Monday, May 12. 2014
Here are some links to my “Wall of Fame” for this thread – responses from years past that I’ve found interesting or that impressed me. I strongly suggest reading some before attempting your own. They’re not necessarily perfectly written; they’re not even all A-worthy pieces. But I loved reading them, and wanted to make sure they weren’t forgotten. (Some of them are optimistic and hopeful; others are pessimistic and cynical; some of them are ambivalent; a whole bunch of them seem pretty scared. A pretty accurate snapshot, in other words.)
You’re allowed to write this one in stages/parts/multiple entries if you wish, and if you ultimately end up re-writing yours, just post the new one as a reply to your old entry. (This has been a strategy a lot of kids have used over the years, so don’t feel bad if you resort to it.)
Finally, if you’re wondering why the replies to the comments from the Classes of ‘08 and ‘09 sound like everyone’s saying legitimate goodbyes to each other, it’s because that’s actually what they were doing. This used to be the last thread of the year before I wrote Part the Second and Part the Last.
Class of 2014: Craig C.
Your Name Here? Plenty of room.
Class of 2013: Annabell L., Nina W., Arianna H., Matthew C., Christy H., Nate C., Kevin K., Scott M., and Allen M.
Class of 2012: Sara N., Madison D., David E., Kat T., Irma N., Alton W., Vanessa Q., Holly X., Shirish S., Amanda S., Valerie L., Jack H., Vivian W., Asaka F., Gabo A., Jasmine F., Tiffany S., Elliot C., Minerva E., Kaitlyn F., Sally C., and Stephanie H.
Class of 2011: Sid L., Long W., Nicole H., Hardy L., Juliet C., Joyce K., Sarah G., Pichaya P., Chris W., Jefferson K., Michelle Z., Brenda C., and Nathalie H.
Class of 2010: Stacey K., Sophia C., Tiffany H., Gabriel W., Kevin Y., Tiffany C., James G., and Cherry W.
Class of 2009: Tamara G., Todd G., Edzelle R., Samantha M.,and Brittany A.
Class of 2008 (my first year, with different requirements for posts and four senior sections): Nieman T., Stephanie S., Jonathan K., Thomas C., Amanda P., Eric K., Angela Y., Gary C., Grace S., Kelly K., Priscilla V., Brianna B., and Camellia S.
My rule in making up examination questions is to ask questions which I can’t myself answer. It astounds me to see how some of my students answer questions which would play the deuce with me.
Henry Brooks Adams
In search of some rest
In search of a break
From a life of tests
Where something’s always at stake
Where something’s always so far
What about my broken car?
What about my life so far?
What about my dream?
Carbon Leaf, What About Everything?
You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
I can’t begin to explain
How we disassemble the parts and frame…
I could have made this work, but all I had was
The hope that pieces would take shape
And we could watch them all fall into place…
The Naked and Famous, All of This
One’s real life is so often the life that one does not lead.
This is our last chance to spill happy tears
These memories will stick with us for years
And we’re still young after all
And I’ll see you next fall
But this summer I admit I fear...
Broadway Calls, Life is In the Air
You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high-school class is running the country.
This is water.
David Foster Wallace
To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal...
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance...
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
What time is it now?
On a Wednesday in May of 2011, I went to two events that I’d been looking forward to for some time: the Orchesis show and the cross-country signing ceremony.
I had more of a connection to Orchesis than usual that year because so many of “my” students took part in it – not just seniors Ada Hon, Adriana Benevento, Anita Su, and Sophia Ning, but juniors Bella Muljana and Tiffany Wu as well. I’d known the latter two students much longer than the seniors: I had served as their first English teacher at Arcadia High, and they were part of my first freshman class here.
The young women I watched on the stage that night weren’t the same people I had met years earlier. Time, and life, had in fact shaped them into very different individuals, not just in age, but in temperament (although Tiffany still swung by B2 before every Winter Break with a Jamba Juice card; she knew me too well). To see how far they’d come – to watch the dance that Bella choreographed, to see Tiffany perform with such joy – made me proud in a way that only familiarity makes possible.
I found myself marveling at how quickly time had passed, and how time seemed to change my students much more profoundly than it was changing me.
But before I went to that particular performance, I headed past the site of my first classroom (now gone) and the place I was interviewed (since replaced), entering the baby-blue district office building where I signed my first contract (it will be torn out soon enough).
My cross-country boys sat around a table in a conference room I hadn’t entered since the last time I’d been pink-slipped, and as I looked at them, each bedecked in collegiate gear, I tried to remember what they were like when I first met them, back before I’d taught a single class here, back before anyone knew my name.
I attended summer practices that year, and that’s where I met Ben Hsueh and Zack Marriott, Daniel Huang and William Tsai, Esmond Wei and Allen Leung, Eric Garibay and Ammar Moussa. They were very much boys back then, with a ton of raw energy and…questionable maturity. Over four years, I watched them grow up, grew frustrated when they bickered, supported them when they fell short of their goals, ferried them to what seemed like a hundred different races and practices, and screamed at the top of my lungs in my apartment when I finally watched them win a national championship from afar. They came to this school when I came to this school, and now here we were, wrapping up our time together after four years spent at Arcadia High. They seemed very ready to leave, eager to go off to new places and carve out new lives for themselves.
I looked at them, and thought to myself, Oh, boys…how did you ever get so old?
As I stood behind them, smiling for the pictures Zack’s father patiently shot, I looked down at the table. On it were a bunch of Letters of Intent, each freshly signed.
But I also saw pieces of scratch paper, white expanses interrupted by a dozen scribbled versions of their names.
Some had been practicing their signatures before they put pen to paper.
I can’t remember not knowing exactly how my signature would look. The facsimile on my driver’s license comes from the time I scribbled it onto a pressure-sensitive pad at the DMV when I was seventeen. My signature still looks that way, over a full decade later.
I looked at those Letters of Intent, looked at the scratch paper, at the kids who had become young men since I started teaching, at the people whose signatures hadn’t been etched in stone yet, and realized that there was so much I still had left to teach them, that I wished we had more time left to spend…but that they were ready to leave anyway, even though they were unfinished, even though they were still changing.
And I realized that they’d be standing in my shoes before they knew it.
We live in a quickly changing world, and we change just as quickly.
Our authors this semester explored what humanity could/would willingly sacrifice in the name of convenience, in the name of avoiding the problems that plagued our ancestors, in the name of simple safety, in the name of preserving a way of life to which we’d grown accustomed, and they came up with the same answer: our humanity. By documenting the fragmented lives of a forgotten class of people, one whose exploitation was driven by the desire for more – more money, more ease, more time – Rivera seems bent on proving a similar hypothesis to Orwell. And by documenting the fragmented lives of a forgotten class of people, one whose exploitation was driven by the desire for more – more health, more security, more time – so, too, does Ishiguro.
One could say that Ishiguro and Orwell seemed genuinely freaked out by what the future could hold. …And the Earth Did Not Devour Him, on the other hand, comes to seem almost optimistic about the days ahead. Rivera’s work demands no less than a just, equitable path for human development and coexistence, one built on respect, compassion, and connection – and it aims to help people take their first steps along that path. If the other authors are concerned that we’ll lose our humanity, Rivera’s chiefly concerned with how we get it back. And that, too, becomes the hidden message of Never Let Me Go: do we stand for this? Do the Hailsham students deserve better than a half-life? Do they deserve lives and consciousness at all? Should we accept things as they are just because progress pointed us in the direction that took us there?
I’ve asked you to spend this semester looking at what exactly makes up “humanity,” and we’ve started grappling with the important questions that will shape the human future your generation ushers in. I assume that most of you see our likely future unfolding differently than our authors did, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know what you’d see if I asked you to think about what the world will look like in a decade. (I mean, did you think the world would look this way when you were eight? What did you think it would look like? Weren’t we supposed to be driving flying cars by now, or using a transporter, or living on the moon?)
I’ve asked you to look at the past and the present, to examine the world around you and the world inside yourself.
I’ve asked you to do this because I dare to dream that the world can still be better – that we can build a better one.
I do this because I’ve seen the problems that have thwarted the generations before mine, and because I believe that yours can help solve them.
I gave some of you the Ecclesiastes quote on your syllabus, back on the day we met nine months ago, because each line applies surprisingly well to senior year itself – to prom, to graduation, to the fraying of relationships as we attempt to sew them up, and to that sense of planting seeds in the fresh soil of a new land. All of that business about embracing, and mourning, and laughing, and dancing – great stuff.
You’re on your way out. The plane is circling, coming in to land.
And now that we’re heading for the big goodbye, I wanted to bring that quote full circle.
I think, for some of you, the present feels like it should be the time for rest.
You’ve fought your hardest academic battles. A few things remain – a blog here, a test there – but nothing you’ve never handled before. Just getting to this point, I imagine, was exhausting. And some of you, feeling like you’ve conquered your way here, probably just want to hang up your figurative weapons, shed your suit of armor, and sleep the sleep of the just.
Understand this: It’s no longer a battle. Not for points, not for grades, not for any of the old enemies you fought for all those years.
In these classes, it never has been about that.
You have always had the right to choose. You have always had the right to mess with my assignments’ designs, to tweak things until they were meaningful, to pursue new avenues of inquiry when it felt like everyone had already pursued the old ones.
You have always had the right to recognize the water.
That’s why you were never “doing my work.” What does “my work” even look like? (He asks this while sitting in front of a pile of posters that no outside observer would ever guess came from the same assignment...and having read some of these, honestly, I can safely say that your creativity well outstrips any guidelines I could’ve assigned.)
No, I’ve told you the truth every single time I clicked through the header that kicked off the PowerPoints: All I ever gave you was myself…a place…and time.
Time to contemplate birth and death, hate and love, and the ways in which they all get mixed up in each other; to weigh whether killing ever spurs healing, or war ever spurs peace; to determine what, exactly, we should embrace, and what we should reject; to study the ways people handle all the losing, weeping, and mourning that seems to accompany so much of life; to be reminded that the laughing, dancing, and seeking that accompanies the rest of it should never be forgotten or undervalued in the face of all that; and to understand the necessity of tearing some things down for good, and the necessity of rehabilitating and re-sewing what sometimes gets torn, even when it hurts.
At the beginning of this post, I asked you, rhetorically, what time it was now…
…But I think you already know.
It’s time to plant something.
Time to leave some seeds behind – for yourself, re-reading these in college (I know you can’t imagine yourself doing so, but you wouldn’t believe how many people do – it’s the main reason I don’t delete them when you go), and for the classes that follow you.
So take off the school-armor. Lay down your sword. Forget the old fights.
Go do the slow work. Take your time, tend the land, and grow something beautiful – not because I demand that you do, but because you have always had the power to choose to do it.
And now, nothing’s stopping you.
One part this week.
A second part next week.
And the final part the week after.
Whatever you do, don’t keep silent.
Now is not the time.
As I left the Orchesis show that night, I thought about all the ways my recent past, present, and future had been rammed together of late. That had been a particularly challenging year for me, a time when a great many things either ended or threatened to do so. I imagine many of you feel the same way about this year, albeit for different reasons.
Honestly, I don’t know whether this is a good time for you or a bad one. All I know is that these days, your last days as children, are memorable, no matter how you’re spending them.
In a few weeks, you’ll leave class after a bell for the last time. You’ll walk out the door into a sunny afternoon.
Twenty-four hours later, the Arcadia High School campus will be a relic of your past – an immediate past, but a relic all the same.
There’s no moving backward through time, so we might as well look forward at that point to the rapidly approaching future.
After all, it’s not like anyone tells you when it’s OK to start making a difference.
You just start making one.
…The time is always ripe to do right.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail
+ What will the better world look like if we build it...and would you like it better than this one?
+ What will the country look like in five or ten years? What will you be talking about when you come back for your reunions? What about when your children finish studying Search for Human Potential and graduate from Arcadia High?
+ What do you think the future holds for us? Are we moving in a positive direction as human beings, or sliding backwards? Do you feel hopeful about the future? Worried? Conflicted? Pessimistic?
+ Are we getting closer to fulfilling our potential? Do you think humanity will reach it within your lifetime? What is our ultimate potential as a species?
+ How will you be part of our future? How will you help us build a better world?
Your main post is due to both the blog and Turnitin.com by 11:59pm on Thursday, May 15th.
Your replies are due by 11:59pm on Friday, May 16th.
Finally, please remember to nominate two of your peers for their excellent work. You can find the nomination form at this link.
Remember the new requirement: for your last blogs this year, the minimum response contains at least four seven-sentence paragraphs.
Since you’re writing for spots on the Wall of Fame from here on out – a spot that, as you can see from the top of this post, lasts for years – I encourage you to work hard, to write creatively, and to really blow the doors off the blog during these final few weeks.
I wish you way more than luck.
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“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean….” David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Sophomore year was the year I stumbled across this seemingly pessimistic quote. At first, I was confused about it. Are our lives truly as insignificant as David Mitchell suggests? Was my life going to amount to nothing more than a drop of water in a vast ocean? Disillusioned, I was convinced that no matter what I do, none of it would matter because my life, my future, would amount to no more than a drop in a limitless ocean. But somewhere in my heart, I was discontent.
This discontentment spiraled into a series of events that would drastically change my view on the world. The most drastic though was during Sophomore year. I was invited to join a school team called Solar Cup, an annual competition held at Lake Skinner with the goal is the build the fastest and most efficient solar boat within six months that would compete against other schools. As a team, we charged on, determined to reach our goal. Every weekend we spent four to five hours constructing parts for our boat. Parts had to be engineered from scratch, the boat hull needed to be sanded and epoxied, and the all electrical components had to be tested. It took us months of hard work and dedication until we built our first prototype, and after that even more months of refinement and improvement. I remember once we spent three entire weeks trying to get the stupid electrical system to work. It just wouldn't work. We changed wires, readjusted components, replaced suspected broken parts, diagnosed potential problem areas. It sucked. Yet despite all the hard work, tiring hours, and frustrations, those few weeks contain some of my happiest memories. It wasn't just the friendships nor experiences that made the project worth it though, nor was it the feeling of achievement that reignited my passion for renewable energy, rather it was at this point that I finally understood what the Cloud Atlas quote truly meant. Individually it would have been close to impossible to design a life-size boat, engineer its parts, and test it all within six months, but together we made it happen. Together we designed a boat, and together we sought out to build it to create something beautiful.
Metaphorically, although our individual lives may be insignificant, together with many lives, I've come to realize that we make up this “vast ocean.” I realized that while I may not be able to come up with the solution to most of the world’s problems, together with peers with similar aspirations, we have the potential to solve any problem; together we can change the world. I now understand that it is not what I will be able to do in the future, but rather it is what we will be able to do together. Breakthroughs will happen not from individuals, but from individuals working together: scientists from different fields, mathematicians from different departments, musicians from different genres, athletes from different sports, financial bankers from different corporations all working together towards a bigger and brighter tomorrow. And this excites me, this truly excites me because I know that it isn't just me who will be trying to build a better future; I know that we are all trying to make a difference. We can change the world together, we can make a difference together. Individually we may have limitations, but together we can learn from each other, build from each other, and charge on together. We can and we will reach our full potential... together.
“…yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?” David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
The future excites me, there is so much to do, so let's go...what are we waiting for?
I agree. I feel we don't look at the bigger picture. We need to appreciate life and its many wonders more often.
Alex! I've never heard this quote until now, but I love it. I'll be sure to add Cloud Atlas to my reading list. If I read the quote as an isolated stream of words, I would probably have interpreted it negatively as well. But after this post, it holds so much more meaning. You're absolutely correct about needing to work together to create a big enough splash to affect real change. But if we do not have the luxury of collaboration, do we still have change?
Do we interrupt the calm waters?
Do we dare disturb the universe?
Individual action sparks change, even if it is on a small scale.
These waves of change travel. Whether it dissipates or grows is up to chance.
But isn't the chance worth it?
Great post. I agree with what you said, we might be just a drop in the ocean, but what is the ocean if it doesn't have any drops. We all matter. Good use of the quotes!
After yesterday’s lecture on Kenyon College’s graduation speech for the class of 2005, I started to think a lot more about being conscious in everyday life – day in and day out.
And I strived to answer this blog question with the help of my kids, or in yesterday’s case – my guinea pigs for my experiment to answer this question: “Are we getting closer to fulfilling our potential? Do you think humanity will reach it within your lifetime? What is our ultimate potential as a species?”
After Feraco’s lecture, I drove home thinking of ways I’d answer the question. I opened up Word and couldn’t find the Blog online, but I could recall what was asked of us in class.
Without any personal experience to reflect upon such an answer, I knew I had to find the answer.
I checked my phone: 5:10 p.m.
I grabbed my stuff and headed for the In-N-Out drive thru before I left to work – and then it hit me.
“Hey can I take your order?”
“Yeah, can I get uhh, two double doubles, one animal style, and one grilled onion chopped chilli…”
“Is that all for you sir?”
“No fries or a drink?”
“-Oh! Wait! Let me get an Animal swim…”
I had a Walter Mitty moment. Puppy biscuits!
That was the answer. I drove to work excited for today’s experiment. You might be a tad confused at this point, so let me explain. Animal Swim is a swimming-drill that my coaches used to run with my team when we were younger. The goal was to race to one end of the pool and not be last. After every sprint, the last place swimmer would have to do… say 20 burpees and was excluded from the race, and the race would continue with the next last place swimmer doing 19 burpees. The race would continue until there was one person left, and he usually still had to do burpees - just very little.
There were two rules to Animal Swim:
1. You cannot intentionally hurt anyone (punch, kick, scratch).
2. You cannot exit the pool or use the walls.
Everything else was fair game.
I intentionally ran a very boring practice that day to get them pumped for the little activity I had planned for them.
“Alright guys, throw your kickboards out, ears outta the water! Listen up!… We’re going to play a game”
I had never seen the kids so attentive, quick, and obedient as the word “game” was said.
7 pairs of goggles looking my direction stared intently at me and each face grinning with excitement anticipated the rules to Animal Swim.
“So I can pull on Brandon’s leg?!” Cody questioned (surprisingly almost in a way that I ask Feraco questions).
“… Yes Cody”
“Wait! So I can hug Haley like a koala bear?!”
“… Yes Brandon..”
After another four minutes of constant questioning (I know how you feel Feraco, trust me; if you can bare it – so can I), the kids were ready to race – each with their own tactic on how to win without having to do burpees.
For the 1st race, the last place swimmer was Brandon, who was too focused on trying to hug Haley “like a koala bear” and at the same time trying to rid him of Cody’s constant tugging at his leg. The kids finished the race and Brandon started to cry.
“What happened Brandon?”
“Someone kicked me in the eye” he said, sobbing.
“… Well, who was it exactly?”
“… I don’t know”
I did. It was Haley and it was an accident. I saw that as he was trying to attach himself onto her, she struggled to rid herself of him and kicked him in the face with a breaststroke kick. She didn’t know any better and neither did he.
Haley didn’t seem to know what was going on, nor did I want her to.
“You’ll be okay Brandon, take a break, finish your push-ups, and watch the rest of the race”
I started the 2nd race. As I refereed the race underwater, I saw Cody desperately trying to bring down whoever was closest to him, Andrew trying to latch onto Steven, Steven simply ignoring it, and other kids (Haley, Ashley, and Dillon) simply sprinting their hearts out.
The lap was done.
Cody was last.
Haley was crying.
“Cody, do your push-ups, ya loser!” I jokingly teased him and turned my attention to Haley.
“Haley, what happened?”
“I got kicked in the eye”
“Who was it?”
I turned to Ashley, and instantly, uncontrollable tears started to run down her cheeks, she buried her face in her hands. I brought both of the girls to my chest and gave them big hugs.
“I-I..-it was an a-accident. Cody was grabbing onto me, and scratching me on my right, and I-I- I kicked Haley on accident to my left. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to!”
”Did you hear that Haley? She didn’t mean to, are you okay? Does it still hurt?”
Haley nodded, yes. Then, no.
I laughed, I glanced at the parents of the children and saw their faces in utter shock - ambivalent of my coaching and whether they should intervene to help their child.
None of them moved, they just watched, and so I proceeded with the races.
But before I started.
“You see guys?” –staring at Cody as he finished up his push-ups –
“We can’t hurt each other, those were the rules. Accidents happen. We are going to learn how to play this game right. And we are going to continue playing this game, until we learn to play it right”
They looked shocked, but something in their expression told me that they had learned from this. I integrated Cody and Brandon back into the race – practice was almost out anyway.
The 3rd race began with Brandon and Cody instantly sticking to their game plans – latching onto each other this time. Cody being last this time.
This time, no injuries. (Thank you divine being up there...)
And this time like the rest, Dillon came in first.
“Practice is over guys!”
The kids rushed out of the pool as usual. I climbed out after them, cleaned up the equipment, and got dressed.
As I was leaving work, I was approached with the parents of those children (who were already waiting in their cars ready to go home).
Parent #1 “Do you not realize how dangerous your practice was to our kids? Haley was crying, she got kicked in the head, and you still made her sprint?!”
Parent #2 “You can’t just not consider the health of our kids to do things YOUR way, my son was hurt…”
Parent #3 “why was my daughter crying?...”
”Listen to me. Whether or not you agree with my coaching is on you, I can careless if you don’t like me, you can enlist your child under a different swim school instructor or go somewhere else. If you think a scratch here, a kick to the face there, or some tears here, is detrimental to their health – you aren’t seeing what I’m doing for you. I don’t just coach, I teach so much more than just coaching, I offer discipline and morals. I give them a chance to build healthy character – and I mold better people. I’m young, but I know how to do that.”
They left feeling disrespected with what I had said.
I know I’m going to hear from it from my boss when they address their complaints.
Dillon and his mother were there. I approached the two.
“I’m proud of you buddy, you figured it out pretty quickly.”
Dillon looked down and blushed at my rare compliment. His mother smiled, and looked at me curiously – expecting me to explain today’s practice.
“You’re probably wondering what I’m so proud of and maybe even what practice was all about today. Well this little drill, isn’t so much of a drill. It’s a way for coaches to observe the personalities of their kids. You see, kids like your own, are the best breed of people there are. I’m not proud of his athletic ability, he’s far from my expectations, in fact Haley or Steven might even be faster than him if she applied herself more – no, I’m proud of his character. He won 1st place every race, because instead of focusing on putting others down, he focused on himself. He always focused on himself, every race, doing him all the time. Boys like Cody and Brandon remind me of myself as a child, I was always so caught up in the success of others, that I measured my excellence through surpassing their limits, never my own . Those boys are so caught up on bringing each other down, making anyone next to them slower – that they forget to swim hard themselves. Similar to me, they thinking winning the game is beating the last kid, that that is how you win and not do the push-ups – just don’t be last place. And that is exactly how you lose the game. I’m so proud of Dillon for being the kid that I never was.”
I rubbed his messy, half-dried, hair.
“Proud of you Dillon, have a goodnight.”
Observing a younger generation makes me think back to how things were during my days. I can’t say much has changed especially since I draw strong connections to personality types like Cody and Brandon. Although people like Haley and Ashley have probably been exposed to me during my childhood, I’ve never witnessed such innocent compassion and love since that day. Our road to perfection with imperfect instincts is a long one, but with people like Dillon (who just so happens to remind me so much of my best friend Kevin), I see a bright future for us.
Our potential as a species is not necessarily to be perfect human beings.
We are perfectly imperfect.
Our potential is to be self-driven and compassionate, to be competitive and still share, it is to have the perfect balance of these characteristics and traits that are opposite in nature.
If we are to claim that we are a superior species of living organisms on this planet, we must prove that. We must do so by teaching each other how to be the best beings we can be.
We must be compassionate.
We must be motivated.
We must look to self-improve.
We must destroy ignorance.
We must free ourselves of temptation.
We must love each other.
And we must help each other reach these goals because if a human potential exists, we must reach it together - day in and day out.
With Love We Will Survive.
Wow. I'm honored to be the first person to congratulate you on this post. My jaw hit the ground reading this one.
I've never seen someone our age test their kids the way you did. That drill, and the way you then handled the parents (for the most part) was incredibly mature. I think you taught them a really genuine lesson, whether they realize it now or not.
The importance of nurturing, of compassion, is greatly undermined and you introduce it to those kids in way only you could.
Again, congrats, this was really great stuff Craig!
I got ninja'd by Simone. Darn it. Well onto your blog post, Craig. I want to say that that was the best blog post I've ever read. I've never commented or nominated the top blogs because they always get enough comments anyway. But hot damn, that was an amazing read. The idea behind Animal Swim is ingenious but not foreign. It reminds me of Lord of the Flies, where Dillon is Ralph and Cody and Brandon resemble Jack; they can't stand the success of others and thus try to pull others down. If I was one of the parents, I would have congratulated rather than scold you for your implementation of this awesome activity.
I really hope that you continue coaching or at least teaching because you are as good of teacher to them as Feraco is to us. Also, thanks for the good ideas, I needed something inspirational to try and help me out here with my own blog.
Craig! It is so interesting how you have so many stories from the swim class that you teach and how they work well with the blog prompts! I think that your blog today was very well done ... I liked how you showed your interactions with your students and their parents, and overall, I thought that this blog really showed your message through the interactions you had.
Craig, your posts have yet to cease to impress me because you always find a way to connect your argument to a personal experience. I'll admit that your methods intrigue me but I kind of understand where you're going with them and how they have the potential to produce the results that you desire. But the thing that I really have to admire is your refusal to waiver about your beliefs when confronted by parents. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for yourself in front of an angry parent (or in your case, multiple angry parents).
Anyway great stuff, man.
Craig, I really like how you choose to speak from the future, and it was a good story. I love the prediction of the future, but are you sure it's what you will be in the future? Are you still going to keep yourself in the future? If so, don't lose it because it's hard to find it then.
I can't seem to stop reading this post. On occasion I would find myself looking over this over and over again, searching for another meaning that I couldn't find during my previous read. This was beautiful in every aspect, and I loved how you were telling us the story about what you do and the responses you gave the parents who questioned your teaching style. You deserve that spot on the Wall of Fame.
Craig, I don't know what to say. Feraco has already placed you on the wall of fame for this post. I can't describe just how much this post means to me. It means a lot to me as an athlete, I know what it's like to have good coaches. I have never been under your "command" but i know you would be one of the best coaches I have ever had.
I don't know why, but the way your write out your blog just attract me to read it. Like your format, your spacing are attractive. Anyway, I really like your story of coaching and while reading your blog, it reminds me of my senior project. I'm doing teacher as my topic. Coaching and teaching are really similar and your post totally light up my mind about teaching (and also my senior project) I'm really proud of you, as a senior, you are such a great coach and you have all these thoughts abut how to teach those kids, you got those guts to tell the parent straight up from their face about the reason why you are doing all these! I don't know what's your career but if you are going to be a teacher or a coach, I guess you will be a great one!
Craig, your blog post was the first one I read and it absolutely blew me away. I cannot imagine how wonderful that boy must have felt, along with his mom as well. Thank you for posting. It's probably the best I've ever read.
Dang, Craig this was so emotional. I liked how you included the parent's quotes. It gives a different perspective on other people's thoughts on the situation. Extremely well done with the way you paced every moment.
Wow Craig, this is an AMAZING blog. You truly have a knack for writing and I consider myself lucky to be able to read your masterpieces. Thanks for this.
Craig Craig Craig,
Bravo! Great great blog! Enjoyed reading every word of it, and am super glad that you've grown so much since middle school!
My god, that was a great post Craig! The imagery and emotion used in this post made me feel like I was there. It's always great to read your posts.
Your blog post blew me away! You writing about coaching reminds me of me being a coach teaching little kids golfing. I can somewhat relate your experience with the encounter of parents coming up to your face.
Your blog was really great!
Damn!! Craig great post man i really like how you used coaching in your blog. i remember when i was mentoring some of my soccer children.
Great post cant wait for the next.
Wow, Craig.. That was so amazing to read. I love that you were able to connect so many things, and in the end teach the kids and the parents that life isn't about tearing each other down. I believe in your teaching methods.
This feels strange to say, but you might actually be a positive influence on the children of our society. I am glad you took initiative when the time called for you. You may seem obnoxious but when the time comes, you are ready to take responsibility and do what needs to be done. Way to put it all together in an intriguing post. Good job Craig man.
The Earth has been turning around, day after day, for over four billion years, and though we weren't there from the beginning, humans have been roaming this earth for a good portion of the time. We have been able to endure meteors, earthquakes, ice ages, tornadoes and everything else Mother Nature threw at us. And soon enough, we encountered man-made disasters: plane crashes, oil spills, animal extinctions, and more. We've come across violence, revolutions, and rebellions that resulted in a large number of casualties. We've taken lives that will never be able to be returned; not to the person, their friends, nor their family. I have absolutely no doubt that there are going to be thousands more of these heart-breaking, terrifying disasters coming our way. These disasters could be by man or by nature, but this is insignificant because humans have an extraordinary gift. We are able to endure, adapt, and learn from our wrong doings.
While studying U.S. History last year, I read a lot about different groups of people being oppressed by another. From Andrew Jackson’s Trail of Tears to the Jim Crow Laws that lasted from 1877 until about the 1960s, I saw how much people learned and did what they could to move in a more positive direction. Sure, there were a few slips here and there when I could help but say under my breath while reading the book, “oh god, save us,” but we were able to pick ourselves back up which ultimately restored our faith in humanity.
For example, I always thought protesting was something that was just to get attention and create chaos. Basically, I didn't think it was really impactful and important, seeing that some people who protest are just college kids who thought it was cool and “hip.” However, when I read more in depth about the civil rights movement, I saw it was something more than what I've always believe it to be. It was pretty much what I thought it to be – loud, chaotic, and attention grabbing – but it was also so much more. It was people showing others how much they were suffering and letting people who didn't really understand hear them out. These fights for things we don’t even consider to be important it represented more than just citizenship. It represented acceptance and acknowledgement. It represented change. And it sparked a chain reaction where more and more people were fighting to get the acknowledgement they deserved and to restore the foundations this country was built upon.
“Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.”
― Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin’
Though I do not know what challenges we will face in the future, I know for a fact that we, humans, are going to find a way to make it better. We have found a way to persist for about 200,000 years, and I’m sure this is just the beginning. Yes, sometimes I do worry about things like global warming and how that will affect in ten years, twenty year, and even 100 years from now, but I know our world is in good hands. There will always be good and bad, but the good always overcomes the bad. It may take a few minutes or even a few decades, but nevertheless, we've seen it happen throughout history. Every time something bad happens, we can’t just sit there and cry about it. We have to take some sort of action. The universe is constantly changing, and the Earth stops for no one. I have hope for the future, and I faith that humanity will do the right thing and steer the world into a positive direction no matter how difficult things may seem.
“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: ‘Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.’ When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, ‘The one I feed the most.’”
― George Bernard Shaw
I agree with you that humans not only have the potential to be both good and evil, but also the power to choose between which instincts they act on. I really love your choice of quotes.
I agree with what you wrote. We might not know what exactly the future holds for us, but we will find a way to get through it.
“Why are you here? You don’t belong here!”
I’m pretty that this kind of talk has been thrown at a majority of us. We just are not able to take this kind of verbal abuse. It wounds our pride, our integrity, our dignity. It wounds us.
In the past, I was always alone. I was bullied. I was mistreated verbally and physically. No one remembers their childhood that well. No one remembers if he or she was the bully or the bullied unless there was some deep trauma in it. Being alone...just made me vulnerable to bullies. In first grade, I didn’t have friends. I was always running for my life that I held most dear. There were always these two people going after me, but years passed and they’ve completely changed. If I told you who they were and what they did, you wouldn’t believe me.
Second grade made a difference on my life. I actually had a friend who supported me. However, that friend left in the middle of the school year, and I was alone again. I met other people but they just didn’t feel right as friends, just playmates. Then it happened again, I was bullied. Bullied...not by people this time, but by the loneliness that clouds my life.
Third grade, I sought to make a difference on my life. I became friends with a particular person. We always played Pokemon in an imaginary and creative state that kids have. However, there came one day where another person was being bullied. I helped him out, but that created a darkness within the person I helped and created a new person to bully, me. After that, I separated myself out from my school friends and focused on my after school friends. But as usual, there’s always a bully out there who’s going to go after me.
