Page 1

Identity Portfolio

The Dreadful Attraction

-Sarah Cho


1. How has working on this project helped you learn about your family’s history and given you a better sense of your identity? This project encouraged me to learn new things about our family members and what has happened to them when they were our age. This project also helped me understand my family culture, and more about the family member I interviewed (paternal grandfather) 2. Why do you think doing a project like this is important? A project like this is special because we do not know everything about what happened to them, but for first person (personal) narratives, it’s about us so we know every single detail. Also, interviewing is a big skill to learn. This helped us study about general and specific questions, and to learn about the background history. 3. What part of this project did you enjoy the most? Why? The part I enjoyed the most was being able to contact my family member and interviewing them, because when I was calling my grandfather, I could also talk to him and my grandmother about family things after we were done. 4. What specific challenges did you face during this project and how did you over come them? My challenge during this project was trying to create a “whoa!” climax, since my topic and small moment were both about the Korean War. I overcame the challenge by stretching the climax as much as possible by including LOTS and LOTS of details and how the character felt. 5. Compared to the first narrative you wrote in September, do you think you’ve grown as a writer? In what ways? I made a huge improvement on grabbing the reader’s attention on my first paragraph. (Leads) I am so proud of myself for creating a strong lead (which I was struggling on a little bit)! 6. What advice would you give future students as they begin this project? The future students should be able to maintain the powerfulness of the narrative from beginning to end. I had the most troubles with that, and I think my ending has lack of intensity than the beginning paragraphs.


"Korean War." World Book. Ed. Charles K. Armstrong. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. < id=ar304360>. "The Origins Of A War." Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2012. <http:// %20War>.

Interview Q & A

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

How did this event affect your family? Yes, his father was the "captain" of the people of Inchon. So they had to escape a few times since they were one of the communist's big targets. Did you have any injuries during the event? If so, what kind? No, everyone was safe. What emotions were you feeling during the event? Going through a war at a young age: middle school was definitely tough and very very scary. What was your reaction to the event? I never knew that it would get so big, the war. I just thought that they were fighting in the 3.8 Line area, but no. The war got very dangerous and big. How old were you when you experienced this? I was in middle school, 8th grade. Where did it happen? At the moment when the war started, I was at Inchon, a city next to Seoul. What were you doing before the event happened? I was at baseball practice, with my friends and coach. Why did this event happen? This happened when the communists and democracies started fighting. Who else was involved? The UN took a huge part of this, and same with Russia. Were any of your friends/ family members affected? No, we escaped all together, my sister, and parents as one family. How did this affect your country/ city/ community? Everything in the city was destroyed, and there were only very little places in the houses that weren't destroyed. Did you move because of this? Yes, we moved back and forth, from Inchon to the countryside. Are there times when you don’t remember certain moments of that event? I don't remember anything that happened in the countryside, since I was young and was busy playing around with kids. How did you find out the event was happening? On the 25th at dawn, the communists attacked the South. I found out when school was cancelled. How can you connect that event to your life now? If that didn't happen, I would most likely be in Inchon right now with my family. What was the most important part of this event? It was trying to survive the second time I came back to Inchon, because that was when we were out of food, so we only had sips of water and bits of flour each day. How long did the event last? It lasted 3 years and a month-ish. Who escaped with you? Just my family escaped with me. What time of day was it? It was at daytime, after school. How did this war start? It started because the communists in the north came before morning and bombed a few areas. (On planes).

More Interview Information:

