Articles From the April 1994 Unification News
Learning to Do My Best
by Emiko Watanabe
Emiko is a third-grade Middle School student at the Sun Hwa School.
I have been in Korea for 3 1/2 years and will be here until this summer.
I think Korea is one of the best places to grow spiritually. The atmosphere is very different from America-it's not as confusing or overwhelming as the diversity of American culture. We do not face the materialistic or immoral peer pressure here that we experience in America. For a time we can live apart from the excesses of American culture and concentrate on growing spiritually. Of course, we have to face the outside world eventually as I will be doing soon, but I feel much stronger and surer in living a Divine Principle way of life because I know there are many other Blessed Children living it too, not just me. So even though we are foreigners here in Korea, Korea has become more like home for many of us. There is a sense of family here.
I am sure that when parents think of Korea, they either think that it is like going to workshop or a place of strict Korean study. In some ways this is true, but it is also much more. Since there are over 100 of us sharing the dormitory, we learn to do things together. Living here is a good place to practice getting-along-together skills. We are a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and cultures, all with different personalities and the quirks that come with being human. True Father tells us to lead a public life and living in the dormitory is a great place to do this. We get to go beyond our limitations and concepts about one another and begin to live for the sake of each other.
Some of the events that I remember best are the Bye Bye parties which happen every holiday. You are just getting to know someone and then they have to go...it is always so sad but time doesn't stand still for any of us. Then there are little treats that we do for each other like "secret pals" or organizing birthday parties, which make community life so precious.
And then there is school. It is very different from school in America. For example, did YOU bow to YOUR teacher today? In Korea we bow before and after every class. The Korean students are very noisy, in case you wondered, but when they study, they study long hours. They are serious about study because grades at school may affect which university you enter and what career you have. Therefore, Korean kids are under a lot of pressure to do well from their parents. Parents can be seen at the front gates of schools and universities praying for their kids during exams! Its is that serious.
Many of the students in my grade want to become top musicians. That is why they came to Sun Hwa. It is one of the top Arts schools in Korea. We are fortunate to attend here.
What about me, then? I am very grateful to True Parents and my own parents for being able to come here. My Korean is much improved and my study habits are definitely reformed! When I return, I hope to take these study habits with me and apply them to my studies in America. True Children have told us that we must be the best students and have the highest standard. Although I am still a long way from doing this, I feel that because of Divine Principle training and my Korean school experience, I will be able to return to America stronger and more capable of doing my best for True Parents.
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