Luckily, that was the last year I was bullied by people. I became harsher on myself, shutting away emotions and shutting away people outside from my close friends and family. The only bully I couldn’t push away was loneliness. Loneliness chased after me every second of the day, night, and in my dreams.
Years passed. Eighth grade came. I was changed. I finally made friends, but yet again, I was bullied. Bullied by people and by loneliness that threatens to devour me. Since then, I’ve always had two outlooks on the way of life. Pessimistic and just normal.
I’m not an easy person to bully anymore. People don’t verbally attack me anymore. People don’t even talk to me. The only bully I have left is loneliness. I always try not to feel it, but it’s always there, waiting for a point that I’m weak. Once I leave school, it trails me home and devours my “positive” emotions. The pessimistic side reveals itself yet again.
“Who are you?”
“Who am I? I’m you.”
“Yeah. You’re me. I know.”
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“Exactly. I know your deepest fears and I can always bring them out.”
“Ha, remember ____ and the ‘hot bear’ conversation? You mutilated that friendship.”
“Remember what you said? Hmm all those strong feelings of anger. Of hate.”
“You think you can stop me? I’m a part of you.”
“Remember the pain your mom felt? The pain from the way you acted and messed up your GPA.”
“You don’t deserve what you have. You never did.”
“GO AWAY. STOP IT. STOP!”
Pessimism. Loneliness. Pain. Anger. Hatred. Annoyance. Frustration.
These emotions...they’re a part of me, the emotional me. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy being with people like my friends.
Once we graduate, we reach the beginning of life. Life’s just going to get harder. Life’s just going to get tougher. Life’s always going to cause us pain. Life’s always going to make us learn lessons. Life just guarantees that there’s no easy way through, but there’s an easy way out. Life is school, only there’s no going back.
P.S. Just cause I’m pessimistic about my future, it doesn’t mean you should be.
What an interesting take on the blog this week. Personally, my favorite part was the "...our dignity, our integrity..." Funny how it came up in today's lecture. Anyway, I just want to say that no matter how bad it gets, we can't forget that we are all human.
Life. I'm not tell you it's easy, I'm telling you it's worth it. You are worth it.
Living through the pain and suffering is what makes you live. Life would be utterly pointless if all you ever had was success after success. After all, we are all amidst our "hero's journey". Best of luck and stay strong.
The details and memories you recreate in this blog are amazing Anderson!! What you went through was awful but it’s really great that it was something you were able to grow from, rather than getting trapped in. Even if you have a pessimistic view on life right you can still have a changing point like you did with bullies, I truly wish the best for you!
Hey man, I know it's difficult bringing stuff like this up so major props to you.
But there's something that you should think about. I believe that you have the choice on whether you let your past experiences dictate who you are as a person. You must have gone through a lot of pain and I can empathize with that. I've gone some pretty rough stuff as well. But one of the things that I've found, is that you have the choice to move on. And I'm not saying that you should completely forget your past, but instead, let it shape you into someone who can hold his ground when faced with something like this today. Because it's hard to enjoy life when you're looking at the bad side of everything.
I say this now because we're all about to split up as we graduate from high school. You have the ability to be whoever it is that you want to be. If it comes to it, show people that you aren't going to take whatever crap that they try to give you.
Anyway, like Jacklyn said, you're worth it man. Everyone is.
Whoa man. That dialogue really hit me towards the end. I feel like too often I am having similar conversations in my head. You did a good job putting it into words.
Hope is an action. It is easy to lose hope. You have to have the energy to do anything good.
I hope to help people have a better standard of living. This I intend to do through something called the food movement, but actually I am only thinking about my very, very small piece.
In 10th grade English we read Voltaire. At the end of Candide, Voltaire famously wrote, “It is necessary to cultivate our garden.” I intend to do this through philanthropy and well, through gardening.
Perhaps it is because I love to eat that I am so interested in food. This year in APES, I learned about hunger. And also about gardening. Despite strong global harvests, the number of hungry people is soaring. And for even more people, what we eat has become a health hazard: in the United States, of the top ten diseases, four are because of our diets. I am not going to detail the effects of agri-business and the conditions of farmworkers: as you chomp on those chicken nuggets and corn chips, you already know who holds power over soil and seeds.
Okay, I will admit it: Perhaps I have very trendy bourgeois interests: in farmer’s markets, healthy school lunches, and community gardens. So I am going to start a community garden. This garden will grow and then distribute organic fruit and vegetable seedlings and trees to community garden groups. For some of my high school community service hours, I volunteered at the L.A. Food Bank. So I now know I will need to create partnerships with emergency food providers to distribute the harvest. When this is a success, I’m then going to help low-income families revitalize underused urban spaces to build more gardens.
The first requirement is not a piece of land. It is the quality of empathy. It is the understanding that human beings are alike, with the same dreams and desires. Enough to eat. Eating food that is not poison.
Organic gardening is a form of collaboration with nature. Gardening is about creating healthy relationships among soil organisms, insects, animals, plant, water, and sun. Maybe this will become mirrored in the human communities the garden supports. It's sort of the opposite of anonymous amoral selling within a powerfully concentrated monopolistic market. Gardening is pretty much a shared effort. It has more to do with human values such as co-responsibility and cooperation. In gardening, we are co-producers in our healthy future.
In gardening, there always is a difference between what you imagine and what turns up in the terrain.
Gardening is about understanding there are forces you cannot control.
Still, one hopes.
Gardening can be a solitary or a social activity. People share their technical knowledge, their tips (lettuce learn). All of those zucchini (gad ‘zukes!).
Through gardening comes the picture of what it means to be a good human being. In gardens, things blossom. Isn’t this another term for a human being who is flourishing?
Success comes not just from writing checks but from being engaged.
There is no substitute for hard work.
There are no shortcuts to success
You have to do it every day. And you have to do it with dedication. Your effort need not be perfect, but you should feel you have given it 110%. Community gardening requires the meta-skills of planning, attention to details, and above all, patience.
I know the gains will come slowly.
Not everyone is going to be gardener in the literal sense of the word. But at Arcadia, we have all been trained in the importance of working on something. The French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote, “The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.” For myself and for my classmates at Arcadia High School, my wish for creating the future is that we have the hope in our hearts to share our common predicaments and to pursue our dreams.
Two years ago, I spent a week in San Diego on a mission trip. I slept on the floor of a local church, showered in hose water, used a jackhammer (by myself!), carted wheelbarrows of dirt up a ravine, survived on very little sleep, and learned how to play Tonks. It was quite the week.
I did not want to go. I packed my bags out of some strange sense of pastor’s child guilt/obligation, but I was absolutely miserable. I spent the first day wanting desperately to go home. The moment the icy water touched my skin during the first shower, I burst into tears. I cried for the entire shower and only got my hair wet enough to wash it quickly.
On Tuesday, we were sent to a help a woman who grew ran a garden to grow food for homeless and impoverished people. She had us doing gardening tasks around the yard, and I found myself unable to swallow my bitterness. She was perfectly capable of doing this work herself, and yet here we were, forced to be her slave labor. Right as I was wallowing in this internal pity party, she told us how she recently had back surgery and was no longer able to keep up her business. She began to cry and told us how thankful she was that we had arrived.
I came face to face with my own selfishness and shortsightedness that day. My perspective on everything from faith to cold showers was flipped upside down. By the end of the week, I was in love with the showers. After a day in the sun, we all raced to get cleaned up, excited just to be able to wash off and feel the cold water on our skin.
I believe that we are conditioned to care for one another. It can just take a bit of effort sometimes because complacency is our default setting. This class is called Search for Human Potential, and I think the exact word choice is rather fitting. If we are going to reach our full potential each day, we have to search for it. We have to search for the part of us that feels deep compassion for others. We have to search for the part of us that is very much alive and engaged.
Some days that means cranking the shower water to icy cold just to feel for a moment how amazing it is to turn it back to hot-something that many will never experience. Sometimes it is making a quick U-turn in traffic to stop and hand a homeless man money for dinner. At times it is just messaging a friend to say that you appreciate you. Often it is remembering that you are beyond blessed to have homework because that means that you are fortunate enough to attend school.
Other days, though, that means sacrificing the carefully structured monotony the world wants from us. It may mean hopping on a plan to a third world country simply because someone else will benefit. It could entail emptying out your savings and donating it. It might mean that you lose your job because you choose to do everything with integrity.
Most days, searching for our potential lies in remembering. As Foster Wallace so eloquently points out, we are able to change the way that we see the world and those in it. By changing how we see the our surroundings, we change the world itself.
My hope is that, in the midst of jobs, families, and life's ever increasing pace, that we will see life for the wondrous thing it is every day-that we will not lose sight of the beautiful struggle that exists around us. The people in your morning commute have families waiting for them at home. Those you pass on the streets are wondering how they will pay for their mortgage this month. Children swinging in the park are learning how to write their name. The lady who helps you at the cash register is a new grandmother today. Everyone is on their way someplace.
This is life.
This is remembering.
This is sweat, tears, and hose water showers.
This is water.
Thank you. I think this is my favorite feedback comment of all time.
It’s important to be reminded everyday of how fortunate we are. There are children and adults with no education, food, water, or air conditioning.
We routinely ignore other people’s problems because we have problems of our own we can barely handle. Perhaps this is because we are so busy searching.
This really reminds of me of the experiences I've had with helping people who don't have the same benefits and opportunities that we take for granted. I know that with some exposure to these new sides of life, we can change our default setting. We can be conditioned to care deeply for the people around us, and we can search deeply for our potential, because it's in all of us. My favorite part, though, has to be the ending, which tied everything together in the best way possible. Amazing job!
MacKenzie, every one of your posts is like a breath of fresh air. You always open up a new perspective. I love this post, really well done.
Beautiful is all I can describe this post. I love these lines:
This is life.
This is remembering.
This is sweat, tears, and hose water showers.
This is water.
I love your story. I loved that you were willing to admit that you were bitter, but because of that it taught you how blessed you really were. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Yet another amazing post!
Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to the annual Hunger Games and may the odds be never in your favor.
Here the stakes may not be life or death, but to us who have lived by the suffocating standards of Arcadia, it might as well be.
“Sick of crying,
tired of trying,
yes, I’m smiling,
but inside I’m dying.”
We are conditioned to believe that we can find success simply in a name. Ask almost any underclassman where they want to go to college, and they’ll most likely respond with an ivy league or UC in a matter of seconds, but ask them why and, more often than not, they’ll tell you “because it’s a good school.” The days where kids take classes for the sake of satisfying their thirst for knowledge seems long behind us now because, like Josh Tran mentioned in a previous blog, we get so caught up in fighting to meet someone else’s expectations, that we forget to build our own, and it ultimately cripples us far more than we would expect.
“If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.”
Breakdowns became a common occurrence on my team this year. It felt like after every game I would be up late at night consoling a number of people about a multitude of problems. With the majority being juniors and seniors, the amount of stress seemed reasonable. But the more frequent the breakdowns became, the more terrifying I found it all.
I know it sounds extreme, and I understand adults have their fair share of problems too, but I hate it when parents think that all kids have it easy. Tell my friend she has it easy when she’s juggling AP classes, on top of a degrading coach, on top of denied acceptance from her family, the very people we are taught to rely on when we have no one else to turn to, just because she’s gay. Tell my friend that she has it easy when her own coach mocks her asthma attacks because he thinks it’s funny and the family she goes home to at night is too drunk, too high, or not even around to feed her dinner after a grueling practice. Please. Tell us what we are doing wrong because it’s not that easy.
Being the children we are, when we are overwhelmed by the things we think we should be able to handle because everyone else looks like they’re doing just fine, we resort to terrible methods of coping with our confusion. Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, or even cutting, I’ve heard it all, and it hurts in a way that can’t be described with words. All I find myself thinking about then is “why?”
But I know why all too well. Because when we fight, and fight, and fight to surpass expectations put in place by someone other than ourselves, only to discover that we can’t - that we can’t win no matter how hard we try - we begin to wonder why we fought at all in the first place. What was the point? And in asking these questions, we are confronted by our greatest fear - where are we going? It’s as if you finally figure out how to look beyond the veil, but there’s nothing - just darkness.
We are lost.
I am lost.
But I would volunteer as tribute, anytime, anywhere, if it meant I could save people from this pain. No one, especially teens, who are already struggling to define themselves, should have experiences like the ones I’ve heard. The college hype needs to be less about the name and more about discovering what you really want to do in life.
In my final days as a child, I have long gotten over the branding of college names. A great philosopher (my brother) once told me: it doesn’t matter where you go, all that matters is what you do. Although I have yet to find what I want to pursue, I do know that I will try to help as many people as I can to survive.
Nasty world we live in, but no one ever said we had to face it alone.
To myself in the future:
~ The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
~It always seems impossible until it’s done.
~ Eat. Love. Learn.
~ Ma isn’t here to see you graduate, and that’s OK - just know she’d be proud.
~ With love, we will survive.
~ Take a chance. The possibility of it being worth it should be more than enough of an incentive.
Kudos to you. These blogs, as I'm reading them through for the last time, really reveal a lot about a person's character. It looks to me as if you have it all figured it out on what needs to happen in order for this world to be a better place. Let's face it, this world alone isn't going to be a glass staircase where everyone has an easy time. There are going to be challenges that hit you with every corner of your life, some of which will be from the people who you love most. It's important to keep moving forward and continue to strive for who you are. Fight for yourself and not the world. Excellent Job.
“It’s your way of life Cat… It’s your positivity, your mentality that makes you different. The way you approach certain situations and the way you carry yourself is what makes you successful. I’ve never met anyone like you, and I’m really going to miss you next year.” - Coach Richard Klumpp
Next year… Next year… holy smokes, I’m a senior… what am I supposed to do next year?
I’ve never really given much thought about what I wanted to do in the future, or where I would end up. I’ve lived my whole life believing that I wanted to become a vetrinarian, but if I really wanted to become a vetranerain, don’t you think I would know how to spell it by now? The truth is, I have no idea what I really want to do in the future. I don’t even know what I want to do next year… I’m going to college in less than four months, and to be completely honest, I’m scared out of my mind. I don’t know what I’ll make of myself, and I have no idea what I’m even majoring in. I’m pretty sure I applied to UCR as Undeclared with an interest in Environmental Science but I’m not even sure if I want a job in that department. I don’t even know what I was thinking when I applied for that major.
I have no idea where I’m going to end up in the future, and I don’t know what the future holds for me. But correct me if I’m wrong, I’m pretty sure almost all of you feel the same way. Why do we need to have it all figured out by the time we get to college? I don’t know about you, but I believe that right now is the perfect time to screw things up, and it’s the perfect time to make mistakes.
People are always asking me what I want to do when I go to college, or what I want to do when I grow up. When I answer them, my answer is always something along the lines of “I have no idea, ask me later.” As time passes, people who have asked me start to expect a real answer, but I don’t have one. I seriously have no idea what I’m doing, and maybe that’s what college is supposed to be for, to figure out what works for me. Maybe I’ll major in Environmental Science because who the hell cares. Maybe I’ll study to become a doctor because we all know that being a doctor is the way to go.
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” - Christopher McCandless
I’ve learned a lot during high school, and if there’s one thing that I’ve been told over and over, it’s that I should make mistakes. Everyday is different, and everyday we change. We need to make mistakes because if we don’t, we won’t truly know what we want to do in the future. If Environmental Science doesn’t work out, I’ll change my mind, and maybe change it again.
The future holds many possibilities, and it’s up to us to make it our own. The world is our playground and we need to use every part of it. Maybe you want to study abroad, become a doctor, or a flight attendant, a dentist, a singer, a policeman, a mechanic, a pediatrician, or any other career that this world has to offer. All I know is that it’s our time to try every career imaginable. That way, when our friends, our parents, or our acquaintances asks us again what we want to be when we grow up, we won’t have to guess.
We’ll already know.
I really liked you post and agreed with pretty much everything you had to say. Just like you, I'm still confused about what I want to do, what I want to major in, and things like that, and it's understandable that we don't have answer... I mean we are still young and have yet to experience many things. Nice job!
Making mistake drives us to push on and look for the solution to the problem or overcome the challenge. But it’s difficult because our parents and teachers want us to avoid making errors (hello A+). We receive a bad grade and our parents become disappointed in us and move in to ensure (punishments, after-school tutoring) the problem gets quickly fixed. This is supposed to be the time of searching, of false starts, pants dusted off, and re-dos. But however much teachers and parents say this should be the case, I haven’t seen much tolerance for it.
I am same with you, we tend to hesitate or confuse when we have to face the future. But no matter what kind of future is ahead of us, we should just face it with courage. Nothing is so bad unless we believe it’s bad. Nice post!
Shortly after this blog was posted onto the website, I spent hours staring at the different questions we could answer in the comments, carefully contemplating what I could possibly write in a way that I would be proud of. However, no matter how hard I thought, and no matter how long I dug into my mind to think of the perfect answer, I couldn’t reach in deep enough.
In fact, it got to the point where I laid in bed for an hour later that night, just thinking about it all, letting my thoughts run wild for the first time in a long while.
I looked over at the digital clock that sat on top of my dresser.
It was a rare moment where I couldn’t sleep, even when I was laying on top of my bed, even with the fan blowing a content stream of cool air in my face.
I couldn’t give out, and neither did the dark circles under my eyes the following morning.
Earlier today, mainly out of boredom, I dug around the drawers under my desk, vaguely trying to search for some kind of answer to this post that was now staring me right in the face (literally too – I had opened a word document entitled ‘Blog #8’ with the rest of the page bathed in that empty white color).
I stopped short when I stumbled upon a pamphlet. The words jumped out at me: ‘Foothill Unity Center, Inc. (Helping People. Changing Lives): 2013 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon’. This pamphlet was presented to me at that very event, because I was invited to speak in honor of my accomplishments and my experience with the Foothill Unity Center.
I could go on for a very long time about how I first came across this center, grew very close to the Volunteer’s Director, and ended up performing my Gold Award Project on this very organization in an attempt to give back to everything that they do for people; but some of it is pretty irrelevant for this specific post.
To start, the Foothill Unity Center is a food bank that generously supplies the less fortunate with enough food to feed their entire family, regardless of how many people live under that roof. The staff workers are in the center day in and day out, packing food or gathering information about their different clients in order to fit the food orders to that client’s needs. It’s all very mundane sounding (and looks pretty boring too on the surface), but there is so much time and dedication that both the staff and volunteers put in to help others.
I started volunteering there during my Freshman year of high school with my younger brother, and we spent three hours everyday either rolling food carts out with the clients or packing the carts with all different kinds of food. I met all different kinds of volunteers, all different kinds of staff members, and all different kinds of clients.
The volunteers and staff members are an inspirational bunch. They dedicate all of their time in order to help a large pool of people that they may or may not even know. I know that feeling. I worked there for two years, and I never once got to collect the name of a client (perhaps I really did – I’m just not remembering it, but I’m not sure which one is worse).
The clients themselves are even more interesting to observe. I saw them in oversized clothing with tired eyes and a merely dejected stance that is still hard for me to think about. They were worn out, exhausted, and torn apart. Some of them didn’t even have cars to drive away with. They had to sit on a portable chair outside the center and wait for a taxi to deliver them to wherever they wished to go.
Even though I can’t recall any of their names, I can recall what one of them told me.
“I just lost my job, and it’s nice to know that centers like these exist.”
The center doesn’t give out either. They’re a source of something real, something tangible, and something like hope to these people.
Thinking about it now, doing my Gold Award Project on that center was the least I could do, especially for a group of people who give up most of their time, devotion, and energy just so others can have any of that at all.
Selflessness is a hard potential to list out, because it’s so hard to achieve in every full aspect of life. Our default setting is to be selfish and apathetic to important issues flying on around us. If they don’t relate to us, then we stop having the capacity to care very much.
But even with that, I don’t doubt our ability to reach that goal.
We can be selfless; we just need to start putting things in perspective.
We can be devoted; we just need to realize our help really does make a difference.
We can be compassionate; we just need to change our default setting.
And I’m not scared anymore. I’ve seen what all those traits can do to a person, and what being on the receiving end of all that looks like. It’s beautiful.
Traci! I love your story so much! It's so heartwarming to know that people are there for others and even better, they help people they don't know or might not see again. It's true that people tend to be selfish but when we actually try, we can be selfless as well.
I am reading your blog and all I can think of is "RIGHT???!!" It's so true! To me, selfishness is like a built in default of the human brain. It's so natural to want the things you don't have, to strive for better, to help only yourself. AND, it is so much easier to ONLY help yourself. But compassion and selflessness I think are built in as well a long with conscience and all the other good qualities that human beings have. It's hard to apply that to everything but the fact that people do do that totally gives hope that humans aren't so evil after all. GOOD JOB!
Like honestly though, I spent way too long trying to think about what i wanted to write. I really liked your post. You're such a sincere person and I couldn't agree with you more on our potential. We just have to stop being selfish and open our eyes.
Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Passion is the drive that we need to do the things we want to do, no matter what it takes. I wouldn’t say that people have the passion to do homework everyday, but people would have the passion of, let’s say, a sport where they drive themselves to success. Following your passion leads to a happy fulfilling life, because you end up doing what you want to do, not what others tell you.
Start shaping your own day. Start walking your own walk. This journey is yours, take charge of it. Stop giving other people your power to shape your life.
By day seven we were ready to call it quits. It was 9 o’clock at night and we tried to set up for the next Vacation Bible School. It took us hours to put on decorations that were only supposed to take an hour. They just kept falling down. The tape that we used in the United States would not stick on the walls in Taiwan. We started to get frustrated. We were just exhausted, overwhelmed, and burnt out. It was so humid.
We had already done two other Vacation Bible Schools consecutively with no breaks. We had just finished the other one earlier that afternoon. We had taken everything down and moved it to another church 2 hours away. I suddenly realized that this trip was not supposed to be easy. It was suppose to difficult. Traveling 6856.70 miles from my home to a place in which I have never been to was very scary. But, I knew I was going for a mission that I wanted to do since I was a child. Regardless of what my parents thought, I wanted to go somewhere, anywhere in the world to work with children to teach them that there is someone who loves them unconditionally, which is God. I left the comforts of being at home to be overwhelmed by the language barrier and culture shock. I went to Taichung, Taiwan.
Taichung was not like Taipei. Taipei was modernized with taxis and people hustling and bustling. People worked for big corporation and dressed in business wear. Taichung was on the outskirts. They were still a thriving city that played as a processing and distribution center. The people were not as economically stable as those who lived in Taipei but they made the most of it always keeping a smile on their face.
I knew I had come all this way for one goal and that was to teach children something that these children have never learned before. Everything I did was coming from my heart; all the constant work and effort that I put into trying to make the kids energetic and interested were starting to deteriorate me. Each day we started off with dancing and singing, which sounds easy but it was hard to get the children to sing English songs. We had to bring all we had to motivate the children to at least do the movements. That brought a physical toll on us. We were so jetlagged and exhausted from long days of work that we could have probably slept for a month straight. I was starting to become delusional too. But, I knew I had to keep going. I just wanted to make a difference in these children’s lives.
For the VBS in Taiwan, we wanted to show them that there were people in different parts of the world that wanted to help others and share love with them. They didn’t know that we existed. One of the most memorable moments of the whole trip was when this little boy about the age of 5 came up to me and asked me if black was really my real hair and eye color. They thought that all Americans’ were blonde-haired and blue-eyed. They had thought I died my hair and did something magical to my eyes. Right then and there I knew why I was on this trip. I wanted to bring something to them that they may never have the chance to experience since they may never leave that small town. I wanted to show them that people who lived 6856. 70 miles away still cared about them and they could share the same love to their peers. In order to do so, we incorporated games, science experiments, and bible stories to help them remember what it meant to be kind, friendly, forgiving, bold, and helpful. Those are some vital characteristics that they need to love others.
From this trip, I learned how sometimes we take things for granted. We complain about how life sucks with senior project or failing a test, but we have laptops and cellphones, as well as materialistic things that others don’t have. It is just a part of our daily lives. Going out into the areas of the world that aren’t as fortunate has just showed me that I want to go make a difference and do what I can. It has also forced me to see my passion with working with children. No matter how tired or challenging the trip got, I never gave up. I was not going to travel 6856.70 miles to not achieve my goal. I was determined to make that impact.
I think that everyone has a different passion. Mine is with children and I have been driven to make differences in children’s lives whether it is at my own church or at Taiwan. Now I can see that I want to make a career out of it. But, I believe that everyone out there has the same passion to make a change in this world. It may not be the same as mine but I’m sure that with people so driven, change will be made in areas that we may not even think of. It is about giving back to the world that raised us and giving the opportunities to those who are less fortunate than us. Passion can take us anywhere we want it to take us.
Taking on new challenges builds our confidence. When we achieve our goals, we grow even more empowered.
Girl Scout Cookie Box
Hi Ansley! I liked how you talked about taking other people's lives into consideration. We complain so much about the smallest things, yet there are others out there that have it much harder than us. Great message!
I really hate talking about my opinions on the future. I think it’s really silly. I just don’t see the point in talking about the future. It’s not like I am a prophet or a seer that can give gaze into the distant future and tell others their destiny. It’d be cool if I can do that. But I can’t. Actually, thinking about it, it’d be nice to know about the future… I wonder what kind of future holds for us all.
Maybe we will end up in the fearful 1984’s dystopian era. After all, we already do have a Big Brother watching our every move. All there is left to do is to create a universal channel focused on propaganda. Oh god, the horrors of being controlled by a dictatorship… My life will become theirs to control. I will become a zombie just like Winston. I will hate every second of my remaining life and I will do whatever I can to despise the controlling party. But then I’ll be caught and tortured in Miniluv. Alright, I sincerely hope that this isn’t what the future holds for us.
Or maybe we will take our technological advancements to another field. Maybe we will focus more on cloning. No one would need to die from diseases ever again. Human beings would become happier. Though, the clones wouldn’t be very happy. In fact, they would probably be very, very angry. I guess we can just hide the truth from them and basically ignore them all the way through. The clones don’t need to know their future. It’s not like it’s going to matter. It’s not like they can change their fate.
So I guess I was right… There really is no point in talking about the future. It doesn’t matter if we know the outcome or not. Winston knew his outcome. He knew he was going to be caught. Yet, he was still able to live to his life potential’s fullest (in the second part at least) with Julia until the end. Kathy and the other clones were “told and not told” about their inevitable fate as donors. Yet, the clones were able to make the best out of their short time period under Hailsham and the guardian’s care. Winlia and the clones were able to grieve and mourn. They were able to feel joy and love. They were able to feel fear and anger. Basically, they were able to live and enjoy.
The truth is our future is not much different from the clones’ future. What the future ultimately holds for every living thing in the planet is death. We will all die just as the clones will all donate. But here is why knowing the future is pointless. Whether we complete the circle of life and death by kicking and screaming, or whether we dare disturb the universe and achieve the same type of grace Izzi was able to achieve, depends entirely on ourselves. What truly matters is not the destination, but the journey itself. So what does the future hold (before death)? Who knows... Who cares… I certainly don’t.
Half in half out. Stuck
These were the last three skills that I performed in my final Junior Olympic competition.
For those of you who don't know, I’m a competitive gymnast and I just went to my last National championships this past week where I placed 2nd in the nation on the still rings and 13th All Around (combining the six events). It was an almost perfect way to end my J.O career.
I wish I could say that the road to this accomplishment was smooth and went off without a hitch, but then I would be lying.
The road that I took to get here had more unexpected turns than I would like to count.
Rewind to May of 2010: Knoxville, Tennessee
I finally made it to my very first Junior Olympic nationals and I felt like I was more ready than ever to compete and kick some butt. This was not the case.
At that competition, I fell on five out of the six events and had the worst competition of the entire season.
I placed 150th.
Fast forward to April, 2012: Reno, Nevada
Here I am at regional championships where I even qualified to become a member of the Southern California All-star team where I would compete alongside 5 other All-star qualifiers against the teams from Nevada, Hawaii, Northern California and Arizona. Surely, I would do better than the previous years because I had a responsibility to my team as well. But again, this was not the case.
The day before the competition, the host gym held a practice session where the gymnasts were allowed to come in and test out the equipment. At this practice session, I missed my hand on a release move and jammed my finger into the ground. Hard. As I got up, I noticed my hand hurt like h*** so I took a look and the ring finger on my left hand was facing 45 degrees to the right. Thinking that it was dislocated, I pulled on it, which also hurt like h***, but it seemingly returned to normal, with the exception that my hand hurt more than ever. I attributed this to the fact that I just “dislocated my finger” and figured that it would be weird for it not to hurt and so I proceeded to ice it.
My hand hurt so much but I desperately wanted to do well and qualify to nationals so I competed anyway. I’ll let you imagine how that went...
Anyway when I returned to Arcadia, not having qualified to nationals, my mom took me to the urgent care to get my hand x-rayed. My hand was broken and it wasn't a small break either. It was a clean break, through and through.
I competed on a broken hand.
Fast forward to present day: Long Beach, California
This is my last chance to make an impression. Next year, I’ll be going off to college and competing collegiately so I will never get another opportunity to compete in the J.O program again.
I begin the competition by falling on Vault but it’s alright. One fall won’t kill me. The next four events pass without a hitch. I stayed on and scored roughly what I normally get.
Finally, I get to my last event. My best event.
The still rings.
And I nail it.
I have the best routine that I’ve ever done in my life and to top it all off, I stick the landing.
I walk off the platform, knowing that I ended my J.O career on the best note that I could have asked for and receive the highest score that I was rewarded all season.
I’ll admit that there were multiple times between April of 2010 and May of 2014 where I considered quitting. I wasn’t getting anywhere and I was beginning to grow tired of failing when it counted. But most of all, I was tired of getting hurt. The sprained ankles, the pulled muscles, it all seemed like it was all for nothing.
However something inside of my told me that I should stick with it until the end and I’m glad that I did. If I had quit, I wouldn't be 2nd in the nation (by only 4 tenths of a point mind you) and I wouldn't have met some really awesome guys that I’ll see in college.
But I digress.
During that time period I refused to give up because that’s the type of person that I am.
Not only when it comes to gymnastics, but with life as well.
I refuse to give up on people.
I believe that there is good in everyone and I will continue to do my best to find it.
I refuse to stand by and do nothing when the odds are against me.
When I asked my three people about what quote they believe describes me the best for the define me project, all three said,
“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”
This was written pretty well, and I love how your personality and determination shown through on this blog thread. I feel as if this the first blog from you that I'm reading so I'll definitely make an effort to go back and read every blog you've done.
From What I See...
“All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me...
You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you .”
This is my daily routine…
I wake up, brush my teeth, face my face, change my clothes, eat some breakfast, grab my stuff and go…
I get to school, go to first period, then second, then third… you know the drill.
Here’s where the problem starts …
I get to third period, and I haven’t even sat down for five minutes… I hear yelling. Once again, the classroom “jokesters” are purposely bothering my teacher again.
“STOP KICKING THE BASKETBALL. THERE ARE RULES FOR A REASON!”
Here we go again …
I’ll be honest… this teacher of mine is not exactly a great teacher and most definitely not well-liked, but in the end, he or she is still someone we should respect. For some reason, some of my classmates, or most of them, do not understand that statement. They treat the teacher as if he or she were just a robot programmed to observe us and nothing more than that. For some odd reason, they feel that being disrespectful, idiotic, and “funny” is far more important than being a student and learning.
Yes…once in a while I will chuckle here and there, but it definitely does not justify the way they treat the teacher and the attitude they have toward him or her, and it is not just this one class.
Recently, I have been seeing so many underclassmen willing to disrespect their elders and being insensitive to all other more frequently. I am not saying that we don’t do it as well, but most of us know our limits to what we can verbally express versus what we should not express.
Even at elementary school and middle school, there will be an occasional disrespectful comment from a certain student. I still remember back in middle school while I was waiting for my mother… a bus of elementary school students, who may or may not have understood what they were belting out, kept yelling profanity at all the middle school students who stood where I stood.
