Study Guide

A Step from Heaven Chapter 8

By An Na

Chapter 8

My Future

  • It's school time, and Young Ju's on her way there in their new, broken-down car.
  • Young Ju knows that school is supposed to be her future, but she doesn't like the word future though because everything seems to be in the future, like their own house.
  • Young Ju's thinking about how she's a Mouse (or Rat) according to the Chinese zodiac, while everyone else in the family has important signs like Tiger or Dragon.
  • Even the baby waiting to be born (yep, there's another one coming) will be a Dragon.
  • Okay, now back to school—as in now, not the future.
  • Which confuses Young Ju. How can school be her future when she's going to it right now?
  • Anyway, she gets to school and meets her new teacher, who looks like she has a cloud for hair.
  • Young Ju thinks she looks like an old witch who eats kids.
  • The teacher tries to talk to her in English, but she can't get Young Ju's name right, which Young Ju just doesn't appreciate.
  • More awkward attempts at communication continue on both sides.
  • Young Ju meets some of the other kids, and the sheer diversity stuns her a little.
  • But you know what? Only one boy has curly hair. Hrmm… What was that about curly hair and Mi Gook people?
  • Anyway, Young Ju hopes her curly hair won't make people think she's a boy too.
  • Class starts and a girl offers her a red crayon; Young Ju calls her Sea Shirt because her shirt is—yup—the color of the sea. They begin coloring.
  • Then lunch comes, but Young Ju doesn't know what lunch is.
  • Her teacher shares what turn out to be Goldfish crackers with her, and Young Ju tries it out.
  • Turns out, she likes Goldfish (who doesn't appreciate salt?) and her teacher who lets her play with her Goldfish crackers and draw for the rest of lunch.
  • The girl who gave her a crayon comes back after lunch and starts babbling away in English, but Young Ju shakes her head at her to let her know the English is over her head.
  • But not for long—Young Ju's officially got some reasons to learn English.