Tuesday, May 27. 2014
Sub Divo: Under the wide-open sky
And so we come to the end...
So let's begin at the beginning.
Class of 2012: Megan White, Shirish Sarkar, Kat Thompson, Devin Leung, Alton Wang, Anu Shah, Asaka Fukuda, Daniel Jou, David Eng, Daniel Setiawan, Vivian Wang, Keemlin Nguyen, Jasmine Falatoonzadeh, Jimmy Huang, Nathan Bignell, Peter Pei, Valerie Lai, Jack Hou, and Hoi Wong.
Class of 2011: Still gathering…
Class of 2010:
Stacey K. (love this one), Michael H., Shirley C., Sophia C., Ryan B., Janet C., Jamie G., Tiffany H., Shogo Y., Jennifer C., Kevin Y., Johnny W., Elaine Y., and Mesgana A.
This one’s for the lonely child
This was written for the one to blame
The one who believes they are
The cause of chaos in everything
You may find yourself in the dead of night
Lost somewhere out there
In the great big beautiful sky
You are all just perfect little satellites
Spinning round and round this
Broken earthly life
This is so you’ll know the sound
Of someone who loves you
From the ground
Tonight you’re not alone at all
This is me sending out my
There’s something about hometowns that you never can escape,
The triumphs and the tragedies,
The tawdry little fates,
The welling of nostalgia
And the feeling kind of strange
Because despite all the little changes,
The place still feels the same.
And there’s something about coming back to your hometown again,
The place where you grew up
And where you found your firmest friends,
And though none of them still live here
And I’ve got nowhere to go,
I’m a Wessex boy,
A Wessex boy,
And when I’m here
Dear God, be good to me;
The sea is so wide,
And my boat is so small.
Rewind and play
Time to go backwards again…
And every moment bleeds into one,
Bleeds into one.
Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.
Once you said I was your hero
You would dance with me on a dime
We could spin this world right right right ‘round
And catch back up on the flip side
I was gonna get this real big engine
I was gonna get them Broadway stars
You were gonna be my Judy Garland
We were gonna share your tin man heart…
Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
The illusions of childhood are necessary experiences: a child should not be denied a balloon just because an adult knows that sooner or later it will burst.
I’ve tried so hard to not turn into my father…
But if I only ever skip out on his choices,
Will I ever choose better?
Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
Who of us is mature enough for offspring before the offspring themselves arrive?
You have to ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.
Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.
A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.
Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change.
Tomorrow we’ll not only seize the day – we’ll throttle it.
It’s the friends you can call up at 4am that matter.
The greatest form of courage is to act as if our lives made a difference.
There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.
Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.
Life is now, every moment, no matter if the world be full of death.
There comes a time in each life like a point of fulcrum. At that time you must accept yourself. It is not any more what you will become. It is what you are and always will be.
It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time.
Life is about love
And lost evenings
About fire in our bellies
And our furtive little feelings
And the aching amplitudes that set our needles all a-flickering
And help us with remembering
That the only thing that’s left to do is live…
Frank Turner, I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous
Love. Last minutes. Lost evenings.
The curriculum in a nutshell.
I think we take the First Amendment for granted at times.
By that, I don’t mean that we don’t appreciate it. We do. I think – I hope – that all of you are deeply aware that you’re pretty free to express yourself.
It’s more that I believe we rarely stop to consider what that freedom entails. Oh, we listen to graduation speeches. We write quotes on our binders. We even put our favorite sayings in our yearbooks, forever identifying ourselves with a few simple words. We recognize the opportunities we’ve been presented with. We just don’t imagine ourselves doing anything truly important with them.
How many of you honestly believe you’ll say something worth remembering in your lifetime?
I could be wrong, but I’m guessing a minority of you would raise your hands if I asked that question in class. You probably don’t feel like your words are going to adorn a teenager’s binder anytime soon.
But is that a reflection of your lack of profundity…or a lack of confidence?
Our histories are lined with the words of men and women who had something worth saying, the skills necessary to say it, and the ability to communicate that message to a receptive audience.
At some point, each and every one of those figures made a conscious decision: “I have something the world needs to hear; I know something the world needs to know; I will share this with the world and hope they can hear me.”
This is essentially why Dr. King, whose Letter from Birmingham Jail is the last piece I’ll give you this year, wrote what he wrote. He wasn’t just giving a voice to people who deserved to be heard; when he sat down to write, he knew he had something in his heart worth sharing. It was imperative that he find a way to share it.
So he wrote. He spoke. He preached. He agitated. He fought. He defended what he knew, after many long years of study and soul-searching, was morally right.
His words changed lives not only because he had something to say, but because he said it beautifully, and at the right time.
King’s convictions helped shape a movement.
But the way he expressed them helped shape a nation.
I want you to think about your parents.
One (or both) of them probably said something memorable to you over the years – something that helped you build the scaffolding for what eventually became your identity.
Can you imagine they thought they’d have the chance to say something profound before you were born?
Many of you have told me you’d welcome the opportunity to be parents. I don’t know that you’ve really thought about what that entails.
Imagine you’re at a hospital, looking through a window at your newborn as he or she sleeps.
In that moment, you’re painfully aware of the fact that your child knows nothing – and that you are responsible for keeping them safe while helping them navigate an entirely unknown world.
In that moment, you understand how little they know – and how much you do.
Picture your mother and father staring off into the distance after you emerged into the world, trying to figure out how they would teach you, how they would guide you – how they would get you to the place you’re at today.
Someday, you’ll feel that same hitch in your gut.
You’ll realize what it means to be responsible for the safety, the integrity, of someone else’s Star.
You’ll realize what it means to shape it with the force of your words, your standards, and your guidance.
And after eighteen years with them…
…You’ll summon the strength, somehow, some way, to say goodbye.
At the beginning of the year, I asked you a simple question: What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
Without going into too much detail, I’ll say that those who stop to think about it – much like those who stopped to think about the Ecclesiastes quote before I reused it – can see so much of what we’ve covered over the course of nine short months in that question.
If you really turn that question over in your head, in the context of everything we’ve read, discussed, and yes, attempted, you’d be surprised by what you discover.
You knew I wouldn’t let you fail, not unless you tried very, very hard to do so.
So instead of worrying about whether you’d hit the ground, you just flew.
You wrote Masters’ Theses.
You stood and delivered, in fancy clothes, no less.
You rebuilt schools, rethought diplomacy, reassessed culture, and rewrote constitutions.
You fell Down the Memory Hole, Defined Yourselves, and looked at the World Around You with amazing people.
You found there was no easy way from Earth to the stars, so you searched for a former clarity, survived with love, refused to let the future blame you, sought endings and beginnings, remembered those who were gone, enjoyed a little revenge therapy, learned the quiet things that no one ever knows, let heroes die and angels hide, and floated down the river when you could…all because your inquiring minds wanted to know.
You won friends and influenced people, picked out sparks against the sun, planted seeds in the soil we’re all growing in, let your heads spin around, made islands where no islands should go, picked up pieces, got freaked out by the future, peered at blurry figures and listened to the muffled voices that echoed after doomsday…all in far less than a lifetime.
You fought dragons, sought witches, released golden birds from cages, peered into paperweights, found Norfolk on the ground and Xibalba in the stars, and drank the water from the glasses I left for you in so many places.
You did so many things that nobody else had to do…
…and so many things that no one else had the chance to do.
And after all of that, after all of the loving and the losing, the only thing that’s left to do is…
Well, there’s just one thing missing.
Those of you who’ve known me for a while know I’m fond of that image of the coin flip. Think of the class as a coin, with that question as the “heads” face.
If “heads” is What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?, I’m giving you the “tails” question today, the question that – when viewed in tandem with the other – encapsulates just about everything I’ve tried to do with these simple little English classes.
What would you say if you knew the world would listen…and how would you say it?
What does the world need to hear?
Many of you will be teachers, guides, lecturers…speakers of profound words and dispensers of wisdom. People will look to you. People will listen to you.
But no one – especially not me – can give you the words in advance.
This is your graduation speech, your opportunity to leave a final impression on me and those around you – your last footstep in the blog’s wet cement, with your initials carved beside it.
You were here.
You had chances, and you took them.
You’re heading out there. You’ll have more chances, and you’ll matter to different people.
So while you still have time, write what you want to write to these people. To us.
It can be about you, about humanity, about the world – heck, it can be about a combination of them, and I’d encourage you to try to do that!
Address this to anyone you choose. It can be to me, your classmates, your family, your children, someone you care about here, the world at large, or whoever else comes to mind.
But I want you to say what needs to be said – the words only you can write – and I want you to write them now.
And I don’t want you to forget these words…because you might find yourself saying them to someone else a couple of decades down the line.
That’s the prompt: Tell us something meaningful. Tell us what you’ve always wanted to say. Be honest, insightful, creative, and clear.
Write the words. Write the songs.
Write the path.
Finally, while this won’t be the last time, I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you.
Thank you for listening.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for thinking.
Thank you for writing.
And thank you for caring.
It’s been a good run, and I count myself among the lucky ones.
I’m just glad I knew you before you got famous.
This post is due to the blog and Turnitin.com no later than 11:59pm on Thursday, June 5th, with replies due 24 hours later.
For this final week, you’re only required to nominate two classmates; however, you may nominate up to seven posts. You can find the nomination form here.