I will say this… it was definitely an interesting and frightening sight…
I wonder from time to time about how we are significantly different from younger students, more respectful, more considerate… just what is exactly happening to those who are younger than us?
There are many reasons why they are acting like this. Maybe they are just too young to understand how they are treating others or they are immature, but were we like that back in past… did we just not realize it ?
This is definitely not the only issue I see more frequently nowadays… I may be young, but I feel like our generation is much different from the younger ones. Yes, we give attitude and disrespect someone every once in a while, but we know when to STOP . From what I have seen of some children, they just don’t understand
Though this is most likely just a small portion of the human population, it still worries me that they feel like they can choose to act like that.
They can choose to be spoiled, bratty, and mischievous.
They can choose to disrespect everyone, to hurt others, and even to bully people.
Will they choose to better themselves?
Will they choose what is best for humanity?
Will they move in a positive direction?
I honestly hope that they will understand, but what worries me is what if they choose to not do better for humanity.
It is so easy for us to slide backwards, yet so hard to move forward.
Maybe they just need a kick in the face to remind them it is not okay …
I think the rules you set were admirable but I could never bring myself to do the same. I rarely set rules/goals because I believe “que será, será” (“whatever will be, will be”). I don’t even make New Year’s resolutions; whenever I’ve tried, most of the time, I end up not achieving them. Plus, life with fewer rules seems better; it leaves more room for spontaneity.
Is there such thing as a “better” world? For the ones who have lost their homes and have to live on the streets, for the ones that have gotten cursed at by another girl over a guy, for the ones that can relax in their pool without a worry in the world and for the ones that don’t know what to do with their lives anymore, they see the world differently. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is the world in our eyes.
We all say we can make a change, that with our actions we will be the next generation that brings our society out of the dumps and makes everything better. All of us are capable of doing this.
I remember when I was younger, I wanted a pet goldfish just like most other kids. Maybe because I wanted to act like a grownup and take responsibility for another living thing but whatever the reason, my dad went down to Petco and got me two goldfish.
Everything went great! I remembered to feed them and it was funny watching them dart around, trying to gulp down all the fish flakes. Then one day, my dad was changing the water for me and it turns out he accidentally put hot water in the tank. Needless to say, I ended up making two teeny fish gravestones.
I moved on though. Got another goldfish. Named it Goldy (creative right?). This time I made sure to watch my dad carefully whenever he changed the water and this one survived considerably longer than the first two. I even upgraded his fish bowl to those filter tanks. He looked lonely though, inside the big tank so I decided to get another goldfish. My dad and I went to Petco again, got another goldfish, plopped him in the tank and went out for dinner.
When we came back, Goldy was swimming around wildly in the tank, looking crazed. Upon closer inspection, I saw the new fish’s body, floating around at the top of the tank.
A few weeks later, Goldy also died. I just woke up one morning and his body was floating, just like the other fishes did.
Other than being a horrible pet owner, I realized that there are some things that are out of my control. We have such high hopes for ourselves that when something doesn’t go the way we expected we get this terrible sense of failure.
The future is uncertain.There will always be something that ruins your perfect plans or diverts your attention so that one second you want to be one thing and the next you want to be something else. Our world isn’t what’s changing. It’s us, the people living in it. We make bad choices, but it’s what we do afterwards that matters. Do we give up? If we did, then what would get done? And so we continue to try, just like I did over and over with my goldfish, hoping that something good would turn up out of my efforts. Maybe in the future, even if it doesn’t end up amazing like we want, at least we know we tried. And that’s all that we can ask for.
I have an eight-year-old cousin living with me now and he really nags me sometimes when he can't stop wanting more and more. I hope he will recall his childhood days one day and figure out something like you. Good work!
I thought your blog post was amazing! You never really know what the future holds. You just cross your fingers and hope it's stable and nothing bad happens.
As much as we want to hold on and control the past, we need to move on to the future.
We have the capacity to think of pretty random things along the day. The range of things that are processed through our minds range from, “What did I eat last night?” to “Why do we have three big things due in one week just from one class?” From very trivial to mind, body and soul crushing, we think about these things. However, seldom do we look at the big picture, the world as a whole. In the eighteen years of my life, I don’t recall ever thinking, “Hmm, what can I do to help not just me, my friends, family, school, community, but the WHOLE WORLD???” It’s a big place. I don’t think I’ll ever explore it all. And somehow, I’m supposed to do something that’ll make it’s mark on it… As a normal teenager would respond when told that they are supposed to do that, “What.” But, at least we’re making progress.
As children we looked at everything through our own eyes. It wasn’t until we got older that we started looking at the world through other people’s eyes. Everybody else started to matter. And slowly, one by one, friendships were made and we moved forward. The world doesn’t just become a better place by giving to it as a whole. It’s improved by helping the parts that make it up, people, plants, animals, they are all important. It’s a beautiful place we live in, and we should try to take care of it as best we can. At least, better than the school bathrooms…
I used to visit Vietnam a lot, every Summer for ten straight Summers. I spent two years worth of my life in Summers there, but never met a Summer… Hmm, unfortunate. Anyway, it’s much different there than here. The things we take for granted are like treasures to some of those people. One day, when I was eating with my dad, a kid walked by. He was selling lottery tickets. It’s common there. We didn’t buy any of them, but my Dad had some M&M’s and told me to give it to him. I gave him the whole bag. The look on his face made it seem like he had just won the lottery. Like that one bag of candy was more than anything he had ever received in his life. It was special. Little acts of kindness go a long way. Maybe he ended up doing much more with his life since then, or not. But the important thing is, showing other’s that somebody cares.
I don’t know why I haven’t done more things like that since then. Or at last, why I don’t remember them. Although, maybe I’m not supposed to. Maybe those moments are best remembered by the recipients. I remember what it was like to be one of them. I was on a run on the horse trail freshman year. A really fast senior ran by me and said “good job” in a nasally voice. Who would’ve thought he’d be my role model and teach me the value of integrity. Two words. Two simple words that he said to many people. They inspired me. He inspired me. And so I did something with my life. At least, I’m trying to. I’m investing my time in him hoping he’ll make something out of it. Many people didn’t believe in me. At least some don’t believe in him. I believe in me. I trust that he’ll follow through as well. After all, helping the whole world starts with helping the person next to you.
“We’ve got a long way to go” so “let’s get down to business.”-Shang
Before the school year is over, I just have to tell you that I love the way you write. I can hear your voice as I read it in my head. As for the stories about Vietnam, I know what you're talking about. It's moments like those that I think life is so beautiful. I liked your overall message and how you believe that making a difference in the world starts with the person next to you. Maybe I don't have to change the entire world, but at least, I can hope to leave a mark on the worlds of others like that senior did for you. Yeah. I'd like that.
GREAT POST! I think I like this one the most out of all your other ones; save for the ones that include anime quotes because those are just awesome.
Your post was really well written out. I really agree on what you have written on your second paragraph. It is true that we looked everything through our own eyes until we got older.
Your blog was beautifully written out.
"You cant expect anything from anyone, just because you did something nice for them. You were being nice because you wanted to. Nothing in return"
I was so selfish. I still am to be honest.
My mom told me this when I was talking to her about my friend problems. I was crying and being a little baby. I told her how I was treating my friends with respect, kindness, and compassion.
But in return they didnt give crap. Or just not well appreciated. Deep inside I kinda knew they didn't care about me. However I was hoping for that glimpse of caring. Perhaps that they might even care about me. I was also hoping to get the attention I deserved.
Honestly they are selfish people. I didnt want to be mean or be judgmental, but its the truth. The people that I hung out was virtually and utterly selfish people. I was super bitter and angry at people. I was angry that my friends are not the only ones that are selfish, but the whole entire world. I knew for sure that this world be doomed with all their selfishness's.
After thinking. I accept.
That everyone is selfish. It's in our nature.
There is nothing I can do about it. I understand why they would chose themselves over other people. It is all by choice. They're choices cannot and will not be affected by other people. And it's ok. I accept.
I will be understanding, and just move on with my life. I can't be always hung up on people that doesn't care about me. What I will do is just care about them anyways because you may never know that they were searching for love too. Also I just want to do it.
I dont want anything in return. Only by their choice.
So after that realization. I became a happier person.
And for once after me contemplating about what I want to be in future came to a stop.
The future is bright. I know now.
I want to do the things I love, with the people I love.
Back then I was so afraid because I had absolutely no idea what to do. For me, I cannot move on if I don't know what direction to take.
But all of that doesn't matter to me anymore. I feel content.
I will always believe that this world will be moving in a positive direction. I read many stories of young people risking their lives that didn't even matter to them, but they did it anyways.
People's good deeds is all over and will be everywhere. People's voices are going to be heard. I mean look at all the social media that covers such heartwarming stories.
Just a little dose of that in our lives, the world keeps spinning.
Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I don't care. What matters most to me right now, is the well being of my happiness and other people's happiness.
This type of mindset will keep me moving towards the future
I know I will land on a job that I will love.
I know I will be surrounded by the people I love
I know I will love myself.
The future is always unexpected. We just got to hope for the best. We already learned our lesson with the past wars and solved those issues.
Trial and Error. Again and Again.
till we get it right.
It's kind of weird on how I was writing this. While I was reading to fix on some stuff. I see the connections with the books I read in Mr. Feraco's class. Also The Fountain.Pretty creepy how it was everything I ever needed to know was right in front of me.
I'm grinning as I'm writing this. Well played Feraco. Wait I hope that was your plan right?
Every unexpected turns I take, it opens my eyes to something new. Which I think makes life. Life.
STEPHANIE!! I can relate to what you were saying on how you treat people or friends nicely, and they don't treat you nicely back. There are a couple of people who, I know, dislike me. I make nice and try to befriend them, but they would constantly act like [jerks] and I don't get why. I accepted the way they acted because "Treat others the way you want to be treated." Overall, I really enjoyed reading your post.
Steph, your really getting better with these blogs. The way you described your surroundings was so accurate. I also wrote about trial and error! Great job!
I never thought I’d be in the position that I am in now. I have decided to dedicate my entire summer to be part of the Drum Corps International as a member of the Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corp. Drum corps is basically a professional marching band consisting of brass, percussion and color guard that prepares a different show every year to compete at the DCI Championships in Indianapolis. Each group plans a tour to participate in competitions held all around the country and dedicates its 2 months of traveling to perfect its show. It wasn’t easy for me to make the choice to give up my break, and my views on this activity had been different in the past.
“It’s such a waste of time and money spending your entire summer working your [butt] off in the hot sun.”
“Only kids who don’t have anything better to do in the summer march.”
“It doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t planning on pursuing music education as a career.”
The first time I heard about drum corps was when I was in middle school.
My junior high days were dedicated solely to drumming as I spent my free time watching videos of my favorite groups drum and march perfectly in sync as if they were programmed to execute the exact same movements. Youtube became my best friend after I subscribed to too many drumming channels that ranged from stick trick tutorials, instructional technique videos, to in the lot action takes from past DCI competitions. There was never a day when I didn’t touch my heavy hitter drum pad and Scott Johnson signature sticks. I was simply crazy about drumming.
This changed once I entered high school. Besides percussion, I was involved with other activities including JV soccer and volunteer clubs that took time out of my schedule. The load of homework also increased as I struggled through Algebra 2 honors. It was getting harder for me to find the time to motivate myself that I used to have excessively. My strong passion for drumming was fading away, bit by bit.
The summer before my junior year, 3 members of our ensemble decided to become part of the Sacramento Mandarins Drum and Bugle Corps. At first I thought to myself, “I would never give up my summer only to drum and march 24/7 for 2 whole months.” However when they came back from tour, they shared all of their experiences which completely altered my perception of drum corps. Not only did they progress as drummers, but they also returned as young adults who matured mentally and physically. They learned the importance of hard work and teamwork, as well as the significance of valuing relationships that last a lifetime. I realized I had forgotten my flaming desire to take drumming to a whole new level and to keep doing what I love to do.
The future will hold great things for us if we take risks to keep doing the things we love in life. We must continuously challenge ourselves and accomplish the impossible to improve and advance.
“Without passion you don't have energy, without energy you have nothing.”
I'm glad you have developed a passion through the years and hope that continues in the future for you. Your writing is very easy to read and understand with few grammatical errors. Look forward to reading your next post.
“All those people goin' somewhere
Why have I never cared?
Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see.”
Sometimes I forget that there are people in the cars that crowd the highway. I forget that they are all on their way to something important, and that this is only one part of their journey.
I forget that the homeless man that stands by himself on the corner of the road had a family once, and that maybe he does need money for food instead of alcohol.
Part of being human is our instinct to help, but we forget that when we’re tied up in our own hectic lives.
My mom and I walked into a restaurant a few months ago and saw a young man sitting by himself in a booth across the aisle. He was covered in dirt and had a grocery bag with a shirt and a pair of shoes in it. I kept glancing in his direction to try and put all the pieces of his story together.
Maybe he just got off work and was waiting for a ride.
Maybe he was just waiting for his food to come to his table.
Or maybe he was hungry and homeless.
My mom and I ate our food and talked about our upcoming vacation to Alaska and then Michigan. We talked about college and the possibility of going out of state. Then we chatted about buying new clothes to accommodate the changing weather.
I continued to glance over at the man and began to realize how blessed I was.
My mom stopped in the middle of our conversation and asked me a question that had plagued me the entire meal :
“Do you think he needs help?”
I didn’t realize she had noticed him too.
I told her that I thought he did. I told her to look at the grocery bag of old clothes and the dirt on his sneakers and jeans. He had on a baseball cap that covered his head from the sun, but he looked tired, and that’s what hurt my mom the most.
“No child should have to sleep outside.”
My mom pulled out a twenty dollar bill from her purse and walked over to his table.
“If I give you this money will you promise me that you’ll get yourself some food?”
I watched from across the aisle as the young man started to cry. He kept nodding his head as to say yes to my mom. He told her that she had answered his prayers to God.
In the beginning of the year I thought the Search for Human Potential would teach me how to “find” it. My parents would always say I had so much of it, and I thought that this class would teach me how to make them proud. When all along it was teaching me how to help others find theirs.
Part of reaching our own potential as humans is to help one another along our journeys. It means changing our perspectives on the highway and giving out spare change to people who need it. We so often long for the chance for someone to give us a shot at our dreams, when we forget that we could be doing the same for others.
Daily uplifts for yourself can always lead to a better day. Maybe you bought your favorite coffee or you remembered to fill up your car with gas the day before so you didn’t have to wake up early this morning. But we forget that paying for someone elses coffee or leaving a few dollars on top of the gas pump can make someone else's day better. You never know who needs to be helped.
All it takes is five seconds to glance over at someone during a red light. Sometimes just a smile can change a person’s day.
We are searching for our human potential by giving others the resources to reach theirs.
“I've been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just move and pass me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way You've seen the people all along.”
- Brandon Heath, Give Me Your Eyes
Holy, Brandon Heath... I don't know there are any other who knows him here though. Your story of the homeless(probably) guy really surprised me. I always wanted to help people when I see them in need, but I always afraid that I would help the wrong person(in fact I did, or maybe not, I don't know.) But yeah, sometimes we just need the sight of God.
Maddie I really enjoyed reading your post. I like how you started with the song. It really grabbed my attention. I'm glad to know that your mom helped him out. It really means a lot to some people.
Brandon Heath could not have been any more appropriate ever. Such a good song tie in! I love your story and the heart of this blog post! Awesome job, Maddie!!
Such a great post Maddie, it was really good and it was so enjoyable to read!
Last weekend, Color Guard hosted their annual spring show that featured middle school drill teams, percussion, and Color Guard. I know I write about Color Guard a lot, but just bear with me, this blog is actually does not relate to Color Guard that much. But if anyone knew anything about me, they’d introduced me with something about Color Guard. It make sense though, because this program has consumed just about the entire four years I have been in this high school. But I’ve never been happier to be consumed by such an amazing activity. And because of the sole reason that this activity means so much so me, I wanted to share this experience with the people that meant the world to me. So I sold the minimum requirement of spring show tickets and more. I was honestly so excited for them to see me one last time doing something that I absolutely love.
The morning of the show, I saw one of my best friends that I sold tickets to. And to keep her identity in secret, we’ll name her Lily. We talked casually like we always do, then I brought up the subject of spring show. I asked her:
“Hey are you hanging out with everyone before the show?” (“everyone” as in the group of close friends I sold tickets to.)
“Yeah about that… Felicia and I can’t make it.” (Again, for the sake of the story, Felicia is another one of my best friends that I sold tickets to.)
“We got tickets to.. Wango Tango..” she mumbled.
“Please tell me this is a joke.”
She shook her head and slowly creeped behind a pillar. She couldn’t look at me anymore.
“Okay, I’m going to walk away right now because I don’t know… what else to..” I walked away. And I started crying.
Maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal to anyone else, but it was to me. And honestly, at that moment, I didn’t think I’d ever get over the fact that my two best friends couldn’t be there for me at one of my last, best moments of this high school career.
I really didn’t think I’d ever get over it.
And that was one Saturday I spent thinking about how they could’ve managed to break my heart into seven thousand pieces just by not showing up to my performance.
Monday came, and I messaged Lily. I asked her something about Prom, I think it was about Limo, but who knows. She answered my questions nonchalantly. And after about the fifth reply, she asked,
“Wait, are you still mad at me?”
So do you think we’ll ever fulfill our potential as human beings?
I don’t know, but I know what I said next, what I never thought I’d say, took me just one step closer to human potential.
“No. Do you think I’d be talking to you now if I was still mad at you? I understand where you guys came from, I wouldn’t know what to do if I was in your shoes. It’s not a big deal, we gotta end the year strong, I can’t hold these stupid grudges.”
I didn’t know what I was saying when I said it.. not until I read what I said to her again. There was no thought in my head that wanted for her to pay me back, for her to somehow make it up to me.
We are too old to be stuck in a mentality that only responds toxically.
We are too old to not pity ourselves, thinking we deserve more.
We are too old to take steps back.
If we were waiting for a time to forgive, *it’s now*.
A time to let go, *it’s now*.
A time to grow, *it’s now*.
A time to move one, *it’s now*.
A time to fulfill our human potential, *it’s now*.
Because, the funny thing I learned about time is that,
is that it always you always seem to run out of time in the end.
And at that point, all you can do is hope that you did enough to make others remember you and to make yourself believe that you fulfilled your potential.
Your blog post was really interesting to read because I can relate to both sides of the story. I as well was disappointed when some of my friends and family didn't show up to my final Orchesis show. The company and I have been working so hard on this show since the school year and I didn't want the people I love and respect to miss the opportunity. So I feel where you're coming from. I also know where your friends are coming from as well, but in a different way. In the beginning of the semester I wrote a blog about how I had to skip out on my friend's graduation party/baptism because I fell behind on school work. Although I feel like my reasoning was more viable than your friends, it was interesting because I was able to see both sides to the story.
Remember that your true friends will make the necessary sacrifices for you in order to love and support you.
Hey Catherine, I love your post this week. I love how you said that it is now we take action, to make the world a little different because we are here in this world. Thanks for posting.
What is the point of life...?
What is my potential...?
Sitting idly in my own room I always stumble upon this question. Bored out of my mind I ponder how my life would turn out. Will I just be following this cookie cutter life of going through college and graduating just to file paper away in a cubicle? I dont want to live a life that just revolves around me going home everyday for the rest of my life just to make money to survive another day, another year. I want to live in a world where I'd be happy regardless of where I live, how much I make, and who I am.
Then there are those times when I question how life would've been if I were born a century into the future where the sky was clouded by neofuturistic sky scrapers curved and penetrating the skies. Zooming and booming cars that fly through the air powered by a technology not yet discovered. A place where the people wear clothes that is unfamiliar to me and my culture. All this excites me and I can't just think of how my own generation sucks. I want a culture that makes me have to run for what I believe in.
I wish I had the potential to change my life and culture. The world I live in so rudimentary compared to the pop culture exposed to us in movies and music. Movies like The Hunger Games gives us a perspective of a dystopian age where we can still relate to it since its closely realistic but still futurstic enough that it has us craving to live in that age also. A place where we have the power to decide and fight for our future. Another distant possiblity like the one in Divergent makes me itching just to have a chance to live in it.
You could say I'm a person lost in his own dreams and fantasy land but that's what caused me to pursue architecture. A profession that allows me, even if the slightest, to put my stamp on the world. To leave my change on this world.
We all have the potential to change our life, it's just whether or not we realize it.
Hey Brian. I really liked how you compared the generation of movies we are currently in. Presently, the Hunger Games and Divergent rely on the children to be the powerful ones in society and that really screws up what we should embrace. Movies in the nineties like the Breakfast Club showed something different. They instead showed how happy and primal the teenager years are. I think you got it right when you say how inspiring the new generation of movies are.. Great post, Brian!
This post was simple, but you got the point across pretty well.
I have those questions pop up in my head all the time.
Its those type of questions that make me wonder about the rest of the world. You're right about the media. It does play a great role in our society.
Great blog brian!
I loved your post. We never really know what the future holds for us, we keep wanting to have that "perfect" life - yet we never set out and do it. We just hope that it can be handed to us.
We all dream that what happens in our life will help us in the future, for better. We can't do anything if we just sit by. The last thing we want is to waste the time we have on this Earth thinking about the time we have on this Earth.
Its always a pleasure to read your blogs Cheuk, keep up the amazing work!!
“Ah, we got such a great response from last week’s conversation.”
“Oh really, I wouldn’t expect that.”
“Apparently people like to read conversation instead of big and heavy paragraphs.”
“Well then, what’s the questions this time?”
“I don’t know, about our future, and how we will look back when we are in the future, and here are the questions…” (turn the computer around)
“I see, future huh.”
“That’s what I was saying, from present talking about future and from future talking about present.”
“Expectations and memories you mean.”
“Yeah, you can say it that way.”
“Before we even begin to answer the questions, let me ask you, what do you want the world to be?”
“Heaven, no pain, no tear, no fear, no harm, all we have is happily ever after.”
“Basically a perfect world with no bad side about it.”
“YES, that’s why I always dream of building a virtual world where people can escape to.”
“But when the world still has the element or factor of dark side, people can’t escape from it, there is no place to hide, there is no absolute right...”
“But at least they will have some relief from the real world.”
“Well, you mean, a world that’s not real will actually help people?”
“Yeah, and that’s what I want to do in the future.”
“I can’t wait to see what you will be saying when you come back and read what you say today.”
“Oh, and that’s another question.”
“Hmm… and I assume when you get older, and you have created your world, you might say something like you shouldn’t have dreamt or even created the world.”
“Creating a world isn’t what a man should do.”
“How about just a society?”
“That’s what men should do.”
“So what will you do if you are creating a society?”
“Basically… what people are already doing now.”
“But I thought you want a better world?”
“Yes I do want a better and nicer place, but I also know that no matter how good the start is, it will always ended up pretty badly.”
“So you mean, even if you create a perfect virtual world like you were saying before, it will end up poorly?”
“I won’t consider that, because the world isn’t real, we still attach to the real world. How corrupted the world is really doesn’t matter when people are in it. The reason is that you can just destroy it and no one will oppose it. Sure if someone is hardly attach to it they will not want it to be destroyed but it’s not like destroying the whole world. People still live on with their life and the virtual world is easier to build and grow.”
“Well then, that’s you thought on virtual world, but how about in real world? How do you think about the development of human now?”
“Human is going to keep developing until God destroy this world or until we reached the limitation of the world. But I guess God is going to destroy the world way earlier than that.”
“Limitation of the world?”
“You can think of this world as a box, and human just keep on developing. They can go either side, either way at the beginning, but as we grow stronger and smarter, and we invented so many things. The world starting to slow down, but we still have space to reach out to, and we still have stuffs we want to create or discover. However, there will be a time when we fill up the whole space, then we either self-destruct, or we burst the world. But I don’t think it will happen in our lifetime. SO no worry.”
“Interesting comparison and thought.”
“Oh wow I talk a lot, it’s your time to talk then.”
“Ok, what’s the next question?”
“It’s actually the last question, and it’s about how you will make the world a better world with you in it?”
“The world is getting worse and worse with more and more people in it, but yeah I guess in a way I am making the world better.”
“I am helping to push the human development forward, although it leads to a destruction, but there will be the time when we enjoy the result of what we have done. I think that’s enough, and I guess it sum up the meaning of why we are in the world.”
“So by achieving the goal, you fulfill all the duty on the world?”
“Yes, we push it as far as we can, and we hope it won’t end too soon. So it’s a mixture of feeling of excitement and fearsome when we are trying to reach out for the goal.”
“Well, I guess you are right, why are you always right?”
“I am not always right, I am just talking from your heart.”
“From my heart? Wait, who are you?”
“I? I am…”
Hey Sam! The beginning of your post made me smile. I really like this sort of going back and forth in the conversation, like the person telling you why building a virtual world would be a bad idea & etc. I also really like how you gradually introduced your main points. They flowed seamlessly.
This style of writing is really creative but I wonder if people really just prefer reading conversations to a pack of big text. Anyway, your writing style stands out because no other blogs have as many as quotation marks.
The ghost of futures past?
The ghost of futures to come
In the course of human events, man has bloomed, blossomed, and grown stagnant. That is the opinion of the people. Within the history of man, we have changed the world, divided it up, conformed it to suit our needs, and destroyed the nature that was mother. Nature that used to provide, was replaced by the patriarchal nuclear family unit. The provider is man, and in western cultures sometimes god.
But what is a future if not an image of the past gone? People believe that fate is some string that doesn’t deviate. The man who showered yesterday morning however may not feel the need to shower the next. The world that was finite 1000 years ago that would have you fall off of the map if you explored too vigorously is no more. Replacing it is modern tech, landscaped cities, cultures forced to collide and commingle. To fight for domination when fighting for the pride of ones country is no longer acceptable. War which was honorable and sacred even now is looked upon as a scourge.
So what does your future hold? Time flies, man dies, posterity will take the throne. The past is what dictates the present, yet the future is determined by the present. It seems to me that the world is bold, that man is truly king. But never once has a person stopped. Stopped and truly wondered whether this path was on is the right one indeed. So many people fill this earth. So many people on this earth have hopes, they have dreams, and they have a life. Where do you fit in, in all this? Where do I fit in?
So here I am 18. The threshold to life, and my future is unknown, I should be scared right. What if I fail. What if I fall. What would I do. But for some reason I have no fear? The universe is billions for years old. Earth has gone through extinction and fertility. Life is never ending in its contrasts and varieties. When I truly think about it, what about anything do I truly know? In the context of my mind, in the perspective that is man, in the framework of our universe. Nothing has stuck in my head as permanent. So this future you’re scared of. This destiny in front of your face. Isn’t it just your past? Isn’t just your own demons scaring you in the dark. Isn’t it yourself stopping you from truly being free.
In the context of man. In the framework of the mind. What is important, what is consistent. Each man takes a step down his path, each man forges it step by step, mistake by mistake, turn by turn. The future is rather blank. The past is already filled up. The present however is free to be changed. Picasso was an artist, yet he made beauty, no one could’ve told him that one day he would be Picasso, no one but himself. In a world of fake connections, in a world of mom and dad, in a world of friends, family, loved ones, in a world trying to be perfect. What’s wrong with an imperfection. The weight of the world square between mine shoulders. The weight of my life deep on my chest. The future to be the world to see, I shall conquer it all.
What but a man, a man with a wife....
This was certainly a different post to read. I liked your view on how future is not set in a linear path, and can be changed by you, yourself, if necessary.
In a world I would build, we all live in peace and harmony. Theres no war and all countries get along. We don’t discriminate against other races and we don’t hate each other because of our religious beliefs or our sexual orientation. In a perfect world we don’t have groups like the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, the Ku Klux Klan or Adolf Hitler. Although I consider their religious beliefs as wrong, I wouldn’t go out of my way to harm them or hurt their feelings. I just think that it’s horrible to say things such as “God hates f***” and I think there is no place in the world for ignorant fools like them.
The world I would build would be a much bigger one so that we won’t be overpopulating the planet. Also, there would be no hunger and homeless people. Everyone would somehow, someway own a house and have a job that could provide for oneself or one’s family. This all sounds like a pipe dream but according to some articles I’ve read. According to The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs, it would take about 175 billion dollars annually for 20 years to end extreme poverty. While 175 billion dollars sounds like a lot of money, it represents less than 1% of the income of the richest countries of the world. So this dream is plausible, however, I don’t see the world ever ending poverty.
I would also want EVERYONE to have the opportunity to have an education. In a perfect world, everyone would have the opportunity that I have. I was born into a loving family and I was raised in a safe city. I also happened to go to a school in which the academics were challenging. I believe education is key to everyone at least having a job. The world would be a better place if it was filled with educated people. If people solved problems with logic and reason, I believe the world would run way more smoothly. Because of logic and reason, the world won’t have as many ignorant people and there wouldn’t be as many stupid wars such as the War of Jenkin’s ear in which a war between Britain and Spain started because some Spaniards boarded a ship commanded by Robert Jenkins and sliced off his ear. Yes, the war started because someone’s ear was sliced off. Had logic and reason been used, the war would have never started.
Ultimately, I do believe that humanity is advancing. Contrary to popular belief, the men of the past were not as great as many make them out to be. We held women back from voting. We were VERY sexist. We didn’t let women have as many career opportunities. As a society, we discriminated against black people and we even had slaves. In my opinion, we are slowly becoming a society who is less ignorant. Sure, we always see idiots on the internet that do stupid things but we hear about these stories more due to their shock value. There were plenty of idiots in the past too. Unlike most people, I will always have faith in humanity.
The world you wish to recreate is thoughtful and sweet. I wish I could answer this question with the same sincerity as you, but I don't feel the need to change our world because, in my cynical opinion, there will always be something that needs to be changed, even when you think there isn't.
Each one of us is so incredibly talented; we each have that one thing in life we are passionate about. It doesn’t have to be intellectually stimulating in order for it to be stimulating. I feel like everyone feels like in order for our own future to be bright we have to go to college and we have to get a stable job.
But that’s not just it.
If you’ve noticed, our world is changing so fat and advancing in every field. People of all races can go out publicly and hold the hand of their loved ones – of the same sex or different. Women are capable of being the head of a top firm. Everyone stands up for the rights they want, they deserve.
As humans we are moving in a positive direction. We are not changing the world in a cubicle. We start drawing our paths once we know what we want. What we want changed in our world. It’s our world. What we do - starts from a single person and expands – is determined by the choices we make. People wouldn’t be allowed to love publicly the person of the same sex if someone or some people didn’t actively fights.
We always say we want things different in the world, yet we never really try to act on it. We wait for that one person to start it and just hop on the bandwagon.
We are all capable of making a change. We all know what we want – we all just need a little push. We can’t judge the world if we just sit and make side comments. Nothing ever happened by someone sitting on the sidelines doing nothing.
Once you “grow up” don’t forget who you are and what you want. They worse thing that can happen is seeing the world change and knowing you didn’t do anything to help it.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi
It doesn’t have to be a big act that is televised. From cheering up someone who is feeling down or by helping make someone’s day a little better, you are changing their world.
I always try to help those who seem down. Just letting them knows you’re there – that you care helps. You never know, maybe you are the cause for why they are still breathing or living.
Never underestimate the impact you have on people. It might not take a whole lot of strength for you - but it takes a whole lot of strength for them to open up.
Their world matters too.
What have you done today that has changed the world?
Alyssa, I loved your blog this week. It really has allowed me to look at things in another prospective that I never thought of before. It has also really allowed me to questions the things I have done in my life. Thanks for writing such an inspiring blog. Keep up the Good Work!
Yes! Optimism is key!
I really liked your this week Alyssa, well I like all of your post to be honest. Like you, I always try to cheer up those who are down. I like doing it because I know what it is like to be sad about something. I can’t really explain how great it feels to have a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger helping me get back up when I fall down. I believe that the world is going to great heights. As each day progresses, we continue to advance, not only culturally, but scientifically. Everyone has the potential to help others out, and it makes me happy to see others happy.
