remarkable things in half-hour intervals – part 2

by santoki

What follows is part 2 of a true story of a girl (me) and her on-going battle with addiction.

[continued from part 1]

So where did I go wrong?

It’s not like there was a carrefour, or as the less imaginative might call it, a crossroad. I can’t put my finger on one point and say, “Ah yes. If I did this instead of that, my life would be much better.” Rather, there was a parade of tiny missteps and readjustments that led me to this less than astonishing life. I am not saying that it is bad. Just a little ordinary.

So how is it that a child full of dreams and possibilities, a child who had the complete map to a charmed life, take so many wrong turns? It is after deep reflection and with full conviction that I can say in truth, my world might be a fully realized dream had it not been for television. No really.

To drop a bit of science: as I understand it, language acquisition begins as early as two months. We begin with single words that identify our needs, such as mama, up, and cookie. By 18 months, we are stringing together a few more words to express more complex issues: all gone, no bed, and where puppy. We begin to understand the basics of syntax and sentence formation. By the age three, the hardened skull of a little genius has developed an early mastery of spoken word, albeit with an extremely limited vocabulary. All of these little miracles are made possible by the repetition from nurture and the wonders of nature.

In my case, the repetition that came from my nurture did not remotely resemble the words you read now. You see, as is common with immigrant families, my parents worked long and hard hours all the while speaking a language that was not their native tongue. When they returned from their respective jobs, they grew tired of the effort English required and relaxed into the comfort of Korean. They knew that they weren’t teaching us English, but they figured that as babies in America, we would learn it eventually. So how did it pass that by the age of four my sister and I were speaking in full, if slightly juvenile sentences in both English and Korean?

I believe the credit might belong to the Helena Rubenstein Foundation and the Children’s Television Workshop.

continued in part 3…

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