Otherwise, the same rules as your other Chapter the Last threads apply. (Just don’t post anything that will get me, or yourselves, in trouble!)
For the last time: Write well, think well…and I wish you way more than luck.
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This is a sensitive subject so please bear with me;
Every morning I put a smile on my face telling myself everything’s going to be alright. Every morning I struggle out of bed and face my reality. I don’t like my life, yes I bet people have it worse then me but I am at a point of disaster.
Everyday my smile and laughter hides the years of pain dwelling inside, if only I was different. Everyday I look for friends to hangout with knowing I barely have any. Everyday I want to be free, I want to go far and feel eternal. Everyday I have to think and be mad at myself for why I stutter, everyday I dress up to make myself feel special, knowing that no one really cares how I look.
Right now as I’m writing this my moms telling my dad how he apparently created two failures in life. I’m one of them. Right now as I’m writing this I just want to run away, I could also walk over there and start an argument but what’s the point.
Over the past two to three years my mom’s been wanting to go back to Mexico and divorce my Dad. I just got called to have a talk with them and my mom tells me that when my grandparents come to see me graduate, she’s going to leave back to Mexico with them. She wants my dad to go with her and honestly I think he should. I’ll probably be homeless or be going from house to house but at least they’ll be happy without me.
My mom has been saying she’s going to go back, but she hasn’t. Maybe this time will be the time she does, hopefully it isn’t. What if she goes back without my dad, I wont let him live by himself. I will either take him with me to San Jose or find a college nearby to stay with him here, or just not go to college anymore to help him with work.
I really do feel for my dad and hopefully I haven’t let him down, hopefully he’s happy that I’m going to University and I’ll make something of my life. I hope he doesn’t get so down that something happens to him, I really care for his health. He probably eats the amount of chocolate that he does to reduce his stress, to reduce the pain he feels inside.
There are nights that my dad just sits on the kitchen table and prays and asks God why he deserved all this. And I feel for him, I feel for what he shouldn’t be going through because of me, because of my stupid actions. Because of my selfishness, corruption, my rebellion, basically everything I’ve done wrong. I really don’t see anything that’s worthy of me, hey what have I done to impact a life.
Yes the bad stuff.
My dad’s the best person in the world and he has given me a lot. He has stayed up with me till I finish my homework, has driven me to races when I miss the bus, he has bought me almost everything I want, and no I’m not spoiled I really care about my parents money. He has given me shelter, security, happiness, strength, confidence, a great life, he has given me basically everything I needed to be a great kid. And sadly I messed it all up.
I’m sorry if I’m not the vision of a perfect child, I’m sorry if I don’t get straight A’s, I’m sorry if I let you down, I’m sorry for ruining 18 years of your life. I’m sorry for acting how I act. I’m sorry for running away, I’m sorry for being a burden in your life. I’ll be gone soon and hopefully you won’t need to worry about me.
In my last 18 years, I have done a lot of bad and hopefully a lot of good. I have ran away, I have cried for days, I’ve gotten in trouble with the police. Yes it’s not as bad as doing drugs or cutting myself which some do, but for me doing what I have done has impacted my life.
It’s also not all about my parent’s, it’s also been about my past relationship and how bad that turned out. That has also been a great factor of why I feel like I do. But I have come to the point were I will forget about that and her and move on with my life. I have come to the point where I gave it my all, every tear, every run, every word that came out, I tried. My reputation has been crushed with that relationship, and as I have explained it in my last blog. I cant wait for the time high school is over, yes college will probably way harder but I will have more time to focus on my studies.
Today I thought to myself; hey maybe this is why I run, I run to feel free, I run to escape from my pain, my sorrow, my emotions, my everything. There are times that the pain overtakes me and it gets harder to run, I become weak and end up laying in a corner. Hey maybe I am a failure, maybe I am worthless, time will pass by and we’ll see if I don’t dropout of College if I end up going.
Today I committed to the University of San Jose State, hopefully life changes between today and the first day of College. But if disaster strikes I pray to God that he’ll take care of my family, my mom, my dad and my brother. Don’t feel bad for me I have caused this upon myself, and now it is my turn to fix it. I Josue Gonzalez don’t like my life one bit at the moment, yes I hate it, but I will make a great effort to fix it.
I’ll probably tell Feraco to delete this post after the assignments over, so read it and take what you can out of this. I’ve never written as profound as I have for this class and I thank you Mr. Feraco for bringing out the best of me. It’s 2:13 AM goodnight children.
Josue, I really appreciated reading your post. It took a lot of courage to post something like this. I especially enjoyed your thoughts on running. It was really well done.
As high school is coming to a close, I have been going back through things I used to write years ago. A lot of it sounds similar to this.
A realization that really struck me a year ago is that I may fail, but that doesn't make me a failure. I make mistakes, but it doesn't mean that I am one. I used to repeat that to myself over and over in the hopes that I would one day believe it. I'm getting closer every day.
Thank you for sharing. I sincerely hope that college will be better for you than high school.
You have splashed your heart on the page. I certainly admire your willingness to examine your own life and take responsibility for things gone wrong. It’s never just the kid’s fault. Perhaps unlike myself, you actually seem mature enough to go to college. I, for one, will be cheering you on.
I thought it was brave and great that you shared so much in a single post. It was a great way to really make your last blog shine, and I'm glad that I read this. I wish you the best no matter what happens after graduation!
It really takes guts to share a memory that is very personal. Iam glad you have too and I know how you feel. Thanks for sharing and i wish the best for you. Good luck out there.
I’m glad you took the courage to write about this sensitive subject, I hope it made you feel better to let it out, because usually writing or any other type of art helps release some of the weight that pull our hearts down.
The circumstances of humans all differ, and the intensity of negative emotions differ from person to person, but still I realize because another person may have it worse doesn’t mean you’re emotions aren’t just as intense, in fact holding it back would probably worsen you. I feel sad that all humans feel some suffering at least in their lives, some, tragically, their whole lives, but I think there are gems nevertheless in every life – whether it is a caring dad for you, or an act of kindness or some cathartic music… It scares me to consider all this suffering; sometimes I wish I could care for everyone and eliminate the pain in people’s lives.
I wish I could be your friend, but the most I know of you are your footprints left here on this blog. It is cold, an indication that you are long gone in the future, and I don’t know if you will ever return... It’s interesting, how I have been depressed about being so lonely for so long, yet by reading your blog and others, I realize how many of us feel lonely as well… unless that is an illusion. It’s also interesting how I see so many of us struggling with inadequacy… But looking at everyone else, hanging out, smiling, and others’ successes, and then trying and failing myself, I know the feeling of envy and hopelessness so well. Perhaps it is because we praise only a few and specifics (heh nominations) and that give us less wiggleroom to remember that we are awesome in our own ways as well. I think you are so, I think those that manage to find a way to continue living despite odds are indeed so.
I know what it feels like to have conflicting parents, and parents who bash upon you is even more harsh. I’m sure you can be independent and live well on your own, and find friends (which I would love to be one please?). It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past, we all act in mean ways towards those who deserve to be treated better… but I also believe you have many sweet actions as well… Since the past is past now, it is nice that you care for your dad and hopefully help him at least live more satisfyingly.
Make the most of college, You’re mostly a blank slate again, and you get to carve the Josue you always wanted to be, the one without the past Josue to drag around. Go all out, enjoy, care for your dad and everyone you loved, build a world you wanted, then fail again and try again, and there will be people such as me or like me who will be there to support you, if you are willing to accept it.
And don’t worry about being a perfect child. Ask any ‘perfect’ child and you may realize that they may feel unhappiness too. There can always be suffering and unhappiness to be found in any life, in any situation. I hope you feel better, sometimes this is a momentary thing, if not, then I wish you the strength to endure and the luck to keep you knowing that it is possible to make this life more into one you would be satisfied living~
I absolutely loved this. I've also been in a similar situation and I definitely did not take it as well as you did. It took me a long time to actually WANT to fix things. I'm positive you will be able to fix anything you want. I'm not sure if it will resonate with you, but maybe read my blog?
You're a strong man. You've made it this far in life despite all the obstacles you had to deal with. Just remember what I told you on that run. You're not alone. You got many people who care about you. You just got to let them know that you need them. We're not mind readers, so we could use some help too. Stay strong. And good night.
You have a gift for running, a lot of people would die for that. Don't feel worthless, no one is, no matter what your mom says. You made it to a University and you are graduating high school. Lots of people, half the school, isn't going to be graduating or even attending college. Feel proud as hell, there are days I feel the way you do and you just got to push through it. Stay strong!
Your post remind me of my relationship with my mother and father. I used to hate my life, but wasn't till a year that I talk it out with my mother and it feels so much better now. So I almost went through what you had went through. and maybe it is good to run away and feel free but when you look back... there is something that I don't want to miss.
Feraco, do not delete this one! Josque you should be proud of this submission. It's by far the best stuff you've turned in
I'm really glad I got to read this story. I've never really gotten a chance to know you up until this class. I really like this post. It shows us who you really are. Good luck Josue.
Wow Josue. It's amazing how you really opened up on your last blog. I know that whatever happens, you'll get through it. You're really strong. Never give up. Keep on fighting the good fight.
Josue, I just want to say, wow. Thank you so much for sharing something so personal to us. I know it can't be the easiest to open up like that, but I hope it has allowed you to understand that no, you are not alone in this world. You will go far in life, and I'm glad I was able to read this last blog post of yours. Good job.