I’m really glad that you set out to go good and to be a good person. You are a great contributor to this world and I don’t know where a lot of your friends would be if they didn’t have you to change their lives.
Great job, Alyssa.
I like the fact that you made it optimistic and that anyone can make a difference because it feels like sometimes you are to small to do anything.
Growing up in Arcadia for a majority of my life, like a majority of us, there’s always been a natural competition to be “better.” You can pour your heart and soul into something, but in the end there will always be something that could have been done to improve it. There’s never a finalized product, there will always be a way you can better polish it. Being average and meeting the requirements isn’t enough to cut it. You need to strive for extraordinary and hope to fall just above that average line. We’ve grown up surrounded by a constant need for improvement from people who are already exceptional.
Now realistically, the world is far from filled with people like this. More often than not it consists of people who are struggling to barely meet the minimum. But growing up in such a well rounded community and going to a school full of talented students who know how to use their talents, we’re used to seeing success.
We know what growth and accomplishment look like, and the people that are capable of them are the people (hopefully, you’d like to think) that are working on a larger scale towards moving the growth of human life forward. They’re the people working toward technological advances, the people making continuous discoveries, the people working toward improving living conditions.
But is it really forward?
Or more like a one step forward two steps back?
Granted a majority of the development we’ve been blessed with today has been put toward good. Our advancement in science as well and technology has given us the ability to extend what would have been shortened lives. We’ve developed ways to live more comfortably and soundly. Ways to build empires and homes froms the ground up. We have the ability to share news with millions of people in seconds. Whatever you're reading this off off; whether is be a laptop, phone, or any of the like, hold more informations than we can understand.
But that advancement in technology and science has also lead to the building of some of the most harmful and dangerous weapons we have to save our loved ones, by killing others’ loved ones. When we make the unconscious decision that it’d be easier to drive down the street than take a two minute walk, or when we repeatedly builds homes and factories to support our growing population, we destroy resources that can’t be replenished. As much good as we can do, there will always be factories that hold our advancements back from reaching the good, full potential our developments should allow us to reach.
Humans are like cancer cells. All they’re concerned about is growing and growing, but what they don’t realize is that their growth is causing the destruction of what allows them to live.
You are so right, there is so much competition in Arcadia and it gets in the way of what is actually important.
I really like the amount of reflection you put into this post. Arcadia really is full of competition that people begin to take classes for the grades rather than to learn. I really like how you concluded with that comparison. It tied up your post really nicely. Great job!
WERE NOT EVEN CLOSE
All I remember when I was little is my father telling me to
never stop, to always push myself to the limit. Same goes
for humanity for every other species on this planet. We as a
culture have created some marvelous and spectacular
things. If our four fathers would see us now what would
they think of all this? They probably say “way to go America, great job, nice” but not amazing. We are far from amazing we still have hundreds even thousands of ideas waiting there opportunity to be experimented on. I know for a fact I’m trying to be better every day of my life. How do I get better every day you might ask? Well I gain knowledge just the same as you, every day I learn something new and it’s amazing to me. It might not be something huge, but it’s definitely something small every day that adds more to my foundation of knowledge.
WHAT WE MIGHT PREDICT
I have no clue what the future holds for, one thing is for sure though. I hope to still be living and breathing, or if I’m dead I hope I died honorably I went out like a total badass. In class today Mr. Feraco talked about death if we will die for the ones we love, and then he said we can talk the talk, but can we walk the walk. I have been raised to never be a snitch or a rat. Cause you know what they say, snitches get stiches, and rat’s get scrap’s.
Ten years from now I don’t plan on having a family yet, I plan on seeing the world and create new experiences to my life, stories’ to tell my friends and family. Maybe I can have my own Siddhartha story as well, find my peace and tranquility, my knowledge and faith.
Many of you are going to do great things in this world I have no doubt about that, and I’m confident I’m going to make an impact on someone’s , if it’s by telling someone a joke and making them laugh and it pulls them out of there depression, then so be it. If we haven’t learned anything from this class its not only the big plays in life that matter but the little ones as well.
WHAT WE DO IN LIFE ECHOES IN ETERNITY
Hey Frank! My Father told me the same things too! I admire you for trying to become a better person every single day. It could get pretty difficult sometimes. I hope to hear amazing stories about the grounds that you have walked and the people you have met a decade later.
I love your enthusiasm! I think we can all agree to look into the future with a positive attitude instead of a negative one. Good job on the post.
My father has the same mentality. He tells me that I should do the best that I can do and figure out my own path. I completely agree that the future is uncertain and that it's hard to plan that far ahead into the future. It's really good that you plan on first getting experience out in the real world, it's something I plan on doing first too.
Why can’t the world just be a simple world?
If there is nothing such as divorce, my mother should be enjoying her retirement life instead of working in an office that she doesn’t like. I wouldn’t feel helpless when my mother gets of work. I wouldn’t worry about spending too much money and buying a new laptop. I will then hate my father, hate myself for not being able to help. Then my mother will tell me, “We live way better than the others, don’t complain!” I never blame on my mother on the divorce, the time when she couldn’t take care of us, our financial status right now and more. It is never my mother’s fault. It is the world’s fault. Why can’t the world just be a simple world? To let my mother takes a break.
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” –Thomas Jefferson.
What would a world look like if everyone is the same? We all know the truth, the truth is that all men aren’t created equal. What if the world has … no winners or losers, no rich or poor people, no hate or love, no smart or stupid people, no pretty or ugly, healthy and unhealthy? Just a world where every single one is equal. Our life will be boring, but at least… is simple and quiet. A world that can makes everyone closes their eyes and just relax.
Why can’t human think simply?
If there is nothing such as jealousy, then my boyfriend wouldn’t cry and I wouldn’t suffer the pain of worrying about losing him. Why can’t human think simply? We can’t control ourselves to think in the wrong direction, well, I can’t. I’m scare he will cheat on me one day with another girl. Recently, he went back to Hong Kong and since we don’t get to talk on the phone, I will check when is his “last seen” on this Apps call “Whatsapp”. When he is not replying me, I’m thinking … is he with the other girl now? Is he in the club or bar? Is he drunk? Then I heard his voice saying, “Can you please trust me?” That’s what our world is like right now… a world without trust. What if a world has no love, no marriage, no divorce, no date, no couple, and no cheater? Just male and female. Our life will be emotionless, but at least … there is no suffer and worry. A world that make everyone close their eyes and trust.
My life: going to school, thinking about my boyfriend, having arguments with friends, going over bad grades, worrying about my boyfriend, having fun with friends, feeling helpless about my mother, comparing myself to the others, having problems with my homework, worrying about college. And now I’m wish for a simpler world? In high school, being a senior, being a teenager, I think this world is mess up and I really want to get out of it. However, do you know, do we know… there is a bigger world waiting for us out there? The real world …
This world is complicated; but because of this complicated world, there are loves and hates, winners and losers, there are something fun in this world. I’m hoping for a simple world, but maybe what we need is actually a complex world to move on. Let’s get ready for the real world and move on to our next stage of life. Our life is meant to take challenges instead of making it simple. This world is not perfect, but is good enough to let us live on.
The world is advancing rapidly.
Within a couple of years, phones have evolved from heavy blocks and flip phones into iPhones, and other smart phones. Technologically, educationally, and scientifically speaking, we are progressing forward to improve our world. However, human morals are not moving forward. The world has put millions of people into desperate situations where they have to shy away from their dignity and integrity for survival. The economical cleavage between the social classes has become something that seemingly will never improve.
The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
I have witnessed both extremes of the economic spectrum. I know what it is to be dirt poor, and extremely wealthy. I have seen it. Most people do not know what poor exactly is. Most Arcadia kids grow up thinking that Arcadia and San Marino are the wealthy cities, and that Pasadena, Monrovia, El Monte, San Gabriel, Monterey Park and the other local San Gabriel Valley cities are considered poor. Sorry to burst their bubbles, but those cities are nowhere near what is considered poor or rich. Sure, Arcadia and San Marino are very nice cities, but they are not the richest cities.
When we’re talking about wealth, we mean Beverly Hills, Malibu Beach and Old Town Calabasas mansions. I have seen and known the richest people in Honduras. I witnessed and experienced the lifestyle that they lived. Helicopters, yachts, body guards, private islands, beach houses, and private jets: the list can honestly go on. That is what rich is. Not only have I seen the good in life, but I have seen the worst. I saw the conditions that really poor people live in. They basically don’t even have a house or even a roof to live under. They do not own shoes, shirts, beds, food, or even simple every day necessities like water. I witnessed children drinking water from a river that had a muddy look to it. What can they do, right? It was heartbreaking to see human beings living in those conditions. There are millions of small villages exactly like the one I visited in Xi’an, China, or even worse.
The future is terrifying and unknown. People are still living in terrible conditions, while others are relaxing at a beach sipping on some piña colada. I do take into consideration that there are a lot of people out there and organizations such as UNICEF, Bill Gates, Annenberg Foundation, CARE, etc. that are trying to help. There are so many people putting effort into fixing this problem, yet it seems never ending and progress is minor.
How is it possible that the two extreme divisions still exist? It’s disturbing to know that 1% of the world’s population owns most of the world’s wealth. According to Oxfam, the bottom 50% of the world’s population owns less than 1% of the world’s wealth, and 1% population of the world owns 46% of the world’s wealth. Hearing these statistics makes me cringe. I am baffled by how the economic and social cleavages affect the world. But, there’s really nothing you or I can do. There will always be that one group of elites that will be extremely loaded, and the rest of the population that would be considered middle or lower class. That is the nature of human beings. Nothing can really be done about the economic division, which is frightening.
I am hoping, however, that something is done in the future, and that somehow as human beings we have sentiments to prevent others from suffering. I am hoping that the human race becomes less greedy and decides to share instead, to no longer watch others endure hardships. But there are exceptions; some people would rather have less so others can simply survive. I know that most wealthy people acknowledge that there are people starving and dying for pure water, but instead they would rather spend their cash on a new car or a bigger house.
Perhaps I sound too mean. Perhaps I am too pessimistic about the world. But this is what I have witnessed and experienced as I grew up. The things I have seen have made me cynical about our human nature. I do not think that in the immediate future things are going to change much. Our world is materialistically and educationally advancing, but what stops it from reaching its full potential are the economic differences and people’s inhumane decisions.
If we look at the future in a literal way, it will hold less than what it gives us now. There will be less jobs, less resources, less opportunities to achieve our dreams. We are screwing up as a species because with our crazy fast ever growing population we are making and wasting too much of our resources on a small number of the people. The future cannot hold what we do not save. It will hold nothing if we do not give nothing. Right now we are wasting and killing. The extinction of species, the global warming, the pollution, and the wars, it’s all caused by humans.
We are moving backwards as a species. We are so caught up in our advancements and short cuts that we forgot to do things the manual way. Our roots and culture have disappeared. God is hanging from a cliff because some people just do not have time. What do you do with a shovel? I can totally drive a tractor! We have ditched the old ways and brought in the new. The new is bringing in the negativity. Computers cannot farm our food or give the love and care we humans did with our work in the past. I see more kids indoors in front of a screen than I see kids outside playing. Of course there is nothing wrong with being a bit technological, but that is not what our bodies were built for, we have legs to run and hands to work. But we came with something special, a personality. We are not robots, but we seem enslaved to them.
The future seems like a hit or miss, with all the technological and medical advancements, who knows, we may be able to move planets or live up to the age of 300. Unfortunately, with the economy seeming worse and the ever growing population, we can be a world with not enough space for a child a place where disease moves fast for the amount of people per area. The best thing about us is that we can change. Change our ways of wasting and taking things for granted so we can change the fate of our world into something brighter for us and the future generations to come.
I am worried about my future. I’m scared I won’t be able to take my kids camping because the forests are torn down. Sad that I cannot live in the same place maybe because the air quality is breathable, or the fact that my profession won’t give me as much money for a good life. I think about these things a lot, but at the same time I still pray for a beautiful world for me and my children. It’s not too late to turn around from our ways and improve.
I agree, humans are becoming increasingly enslaved to technology as we become too reliant on it. At the same time though, I don't see us as a species that is moving completely backwards. Though many of the advancements we have made has "dumbed" us down, there are still many that have increased our standard of living and has helped to better the world. Perhaps as humans, for every two steps we take forward, we also take one back.
I like how you talk about the negative parts about how we are moving backwards as society because at times I also feel its true man.
1. Fashion designer
2. Whale communicator
3. Opera singer
5. Hercules’ wife
This is just a small list of things that I once saw myself doing for life when I was much younger. Sure, these careers seem silly now, but at one point, I felt so certain of them, so sure that it was what I wanted to grow up to become.
If I were to ask myself what I wanted to pursue three months ago, I would have said: a veterinarian of course! I found myself going back and forth between this job and some other random one for quite a while, so I finally decided to stick with being a vet for the past two years. (This is the longest I’ve ever committed to anything!)
I thought to myself, this time isn’t like any other; I really, really want this for myself. For once, I thought I was completely satisfied with where I was and what I could see for myself in the future, at least I thought I was.
Fast-forward three months and once again; I am caught in my web of uncertainty for my future.
I asked myself: Can I really see myself being a veterinarian in the future? Do I truly believe that I’ll be able to pursue this? The answer is no and no. I have an interest in animals, but I can’t possibly strive towards something that I’m not 100% confident in.
By then, it had already seemed that nearly everyone knew what they wanted to do professionally. Why couldn’t I be more like them? I became so frustrated with myself while thinking this through; I thought it must have meant that I’m simply not good at anything. With the pressure coming from my parents and senior year coming to a close, I couldn’t manage to think that my future would be left with anything better than a cardboard box for a home. I had already chosen biology as my major for the upcoming start of college, but I was just realizing that this wasn’t a true option for me. I was setting myself up for something I wouldn’t love to do.
It wasn’t until fairly recently (when I really started to focus on the senior project) that I discovered an interest that I have always had, but hadn’t really acknowledged. That’s when I realized that this is exactly it! (For those of you in Feraco’s period 3, you’ll learn all about it!) Now that I feel positive of what I want, I don’t want to waste time not pursuing it.
We can’t predict the future, but we can decide what we are willing to work for and whether we’ll be happy with the outcome or not. Everyone has their own timing; we don’t have to have our lives all figured out now, I just needed to realize that before. Regardless of what happens like if I’ll find myself in another moment of uncertainty, I’ll still have time to figure myself out and change my course towards something I’ll really enjoy. At least no matter what happens now, I can say that I can happily look forward to my future.
Great post Ashley! I too had no idea what I wanted to be about 3 months ago. The future really scares me. But anyways great post!!
I'm glad that you finally made up your mind! I really liked your blog because it had a humorous sense to it. Good job!
I really enjoyed your post! Made me laugh and I totally get what you mean. The senior project help me too!
The world's escaping much too fast
Before you gave yourself a chance
For all the times I've let it pass
It's all about to end at last
The End by the Naked and Famous
I used to think the world was a stupid place, filled with nothing but hate, pain, desire, jealousy, envy and an overabundance of stupid people. And to an extent that was true.
I wasn’t the perfect child. I caused my family’s financial problems because three kids was one too many. There was no boy in the bloodline at all and that’s apparently important to my family, not to mention all my parents wanted was a masculine young man to play sports and I never filled those shoes for them.
I used to think like that because I really hated myself when I accepted who I was. I was afraid. I was worried. I kept thinking that one day I would kill myself or something. I kept thinking that everyone would hate me when they found out that I was gay. I used to cry myself to sleep so many nights because I was so afraid. Afraid of how my family would react, how my friends, how my relatives, how everyone would react, and what would happen to me.
I felt like the future wouldn’t exist for me.
I didn’t know where to turn. I just kept waiting for a miracle or something.
Finally I worked out the guts to face what I feared most with my hope and love from my best friends who knew. I became true to myself. Waiting worked out for me, I had the time to think. Finally after finding out that people really didn’t care, I found hope. I was able to smile again and look forward to what lies down the road.
People keep telling us that this world is terrible and the more we watch the news and see these terrible bomb threats and public shootings, we feel like the world is tearing itself apart. And it in truth, that’s happening. Humans are stupid creatures.
Whenever we look on at a situation we always end up thinking the worst of it, when it really maybe nothing.
And at times we judge anyone or anything before we really gain any knowledge in it, resulting in the pain of others.
We as people are so pessimistic.
For mankind to reach their full potential and happiness we have to show our understanding.
We have to show our compassion and how we’re not afraid. If mankind were really as garbage as we may look and seem, then we would have fallen together a long time ago.
We’re not that bad. We still stand together; united. We have the potential. With hope and love, our futures can be bright. We just have to realize it, just like I did.
I’m not so worried anymore.
I’ve been staring at the screen for a good hour and a half. What does the future hold? Will it be good? Will it be bad? Will humans grow in a positive way? Will they fall backwards to a negative state? I honestly can’t tell. I have no idea what the future may bring. It’s a mystery that I don’t think I want solved quite yet.
If I were to predict the outcome of the future, I think I’d only see the world changing in two ways. Every day we grow more and more technologically advanced. One day it’s the invention of the light bulb, the next it’s computerized glasses. Technology is growing and growing and the knowledge of the people in the world is growing with it. I wouldn’t be able to count on my fingers the number of times I take out my phone throughout the day to look something up on the internet, or check my email or messages. I don’t go a day where I don’t make a mental note to do something later on that will somehow involve technology whether it be writing up a Feraco blog or ordering something off of Amazon.com. We wake up in the morning to the tormenting beep of our alarm clocks; a sound that I dread. Then simply in the process of getting ready for school we turn on and off lights, unplug the phones we left charging all night, turn on the blenders and toasters and microwaves that will make our breakfast for us all before we jump in our cars and head off to school where even more technology will be used. Personally, I look forward to the world’s technological future. The curiosity of what the world will be like in 10 years will have me pulling out my hair in no time.
The sad thing is, however, the amount of things we take for granted. I know I don’t wake up in the morning and think to myself, “Thank you God for providing me with this amazing technology that not only wakes me up every morning but gets me out of bed and on my way to school on time so I can learn all that I can learn in the full 7 hours I spend in high school.”
No one does.
That’s ridiculous. I can’t stand my alarm clock. I don’t thank God for the electricity in my house, or the toaster that toasts my blueberry Eggo waffles every morning, or the car my parents were generous enough to provide for me, or even the phone I spend so much time on. I don’t think I’ve EVER thanked God or anyone for providing me with internet in a handy little box that I carry around in my pocket all day long. Heck, I don’t thank God for all of the other, non technological blessings in my life. As shameful as it is to say, I generally only go out of my way to stop and be thankful when good things happen to me when I least expect it. I get an A on the test I didn’t study at all for, I randomly find a 20 dollar bill in my left pocket that was left over from the last time I wore that pair of jeans, or when I get a message that holds amazing news that puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day.
“What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”
What if? People take everything in our lives for granted. I don’t see human kind going anywhere positive with this mindset. It’s important that we stop and look around at all the little things that make us happy. The sound of birds chirping and squirrels running up and down tree branches; the smell of cinnamon rolls or sugar cookies baking in the oven; the refreshing joy of water running down your throat on one of our hot California summer days. There are so many things we look past that are so important and beautiful. I worry that I and everyone around me won’t be able to eventually get to a place where the stress of the day and the overload of Feraco assignments doesn’t keep us from being thankful for life and land and people and technology that is bringing our world to all new levels of beauty. But I hope we do.
I feel that in 5-10 years not much will change as far as crazy advancments in technology. I think that as time goes in we learn to things better and more efficiently. Meaning that we may not have flying cars or a cure to cancer or aids but we will have better cars than we do today and a better understanding of what we don't know. Just because we don't know how to teleport it doesn't mean that it is impossible. Just in our time we do not have the technology.
Everyday we get closer and closer to achieving our goals. So as far as anything changing so much that we have flying cars and clones running around being are personal tool bag incase we need a part is not likely.
When we get back an have our reunions it will be cool to see where we end up and with whom.
I feel that it will be the same people I knew since high school just with a job, wife, family, and more mature. (Hopefully)
Talking about all the dumb stupid thingd we did in high school and wish we could start over and do it all again.
I hope the only reason I want to be young again is to be young again. Not because I am dissapointed in the choices I made or go back and fix the screw up things I did.
I want to be able to say I want to be young again because I want to relive some of the best times of my life.
When I have kids its going to be weird to here that woah dad you had an iPhone 6?! Or you guys used 4k definition TVs or you guys used DVDs?! I never have seen one before you are old!!!
The things we think are amazing and brand new are old news within a year.
Improvments after improvments.
It's amazing to see that life moves so quickly and if you look away, you might just miss something amazing. That life is so quick. You get old and your kids become the next big thing. You become outdated and your kids are born in with the world of moving progress for the better or worse.
Life is quick so don't blink
I think that future we live will hopefully be better than we will be able to fix some of the crisises we are faced with
GLOBAL WARMING. POLUTION. OIL RESERVES FALLING. WATER RESERVES FALLING. BAD ECONOMY. WAR. DEGRADING INFRASTRUCTURE.
These are some of problems that our generation amd generations to come is faced with and I can only hope we can fix them. I feel that as on of these problems actually does something devastating then the world will try to fix it.
A city won't put a stop sign after many people say that someone is going to get hit or has gotten hit until someone has died or more than one.
It either takes someone with enormous power or a public tradgedy to make the nation or the people of the world to work together.
But even still I see the world looking and acting more or less the same as it is today. Kids will still be using electronics and people will still be driving vehicles to work everyday. I do feel that economy will take a turn around and get better and as the years go by I think that we will get more and more green but war will always be there.
I do not think that we will be able to ever reach our potential.
Humans have this drive to keep advancing to keep getting better at whatever it is they love. So I feel in that respect we will never reach it which I feel is a posssitive thing. It means that we will always have something to live for and keep getting better as humans.
I also feel understanding each other is another way that we can get closer to reaching our human potential.
Understanding is the best way to fight wars and anger.
I will make this a better world by making sure I make a positive impact on everyone I can possible impact. I will do my best to make sure I can improve everyone's life I meet.
I feel that I am a caring person and like to help everyone that I can. I like to make people smile and help them with their problems.
I may not be able to cure aids or cancer or invent an efficient way to make salt water into fresh water but I will be able to small things that hopefully impact people I'm a big way to spread that happiness to other people so that it becomes a big thing.
Just smile at everyone you see.
Haha alex, I already knew we would look back and think about all the stupid stuff we have done, I am also looking forward to our highschool reunion just so I can see where we all ended up. Good job alexander
My father took care of those Azaleas as if the flowers were delicate newborns. His work paid off when spring came around. The Azaleas bloomed beautifully in my favorite shade of blush. I would catch glimpses of the blush when I’m driving in and out of the driveway. I kept on telling myself to go capture the beauty of the flowers with my camera since it would take less than a minute, but somehow I never found the time. Then the Azaleas began to wither. I never even got a closer look at them.
Dear 18-year-old self…that’s April 22 2014?
I bet it must be a tiring year huh? With college approaching soon and stuff. I don’t’ really know what is going on exactly but please be happy. Hey, you’re probably never going to see those people soon anyways. I hope you are a lot more positive than the 16-year-old you on April 24 2012. Don’t lose sight of yourself and follow your dreams. Be as passionate as you are with those band members. You have so much ahead of you so stop questioning yourself and going over your regrets. You’ll just be as unhappy and unevolved as me. Surround yourself with people who make you feel damn special and make you a better person.
Sixteen wasn’t very kind to me. I covered my eyes and counted the days. I waited and hoped that things will get better. Time must have seemed long to the 16 year old me, but in reality, I was speeding past life without truly seeing or feeling. The matters that I did experience only concerned me; I was egocentric.
It’s funny how I scribbled down advices that I couldn’t follow to a future me. Strangely enough, I was kind of right. I am a lot happier now. My hands that used to cover my eyes are now touching and feeling life. I scratch down people I’ve encountered in my notebook. People like that old couple at the gym. The husband was old with white frail hair and struggled to even walk by himself, so his wife took on his weight and guided him to the weight machines. His wife, witnessing the deteriorating physique of her husband, was also struggling. Yet, they seemed so happy with the little smiles they exchange with one another. I’ve slowed down to observe this spinning world that doesn’t just revolve around me.
One way to reach our human potential is to stop letting others wither away like the Azaleas. Please, if you don’t have the time to water them, at least take a second to admire their beauty. Don’t question the clones’ soul when you have never looked at one of them in the eyes. Don’t let the children believe that they have so little that they have nothing to lose. Don’t forget about the adults who become slaves and consider freedom, dignity, integrity, and love to be luxuries. Don’t let go.
Hey Gina! I think that your blog is really cute! The formatting and voice always makes me look for your blog each week.
The class name is called the Search for Human Potential. The word potential can have many different meanings but I think the best definition for potential is the capacity for growth and improvement. As humans, we evolve and adapt to imposed demands placed on us throughout our lives. I’m sure everyone thought high school was going to consist of lots of rigorous homework yet here we are now, a month away from graduating high school. We have made it through what we thought we couldn’t handle at first. Some can say that the ultimate goal as humans is to reach our full potential. However, no one can specify what full potential actually is; that’s up to the individual to know when he/she has reached it.
For example, let’s take professional athletes. Now, there are many professional athletes in all kinds of sports but only a very small percentage of those athletes are considered to be among the elite. However, no one said being elite meant that you had reached your full potential. If an average pro athlete has developed his/her skills in his/her sport over the years, then isn’t it fair to say that that athlete is closer to reaching their full potential, even if he/she isn’t elite. Remember, full potential is determined by the individual because potential is such a broad topic that it would be impossible for someone to determine what full potential is for all humans. Therefore, humanity won’t reach full potential within this lifetime simply because many people have doubts that turn into regrets later on in their life. You can’t just lie to yourself and say you have reached full potential if you still have regrets about things you could have done in the past.
Too often, we limit ourselves because we think we live in a world with walls and barriers. But every wall has a way around, or a way through. Not just walls but fences too. Fences keep people out, marking what's ours from theirs. However, imagine a world where walls didn't exist; where fences brought people together. Good fences make good neighbors, and strong fences build the brotherhood. So shake free and loose. Rise from the bottom and see what's waiting for you on the other side. Nobody knows what the future holds for us; the only way to find out is to live your life fearlessly and soon you will find yourself in a happy place. “I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.”- Albert Einstein
I don’t try to think about the future too much now because I know it’s going to come by fast. I thought that my high school career went by pretty fast. It seemed like last year I was a freshman hoping that these four years would go by fast and now here I am. I’m sure the next fours years in college will go by fast as well; it seems that the most enjoyable moments of your life tend to go by faster than you think. It’s important to cherish these moments because you might never get them back. You don’t always get another chance; sometimes, it’s either now or never. Feelings about the future don’t matter if you don’t do what you have to do in the present. Get what you need to get done right now, then worry about the future.
Now, I don’t know what the ultimate potential is for us humans but I do know something that may come close to it. The way I see it is that the ultimate potential is the ability to pursue an active role in everything that we do. We can’t be passive if we want change to occur; we have to fight for it otherwise that change won’t happen in our lifetime. That’s why I admire those who try to find a cure, or a way, to prevent dangerous diseases and infections that harm and kill many people every year. We may never find a cure for something like cancer but at least there are some people trying to find it so that those of future generations will be much safer. If you want cancer to be cured, be the one who’s actively involved in medical research, not the one who sits on the couch and hopes that there will be a cure one day. It seems to me that those who are active have much less regrets and doubts than those who are passive. Now, I don’t think anyone should take my interpretation of full potential seriously because it’s only one way of interpreting it. I think everyone should come up with their idea of what full potential is because potential is based on an individual’s ability. “Observation is a passive science, experimentation an active science.” –Claude Bernard
Bezan, your the only other person who posted and is not Bryan that I know, so Ill give you a comment. Good job!
“Dad, you’re doing that incorrectly. You can’t turn onto the street like that.”
“Dad, stop slowing down when you approach the green light.”
“Dad, you can’t say or do stuff like that, it’s not appropriate. What are you thinking?”
His response to all of my complaints: “Julie, once I’m gone you can do things your way. I’ve been around the block a heck of a lot more times than you have.”
“Once I’m gone you can do things your way.”
The impressions you make will always remain with people. The decisions you make will always have a lasting affect on people’s view of you. We have the opportunity to build ourselves to become people of character, integrity, humility, and gratitude—to divorce ourselves from the rigid and corrupted expectations that have are preconceived. We have the opportunity to do things our own way, but do in it a manner that will impact someone or something.
“I wanna leave my footprints on the sands of time
Know there was something that, meant something that I left behind
When I leave this world, I'll leave no regrets
Leave something to remember, so they won't forget”
I was different from most 10 year olds on the Highland Oaks Elementary playgrounds. I had friends to play with but I always found myself spending a lot of time with a specific person. I can’t recall how our paths crossed but I met Deanna during that sacred time known as recess. I played with her on the swings, walked her back to class, and shed some light and happiness on her day. Like I said, I was different from most kids my age, and a lot of them were intimidated by people like Deanna. But there was always something that made me look past that side of Deanna that people always honed on. I embraced her for who God created her to be…even if that includes an extra chromosome.
I started talking to Deanna’s parents and they later thanked me for treating her with respect, extending a hand of grace, and for being patient when she needed the time and space to process. I didn’t know what they meant at the time because I wasn’t treating Deanna any differently than my other friends. But I realized that I treated her differently than other kids my age. My intention to befriend Deanna wasn’t to earn a ‘Caught Being Good’ slip from any of the teachers or proctors during recess, I did it because I care about her.
I didn’t think I would see Deanna as frequently as I had hoped. With a two year age gap between us and schools twice the size of where we first met, I thought our friendship would come to a halt. I was wrong. The intimidating and overbearing size of Arcadia High School failed to interrupt our friendship, it reunited us. I glanced at Liza’s (Mrs. Tedford) roll sheet for 3rd period Beginning Dance the first day of 2nd semester. I’m her TA this semester so she had me go over a few things with the attendance sheet. And as I got to the second page, I saw her name: Deanna V. I was so excited to see Deanna dance and express herself in a new and liberating way and to also see other people interacting with her the way that I did 8 years ago. Getting to spend time with Deanna as I do something that I love is just as rewarding. Right now we are working on choreographing a dance together so she can perform it with her friend Antoinette at the Spring Dance Recital. She lights up when she dances, she grins as wide as the cheshire cat, and relishes each eight count and movement she has. I love seeing this side of Deanna, and I’m excited that everyone sitting in the audience will see this side of her too. A side of her that people may have disregarded or even underestimated.
"I just want them to know
That I gave my all, did my best
Brought someone some happiness
Left this world a little better just because
I was here
I want to say I lived each day, until I died
And know that I meant something in, somebody's life
The hearts I have touched, will be the proof that I leave
That I made a difference, and this world will see
I was here"
1. “I Was Here” - Beyonce
“Sandra, stop wearing mom’s high-heels."
“Mom, can you help me get that book on the shelf?”
“Dad, can you drive me to Jordan’s house?”
“Auntie, can I have this doll?”
“Ms._, can you help me solve this problem?”
I used to not care losing in Mario game because I knew I could start over.
I used to be clumsy and untidy because I knew someone (mostly, my mom) would clean up my mess.
I used to go to sleep because I would forget my misery when I woke up or everything would get back to normal and calm.
This is the childhood version of me…
You know your last day as children has come to an end when you literally no longer need to look up to people that often (except if those people are over 6-feet tall or you stop growing at a certain height.)
You know your last day as children has come to an end when you reach up to get things for your mom.
You know your last day as children has come to an end when your parents go easier on you and give you later curfew.
You know your last day as children has come to an end when you no longer get what you want that easily.
You know your last day as children has come to an end when no one can back you up for your mistakes that you have to take the full responsibility by yourself.
You know your last day as children has come to an end when others can spot your white hair without touching your scalp (at least, it is true for me.) sob
You know your last day as children has come to an end when your problems won’t go away just by sleeping or crying.
If you have been nodding to most of my you-know-your-last-day-as-children statements, it is really the time for you to give.
By “give”, I mean…
Give a hand to those in need.
Pave new paths for the younger generations.
Share your experiences with them.
