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Common App Identity- I am an individual (not cliche)


MSetYo 4 / 9  
Dec 28, 2009   #1
On the 15th of April, in 1992, I was born in the Crouse Irving Hospital Syracuse, NY. I was in fact, the first generation to be born in the United States. The first person I saw was a white nurse. The first place I walked was America. The first infant friend I had was a white baby named Roy. Even the first language I encountered was English. Yet, the first words I spoke at the age of seven months were Korean. My mother tells me I said 꽃(flower) and 물(water). Before I was even able read, write, and perceive the world in an objective, more or less in a proper subjective context, two distinct paths of identities lay before me. -- Or rather forcefully integrated into my life for this was not a matter of choice.

[New paragraph] The trout, after it is ready to venture out on its own, roams the rivers and the oceans. Yet, the trout embarks on a lifelong journey back to its birthplace. How the trout locates the exact place it was born, no one knows. What we do know, however, is that the trout has an extremely strong sense of its origin. Within the limited perimeter of my perspective, humans - at least most, resemble the trout. Self identity provides an emergency exit door and a sense of security. Especially in a convoluted world as now, self identity has become more important than ever before.

[New Paragraph]April 15, 1996 - I blow the seven candles out of the cake as my grandfather, grandmother, mother, father, uncles, and aunts finish singing 생일축하 합니다 (Happy Birthday). Happy birthday dear YunBaek they say. It is a subtle, yet significant change to a four year old who has been called Michael his whole life. Happy birthday dear Michael rings inside my small head... Happy birthday Michael...

[New Paragraph] During my four years of youth spent with my grandparents, my self -identity had become even more muddy and convoluted than it had been. Cultural clashes, disparity between looks and mindset, religious doubts - these were the main issues my young mind had to face. I was neither Korean nor American, neither Christian nor Buddhist, neither Asian American nor a fob (fresh off the boat). What was I? Who was I? What could I refer myself to? These unanswerable questions were asked countless times. I sometimes envied my Korean friends in the neighborhood: Kids with a solid base of identity.

{New Paragraph] April 15, 2009 - It has been over three years since I have been back to the States. Ironically, like the trout, I am back where I was born. However, the Michael Yunbaek Myeong today is very different from the Michael Yunbaek Myeong 15 years ago. The experiences I've had in Korea and the US, Seoul International School and The Manlius Pebble Hill school have increased my range of understanding of the world. In doing so, I have learned that there is a greater significance in viewing myself and more importantly others as individuals rather than their country of origin. Furthermore, I believe that it is imperative for every individual in this world to have had the experience of interacting with others different from them both culturally and intellectually. This is my greatest asset.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 5, 2010   #2
It is better to say Caucasian instead of white.

Before I was even able read, write, and perceive the world in an objective, more or less in a proper subjective context way, two distinct paths of identity developmen t lay before me. In fact, it is more accurate to say that these two paths forcefully converged in my life for this was not a matter of choice.

How about that? I think this is a great topic, and you have a great way of explaining it.


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