Student Testimonial – Cyan Kim, Korea

May 5, 2011

Before I came here from Bundang, Korea, I didn’t know much about Bloomington. I used to watch American TV programs, so I thought Bloomington would be similar to the towns that I saw on TV. When I arrived here, I tried to find high buildings, but I could not. Buildings have just two or three floors. But I like it here, because in addition to buildings there are grasses, woods, and animals. In Bundang, nature is just a small part of the town, but here houses and buildings harmonize with nature. When I was going back to my home after school, I saw a deer family. They were across the street. I can see rabbits, squirrels, and birds so easily.

When I was in Korea, I thought I did many things myself and I believed I could live without my parents’ help. After I came to Bloomington, I noticed that I did very few things myself. If chores build up, they become hard work. I didn’t know that when I was in Korea, because my mom did all the chores for me and our family. I used to spend my time watching television in Korea, but here I can’t watch TV because I don’t have a TV. Instead of watching TV, I have started to spend my time on reading books and doing exercise, and now I know how to spend time wisely.

Harmony School is very different compared to Korean schools. Last year in Korea, schools ended at 9p.m. We had to cut our hair short and we could not put on outdoor shoes in school. When I took my first class at Harmony School, I was so surprised by the students and teachers. Classrooms were like living rooms, chairs were so comfortable, and students held their feet on the desks! If I held my feet on a desk in a Korea school, the teacher would seriously hit me. In Korea, teachers give violent punishment to students. The government prohibited violent punishment, but teachers are still giving it. I was also impressed by classes at Harmony. We could study freely, we talked about what we learned, and teachers helped us if we had trouble.