Become a good model for them.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston Churchill
Give? Why should we give?
Because it is how life works. The older generations plant seeds for the younger generations. As those seeds grow into trees and produce fruits, the younger generations enjoy those fruits and plant the seeds back for coming generations. This is the nature of human being. This is the aesthetic trait of human being that should be passed down for all generations. This is why I’d rather choose to save a child than save 1,000 old people. Historically, many lives were lost due to the Civil War. Many heroes such as Martin Luther King sacrificed their lives not for themselves obviously, but for the future generations. These people in the past had tried to make the world better for us. Now, it is the duty of each of us to protect the younger ones as well.
Having lived in US for almost four years, I am now giving my hand to my recently migrated cousins. Being good at math, I am helping my tutees with math. Being Burmese, I am passing down the cultural values and language to the children at Burmese Language Learning Center. I can’t wait to see what their future will turn out. I can’t wait to see my younger generations live in a better world than I do now.
“Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give.”
― Ben Carson
I totally caught myself nodding along haha Sandra I really like this blog and the massage you had. Even after your you-know-your-last-day-as-children statements you had me agreeing with everything every point you brought up, especially what you said about us needing to give and that t “the older generations plant seeds for the younger generations.” Really nice work!!
I loved this blog. Your formatting was super relatable and did get me nodding as I have experienced every one of those things at one point or another, but also your message really inspired me. Giving is a huge part of my life and the fact that you associate that with the transition into adulthood really made me think and I actually discovered a couple really cool things. I love blogs that make me think, and I especially love blogs that allow me to reflect on my own life and relate to the reader.
Thank you so much for such a helpful post. You are really great, keep it up!
It seems like just yesterday when I first set foot in Arcadia High as a freshman. College seemed like a distant future back then, and I never really thought it would come this soon. But at last, here it is, directly in front of me. I don’t know what to expect or what my future holds for me.
As I look back on these past few years of high school, I realize that I have spent a whole lot of time worrying about the future rather than really enjoying the present and taking advantage of the numerous opportunities for exploration, especially in freshman year. Just like that, I let high school pass by me. I felt inadequate and tiny in such a big world filled with more capable and talented people.
I felt the pressure of feeling the need to find something that I was passionately interested in, something that I want to dedicate the rest of my life doing as a career. Maybe, I thought, by a stroke of luck, I would stumble across that passion. I was afraid of the future because it was so uncertain and it seemed that there was just not enough time to discover myself and do the things that I wanted to do. Eventually, I knew that I would have to confront these questions and problems that I had been avoiding or trying to push aside for later.
But I have changed so much from that shy girl in freshman year who was afraid of what her future would look like, to now. Maybe it just took a change of mindset.
The future isn’t such a scary thing anymore. Sure, I have big decisions ahead of me to make, but that's life.
In a few months, I will be going off to college, living six hours away from my parents. It won’t be so easy coming back whenever I want to. I will be leaving behind Arcadia, the place I was born in and grew up in all these years; the track I spent three years running on, enduring the sweat and pain of our workouts with my teammates; the piano place I have been going to since I was in first grade.
The people I know and my friends will be going their own separate ways. Some will be going with me to the same college, but many others will not be. Although this makes me sad, knowing that I won’t see many of my friends after high school, I realize that it’s inevitable. We all have our own lives to lead.
Before, I would have been afraid and pessimistic thinking about my future after high school. Now, I realize that fearing the future just is not worth it. Time passes too fast for me to be wasting my time like that.
Maybe change is a good thing. Sometimes we need to come out of our comfort zones and leave behind the familiar. Sometimes it is time for us to move on, to seek new opportunities and to embrace them. My future may be cloudy and full of surprises, pleasant and unpleasant, but I know that I will be looking forward to the new opportunities available to me. Now is the time to look forward to the future, and enjoy the present.
College is only another chapter in my life, another journey to embark upon. And it’s not as if I really am leaving everything behind. I can still come back and visit the places special to me and keep in touch with the people that I created memories with in high school and childhood.
Only we, ourselves, have the ability to build a brighter and better future, but it all depends on how you look at it, whether you see the glass half empty or half full.
This was so good! I really like your beginning and as I was reading, I kept on nodding my head in agreement. You and I are just the same, I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I’m more concerned about living for now. I’m excited for college and I can’t wait to experience all that college has to offer. As we reach our final days, we must enjoy the time that we have now, with our family, our friends, and our loved ones. Once we leave, it won’t be the same as it used to be. Instead of being blocks away, we’ll be miles away. Knowing that college will put a break on many friendships makes me enjoy living in the present. I want to suck out the fun of each and every single last minute I have before going to college.
You did a great job on this Carolyn. Keep, keep, keep it up!
In this bright future you can’t forget your past .
The future can’t be the future without a past.
The present can’t be the present without a past and without a future.
The future is what people looks forward to in order to live a “good” life.
Life is an obstacle course game—like Ninja Warrior (originated from a Japanese TV show). The beginning of the obstacle course to the end of the obstacle course symbolizes a lifetime. In order to get to the end of the course, one has to conquer certain obstacles within a limited amount of time.
Everyone goes through obstacles throughout their lives. I’m sure we all have already faced a tough obstacle growing up in our lifetime. They can range from a super tough blockade to a simple rope ladder—from a really hard situation in life into something like a simple bad luck.
Obstacles test our limits and our abilities. Obstacles aren’t things that should hold us back. They are supposedly to help strengthen us to become better people.
My biggest obstacle this year was the passing of my childhood friend last October—an obstacle that almost threw me off course. But, like what a lot of people say, it’s all just a part of life.
[Stuff] happens, right?
It’s all just an obstacle trying to hold me back in life. Without maneuvering through it, it’ll prevent me from moving onto through life.
The Past is History ….
The Future is Mystery ….
But today is a gift
Because it is the Present .
I really liked what you talked about in your blog this week. I think you're absolutely right about obstacles being there to make us stronger. Not tearbus apart. I am truly sorry about your childhood friend, but I'm glad to see that you're able to keep your cool and not do anything irrational. I wish you the best of luck and good job this week!
I really liked what you talked about in your blog this week. I think you're absolutely right about obstacles being there to make us stronger. Not tearbus apart. I am truly sorry about your childhood friend, but I'm glad to see that you're able to keep your cool and not do anything irrational. I wish you the best of luck and good job this week!
Is society moving or sliding backwards? From what I've noticed happening in today’s current events, it seems as though society is not moving forwards or backwards but has come to a point to where it is in a state of being inert . It used to be when this country was first born that Americans had a concern for the country as a whole. Nowadays too many seem to focus on single issues and how it would only affect themselves. The people use their single minded issues to drive their actions, even if those actions have a negative impact on society. The greed to have things their way despite the greater good for the people hurts our country. There is no compromise. One example is gun control. Those who own guns would rather hold on to their possessions, ranting about the 2nd Amendment, without addressing the serious problem that there are those who could inflict pain on innocent people and cause tremendous damage such as the Columbine High School massacre and the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
Another crisis is health care. Yes, the Obama plan would cost more in health care coverage for each individual, but the overall benefit outweighs this minor cost increase. More people would be covered, therefore the country would become healthier and it would prevent diseases and other illnesses from spreading. Back in the 60's and 70's people like my grandfather with blue collar jobs could afford the necessities to support a family, as well as fortunate luxuries such as vacations. Now, people with the same type of jobs are living paycheck to paycheck, and compensation is not equivalent to performance.
CEO's of companies are now making near to 50 times more than the rest of their firms, and being rewarded despite not operating to the standards. An example is JC Penney's CEo who makes 1,795 times more than the average worker, even though their stock is down 73%. The poor cannot afford to live stable lives in this era, and the middle class, which should be driving this country, is suffering. I find it ironic that young college graduates are in more debt than people who didn’t go to college. Back then it was more simple; go to college, work in your field, make money, support a family and possibly your parents. It is much more challenging now, and the value of a dollar has diminished. But I believe there is always a light at the end of a tunnel. We must compromise. We must work together and sacrifice a little to ensure our future, for the good of all citizens.
Here is a video I watched recently, that serves somewhat of a reality check and ties somewhat into my perspective. There is some harsh language though, I apologize.
i really liked your post, I liked how you added the video and shared the things that you've inspired you.
I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to say in this blog.
All of the previous blogs have been about the past. We’ve relayed our past experiences and things we’ve learned about the world or ourselves as we’ve gotten older.
I easily came up with what I wanted to say in those blogs, because I simply talked about the things I knew.
That’s what makes this blog so hard.
I don’t know what I will be doing in five or ten years. I don’t know how I will help build a better world. I don’t know what my future holds.
Sometimes I forget that there is a world out there.
I forget that there is life outside of high school, outside of this bubble I am stuck in. I am so used to being in high school and sometimes I scare myself when I realize that I am graduating soon. I am going to be thrown into the real world, where I have to take care of myself and make very important and life-altering decisions.
I’ve never lived on my own before. I’ve never lived in a different state. I’ve always been told what I am eating for dinner, and when I need to go to bed. I’ve never had the freedom to decide even the simplest things in life. And now I’m expected to leave my home and my parents, live on my own, and make all of these choices? I am terrified to say the least.
What scares me even more is thinking about what I am going to do with the rest of my life. From the moment I was asked to declare a major on my college applications, this thought has been in the back of my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I have an idea of what I want to do once I go to college and once I graduate, but more times than not, people end up changing their plans. They apply under one major and end up switching to another because the pervious one was too difficult. That’s what makes this all so scary. Plans changes, and so do people, so although you might have an idea of where you want to end up, its possible that you will end up somewhere else.
So, as of this moment, my plans and ideas for my future are simply dreams. I am hoping that I can make it without my parents. I am praying that I will survive living in a different state. I am dreaming of becoming a Civil Engineer.
So you ask, what do I want my future to be?
Ask me in ten years.
Victoria, I see it from your point of view too. Sometimes I just sit and wonder what I will do for the rest of my life. No matter how long I dream about it there is never one conclusion. There are actually thousands of possibilities and opportunities that can come our way. We never know until we reach that point and that’s the unexpectedness of life.
What does the future hold?
When I was young I had believed it to be flying cars, space elevators, lunar colonies and so much more.
But now I cannot see myself living long enough to see anything that I dreamed about when I was young. Instead I question what is going to happen to the earth as we increasingly mine it for resources while carelessly polluting its atmosphere.
“Doing the right thing has power.”
But are we doing the right thing for our future, our children’s future?
Just because we will not have to face the consequences of our actions within our lifetimes does not make our actions acceptable. Doing the wrong things also has power. Every choice we make affects the future in some way, we are constantly changing our future for better or for worse.
Right now we believe that things will be better in the future because people will invent a miracle technology that will instantly make everything better. Surely brilliant people will invent an earth wide atmosphere purifier and solve all of our energy issues with fusion reactors. With this kind of mind set we continue what we do.
“We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.”
And that technology is blinding us from the truth. As more and more technology get developed they continue to take away our view from the world itself. With things like the Google Glass it will not be long before everyone’s vision will be accompanied by augmented reality devises. When you consider the effects of these devises it may look positive but when you truly try to think about it you might reconsider. We will information brought to our eyes that we cannot control, we will simply have to trust that the information is true. With enough technology we can even make people believe they live in an utopia while the world falls apart around them. They would not even be able to realize it, much like the people of 1984.
Too many people are simply being pulled along by the march of progress, they take no notice of what is happening around them and simply go with the flow. It is people like these that tech giants hold so much power in our world, companies like Google and Apple hold much influence because they have successfully integrated their products into a part most people’s lives.
How many people do you know that do not use Google?
That question alone answers how much power Google holds, should they choose they can display a message to a majority of the population of some of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Yet only a small group of people control these companies and their decisions affect everyone.
How can we trust their decisions? Do they make these decisions for a better world or simply their own benefits?
The answer is we should not, we need to take back control of our own lives and think as we use these technologies instead of blindly trusting them. We need to think for ourselves and our children, and be more critical of ourselves. As the saying goes hope for the best and prepare for the worst. There is nothing wrong for being hopeful but we always need to think about the worst possible outcome and make decisions based on them especially when it will not be us but our children that faces the consequences.
We are concerned with equality for all people, as time passed we tried to give rights to all people, from the blacks to the LGBTs that we are currently fighting for. I have no doubt that eventually all people will be granted the same rights under the law as that is what people are always fighting for.
That mind set simply needs to be applied to our children, we need to treat them and give them the right to live in a world that has not been made worse by the current generation. Take things into your own hands and fight for a better future for your children.
“The future depends on what you do today.”
Interesting topic to consider for the future, you know I considered that too, how our potential may eventually come back to destroy us due to our carelessness.
You know, it’s interesting how you say technology blinds us from the truth. After all, our eyes are also too a device, a device that takes in all the info the world can offer, and only process some of the info (the visible spectrum) and relates it back to you, but that is the device you’re used to wearing. How is that anymore the truth than computerized glasses who also display the world to you, but in a different way? I think technology gives a more profound and deeper view of the world, because not only can you see the world through the visible spectrum, but there are glasses that can see other wavelengths, and you may be given info that you previously may not have been aware of. It may not be any closer to the truth, but neither are your eyes.
But I think I understand what you mean, when we are obsessed with one goal or one thing, we become metaphorically blind to its effects on what we care less about. The problem about using google is that another external sources owns it and can control it, like if someone gets to own and control your eyes, then your eyes will no longer feel legitimate. Therefore, I see google more as a source for consideration, as in, it gives me information and it gives me a view upon the world, but whether I believe in it or accept it is still up to me to choose, and I find other means of obtaining more information if necessary. As long as we don’t become reliant upon it, we use it more as a tool!
Equality is a difficult subject, I don’t think we can get to a point where we will eventually satisfy everyone really, what may be ‘equal’ for one may not be considered ‘equal’ for another person. That’s because people’s desires differ greatly. Some people may like to be treated with kindness and consideration. Others think that is weak. Besides, we’re used to being unequal, as we consider ourselves better than certain others (and sometimes people are okay with it. You are good at this. I am good at this. That’s fine). When we look upon our friends and family, we see each person unequally, favoring one over the other. When we respect an elder and tell a kid what to do, we aren’t being equal as well.
But I still think it’s nice to have these fights and debates, because even if people don’t become more equal, it still brings about rights and changes and benefits, and continues to keep the world afloat as a ‘better’ place.
Overall, nice post though Richard, I liked considering your ideas. Now I’d like to hear your reply on my disagreements haha~
Richard, you brought up some really interesting points in your post. With the advancement of technology, there are usually misgivings at first. Technology has pervaded our lives; many of us cannot stand to live a day without our phones, computers etc.... We usually see the immediate benefits, and so they overshadow the potential negatives. I liked that you were able to see the bigger picture of technological advancement and not just blindly accept that technology is always beneficial for us only because we use it in our everyday lives.
First, I am a female, which is 56.34% of the school’s population
I am a Vietnamese female, which is 11.67% of the school’s population
I am a Vietnamese female who’s name is Diana Nguyen which is 1 out of ~4,000 students in our school.
I would say I’m not going to be the valedictorian, and I’m not the most involved in popular clubs or ASB.
If it’s not my popularity or academic skills standing out of others, then what else do I have?
My personality . The actions I do .
I once saw a an old lady drop her groceries; and old people obviously they have a hard time bending down – so I act fast and help them pick it up. People pass by without helping her or just watched as she was about to reach for her bag of apples, eggs, etc. that fell from her bag. After I helped her gather her groceries, I thought, “HOW CAN NOBODY HELP HER AND JUST WALK BY?! She’s an only lady for goodness sakes!” I bet if I didn’t help her, she would have broken a hip! (maybe a little dramatic, but it could happen) Or most likely take a long time picking up her belongings.
Certain individuals complain about going to work, but I personally enjoy work. It doesn’t even have to be anything special because I like to keep busy. I work at a place called Hotato Potato, and another place called The Center for Advanced Dermatology. At Hotato Potato, I help sell/assemble these deliciously crisp and tender potato swirl heaven on a stick seasoned to your liking (How is that for advertisement?). Although sometimes I am awkward when meeting new people, I enjoy meeting and conversating with others. At the center I work as a file clerk/ receptionist and I deal with rude impatient patients while fluctuating between preparing patient files. Two absolutely different tasks, yet in one, I fulfill somebody’s hunger and another I ease another’s irritation.
Meshing together all the things that I have a passion for – science, communications, sales, and health care lead me to wanting to become a pharmaceutical sales representative. Some people may call that occupation a certified drug dealer, but I see much more in it. I can see myself going into a physician’s office to introduce a drug that can help cure you. I WANT to make a difference, and I WILL .
I’m not even a celebrity
I’m not even pocket pouring wealthy
I’m not even the president
How can my personality and actions possibly change the world?!
Well, it just did.
I helped an old lady who would’ve possibly broken a hip.
I give a lot of effort in work
I want to do something in the future to perhaps help you or anybody else on this earth.
With that, my only hope is to succeed and I will for sure change the course of this world.
The future is sometimes unpredictable. You may think you know what happens next, but the UNTHINKABLE comes knocking on your doorstep.
I used to think that the future has already been planned and organized for each and every one of us; that our future would be easy-going without having any obstacles blocking our way. I was most definitely wrong. You can never tell what the future holds for us. Whether if it’s a test, a school, a job, etc., you never know.
Although we can’t predict the future, hope and opportunities will be waiting for us in the future.
First grade-fifth grade: During the glorious days in elementary school, I remember having trouble finding and making friends. I would go up to a small group of girls and try to befriend them, but would fail because they thought I was a weird person. I would play sports with the boys but would always get tired after ten minutes of running; on top of that, they thought I had coodies. In third grade was when I met friends, who I could actually count on. Towards the end of fifth grade, I hoped that I would make new friends, faster, in the future.
I was wrong…
Sixth-eighth grade: I was a Mariner in sixth grade, while the rest of my friends were Spartans. It was really hard for me to find friends who did not talk about boys all the time or did not find me unusual. Everyone was in his or her own little groups when I finally found a friend who had the same personality as me, during the third month of sixth grade. I hung out with them, until we all went to high school.
High school: In my freshmen year, I hung out with the same group of friends from middle school. I then met some new people and started hanging out with them in my sophomore year. Towards the end of my sophomore year, one of my friends wanted to audition for Chanteurs and so I went to audition with her. I made into Harmonix my junior year. Because of all the rehearsals there were, I spent most of my time with them. They were like a family to me. During my senior year, I made into Chanteurs and am proud to call them my second family. With our ups and downs, we are still happy to call each other brothers and sisters.
We are all moving in a positive direction as human beings...
We are born.
We go to school for education.
We graduate and go to college.
We get a job.
We live. We retire. We die.
I am worried about the future because I don’t know what’s going to happen to me. When it happens, I won’t be prepared for it and so I feel hopeful about the future. Although there may be problems that cause us to slide backwards, we get up and we continue in the direction we were going.
I can totally relate to you about the future. I honestly thought it was supposd to be planned out, but i find out that life is unexpected and life has it's moment.
Just have to go with the flow you know!
anyways I am super glad that you made a second family.
That is something I want as well, glad you have yours.
“What do you want to do in the future?”
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
“What kind of person are you going to be in the future?”
These are the few of many questions that involve the future that I dread hearing. I see no point in talking about the future. Even if I said anything, it could be considered lying or misleading since I don’t really know what is going to happen to me in the future. I can guess and hope that it comes true, but I wouldn’t know completely. How do we know what is going to happen? There is no telling what the future is going to look like. There are many different ways that our future could go because of the actions we take now. No one can tell with 100% accuracy what would happen in the future.
We could take a more technological route to the future. Flying cars, floating buildings, living in space, etc. All these things are possible in the future. We could have everything done for us. Why do we need to do anything when we could make computers and machines do the work for us? Now this just reminds me of the Disney movie, Wall-E. We would just have to sit back and watch while the machines do all the work for us. We would eventually rot away not doing anything.
What if we took a different path?
We could still take the technological path but maybe this way the machines turn on us. Instead of us using them, they were using us. We would be the slaves to the machines and do whatever the machines would want us to do. The most popular movie using this theme is the Matrix. Here the machines use us as energy instead of them helping us. They control us and most of us can’t do anything about it. We might not even know that it is happening at all. The human race would slowly die having no use at all.
There is no way to be able to accurately foretell the future since there are so many possibilities. That’s why I think that asking about the future has no meaning. What is important is not the future but the present. The future can’t happen without the present. The things that we do now control what happens in the future. Listening to someone talk about the future as if they knew for sure that it was going to come true is pointless.
Vincent, I think that you have an amazing point. If we only focus on the future, we may never see what is right in front of us; however, I don't believe that we should only concentrate about the present. I think we should look at them both with importance.
I should probably start off by saying that this blog is incredibly difficult to write. The pressure of finalizing my draft, blog and Define Me Project is on the table at the moment and I’m pretty sure it’s one of the reasons why my judgement and perception is clouded.
But with that disclosure out of the way, I want to make this blog special. The topic is so beautiful and honestly speaking I think I have the perfect answer. Will we ever reach our potential? How can we reach our potential? What happens once that potential has been reached?
So what I want you guys to do is hit ctrl-F, type in Nicholas K. in the search bar, read his blog and then come back down here. 2nd Place National Finalist isn’t anything to kid about, especially when you have had nothing but multiple injuries to hold you back your entire life. I’ve known Nick since the 5th grade and the one thing that is uniform in his entire life was gymnastics. He didn’t place gymnastics in his schedule, his schedule works around gymnastics. Competing for over a decade now, take a look at where he’s gotten. It’s rather impressive. This, however, only demonstrates one aspect of his growth.
Few know Nick as I do. We grew up down the street from each other and every time I needed something, whether it be a ride to school, someone to hang out with or a means of transportation, he was there for me and I made sure to constantly reassure him that I would do the same for him. Though I found few opportunities to return the favor, the one thing I found myself helping him out with more than anything was emotional issues. Now I don’t want anyone to think that Nick is a guy who likes to curl up by the fireplace on a rainy afternoon reading Nicholas Sparks books. He’s human. He has emotions. Feelings of passion, love, betrayal, hate, the list goes on. For those of you who don’t know, Nick’s father passed-away in the 8th grade. Growing up only able to see him on the weekends was hard. Time was limited, but no one could have thought that his time was THAT limited. For weeks, Nick would be to himself, trying to go about daily school doldrums while coping with the thought of his lost father. This was just one emotional stage in his life. I can go on and on about the lovers he had and the hurt he’s been feeling, but I thought this example would be significant enough (and I’m pretty sure this is more than enough than Nick wanted to me to reveal).
Look, there are always options when you take your shot at life. When life knocks you down, you can get back up or stay down. When you make a mistake, you can learn from it, or blindly make the same mistake again. When the whole world is bombarding on your life, you can either submit helplessly, or start fighting back. What defines who you are, is determined by the actions you WILL take. Reaching your potential is being able to tell yourself that the decision you are going to make is the right one and the success that you are going to achieve is fruitful because of your past experiences and the decisions that you have made. Thank you Nick, for proving to me and everyone else, that through all the sorrow you had in your life, all the odds you had to surmount and incorporating the anger and frustration of the struggles you’ve faced, that the light at the end of the tunnel, is very much real.
Tells me he'll write about me, ends up writing about someone else. It's cool. I think. Good post though.
Josh! Absolutely love your post. The last line hit me hard. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.
Thanks for the confidence boost on that last paragraph.it made me realize how much I'm holding back.. Thanks!
Josh I really liked your blog ! Not just the entire paragraph but how you related it to the people around you too and to the experience you've gained.
Josh! I really liked your post. I really enjoyed reading about your friend and how he impacted your life. Your blog is inspiring and so if your friend!
Josh, similar to you, i completely believe that a person's potential can be judged by the actions that he or she takes in a time of need. I really enjoyed this blog from you!
+What do you think the future holds for us? Are we moving in a positive direction as human beings, or sliding backwards? Do you feel hopeful about the future? Worried? Conflicted?...
I think the future has a lot going for us, there are going to be advancements in technology, cars, and in life overall. In this generation, improvements in technology is what we all wait for, when the new Iphone is going to come out, new TVs, faster and better cars. Yes it makes our lifes easier and a hell of a lot more interesting and entertaining but it is also damaging. This generation is so dependent on technology that once it isn’t available people freak out. Yes the future holds amazing inventions but they are only objects. They are things that can easily be replaced and eventually will lose their importance once a new invention comes. Before all the technology everyone was more interactive and independent.
The majority of us who have our noses stuck in our phones, Ipads, and whatever else is out there miss important moments and the little details around us. I admit there are times I catch myself with my face stuck on my phone and someone is talking to me and I miss almost everything that person has said. As human beings a lot of us are sliding backwards, I believe that technology will soon consume a huge chunk of our life style. Long before technology and the social norms set by instagram, facebook, and twitter people didn’t care so much about how good they looked, how many likes and followers he or she have. Social media today ruins self-esteems and actual interaction with people. What we are missing are the times when people met by having to introduce one another and actually going out and having fun and to get to know someone better.
Our generation is so dependent on social media to make themselves known and recognized by people(attention). To be honest I am a little scared for the future, I am afraid that we wont interact with one another as much and at the dinner table people will be on their phones instead of actually having conversation and asking about how each other’s days went. I don’t believe in not using technology I am just afraid it will take over us. It’s fine to use it, have fun with it and use it when it’s needed because it was invented for us to use and make our lifes easier.
“ You can’t tiptoe into social media. You have to jump into the pool. People have a natural fear of it. But the scary part is not being there. Your customer is already there”.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA DIET-Share sparingly. Only your best stuff. Once per day.
I agree with your post because it is so true. Technology is taking over our lives. About two years ago I lost my smart phone and I had to use an older phone so all I could really do was text, no more social media sites. I thought I was going to go crazy but I got use to it and I even saw people in a new light. Whenever someone complained about not being able to use the internet for one day made me laugh because it sounds so dumb to a person who hasn't used it in forever. Good points!
I have to agree on your post because technology is taking over our generation. I remember when I was a kid, we had to learn everything new. Technology has ruined our lives and we are known as "the failure generation." Thank you for sharing this post, to remind people that there was once a time without technology.
“The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.”
I used to think of this everyday.
Why is our world so messed up? It’s not okay to commit murder because your taking away an innocent life. It’s okay to go into war and take away hundreds, no thousands of innocent lives because it is to protect the people.
Well who is “the people” anyway?
I don’t think humans “seek perfection”. I think we just do everything we can to get by except it’s hard to get by. And in the process of doing so, we make the countless immoral mistakes and fateful wrongdoings.
What is a “better” world?
I use to think that if we can all just stop fighting everything would be perfect.
Why do we have to have war? Why does there have to be a set way of doing things? Why is one religion better then other religions? Isn’t religion there to give people hope that things can be better? Why is one specific region of people better than another region? Aren’t we all trying to live? So why do we have to kill other people to conquer more “space”? Why is it that we have to get permission to go anywhere? Is there no more trust left?
I know the answer to every one of those questions now.
It’s because we’re human.
“Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive and potentially orderly and constructive.” -Margaret Mead
We want to make a better world of no violence, so we create a constitution hoping that others will follow and that the world can be limited of things that are “wrong”.
“The people” are us. The ones that follow “our” constitution. The ones that follow “our” se of rules. That’s why it’s okay to take their lives away. They are the wrongdoers. They are the ones that “started it”. We’re only doing this defend what’s “right”. We’re doing this to protect “the people”, to protect “our people”, to protect the ones that are doing it “right”.
No it’s not okay to take their lives away. We realize that and we are “sorry”. We’re sorry that our bombs took two cities away and caused catastrophic damage for not only the current lives lost but also the lives that will be taken in the future from the effects of the nuclear bombing. We realized that we were wrong. But to be honest, you guys were the ones that wouldn’t stop fighting. We tried the nice way.
That’s how it sounded to me at least.
We’re sorry that we tried to take your country. We’re sorry that we raped, murdered, stole, and destroyed everything that you worked to do. It’s because we have so many people. There isn’t enough living space. We can do so much better if we just had more space. If we had more resources. I’m sorry that the people of Nanking will always be scarred with this memory. But to be honest, we are trying to survive too. Yeah, we wanted to survive “better” but don’t you? I mean isn’t that why you guys took other autonomous regions like Tibet because you want more control and a better country? That’s what we wanted.
This is the world we created. We built it. We really did. We did it from scratch.
I was reliving memories of my childhood; I guess you can call that throwback to the past. I watched The Land Before Time, that movie about dinosaurs. The land is so green. There wasn’t any pollution. No buildings, no landfills, and just forests and hills of green. I look at Spirit. It’s that horse movie where animals ran free. There was no fear that buffaloes would be extinct. I look at Princess Mononoke the Miyazaki movie showing the destruction of forests and what it does to animals.
We created this world of destruction to nature. We created this world of hatred and violence.
“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” -Pablo Picasso
I hate pessimism. It does no good but causes things to be given up. It means hope is lost and that everything is grim.
But I can’t see it. I want to say that a better world would be if we can slow up the need to modernize and be better. If we can slow up the need to make everything faster. To stop pursuing perfection. But that’s impossible right. It’s not in our human nature to live with what we have because we are all essentially selfish. We want better. We need better. It has to be faster.
I’m like this too. I hate it when my phone lags. Why bother walking on the sidewalk when I can just cut across grass and get to where I need to go faster?
...Why live with what we have when we can destroy the forest to get the resources we need?
Why can’t I think about my blog when I am living my daily life? I finish writing this with a grim feeling but I’m sure I’m going to do it again.
To build a world means that we have to take away some part of the forest. To build means that we are already destroying. A better world is a world where we can live in harmony without hate and without the need to do better than the minimal.
I want to love that world. But if I already experienced the world we have now...I am going to hate that world. My phone’s not going to get any faster than it is now in that new world because all we need is the minimal. I’m going to hate that lag. Why am I going to hate it? Why am going to hate that better world?
“The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be fast beating the slow.” -Rupert Murdoch
“Our technological powers increase, but the side effects and potential hazards also escalate.” -Alvin Toffler
“Why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow. I want to learn to run fast.” -Emil Zatopek
If timing is right, then there will be right place, and right people. If timing is not right, everything else is wrong.
If you do the right thing in the right time, then twice as much can be accomplished with half the effort.
There is a time for everything, what time is it now?
I remember junior year was my worst year in my high school career. I might appear to be the hard working Esther my friends recognized, but I knew something was not right. If you ask me to give you a picture to summarize my junior year, the picture is I am sitting in my mom’s car, stirring at the never ending street in front of me. I could not see the end of it. I could not see the end of anything.
I always wondered why I needed to work hard. I was taking all these classes that I did not have any interest in, and it just seemed that my effort went into a black hole. My family said education is the way to bring our position up, but in junior year, I just could not imagine my family is going anywhere. I did not want to study anymore, even though I knew junior year was a critical year. That’s when my mom said what she said above to me. She said now is the time to be hardworking, to study, because I am capable of doing so. This is a time for study.
In the last Friday meeting I attended in church, my youth group discussed about relationship, since all the members in my group are about to leave for college this fall. My group leader shared that she did not know if it was the time for her to be in relationship. She said, people often wonder if that person is Mr. or Mrs. Right, or if that is the right thing to do. However, they never think if that is the right timing. If timing is not right, everything else is wrong. After she said that, I found the answer of about my doubt.
In senior year, I learn to enjoy my life more. I hang out with my friends more often. We went to watch Frozen for the last time in AMC, even though that day was a Tuesday. We went to Starbucks after school. We planned surprise birthday party. As graduation is getting closer and closer each day, I precious the time we left to spend with each other. Because when we leave here, we are going to be on different maps. I do not know how our future will be like, but I know now is a time to be thankful, to be embrace each other, to make memory together for the last time, to love.
