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Min-jae Parker; Round 2
Topic Started: Jul 5 2015, 02:40 PM (254 Views)
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Who is this sassy lost child
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Name: Min-jae Elliott Parker
Gender: Male
Age: 17
Grade: 12
School: Cochise High School
Hobbies and Interests: Goth rock and metal music, goth subculture, drawing and painting, cooking

Appearance: Jae stands at 5' 11" and weighs 163 pounds, putting him on the thin side. Along with his light weight, there is a bit of awkwardness to his long limbs, as he is still in the middle of his growth spurt. Jae is bi-racial, with a Korean mother and Caucasian father, and has a naturally fair complexion which he sometimes accentuates with pale foundation, particularly during sunnier months. He has a heart-shaped face with a sharp jaw and cheekbones, almond-shaped brown eyes, a slightly pointed nose, and full lips. His straight black hair falls a few inches past his shoulders and is cut in choppy layers, and his bangs are long and parted to the side. He pulls his hair back in a ponytail when he needs it out of his way. He has two piercings in the cartilage and one in the lobe of his right ear, a "spider bite" style piercing on either side of his lower lip, and a tongue piercing. He received the ones in his ear with the accompaniment of his parents on his sixteenth birthday, and the ones in his lip and tongue on his seventeenth.

Jae is very meticulous about his appearance and tends to dress for style over practicality. He favors a "punk Goth" aesthetic; his outfits tend to be in dark colors, with extra zippers, buckles, or other embellishments, ankle or knee-high boots, and a tank top or t-shirt layered over long sleeves, often topped off with his favorite brown leather jacket. He frequently wears makeup, most often dark eye shadow and eyeliner, and sometimes nail polish.

Biography: Min-jae Parker was born on June 9, 1997 to Ethan Parker and Hye Choi Young in Stanford, California. The first year of Jae's life saw a good bit of financial strain on his parents, as Ethan was still finishing law school at Stanford and Hye was a recent graduate of the same, and both were working entry-level positions to support themselves. They held off on getting married until they were more financially stable, a few years after Jae was born.

Though the couple both worked, they spent as much time with Jae as possible during his early childhood. He was an energetic and talkative child, but was prone to sulking and occasional tantrums if he didn't get his way. It was apparent early on that he was inclined towards sketching and painting, and his parents encouraged his creativity. They took what free time they could to play or draw with him, and took care to display his artwork around the house and their workplaces.

The family spoke both English and Korean in the home, so Jae entered school fluent in both. While he did fairly well in elementary school, some teachers reported that he could be hyperactive and tended to talk out of turn, and was sometimes temperamental and argumentative with his teachers and other students, especially when he didn’t get his way.

When Jae was in fifth grade, Hye began having vision problems and difficulty walking and keeping her balance. She held off seeing a doctor, hoping that the episodes would go away, but when her symptoms became so severe that she was unable to work, it was obvious that there was a deeper problem. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and it was recommended that she begin working from home or quit altogether due to her impacted work performance. After a long debate and discussion, Ethan and Hye agreed that she ought to take an indefinite hiatus from work until her condition improved, leading her to spend a few years as a stay-at-home mom.

Hye's illness and leave from work had several effects on her relationship with Jae. He was initially stressed and scared by her suffering health, and though his parents explained the illness to him and assured him that Hye was not dying, it took a few months for him to get used to the dealing with her sickness. During this adjustment period, Jae's incidents of acting out at school became more frequent, and he fell into a cycle of bottling up stress, having an outburst, and then being reigned in, which set the general tone for his future struggles with controlling his temper. His parents and teachers were generally understanding during this time, thanks to what his family was going through, and he didn't face any serious consequences at home due to his parents’ attention being mostly focused on Ethan's increased time working and Hye adjusting to being at home and coping with her episodes.

Once Jae got more used to having Hye at home and was able to better understand what went on during her MS flare-ups, he was happy to be able to spend more time with his mom. He started taking on more responsibilities around the house, gradually getting more confident about taking care of himself and helping Hye out when she was having an episode. Through a combination of being taught by his mom and trial and error, Jae learned to cook and eventually was able to prepare simple meals for his family when neither of his parents was available.