Thank you for being so candidly honest and open in your blog post. I think it's beautiful how we are able to open up to each other about topics and issues that we wouldn't dare to tell people we barely know. So, thank you for that. I think once this chapter in your life ends (high school), you'll be able to start fresh in college and explore your options and truly value yourself for who you are! Don't discredit yourself for all of the hard work you've put in to get you here!
josue that must have been really hard to write huh? Your emotions were really raw. It really sucks how one has to go through all this pain growing up as a child. Your blog post was really touching. Good job
josue that must have been really hard to write huh? Your emotions were really raw. It really sucks how one has to go through all this pain growing up as a child. Your blog post was really touching. Good job
Man your post just get better and better, I'm going to miss reading these and i hope everything works out for you. Nice post
Wow, Josue. I was absolutely blown away by this post. I touched on a difficult subject in my first post, so I commend you for this post. I know it's difficult to let people see whats really going on in your life, but I promise you, letting out your feelings is better than just keeping them to yourself. I really hope you don't delete this post. Amazing, amazing job.
JOSUE!!! I have known you since elementary school and never knew that this was happening in your household. It must be hard going through it alone, but guess what, we are here for you!! Tears were about to stroll down my cheeks when I read your post. It was a really great post and I hope you know that too. I really hope for the best for you in the future. Truly a great post and it really means a lot to me that you shared it with us.
Wow Josue.... Honestly, you may think that you've impacted only one life with what you've done, but that's not true. You've also impacted the people around you, the people who don't know you and are reading this blog, and the people who do know you but not much. When you think back on what you said here, it's not worth deleting, it's worth remembering how you impacted other people's lives. Look back at one of the other posts that I've done. I felt the exact same way you do. But now, I think it's time for both of us to step out and make a difference, to make a change. Cheers and hopes to the both of us and our future endeavors!
There are reasons why I am the way I am, but I’m not writing them down because I want everyone to know. I’m doing this because I’ve never had a chance to admit these things to myself.
I look angry when I’m alone.
After I become friends with someone, they tell me about how pissed I look when I’m walking down the halls. It’s literally what my face looks when it’s relaxed. I’m not always mad when I’m by myself. My face just looks like that. My mom and my dad look the same when they don’t smile. They look pissed when they’re walking nonchalantly. Although it’s my natural expression, my face gets more intense when I AM actually pissed.
I get choked up about touching moments easily.
I won’t cry about a lot of things mostly because my dad was hard on me growing up. I can only recall a few moments from my childhood where he wasn’t yelling at me, but I learned not to take a lot of things personally. My family tells me I’m heartless, calls me an ice queen because I’m “coldhearted,” but I do cry. I can shed many tears about moving things. Here are some examples:
- When Jonathan Chu was announced our class valedictorian and cried all the way up to the stage. (I ALMOST cried)
- When Adam Sandler gave the napkin to his wife in Click that said “Will you still love me in the morning?” followed by “Forever and ever babe.”
- When I was saying goodbye to my boyfriend and he kissed me and said, “Thank you for loving me.”
- When my mom made my sister and I breakfast because she was taking the day off from work, she watched us eat. I asked her why, and she said, “I just love you guys. That’s all.” (she rarely says those kinds of things)
- When my dad told me he was sorry (too long of a story)
I don’t mind being alone.
Don’t get me wrong. Of course, it’s nice to be around people, but it’s also nice to be noticed. For as long as I can remember, I always felt like one of the friends in the “group” who’s everyone’s last choice to be “partnered” with, even with my closest friends. Elementary school, middle school, high school. It may sound like I just want attention, but that’s not it at all. I just want to feel like someone’s first choice. I’ve learned over the years that it’s better to be to be alone than to always be last. It is for me, at least.
I don’t know how to show someone I love them.
I was never taught to buy someone flowers or send them a card or what to say to someone you love. I didn’t see these things either. My parents weren’t a very affectionate couple, so that’s probably why I don’t know how to be affectionate. I could only learn from watching movies, like Parent Trap.
I love my dad.
“Why don’t you love your dad?” you may ask. I’ve told a few people why he’s an unpleasant person, but I haven’t told anyone why he isn’t.
He taught me how to not be afraid. He taught me to appreciate the life I have and how important it is to have a family in it. He taught me that I should treasure the ones I love most. Most importantly, he taught me to be strong. He raised me to be the person I am now.
I learned from him by his actions. He didn’t tell me how to be courageous or how to appreciate people I love, but growing up, I understood that I should do the things that he just doesn’t.
I love him because I’ve learned from his mistakes the most. Because he’s too proud and shy at the same time. Because he’s afraid and clueless of how to show his soft side. Because we are alike in countless ways. Because I understand why he is the way he is. Because he’s my dad.
I may have said too much, but I’ve said what I needed to say.
I love you guys.
“Th-th-th-that's all, folks!”
- Porky Pig
First of all, I like the formatting of this, very straightforward and easy to read.
You're so sweet, even though you think you don't show it much. You still are capable of having emotional responses and tears, I think that is a wonderful thing because it shows you still feel love so well.
I've had a hard time with being alone, since I can't enjoy it when I do not have social security, but if you truly do not mind being alone then you are amazing. I would like to make you feel like a first, but I don't know how much you want that.
Buying flowers and sending cards isn't necessarily always a sign of love, sometimes it is just politeness and showing consideration of one another
but for some reasons, one thing I found rather cute is when a person who doesn't seem to express emotions has a moment where they brak and wavers at something, perhaps a display of love or weakness.
I have a friend who shows his friendship and love simply by sharing his favorite artwork with me. He doesn't even explain the artwork, he just shows it to me, I reply to it, and he smiles
We all have our ways of showing appreciation and love, there's no need for you to feel entitled to do the same way everyone else does. As long as you do feel it, and we know it, I think that is enough.
You're sweet regardless, even if you think you think you have a difficult time showing your love. I'd need to see you in life to know you better.
Nice post, thanks for sharing and allowing me to know you better Amanda!
(ahhh I repeat the same words too much in my haste. I hope the message is still understood though)
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I really appreciate your words of understanding, and reading your comment filled me with so many emotions (good ones, of course).
Great post Amanda. You already know how I feel about your post since I messaged you after reading but I'll say it again. It was really touching. I knew you want people to know that you're a person who doesn't really give a hoot about anything which is why I like to read your blog post because it reminds me that deep down, you're just like the rest of us. Again, I really enjoy reading all your blog posts and it's a shame that this is probably the last one I'm going to read of yours.
Dude... I really liked reading your blog it was very sweet and you finally brought justice to my questions about you haha. your post just got me super curious on the life of amanda tsao LOL!
You are a beautiful human being and I'm so damn proud to call you my friend. My BEST friend. I love you, Amanda. Also your angry face is really cute.
You have done things in your life that you regret.
You don’t take risks.
You keep to yourself.
You push people away that you care about but you yearn for them to stay.
You let your pride get in the way.
You let strangers take advantage of your kindness.
But you treat your family like they’re bad people.
You’ve been taken for granted.
You disappoint people.
When you fall down you don’t get back up.
You have managed to not be involved with anything in school ever.
You just don’t care anymore.
“Remember that day Allyssa?, The day you got caught? Dad found the secret phone you had and he went into a rage. Remember how he grabbed you by the ear and threw you out of the house and shut the door? How your whole world came crashing down at once? Remember packing your bags and thinking how could you be so stupid? How all the rebellious stuff you did wasn’t worth getting kicked out? Remember how hard it was to be in the car with the person you loved the most but who you betrayed in the worst way? Or crying on the whole 5 hour plane ride here?
But I need you to remember this...You knew there were bigger and better things for you here. You aspired to be known by everyone in the school, you were gonna play softball and join clubs. You knew there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. “
You once had goals and you had hope.
You were significant,
And you have made impacts on peoples lives, positive and negative ones.
You managed to make friends when you got thrown into this new school in your junior year.
You managed to exist despite all of the suicidal thoughts.
You smile through sadness.
You listen regardless if people listen to you.
You are improving.
You are getting better and better everyday.
Stop letting people tell you who you need to be.
Stop fighting yourself.
Stop talking about the past. It’s hard, I know. But it’s over and done with.
Use the lessons learned as examples not something to obsess over.
Make the most of what’s happening now.
Stop looking back and take a look at what is ahead of you.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Stop crying at night over things you can’t change.
Stop sleeping to escape from life.
Life isn’t that bad, stay a while.
Don’t do what other people want you to do, Do what makes YOU happy
"I want to be a girl who is driven. I've lost my drive and motivation. It's hard to get up in the morning and tell myself that I'm important. I feel as though I've lost my worth. I am a meaningless being who is just existing. I hate that I'm like that but I feel as though I can't control it. I'm not good enough for people. I'm not smart enough for this school. I am a burden. I hate school. I hate people. I hate being bothered. I hate life. 5 months from now I wanna walk out of your class and be able to say I love myself and I am worth something, I do need a great education, and I'm driven."
-Portion of my Great Expectations
Thank God for all he has done and will do.
And most importantly take a look at this post when you are feeling sad.