As usual, after approximately thirty minutes of reviewing, my comparative government teacher showed us The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to relax a little. And as usual, there are tons of advertisements before the actual show. Then, there comes the Geico commercial. When the narrator said ' Geico, fifteen minutes...', the girl standing right beside me murmured to herself: ' can save you fifteen percent on car insurance.' It is funny how she, or most of us who watch YouTube regularly, memorize the phrase when she does not intend to do so. The internet provides a perfect spot not only for people to conduct useful research, but also for the companies to bombard surfers with information. That reminded of my US History class last year. My school shows me a 1970s shopping catalog, which consists of over a million products in a five hundred page book that was sent once a year to every household. It is costly, inefficient and harmful to the environment. People had a different time promoting their products due to the lack of facile communication. Nowadays, it is amazing how we have easy access to a lot of information within a few seconds.
I have the same wonder when I was reviewing the topics and people that I can use in the cultural presentation on the AP test yesterday in French class. One of the inventors that she mentioned was the Lumière brothers. They are known as the first filmmakers in the history. The first clip was made in 1895 containing a moving train. It is about forty- nine seconds and has no sound effect. One article said when the people first watched the film, they all screamed because they feared that the train may crush out of the screen and killed them. At that moment, I kept thinking what I would do if I were in their situation. Would I scream and hide under the chair when the train approached or would I be excited about this new innovation? I pondered for a while, then I decided that I am the former. I am not a person with a lot of acceptance and courage to try on new objects. I am not comfortable with the changes. I used to believe in destiny and there a pathway that we must follow. However, as I grow older and learn more about modern technology, I started to doubt my judgement.
“There is not the slightest indication that (nuclear) energy will ever be obtainable”- Albert Einstein, 1921
Yet, in U.S., 19. 4% of electricity comes from nuclear power.
"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." - Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC)
Yet, most people in the developed countries own at least one to two computers.
"X-rays will prove to be a hoax." - Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883.
Yet, X-rays are the most useful tool used to diagnose bone-related problems.
"[Television] won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." - Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.
Yet, television is the most entertainment that people had before computers.
The world is constantly changing. All these things that seem handy for us are objects that our ancestors have never predicted to exist. So I started to wonder, what is our limit? How far can we still go?
That is the reason I took this class and I have finally this answer in “What her mother never knew…” in … And the Earth did not Devour Him. The son keeps drinking the water because he believes that it will keep happy. The mother keeps refilling the cup because she believes that the spirits are drinking the water. It is all about what we choose to believe. We invent new technology because we believe that they can make communication easier. We educate ourselves because we believe that it can better prepare us for the future. There is no limit to what a human can do. We can go as far as we can as long as we believe that the sacrifices worth something.
We do all we had because we believe.
Thinking about the future actually really scares to be honest and trying to predict it is even scarier. We all hope to grow up one day and be someone who made a change in this world. But right now we need to focus on the growing up part and trying to become a better person for ourselves. We don’t really know what the future has in store for us, but we all hope that the future will include us. I know it’s a sad thing to think about, imagining a world without certain people around, but its reality, we are going to have to face it eventually.
For my sister I saw her grow up, I saw her go through her high school career and watched her grow up. From my perspective, being 8 years younger than her, I saw that she had friends and she played the viola and was in orchestra all four years in high school. What I didn’t know that my sister was bullied, she had an eating disorder, and she ditched school all the time. But little did I know my sister always set a good example when she was infront of me, she made sure when I grew up, I wouldn’t make the mistakes that she made, she wanted me to have a better future than her. After graduating she went to PCC, taking the general classes she needed before she started to take the classes that would help her have a career in radio and sound engineering. But things changed, she couldn’t get classes anymore, so she stopped going all together, she didn’t do much until about a two years ago when she decided to go back to school. She attended a radio and sound engineering school called Pinnacle College where she was one of three girls who went there. My sister now was attending a dominantly male school; they didn’t even have bathrooms for girls. So a year and a half later, she graduated but there were still no jobs for her in that field. I know for a fact when my sister graduated she didn’t expect her future to turn out like this, she didn’t expect to be pretty much a nanny, and to still be living at home. There were so many obstacles that altered her future. But my sister was able to overcome them and she was able to keep going. She is making money, doing everything she can to move forward now, and I think that the rate she is going right now she is going to have a bright future. You just can’t give up and keep moving forward.
My sister help make me a really good kid, I went to school, I did my homework, I had lots of friends. And while this was happening, my sister told me if I didn’t do my homework she would tell my parents, so I did my homework. She was always super nice to my friends when they came over showing that you should always be polite around others and be nice. I didn’t realize this when I was younger, but I realize it now. My sister knew that I would take after her, so she had to be a role model for me even though she didn’t have to, she wanted too. Some people come into your life that may alter you future for better or for worse, and she was for the better. People say that our future is determined by our actions and the choices you make, but they never said that there might be someone there guiding you down the right path and helping you make better choices. I do believe that my sister helped me change in a way that I will do what’s right, make the right choice, and the better person.
When my sister graduating in 2006 some of her friends went their separate way and went off to college to someone while other of her friends stayed back with her and just went to PCC. Hopefully when I graduate I will still be close friends with the people I talk to today, but I know some of them will leave and do their own thing because that’s what they need to do. But the sad part was hearing about all the friends she lost who had bright futures ahead of them. One was going to UCLA becoming a doctor, but it was too much for her and she committed suicide. One was only 16, she was beautiful and outgoing (so I’ve heard) and she was murdered. However there were some happy ones, like her friends that went to college and then started a family, or the ones who didn’t go to college but got jobs and then they started a family. In the end, we have no idea what our future will be like, trying to guess what the future has for us is just a joke. We have an idea what we would like for it to be like, but in the end we never really know.
Imagine a classroom full of round bowls connected to the ceiling, each attached onto the heads of the little children. These round bowls release their little brain power from a hand cranking machine powered by paperback books.
Imagine a barber shop with one automatic cutter. One main machine in the middle of shop that cuts the hair of all six customers, all of whom don’t seem to be astonished by the revolutionary advancement.
Or an automatic brusher to clean your glossy new floors. Or mechanical flying machines that assist firemen with dousing fires.
In 1899, people were asked what the world was going to be like in 2000. They were certainly right about one thing; we do have the new iRobot or Roomba that senses specific directions to ensure a clean and spotless room. Unfortunately, they were wrong with just about everything else they tried to predict.
It’s hilarious to see how wrong they were when they tried to predict the future. It’s amazing to see their creativity and how they use it to try to predict what the future will look like. Who would’ve thought that there may be an automatic barber cutter, controlled by just a single crank in the main directory?
People didn’t even imagine a portable touch screen with both entertaining and serious or professional applications. They never thought of new possibilities; instead, they just thought of stronger, updated, and advanced versions of what they had.
If we asked people today what the world would be like in 20 years, I bet people would say flying cars or food that come in pills that fill you up in an instant. The answer is that they are all wrong.
The next new thing will be the iPhone 25 or the iPad 24, a 1cm thin phone with 16gb of hardware and a new and improved iOS 27.
In truth, I don’t know what the world will be like in the future. The future is rather unpredictable. If the people in 1899 predicted what the world would be like in 10 years were wrong, how different are we compared to them? There’s no certainty that the world in 20 years will have flying cars, but it’s certain that there will be far more people than there are today.
The more populated the world is, the harder it is to keep up with the food production necessary to sustain the population. I’m worried that the world in 20 years will be overpopulated and that the excessive need for food cannot be met. I worry that the more populated the world is, the more waste we will produce and the more fuel we will consume, both of which will damage the earth.
However, the world is quickly advancing in an eco-friendly way. There are more and more hybrid cars being produced to minimize the fuel usage. There are solar powered panels installed on homes to harvest energy through eco-friendly means. Young and brilliant generations are starting to invent eco-friendly instruments for daily use like the heat-powered flashlight. The future will be in the hand of the younger generations. I have hope that they will do what’s right to protect this planet.
It is interesting how almost all of us write this blog with enthusiastic and confident in our future but you mention the drawbacks. Well done!
Whenever I step through the gates of Anime Expo, I think ‘I’ve returned to the land of my people.’ Now, even though I say ‘my people’ I don’t mean that they are all Asian or teenagers. The convention world is filled with much diversity. There are races ranging from African-American to Korean and there are age ranges that surprised even Dr. Sutro. He once sat in on my Japanese class due to his interest in the culture and he expressed that he was shocked to see people near his age cosplaying and having just as much fun as the little three year-old that was dressed up by their older sibling.
When I think of a better future, my mind idealistically reaches for that hope of world peace. I have a personal belief that world peace can come from better international relationships. When I see such diversity in culture and age working together to cramp up the LA Convention Center, my hope for peace through international friendship is revived.
However, I don’t think we are there yet. I don’t think I will be able to see it in this lifetime. At this current point in time, world peace and international equality is unattainable. It’s not just fun and games. Cosplay is a double-edged sword. While you are granted with the opportunity to become someone else, you realize that you can never really escape who you are. No matter what character you portray, the toxic internet only focuses on what race you are, what your body looks like, and the quality of your costume. You can even be judged by how much skin you show regardless of how accurate your costume is. Such discrimination and ill-judgement acts as the great boundary that blocks a greater society for a greater future.
Personally, I’ve fallen out a bit of the cosplay/convention community and into the YouTube community due to the hate I see spreading around. Yes, YouTube is a breeding ground for trolls and haters but when all you are presenting is your voice or your instrumental skill, they can’t judge you on how you look.
The community that I have managed to insert myself into is one that focuses mainly on Japanese music. There are people out there who have mastered the accent so well that race is not an issue anymore. I have been surprised on more than one occasion by a singer’s race because their accent was just that accurate. Take an acquaintance of mine, Diana Garnet, for example.(I can post YouTube links right?) She is a Caucasian female that had the dream of making it big in Japan. This past year, she achieved that dream. If I recall correctly, she is in her mid-twenties if not late-twenties. She participated in a show called Nodo Jiman The World where foreigners compete and sing J-pop songs in Japanese. After appearing on the show, she signed her first contract with Sony and is well on her way to her goal. Many people were surprised by her mastery of the language.
When people break racial boundaries it reminds me of how far we have already come. There has already been a lot of improvement over the years but there is still room for more. Personally, my goals to bring change into the world focus on connecting internationally. Due to my interactions on YouTube, I have met friends from all over the world. I have mentioned my activity on YouTube before but I never thought about the impact of good international relationships. I hope to see a world where an international relationship leads to peace and not war.
I also believe that nations coming together to understand more of each other will build stronger international relationships and thus make the world a better place. Anime expo is still fun regardless of judgement though.
The future does freak me out. It freaks everyone out. How are we suppose to deal with racism or clear injustice? We only know how to handle it the way our parents would handle it. We don’t know what racism is when we are 6. Our parents can say “some people don’t like certain people” they just dumb it down. Well what if your parents made you think that hating a certain group of people was okay? That basically screws you over for the future. You grow up and people tell you that what you believe in is wrong...but was it ever right?
There isn’t anyway to fix this, we can’t magically have opinions the moment we are born.
We are just stuck.
We will always be stuck.
Racism and Prejudice are always going to be present on our planet. Why?
Because humans are so stubborn.
We can’t stop loving ourselves long enough to try and love someone that is not ourself.
The future will hold more white people, black people, asian people, hispanic people, gay people, and just plain weird people.
As humans we just need to see that like us, they are just humans.
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren't anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom 'til we're equal, damn right I support it
-Same Love, Macklemore
Stubbornness and ignorance and determination are a very fine line from each other. I'm a very stubborn person, but not so stubborn that I can't learn new things and meet new people, but I have a one-track mind.
So lets take control of what we think, and get out of our default setting. Our lives are too short to be stuck in the rat race.
“Oh my god! I didn’t know you could run that fast.
You’re a sprinter.”
It’s been three years since Coach O’Brien uttered these words to me, yet I still remember it so clearly. They made me feel so proud.
I remember running these same 100 meter sprints at our middle school track meets to get a cardio pass, which we used to exempt ourselves from a cardio day. That was the only reason I participated. My heart wasn’t in it, which is probably why I never placed in the heats. I never tried to win.
My recollection of middle school days reveals the roots of my lack of effort. I didn’t learn any history, establish a writing style, or develop any artistic skill.
And I definitely did not put any effort into running.
I could make up excuses about how I just didn’t know how to pace myself or ignore those around me, but I was just lazy. I was one of those people who took advantage of the comfort of having friends in my P.E. class by hanging out with them instead of trying to learn a new sport or set a new personal record.
High school changed that.
My freshmen P.E. class was filled with strangers, so there was no comfort zone for me to tread in. Because of this, I did something new: I tried.
1. Two minutes off my mile time within the first month of freshmen year.
2. The 100 meter time worthy of O’Brien’s praise (in regards to his expectations for me, of course).
It’s obvious that I never would have reached this potential had I not been placed in this class. However, that doesn’t mean I reached my full potential. There will always be room for me to improve and as I do so, my potential increases.
The world works the same way. There will always be potential for it to be better.
So will humanity fulfill its potential within my lifetime? No, because potential evolves. Different generations have dealt with their own issues. We faced slavery in 19th century, sexism in the 20th century, and now, we face homophobia. I’m sure the thought of equal rights for African Americans seemed preposterous 200 years ago, but we have progressed since then. The potential of America in the 19th century and America in the 21st century is significantly different. As mankind advances toward a better future, it will encounter its own achievements and setbacks that determine its potential during certain periods of time.
I agree with you. Each generation has its own problem and there is nothing that we can do to prevent it from happening. However, we should always discover our new potential when facing a different situation.
Yes, yes the future is determined by a lot of factors. I guess the next question is: what are we going to do?
Because we are the ones that control the future. If there is change. It is from us. We can't be the dead--we'd have to be active paroles. So what would you like to accomplish? What is this time period's worst blunder?
The changes that happen in 5 or 10 years are so minimal that it doesn’t really affect the country.
When we take things into a bigger perspective such as a century or even a millennium, we can see the drastic changes onto our current modern days.
A century ago it was uncommon for people to have their own computers.
A century ago it was uncommon for people to have their own phones.
A century ago it was uncommon for people to have their own cars.
The small achievements we make within those tiny decades helps build into large change that can help benefit our society. The process we make helps gain experience to teach the next generation how to be better. The current generation tests the new productions that we create to see if it’s safe or harmful to the environment. The following generation will be able to see the results of those products and determine if it could be improved.
Currently in our situation, we are sliding forth and backwards. We are the transitional generation between the past and the future.
We help determine which technology is the best choice within the next few years. Not everything comes as easily as it may seem. We need to risk ourselves to see if we can be able to achieve a better future for our following generations.
“Sacrificing for the greater good”
I’m not worried about our future generations. I feel as if we’d been given a great head start into the world of knowledge that, and by the time it’s time for our children to go through the same experiences, we would want them to live a better life than we did. It’s their choice to do what they want with the knowledge we provided them with, but I believe that the new generations are capable of making stronger beneficial decisions.
Every day we are given news about new discoveries on different planets. As human beings, we don’t like to stop and be satisfied with what we have. We love to strive to be better. We are currently trying to figure out new ways to live on Mars. The possibilities are endless, thus I doubt our potential will ever end. No one would’ve ever thought we’d have cars and cell phones on hand in an instant. The idea of talking to someone when they’re at two completely different places was impossible. It was only made possible because of we were able to conduct trials and errors. We were given results of what would work and what didn’t work and eventually we were able to create a phone.
We are currently moving in the positive direction.
Although we may have our upsides and downsides we are still making tremendous process towards the future.
We have many choices left to make, and each choice leads to new opportunities.
High School isn't everything. I repeat high school isn't everything. To an extent, college isn't everything. COLLEGE ISN'T EVERYTHING.
What can you do at 21 that you can't at 17? The list is endless: smoking, voting, buying a lottery ticket, gambling, and going to night clubs.
What can you do at 60 than you can't at 21? Nothing.
The point is that society creates these barriers to prevent you from being exposed to things too early in your life. With that argument, you can conversely dispute why we are exposed to college at such a young age.
I can confidently say I have no idea what I want to do with my life. Why are we forced to decide what we want to do at 19? I think it's absurd to be presented with the burden of deciding your future life. Don't fret though. High school isn't everything.
There are still opportunities beyond high school and colleges that can help us engage in society. You don't have to be a doctor and save lives, or be an accountant and make loads of money. You can be a working man of society. A city of a couple million people need people to maintain the city. You can be a mechanic, plumber, electrician, or contractor. It can be as little as two years in a tech school, but you can still change lives. There's a life beyond being 21.
If you think you can't change lives just by being a plumber or mechanic, think again. When that windstorm hit a couple years ago many families were distraught that their houses, cars, and roads were blocked, but who do you think benefitted the most? The answer is the gardeners who now have the opportunity to help many families by clearing the paths to the roads and removing trees that would've caused further damage. When you need help most, these people are there for you. Those are the people that run the city and make an impact to our daily lives.
I think my main point is to say that it's okay to say whatever college you are going to or other plans you have. As long as you're confident because like I said, high school isn't everything. People shouldn't judge you by what grades you have or what plans you have beyond high school. They should be able to see beyond all of that and accept you for what you are. You don't need to change the lives of people or make money to see how invaluable you are to society. Whatever path you choose is the path anyone can admire.
Leo, I agreed with a lot of what you said in your post, especially the last paragraph. I think that people tend to choose their paths based on what people think, and they get too caught up with reputation and getting into a prestigious college because of its name. Ultimately, it matters what you do with your life that makes it meaningful.
I feel the same way you do. Even though some jobs may not be as appreciated as others, those jobs can still make a difference in someone's life.
I agree with you. The thing is that--school is just a way to measure us. Like it is away that people easily--may not be the most accurate ruler--measure our abilities. And honestly, we can do whatever we want whenever we want; as long as we are willing to accept the consequences. But certainly--school shouldn't hold us back. It is only supposed to help us.
Chapter the last, part the first
+ Are we getting closer to fulfilling our potential? Do you think humanity will reach it within your lifetime? What is our ultimate potential as a species?
- First openly gay man drafted into the NFL
- 3 BROKE college students find $40,000 and return it to owner.
- Class of children shave heads in honor of student with cancer
- Opponent in track race carries opponent with torn muscles across the finish line.
- San Francisco turns into Gotham for Batkid.
- Christians form a protective ring around praying Muslims to keep them from harm
- Gay marriage becomes legal in Idaho, California, Delaware, Washington D.C, New Jersey, New Mexico, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, and Washington.
There are at least a dozen more examples I can name. However, Every time I turn on the news, or look at the newspaper, or go on the internet, there is bad news. It doesn’t matter how many good things are happening every day.
- “If it bleeds, it leads”
That is the motto of news channels, books, songs, art, and just about everything else. Think about it, how many books have you read in school that actually ends happily??? Seriously! The Scarlet Ibis, the Lady and the Tiger, Catcher in the Rye, 1984, Lord of the Flies, Romeo and Juliet. The books always end up tragically because that’s what captures the attention.
A lot of people believe that the world is slowly sliding backwards. I don’t blame them, they can’t see past the surface of the media.
If you actually watch the news, past the big stories, you can start to see glimpses of what the world can be like.
That’s one thing that this senior project has helped me see. The literal job description of the career that I have chosen is to help the people that can’t help themselves. It’s not about money, or politics, or being famous, it’s about helping people.
So, yes we are getting closer to fulfilling our potential. Will we ever reach that potential? Who knows, it won’t be in my life time, but maybe someday.
When I think about the future I get scared and worried. I worry that it won’t be enough. We won’t be able to do enough.
Then comes along the cutest little girl I have ever met in my entire life, it was ridiculous, no one should ever be this cute. But she was walking in the park with her mother and they walked by an old man who was sitting on a bench alone looking sad and upset. The little girl whispered to her mom, “why is that man sad?” her mom said, “I don’t know honey”. What the girl did next shocked me. She went up to the man, looked at him and said “don’t be sad, it’s a sunny day, you can’t be sad!” then she gave him a kiss on the cheek.
The man was absolutely astounded. He couldn’t stop smiling after that.
This gives me hope for the future. Kids normally care only about themselves, but this kid was able to see outside of herself and help a stranger. Our human potential can only move forward from here, and I believe it will continue to do so.
I’m not scared of the future. As long as there are kids like that little girl there is no need to fear. The world is in a good place.
I really like your examples and the book you mentioned and the senior project and the little girl in the park related all to this blog. No one can't control all those bad news that happening in this world, although there are a lot of good news and successful in this society, but as we solve one problem ,there is an other problem coming up. I worry about our future, and I'm pretty sure why we are reading all these books which end up with a sad ending, it were here to prepare to our next stage of life. I really hope there will be more little girls helping this society, and I hope as they grow up... they are still the same. Nice post anyway!
Michael I really loved your blogs specially the examples! For some of them I had to search up because I actually didn't hear about it.
What I enjoyed reading the most was the little girl's action at the park. I think that that's really sweet and I definitely brightened up the old man's day!
Thank you for sharing that.
I really enjoyed this! The way you opened your post was so interesting and well done! You have an amazing hope in humanity, and I think that is precisely where human potential begins!
Michael! You're right in saying that our society focuses so much on negativity. However, it has the tendency to romanticize many things as well. I think if we start focusing less on our society and more on the lives surrounding us (like the little girl), we would all have a little more hope as the future approaches.
Big Mike!!! It's sad to see people who don't think Optimistically, i liked how you talked about that we focus to much to see the negative and not so much the positive. Great post and stay strong man were almost done brotha
I’ve never really liked people very much; in fact, I don’t like people at all. I’ve always thought that people were selfish, greedy, and destructive by nature, and the way our society is moving now only serves to further support my statement. Although we are becoming more efficient and living longer, we still fail to protect the world we are in. We don’t appreciate anything we get and take everything and everyone for granted. Future generations only live to fix our mistakes and hopefully not make anymore. Although only a few people go out with the sole intention to cause chaos and destruction, even fewer people try to help save our planet and protect not only our species, but other species around us. At this rate, humans are becoming increasingly more toxic to ourselves and we need to do something to fix it.
As humans, our curiosity will never cease to be satiated; furthermore, we have limitless potential. I truly believe that if were to live long enough, in time, we would be able to reach other solar systems and explore other things that are not only limited to the world that we live in now. Even more then this however is what I think is our ultimate potential; for everyone to live in a utopia where everyone can live harmoniously together without having to rage war or attack each other, and at this point in the direction we are currently going in, we may not be able to live long enough to see this happen. A dream like this definitely will not happen within my lifetime, and may not even happen in my kid’s life time, or their kids, but it is without a doubt possible.
It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.
Personally I don’t think I could make a difference in this horrid world that we live in. There is nothing that I can do that would make a difference big enough to change our future. My plan for the future is to go to college, become a veterinarian, and hopefully become a pilot. There is nothing in those words that involve saving the world or going out of my way to make a difference and help other. Our world requires a person with far greater influence and power to change this world, someone who can see past all the war and anger in order to put an end to the endless fighting. If we continue on this selfish path of only caring about ourselves, we will never be able to change and it will only lead faster to our inevitable fate, extinction.
The future is full of endless possibilities, most of which we can’t even come close to understand or anticipating; however, as individuals there isn’t anything we can do about it. We can only hold on to each other and hope that no one falls in too deep, and maybe one day someone will step out of the norm. Maybe one day someone will decide that he or she has had enough and that something has to be done to change it. And maybe they will.
But maybe they won’t.
And i'm not trying to be pessimistic, just realistic: I'm not going to be that person.
Wow, there's a lot of hate going on but I do understand your perspective. I do agree with you on some aspects of your blog. I do think that us, humans, are kinda limitless because we have advanced so quickly. Overall your blog was very good! I really liked your quote as well!
I totally agree with what you are saying. I think that humans are greedy and selfish by nature. Even though we invent new things to help us, it will never be enough to erase our greedy and selfish nature.
“What is the purpose of life?”
I was ten when I asked my fifth grade teacher this question.
I used to think I was the smartest person in the world because it seemed that I could answer almost any question I was asked, but when it came to figuring out what the purpose of life is, I was stumped.
Every time I came up with an answer, I’d ask myself why it’s right.
“The purpose of life is to be happy!”
“But why do we need to be happy?”
“If we’re not happy, we’ll be sad and die sooner.”
“Why does it matter when we die?”
“I don’t know.”
My teacher was curious as to why I’d ask about this at such a young age, so she asked me, “What do you think is the purpose of life?” It was the worst thing she could’ve asked me because I had no idea. I almost declared myself depressed because I couldn’t find the answer (still ten years old).
Years have gone by. I eventually forgot about it, but now, I don’t think about those kinds of questions. Yet, here I am, taking Search for Human Potential in my last semester in high school.
When I signed up for the course, I had no idea what I was going to learn in this class. I didn’t know that humans were searching for potential, or if we were going to search for our own potential. I knew there were philosophers, but I didn’t know there was a class for it.
I never had to think so hard about the way we live as a species, if any of what we know is real, or why we exist at all. I avoided wondering about the way the universe functions because I thought that if we were alive and happy, why does it matter?
Taking this class has made me realize that there are a lot of stories about people who don’t realize what they’re doing. They don’t realize that they can’t be forced to do anything because the thought of it never crossed their minds.
During my time in Search for Human Potential, I’ve realized that life doesn’t have a purpose. There are no correct answers to that question or any question regarding the reasons for the existence of humans.
Maybe we’re here to improve life on earth. Maybe we’re here to experience happiness. Maybe we’re here just to love all and enjoy the life we’re given. We can live our lives trying to figure out why we were put on this planet out of the eight, but ultimately, we won’t find answers, unless God (or some other higher power) appears and tells us him/herself.
Instead of spending our time searching and searching, we should be thinking about the little things that bring us joy: finding a parking space, finding a pen or pencil when you need it, having exact change, a smile from a stranger you accidentally made eye contact with. We should be searching for what makes us happy, not why it makes us happy.
“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw
Love this post! I do think we spend too much time worrying about what we need to do here on earth that we don't ever really get to do anything. You put it into words better than I could have!
Great post Amanda! I truly don't understand the purpose of life either. I'm just trying to make the most out of it as possible though.
We humans have come a long way ever since the beginning of time, and considering all the advances and knowledge we have acquired over the years, especially in these last few centuries, life has become so much more advanced and ‘better’ than in the past (except perhaps certain impoverished areas currently in the world).
After all, now we have more technology, opportunities, and freedom than before. This technology makes our lives easier as we do tasks quicker and more efficiently, and so we have extra time to pursue thoughts beyond the need for survival, as well as entertainment and pleasures. There is also a greater freedom for one to express their beliefs and thoughts, and so we hear even more about the problems and pains that exist in this world. Never have we been so greatly self-conscious before, of ourselves and the human race, and have been able to exercise more compassion and consideration unto others. As the human race advances, more problems are certain to arise, but rather than staying silent, we usually have someone who points out even the smallest issues and we have the luxury of being exposed to these outcries and knowing we have the power to do something about it.
And still yet, we will continue to strive to improve and make more advances, for there is still more we can achieve, and learn, and there are certainly more problems to solve.
I’m not as concerned about the extent of human potential. If there is a limit to what humans can achieve, I feel it is still far away, because we are still progressing so much. I only see barriers rather than limits.
We strive for better lives and improving the world, or at least, contributing before death takes us away. That’s the motivation for discoveries and inventions, and support for equality and higher standards of living, but the world will not become perfect, since everyone’s vision of an ideal world differs and besides, it’s these problems and suffering that continually give humans goals to reach for and think about. Perfection is boring. Having no problem to solve may be a problem in itself as well.
So I see the world as becoming more self-conscious and accepting in the future, although problems among humans may not disappear, but as long as there are voices for these moments, there need not be a need to worry much about them.
I see the future world as being more reliant and adopting of technology. It’s amazing to consider how much we have already discovered currently, like considering the stem cell research progress, 3D printing, quantum teleportation, etc. and each one of these discoveries open a whole new world of possibilities that still lie ahead of us, and who knows what will happen when the singularity comes. What’s for certain is that the world is changing, and changing quickly into ways we may not have foreseen.
Humanity may end up being redefined, what is considered a human now may be expanded upon or twisted in the future. New ideas of family may hold place, with babies being born in more than one way, and with protests for an acceptance of other definitions. Humans may become more accepting of diversity and difference in the future, in fact, especially with the internet and an ever increasing globalization – the borders that so separate two nations can no longer impede the bond between the human components. We’re getting used to diversity and opening our minds up to new ideas and new possibilities.
Of course, these advances do create new problems. Competition and inequality are still at a high, especially as we advance at the expense of the earth or other humans. I mentioned that I don’t see any near limits to our human potential, but what may be possible is that we may end up destroying ourselves if we indulge too deeply without consideration. I feel we can achieve almost anything we want now if we have a reasonable and realistic path of reaching that point, yet we must be cautious of welding power we not yet know how to control. It’s like with the nuclear era, our discoveries come so close to causing our destruction, and this indulgence in technology and the cold hard metallic world is pushing back the environment and nature. But if we are able to be cautious and smart, who knows, I think we may find ways to reach near-immortality and perhaps we’d change what a human fundamentally is, because we are already in the process of infusing humans with technology (it’s sweet because deaf people can have an opportunity to hear, and prosthetic limbs are amazing) – imagine having a computer in your brain or the possibility of being a cyborg!
So the question isn’t exactly what our potential is or if we can reach it, it’s more whether we can handle this potential and respond to the change and problems that will certainly come with the package.
No matter how many problems we solve, or how much the world changes, new problems will arise nevertheless, and we must be prepared for that unending battle.
But no matter what will happen, I doubt we will be willing to fully destroy the fundamental instincts and emotions that make us so human and so separate us from this silent unmoving world we delve into. It’s these fundamental feelings that makes us feel so alive, rather than considering we may not really be alive and how we are just mindless robots subject to the complex physical laws and equations that lay out how our atoms interact with each other and how the electrical impulses in our brain so runs our body. It’s these fundamentals of humans that technology and advances cannot provide. We’ll still need to hold onto these feelings of love, and the feeling of community and support or such which only humans can do. Then, we’ll just need to prepare ourselves, not only for the greatness we can still achieve as a whole, but the responsibility and consideration that comes with this power.
I’m not the type of person who ponders on what will happen in the future. When I’m asked what the world will look like ten years from now, I say just wait and see. In my own personal life I have had so many twists and turns and I never would have expected to end up where I am now four years ago.
As a freshman I had huge hopes to be a member of the varsity cross-country team when I was a senior. The very next year I lost almost all hope on that goal, but then another year after that I was once again aspiring. Finally I made the team during my senior year, and I remained on the team for the entire season. I got there with a lot of training, and because of the departure of a not so heartwarming teammate, but I didn’t ever sit around and think about what's going to happen. The person who thinks about possibilities wastes their time, and the the one who focuses on the present moves forward.
About two months ago I was one-hundred percent convinced that I was going to community college, and that there was no chance for me to get into anywhere else. Now I've been accepted into Whittier college, and I even got a scholarship. I also thought that I would be a decent runner there but that I wouldn't make tremendous improvement. Now I've found out the my coach, Jim O'Brien, is going to be coaching there, and I have confidence that I will continue to improve under his program as I have over the past four years. I even thought that I would get my soul back, but alas after one track season it goes back in OB’s pocket.
So as you can see from these two examples, life is full of surprise. Some are bad and others are horrible, but I tend to ignore those and only look at the good ones. However, none of the events are ever anticipated, and so I say don’t think about what could be, and focus on what can be done. When I was told about the opportunity of going to Whittier college I didn't sit and think about all the pros and cons of going to there, I got everything I needed for the application turned in and that's what got me accepted.
Now four to five years from now I’ll have finished my undergraduate, and then it will be time for me to make my contribution to humanity. Feraco asked us in the blog how will we be part of our futures, and how will we help each other build a better world? For me the answer is simple, add me on Facebook and message me when I finish school so I can tell you what I plan to do.
After I make my contribution to the world, or when I reach the right age, I will have children, and they will grow up and reach same point where I am now. What will their future look like? Well I can say that they will have had a better childhood than I did, and the’re going to be at a higher starting point than I could have ever hoped for. Other than that there's nothing I can say about what the world will be like for my children or how they will end up. I can only keep going on in my life until that day finally comes.
In conclusion, if you're going to have a discussion about the possibilities of our future, leave me out. You guys can go on and on about whatever you think could happen, but I’m gonna do chores so my mom will buy me World of Warcraft.
