이순진선생님이 내시는건데 문단일이 써서 내라고 했으므로 바쁜중에 썼읍니다.
원래는 Common Application에서 골라서 문제를 내신다고 했으나
쓸데없이 Princeton의 주제에 써 버렸읍니다.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries to comprehend only a little of this mystery every day.” — Albert Einstein
Write about a personal experience or an aspect of the world that has engaged your curiosity or inspired awe in you.
“Sungmin, look at this. You grab this in your hand and move it around. Do you see that little arrow moving?”
On the grey screen floated a coarse arrow, moving as I shook the mouse in my hand with owe. I was not even touching the screen, but it was moving under my power.
When I first saw a computer, I was instantly dazzled. Every time I visited my father’s office, I could not take my eyes off this wondrous machine on which I could draw lines, scatter colors, and type in letters. My father told me what it was: a ‘Kom-Pyoo-Teo’. I went home and directly visited every tall bookshelf in the house. Standing on a high stool, I took a look across the very top shelf where mom and dad’s most sophisticated books were hiding under thick dust. I soon found a book about this Kom-Pyoo-Teo and pulled it out. It was a book without any picture, and its language was rather beyond my capacity. I went to mom and asked her to buy me a new Kom-Pyoo-Teo book. She smiled as she told me that any book about that machine would probably be too hard for me. I went back to the book shelf, stood on the stool, tried in vain to put the book back to its original place, sat on the stool for a while, then ran into my bedroom, slammed my door hard, and started to wail loudly.
It must have been very hard for dad to find an easy book for a nine-year-old kid. It was a cartooned computer guide for children. I read through it over and over. Since I was too young to understand most of the computer jargons and complex sentences, every time I read it, I discovered something new. I slowly learned how to turn on and off programs—before that, of course, what a program is—and how to draw things, save them, and worked on them again nights later. I followed the instructions given by ‘Ttobi’—that was the monitor-faced character who guided me through the book—and things worked out like a magic.
There was one page that absolutely fascinated me each time I opened to it, and it had a picture from animation Aladdin in it. In the screenshot on the center of the page, a purple sky with myriad of bright stars and Aladdin taking his princess on a magic carpet ride was beautifully printed. I felt as if I learned the best thing I could possibly do with the Kom-Pyoo-Teo. I examined the picture closely because the screenshot was not intended to demonstrate anything about this picture. Having stared this three-inch picture for a long time, I figured out how to conjure this trick. I went to dad’s computer, turned on the painting program, and typed in exactly as it was shown on the screenshot: ‘c:picturesaladdin02…’. I triumphantly pressed ‘Enter’ on the keyboard. This beautiful purple picture, however, was nowhere to be seen. Instead, I saw a troublesome message: ‘the file you requested is not existing.’ I could not understand. Everything I saw in my screen was identical to the screenshot in the book, except that mine did not have purple sky in it. I fell into deep grief and dismay. Again, I slammed my door hard and cried out loud. Dad explained to me how a file in one computer is not necessarily in every other computer, but I could not be free from the thought that Ttobi was either lying or wrong in that page.
Although it has been quite a long time, I still remember how I was determined to find out everything that was not apparent to me. Because of my curiosity, my parents had to invest a significant amount of money on buying books on things that I so enthusiastically wanted to probe into. It is true that most of those books are now forgotten, too. Nonetheless, I do not think of them as having been useless. It was always my curiosity that propelled me through every unfamiliarity I came across, and I am thus most grateful for it. I still think of my first few weeks with computer whenever I am about to forget that I have passion inside me that will push me through everything that I first thought I did not know.