Wow, that was heart wrenching. This was an amazing thread, this deserves to be in the "hall of fame" this is what this blog is about. It takes a lot of courage to post something like this for others to see. I love the honesty you put in your post. I love it
Wow, this post was beautiful in every single aspect. I loved the idea of basically writing to yourself, pointing out all your flaws during the process but learning to come to terms with them. It really means a lot to me that you would post something like this, and expose yourself the way you did. Thanks for this amazing post!
This is pretty much what I need to tell myself also. Honestly, I really love your blog. Your words of encouragements are so strong and meaningful to me. Your blog was really great this week good job!
There's a really strong presence in this blog that I really admired. You really slayed it!
The Stars and Those Mountains
It’s a beautiful day here on the track, brisk breeze, the sea of maroon cap and gowns, and the beautiful mountains.
Those mountains have been the back drop to so many of my memories. Maybe it’s because I live right in the foothills, but I suspect it’s something a little more poetic than that. The mountains have always meant north, we were all taught that as tiny baby little ones. But recently mountains have also meant hardship. They’ve meant home. They’ve meant obstacles.
In the fifth grade, our class went up the mountain for Astrocamp. We learned about the stars, the planets, and being away from home.
In the eighth grade the class went up the mountain again for Outdoor Science Camp. We learned about the Earth, how to preserve it and about starting over.
In the eleventh grade a select few of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipients went up the mountain for a 3 day-long seminar. We learned to be accepting, to trust each other, and to look within ourselves for the answers to the toughest questions.
In the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade summers the band, orchestra, Colorguard and choir went up the hill for BOCC camp. We learned how to point our toes, march in a straight line, and the importance of family.
The one thing (other than bug spray) each of those trips had was the stars. If the mountains do anything they put you closer to the stars, they put you face to face with God.
Faith has always been a kind of convenience for me. I thank God when the good things happen and beg Him to explain why He puts me through the bad things. I ask Him for help only when I am too scared to shoulder the responsibility, and ask Him for guidance only when I know the right path and am too scared to take it. I guess you can’t call that faith, but I don’t have another word for it.
I remember when I first drove myself up those mountains. Nassim and I wanted to go on a hike and I was too proud to have Mom drive us, I didn’t want to ask for help. So I set up the mountain, following the road until it turned into dirt, then following the hand-made signs for parking until we were tucked away at the top of the trail. The road was windy, narrow and for a relatively new driver, pretty darn scary. I prayed, asked Him to give me the keen eye, to get us to the mountain safely, to get us home in one piece. We made it. The hike was gorgeous, the ride home, even scarier than the drive up, but we made that too.
For a long time I thought strength meant that you had to be made of steel. You couldn’t be moved, you couldn’t show weakness, you had to always demonstrate unwavering ability and precision, but never your true feelings because they clouded your vision. You wouldn’t get to the top pouring your heart out. You would succeed by catching strong and pushing yourself the hardest you could. It was a purely individual pursuit.
I have never been so incorrect. Your definition of success should be personal, you should not judge yourself on another’s performance, but you cannot achieve success by yourself. That is not success, that is just lonely.
Success is finishing a good hike with your brother by your side. Success is being honest with your team, showing them how you feel, even if that means shedding a tear or two, and then watching them be honest with you. Success is never giving up on the person that needs the little extra help, then watching them achieve everything you achieved and more. Success is asking for help. Success is praying. Success is humanity, generosity, and love.
I encourage each and every one of you to take a long and hard look at those mountains. Compel yourself to face them. Face the stars. Compel yourself to pray, even if it’s not to God. Compel yourself to live successfully. To live with humanity, and generosity. Compel yourself to love.
Life demands you to live, but it never shows you exactly how. A lot like this English class I once had. It inspires you, it pushes you, it throws you into all kind of situations. But it never exactly tells you how to do any of it. It forces you to figure it out. It forces you to decide, to act, to live.
Congratulations, and I hope to see you all on the other side.
your blog post was the first one I read and honestly I loved it. I've always loved your writing style and you definitely hit this one out of the ballpark. Good job, I'm glad you shared this with all of us.
Simone ! I really enjoyed reading your blog entry. I like the mountain and stars image you've set and all the activities that we've done at those locations for the past couple of years. Great job!
You're blog literally left me speechless, it was soo good and I really like your writing style.
This post blew me away! I love your writing style and I loved everything about this post. You made me see success in a whole new light. Thanks for this!
Class of 2014! We’ve come a long way, crossed rivers, counted stars, and these will be our last minutes and our final evening.
They told us that high school wouldn’t be that much work. For those of us who took Summer school going into freshman year, I’m sure we can agree that “[we] love the way [they lied]” (1). It certainly wasn’t a “teenage dream” and I had hoped it was only “just a dream” (2, 3). Alas, it was real. Middle school really did end and the four year nightmare we call high school began.
Actually entering the school of four thousand was a huge transition; nothing was intimate anymore. It was a fresh start, and with every beginning to a new rpg, each of us had to ask ourselves, “What’s my name?” (4). Of course, making a new image isn’t easy. It cost a lot of time and energy to think of a style, and a lot of money for the eventual shopping spree. Going to the mall, telling the person, “Give me everything,” from the shirts, pants, all the way to the “pumped up kicks.” (5, 6). “Coming home,” our parents glared at how expensive our new clothes were, we told them “forget about the price tag,” because we believed it was worth it. “[Rolling] up”’ rocking a new style, wanting someone to turn “all of the lights,” turn up the “super bass,” because “the show goes on” and feeling like a “firework” was great. (9, 10, 11, 12, 13). “Yeah 3x,” the first few weeks of freshman year was a time to truly discover the unknown and feel like a “rocketeer.” (14, 15). But all good things must come to an end. We were “born this way,” so eventually we “didn’t feel like doing anything,” senioritis during freshman year and “[needed] a doctor” to cure our laziness (16, 17). After all, we still had three more years to go. But “we r who we r” and our anthem is “Party Rock” (18, 19). “Look at [us] now,” we’re really in high school (20).
Although we weren’t making any “headlines” yet, we at least finished our first year at AHS. (21). We made our mark with our “moves like Jagger,” and we were here to stay. (22). But with our greatness, I had a “good feeling” we were going to be the ones who could “set fire to the rain,” and rise so high that the school “[couldn’t] hold us” (23, 24, 25).
One fourth of the way there, sophomore year was the next step. “We [were] young, wild, and free,” “sexy and [we knew] it,” “wild ones” that were gonna’ make everyone “scream” (26/27, 28, 29, 30). “[Balled] so hard [deans wanted to] fine [us],” but “what [didn’t] kill [us] only [made us] stronger.” (31, 32). We carried on, all nighters staying “wide awake” so that when we could sleep, the sign would be up saying, “Don’t wake me up.” (33, 34). “[Worked] hard, [played harder],” that was “the motto” (35, 36). Not really, the real motto of course was YOLO. We finished the year strong because “starships are meant to fly” and although “it [would] rain,” we “[took] care” and it was alright. (37, 38, 39). So, the year that would feel like “a thousand years” was about to begin but “[we wouldn’t] give up;” we couldn’t give up. (40, 41)
Halfway through, this was the Summer with “summertime sadness.” (42). Still, we made the most of it, getting into our “swimming pools” while we could. (43). Maybe it was a time for change for some of us, but we were too broke from the freshman year spending spree. So we went to shop at the “thrift shop,” found a suit and developed our “Gangnam Style”(44, 45).
This year would be our darkest year, but we had to “shine bright like a diamond” (46). There were many “[stupid] problems,” that beat down on us and made us lose motivation. (47). We wanted someone to “just give [us] a reason” to keep going. (48). And so, turning on the radio, hearing the words “Don’t you worry child,” gave us the inspiration to carry on. (49). Late nights got later and we tried as hard as we could to maintain our “clarity” (50). Sometimes it go so late, we would hope that if we stayed up all night, we’d “get lucky” (51). One way or another, we survived, we were done with junior year. “Started from the bottom, now we here” (52).
The hard part was over. This year was about to begin. With it, we heard the “applause,” “[roared],” went “berzerk,” and “came in like a wrecking ball” (53, 54, 55, 56). This was going to be the “best [year] ever” (57).
The beginning of the end, senior year. Of course, I’m sure none of us expected it to be smooth sailing all the way through. Near the beginning we were presented with a “problem,” and a very difficult one at that if I may add. (58). One so hard that a whole “team” may not have been enough. (59). The dilemma we all faced was… Figuring out “what does the fox say” (60). Eventually we did it. We conquered “the monster,” “demons,” and a “dark horse.” (61, 62, 63). And so, I’ve given “all of me” and y’all have given “all of you,” so let’s get ready to enjoy our “Summer” (64, 65). The most important thing to remember now is to “let it go,” and be “happy” (66, 67). Let today be “the best day of [our lives]” thus far. (68).
Do you feel old yet?
