Arab Spring Break- Response Paper
American born, college genius Chris Jeon leaves his California comfort for the thrill of fighting with rebels in Libya. Um what?
This article, which was originally published in Mens Magazine, truely amazed me. Not only was the story riviting and totally insane, but the layout of the website in which the story was told also shadowed the intensity of the storyline. I couldn’t believe the simplicity of the aesthetic layout and how the scrolling changed from vertically down the page, to horizontal. The meat of the story, which was told in 9 Epics, was like nothing I’ve ever read.
Chris Jeon was a first generation college student at UCLA studying math. He lived with his family in the conservative neighborhood of Orange County and had a peaceful life of complete security. Both his parents were smart and only wanted the best for their children. It was no surprise that Jeon felt the pressure to follow in his father’s footsteps, who became an Orthodontist and graduated with both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
When he received an internship at BlackRock, the largest asset-management firm on California, it shocked me to read that he was not happy working there. Me, personally, would love to make $9,000 a month doing what I love, but Jeon began to feel his love of math fading. When he heard about the rallying in Beinghazi, it intrigued him to investigate further. The biggest shock, I think to anyone who has read his story, was that his passion for this overseas fight was so strong that he decided to fly over to Libya and join a rebel battalion.
The rest of his story is incredible and yet totally insane. The natives had every right to assume he was undercover from the U.S, even with his Lakers jersey that he wore. Who would ever openly decide to risk their life? To leave the comfort and safety of their home and fight a battle that’s not even their own? But maybe it was just that. I believe, although totally insane, Jeon had some serious reasons for his crazy trip abroad. I think when people are born and raised in the shadow of their parents, who are always looking at their children to succeed and be just like them, it adds loads of pressure and anxiety to their life. In Jeon’s case, he had big shoes to fill, and it’s justifiable that he went a little coo coo in his small cubicle at work thinking about his life ahead of him. Unlike the other college students who are in the same situation, Jeon traveled to a dangerous country to find himself rather than spend a week or two in Florida. It’s hard not to judge his irrational decision making, but after reading this article I had a better perspective of what Jeon was trying to accomplish. He wanted his life to have a little uncertanity. He was tired of the day-to-day routine and simplicity of his San Fran lifestyle. He needed fresh air, crazy excitement, and life-threatening events to wake him up and see that his life is not just some dull series of predicted events. I get that. I didn’t at first, but this article made me realize it. I have enormous respect for Jeon and his bravery and passion for adventure. It’s safe to say that I will never voluntary spend my spring break holding and shooting an AK-47.