Yep, can't plan on living for too long or else you end up dead right mate. Well, I'm glad to have been with you all this time. Life took its toll on the both of us but I'm glad we're moving forward. Hope to see you soon in Pandaria.
The phrase “your last days as children” really makes me emotional. I feel as though it is expected of us to start making our difference in the world after college. Even though no one really tells us, that’s sort of what we assume. Why aren’t we challenged to make our difference now? Sure, no one tells you when the time is right, but no one tells you when the time is wrong either.
“We're not afraid of voicing
All the things
We're dreaming of…
We can build
A beautiful city
Yes we can
Oh yes we can” A Beautiful City, Godspell
I want to be part of our future, but not in a famous type of way. I do not want to be well-known. I do not want to be the next “genius” of the century. I can’t. All I can do is be me. All I can do is share all of me with the world, and that’s exactly my plan.
Because I am going into the performing arts, I will have many, many opportunities to share myself with thousands of people at a time. I have accepted the fact that there is no possible way the world will be perfect. It wasn't meant to be perfect. It was created with flaws so that we as flawed human beings could do our best to preserve its splendor and awe and make it as wonderful as we can.
I want to help us build a more beautiful world through my performances in theatre.
We always go through our lives with a bitter attitude toward everything because no one understands our “terrible” situation. No one feels the lonely, depressing, stress-induced feelings we feel every minute of the day. No one’s been through what we've been through. Or maybe, the reason we act bitter is because we don’t know how to solve our problems… Where to turn, who to turn to. The truth is all of us are in the same boat. All of us, as demonstrated in the story above, have boring yet stressful daily routines. Simply talking to someone about your feelings doesn't necessarily help. A little pat on the back and hug along with an “it’s okay” from a friend does not mend the wounds. If anything, it brings us into self-pity because our friend is happy and we’re not.
That’s where theatre kicks in.
Every actor, including myself, has been through all of these emotions. If you don’t believe us, our work on the stage proves it.
Just today and yesterday I was forced to watch what seemed like hundreds of auditions for incoming 8th-11th graders wanting to be considered for the intermediate and advanced drama classes. A few of them really stood out, and two of them brought me to tears, and a dozen very close (if only they executed it properly). Certain dramatic monologues connected to other seniors on the panel, but there was something about these two that almost had me balling.
The first one was performed by a boy currently in Theatre 2. It was about homosexuality. He was deeply hurt, yet fighting as hard as he could to make his father realize who he is. He said that someday society will accept him. “I swear, some day”, he assures his father with so much determination and hope. He tells him that one day it will make sense, and he will regret everything he once said to him. Someday, the entire world will regret everything they thought about the topic, and someday, he will be happy and unafraid to hide. He’d been hiding in a cave for ten years, because the world wasn't ready to accept him. He didn't just take his own life, which would seem to be the easy way out. He had so much hope that the world will finally change to accept him, that he hid for ten long years. When he finally came out of hiding, the world was the same.
He then broke down and I could see the pain he had been holding in for months, years maybe, all cooped up inside of him, only to be let out in this one monologue.
I cried right with him, because I knew how it felt to hold something in for so long, and then finally gather all the guts in the world to confront that one person who’s caused all the harm.
To confront the person, and try with every muscle in your body to hold back the tears.
To hold back anything that may make you seem weak,
Hold back anything that may make your argument for what you’re fighting for less strong.
It’s the last thing you want to do when confronting someone.. You don’t want to break down.
You beg yourself.
Don’t break down.
Don’t break down, please. Show them that everything is fine.
I also cried because this is still the world we live in. We hope for amazing things to come in the future, wait patiently with all the hope in the world, and nothing changes. We can’t wait for the world to change right before our eyes. If we don’t like something, we have to take the initiative. We have to be the ones to change it. We can’t make the ever so popular assumption that everything will be better in 10 years. We can’t wish for a "new" life so we can make a difference later. We have one life, many opportunities to shape the world, and more attempts that will fail instead of succeed. Theatre burst into my life freshman year, and has been changing it daily ever since. It has been teaching me the many ways I could change the future.
She sat quietly and contented in her chair, waiting for the music to start.
A beautiful violin melody starts playing, and she looks out into the distance, with the most amount of hope I've ever seen in anyone’s eyes. She quiet sings out “A new life. What I wouldn't give to have a new life..”
I immediately broke down. I know this girl. She is one of my closest friends. I see her struggle every single day to be happy, to do well in school, to try her best to not be a “failure” in her family’s eyes. I see and get all the hints that she shows. I know what she really longed for was a new life. A fresh start. A brand new chance to prove her family and teachers wrong, instead of the used up ones she’s had in her current life. That’s all she wants and hopes for. And I saw it all in her eyes.
In those three short words, I saw everything. “A new life…”
“What I wouldn’t give to have a new life. One thing I’ve learned as I go through life, nothing is for free along the way. A new start, that’s the thing I need to give to give me new heart. Have a chance in life to find a new part just to a simple role that I can play. A new hope, something to convince me to renew hope. A new day, bright enough to help me find my way. A new chance, one that maybe has a touch of romance? Where can it be? A chance for me!
That’s what I’ve been here for along..
Each days a brand new day life” -A New Life, Jekyll and Hyde
Isn’t that what we all want? To start over?
To be given multiple chances to make this world a better place? Well, we are actually given multiple chances DAILY, yet we do not even realize or take advantage of them.
Each day’s a brand new life.
Each day, we are given the wonderful opportunity to start over. We think we can’t change the world until the “time seems right”. It has to be “our turn”. We don’t bother. We assume it’s somebody else’s turn right now. “Some scientist is learning how to cure cancer now, so I’ll let them take care of that.” “It’s Obama’s turn to allow gay marriage in all the states.” Each day is OUR TURN to change the world.
Each actor’s “life story” is completely poured out to hundreds of people every night they perform. All of our past and current struggles and how we coped with them are reproduced for an audience. Sounds weird, right? I believe it’s extremely beneficial to the audience members to realize that they aren't the only one’s going through these exact same problems. Many times, when we watch movies or shows, we relate to certain characters because their situation is similar to ours (but usually worse. If you’ve ever wondered why movie plots were so “dramatic” compared to everyday life, it’s to make it all the more relatable to a larger amount of people.)
I know this is how I’ll make my difference in the world. I know this is why God gives me the life struggles I face all the time. I try not to take the struggles He gives me as reasons to prove that He’s false, like the boy in “And the Earth Did Not Devour Him” does when his abuelo dies, but rather to realize that He’s alive. Every single one of these struggles has helped me become a better actress. Every single struggle those two students I described before helped them connect to me in their audition, and if they connected to me, I know they’d be able to connect to a large majority of people in an audience. That is what live theatre is for. To help mend the wounds of the broken audience members. They go in thinking they’ll be entertained, but during those two magical hours, their soft spots are hit and life lessons are being taught left and right.
Theatre changes the world by making us all less bitter individuals, individuals who realize that there are hundreds of people with very interesting stories, just like us. Theatre is a slice of someone’s life performed on a stage- a life filled with happiness, struggles, and epiphanies. It leaves the audience beaming as they exit the theatre with newly gained enlightenment.
Theatre is how I intend to change the world.
Theatre is how I will see the struggle in my life as something I’ll benefit from rather than use to doubt God, the most important thing in my life.
“Here I go, and there’s no turning back. My great adventure has begun. I may be small, but I’ve got giant plans to shine as brightly as the sun. I will blaze until I find my time and place. I will be fearless, surrendering modesty and grace. I will not disappear without a trace. I’ll shout and start I riot. I’ll be anything but quiet. Christopher Columbus, I’ll be astonishing, astonishing, astonishing at last.” -Astonishing, Little Women.
Your passion for drama is so inspiring! Your post really helped to inform me of the realities of theater and what actors and actresses really accomplish when they are performing on stage. The monologue of the homosexual boy really reminded me of "Never Let Me Go" as he brought up his hope for the world to change. It is similar to Madame observing Kathy while silently crying to herself. She expected better from humanity, but saw nothing but a more cruel, harsh world coming.
“What do you want to do when you grow up, little girl?” asked the withered down father.
“I don’t know papa, but all I know is that I want be able to drink clean water when I grow up,” said the little girl.
Her father cried, because he knew he couldn’t give her the life she deserved.
Wednesday after school, I headed my way towards my ride.
The sun blazing on me and it felt as though I was walking through a hot oven, as flames erupted on the side.
Every step I took weakened as my black sandals rubbed against the hot concrete.
I strove towards the car with the little strength I had left, because it was clear, dehydration was kicking in.
By the time I got to the car, my headache from earlier came rushing back and the air conditioning didn’t do much. I sat there in pain, wanting nothing more than a nice cold glass of water.
Anxiously waiting for the car ride to be over, I laid back on my seat and closed my eyes, wishing the world would end.
When the 7-minute drive home (which felt like hours) came to an end, I ran into the house and poured myself a big glass of water, with ice. Nothing felt better than to escape away from the suffocating heat, and to taste the crisp cold water as it made its way down my dry throat.
I felt relieved, refresh, and rejuvenated.
It seems as though all I did was complain about the heat, because well, I did. I learned something yesterday, and that is how blessed I truly am. Many people suffer through heat and higher temperatures than we do, than I do.
Yet sometimes, I forget how grateful I actually am, to be able to come home to clean water.
“What happened to the leftover pad thai?” my sister asked my dad as we finished shopping around old town Pasadena.
“I gave it to a homeless man, he was hungry,” my father replied to her.
There are many times when I would walk down old town Pasadena, and I would often see homeless people sitting around on the sidewalk. They either have a sign on them, or an animal by their side.
Most of the time, I would just walk right past them.
I don’t want to assume I’m heartless, but maybe that could be the case.
My dad on the other hand, is the most compassionate man I know. Every time my family and I go out to eat for dinner in Pasadena, there would usually be unfinished food, which the waiter would pack up in a nice box and bag.
At the end of the day, the box with food would no longer be in our possession, because my father would have given it away to the first homeless man he sees.
His actions never fail to make me smile, every single time. It could have been someone’s last night alive and maybe they’re barely making it for the next few hours, and that little box of food could have made all the difference.
Sometimes, I’m too caught up in my own life that I forget there are other people less fortunate than I.
I believe that there is a place for everyone on this earth.
There are over 7 billion people on this planet, and it’s easy to say that many don’t have it easy.
While I’m too caught up with the idea of not having enough money to buy new clothes, others don’t have enough money to buy food.
I wake up every morning whining from the idea of having to drag my body to school, when others wish they knew how to read and write.
I realize that for most days, I selfishly whine and complain, because I forget how lucky I am to be able to wake up every morning with a life full of opportunities.
I’m lucky because I have plenty of food on my plate, way more than enough.
I’m lucky because I have the privilege of going to one of the best high school’s in all of California.
I’m lucky because I come home to a loving family.
I’m lucky because I have a house to come home to, that keeps me sheltered from the frost-biting cold to the blazing warm days like these.
I’m lucky because I have access to clean water.
Gosh, sometimes I’m just lucky to be alive.
Us humans, we have this incredible amount of potential in life, yet we are too stubborn to see the resources we have right in front of us.
I’m stubborn, but I’m learning.
Our future will only be as good as we shape it to be.
One cannot simply wake up and expect the world to change overnight. Changes happen when we humans make them happen.
So what do I think the future holds for us?
The future holds everything, yet sometimes we are too obstinate to grasp onto the important things.
The resources are right in front of our very eyes, every single day.
Humans are the most privileged creatures on this planet, because we were all gifted with the ability:
to think rationally
It’s possible, our human potential might never be reached, but the road to getting there is advancing.
After writing this whole blog post, I’ve come to realized that maybe there won’t ever be a peak for our human potential, because there will always be something more to learn.
Our parents and teachers always tells us to “do our best,” when it comes to any possible challenge we face, whether it’d be a test you studied so hard for or that audition you practiced hours for.
Maybe that inch of moral support isn’t emphasized on whether or not we succeeded, but on the journey in between.
It doesn’t matter whether or not our human potential will be reached, it’s the process along the way that shows our true human potential.
As I was reading your blog, I kept thinking about the Kenyon College speech, I think its where your inspiration to write this came from. That last bit on your blog truly touched me and made me think about the ACTUAL potential in a different way. This whole time I've been thinking that it was a destination, and didn't consider that it could have been the journey itself.
I loved your blog post! Everything you said was so true about how there is always room for improvement, room for us to reach even further. We will always just keep trying. The process along the way is really the most important thing, it's the ONLY thing that brings us closer and closer to reaching our potential.
April 29, 2014. Got asked to my last and Final Prom // Senior Panoramic Picture.
May 2, 2014. ASB Announcement of 2014-2015 Student Government. Announced my Student Rep to the Board Successor.
May 4, 2014. PWC Gala. Met Senator Kevin De Leon, LA Philippine Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim, etc.
May 7, 2014. Senior Project Interview with Philippine Consul Marlo Miranda and Imelda Panolong.
May 8, 2014. Last Leadership Meeting.
May 13, 2014. Downtown Disney Lunch Date with my Mom after the UOP Placement Test.
May 14, 2014. Last City of Arcadia Volunteen End of the Year Luncheon. Announced my LT Volunteen President Successor.
May 15, 2014. Announced my SCAC Chair Successor.
May 17, 2014. First SCAC bonding with MY underclassmen family. Finally the chance for me to pick my lil’ ones! Gotta keep the family line going! Thanks for starting it Jasmine Wu.
May 21, 2014. Last Orchestra Pops Concert.
May 23, 2014. Last Orchestra Disneyland Trip (with my Parents chaperoning). It’s open from 6am-6am!!
May 24, 2014. Last 2014 Prom as an Arcadia High School Student.
May 29, 2014. Last high school fieldtrip. AP Comp. Gov fieldtrip with Panza!
June 3, 2014. Last ASB Transfer of Powers Banquet.
June 5, 2014. Last SSC Meeting // Senior Awards Night.
June 6, 2014. Last Band, Orcestra, Colorguard, Choir Banquet. June 8, 2014. Baccalaureate.
June 10, 2014. Last Board Meeting Ever. // Last Meeting with Dr. Forsee. Ever.
June 11, 2014. GRADUATION! // GRAD NIGHT // Last SSLT Meeting
June 12, 2014. Last Day of High School.
“You have noticed that everything as Indian does is in a *circle*, and that is because of the Power of the World always works in *circles*, and everything tries to be *round*…. The Sky is *round*, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, *whirls*. Birds make their nest in *circles*, for theirs is the same religion as ours…
Even the season form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.” Black Elk Oglala Sioux Holy Man
“Keep on beginning and *failing*. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose- not the one you began perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.” Anne Sullivan
“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
Going back to today’s class discussion, Feraco asked us:
“Can human nature be changed in such a way that man will forget his longing for freedom, for dignity, for integrity, for love---that is to say, can man forget that he is human?”
I think that a man can forget that he is human. Just like Winston and the people in 1984, they are constantly being watched, and one simple wrong move can cause them their lives. They are alive, but not living. They are restricted from freedom, dignity, integrity, and love. They keep on doing the same, repetitive motion every day.
Winston finally lives when he meets Julia. Together, they break the rules just to be with each other. Though their time was short-lived, it was in those moments that they feel completely human—they had the power to express, feel, love, and be free.
Chloe brought an interesting point today when she mentioned that we get so caught up in the repetitive daily Arcadian lifestyle—
Homework, meeting, stress, rehearsal, homework, coffee, stress, senior project, meeting, college apps, meeting, college visits, rehearsal, meeting, college rejections, school projects, AP tests, meetings, and so on that we forget how to be human, how to be a kid.
We get so caught up in this routine that we forget to live.
Though I honestly enjoyed every moment serving and giving back, at times I felt inhuman. Doing the repetitive, exhausting cycle everyday.
I felt the stress from everyone, being pulled in different directions, putting other people’s needs before mines, unable to take care of myself.
I know I signed up for it because I wanted to grab as many opportunities as I could, one last time before I leave. I wanted to leave my mark.
At the same time, I just wanted to cry.
Sometimes I questioned myself.. Why am I doing this? Is it even worth it?
I couldn’t do anything but cry and wait until this heavy load of stress drift away.
I didn’t have anyone. My group started to drift away junior year and completely went in different paths senior year.
I felt alone.
I bottled all these feelings inside me until I couldn’t hold it any longer even though I knew that it is not healthy at all.
“Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you”
“I'm so glad I'm able to have you as my mentor!!!! I have some "huge shoes to fill in" (;” Junior Minphy Liao, 2014-2015 Student Representative to the Board of Education
“I haven't met you for long but you're my mentor text me so I have your number!” Freshman Angela Chen, 2014-2015 LT Volunteen Communications Director
“I’ll do my best and make you proud next year! I’m glad I have you to guide me!” Junior Vivian Wang, 2014-2015 SCAC Chair
“We’ll make you proud next year!” Juniors Alyssa Paglinawan and Alyssa Pidlaoan, 2014-2015 Filipino Club Co-Presidents
“For that gamble of taking me on, I hope I have lived up to all your expectations. Nevertheless, you have shown me a new fact of life, and a new way to live. Katrina, I am not exaggerating when I say that you've changed my regular life into something spectacular. Thank you for all you've done for me… I am a product of what you have made, I am who you are. Consider yourself as an engineer, you've built a creation so grand, its made a definite mark on history… I am honored to call you my mentor and my big sister.” Freshman Kelvin Guan, 2014-2015 LT Volunteen President
“Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
All the Tears. Stress. Worries.
It was worth the Gamble. It was worth the Risk. It was Worth It.
I thought I was unnoticed. My hard work. My tears. My accomplishments. My failures.
As the year rushes to an end, I never thought that I positively touched and influenced so many people’s lives. Knowing that I altered and impacted their lives for the better overpowered my tiredness with excitement and joy. I am looking forward to watch them grow and do great things in the future.
This time, I’m not the one being looked after.
This time, I’m the one watching my lil’ babies learn and grow.
I am glad to say that I can look back and say, “Man, it has been one hell of a ride but it was all worth it.” I’ve met and worked with people I’ve never thought I would ever talk to.
There’s only 19 days until I walk off that podium, high school diploma in hand.
The past few days has been emotional for me, bittersweet. Saying goodbye to my leadership teams, and welcoming and training the incoming ones.
Saying goodbye to my leadership positions is hard, since I’ve dedicated my entire year in different meetings. But I know it is almost time for me to go; time for my successors’ moment to shine.
I’ve set the standards high knowing that the coming years will have to work hard in order to beat the standards I set. Even when I’m gone, I want to challenge them, to bring out the best they could possibly be.
“Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bone
And I will try to fix you"
IT’S THE CIRCLE OF LIFE.
Another person’s end will be a new one’s beginning. It’s time to let go and move forward. Take the lessons I learned and pass it on to the next one.
As Dr. Sutro said, “There are two types of leaders. Leader A is someone who will do amazing things and leave. Leader B is someone who will do amazing things and teach his successor the ropes and tricks of the position, so when he leaves, he will leave the group in good hands.”
I am Leader B.
*WHAT TIME IS IT?*
It is time for me to let go and *move on*.
In just a few months, I will head off to University of the Pacific where I plan on taking a double major in International Relations and International Business in their School of International Studies.
I plan to work as a Foreign Service Officer, land a job in the United Nations or World Trade Organization, or spearhead a global program or fundraiser.
Whatever it is, I know that I want to keep on changing people’s lives while allowing myself to face new challenges, gain experiences, and enjoy life at the same time.
I won’t need to think that in some parallel universe, I did this. No. *In THIS universe*, I have done those, and will do greater things to make this world better.
*I Dare Disturb the Universe.*
I felt really inspired reading your blog! Not only because my name was in it huhu but because of the way you talked about yourself as a leader and how that has inspired you in your future career. It's true, there is one thing about being a good leader and another about being a good leader who passes things on so that others can be great too. Awesome job!
Darn it haha ! How come I keep on missing it whenever someone comments on my posts until its super late. Haha anyway better reply back than never ! Chloe ! yes, I want to thank you for bringing up an awesome discussion that day and for making me think and ponder on such things! It has been an amazing 4 years with you (from Galloway to Feraco) and man, seriously thanks for helping me get started on my blog haha.
Katrina, I love the example you used about Sutro describing Leader A and Leader B. I'm so happy you've found everything you've done worth it in the end, and I congratulate you on all your accomplishments and for being a "leader B". I've been reading your blog posts lately and have really loved that last line. Good for you, disturb the universe and bring yourself into it as much as possible. It will always be worth it.
Alana! Thank you! Wow that's so cool cause I've been following your blogs too!!! Awesome! Thanks for telling me that you've been reading my blogs. Someone actually cares! haha. It seriously means a lot to me though. you have no idea. I honestly thought that though I spend days trying to think of how I'd structure my entry and hours and hours of typing and thinking and writing my extremely long blogs, no one reads it. haha. I don't know why I thought of that. Maybe cause I just jot down everything on my mind and bam, finished product!
But really, I'm so honored I got to meet you this year. I know you'll do great in the future! Don't forget me !
Dang katrina I never knew how busy you were haha, but you're a great person for committing to your schedule and following it. We all have our obstacles in life, but it is our choice to break them down and pass through them.
Thank you Ian ! Yeah I didn't really realize how many things I'm in this year until the first semester started. It has been a great year working with you in Filipino Club and I wish you good luck next year !
I’m in high school now! As if theres not already a hundred more students here already.
Got my braces taken off! like every other person you ask
Achieved an “A” in math class! Seems like thats everyone else’s goal.
Looking around its as if we are all made to be the same. We done things that we feel as if we ourselves only did little do you know that the guy next to you may have done the exact same thing. It seems that we ourselves try to be unique however everyone sees it to be unique like everyone else.
Living in a world where we are governed by a set of rules, anything out of the ordinary seems to be looked down upon. Living in these conditions it may seem hard to build your own world by yourself, however, we don’t build our own world by ourselves but we build one as a society. We will shape our world not alone but by together as one unified unit.
In the mist of the burning flames scorching through the walls of a building, not just one firfighter will show up but as a squad.
The bullets flying pass your head as you take cover behind a desk, not just one police officer will show up but a whole team.
From the pointed spiral in a football to the shaved symmetry of a basketball, without a team effort, no group will get any further.
As children of the new generation, it is our time to shape our world, not as individuals but as a whole.
Your post was really interesting. I think you're right about buolding up society as a whole. You get more done when you work together. And i guess that being similar is not all that bad. Good job!
Yesterday I went through the motions of how the future may lie out for me in my head. I had a legit anxiety attack. I've never experienced one in my life and to say the least it was an eye opener for me.
The future, the world’s fate lies in the hands of the future. I have so many plans yet I feel like time is seeping away from my finger tips. It finally hit me during that heavy anxiety attack that I need to be assertive, consistent, and hungry for everything I want to achieve. It’s a blood bath out there. To be successful you need to want it, make plans and fully go with them.
For me the hardest thing right now is staying to the plan. I’m working on renting my own studio in Orange County, I could just live with one of my parents, but that’s too easy… plus I need new substance in my life. I want to pursue surfing to the fullest, and I can’t do that the way I want to anywhere else.
I have matured greatly the past 4 years, and with the help of God I have been supplied with strength, vision, and the desire to keep going. I’m going to be Studying architecture at the same time as I ensue surfing competitively and getting all the coverage I can get. For some this may sound as a fantasy, “What the **** is this kid doing focusing on surfing, he’s going nowhere” I get that a lot (laughs). I’ve found so many ways to just laugh it off. If I want to surf, I’m to surf… And I’m going to be the best surfer ever to come out of the San Gabriel Valley. I want people to see me in a magazine and be like “how’d he get here?” I want to be competing in the U.S. Open against the best. I have all the connections to make it happen, I just need to continue grinding it out, getting ahead, and staying positive.
My latest plans for the future include innovation. I’ve recently grown very fond of architecture. For any reason my plans with surfing don’t go to par, I need this as a gateway to continue living. To continue living is always on my mind, how am I going to do this? What am I going to need? Is this even a possibility? Just an example of what goes through my head on the daily.
To be successful you need to achieve and strive for more than the common man, that’s key. Do what you want to do and stick with it one hundred percent. Of course there’s going to be hard times and times where you want to quit, it truly comes down to what you really do about it, overcome the obstacles, progress, and be ahead of the common man. Ambition is priceless.
“It’s better to fall short of a high mark than to reach a low one" – H.C. Payne
I agree. It is better to at least try than to give up completely. If we never try how do we know we will even succeed or fail.
The future can be scary for some people, which is to say that when people start thinking about the future, they have this realization that their life will start to change drastically through the years. I agree with what you were saying in that the world lies in the hands of the future. Great post and keep up the good work.
“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.” -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge is talking about a ship that is out in the sea, and nowhere close to fresh water. Essentially, the ship is lost.
“JUMP ALREADY!”, hollered the boys.
“Whats taking you so long?”
---he was scared to swim---
So they pushed him.
He couldn’t swim.
Are you living a good life? Do you like yourself? Ultimately, are you happy with yourself? What do you regret, what did you wish you could redo?
Is there something that you wish you would have done? You say no now, but I guarantee you that if I had asked you the exact same question
right after the ___ incident occurred, you would have been all over that “undo” button.
Well, you might not have an undo button, but you do have an eraser. It will not erase everything, and sometimes it smudges… but you have
always had it. And I suggest you use it.
As we say our last good-bye’s to friends this year, we know that we are not returning. We know this is the end. So why not end the year good?
For the most part, we will not see more than a good handful of students routinely in the following years, and we will keep in contact with a select
few. Therefore, you are permanently leaving the lives of everyone you say “hi” to in the halls. Why not make them remember you the way that
you want to be remembered? Heck, why not be remembered in the first place? And why not forgive others? Don’t get lost.
It is difficult to strive for improvement. It is even harder to change so that you may be more satisfied with yourself. If you look at your life,
you will notice things that you dislike about yourself. “Why did I say that? Why do I do that?” And you will want to change. You will want
to change the habit, you will want to change your life. This is the perfect opportunity.
Everything changes after this. Your name no longer means anything after this year. No one will have heard your name before, and thought
of you. To them, you are no one until you become someone. You have no reputation and you have no expectations. So, you have to become
who you want to be.
One of my friends sent me an online article called the 30 day challenge. What it is exactly, I am unsure; but the way I see it, you can use it to
your disposal as you please. http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1GDCAp Basically, it is the same as New Year’s resolutions. You take something
that you dislike about yourself, and fix it. Theoretically, when you master this, you are happier with yourself, so you can take on another
aspect. Soon you will be viewed exactly as you want to be seen. And it is so hard to stay motivated on fixing things when the whole world
seems to be telling you that “better safe than sorry”, why risk it? That is always the question. However, some times, the stronger question
is “why not?”.
We know that we are leaving high school soon, along with our reputations. Maybe it is a sense of decaying, and although we are not quite 50 yet,
we all seem to be getting a little of this “yolo” feeling. But the real importance is what you do with this impulse. Do you ditch school? It is ending soon
enough, and your idea is to make it even shorter? Genius.
Sure it’s fun. It’s rebellious! It’s thrilling! It’s also stupid. This is literally the last few weeks that you can spend with your childhood friends.
The last lunches that we will ever have, and the last time to really be kids. Now, im not saying that we want to be kids forever, but adult
hood is coming fast enough. Why enter it prematurely, and why not finish strong?
If you are not going to get anything academically from the end of school, or time management, at least learn about yourselves. In the 30 day challenge,
I have selected and created a few challenges in my last attempt to hold on and make a difference, like a hand shake goodbye. It is truly my last lesson
of school. So far, I am failing miserably.
1. Write an I like ___ about you message to someone
2. Talk to a stranger
3. Take one picture a day
4. Work on a journal
5. Use less Media
6. Take on cold shower
7. Commit one act of kindness
8. And because school is ending,
a. Give one hug
b. Take one selfie with someone
c. Write a note to everyone that I can, about everything
Jump in, the water is fine.
Wonderful intro Ean!
I like how you used an eraser as an understandable connection.
One thing that appeals to me so much about the next years and college is that no one would know me, and I get to start from scratch again, and I want to go all out, I want to get crazy. It’s harder to be someone different around people who already knew what you were after all haha.
OMG! I’ve seen the 30 day challenge before! and I am an avid fan of HE! I suppose the 30 day challenge is fun also because it’s a challenge, it’s something new, and if you succeed your life may turn out better or you will feel better about yourself. Have you tried it?
It’s actually quite interesting, this last semester of school I have been acting so much different than I expected (like actually allowing myself to go to class late to try something rather than freaking out and being a crazily good student like I usually do haha).
These are nice goals, but don’t kill yourself if you don’t fulfill them all. May I be the one who gets a hug from you?
Nice post, I like this idea, on leaving school on a good note~
Thank you Alice!
And I agree, it is so hard to be “someone else”, but the funny part is that it is still going to be you—just a different you. But yah, inertia is strong, and it is hard to move without tipping over a few balances. Wow I cannot imagine a crazy Alice!
Yah I like it, it is like a mini adventure game. It is important to set goals to improve, but most of the time we set goals for school and work. I know a lot of goals are set for sports, but we rarely set goals just for ourselves.
I am probably approaching this in the wrong manner. I think I bit off more than I can chew. But yah I am not pressuring myself too much about this. And of course! Hugs make the world go around.
I thought your blot post was pretty interesting! You made a lot of valid and great points that got my attention. Your challenge is also a nice reminder to make the best of your time left and spend it relishing the moments we have with each other! Good job.
Yes. Well you know what they say, “there is no time like the present”.
Thanks for your post, it made me more motivate for school. I used to be just want to graduate, so no more senior project, but your post change my mind. Yes, there are only couple weeks left, and our names do not mean anything to those who are staying, WHY NOT make some people remember you.
YES! Keep fighting! This last part is a test of endurance, not knowledge. Pretend you are already in college.
Feraco was right! Your blogs are indeed amazing, good advice and great insight. Keep it up Ean!
+ How will you be part of our future? How will you help us build a better world?
I believe I will be part of the future in many different ways. I want to actually help others. I want the world to know I’m trying to make a difference some how, in some way. I think anyone can put there minds to something and do it if they just try hard enough. Nothing is impossible; you just need to try your best. You also need to know your worth. If you don’t know what you are worth, you can’t offer anything to the world. You have to be YOU.
I will help build a better world by giving back. I want to let the world know what has to be done in order for it to succeed. I don’t mean little by little, I want to help in a huge way. I wish I had millions of dollars so I could become a philanthropist and help children who have nothing at all in this world. They don’t deserve to live that way, no one does at all. If anything they should be offered all they can. Young children don’t deserve the worst in this world, they deserve the most.
I think people can be better in this world as human beings if they just became more selfless. It’s better to give than to receive, it always is. Helping others is a luxury t
that everyone should encounter. Without love and generosity, we wouldn’t be human. We would be completely lost. We would not know where to go. We would be inhuman quite frankly.
I think the whole world has just forgotten how to do “good”. If we just set our minds to something positive, we can change. We can change the entire world if we just cared more. We simply just need to let our love all out. Without love, there is nothing. And if there is nothing we are nothing. Simple as that.
+ How will you be part of our future? How will you help us build a better world?
I believe I will be part of the future in many different ways. I want to actually help others. I want the world to know I’m trying to make a difference some how, in some way. I think anyone can put there minds to something and do it if they just try hard enough. Nothing is impossible; you just need to try your best. You also need to know your worth. If you don’t know what you are worth, you can’t offer anything to the world. You have to be YOU.
I will help build a better world by giving back. I want to let the world know what has to be done in order for it to succeed. I don’t mean little by little, I want to help in a huge way. I wish I had millions of dollars so I could become a philanthropist and help children who have nothing at all in this world. They don’t deserve to live that way, no one does at all. If anything they should be offered all they can. Young children don’t deserve the worst in this world, they deserve the most.
I think people can be better in this world as human beings if they just became more selfless. It’s better to give than to receive, it always is. Helping others is a luxury t
that everyone should encounter. Without love and generosity, we wouldn’t be human. We would be completely lost. We would not know where to go. We would be inhuman quite frankly.