1. Love The Way You Lie-Eminem 2. Teenage Dream-Katy Perry 3. Just a Dream-Nelly 4. What’s My Name?-Rihanna 5. Give Me Everything-Pitbull 6. Pumped Up Kicks-Foster the People 7. Coming Home-Diddy 8. Price Tag-Jessie J 9. Roll Up-Wiz Khalifa 10. All of the Lights-Kanye West 11. Super Bass-Nicki Minaj 12. The Show Goes On-Lupe Fiasco 13. Firework-Katy Perry 14. Yeah 3x-Chris Brown 15. Rocketeer-Far East Movement 16. The Lazy Song-Bruno Mars 17. I Need a Doctor-Dr. Dre 18. We R Who We R-Ke$ha 19. Party Rock Anthem-LMFAO 20. Look At Me Now-Chris Brown 21. Headlines-Drake 22. Moves Like Jagger-Maroon 5 23. Good Feeling-Flo Rida 24. Set Fire to the Rain-Adele 25. Can’t Hold Us-Macklemore 26/27. We Are Young-Fun/Young, Wild, and Free-Wiz Khalifa 28. Sexy and I Know It-LMFAO 29. Wild Ones-Flo Rida 30. Scream-Usher 31. [Fella’s] in Paris-Jay Z 32. Stronger-Kelly Clarkson 33. Wide Awake-Katy Perry 34. Don’t Wake Me Up-Chris Brown 35. Work Hard, Play Hard-Wiz Khalifa 36. The Motto-Drake 37. Starships-Nicki Minaj 38. It Will Rain-Bruno Mars 39. Take Care-Drake 40. A Thousand Years-Christina Perri 41. I Won’t Give Up-Jason Mraz 42. Summertime Sadness 43. Swimming Pools-Kendrick Lamar 44. Thrift Shop-Macklemore 45. Gangnam Style-PSY 46. Diamonds-Rihanna 47. [Stupid] Problems-A$AP Rocky 48. Just Give Me a Reason-P!nk 49. Don’t You Worry Child-Swedish House Mafia 50. Clarity-Zedd 51. Get Lucky-Daft Punk 52. Started From The Bottom-Drake 53. Applause-Lady GaGa 54. Roar-Katy Perry 55. Berzerk-Eminem 56. Wrecking Ball-Miley Cyrus 57. Best Song Ever-One Direction 58. Problem-Ariana Grande 59. Team-Lorde 60. The Fox-Ylvis 61. The Monster-Rihanna 62. Demons-Imagine Dragons 63. Dark Horse-Katy Perry 64. All of Me-John Legend 65. Summer-Calvin Harris 66. Let It Go-Idina Menzel 67. Happy-Pharrell Williams 68. The Best Day of My Life-American Authors
I've never read something of yours that was written like this, so I like the change of pace, but I think you really like lyrics? Even when we met up, you kept pulling lyrics out. This post was definitely enjoyable. I'd have to say it's probably in my top 3 favorite posts of yours. Yes I have multiple ones. Great post!
Hope your party was fun!
This sure was a.... different blog than your other ones... Well nonetheless it was a great read, although I think my eyes started hurting when I kept seeing parentheses!
Not at all, Bryan. Not at all.
That was an impressive post Byran. I liked it. Kudos to you.
That was an interesting post...but i liked it! It had an interesting format then your previous blogs but i cant help but want to read it still. Great post!
I loved your post Bryan, and thank goodness this year is almost done.
Oh Bryan...you never fail to amuse me. The way you formatted this blog is definitely one worth remembering and keeping as a memory for the future. When you look back at this, I think you'll feel proud of what you've done. Great blog anyway!
I had a great deal of trouble getting to sleep when I was younger. My bedtime routine required a story before bed, an illuminated closet, a nightlight, and a Cinderella music box. I had nightmares a lot. I would sit up in bed, chest heaving and heart racing, terrified. I spent many nights running down the hall to my parents’ room to sleep on the edge of their bed.
I still have nightmares, but not nearly as often. I no longer make the trek to my parents’ room, and I am a lot better at getting back to sleep-even when my heart is threatening to beat out of my chest.
I was diagnosed with Supraventricular Tachycardia the summer before fourth grade. In my case, SVT is caused by an extra nerve on the heart. When my heart rate became too accelerated from exercise or adrenaline, the electrical circuit would reroute to pass through the extra nerve and cause my heart to beat between 250-280 times in a minute.
One night a few months after I was diagnosed, I was helping to empty the car after a beach trip. I was alone on the driveway in the dark. Something moved out of the corner of my eye, and I glanced over. There was a coyote standing in the bushes of my yard a few feet away. I was terrified.
There was enough adrenaline in my system to push me over into an episode. My parents sat me on the couch, and I began the deep breathing that I had been taught. “Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax your body one part at a time-starting with your feet and moving upward.”
I tried everything I could to calm down that night, but nothing worked. My body was being contorted by fear. I begged my parents to take me to the hospital, to do something to stop the hurting and panic, but there was nothing to be done at the hospital that couldn’t be done at home. I tried to breathe. My father massaged one side of carotid artery to slow blood flow to my brain. I dunked my face in ice water until I was purple. The hands on the clock continued to move around-making this my longest episode by far. Finally it slowed.
After that night, I spent my days avoiding chocolate, caffeine, exercise, and fear. I never wanted to be alone because I was terrified that my heart would begin acting up.
Soon after, I went to see a cardiologist again. He referred me to a surgeon at LA Children’s. A few months after that, I was waking up in the hospital crying, one less nerve in my body.
I am coming to a bend in the river, and I can’t see what comes next.
Very soon there will be no minutes and evenings left. We will be done.
And I am afraid.
Last summer my church took a trip to San Diego for a long weekend. On the first afternoon,one of the middle school boys was stung by a stingray. It wasn’t a horrible sting, but it was bad enough to have all of us weary of the water. The rest of that afternoon, people pointed out stingrays as they swam.
I spent hours on the sand convincing myself that I could be happy without ever touching the water. We walked along the shallowest parts where waves break, but I really wanted to swim. Eventually I gave in. I picked up a board from the sand and waded as deep as I dared before jumping out onto it. My feet never touched the floor.
Eventually some of the others on the sand paddled out to join me. We floated out beyond where the waves break, bobbing up and down in the calm water. We held each others’ hands to avoid drifting apart and scoured the sea floor for stingrays. The water was deep enough that it was near impossible to see the sandy bottom, but we kept our legs bobbing on the surface all the same. Occasionally someone would slip off their board and a round of screaming would ensue as they scrambled to right themselves.
We watched the sunlight dance on the water and chatted idly. School was just around the corner, and I was met with equal parts anxiety and excitement over the final installment of high school. That day felt like a stretched out rubber band, aimed to shoot. You know its going to snap, but before it does, everything feels stretched out and slow. Time seemed to disappear, just as the shore ebbed in and out of view as waves crashed in front of us.
I was absolutely terrified the entire time we were on the water. Every little sway of the ocean or brush of someone else’s foot left me terrified that I was about to be stung. Yet even in the midst of this fear, I was utterly content and at peace.
I am afraid to fail and to disappoint. I am afraid to pack up my room and move to a new place. I am afraid to walk across a platform when my name is called and dive into a new life.
I am afraid that one morning I will wake up to find a glass full of water under my bed. I am afraid to love people who may leave. I am afraid that everyone will realize that I don’t have it all together. I am afraid that the memory hole will suck up the things that I hold most dear.
I am afraid to spend the rest of my life so paralyzed by fear.
In the past, I always wrote what teachers wanted to hear. If an English teacher expressed an opinion of a book, I regurgitated it in writing. Fear of low grades and teachers disliking me drove me to always say the right thing.
On the first day of this class, I promised myself I wouldn’t do that anymore. It’s a promise that I have mostly kept. In some ways, I have surpassed it. I knew that I wanted to share my faith, but I never imagined having the courage to share my doubt. I didn’t think that I would dust off my memory and write true things. I didn’t think that I would come to understand myself in a new way.
I was afraid of this class at the start. Regardless of this fear, I began with great expectations-one of them being to shed the part of me that was tinged with cowardice.
I wanted so desperately to be brave, but in hindsight it seems a bit silly. I will not wake up one morning freed from all fear. Bravery isn’t a switch that can be turned on at a moment’s notice. I’m beginning to learn that most things worth having and being are not instantaneous. I’ve done so many courageous things in the course of this school year, but it’s not because I’ve suddenly become brave. It’s because I finally decided to stop waiting for the fear to leave.
I am terrified, and I bet that a lot of you are too. We will continue to be afraid for the rest of our lives, but that fear doesn’t have to have the last word.
Be afraid, but do the brave things anyway.
Make mistakes and learn from them.
Find people who love you as you are and love them in return.
Do the things that bring you joy.
MacKenzie, this was beautiful as always! I love how this post came with a story as well as a lessons that tied together in the best way possible. We all fear so much the future has to offer, but as long as we can learn from those fears and gather the courage to overcome them, we can defeat anything.
"I am coming to a bend in the river, and I can’t see what comes next. Very soon there will be no minutes and evenings left. We will be done. And I am afraid," was probably my favorite line from your post. Thank you for writing this, and great job!
MacKenzie, this was beautiful as always! I love how this post came with a story as well as a lessons that tied together in the best way possible. We all fear so much the future has to offer, but as long as we can learn from those fears and gather the courage to overcome them, we can defeat anything.
"I am coming to a bend in the river, and I can’t see what comes next. Very soon there will be no minutes and evenings left. We will be done. And I am afraid," was probably my favorite line from your post. Thank you for writing this, and great job!
I agree. Sometimes we have to push through our fears, and be braver than usual. Its how we become who we are as individuals.
Life is all about challenges and as we grow up we ll need to have the courage to push past it. Great post! very relatable.
Mackenzie! Your blog could be spotted out of the list easily. You've turned in excellent stuff all year and I'm proud of what you've achieved!
