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This essay is about my older brother, and how I remember how he t...

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This essay is about my older brother, and how I remember how he treated me, and the memory we had

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  • November 20, 2003
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Rummaging through the attic with the hope of finding old toys, I came across three large boxes filled with photo albums. I opened the first album to find it to be baby pictures of my older brother. Page after page I flipped through each album, anxious to find pictures of myself. I became increasingly disappointed as I found pictures of me to be rare. I went to my room to retrieve a much smaller album I had just bought at the store and made the goal of simply filling that one, so that amongst these piles of albums, I could call just one of them mine. Optimistic once again, I began on my quest. I turned over each page slowly, being sure not to miss any, as each side displayed six pictures. As I came to the end of the last album, my heart sank. I had not been able to fill even half of my small, one-picture-per-side, album.

Being a second born child in a traditional Chinese family, and a girl for that matter, I was naturally less favored than my older sibling, a boy. I never failed to understand this concept as I was growing up, and I was not surprised to find less pictures of me than of him. My surprise was towards the extremity of the situation: nearly twenty large albums in comparison to not quite half of one small. I realized then the reason for my continuous struggle to win my parents' attention, their approval. My constant crying, my annoying ranting, all of which were for the sake of shifting their attention towards me. My whining only gained their irritation however, and I became determined to prove my worth otherwise.

Though my father often took little notice to me, I would follow him around, watching and observing his every move. I had long since given up on my mother. On the day when I received my first grammar school report card, I proudly presented it to her upon my arrival home. Instead of praising me for my achievements, she frowned and scolded me for attempting to belittle the grades of my brother. My father, though also active in the game of...