I think the whole world has just forgotten how to do “good”. If we just set our minds to something positive, we can change. We can change the entire world if we just cared more. We simply just need to let our love all out. Without love, there is nothing. And if there is nothing we are nothing. Simple as that.
Whenever I look up at the night sky, I imagine all the possibilities out there in space. I imagine how cool it would be, if I could travel to another star system. Just imagine what can be discovered from traveling space. One can see different stars from a very massive blue giant to the very small white dwarf. One could see a super-massive black hole eat a whole star whole. One could discover life on another planet just like earth. With all of these possibilities there are endless discoveries that can be made. Knowing this makes me sad, because if I had the technology to explore the cosmos, I would do it in a heartbeat. I would leave our little planet and go explore the consolation of Centaurus. Since our technology is to primitive for space travel, I can only imagine the possibilities, but hopefully in the distant future our species will be able to build a galactic empire.
I truly think our full potential as a species is to be able to build a Galactic Empire among the stars. We have ideas right now that could get use to the nearest star system in 88 years, but it would take a lot of time and resources to make a space ship that could travel that far. There are many obstacles that humanity itself has to overcome in order to become this galactic empire. As a species, we need to rethink the way we see ourselves. We need to resemble ourselves more as the people of the Earth then people of America, people of Britain or, people of etc…. We need to be more united as a planet in order to do amazing feats like colonizing Mars, colonizing the moon, or colonizing a moon like Europa.
Sadly it is very hard to just bring people together. Humanity has always been plagued with the notion of fighting and the idea of war. We waste so much of our time and energy fighting one another with war and destruction. We waste so many resources on weapons that are meant to be destroyed, and we don’t achieve anything but destroy. Instead of building something magnificent, humanity still builds objects that destroy other objects that humanity has made. War is like a dog chasing its tail; it doesn’t achieve much in the world at large. War might help advance use, but these advancements could be made in different ways. If we are going to advance as a species we must be able to tolerate each other, and be able to deal with our problems more diplomatically. For Humanity to achieve its full potential it needs to stop wasting its time on war, and be able to contain manss dark side.
As they say, “greed is the root of all sin” (Mr. Gund). For Humanity to achieve it potential it needs to be more in control of its nature like greed. Greed is one of the most dangerous things that humanity will face in the future. It is part of our nature to want more and more, We always want more, no matter what it is. We always want more and more from our earth . We always want more and more from society. Some people even want more and more power and will do anything for that power. It is ok to have greed, but Humanity should accept greed to a certain point. If greed gets to out of control, it can destroy any accomplishment that humanity has ever made. For humanity to reach the stars it needs to keep greed in check, because if it doesn’t, we might never reach the stars, and become that galactic empire.
This reminded me of Star Trek or of that one movie where I think they're on Mars and the alien has three boobs. At this stage of the game I don't think we would be ready to achieve something of that scale and work. We would need to be able to plan with other countries and actually work problems out if we wanted to survive in space.
I agree with you on the other half, we need to be more tolerant of the others around us. We spend too much time destroying everything and we always care too much after we lose it.
I feel a river
It tickles my toes.
I feel a river
It drenches my clothes
I feel a river
It is up to my nose
No. Sure I am.No…
Sitting on my throne , chained to it, the endless river surrounds me.
I feel a river
Its strong current pushes me around
I do not budge, I am anchored.
I am not ready to leave, I’m safe.
I feel a river
It’s water fills my lungs with experience
I do not budge, I need more
I am not ready to live. I feel this chain will never let me go.
I feel a river
Its coldness freezes my heart
I weaken, as does the chain. I am anchored by a chain I feel I cannot break.
I am not ready to love.
I feel a river
I hear a thousand voices. I sense something earthly within them.
I try to speak but no words come out. My lungs filled with water, no air to speak, my heart cold no feeling in my body. I CANNOT SPEAK.
I hear a thousand voices
My mind feels numb, my soul feels open. I stop struggling to move and speak.
I feel the river
I hear a thousand voices
I am not… I am… I AM NOT…
But I really am
The river speaks and I am ready to listen.
The chain snaps, as I feel my soul being torn violently out of my chest like a wolf ripping the flesh off of a fresh kill. My soul, like the water, flows down the river.
I…We are listening.
“In life, it is very important to learn, the things you need to learn. That’s kind of vague, lets expand on that. We are all on this journey, to find who we are, why we are, what are we doing on this planet, why are we here… I think the thing I really want to say is, I’ve learned that it’s really important, from time to time, to shut your mouth, and listen…” – Jordan Pearce (Aka Spirit Science/ Patch Man creator)
Before we can change the world, we have to learn how to learn [and to learn, we have to listen]. If we don’t know how to learn, we will not be able to create.
Thought the river flows, we do not go with it. We have decided to separate from nature. We build huts and villages, living off of the energy of the river. Taking what it has to offer, and running it dry. We drink from the river, and bathe, but we do not flow with the river.
We are all on this journey to find who we are, why we are, and what we are doing here. We ask these questions but never bother to care for any insight. We search for the answers never listening to the river. We do it alone, as if, we alone are more important than the rest.
How dare we?
We cannot possibly believe that alone we can disturb anything.
We as a whole need to listen to each other. We will not be able unlock any human potential as long as we stay blind and deaf to each other.
It starts with I.
I will listen. To the snakes rattle and the rats hiss, to the clunks of mugs and the crashing of bombs, to the girl who gives sound advice, and the boy who leaves his home.
I will listen to the men and women cry, to the silent kiss near a gate, to the last breath of someone who left their guard down.
Listen to me, as I listen to you.
Once you are ready, the chain will let you go, and you will leave the nest to search for answers.
It is, by human nature, to search. It is by human will, to listen.
For now, we are still simply animals. Living through instinct.
We are here where we are, and for most of us we do not really know why. We have, to this point drifted to where we are now.
We will slay the beasts, we will sit on our throne, we will rekindle our flames , and repeat the cycle.
Sit on our throne.
And let the river take you…
(to be continued)
Two ears and one mouth for a reason. Very well written blog my friend. A really different writing style but for some reason still enjoyable nonetheless. I look forward to see what you can produce in your next blog when I read it, probably in a couple minutes from now.
Your post was really well written out. I really agree on what you have written on your second paragraph. It is true that we looked everything through our own eyes until we got older.
Your blog was beautifully written out.
What is a “better” world?
Aren’t we living in a “better” world now?
There is never a “better” world.
The world will just keep on getting “better” and “better”, but never stay the same.
Eventually, it will reach to a point where it will start sliding back.
Slide, slide and disappear.
And the cause of its disappearance is us, humans.
We are going to be the ones who will kill ourselves.
That’s why there won’t a “better” world.
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We always hope for “better”, but how much “better” can we get?
We have been living “better” than a decade before, but there are still many poor and homeless people, many crimes, unemployment and etc.
All of these problems may have declined but they still exist in large numbers.
“We” keep saying we need to do this and that, but how many people are consisted in “we”?
And how of those in “we” actually put their words in action?
I don’t know how many of those “we” are there, but I know there are only a very small number of them.
Why? Why such a small number.
Because humans are self-fish.
We can talk all we want but when it comes to action we hesitate.
We have to make sure it’s something we can do.
But really, what things we actually can’t do?
What we are really making sure is something we can accomplish easily that won’t hurt our own benefit.
Even if we don’t get something out of it, at least we won’t lose something because of it.
I may be in part of the “we” but I would hesitate if I am going to do willing eventually put negative impact on me or my family.
And there are many people like me who have the same hesitation; it’s not about ourselves any more but also our love ones.
Words are just reminders, action is power.
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In ten years. . .
If this world still exist. . .
If I am still alive . . .
The country I would like to see is. . .
No wars and crimes
No hunger and homeless
If none of these stay then happiness will come.
It’s impossible for everyone to be rich.
But at least people are motivated to go to work every day.
Beggars aren’t beggars anymore but have a job.
Unemployed also have a job that can feed themselves/their families.
This is the country I want to see, every full of hope, living every day as if that was their last day.
Live your life with no regret.
For the past few blogs, I have just given up on them, because I did not have any connection to them so I did not want to give too much attention to them. I pretty much did not fully complete them and because of that I am sincerely sorry for my horrible writing that I did for the past few weeks. So for this one and the next upcoming blogs I will make my writing legible and not leave anything that goes unanswered. I will try to connect to these blogs to my own life and have my name not remembered as a half-witted moron (excuse my language) that did not do his work.
I am probably not going to be picking a specific question, but try to pick certain aspects to talk about the “future” and how it changes and how it affects your life dramatically with a drop of a dime. To think about the future, I and many people would say that technology will become even better and nothing the same to our technology we have today, like flying cars and holograms. I know that is wrong even though I hope that the future could be like that but this quote comes to my mind “When we aim too high we fall short from the moon”.
To sound realistic, the only way to move forward into the future to me is to go by the day and change depending on how the day changes. To only go day to day has some negative effects on personality and even the person saying it, because we start not having an imagination or feelings toward others. I was raised to think by the day because I did not then I would have been disappointed way too many times that would make myself a wrecked individual. Thinking day by day makes me think about the current situation instead of being petrified for the future, “I just need to keep going”. That is what I said to myself. “Just keep going for the future maybe better, I may find something better”. I raised myself like this in order not to be depressed, I would laugh at conflicts even though I really am sad, because I knew the future was waiting for me.
I took a path that nobody would take for the future but not the “path untaken” but the path that no one knows about. If I were to choose between two paths in front of me, one looks rugged, and other is in nice condition. I would not take the paths. I would go down the middle, through the forest, through the “hidden path”. A harsh road that leads to depravity and coldness, I would rather understand both paths that are on opposite sides then to seriously think if I should have a harsh path or not, if one is long and the other is short. Why would I go with the others and the popular situation and always say we would take “the road less taken”, because that is not the point Robert Frost is not trying to make, to me he means to make your own path for the future, it is not only for the choice it is about what is in between that we would miss. The unseen. The people that forgive and warm other people’s hearts, the people that would do anything to the person they cared for to lead people down the “right” path. That is who I want to be in the future a person that would be able to do that with all of the flying cars and a new government that would actually compromise with each other, a place where we listen… that’s the place I want.
It's great you have that mentality. I agree, it's not where you go, it's where you end up and how you got there. It's the hurdles you've jumped, the rivers you crossed, and the mountains you climbed that ultimately make you yourself. I'm glad you have come to realize this, but yeah don't worry, things are going to get better.
When I recall my memories to my mom, she often tells me that the events mentioned occurred way before I started pre-school. During one of those moments, I watched a movie that I can’t recall the title of. Actually, I’m not even sure if it is from a movie at all. I just always assumed it was. I only remember the scene of a nun fishing a crying infant out of an industrial sized trashcan. For some reasons, this scene stuck out in my pre-pre-school head and filed itself inside an untouched cabinet for years. I didn’t think about this for a long time, until one day in the 6th grade, my mom asked me what I wanted to do. In that moment, I conjured up the still frame of the nun holding the dirty baby in her arms.
I told my mom that I wanted to have my own orphanage. I told her that I also wanted to have my own charitable organization for parents who do not have the means to raise children, but nevertheless want to keep their little ones. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it until I said it out loud. Even now, I still want to do it.
My mom didn’t laugh at me. Granted, she never laughed at me when I was serious, but I half expected her to. She didn’t say anything, really, except that I have to be prepared to live a humble life. She also reminded me throughout the years that something like a charitable organization is not something I can just “dabble” in or “try for a couple of weeks”. She wanted consistency. I wanted it too.
It’s been years since I brought up the idea with my mom. I still don’t have the financial means or resources to start an organization like the one I dream of.
I don’t have anything except 900 dollars that don’t quite belong to me because I know that in the next month or so, those 900 dollars will be paying the bills yet again.
How will I change the world if I can’t even change my own situation?
The fact of the matter is, I may never help change the world. I might not even stay alive long enough to make a positive impact. All I’m doing right now is depleting the world’s resources while I sit and dream.
But that doesn’t mean I’m lacking a plan.
I’m going to attend my four year college. I’m going to get my degree. I’m going to have jobs and internships during and after college. I will make it. Even if isn’t the type of positive impact that I wanted, I will make a difference. And if I don’t I’ll just have to try again. No big deal.
Perhaps a little cliche-- “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it’s the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
You can’t laugh at me. Nobody can.
Green Never Looked Good on Me Anyway
The thing with these blogs is that every time you sit down to write you are a different person. Writing about different things, in different ways, for different reasons, but in reality, it’s kind of all the same.
I go back a read my freshman year blogs all the time. Gods and Monsters has been a tab on every computer I’ve had since freshman year. That includes the laptop that I got after Mom saw how much writing I did for freshman year English, the one that barely survived my junior summer. I still read my freshman work.
At the beginning of the year Feraco wrote a Letter of Recommendation for me. He referenced pieces I wrote at the very beginning and the very end of his class, pieces I would coincidentally find in my Artium Magister written mid-way through senior year. I find those intersections amazing.
Maybe the real intersections happen in the deepest parts of ourselves, the parts we never shed. Maybe that’s why I frequent my freshman year blogs, why I’ve read them over dozens of times this semester alone, because I am searching for that part of myself I still recognize, the part of myself that will send me back to freshman year when I could finish all my homework in an hour and I got enough sleep and catching my equipment was my biggest worry.
Or maybe that part of me just doesn’t exist anymore.
That would explain a lot.
Most of my friendships from that time are gone. My habits, likes, dislikes, all changed from that time so long ago. Yet I’m stuck in this green light, hoping that staring hard enough will trick my mind back into a time when I was still motivated enough. Motivated to do my homework, to go to class, to show up to life. Lately staring at that green light has become good enough for me, and lately I think I’ve lost myself.
When the freshman me died, there was room for a whole new vibrant, more mature, new me to grow, but I dwelled on the past, held on to the things that killed my freshman spirit, and the chance at a new me started to wither away with it. I don’t know if it’s too late. I sure as hell hope not because I have a lot of life left, and I think I should start showing up.
It’s time to start acting and stop staring.
It’s time to lift the green tint from everyday activities and remind myself that life can only be lived once, or it can never be lived at all. But regardless it is all in my control and I get the say in where I go from here. Just as the characters in Rivera’s novel, relying on my faith will only cripple me, blind me and keep me from actually making the difference, from shattering the ceiling.
I have to choose to disturb.
I have to dare.
Because one day the light will fade, and I cannot fade with it.
Four and More Years as Rainsford
I don’t feel old.
But what does that mean? What does it mean, to feel old? Is it the sudden remembrance of all your past experiences?
Or is it realizing how many memories you have? Perhaps it’s both of those things; the combination of recalling memories and experiences
– both good and bad – which builds up the nostalgia and sentiment to the point where you feel nothing but melancholy.
Or maybe instead it’s the realization that you forgot you had them.
By: Pink Floyd
Turn up that volume: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL3AgkwbYgo
Ticking away, the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown
Waiting for something or someone to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun
It was usually at night when it would happen.
We’d all be driving home from dinner, my mother, father, and sister, Isabelle, and me, all in the car.
The radio would be on, and then it would happen. Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” would come on.
My sister and I love the song, and even though to sing along would butcher Freddie Mercury’s vocals,
we did so anyway; even at the ‘Galileo, Galileo, Galileo Figueroa’ part.
It's awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWE7boPU6kI
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go, little high, little low,
Hit me where the wind blows, doesn’t really matter
A few weeks ago my sister told me she was facing depression and had been cutting herself. She told me it was alright now, but I still can't help but cry.
By: David Bowie
To Infinity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcyuKUtgyZ8
Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown engines on
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you
This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare
This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today.
David Bowie’s song “Space Oddity” is about courage. It’s about boldly going out of your comfort into the world, the universe.
It’s about stepping through the threshold, past old boundaries and into a new light.
A few voices could be heard through the loud din.
“Come on! You can do it! Almost there!”
“They’re right behind you! You gotta go now!”
“Let’s go! Just a little more!”
The world began to dissolve and expand. Sound muted and vision blurred.
The heaving of breath and feet was the only thing that could be heard now. That and your own head.
The clock was racing. Even though it was a digital clock, you could see it ticking by as the numbers changed, kind of like a heartbeat.
C’mon boy. Show me what you got.
It’s hard to believe I’d only met her last August. There’s always that feeling, ‘I wish I’d met you sooner’, but hey, I’m not complaining how things turned out.
Thinking about it, it’s kind of strange that we feel that way. Is there not enough time to spend? Maybe there is, but maybe not.
We feel that there isn’t enough time because we’re afraid of what will happen later on. We’re afraid to lose what we hold dear,
and to wish that you met someone sooner says that you wish you had more time with them because afraid to lose them at any moment.
I don’t feel old.
A lot of things have happened over the course of four years, let alone the other thirteen or so. But of course, there’s always plenty more to come.
Good thing I’m not old yet.
I would like my life a thousand times more if I was able to build it. It’s 12:35 am and the only thing that I can think of at the moment is sleep.
Today to be honest the only thing I have done today is gone to school, I didn’t even run today, and I barely did any homework. Ohh and I took a a two hour nap in between coming home and eating a meal until now. You can say that this is how I have built my life, but it’s not. If I was granted a greater capability of choosing what I want to do and who I want to be with, and how my life will turn out. . .
Life would be way easier.
That’s the part of living life following God, you will have greater hardships then those who don’t follow him. But in the end you will succeed more, if I could make my life it would be like this.
My Dream Girl
Be insanely fast
At this moment I have maybe one or two of those choices, hopefully later on in life I will be able to achieve more. But those having all of that make you truly happy inside, I don’t know for you maybe yes. But for me I know one thing that can make me really happy and smile and feel like I’m rich and feel like I can run everywhere but sadly I don’t have that.
Good thing that the thing that I seek the most is not anywhere near as hard as the others. In fact I think once I get into college the possibilities of getting what I want hopefully will be way easier.
You can say that I’m being stubborn by saying that I want this and that and it’s true maybe I am. So I want to change what I want, this next list of things is what I truly want maybe one certain topic you’ll see in both lists.
My family to be United
For me to be good with God
Have a great life
Be led and to not fall of the path to Heaven
My Dream Girl
My next blog will be astounding knowing how crappy this one is. I am not afraid to say I have done things differently or I have not succeeded in doing things right. I can deal with hardships up to a certain extent.
It is now 1:02 am and I’m of to sleep. Hopefully tommorow will be a better day in which I can work on more homework and finish the part 2 never let me go questions. Also draw the picture of the school project and eventually find a group or just do the society project by myself. And I almost forgot also finish the senior project before Tuesday.
“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better” – Joybell C.
I don’t know what the future holds for us right now. But I am hopeful for the future because our future is all about change, and as human beings we are constantly changing. We are never secure in our little ponds. We are always seeking bigger waters, a bigger ocean, a bigger sea.
We are building a better world.
The only way to make a better future is to venture out of the known and discover all the things that are still a mystery to this world. If we decide to stick to everything that we already have, then we will never make progress. We need to always be trying to improve. That is how the present came to be too, because someone in the past dared to dream big and make a change to this world. The present is better than the past.
And the future will be even better than the present. That is because mankind is never done exploring. I believe that we are moving towards a better future because there will always be something to improve on, something new to invent, or something that still needs to be discovered. I still have faith in humanity. We might make some mistakes along the way, but we are still capable of doing good things as well.
And the best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time. So we are creating the future every single day of our lives. Every good thing you do today, tomorrow, the day after that… it all adds up towards our future. So if we are making a difference today, we are making a difference towards our tomorrow.
So venture out of your pond. Make a difference in someone’s life. Often times, we forget to look around us, actually meet people and have real conversations with them. Share ideas. Do something new.
I am not working on bettering my future. We are all working at bettering our future. We will have a better future if we all work together to try to make a difference in the world.
A Claustrophobic Society
1850: Earths population reaches 1.2 billion
1950: In 100 years it approximately doubles to 2.53 billion
2000: In only half a century the Earth reaches 6 billion people.
Now: There are 7,236,167,137 human beings dwelling on this planet. The number goes up about 200,000 each day.
The current world population of 7.2 billion is projected to increase by 1 billion over the next 12 years and reach 9.6 billion by 2050, according to a United Nations report launched today, which points out that growth will be mainly in developing countries, with more than half in Africa.
Undernourished People in the World: 890, 843,627
Overweight People in the World: 1,591,841,532
Number of People Died of Hunger Today: 26,690
The Earth’s population is rising perpetually. At this rate, half way through this century there will be nearly 10 billion people in the total populous. It might sound good and well that mankind is fit to survive, but only so many human beings can be supported by the Earth’s natural resources.
Many scientists believe in the theory that there is a limit to how many individual lives our planet can sustain. The threshold for Earth’s carrying capacity is estimated to be between 9 and 10 billion people. That is a problem that will be very apparent in the near future.
The balance between natural resources and food in the world is already terribly skewed. India and China take up nearly 40% of our world population and are known for having high rates of poverty and health issues. The United States comes in third.
Unaware or uncaring, people will continue to live and reproduce. It is only human nature to pass down life to the next generation. It is our right and people will continue to exercise this freedom as long as we can. I am just wondering what sorts of regulations and measures we will see when once mankind starts realizing that population size is a problem.
My prediction is that population will continue to rise uncontrollably. Soon there will be far too many people for our Earth to provide for. When resources become scarce the demand will rise.
The government will start setting rationing regulations. Next thing you know fights are sparking at the neighborhood convenience store over sticks of butter. Riots will start.
To control population growth the government will set restrictions on the number of children you can produce. Abortions will be made mandatory. Outrage will spur with mothers who cannot dispose of their children. People will go off the grid to hide their exceedingly large families.
While struggles set in at home, the real tension burns across the ocean. People are dying of disease and starvation in India, China, and Africa. There will be too many deceased bodies too fast to fill gravesites so the corpses will line sidewalks. People will go insane.
In the midst of struggle, China will demand their debt to be paid back by America. The United States will refuse. World War III begins.
Cite: Worldometers. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Sometimes you should just go out somewhere populated or semi-crowded, find a bench, and take a seat. If you’re observant enough, the world will yield its fruits to you.
You would not believe how many assumptions people make about everything. Actually, I take that back; we already know that. But if you think about it, think of how uncertain we are about anything. It’s like the five-year-old asking her parents the near-indefinite chain of why questions. Eventually the questions are stopped by some version of the infamous answer, “I don’t know”. Virtually anyone could ask anyone this chain of why questions and the answer will always end with a version of “I don’t know” because we really don’t know what comes next.
This generation is littered with stereotypes. It’s not just in people or has to do with race or ethnicity; it’s in our culture and has integrated itself into our society and in who we are as individuals. The image of stereotypes has shaped this generation into what it is, and frankly, that’s somewhat of a problem. And you can already see it taking a hold of our throats; it’s been choking us for a while now, and we’re trying to claw our way out of this suffocation. But attempts seem futile; look at the so-called ‘hipsters’. What was an attempt – albeit, maybe a poor one – to break free from the bonds of conformity and the stereotypes turned into a stereotype: the hipster, who is generally known to stray from the mainstream and attempts to be modern and cultured. They became a stereotype due to the large amount of attention they seemed to bring to themselves as their numbers grew. With a growing population, more people understood what they were, and with that, came a common definition resulting in a hipster. In a sense, to break conformity, one must be unknown to others.
Perhaps it’s a kind of cycle.
But maybe not. Maybe it’s a shift from normality.
Maybe it’s a leap into the unknown.
The venue was a rather large one, capable of carrying up to 250 people. There were close to that number there, consisting of competitive Magic the Gathering and Smash players. Not a new sight to me, but every tournament was different from the one before, the experiences, the matches you play, and the people you meet. If I had taken a picture of the entire room, packed with all the players, the first word that would come to my mind is diversity. People of all ethnicities and races congregating together for a video game tournament. The second word would be dedication. There are about forty old TV’s, all of them used at almost all times as the entrants rush to practice before and after the tournament. Serious and focused stares as one player tries to outwit his opponent and advance to the next round. But in the end, none of us would be playing this game if we didn’t enjoy it immensely, and love the experiences that came from gatherings like these.
I’ve talked with many of them on Skype and Facebook even though I have never met many of them. They were all as nice as I could imagine. They gave me advice because they wanted me to get better, we shook hands because even though one of us lost and was eliminated, we play this game because we enjoy it and are great sports even when we lose. Before I left, one of the guys gave me a hug as an act of valediction. Looking back, small things like that and a confident, firm handshake at the end of a match make me unbelievably happy.
We don’t live in an ideal world, and I don’t believe that we will ever live in an ideal world, but moments like that, experiences like that tournament, couldn’t be more perfect. There will always be major problems in life, such as stealing, murder, and the national debt crisis, but one of the best and easiest ways to make the world a better place is to focus on those small problems, the little things. Say “Hello, how are you today?” to the teachers that pass you by in the halls, help a girl pick up her open pencil case, and try to talk to someone that looks lonely and forlorn. Be aware of others around you and the world will be a better place.
We listened to a graduation speech by David Foster Wallace, which he gave at Kenyon College to the graduating class of 2005. He demonstrates the change in mentality that the liberal arts college grants its graduates by showing with a great before and after scene,
"Because my natural default setting is the certainty that situations like this are really all about me. About MY hungriness and MY fatigue and MY desire to just get home, and it's going to seem for all the world like everybody else is just in my way. And who are all these people in my way? And look at how repulsive most of them are, and how stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed and nonhuman they seem in the checkout line, or at how annoying and rude it is that people are talking loudly on cell phones in the middle of the line. And look at how deeply and personally unfair this is… But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she's not usually like this. Maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness”.
Let this be a reminder to look outside of our lives and our problems, and try and look through a different perspective. Because in the end, it will make the world a better place for you and those around you.
The lights pulsed along to the music as it casted a soft glow over the crowd. From a far the dance floor seemed almost empty, but the more we approached the more I realized the area was packed with bodies.
My prom date and I put our belongings down and spent the first hour looking at the exhibits. It was my first time at the Aquarium of the Pacific and I wanted to view the animals first. Most of the exhibits were kept dark and it took some time at each one to see into the water. We viewed all the exhibits on the second story before making our way down the stairs. (I was slowly descending because I stupidly decided to wear 6 inch heels and was worried that I would break my leg.)
I stood on the bottom step after finally descending all the way down before I realized the movements of the crowd. People writhed in place or all over one another with the outer edges more calm than those closer to the middle of the crowd. I froze in place, slightly sick to my stomach and horrified at the sight in front of me before I was nudged. My date looked at me and led the way to the floor but I could feel the rise of revulsion in my stomach. We slipped into the rest of our party bus group (they weren’t dancing like everyone else) and danced (more like flailed our limbs and pulled out the most awkward of awkward dance moves. Our group was located near the DJ, the speakers, and the worst part of the crowd.
The volume of the speakers shook the floor and in the soft light there were flashes of others behind my group. Suddenly it hit me what I was witnessing and I walked off the dance floor into another hallway filled with exhibits. I hadn’t seen these since they were on the first floor, so I spent some time trying to relax enough to forget what I had seen. I leaned up against the glass of the seal exhibit - enough to see the seals flit away and back toward me.
All I could think about were the suggested questions to this blog. This was my generation - the future of the world. The future of the world, or at least, a small part of it stood grinding, writhing, and degrading themselves to crappy music.
They acted like it was normal.
The worst part was the blank look the males all used and the way females averted their eyes from one another as they had their hands on the floor, or when they came back up. As if they knew it wasn’t something they shouldn’t be doing, something they didn’t want to see others do.
We have much to learn.
We have much to lose.
We have much to understand.
I don’t think we’re ready for the world yet.
Go away no one wants you.
Why are you so useless?
What do you want?
Why do you care?
What do you want?
Why the hell are you here?
No one likes you.
No one cares about you.
These are not the words of a bully or my friends. Surprisingly these are the things that my siblings told me. Harsh huh.
Growing up I have never gotten along with my eldest sister Dorcas. The only reason why is because of my babysitter. Her name was something in Chinese and I can’t remember so, we shall call her Jane. She was the best babysitter an only child could have. She gave me candy, pampered me, helped me with my homework, and pretty much gave me what I wanted. Except that I was not an only child I had 3 other siblings. That she did not care about
It seemed that everything I did wrong wasn’t my fault. Everything I did wrong was blamed on my eldest sister. If I tripped and cried Jane would pop out of no where find Dorcas and yell at her “WHAT HAPPENED. He is you brother you should be watching him. This is your fault, time out now”. This made my sister loath me. She never wanted to see my face again.
Go away you’re so useless. No one likes you.
Once Jane was fired (Thank God) my sister started saying these kinds of things towards me. It forever gave me the mentality of a dead beat. I didn’t think I could do anything useful so, I didn’t. I kept this mentality all through my life. I always wanted to play go hangout, seep, eat, and be as lazy as I wanted. It never changed because I was useless, annoying, stupid, a brat, I was better of dead.
In freshman year I looked in the mirror and I hated my self. I screamed at my reflection why are you still here, you’re helpless, annoying and useless. I hate you. so I decided to change. I forced myself to be someone better. That’s why I joined a Tae Kwon Do studio.
Once I became an instructor it was my job to teach the students discipline. There is a 4 year old child that goes to SK named Jayden. The first time I saw him I though he was a good boy turns out it was the exact opposite. Jayden always wanted to play and not do any of his work and just have fun. I talked more with his parents and they asked me to help him. They told me that Jayden today refused to go to school and when ever he doesn’t get something he want the cries. I was glad that they did because when I say this little boy and I saw the younger version of me.
I took Jayden into our training room (the room we use to yell at kids) and talked to him. I said “Jayden mommy and daddy said that you not being a good boy they told me you don’t do your homework. Is it true Jayden”. He looked down at the floor and just started at it. After a while he responded with “yeah and I don’t want to I don’t like it”. I lost it here, I screamed at him “Jayden you have to do your home work you re not being a good boy. I don’t like that”. I took away his belt and he started to cry I told him “when mommy and daddy tell me that you’re being a good you can have it back”. At this point he was bawling I lead him outside and told his parents to tell me if he’s not being good and I’ll help him.
Being an instructor doesn’t just mean you teach class and not care about your kids. It means that you teach them discipline and how to become a better person.
When ever someone asks me what I do as an instructor I tell them “oh just help class and teach student” but in reality. I train them as hard as I can; I help them grow to be the person that their parents want them to be. I raise them to have the ability to be what ever they want in life.
So what will I do to help the world a better place?
I help the generation that has the most potential grow. I discipline all the to-be lawyers inventors, engineers, doctors, and what ever they want to be.
For one, I like to think of myself as pretty outgoing but in some cases I am not. I get frightened of the idea of embarrassing myself in the long run. As I dance in the arcadia life I feel like I’m doing well for myself. Senior year rolls around and I’m eager to start and meet new people that would just rock my world. I already set some standards for me. For starters one of the rules I made for myself was to do well in school so I may not worry about them slipping form me, broken. Another was to get a better understanding on how others acted with each other and how to make friends that would last, still lacking in that department. The list goes on and I am already off to a bad start, I knew I had to pick it up. Despite my failures there were people that came who I admired more than they know too.
In more ways than one, I’m getting closer to my goals, slowly but surely. There are certain things I wish I could’ve worked on. In these years I’ve been too concerned with others and their successes and I don’t even look at myself. As the world beats me down, I have to find something to fight for. Something as cruel as my conscious tells me that I should just leave and count on that luck that is ever so generous.as I progress it is not easy being the one that has to be watched, but I feel like I need it now more than ever. For one thing, I will for sure be in my target zone once I grow more independent. Sometimes despite all of what happens I have to remember time waits or no one, not even for the spouses who lost their loved one. Little known fact about it is that the people who show sympathy, I just another way for them to generalize and get them back on their feet.
For the last time, I understand what it means to be stuck in between two hard places. Complacently I’ve also been told to not squander off into places I don’t know. Sometimes I won’t realize that I need a hand. Depending on how bleak things get, we cannot express our stress on others. It is an ugly habit of mine that I plan to shake as I grow older. I am that guy to go and ask for sympathy because I choose to not help myself. How can I help others first if I can’t help myself? But let’s start from a new beginning and venture in the new worlds that await us in the conquest.
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