As I am working on the "Mystery Project X" I have come accross and read every single one of your blogs. Although I do not really know you, your blogs definitely demonstrate how full of wisdom and kindness you are. Everything you write is beautiful (and by looking at all the comments, I'm not the only one who thinks so) and definitely worth reading. Your blogs take me on beautiful journeys that have happened in your life and I never find myself wanting to scroll through or skip to the end (which is really rare). My favorite story is when you talked about your beautiful old home, and how much of a struggle it was to adjuct to a new home. I also loved how you made yourself vulnerable and talked about times when you've doubted your faith. You made me realize it's ok to have doubt, as everyone needs it to strengthen (or shake up) our faith and refine more intricately who we are. You are also SO open with talking about God!
Thank you for sharing everything you have with us. Your words are gifts that have really affected me so greatly. Keep growing. you are so strong and wise NOW, I can only imagine what the future has in store for you.
Thank you so much for your kind words! I really appreciate it!!
I really like how you how a story and a comment under it. Your posts always amaze me and they are just wonderful. Nice post
-Just my luck.
-Why does it always happen to me?
- This isn’t fair!
- I shouldn’t have said anything in the first place.
-If only I hadn’t done that.
- If that hadn’t happened my life would have been different.
The thing is do you really want your life to be different? Think about it, just for a second. Would you really go back and change it? After all the hard work we’ve done all the battles that have already been fought. Do you want to lose that?
We wouldn’t be the adults we are today without the past. I am sure that every one of us can think back to a time where you screwed up. You did something stupid, something that could have easily been avoided if you had just done something else. I know I have. I have done some of the stupidest things known to mankind (ask my girlfriend, she will confirm it). When I think about what I have done, I feel embarrassed, guilty, stupid, and ashamed. I regret some of the decisions I’ve made. I wish I had realized just how much of an idiot I was for ruining something that was once a great thing.
Sometimes that is all I think about. I feel like I am a horrible person. When I think about everything I’ve done in the past, I feel like the world would be a better place without me. People would be happier if I hadn’t come along and screwed it up for them. These were thoughts that were swimming through my head, all of freshman and sophomore year. Those were some really low points in my life.
Then Junior year came around. I was starting to realize who my true friends were. Without them I would be nothing.
My mom has always been my biggest supporter. She’s helped guide me through my life so far. The best advice she has ever given me was to just let it go. Let go of what happened in the past, don’t forget it, but don’t let it control you.
After that talk, my life took a turn for the better. Things got a lot brighter, and I started to enjoy life more. Instead of wallowing in the things I couldn’t change, I just let it go.
I have just started to realize just how good of a life I have. I have an amazing family, amazing friends, and I am lucky enough to be able to say that my best friend is also my girlfriend. Now I am a senior. I am graduating (hopefully) in two weeks, I’m going to my first choice college, and I’ll be able to play soccer there. Life could not get any better.
If there is anything that I have learned in my four years of high school, it’s that everything happens for a reason.
Nothing happens on accident, nobody can predict the future, but you have to trust in the universe. Everything happens for a reason.
I used to always ponder the same questions you did. Nowadays, I still do it sometimes, but a lot less often. It's much easier to let go than to continuously rub the stains in our memories.
I can really relate to you when you say your mom is your biggest support, my mom is too. I really liked your post, great job!
I completely agree Mike, things do happen for a reason. I've also had similar thoughts about how unlucky and regretful I am about my past, but that's all part of life. We need to move on to never make the same mistakes again. Overall, great job Mike!
Here’s what my first great expectation of the end of senior year would be:
“By the time I leave in June, I really hope I change for the better. I want to be someone inspirational and brave, so I can go out into the world and pursue my dreams, something I am so afraid of doing now. I want to have a positive outlook on life, so that even in my lows, I don’t feel so depressed. But most importantly, I want to have found my true self and be certain of who I am and what I want to do because right now I think I only know half of the real me. If I can at least become certain of who I am, my wish of having the best Senior year ever would be granted in an instant.”
How interesting and energetic I sound. This version of myself seems so distant that it’s almost depressing. Where did all that energy go? Did it fade as I matured? Is that what it means to “grow up?” Now that I’m at the end, I’m not sure how I feel. In one hand, I’m ecstatic that I’ve made it, but on the other hand, how much did I sacrifice on the journey here? Truth is, that doesn’t really matter anymore because I’m here. No point in dwelling on the past. All I can do now is hope to build a better future. Perhaps what I’m perceiving as a lack of excitement is really just my drive mellowing out, becoming more accurate as I mature. I hope that that’s what it is because I’m just beginning. I can’t - excuse me - I won’t stop living just yet.
I haven’t seen the where the River leads me. My Inquiring Mind Wants to Know, and Will the Future Blame me for trying? All I’m trying to do is Search for a Former Clarity because I know With Love We Will Survive. Even if I’m not an Angel After All, I Never Want them to know The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows. You know, my Revenge Therapy? If I could just keep that down, maybe I could finally find out: Is This Where I End, or Is This Where We Begin? Because I want to Make Islands Where No Islands Should Go. After all, we’ve outlived the Doomsday and the Echo that Our Heads Are Spinning Around just a little too fast. But we’re still growing because I’m still learning How to Win Friends and Influence People...But Not in This Lifetime will I learn to be ungrateful. I can’t. It’s not who I am. From This Soil, We’ve Grown Together, ready to take on the world like Sparks Against the Sun.
So here’s to us and all of our dreams to be. Here’s to Our Last Days as Children and to the up and coming new days as changers of a growing world. Let’s Pick Up old Pieces so as not to forget our past, but not allow it to dictate our future either, and let’s show the world what we know we are all capable of.
It’s time for a change.
Congratulations to the Class of 2014!
Honestly, what would I do without you? I would not be who I am today had I never met you that fateful day in sixth grade. You know everything I’ve been through, and as of prom, I literally mean everything, and you still choose to hang out with this derp - I’m not even sure if I would hang out with myself. As I write this, so many memories are flooding my mind that I don’t even know where to begin. All I can think of is thank you. Thanks for listening to me debate to myself about whether or not I should break up with someone. Thank you for picking the restaurant when we go out to eat. Thank you for giving me your leftover lunches. Thank you for being available at all hours of the night. Thank you for giving me confidence. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for accepting everything about me. Thank you for telling me that I am worth something and that I will succeed in whichever path I choose. Thank you for believing in me when I didn’t even believe in myself. There is no measure for how much I love you, but if I could give more than a life, I would in less than a heartbeat. You’re my Anna banana - we’re sisters to infinity and beyond.
Between us, I can’t think of a more memorable moment than the one that kick started this year. I’m so grateful to have you back in my life, so grateful to be given a second chance to build a friendship that I know will last more than a lifetime, just so grateful. When life seemed too tough to handle, you were there. When I felt like I wouldn’t survive, you were there. When I simply needed someone to hold me, you were there. I appreciate everything about you and all you have done for me. You made an island for me when the going got rough, and although all of our cards end up saying the same thing, I’ll never grow tired of repeating myself. Thank you. I love you.
I’m sorry I lied to you. I told you that I wouldn’t make things awkward between us, but I should have seen it coming the moment you said, “sorry, but…” I thought I was strong enough to handle the pain, but here I am - nearly four months later - and it still stings to see you doing things with someone else that you once only did with me. It still stings when I hear a song that brings up a memory of an abandoned past. It still stings because I know I can never go back to the time where silence between us was not awkward or full of tension but comfortable.
It’s kind of foolish how fast I fell for you. Tom knows what I’m talking about. The differences between our expectations and realities could not have been more similar, but that’s not the point of all this. I started this year, floating down a river, rather lost, searching for a former clarity, and you helped me find some stable ground. You knew first hand exactly what I was going through (coming to terms with myself), and you made it so I didn’t have to go through it alone. With a little bit of love, I survived, and I just wanted to say thank you - for everything - and as sour as things are now, I’m sure a time will come again where our moments of silence will mean more than a thousand words . Until then, good luck in San Diego!
Francine, Francis, Jeh…
It’s funny how distance can bring two people together. Had you gone to an even closer college, I don’t think I would have developed the habit of holding onto a week’s worth of memories just to dig them up again for sharing when you’d come home at the end of the week. You know me the best - as indicated by my define me project - and I wouldn't have it any other way. Daddy may not see the great potential you have, but I've seen it all along. You are my role model. You’re so strong: physically, mentally, and emotionally. I only hope that one day I’ll be lucky enough to develop a fourth of the assets you have. I know this year has been rough, but in the end, we've both come out stronger than ever before. Please trust me, as much as you can, when I say I’m sorry. Never before have I regret something so much. I don’t think I ever actually formally apologized for my actions - I just let you interpret my silence for an apology because I was too afraid and too distraught to make words out of the pain I was feeling. But I’m okay now, and as I go into the future, it’s time to tie up the loose ends of my past. I’ll stand by my word, for what it’s worth now, because nothing is worth losing your confidence. I know it’s a due I can’t pay, but just know that I’ll be working to get as close as possible. Thank you, but above all else, thank you for loving me.
“The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
Phillip, Pillup, Hia...
