There is something about Disneyland that makes you feel like a seven year old kid again. I guess screaming at all the Disney princesses and shrieking at every turn in Space Mountain are just things you never grow out of.
Holy shit, what a great night.
18 May 2013 / 9 notes
I feel as though the entirety of the stress from senior year has finally caught up with me.
I don’t want to let go of what I’ve discovered here, and yet, I want a new beginning. I don’t know.
I suppose change is most observable when we see it others.
The freshmen in journalism have grown from awkward children to some of our most brilliant staff writers. The junior class—kids I’ve known since they were in 7th grade—are going to become seniors next year. The freshmen I knew as a junior are becoming upperclassmen next year. The boys have all had huge growth spurts, and it’s disconcerting to flip through old pictures on Facebook and see some of the tall, acne faced kids midget sized, with no facial hair.
Looking back at my last four years, I wonder what would’ve happened if I hadn’t made the impulsive decision to join the school paper. I wonder what would’ve happened if Scarlett Chen hadn’t lectured me about wanting to give up trying for a Science Olympiad officer position I claimed impossible to win as a freshman. I wonder what would’ve happened if I hadn’t had to retake the SAT, what would’ve happened if I hadn’t taken the chance to run for Technology Editor in Key Club, what would’ve been different if I simply hadn’t chosen to ask Stacy Luu for a pen on the 2nd day of school freshman year…
I’m appreciative of what I’ve had in high school. I found strangers coming from different middle schools and different friend groups, and we became a tight knit group of awkward children together. (A cult which uses the words “BBY” and “qurl” one too many times but it’s okay, I s’pose.) I’ve been given opportunities to discover, learn, and test the boundaries of my own potential. My teachers, an eclectic bunch, have all been endearing in their own way. (My stats teacher from last year stopped me in the hallways a few month ago to tell me that there was food in his classroom if I wanted any…) I like to think that high school was good. I met people who cared about me, found people who accepted me and my bizarre quirks, and now…
I don’t know.
I don’t know how to feel about the last 20 days of school.
I’m just exhausted.
15 May 2013 / 13 notes
“Hey so I was thinking about four letter words, and you know a word doesn’t mean a whole ton on its own, so here’s a question with a four letter word in it…”
8 May 2013 / 17 notes
Prom Season: When every single girl and boy on campus suddenly transforms from almost grown adults, prepared for college, on the verge of graduation and independence, to hormonal, raging beasts, seeking a mate to
hunt coerce into attending a dance with
Predicted forecast: Light shower of tears, sobbing, 99.9% chance of awkward, and hopefully some cute askings with pretty flowers
2 May 2013 / 16 notes
Jason Mraz (Mr. Curiosity)
26 Apr 2013 / 3 notes
I ran into my 8th grade Language Arts teacher today after a reception for seniors at school. He was coaching soccer for his sons, and I was about to go home. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, and yelled his name. He yelled, “Who are you?” back and when I told him I’d been his student back in 2009, he told me he vaguely remembered.
He gave me a high five, because “high five Fridays,” and he asked me who else was in my class at the time, and when I opened my mouth, I realized I was struggling to come up with names.
It’s been 5 years now. I barely remember his class. I remember drawing lots of pictures for busy work assignments, and memorizing the word “primordial” for a vocabulary test.
But I remember he was the one who told me I should grow up to be an engineer. Or maybe a scientist. One or the other.
It made sense at the time.
I wonder if, five years from now, the memories I’ve collected through my time in high school will be as distant as my memories of our “ghetto” middle school was. I wonder if I’ll keep in touch with everyone, if I’ll laugh at the same, stupid jokes, or if I’ll have found new dreams. If I’ll still dream the way I do now.
It was just five years ago. It passed by in a blink of an eye. And yet, standing in a parking lot on the campus of what I’ve referred to as a “jail” and my home away from home in the last four years, reconnecting with a teacher I never really liked, it feels like a lifetime has passed.
25 Apr 2013 / 11 notes
[In being waitlisted, I’ve been sent email after email telling me to hurry up and submit my letter of intent! “Tell us about what you’ve accomplished since we last heard from you.”
The last they heard from me was in December, and since then, many things have changed. So I suppose, after a bit of reflection…]
To a very esteemed, prestigious, and exceptional university,
What have I accomplished in the last 4 months since the terrorizing moment I hit “Submit” on December 31st?
I’ve saved the world from ending, negotiated successfully with world leaders to figure out a plan to secure world peace, and I’ve discovered a cure to every single known disease out there. I’ve written another novel in my spare time, which, by the way, was a New York Bestseller, and I happen to receive a notification that I won a Pulitzer prize! I fought for minority rights, and ended world hunger, and successfully taught children in Africa how to read and write English fluently. I picked up two other foreign languages and composed an orchestral piece. Meanwhile, on the weekends, I directed a few movies, became a lawyer, created the next Facebook in my garage. I became a multi-billionaire from my creative, innovative business that I created on January 2nd after submitting my application to you.
So please, accept me, if you could. Accept me as your second choice, because someone who shared the same, mediocre qualities as I did back in December decided to decline your offer of admissions for a more prestigious university. Accept me as a backup because cookie-cutter me from another school in Southern California couldn’t afford your tuition and turned you down for a full ride elsewhere. Accept me because you have a shortage of Asians in your Class of 2017, and you need me to create the diversity you want.