1950 June 25th, he was 15 years old, 8th grade. He was practicing baseball at school. He was the school baseball player. This started at dawn. In the afternoon, we could hear the bombs and guns shooting louder and louder. So with the teacher's permission, we headed back home. 3-8 line (after the WWII ended) North was taken over by Russia, and South taken over by the UN. In the 3.8 area, there were often mini-wars going on between the 2 sides. At first he didn't realize that it was a big deal, but as time passed, the war was growing bigger, and there were North enemies air force attacked the South. After that, I realized that the war had became serious and dangerous. 1950 June 26th, he was living in Incheon, and as the war got even more serious, the army that was protecting Incheon decided to retreat. So the North communists invaded Incheon. The communists started to kill the democracies. A lot of people died during this. 1950 June 28th, the army that used to defend Incheon came back, and they killed and arrested the communists that took over for 2 days. Just in a few days, the communists took over and killed the innocent democracies. The next day, the democracies took back and killed the communists. Since he were fairly young, he felt scared and miserable during these few days. At that time, his father was captain of the people on Incheon, so their house was also one of the communist's biggest targets. 1950 June 29th, the family decided to abandon their house and leave Incheon, to the countryside. On the 27th, the communists took over Seoul, so on the 29th, the communists arrived to Incheon with tanks and guns. He remembers how scary it was escaping Incheon. (Big sister, mom, dad, him) During the escape, every public services and banks were all closed. They had no choice but to earn food themselves. They traded furnitures for food. 1950 August 15th, (Japanese were defeated). He went to the school at the countryside, and they were choosing students to bring to the army. Every student from 9th grade and up were taken to fight for the democracies. Even tall 8th graders had to leave with them. There was no way the parents could refuse to send the kid away, since the order was from the government. That day, I had to say goodbye to many of my friends, and they never came back. Everyday we all had to hide in the forests, and during the night, we spent the nights in the temporary house.

1950 September 20th, we were noted that there will be the "Battle of Inchon". From the 24th, there were guns shooting for 3 whole days. Later on, there was nothing left on Incheon. 1950 September 27th, the UN succeeded on taking back Incheon. A lot of communists escaped back to North Korea. 1950 September 30th, he came back to Incheon, to his house. Most of it were all destroyed, but there was room for shelter and sleep. There was no food, or water so they took the burned rice from the communist's ruined food storage, and had one scoop of water from the damaged well. The UN's took back Seoul and Incheon. They continued on going up to North Korea. They defeated all communists in the 3/4th area of North Korea. Everyone thought that Korea would come back to one. But, the Chinese Army decided to join and support for the communists. 1951 January, the situation got worse as before, so they were on their second escape out of Incheon. My grandfather was as scared as before, so they went off to find his grandfather's best friend in Choong Chung Province. (My grandfather's grandfather's best friend)On his way, he went on a boat, and arrived safely without damage. Mr.Choi was being very generous of lending us a room for our family, but at that age I didn't know it was a generous thing: I was busy playing with kids at town. 1951 March, the UN army took back Seoul. He went back to Incheon to his old house, knowing that it would be safe now. There was nothing left, no furnitures since they traded everything for food. There was nothing to do and all his father's machines were broken. So his mother took some machines and made a miller and that was the only way they survived through the war. At that time, the UN donated some food and clothes to the people. They ate flour most of the time. The war stopped until now. The whole country was damaged and destroyed. No side won, and the country cut into half. Now everyone was able to work, and earn money.

Author’s Note/ Epilogue:

This was  a  story  about  my  grandfather  when  he  was  14.  He  experienced  he  Korean   War  in  1950  and  was  forced  to  leave  his  house  so  that  their  family  could  survive.  After  the   Korean  War,  he  moved  to  Seoul,  the  capitol  of  Korea  and  met  my  grandmother.  He  worked   as  a  national  baseball  player,  and  then  became  the  CFO  of  Korean  Airlines.  Currently,  he   still  lives  in  Seoul  with  my  grandmother.  The  Korean  War  took  place  on  June  25th  and  my   grandfather  was  in  Inchon  at  the  time.    This  war  started  because  the  communists  invading   the  North  area  of  Korea  and  the  democracies  in  the  South.  Still,  the  war  has  not  ended,  it   has  been  stopped.    

Notes: - The Korean War started on June 25th, 1950. - It ended at 1953. - This is when the 3.8 line was made, separating South and North or Korea. - Japan took over Korea at the time. - Many countries were involved, including Russia, Japan and USA. - The Korean War was the first war the UN was involved in. - This war was one of the bloodiest wars in history. - The war was caused by the fight of communists invading the north and democracies in the south.