Being able to spend more time with his mother also piqued Jae's interest in the Korean side of his heritage. Hye was a practicing Buddhist, but her religion had gradually fallen out of her priorities when she was busy attending law school and then working to support her family. During the most trying years of her illness, she experienced a revival of faith, taking comfort in meditation and prayer and educating Jae on the ideals and practices of Buddhism. Jae expressed interest in practicing the religion along with his mother, but he found difficulty applying its philosophies to his everyday life. To this day, he fluctuates in how strictly he follows Buddhist principles, trying diligently to follow them for a while before his dedication wanes, then picking up again at a later time. Hye also began teaching him how to prepare a few simple Korean dishes when they spent time cooking together.

Partway through Jae's sixth grade year, Ethan reconnected with a friend from law school, one Vernon Kanuho. Vernon informed Ethan that he had established his own firm in his and Ethan's hometown of Kingman, Arizona, and offered him the opportunity to sign on as an associate, stating that he would be willing to make allowances for Hye's condition if she wished to return to work as well. Ethan and Hye debated the risks and benefits, and Ethan finally accepted, moving the family.

Jae did not react well; while he had eventually learned to cope relatively well with Hye's illness, the sudden uprooting of the family so soon afterward and in the middle of the school year left him feeling lost and stressed out. His behavioral problems resurfaced, with the lingering stress from Hye's illness, combined with the move and feelings of lacking control over what was going on boiling over into verbal outbursts. He made efforts to adjust and was able to form friendships with kids who shared his interests in art and cooking, but this was hampered by his lashing out when frustrated, earning him a reputation as bossy and sometimes outright mean.

Art had always been Jae's main outlet for stress. Though his behavior began to go downhill in middle school, he continued to work and develop as an artist, trying to achieve more realism in his sketches and paintings, and experimenting with different mediums, like charcoal and colored pencil. His cooking skill also improved, and he began learning to make meals that required more time and skill, and experimented more with traditional Korean cuisine.

In his freshman year of high school, Jae was drawn to the cliques of students who were involved in the Goth rock and metal subcultures. He liked the dark tone of the music and the Goth fashion, which he began to adopt into his everyday look. This began as increased interest in stores that purported themselves to be goth fashion, such as Hot Topic, but it was quickly pointed out to him by the kids more familiar with the subculture that people who frequented mainstream stores like that were usually seen as posers. He was directed towards thrift stores and online shops which catered to his tastes, and began drawing his parents' attention to his desire to adopt a Goth look.

They were initially hesitant, concerned about the stereotypes associated with the subculture and uncertain about Jae's motivations for wanting to become a part of it. Through discussing it with his parents over several weeks, Jae explained that he liked the music and the fashion, and the idea of an open-minded subculture that celebrated expressing one's self in ways other than the mainstream. Eventually, Ethan and Hye agreed to let him begin making changes to his appearance, starting with purchasing a few thrift store items and making alterations. Their caveat for allowing him this was that he had to keep his grades up, and if it seemed to them that his new interest was getting him into more serious trouble he would have to abandon it.

Though he had finally found his niche, at the time Jae didn't make many close friends that shared his interests; the older kids in the Goth clique at school viewed him mostly as a hanger-on. Additionally, he had begun to drift apart from some of his friends, in part thanks to his continuing issues with needing to be in control of situations and difficulty keeping a handle on his temper.

