FINAL_ Am I the sum of my past?

(written for the class speech/ final)

Good morning class, today is the last academic day of school. How fun? I guess today

would be a nice day to share my goal that I set up on the very first day of the year then.

On the first day of school, I came up with this big plan, where to spend every day of

the year to solve France graduation exam. Why solve French exam through the year?

This exam is not just a paper exam, but with a 60 questions that covers broadly about

philosophical matter of a life. To be honest, this goal was very hard for me to carry on,

because some questions took me few minutes to solve, but then some took weeks to

actually understand. The question that I am going to share with you today is “Am I sum

of my past?”

Well, are we the sum of our pasts? “Past is just past, why do I care?” was my reaction

to it, which made more difficult to answer it. However, thanks to you all, through

discussions in this class, I could solve the question, and move on. I used five characters

from this class: Jake, Gatsby, Hester, America, and myself. You might ask, “How are

they relevant to the sum of their past?” If the past is either bright / dark, I focused more

on their dark pasts to solve the question, which, according to Korean poet Jeong, is the

necessary creation to see the stars, the gold of life.

Jake, in The Sun Also Rises, has a darkness called Brett. His heart is broken, and

drawn back to loneliness, but Jake eventually becomes able to appreciate himself

as a being, as a man. Gatsby, became Jay Gatsby, through his dark desire called

“Daisy. ‘ Hester’s justice, courage to face the truth, comes from her sin, Pearl. America

had a negative desire of freedom, which led them to Great Depression; yet there is

America out there through its history. Thus, my dark past was a fear of criticizing and

being criticized. By attending this class, I had opportunities to debate ideas and to admit

my weaknesses. The fear grew smaller and smaller, and now I can speak up my voice

to other people. Thus, if the higher opportunity is a door and critiques are the keys, I

own so many keys at this point, which will encourage me to open more doors. The keys,

here, is the sum of my past, my progress, and in fact, what makes myself, myself. Now,

what do you think? Do you think your pasts that are sitting in this class are the sum of

yourself? This sounds quite difficult, but it is actually not so hard to understand. For

example, Eun Hyae’s joyful laughter from this class is what makes her such passionate

contributor of this class.

Lastly, I assume you were wondering what these circle and triangles are for. This is

a prism scope, where you see objects through the spectrum; which I would say a scope

of a life. The dark and bright triangles represent the past, filling the circle fully. If you

take off the triangles and ignore or resist them, the light won’t come in a right direction;

therefore the scope would be useless and left unfinished. However, if you accept the

past as the sum of yourself, understand how to overcome, the light will be in the right

position. Your scope then would be a masterpiece, a definite key of your life. I will leave

you here then, and I hope my speech has helped you to find your own spectrum of life.


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