Like sparks against the sun, your passion for life burns brighter than the darkest flames - I guess that’s the reason why you are in my personal statement and senior presentation. I mean there never seems to be enough laughter in the air when you’re home, and when I think about our relationship, all that comes to mind is your pearly white teeth, your weird noises, and your slits that you call eyes. Seriously, can you please keep them open for graduation? But in all seriousness, even my favorite memory of us is one of laughter. Do you remember what you said to me when I came out to you in the car? We were driving on Las Tunas, on the way home, and you hadn't said a word for nearly two blocks. I was scared - I mean silence is extremely frightening, especially in context - but the next words that touched the air could not have made me happier. “Did you really think I thought you were straight?” I’ll never forget that moment because I think it does a pretty good job of summing up our relationship. Even in dead serious situations, you can still find a way to make me laugh. I know I've never told you this, but you make my life brighter in a way that only you are capable of. Thanks bro.
Mommy, mommy, mommy, mama, mama, mama, mom, mom, mom…
Yes. I know I’m annoying, but I've only got a little under 4 months left to annoy you this often. (Insert obnoxious face here) These are my last days as a child, and I just want you to know that you should be proud - not of me necessarily - but of yourself, like I am of you. You voluntarily chose to take on the most difficult job on Earth, and you have performed splendidly because your kids could not be any happier or prouder or more grateful than to have you as our mommy.
P.S. Thanks for always feeding me - especially after practices!
“Ten thousand hours felt like ten thousand hands,
ten thousand hands, they carry me”
5,000 of those hands were probably yours and yours alone - always picking me up after each fall and always pushing me forward with your hopes - and now that it’s time to let me go, I just want you to know that you don’t have to worry because you've made me strong. Because of you, I feel confident that I’ll be able to withstand the punches life will inevitably throw at me. Because of you, I feel confident that even if life knocks me down, I’ll get back up stronger and smarter than before. Because of you, the future does not freak me out (as much).
“The greatest gift you can present someone is your time because you are giving a portion of your life that you will never get back.”
So here’s to you: thank you for giving me the greatest gift known to man and I hope I've made and will make you proud.
Katie (FOOD BUDDY)
I wanted my last year to be the best year, and now that we’re at the end, I can say that you are one of the reasons why it is so. I never would have thought that I would befriend someone so awesome so late into high school but that just comes to show how life is always full of surprises. You are so sensible and down to Earth that I feel like we've known each other for more than a year. I just want to say thank you for such a memorable year, and I look forward to all the memories that have yet to be made (ex. late night taco runs). Good luck at Santa Barbara. Let’s show the world what great “flippers” we are.
Amanda (a.k.a. my white girl!)
It honestly sucks that we are not in the same grade because I can’t help but feel sad knowing that, sooner rather than later, distance will get the better of us and things can’t possibly be the same anymore. As it is bound to happen, I just want you to know that I will be bugging you a lot this summer to maximize our “last” days together. Hopefully, they aren't really our last because, quite frankly, I think I would be mad that you’d just drop me after all that we've been through. From the emotional bus rides to those ridiculously long letters, you saved me with your humor, kindness, and maturity. I am proud to be your sister from another mister, and I wish you the best of luck with your last year. May Feraco make it as memorable for you as he has made it for me. (Hi Feraco, meet girl #1 who should be in your classes next year!)
Baby giraffe!! Could you please stay on your feet next year? I know you’re strong enough, but in all seriousness, I am also extremely proud of how far you’ve come; basketball-wise and academically. You are by far the loudest, most crazy junior I know, but that’s what makes me love you even more. I look forward to having my brother’s car in the summer, so we can finally go on those food adventures that we've been talking about since my sophomore year! Good luck in your future endeavors, and just know, no matter how bad it gets, if you need somebody, I’m only a phone call away.
Although I only met you a couple of days ago (talk about late), you are extremely entertaining, and you make me even more eager to go up to Davis to meet new people. I look forward to all the adventures (outdoor adventures I mean - what were you thinking…) and making new memories to last a lifetime. Let’s be crazy awesome together - GO AGGIES!
Oh my gosh Jacklyn your post brought me to tears, especially when I started reading your little letters to people. I love how you incorporated all the titles and nicknames you've given to your siblings (and your mom)! It's been a great being able to read your posts.
Jacklyn, I really liked your blog post this week too because it reminded me of myself and growing up. We've known each other for so long now and I'm sure this isn't how we imagined ourselves to be as kids. But for better or worse, this is who we are now and we can only work towards an even better future. The posts you have to the people important to you are nice. Too bad, you know, I'm not on that list. But that's okay! Maybe some day. Great job on your blog!
Jacklyn, I really love how you at the end of the school year finally trying to seek out the true self. Although it's what we were doing the past few years, I am really happy to see you finally strike out and make the connection between you and your love ones.
Yeah i agree. I can see remember my style of thinking back in freshmen year. "just try to Ace everything and you'll be alright" I was also naive back then. Our styles of thinking has completely changed within our four years here at Arcadia High. Your blog was very emotional, great job!
p.s. it felt like i was intruding on your life by reading your personal messages to your close friends and families, but it was very sweet of you to do so
I liked how you wrote something for the people you care about, including class of 2014!! I have to agree on what Cindy said about you incorporating the nicknames of the people you were writing to, like your mom. (I think it's from Family Guy) I also liked how you didn't care about what people thought and you just wrote the little notes to them. Sorry if I don't make sense. Great post!
[Editor’s Note: The smiley faces and heart signs were causing the blog to glitch, so I replaced them with (smiley face) and (heart sign).]
The Last Blog
Throughout the year, we’ve been growing as a class and as individuals to become more aware and conscious of the world around us. We were taught to think and to reflect upon our choices, lives, decisions, and our life as it is today. We’ve been pushed to understand and know.
I can’t tell you how many times Feraco has encouraged us to pursue knowledge and understanding in order to grow as individuals.
I really hope you all have learned as much as I have from what this class has had to offer.
One thing still bugs me about this class though.
Why is it so important to know?
I asked this in my previous blog, but it was too difficult for me to convey what I was trying to say. I think I’ll do a better job this time.
What I’m trying to say is why is knowing better than not knowing?
Note: I’m not trying to bring up 1984’s Ignorance is Strength slogan into this.
Of course there are exceptions to my questions. Knowledge obviously must be applied to receive the correct amount of change from the cashier and in general, just to live a normal life. But should we always choose to know something that we don’t necessarily have to? Is it better to know?
A stroke left the grandfather paralyzed from the neck down. One day one of his grandsons came by to visit with him. The grandfather asked him how old he was and what he most desired in life. The grandson replied that what he most wanted was for the next ten years to pass by immediately so that he would know what had happened in his life. The grandfather told him that he was very stupid and cut off the conversation. The grandson did not understand why he had called him stupid until he turned thirty.
Rivera brings an interesting thought to the table with this vignette. Rivera uses motifs such as faith and knowledge in order to make us think more deeply about our desires. When the mother in ‘What she never knew’ blindly believed in a deity, it was not so much faith that drove her to continue doing her duty, but the desire for security and the existence of such a God (a la A Silvery Night) so that she could carry on with her sub-par life (a la She had fallen asleep).
I believe Rivera was trying to highlight the hard lives of the Chicanos, but at the same time I also believe that he’s trying to tell us that we don’t need to know everything to be good people.
And that sometimes knowledge is not power.
A kiss goodbye for a very special senior!
I’ve never received those birthday grams or whatever from school, so I was very shocked when Feraco had given me my very first one today. 6/2/2014
“Craig, it doesn’t feel that long ago that you were a sophomore in my art class, but it’s been awhile. We’ve been through so much! But everything was memorable (smiley face), especially prom (heart sign) and the way you asked me. Thanks for having such a big influence on my high school life, and encouraging me to never give up. Next year, I am determined to live in your legacy in Search for Human Potential ;P. I feel like you’ve watched me change and grow throughout the years as a mentor, so I will miss you!!! Visit all the time (heart sign)”
I had the weirdest impression on my face after I had finished reading it. I didn’t know what to think and what to feel. At the time I was too confused to feel concretely happy or glad.
Upon further reflection, I still haven’t figured out what I did to make a great impact on Nicole’s life, but I’m glad I did so in a positive way.
I wonder how many other lives I’ve touched by going out of my way to do the small things that I do and why I haven’t heard from them if I had.
It takes guts to tell someone what she told me. It’s probably not the most comfortable feeling to let someone know about how much they appreciate you for just being you (unless there’s something specifically she’s talking about).
For the most part, it’s a good feeling – just knowing that you’ve done a great job at being yourself and that being yourself has changed someone’s life for the better.
But I also feel curious. I want to know exactly what it is I’ve done to make her feel that way; to make her feel impelled to write me that note. I think that if I knew, I’d attempt to replicate the same behavior for the sake of helping other people.
But maybe it’s best that I don’t know. I think realizing the truth would make those actions artificial.
If I don’t know what is about me that inspires, my inspiration is untainted and real.
I’m glad that I don’t know.
We don’t need to know how to change the world or how to change another’s life. We need only to strive to be the best people we can be. Comforting a friend, donating to charity, letting someone cut you off in your lane, letting pedestrians walk, and reaching out to strangers are steps we take to changing this world. Do not ever forget that you too, are a part of this world.
So change yours!
finally, an opportunity where I can comment on yours ahaha
I'm glad you learned a lot about this class. It's interesting because the things we learn in this class is much different from what we learn in other classes. That's because we aren't straightforwardly taught a set amount of things or facts, and that it's more a class of exploration and expression, and so we all learn something different.