Or maybe… Don’t accept me.
Don’t accept me. Because really, I haven’t accomplished all of those things, and I am not as exceptional as the class you have just admitted. Four months has passed. On paper, I’m the same me that you tossed aside back in March. The same, average person who is passionate about the same, average things that you read about—not bad enough to be rejected, but not good enough to be accepted.
Don’t accept me, because, actually, I don’t want to attend your university after all. While I haven’t done any of those things, maybe one day I’ll take a trip to a third world country and help them build shelters and housing. Maybe one day, I’ll write a novel, study epidemiology, learn about psychological disorders. Maybe one day, I’ll start a charity organization and fundraise for children in need. Maybe I’ll start my own business, compose my own music, or learn another language. Maybe I’ll do all of those things…without attending your college.
What have I learned in the last 4 months, you ask?
I’ve learned that existentialism is a powerful concept, that dendrochronology is the study of tree rings, not roots, and that Kirchoff’s Loop Theorem can’t be applied to every single circuit problem, sadly.
And I’ve learned of schools that have accepted me into their programs and fallen in love with each one for a different reason.
But, mostly, I’ve learned that I don’t need to attend your exceptional university to make my own life worth something more than you’ll ever know from my 500 character statement.
Lots of love,
20 Apr 2013 / 18 notes
I find it strangely fascinating to see that Jane Austen was able to basically map out the various types of relationships that were prevalent in the 18th century, and 300 years later, her advice on marriage and pursuing strong emotional connections with others is still relevant.
It’s crazy, also, to think that 300 years of this classic later, we sometimes still fail to really take her advice to heart.
18 Apr 2013 / 11 notes
Not as beautiful as you, dear anon.
18 Apr 2013 / 6 notes
When I was in the third grade, my teacher made me stand in front of the class, as she berated me for being narcissistic and attention seeking. At the time, we were supposed to record the number of books we had read in the last month, and because I had been trying to record my completed number of books on the chart in front of the class, and the number of books I’d read exceeded everyone else’s by such a large margin, I was making everyone else feel inferior, and selfish, conniving third grader me should be punished for pushing other people down.
Almost nine years later, that incident still remains in my head as only one of the numerous times a teacher has pulled me aside to tell me that my thoughts and interest in learning was not welcome in the classroom. In fourth grade, the teacher told me to please try and understand that other students in my class had to learn as well, so if I could please stop asking questions at that level, it would be greatly appreciated. In the fifth grade, I was told to stop learning math at home so that I would finish math homework at a slower pace.
Which all sounds somewhat ridiculous, looking back. I’m not a genius. My questions were not so obscure as to be impossible to answer. The number of books I read was not really that staggeringly high, and more than anything else, I never understood why my interest in learning was seen as such a negative trait. What blows my mind is that my friends share similar stories. My friends received phone calls home from their elementary school teachers to tell their parents that their children had plagiarized homework after using advanced vocabulary in an assignment, disqualified from science fairs for their experiment was too sophisticated, and sent to “sign in” (as was the popular punishment in 5th grade) for reading a book outside of the assigned classroom reading in class.
And yet, looking at it now, the pressure to go beyond what is asked, to pursue a higher level of intellectual understanding has been steadily increasing. College applications are an indication that being average, listening to what teachers tell you to do, is not enough. You’ll read books telling you that simply taking the information spoon fed to you by your teachers and professors is not the way to truly learn. What blows my mind is the fact that up until high school, nine years into the public education system, students who show any signs of interest in learning—students who question, research, and strive to attain a better understanding—are cast as smart asses, plagiarists, and elitist snobs only interested in making those around them feel inferior.
The sudden shift from condemning knowledge to abruptly casting it as the key to understanding the world takes place in high school. For kids who have been lucky enough to have parents at home, pushing them constantly to ignore what their supposed mentors and teachers criticized about our curiosity, parents who have answered the ignored questions from school, parents who have come home from parent teacher conferences and laughed at the comments the teacher made, for kids like me and my friends, the sudden shift is a welcome surprise.
But for the kids without the support system at home—the kids who have been pushed down by people they admire for reading too many books, learning too many vocabulary words, the kids who have been ostracized in the classroom for their curiosity, who are condemned not by their friends and peers, but by their teachers, for being “nerds”—the sudden shift leaves them confused and behind. Why suddenly emphasize school and striving to learn more when all along, the emphasis has been to learn what’s strictly been taught in the classroom?
People say the education system is seriously flawed in America. They’re quick to point out the lack of funding. And while I could write pages and pages about the numerous problems that exist in the schools I’ve attended due to budget cuts—from ridiculous amounts of kids in a class to unnecessary renovations our school can’t afford—budget isn’t the biggest problem in schools. Until we encourage kids to ask questions and explore more than what’s being handed to them, until we point to kids who are successful as inspiration, not sources of problems, until we start cheering for the kids who read more books than assigned during silent reading time, I don’t think any lump of money is going to stimulate the intellectual pursuits of future generations of Americans.
17 Apr 2013 / 12 notes