Thursday, April 06, 2006

Memorize? Or Understand?

I'm preparing for the promotional test Saturday. One way I'm preparing is to study the meaning of my form, Joon Gun. This is what our school's handout says about it:

Joon-Gun is named after the patriot Ahn Joon-Gun who assassinated Hiro Bumi Ito, the first Japanese governor-general of Korea, known as the man who played the leading part in the Korea-Japan merger. There are 32 movements in this pattern to represent Mr. Ahn's age when he was executed at Lui-Shung in 1910.

I have trouble memorizing things, so memorizing even this passage is a challenge for me.

Part of my problem is that my brain wants to skip ahead. I start musing on the significance of this little paragraph. I mean, listen: this Joon-Gun guy loved his country so much that he assassinated a colonizer/foreigner (Japanese governor) who was ruling over Korea! Wow. Of course Joon-Gun was executed. That's what happens to people who assassinate rulers, even ones who do not belong there.

Lots of people at our school, including children, and not including me, can rattle off these paragraphs at top speed, no trouble. I wonder if they sense the importance of what these forms really mean. And I really envy their memories.

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