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Personalnarrative

MyTwoHighSchoolsLife

WhenIattendHighschoolinUnitedStatesofAmericaforthefirsttime,Ifeltthatschoolis
totallydifferenttoKoreaHighschool.KoreahighschoolstartsnewsemesteronMarch,but
USAstartsonAugust.IthoughtthatisweirdwhenIenterUSAhighschool.DuringAugustis
summervacationperiodinKorea.Inkorea,studentsspendvacationsummer,winter,andspring.
Summervacationisaround1month,wintervacationis1monthaswell,andspringvacationis2
weeks.Afterspringbreak,thesemesterwillbestarted.
EveryKoreanstudentswearuniform.Theuniformdiffersdependonschool.But,American
studentsdonothaveuniformexceptprivateschool.Ilikeparticularschooluniform.Idonot
needtothinkwhatIweareverymorning,anditmakesproudofschool.SomeofKoreanhigh
schoolcontrolhairstyle,jacket,nail,accessory,anduniformskirtlength.Suchasschool
studentsdonotdyetheirhair,cuthairutilshoulders,donotputbrightcolorjacket,donotput
accessory,andskirtshouldcoverknees.Myhighschoolcontroledstudentslikethat.Ialways
remainedmynaturalhaircolor,didnotputnailpolish,anddidnotputanyaccessory.Ifstudents
breakrule,theywouldgetpenalty.InUSAhighschool,theycontrolstooshortclothes,butother
thingsarefree.Ireallylikethisrule.Ithinkthatfashiondoesnotmattertostudy.
TheschooltimescheduleistotallydifferbetweenKoreahighschoolandUSAhighschool.The
starttimeissimilar,butendtimediffer.InUSAhighschool,theschoolstartson8:15andfinish
within4pm.ButinKoreanschoolstartsimilartimeandfinish10pm.Officialclassesfinishes
within4:30.Afterclasses,studentstakeextraclass.Afterextraclass,studentseatdinnerin
schoolcafeteriaandtakerestfor1hour.Duringdinnerbreaktime,Iusedtoplaybadmintonin
gymwithmyclassmates.Around6:30studentsstartstudythemselvesto10pm.Teachernot
teachthem,justsupervisestudentswhochatwithfriendsorsleepduringstudytime.Duringthis
time,studentsusuallypreparetest,dohomework,andreviewwhattheylearnedtoday.Iandmy
friendscalledthistimeaskillingtime.Itimpliestwoconcepts.wekillourassignments,andkill
sleeping.Wehavetoendurekillingtimefor3hours.Itwasreallyboring.
ButsometimemyclassmatesandIchangedthiskillingtimetohealingtime.Afterfinish
midtermorfinaltest,weusedtoplayinclassroomduringselfstudytime.Noonewantstostudy
aftertest.whenIfreshman,IplayedChase.Setpolicemenandmurderershalfandhalf,and
policecatchmurderers.Iandmyclassmaterunwholeschoolbuildingquietly.Todecreasesound
wetookoffshoes.Weplayedfor1hourChase.Butwewerediscoveredbyteacher.Teacherlet
studentswhowereearlierdiscoveredtofindothers.Wewenttoteacher.Shelookedveryangry.
Icannotforgetherfaceuntilnow.Weputourarmsupfor1hour.Shekeptlookingusfor1
hour,sowehadtostay.Icannotforgetfeelingofpainuntilnowaswell.Ithoughtthatmyarms

gotpain,butIandmyfriendsgotamemorythatneverforgotten.IwassofunnywhileIwas
punished.Irememberedthatsomeofstudentsweregigglingwhilepunishing.Imakesmilewhen
Iremindthatmemory.
ButinUSAhighschool,allstudentsdismissschoolafterfinishclass.Theyeatdinneranddo
homeworkathome.Ilikedearlyreleasingfromschoolthebeginningoftheschool,butthese
daysImissselfstudytime.IthinkthatIwasabletomakedeepfriendsandfocusonstudy
duringselfstudytime.
OtherdifferencethingisbetweenKoreaandUSAhighschoolisschedule.WhenItransferto
USAhighschool,Ithoughtthatthecurriculumistoocomplicated.WhenIattendKoreahigh
school,Ididneedtofindmyclassclassroom.Around30peopleinsameclass.Theyhaveall
sameclassandsharesameclassroom.Andteacherscometoclassroom.Classteachersare
changedin50minutes,notstudents.AlsoAmericanstudentshaverighttosettheirschedule,but
koreanstudentsdonot.Thescheduleissetbyteacher.Allsamegradestudentshavesame
subjects,sostudentstakesametestsatsameday.Topreventcheating,2gradesstudentsmixed
inthesametestclassroom.Dependongrade,thesubjectsdiffer.
IdonothavememorythatItravelfor2daysinAmericahighschool.Sincemiddleschool,
Koreanstudentstravelfor2dayswithclassmates.Schoolrentsbusesforeachclassandhotelfor
students.Oneclassmembersridesabusandsleeparoomtogether.Teachersleadus,butdonot
sleeptogether.MyhighschoolusedtotraveldifferentareafromwhereIlived.Weusuallywent
museum,artgallery,andsawculturalheritagestatuses.Itwashappymemorytome.Ithinkthat
itisculturedifference.Thehighlightmomentwasthelastnightoftraveling.Weheldparty.All
classstudentsdancedwithloudmusic.Andteachersboughtfoodsfortheirclassstudents.This
timeteachersandstudentscommunicatedalot.Ilikedlastnight.
ThoughtIhatedgoingtohome10pm,strictschoolrule,andhardtest,Ihadlotsofmemory
aboutmyKoreanhighschoollife.Iusedtoeatdinnerwithmyfriends,playedandsleptduring
selfstudytime,wearuniform,andpreparedtestuntil2aminlibrarywithmyfriends.Itwasmy
highschoolroutine,SoIsaidtomyKoreanfriendasAmericanhighschoolissimilartoKorean
elementaryschool.FirsttimeIlikedtheAmericanhighschoollifebecauseIcandyemyhair,
putonclotheswhatIwanttowear,gotohomebefore4pm,andtestisnoteasy.ButthesedaysI
misstheKoreanhighschool.Iwantplaybadmintonafterdinnerandgototravel.