Facing Poverty with a Rich Girls' Habits
Course: English Composition 115
Date: Febuary 10, 2012
“Facing Poverty with a Rich Girl’s Habits” by Suki Kim, recounts the real-life experience Suki endured when she and her family were forced to immigrate from Korea to America in the early 1980s. In Korea, bankruptcy resulted in jail time, so when her millionaire father fell on hard financial times the only other option was to leave behind the only home Suki and her family knew. Having been raised in a luxurious mansion until she was in the seventh grade, adapting to a second floor apartment in a Bronx, New York brownstone did not come easy. The apartment described in her own words as “a cramped and ugly place”(Kim, 2004). Suki revisited the humiliation she felt having to wash her own clothes at a laundry mat every week and also how it felt to be referred to as an Asian for the first time. She began to regard her own skin color to the same of a Forsythia, a flower that bloomed outside her home back in Korea. When she was 13 she experienced taking public transportation to school for the first time. School was a complete culture shock for her. Not only did she not know English, but she also had to become familiar with the lack of formalities at her American public school. In Korea she was accustomed to bowing in front of teachers and wearing slippers to prevent from dirtying the floor. Students lip locking in class during attendance and graffiti covered walls were just inconceivable. Suki’s only solace in school was when she got to go to her E.S.L(English as a second language) class. There she was able to converse with other students in her first language and because they had similar situations as her, she didn’t feel as alienated. She soon noticed that there was a separation between the F.O.B (Fresh off the boat) Koreans and the Korean-American kids. She also noticed the...
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