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Simple but


My story  takes  place  during  the  Korean  War   (1950-­‐1953).  It  was  a  conAlict  between  different  government   ideologies.  North  Korea  wanted  a  communist  government,   while  South  Korea  wanted  a  democratic  government  (the   boarders  of  North  and  South  Korea  were,  and  still  are,  at  the   380  latitude).  North  Korea  crossed  the  boarder  and  took  over   a  lot  of  South  Korea.  At  one  point,  the  United  Nations  sent   troops  to  help  South  Korea.  This  resulted  in  pushing  North   Korea  back,  close  to  the  Chinese  boarder.  China,  thinking  that   this  was  a  threat  to  it’s  own  boarders  and  country,  sent  many   people  to  help  the  North  Koreans.  My  Grandma  and  Grandpa   were  among  them. My  Grandma  told  many  fascinating  stories  about  the   time  she  was  in  the  army.  But  from  among  all  these  amazing   stories,  I  picked  one  about  my  grandpa’s  and  grandma’s  Airst   encounters.    

1. What have you learned about your family’s history? How has working on this project helped you understand your family better and given you a better sense of your identity? I already  knew  that  my  grandparents  met  when  they  were  serving  in  the  army  in   North  Korea.  I  have  learned  the  story  of  my  grandma  in  the  army.  But  I  learned  that   my  grandpa  was  shy.

2. Why do you think doing a project like this is important? It is  important  because  further  generations  would  now  about  my  grandma.  It  is  also   important  that  I  learn  how  to  write  a  narrative.  It  is  also  important  that  I  learn  how   to  interview  my  grandma.  

3. What part of this project did you enjoy the most? Why?

I enjoyed  interviewing  my  grandma  because  I  liked  to  hear  her  stories.  I  was  exited   about  it  in  the  beginning,  but  later  on  I  wasn’t.  So  I  really  didn’t  enjoy  it.

4. What specific challenges did you face during this project and how did you over come them? Focusing on a small moment was difficult, but I flashed forward and backwards so I could get most of the story. Another challenge was the detail. I tried to fix it by re-interviewing my Grandma, but that didn’t really help.

"Google." Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http://>. "World Book Online Reference Center | Online Reference Book| Online Encyclopedia." World Book. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. <http:// id=ar751407>. "Korean War." BrainPOP. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. < socialstudies/ushistory/koreanwar/>.

Simple but  Sincere “Tang  Rui!”  my  friend  pulled  me  aside.  “Did  Gui  Zhi  Yang  write  you  a  letter  yet?” “Yes  he  did,”  I  replied. “Well,  did  you  write  him  back?”   “No.  Not  yet,”  and  I  didn’t  know  if  I  should.    It  all  began  yesterday  when  I  was  strolling  back  from  breakfast.  I  saw  a  tall  Aigure  walking  toward  me.   His  steps  were  tight  and  nervous,  as  if  the  March  air  was  too  cold  for  him.  

As the  Aigure  neared,  I  realized  that  it  was  Gui  Zhi  Yang,  a  private  in  the  army.  His  eyes  scanned  the  area  

around him,  and  the  blushing,  nervous  Gui  Zhi’s  hand  dived  into  his  pocket  and  drew  out  a  triangular  piece  of   paper.  It  was  tossed  into  my  arms,  while  the  blushing  private  scampered  off.  I  held  the  tiny  triangle  in  my  hand  

After breakfast,  I  let  my  feet  carry  me  to  a  place  where  I  could  have  privacy.  A  place  that  no  one  could  

Aind me  read.  The  bathroom.  

The bathroom  was  only  a  ditch  on  the  side  of  the  mountain,  a  temporary  bathroom  for  a  Chinese  army  

camp in  the  Korean  War.  

When I  reached  the  “bathroom”,  I  unfolded  the  letter.  

Dear Tang Rui,


When others say good things about you, I am happy. When others say bad things about you, I want to

warn you right away. That’s it?  Puzzled,  I  counted  the  number  of  messy  Chinese  characters  in  the  letter.  20.  I  looked  back,   counting  the  number  of  characters  that  were  incorrect.  8.  It’s  so  simple,  I  thought,  but  it’s  sincere.  

What will  happen  if  I  write  back?  His  vocabulary  is  so  low,  since  he  dropped  out  of  school  right  after  

elementary. It  might  embarrass  him  if  I  write  an  elaborate  letter.  What  if  I  just  don’t  write  back?  But  that  might   hurt  his  feelings.  I  thought.   “Tang  Rui,”  my  friend  said,  after  I  told  her  of  the  mistakes  in  the  letter,  “What  really  matters  is  a  man’s   temperament.”    

The next  day  I  curled  up  in  my  bunk  bed.  I  had  picked  the  perfect  time  to  reply  to  the  simple  letter.  All  

the other  women  were  performing  for  the  military  men,  so  I  had  all  the  privacy  I  needed  to  write  my  three-­‐ paged  letter  about  one  topic.

Dear Gui Zhi Yang, I believe a family is very important. I would like to bring this to your attention. The family is the base for the community and the country…

Where were  you? • North  Korea I  heard  stories  about  you  and  Grandpa,  how  Grandpa  wrote  you  a  letter.  Can  you  tell  me   about  that? •

Yeah. Your  Grandpa  wrote  me  a  letter;  it  only  had  20  characters  in  it.  It  said,  “When   others  say  your  good,  I’m  happy.  When  others  speak  poorly  of  you,  I’m  not  happy.”   After  I  read  it,  I  counted  the  words  that  were  wrong.  There  were  8  words  wrong.

What did  you  think  when  you  realized  the  words  were  wrong? •

I knew  he  wasn’t  educated  much.  He  dropped  out  of  school  when  he  graduated   elementary  school.  I  Ainished  high  school.

What did  others  say  when  you  read  the  letter? •

They said  that  your  grandpa  is  a  good  guy,  and  to  write  him  back.

What was  the  hand  writing  in  the  letter  look  like? • It  was  messy What  did  Grandpa  act  like? • He  was  nervous  and  shy What  was  the  weather  like? • Well,  it  wasn’t  raining.  I  don’t  know,  just  not  raining. What  did  you  think  when  you  read  the  letter? • I  thought  it  was  simple  but  sincere.  

Source: article?id=ar751407&st=north+korea ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fought 1950-1953 Called Democratic peoples republic of Korea Communist country Different government from South Korea since 1948 Apparently, neither side really won. What is the capital of North Korea? Pyongyang If you search what is the capital of north Korea, the answer pops up from google

jody01pd2018 Identidy Portfolio  

A historical narrative based on my family's experiences.

jody01pd2018 Identidy Portfolio  

A historical narrative based on my family's experiences.