It all started with a nightmare. I was only an eight-year-old third grader. Dad laughed and said, “He he he, you are stupid!” But I was NOT really stupid then. Despite third grade being the year I cried because I wanted to wear a red shirt on Friday of the first week of school and had to wear a white one instead, as I’ve mentioned in that story, it was the first time I found out the fact that there was no L in the Japanese language, and they replaced it with R, so English became Engrish, and Lebanon became Rebanon.
But it was also the first time I looked at the Korean alphabet.
I found them on a site called Omniglot, which had pages of different alphabets.
I had also started loving to read many different articles on Wikipedia in different languages.
The next year, in fourth grade, that red/white shirt issue happened again, but in math class, I was very eager to learn different types of geometry, particularly triangles.
And also the metric system. It was really catchy.
And not to mention the Gallon Guy.
And one day, we had a Japanese visitor come to our class. Her name was Mayumi, and she asked, “How do you say Dallas in Japanese?”
Then she said, “There is no L in Japanese, so we say Darasu.”
I knew it, but I did not say it. It reminded me of my third grade year.
And now to show my artsy side, my friend Kayla gave me a set of Blendy Pens for Christmas.
The Blendy Pens were so cool that I felt like buying some Color Splitz
And Rub-N-Color, that I got for my birthday.
And I got a Scooby Doo Madlibs book, that I even read more about Scooby Doo on Wikipedia. Then I found a page on creating madlibs. Its name was Wordlibs.
During the summer after fourth grade, I used to spend a lot of time with that stuff, but towards the end of the summer, my grandpa from my dad’s side was having cancer, so I had to visit his house too soon. He couldn’t talk, that he made strange noises, that I didn’t realize was not funny. But he breathed his last too soon.
Then fifth grade came. One day, I couldn’t control my laughter in math class, that I got my folder signed. That day, Dad really called me stupid. It was not a nightmare, and he was not laughing. It was real, and he was angry. It was not like that nightmare I had back in third grade.
I made a diorama of a taiga, but my sis unfortunately destroyed it.
But the same year, I was very interested in reading taxonomy, that I wanted to read about different species and classifications of plants and animals alike.
And in May of that year, there was a music contest to recognize the names of various classical music pieces. I was lucky to be one of them.
And when the awards ceremony came, I got a math award and a music award. And I felt happy and accomplished!
The following summer, I did get to spend it creatively. I made a paper doll of one of my original character, Megan.
And I even tried to make a dollhouse out of cardboard, and also the furniture there, but Sis destroyed it.
And it was my first time going to an exotic grocery store called H-Mart.
It was a cool place with lot of goodies from around the world.
It was also the first time I had started reading the Harry Potter books that I got interested in them.
Then came sixth grade. I had then become obsessed with the American Girl dolls as well.
In English class, I did get to write an interview with Harry Potter and a venn diagram of him and me.
When February came, in geography class, we were to write Asian newspapers, and we were to write them in the languages of the countries. This was a group assignment, and mine was assigned North Korea, so it was time to revisit my Korean.
I was so stuck on learning Korean, that I didn’t do that great on history during the beginning of seventh grade, that Dad called me stupid, again.
When I went to Engrish, Dad said it was stupid. I found it interesting then, but now I agree that it is stupid, because it was not much creative or reasonable content.
But I found another cool site, Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages. It was a site concerning different types of edible plants with their classifications, parts, life cycles, and names in other languages. But Dad did not say an opinion, either cool or stupid, because he had no idea with that site, and I never went there in front of him.
When December came, my history teacher was wearing a “No L” pin
that reminded me of that very fact in Japanese, that I wanted to learn more about it.
But because I was too fascinated with that fact, Freddy and Jocelyn, two kids in my English class, called me Chinese, which I’m not. But I ignored them.
But then I stopped talking about it that they eventually stopped calling me Chinese.
I was still interested in it, but I did not talk about it. However, I was interested in learning the grammar, as I bought a Japanese book.
And over the summer, I was learning some new Japanese words. I even visited the Japanese and Korean menus of Domino’s Pizza.
And also reading about nature, such as the ocean and outer space.
Meanwhile, Mom had planted a pumpkin plant in her garden.
And when eighth grade came, by that time, I was no longer interested in the “No L” fact, that I did not talk about it at all, but I was more interested in Indian songs, preferably older ones, and I was getting interested in Japanese toys and cooking channels and resin charms.
Over the summer, I made another dollhouse and some resin charms. And I wanted to strengthen my Japanese grammar and collected more Hindi songs, and I was no way fascinated with the “No L” fact. It was a good summer.
Then came my freshman year of high school. Some of my old friends from middle school, like Nick, Ben, Anna, Chastity, and Emily, were there, but I met a lot of new friends, like Taylor, Will, Jake, Gigi, Casey, and Sean. I took French class. It was really fun, that I couldn’t miss it. I even learned French before even school started.
One day, in art class, our teacher, Ms. Roth, showed us a video.
She said, “Hope you understand the Spanish subtitles.”
“They’re Portuguese,” I corrected.
The next day, my English teacher Ms. Ferguson showed us some grammatical errors on Engrish, which reminded me of my seventh grade year, but I was now smart enough not to go to that site, because there were a lot of things I found more interesting, like learning the grammar itself.
I was like, “Do you know that there is no L in the Japanese language?”
Casey said, “They replace it with R.”
And in French class, when we were learning about the supermarket chapter, the French word for lamb, agneau, reminded me of the Korean word for no.
“How do you say no in Korean?” I asked.
“Aniyo,” my French teacher Mr. Davenport said.
Mr. Davenport was such a smart, cool teacher who told jokes on French words and decorated his room with French posters.
