American High School

I moved from Korea to Kansas in April of 1986. Even though there was only a little over a month left in the school year, John and my sister decided it would be good for me to attend school to learn English and get acclimated to American high school.

I thought it was funny that they put me in a Spanish class. Probably because there was an empty seat available.

Not understanding a word spoken during that 50 min. period, I fell asleep more than once during Spanish. Korean teachers would have smacked my desk or me, but the elderly woman who taught the class was really nice. She didn’t whack me or my desk once.

I did learn a lot about the culture of American high school during that month and a half. Having attended all girls’ junior high and high school in Korea that didn’t allow dating, it was quite an eye-opening experience to watch the interaction between girls and boys. The first time I saw a boy and a girl kissing in the hallway, my eyes almost
popped out and my face burned bright red.

Make-up and dress code was another shock. My Korean schools did not allow any make-up and had a very strict dress code. In music class, I sat next to a pretty girl who dressed like Madonna. Black eye shadows, metallic accessories and gloves with no finger tips.

One day, Madonna girl invited me to her house. Now, I had no friend, and she was the first one who invited me since coming to the new school. I so wanted to have a friend. But I said no because her heavy metal appearance scared me.

Looking back, I laugh at myself.


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