2011 Sejong Writing Competition
|First Place||Nicholas Duncan
7th grade, Carl Sandburg Middle School
|Second Place||Alex Griffin
11th grade, Arrowhead High School
|Third Place||Manuel Rodriguez
11th grade, Alexander High School
Friend of the Pacific Rim Award
12th grade, Arrowhead High School
3rd grade, Trinity Christian Academy
7th grade, Southern Lehigh Middle School
7th grade, Trinity Christian Academy
12th grade, Marist School
8th grade, Creative Learning Academy
12th grade, Marist School
12th grade, Marist School
6th grade, Hingham Middle School
My name is Nicholas Duncan. I am currently 13 years old and entering the eighth grade at Carl Sandburg Middle School in Mundelein, Illinois. I submitted my sijo into this competition after my Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Willis, encouraged the class to enter into some sort of writing competition.
Writing this sijo has been an insightful journey. When Mrs. Willis told my class about this contest, I was unfamiliar with the sijo writing style. I studied hard on the format and began to study famous sijos and why they were famous. This competition has opened yet another door in writing and poetry for me.
In the future, I plan to study at a notable engineering university to become a successful mechanical engineer. My hobbies include Tae Kwon Do, baseball, and volleyball. I also am a member of the school concert and jazz bands.
For me, my personal hero is my dad. When he was growing up, he did not live in a life of luxury. He has shown me that if you try hard at what you believe in, you can accomplish anything. Without my dad’s supportive attitude and encouraging spirit, I would never be where I am now.
Born April 07, 1994 in Laredo, Texas. Manuel Rodriguez has lived here all his life. His older brother also attended AHS Health Magnet. Manuel entered the contest as part of a classroom assignment. He gave it some thought and at first was at a loss for inspiration. He finally looked at his bracelets on his wrists and realized that his favorite bracelet was getting tattered and torn and a little dirty. You see, his passion is riding dirt bikes and he loves to compete in motocross, so it is kind of hard to keep his bracelets clean after he has been riding all weekend.
He realized that he can get inspiration from his life and his interests.
I originally wrote my sijo for a school project, but I was struggling in coming up with what to write about. I learned a great amount about the hard work and intricacy that is put into each sijo, limiting one’s self by a number of syllables can be a very difficult task. In the future I’d like to go into some sort of broadcast journalism. My hobbies include riding my unicycle, tinkering with computers, designing T-shirts, and listening to music. If I had to pick a personal hero, it would be my dad. He has always encouraged me to be the best that I can be, and I try to live that out in everything that I do.
- Why you entered your sijo or essay to this competition -- I love to compete and I love poetry. Also, it was snowing so we didn't have school the day I entered the contest-- it was something fun to do!
- What you learned through writing and sending your sijo or essay to this competition -- I learned that sometimes poetry is structured and you have to count syllables to follow the format.
- Your goal in the future--I want to enter the contest again next year and try to do even better.
- Hobbies and personal interests--Competitive dance and art
- Your personal hero-- my dance teacher
I entered my Sijo to this competition through school. Poetry is a passion and I enjoy creating poems and being able to express my feelings and emotions through writing.
Through this competition, I learned to have confidence in yourslef, no matter if others try to put you down. Don’t doubt yourself, never say never, because chances are, you can win.
A goal I have set for myself for in the future is probably to just keep writing. I would hate to stop making poems, because I would lose interest if I just quit. If I keep making poems, I plan to enter more contests and competitions all around the world.
Some activities I enjoy and some hobbies I have, include: Student council, art class, gym class, and my language classes. I love reading, writing songs, poems, books/stories, etc. I love field hockey, ice hockey, soccer, and lacrosse. I enjoy hanging out with friends, taking pictures, and playing the drums, guitar, and piano.
My hero is probably Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga has so much power in her songs and voice. She doesn’t sing for the money, but because singing is her passion. She loves her fans and really appreciates all who love her work. Her goal is to change the music of the century. Just like my goal, changing the world, to make a better environment. Lady Gaga has life stories of people making fun of her, and putting her down. She found a way to deal with her pain and she is confident. Lady Gaga makes me feel good, by always saying inspirational quotes and sayings. Lady Gaga loves helping others, which also is really great!
Hello! My name is Meklit Daniel, and I’m a seventh grader attending Trinity Christian Academy. After seeing an announcement about signing up for the Sejong Writing Competition, I was interested and decided to compete. I barely understood how to write sijos, when I first saw several examples, but then I slowly began to comprehend how to write one. Through this competition I’ve learned to give my inner thoughts and feelings, whenever I am writing anything.
In the future I plan to pursue a career in the medical field as a pediatric endocrinologist and researcher in endocrinology. I want to help young children with diabetes and try to find a cure for it. In my spare time, I enjoy reading books, playing my violin and piano, and listening to music. I’m personally interested in Korea, and its history and traditional and modern cultures.
My personal heroes are my parents because they have sacrificed many things to help me be productive and have given me helpful advice that has helped me a lot. Also, my personal hero is Sarah Chang because she has inspired me to do my best whenever I’m playing my violin.
My World Literature teacher explained that our class was supposed to write a series of sijos and submit our favorite one to the Sejong Writing Competition. I must admit that I did not have much confidence in my ability to write a sijo worthy of recognition since I rarely wrote poetry in my high school English courses. However, I was proud to realize that I do, in fact, have a knack for writing sijos. I look forward to taking more literature and composition classes in college next year. Who knows, I might even get to write more sijos. I plan on studying business and majoring in either accounting, finance, or economics. Outside of school, I love to play sports and spend time with friends. In high school, I started on both the baseball and basketball teams. I was fortunate enough to win back-to-back state championships in baseball as a junior and senior. If I were to choose a personal hero, I would choose my father. He shares my loves for athletics, and he is an excellent role model in terms of character.
Hi, my name is Dana Jaalouk. I entered the sijo competition for many reasons, but the most important reason why i entered was because in 2009 I received Honorable Mention in the same competition. I was motivated to enter again, just to see if i would place. I learned that to write a sijo takes a lot of effort and perseverance, but through that you can create something extraordinary. My goal in the future is to become a doctor, preferably an oncologist or a psychiatrist. Also in my free time, I'm hoping on writing an auto biography and getting it published in the future. I have a lot of hobbies but my passion is basketball. I just love the game. Without basketball in my life, I don't know what I would do in my free time. Also I love to write. When I'm bored I write my opinions on political issues and about my life. I have very strong opinions and once I have something set in my mind, it wont change. My hero would be Robert Frost. He is an amazing writer. When I read his poems I get so lost in his words, that I forget about my reality. When I get older I want to be able to have that effect on people. That's why I look up to him, because I admire his talent.