During the same year, several instances of disciplinary action in close succession at school thanks to outbursts in class forced Jae's parents to acknowledge that his behavior had become an uncontrolled problem. Teachers frequently had their attention on him thanks to his past behavioral issues, leading to a self-feeding cycle where Jae felt that unfair pressure was being put on him, making him feel more stressed out, and thus more prone to the arguments that had gotten him attention in the first place. The school counselor suggested that Jae might benefit from anger management or at least general behavior counseling, and provided them with the necessary resources to find a therapist that would suit Jae. After a few general sessions with various counselors, they found a good match and Jae began more specialized therapy to help him deal with his anger and control issues in constructive ways. He currently attends counseling twice monthly, and his sessions focus mainly on helping him learn coping strategies for stressful situations and

Jae began to embrace the goth subculture more fully as he went through high school, developing his own fashion sense and incorporating gothic elements into his art. At his parents' urging, he tried to branch out socially more, making friends with more artistic types and finding other kids who shared his taste in music. Around the beginning of his junior year of high school, Jae's parents encouraged him to get a part-time job, so that he could begin saving up money for the future and purchase some of the more expensive items of clothing or shoes that he wanted himself. He found a job at a local movie theater, where he has been working for about a year.

Jae does decently in school, though he has a habit of letting his grades slip in other classes when he is busy with art. He is able to achieve at least B's in most classes when he tries, usually with higher marks in history and language classes than math and science. Jae is a member of the art club and spends most of his free time during school in the art wing. When required to work with others in class, Jae generally tries to adopt a leadership role, feeling that he works best when he is the one in charge.

Aside from art, cooking is Jae's biggest hobby. He finds it relaxing and enjoys the presentation of dishes, and he is frequently the one to cook dinner for his family, especially since Hye has begun working again now that she has been able to cope with her disease for a few years and Jae is more self-sufficient. The family tries to have at least one proper meal together a week, so that they can catch up on each other's activities.

Aside from butting heads over his behavior, Jae has a healthy and close relationship with both his parents. His mother and father do their best to be understanding of the causes behind his anger issues and encourage him to be more open to others. All of them are less close with their extended family, however, as both Ethan and Hye's relatives had mixed reactions to their relationship being interracial and their having a child before marriage. Things have grown less strained over time, but Jae still rarely sees his relatives outside of holidays and special occasions such as weddings; most of Hye's family lives overseas, so traveling to see them is expensive and time-consuming. Jae has decent relationships with his cousins who are close to his age, but is not particularly close with any of them.

With the help of counseling and just generally maturing, Jae is gradually becoming more laidback and positive, though his anger management skills are still very much a work in progress. He is improving, but he can still be quick to lose his temper, and he tends to get defensive easily when he feels that he is being insulted or unfairly targeted. However, he is learning to recognize when he has crossed the line, and he usually tries to own up and make amends when it happens. He has a few close friends and is gentler with people that he is close with than strangers, but his general attitude is a turn-off to some. One of his biggest personal struggles in recent years has been with his sexuality; Jae has never been especially interested in dating, and recently he has begun to consider that this is because he is attracted to men rather than women. He is very conflicted about this and has been making a concentrated effort to be into girls rather than really explore the likely possibility that he is gay, worrying about the reaction he'd get from friends and family if he were to admit it.

Jae's impulsiveness still sometimes gets him in trouble, and he still has a bit of a reputation as a bully. He sometimes feels as if he is just stuck with the image that others have of him, so he doesn't always make as much of an effort to stay out of altercations as he should. He also talks a lot, especially when he is nervous or anxious, which can annoy some people. If people can get past that, however, Jae is generally friendly enough and willing to talk about art or music with those who are interested. He is happy with his own company, but he also enjoys being around people in casual settings. He is a social smoker and drinker, partaking in alcohol and cigarettes if they are available at parties. As the end of his high school years approach, he has been smoking more, keeping cigarettes and borrowing them from friends more often, particularly when stressed. He never does harder drugs, mostly out of fear of the consequences if his parents were to find out.

Jae isn't sure if he wants to attend college after graduating, but he does know that he wants to have a career that involves his art. He is considering taking a year off to travel.

Advantages: Jae is confident, independent, and decently smart. He works well in leadership roles if he is able to get others to follow him.
Disadvantages: Jae's anger issues and reputation as a mouthy bully may make it difficult for him to gain or keep allies, and he doesn't work well with others if he can't be in control. His developing smoking habit could have a negative impact on his physical ability and would result in mild nicotine withdrawal if he is unable to smoke. His impulsiveness could get him into trouble if he makes rash decisions at the wrong time.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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