흔들리며 피는 꽃

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I've been catching up on School 2013 for the past two days when I should have been doing my work, but given the messy state that my table was in, I had no mood to study. OK, excuses, excuses, excuses. Anyway, I started on this drama a few days before I started work. After that, due to work, I was just too tired to continue watching.

This drama is really so poignant in its portrayal of school life that I can't help but to think back on my own school life. The numerous conflicts between students and the educators, the teachers. The camaraderie and back-stabbing between the classmates. The desire and need to get into the best universities. Granted, since RV is a premier school, there aren't any gang-related incidences, unlike what the students in Victory High School faced. Students in RV really have it a lot better than those students in School 2013, but the conflicts faced by students still very much resonated with me.

I had just finished episode 10, and there was this poem recited by In-jae to her last class that totally touched my heart so badly as numerous scenes from the previous episodes started cutting in. This poem is dedicated to her students in class, but means the most to the delinquents in her class whom everybody gave up on, but not her. The people who had to get the short end of the stick in life, the people who were thrown into the harsh reality of the outside world much sooner than their peers, the people who had no love. In-jae is the type of teacher who always got pushed over and bullied by the students in her class, but she was always there for them, and is still there for them even if not all of them were appreciative of this fact. When she had to personally use her tiny hands to beat all her students after nobody admitted to stealing the exam paper, my heart totally broke. Jang Na-ra really killed that episode, except that when I was watching it, I totally forgot that it was just Jang Na-ra acting. I could really feel In-jae's pain and with every palm she hit, it was as if she was punishing herself for being an incompetent teacher.

흔들리지 않고 피는 꽃이 어디 있으랴
이 세상 그 어떤 아름다운 꽃들도
다 흔들리면서 피었나니
흔들리지 않고 가는 사랑이 어디 있으랴

젖지 않고 피는 꽃이 어디 있으랴
이 세상 그 어떤 빛나는 꽃들도
다 젖으며 젖으며 피었다니
바람과 비에 젖으며 꽃잎 따뜻하게 피웠나니
젖지 않고 가는 삶이 어디 있으랴

- 도종환

The translation here is as follows.

Where is the flower that blooms without shaking?
Any of the beautiful flowers of this world
all bloom while being shaken
They shake on stems that grow upright
Where is the love that goes without shaking?

Where is the flower that blooms without being soaked?
Any of the shining flowers of this world
bloom as they are soaked
Soaked by wind and rain, petals bloom warmly
Where is the life that goes without being soaked?

- Do Jung-hwan

All flowers have to weather the rain, wind, sun and storms in order to bloom beautifully. That applies to life too, doesn't it? We have to be subjected to all sorts of tribulations in life in order to become stronger, to succeed. Nothing lovely comes easy I guess. I'm kind of apprehensive where life will lead me to, but I'll read this poem from time to time to remind me of the reason why I'm here and why I'm doing all these.

Press on.

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