Family Tree:

Historical Narrative:

The Dreadful  Attraction I   opened   my   eyes,   staring   up   at   the   dull   and   blank   ceiling   above   me.   I   wrapped   myself  cozily  in  my   blanket,  all  warmed  up  inside.   It   was  just  a  little   before  dawn  of  a  hot   summer   day  of  June  28th.  Usually  at  this  time,  the  house  is   as  silent  as   a  rock.   But   today,   I   heard  footsteps:  heavy  footsteps.  Tap.   Tap.  Tap.   Of   course,  I  thought   to   myself.  Today  is   the   day  of  the  escape.   I  slid  out   of  my  blanket,   and  carefully  balanced  myself  to  stand  up.   My  whole  body   was  numb,  just  like  every  morning.  I  just  haven’t  come  to  my  senses  yet.     I   trudged   out   of   the   room,   and   the   morning   light   pierced   through   our   curtains.   I   squinted  my  eyes,   trying  to   get   a  better  glimpse  with  the   blinding  sunlight  shining   on  my   face.   “Come  on  YoungHan,”  my  mother  said  from  behind.   The  calmness  in  her  voice   was  deep  and  heavy,  nearly   serious.  Living  in  the  house  of   the   communist’s   biggest   target   was   certainly   painful.   Especially   when   I   was   only   14.   I   yawned,   and  rapidly   grabbed  my   packed  backpack   from   the   \loor   and  swung   it   over   my   shoulder.  All  of  a  sudden,  the   weight   of   the  bottles  of  water,   pieces  of  bread  and  some  thick   clothes   unexpectedly   shoved   my   back.   I   tumbled,   losing   control   of   myself,   but   gaining   balance   before   I  fell   right  on  the  \loor.   Phew!  With  my   bag   tightly   clutched  with  one  \ist,   I   gulped,  and  stepped  out  of  the  house.   Outside   the   house   was   chaos.   Guns   were   \iring,   people   were   darting   for   life   and   houses  were  half-­‐destroyed.  There  was  last  thing  I  spotted  before  I  even  turned  around.   My  lips   widened.   “Whoa…”   What  were  just   a  few   meters   away   from   me   was   what   looked  like  a  massive  green  machine,  with  stains  of  black.   It  slowly   started  towards  us.   Still   shocked,  I  stared  at  the  tank,  full  of  amazement.   “Come  on!”  my  parents  yelled,  pinching  and  pulling  me  to  grab  my  attention.                 “It’s  a-­‐a-­‐a…”  I  mumbled,   barely  moving   my  mouth.  I  couldn’t   believe  this.  Was  this   a   dream?   Or   was   I   really   gazing   at   that   gorgeous   piece   of   machinery?   I   yearned  to   go   and   touch  it,  to  slide  my   \ingers  on  its  smooth  glazy   surface.  I  moved  forward,  my  eyes   locked  to   the  tank.  Slowly,  I  walked  towards  the  tank  in  interest.   “What  are  you  DOING?”  my  sister  screeched.   But   her  warning   slipped  out  of  my   ears   like  a   snake  slithering  by.   I  continued   on.   So   did  the   tank.   It  made  a  grumbling  noise,  and   turned.  Now  the  front  side  was  facing  me.   “YOUNGHAN!”  I   heard  all  family   members  roar.  I   looked  back.   Their  faces  were  full   of   horror   and  as   pale   as   snow,   especially   my   sister’s.   Why  am  I   standing   here?   I  instantly   lost  my  train  of  thought.   “Run!”  someone  cried  out.  I  immediately  started  to  sprint,  darting   in   the  direction  of   my  family.   I  tried  to   concentrate  on  surviving.  I  ran,  and   ran,  as  fast  as  my   legs  could  carry   me.  Suddenly   a  big  rush  of  fear   gushed  into   my   head.   I  gulped,   again  and  again.   I  hope   the   soldiers  didn’t  see  me.  What  did  I  do?!  

With my  trembling  hands,  I  grasped  my  sister’s  arm.  I  glanced  up  at  her.    “Hurry…   Let’s  go,”  I  tugged  on  my  sister’s  sleeves.  “Hurry.”  I  didn’t  dare  to  look  back.  Nor  did   my  family.  We  hurried  through  the  big  road,  out  of  the  border  of  Incheon,  hoping   and  praying  that  we  would  be  able  to  come  back  someday  and  meet  our  friends.  But   none  of  us  knew  that  June  28th  would  be  the  last  day  I  would  ever  meet  them  again.    

The Dreadful Attraction  
The Dreadful Attraction  

Historical Narrative- Sarah C