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Unnecessary Burden

Unnecessary Burden, a visual memoir on education

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2. I could finally be surrounded with other students who also loved studying and express my job without constraining myself.

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3. Hey, Abigail, can you show us your homework?

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4. Staring from elementary school, students start preparing for high school Olympiads.

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5. Together, we build a water garden, made a giant cotton candy, and hatched an egg with an incubator.

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6. I ran to tell my parents of this discovery, but they only said, I was confused.

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7. Let's say there's a hotel with infinitely many room. It's fully booked, but infinitely many new people arrive, asking for rooms.

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8. Seeing that I was excited about this new concept of infinity, she also showed me how to calculate the sum of infinite numbers through coloring.

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9. If you go on forever, all of square will be colored.

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10. Teachers have been the people who make sense of the world. They gently pull back a layer of the world, and reveal connections hidden underneath.

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11. Teachers are companions that teach me to think.

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12. Coming into high school, I was excited to have every single classmate as my teacher.

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13. My naive expectation was soon shattered.

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14. I thought I was helping my classmates experience a richer learning journey.

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15. I gathered the courage to think that they might not be maliciously or intentionally distorting my intentions.

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16. For students..., studying takes up a lot of our lives.

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17. When we start to study, it's as if we are faced with a giant cliff.

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18. An alternative, however, is throwing our mind up the cliff first.

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19. Our mind will be so excited to go on the next journey.

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20. And this is how studying becomes a freeing experience.

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Abigail Choe

Abigail Choe

About the Author

Abigail Choe is Class of 2017, majoring in Courses 6 and 7, EECS and Biology. She grew up in Seoul, Korea, and went through stereotypical Asian education in high school: harsh, competitive, and
inhumane. During her junior year she decided to apply to colleges in the U.S. to experience a different style of education. Now she is here, trying out things she has never done before, like programming, dancing, and baking. While she loves MIT very much, she understands that it is not a perfect place, and if you who are reading this memoir happen to feel a little bit stressed or a little bit anxious because of the learning environment at MIT, she hopes this memoir helps bring back your own memories of the time discovering new things fun for you.