And that day, he said, “If you spoke half French and half Korean, how would you say, ‘no lamb’? ‘Aniyo agneau!'”
Besides Japanese, I even wanted to learn German, Italian, and Portuguese that I wanted to buy the books. The Italian book was my gift on Sis’s birthday, and the Portuguese book was my Christmas gift. For Christmas, I also got a Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban book, a sandwich maker, some chocolates, some scarves, and a Ravi Shankar CD. It was a snowy day.
And that time, I started getting obsessed with Nyan Cat.
Even in different editions.
And I was even interested in reading Voldemort’s real name(Tom Marvolo Riddle) in different languages, like
Tom Sorvolo Ryddle in Spanish
Tom Elvis Jedusor in French
Tom Vorlost Riddle in German
Tom Orvoloson Riddle in Italian
Tom Rojvol Raddle in Czech
Romeo G. Detlev, Jr. in Danish
Martin Asmodom Vilijn in Dutch
Tom Lomen Valedro in Finnish
Trevor Delgome in Icelandic
Tomas Dorlent Cruplud in Romanian
Tom Gus Mervolo Dolder in Swedish
Tom Servolo Riddle in Portuguese
Tom Marvoldo Riddle in Turkish
Tom Narvolo Reddl in Russian
Tom Redlov in Macedonian
Tom Vandrolo Riddle in Hebrew
and Tom Rowle Denem in Hungarian.
I got interested in learning Hungarian very instantly, and spring break came. By that time, I was less interested in Japanese. I got Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The next week came my 15th birthday. I got some Harry Potter DVDs, and don’t blame me for liking Harry Potter at that age. I believe it’s not that childish, unlike what my dad says.
As the week ended, I got Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and in geography class, we were doing itineraries to different places in the world, and we could choose our places. I chose London, because I was then fascinated with HP, and the HP books were set in England, and London was the closest choice. I could have chosen Budapest, because I was then interested in Hungary, but I was lucky not to choose Seoul or Tokyo, because I was then not that interested in Japan or Korea.
And in geometry class, we did graphs where we could choose our own topics. I did mine on Hogwarts houses.
In French class, we made PowerPoints on Francophone countries. Mine was on Monaco.
And in art class, we drew on cardboard pieces, and I drew Hermione on mine.
And Ms. Roth gave me a sketchbook.
And when the summer came, I had enough time for my favorite stuff. I got the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince book, where Harry started liking Snape, and learned more about Tom Marvolo Riddle, and when I watched the movie, it felt like a fairytale and reminded me of my itinerary project on London. Then I started learning Hungarian and making a binder on it. I printed out the alphabet
And made an animal chart.
And I even came across pictures of Disney characters sorted into Hogwarts houses
And cast as My Little Pony characters.
And I made some paper fashions.
And it was one of the best summers ever.
Then came sophomore year. It was a bit tougher than freshman year, but I still managed to pass the classes.
The Muller yogurt was popular by that time, and I LOVED it!
In art class, I made this printed picture of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
As December came, I came across a blog titled The Mouse’s Sorting Hat. Its username was sortingdisney. It was a tumblr blog that made daily posts of sorting(mostly) Disney characters into Hogwarts houses.
And during winter break, I drew Harry Potter and his friends as preschoolers, and Patrick eating Ron’s candy.
And towards the end of the year, we were painting portraits on giant canvases, and I did mine on Rupert Grint.
And when summer break came, I made dioramas of the Disney characters sorted into Hogwarts houses.
And I started drawing pictures of Disney princesses wearing twinsets.
And I drew a Disney version of a Shrek poster, called Beast.
Then junior year came. It was said by my friends to be the toughest year, but I still worked, even with Dad, and I still managed to pass my classes. It was not that tough for me, because some classes were easy and fun.
That time, I was interested in revisiting Hebrew, which I first saw the alphabet in sixth grade. I had so many Jewish friends, like Taylor, Sarah, Cassidy, Max, and Ruthie.
Thanksgiving break was very nice then. I started my DeviantArt account. I posted the pictures I had done earlier.
And I did get to be class favorite.
Even spring break was nice. I had enough time to draw more pictures. It felt like I was partying all night. And I did get to go to H-Mart on the day before my birthday, and also on my birthday.
And when the next summer came, again, I had enough time for personal work, and I started doing my Disney Hogwarts series.
But as the summer was winding down to an end and senior year was approaching, Sis ripped my Beast picture. And senior year, I was not much into work, and many things did not go the way I wanted them to be. And the following summer, I had not much time for personal work, unlike other summers. Because I was too lazy and not getting much of my choice, I felt really stupid. And I’ve already explained it earlier on this blog. Senior year was such a dark age for me that I don’t want to talk much about it anymore.
So let’s fast-forward to my college freshman year, where I was trying to pay more attention to my work. Things started reverting back to normal. I was even getting my A’s and positive attitude back. It was a revival era.
In English class, I wrote an essay on Muller yogurt.
But when I checked The Mouse’s Sorting Hat, it was all gone and no longer found, that it saddened me and made me feel that I lost one of my best friends, so I created a photo album of its sortings.
The week before spring break, I felt relieved, relaxed, and recovered after a hectic week of having too many tests and brooding of senior year, so I thought of my friend Jake and drew a picture of him.
And it was a fun week. In English class, we would be doing film analysis essays, and I chose Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was a good, old movie.
In early April, I got a 103 on the next math test, and I felt great! For my reward, we went out for some ice cream.
The next month, I had too many tests again in the second week, but I concentrated on them. Once the tests were done, summer came early, unlike senior year. I even got to make more paper fashions.
And because this was revival era, I felt smart again!
So it turns out that when I work harder and use time more creatively, I feel smarter.