Wednesday, September 26, 2007

1st section of Happy Birthday or whatever, pages 1-44

So far in the novel, Happy Birthday or whatever, the author Annie Choi tell storys of her life as a young Korean girl living in the American society. In the first chapter of the book it is when she is twenty seven years old. She shares how her mother and father forgot her birthday. Her parents were trying to make up lies on how they did not forget there only girls birthday. But Annie new that it was her birthday because the day after is her parents anniversary so she was just trying to get her parents to admit that they were wrong and forgot. Then the next day she called them to say happy anniversary and she almost got her father to admit that he did forget. Then she called a week later because it was her mother's birthday. Her mom was upset that her father did not get her anything. Then Annie was complaining about how she did not even get a phone call to say happy birthday. The second chapter was about her love for animals. When she was a young girl her uncle gave her a stuffed animal for her birthday one year then she told him that he was her favorite uncle. So from then on for any holiday that occured in the Choi family all her relatives would give her a stuffed animal because they wanted to be Annie's favorite relative. She loved animals so much that she would even tuck them in blankets and made a line of who got to sleep with her. Annie wanted to be a fair mother to all her animals so she would treat them all equally. The Korean's have a tradition that if someone says that they really like something that you have to give it to them. So everytime her parents would have friends over and bring there kids they would always go into Annie's room and go tell her mother that they really liked one of them. Then Annie would have to give them it. After that whenever she new her parents were having friends over she would always try to hide her animals. In the third chapter she told storys of her spelling days. Anne was a very good speller but her mother thought that if you got a B on something it was like getting a F. So one day she came home with her spelling test and got a B, she was so afraid to show her mom so she hid it under a ant jar thinking her mother would not find it. Then suddenly her mother called her down stairs and in one hand she had the ant jar and in the other she had the spelling test. After that Annie's mother made her write down each word twenty times. She got spanked that day as well for trying to hide the bad grade. So everytime she thought about complaining about rewritting the words she would remember the sting of the wooden spoon hitting her bottom. After a while she got so good at spelling that there was a spelling bee in her class, Annie won, so that made her in the finals with 4th,5th and 6th graders. At that spelling bee she received fifth place. So she was the second alternate contestant in the regionals so that if one of the top three could not make it she would go in there place.
So far my reaction on this memoir is that some of the storys are kinda funny. I like that it is giving me a better understanding of a traditional Korean family. Some of the things she has talked about are kinda point less but also sorta interesting to read. Another thing that I like about it is that i can relate to her about stuffed animals. When I was little I loved stuffed animals and just like Annie did I would treat them like they were a person. Although I can not imagine my parents not remembering my birthday though. Every year when it is my birthday I swear sometimes my mom is more excited about it then I am, which is hard to do. But as far as I can tell I think I will enjoy the rest of her storys.

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