which is the energetic person is driven by his/her own mission and unflinching passion. Without these, what's the difference being a robot?

   Nothing is certain as usual and perhaps that's what it should be. Life is full of unexpected events, such as a cracked plastic nose pads of my glasses just fallen onto the ground this afternoon. I guess I should've known it was coming, but how would've I known it would be today? Luckily, my daughter was at school, and I managed to hold the glasses, wrapped with a piece of Cleanex tissue around this area and drove home safely and changed to eye contact lens and went to straight to the Visionworks to fix the broken nose pads.

   This whole ordeal was not in my plan at all. However, what's the point of complaining if it's already happened? I figured no matter the reason is, I needed to act fast and get it back on right shape. The best part of all was while my glasses nose pads were being fixed, I could sit down and read few paragraphs of Poets & Writers magazine which is issued this month. It probably took me ten minutes, - but the feeling of being Zen and not surrounded by thousands of chores or demand from my little bossy boots - it was my best time ever to read and concentrate fully into the stories. I missed it so much. I missed being calm and doing nothing but read.
   Again, it only took me max ten minutes but it was the best moment of my day.   

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yo-yi-Tdang! / 요이땅!


   Have you ever stood in the starting line for the race?  Have you felt the ten seconds of preparation for running feels like forever? Do you remember the heart-bursting butterfly in your chest while waiting for the whistle to be blown?
  That's exactly how I felt today. Nonetheless I felt great. How ironic is that? I've been wondering so much time imagining what's like in the reality. Today, I've faced two of them.

   First, it was my daughter's first day of her school. I've been thinking about the scenario of her very first day of school so many times, I just couldn't shut my brain down. She and I were half nervous and half excited. We both are not easily intimidated by the circumstances, but we needed good amount of time to observe the surroundings. It's too early to analyze all the aspects of school environment, but something tells me it's going to be the great experience for us.

   Second, it was my first day of Memoir class after few months of the break from writing. I knew I needed this class more than this class wanted me. I was hungry for the setting where passionate writers throw their unique ideas and their personal stories, share them openly and don't restrain themselves to create the art of writing.
   It is the utopia for me as an apprentice of the writer. I decided to call myself as an apprentice and I think the term is correct to describe the way how I feel about myself.
   Knowing myself, if I decided to name, so-called a "writer", I would dump on tons of stress over my head rather than enjoying what I do. Feeling light, feeling fresh, I love learning as a student and I'll enjoy this as a freshman.  

   Now, I picture of myself, standing on the line, waiting for the whistle blown. I also see myself gazing far toward the ending point. I don't know if I can win the race but I know I'll enjoy running during the race. I'll be happy to leave my footprints in the course.

   FYI, Yo-yi-Tdang means ready, steady, go in child-like term in Korean.



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mom's diary - 09.05.2011/ Tomorrow is a big day!

   Your dad and I went to Parent's school meeting last Tuesday, and I bought your new backpack yesterday.
   How do I feel about all these? It's surreal. Tomorrow is a big day for you and for us too. You will be officially in public school from tomorrow. You will be a preschooler.

   It was last year when I burst out my tears during mom's group meeting in the neighborhood. I even sent out group e-mail asking the general information concerning public schools in Chicago land. I was clueless and desperate. I didn't have anyone to ask comfortably, but needed any indications to suggest me to go.

   Was I scared? Yes, I was horribly scared to ask something everyone ought to know. Did I hesitate? Sure, I didn't know where to start asking questions. On top of that, I wasn't sure if I can communicate fluently in English with ladies who seemed to be in so much distance. I was terrified of their judgmental eyes, or maybe it was my poor projections over them. I just didn't know what to do.

   However, I couldn't just wait and let it happen. I've been a person who research, gather information, compare to each other, and prepare for the upcoming event. At that time, you were becoming 3, and I needed to know what's going to be within a year. Nothing would make any difference even if I had enough knowledge, but I knew from bottom of my heart - I needed a confidence. I needed to expand the network, but also I knew it's the toughest plan I could think of.

   Your dad told me we'll be living only for 2 years in USA. This happened when you and I just arrived in O'hare International Airport on September, 2007. I didn't think ahead, in fact I couldn't think of it. My first concern was making sure of my new born child's health and well-being in this foreign country. Once timeline is scheduled we are supposed to live within this period. Therefore, I didn't need to stress out myself afterwards.

   The year 2010, I finally needed to take the important steps. It was time to say good bye to few years of isolation and depression and lack of connection. I started to attend to neighborhood mom's gathering, pushing your stroller even it was cold winter day. I registered driving classes so that we could travel easily in the town, and I got the driver license within 4 months. Also, I took you all kinds of classes so that you could observe and experience many different things in your early life. Perhaps heaven heard my desperate voice, I'd met lots of wonderful moms, got to know personally, and made precious times together. Although the relationship stayed strong in a ratio 2 out of 10, I consider myself very lucky to start to know new people.

   Tomorrow, I'll see you wearing a backpack as big as you. I'll park the car close by the school. I'll drop you to the line where your new teacher and friends will be. And, I'll stand behind watching you going into your classroom. I know I'll stand there for a while and think - we've made this far together. 


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Breaking from the Break

   Everything has the momentum -the cars, the runners, the machine and the passion.
   Unfortunately once it loses the feeling of continuity, it's hard to keep on the same speed, it gets harder to get on the track and the stress is immense. It could be said it's just the nature of life and you can't do anything about it. ( or do something. )
   I don't know why I even started to write about my least favorite subject physics here. My writing has nothing to do with physics, or maybe that's what I wanted to believe. The truth is there is some kind of nebulous connections between them. 

   I knew I had to get back here, writing. I knew this is my destination.
   Writing has been the way of concluding my day. I know when I write, feeling extreme self-fulfillment or self-accomplishment. When I write or develop the ideas of story, feeling great sense of creativity which makes me feel alive. Unfortunately I just couldn't write. I've been wondering why, why..why?

   There are old stories in my head and I've been thinking about its theme, structure, story components - all kinds of boring part of making a story but very important key factors. But now I'm in a dilemma where I can't focus on my initial story, can't process my thoughts clearly and getting lose my passion of all.

   What a pity! What a shame! Don't I know enough or didn't I remind myself the self-discipline is the key of everything? And am I willing to just let it go without grabbing anything? Don't need any excuses at this point. I found a problem, then I need to figure it out.

   I'm going to stop procrastinating. I'm breaking from the long break.