As for knowledge, I don't know if it is better to know or not. Depending on the situation, sometimes I think not-knowing is better, because when you know, when you have more knowledge and intelligence, the way you previously live life will no longer seem so acceptable, because you'll see problems, you'll understand the problems unlike others, and you'll see a possible route for change and feel a desire to do something about it.
Though if we use our knowledge to incite change, and fail to change to the better, it would be frustrating. Without knowledge, we would be otherwise satisfied and accepting of our previous way of life and our helplessness to certain suffering. Sometimes it's better to just accept it rather than live in frustration of knowing and not being able to change the situation. (I've come to this conclusion mainly after reading Fredrick Douglass's story about his experience with slavery, because the reason why people try to prevent slaves from learning and reading is because with that ability to acquire knowledge and think for themselves, they will no longer be satisfied with their situation and desire change. Either they will take action, or they will forever live frustrating lives - and not everyone succeeds in taking action unfortunately, we have to consider that, as depressing as it is. So sometimes it's better to stay unknowing.)
We know good is subjective. Sometimes, we think of innocence as good. People who know way more than others can be good as well, because they know how to be wise and how to choose, but with knowledge comes the ability to do harm with it, but at the same time with ignorance, you can do harm without realizing it. Maybe it's better to know what you are doing wrong. But if you do wrong without knowing you are doing wrong, I don't consider that to be bad necessarily. So anyway, my conclusion is that I don't think the level of knowledge tells you how good a person is, but rather how they act relative to their level of knowledge.
With that being said, thanks letting me know you, at least slightly this year (although I have not approached you since I've honestly been rather fearful of you haha)
You've been an interesting person, and I say that is how you've been able to influence people, by making people reflect upon themselves as they try to figure out how to respond to you and that too is how you ended up inspiring change in others as well.
I hope you too will continue to live up to all the great things you've said in your blog, and I like how you say we're all part of this world, because I like the idea of community and consideration of the world as a whole in relation to the individual.
Anyway, thanks for sharing, I've always been rather curious of how your life is like and how you thought haha.
Ultimately, so what is your conclusion about the importance of obtaining knowledge (and if it is better)? And what would you do about that conclusion?
I always adore your posts, rather than just words, they are the feelings that you are trying to express. I really like your freestyle structure. Nice post
At last, it’s the end…The end of the long haul that we spent years of trying to get through with our friends, family, and most importantly, ourselves.
I’m pretty sure we can all say that we’ve changed. That we’ve matured and grown older. That we like to say we’re done, but we’re not done just yet. That we want this to never end, but it’s ending. Later on, we’ll look back at this and wonder, “is that what I really wanted to say” or “is that what I really said?”
When we move on to college, I’m pretty sure we will miss the old times at heart and would like to relive them. Sometimes, it’s better if we do miss it because we will remember what about our past made a difference to us and about us. Sometimes, it’s better if we don’t miss it because we don’t want to remember the dark past that consumes our motivation, our determination, our perseverance. Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether we do remember them or not. They helped shape us who we are now.
If it’s a time for nostalgia, then let me tell you a story, my story.
As many of you know (or none of you), I’m the type of person who doesn’t like to step out and take attention. I stay in the shadows and observe people, how they act, how they dress, how they talk, how to fit in to this strange society that no person can really describe because of the many directions it splits in. I make friends by “allowing” people to approach me. I don’t approach people unless I know his or her name and something interesting about him or her. As time passed, I started to see more of the light through my eyes but more of the dark through my mind.
From freshman year, I marked people who I came to know now, people who I will not name here because their name are of no importance here and engraved into my mind and heart. They made a difference in my life. They shined a light into the darkness that I lived in. Freshman year was a breeze for me. I’m fast at adapting to new environments and learning people’s names. It wasn’t a big deal to transition. The summer after freshman year came and I met three of the people I come to treasure now and [maybe] always. My seat partner and I at the time, since we were friends and only knew each other, hung out, played games, did homework together, and in the end we got through summer biology together. The summer course ended and we parted our ways and never talked to each other again.
I generally find girls much more interesting to talk to despite the drama they throw out. It’s pretty intriguing and interesting about the way they interacted me, like they trusted me when they barely even knew me. Time passed, I only really talked to one person in junior year. We were best friends, and we got each other to do things that we didn’t really want to do yet enjoyed doing anyway. I got her to come with me to a carnival as easily as she got me to go with her to go to winter retreat for our churches. Since we didn’t really realize we went to the same type of church, we thought it’d be interesting if we hung out and had fun together, which we did. Yet somehow, I’m the type of person to easily mess up something and that’s what I did. I messed up something. I messed up our friendship. It was President’s Day weekend and I had planned to go to the choir show since I didn’t really want to hang out with my true friends at heart. I had just met a person in Harmonix and thought it’d be interesting to hear her sing. However, my friend got me to go because I was the only person she really trusted among me and my friends.
I ended up changing that day. I hurt someone through powerful, stinging words. I stopped going to school and transferred out. It was the only thing I could do. I didn’t want to be around anyone anymore. I was unstable. At times now, I’m still unstable. There are times when I’m being lectured that my fists clench up (hint that I’m unstable), my tone darkens, and I tell people to leave me alone. I went to a psychiatrist as I went to a different school. My psychiatrist really did try her best to help me, and I was finally [kind of] back to normal.
It’s senior year. People don’t recognize me. People don’t know me. Some realize that I disappeared junior year. Some knew the story about me. Some accepted me and cared that I came back. Those who realized that I disappeared asked me what happened. Those who didn’t really know about me asked me questions of anything interesting and I told them this story. I always feel bad when people see the wrong side of me, yet they rarely do because I’m so controlled in public. Only a few recognize when I’m having “a moment”. After all I’ve been through, something completely unexpected happened to me. Someone who I didn’t really know started saying hi to me and talking to me. She started hanging out at the place where I sat for lunch and I came to like the attention that she would give me. Eventually, as though we were waiting for it since we’ve been talking about it, we got into a relationship. It was a first for me….a first for the new me.
See? There are times worth missing. There are times that aren’t worth missing. There are people worth missing. There are people worth caring for. There the end is, right in front of us with the parting between us and our close friends. Time will pass, and we might see them all again.
I always wanted to hear the story of your sudden disappearance last year but I didn't want to pry, so thanks for quenching my curiosity! And really, I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to be alone from people for a while. Sometimes we just need the space and time to think or just relax.
for some reason your Beginning reminds me of a game I used to play, I am not sure what the name it was -.- but I love your writing.
I don't actually know you and I'm sorry that we've never had the chance to meet, but I feel like I do after reading your story. I admire you for sharing this with everyone and I'm glad that you're better now! I'm so happy that you've found a better path for yourself in returning to Arcadia High School!
The way I have been working in high school didn’t work.
Even though I was lucky enough to go to reputable Arcadia High School for my junior and senior years, I was never very excited about getting to school in the morning.
While I was there, I didn’t feel much appreciated—maybe on a handful of occasions.
Lured by all the modern distractions, I found it difficult to get any schoolwork accomplished.
Also, I didn’t believe that anything I was doing made much of a difference anyway.
By the time I got home, I was already exhausted—and I hadn’t even begun the hours of homework yet.
Rarely could I focus on anything.
In all, high school has been a depleting, dispiriting experience.
I am burned out.
Maybe I can summon the energy to figure out what has gone so wrong with the so-called “best years” of my life.
First, the competitiveness: every week it seemed to get more intense.
The only time I felt valued and appreciated for my contributions were the moments when I knew I was being ripped off—when classmates were counting on me to do most or all of the work for them.
I almost never felt I had a chance to become absorbed in “important” learning. I just raced to finish what had been assigned. In school, I was like a slab of marble: tough enough so most experiences just slid off, without leaving a mark.
Although I know many of the teachers tried to let me do work in a format I enjoyed most (trees, PowerPoint, scrapbook), this didn’t really increase my engagement. Or lower my stress.
There was virtually no time to recharge. I just slept (literally) through whatever moments were available.
I was, and remain, unconnected to the higher purpose of education—enlightenment.
But graduation is the time for new understandings.
Now I think in high school I worked too much—so easy to do, so widely reinforced, at Arcasia.
In my end-of-year daze, if I am remembering correctly, the more I worked, the worse I felt.
From kindergarten, parents and school teach us that we are supposed to achieve at a high level, and that we must work very, very hard to get there. It was a message repeated year after year, but especially in high school, where everything “counts.”
But actually... now I think this is stupid. The propaganda—excellence = maximum achievement + maximum effort—is completely upside down. This formula has driven me nuts! And made me think that I can never do enough. This crazy-making has taught me that I can never, and will never, be able to do enough: no matter how superior my achievements, I could have always put in more effort, couldn’t I?
So here’s my plan for maturing at college: maximum achievement with minimum effort.
Educationally, that’s a real stretch, isn’t it?
Sorry it took so long for me to reply, but nonetheless, here it is! It honestly hurt to read this post. No one should compare themselves to a slab of marble (very vivid depiction by the way so props to you). In the end, your post just makes me wish I had met you sooner. High school was definitely full of ups and downs for me, but it turned out alright because my friends and family helped me through it. Had I met you sooner, I'm sure we'd be better friends than we are now, but that's not to say that we can't still be friends? We have a whole summer ahead of us, and although I was rather disturbed by all your fun facts in your presentation, maybe we can go out to eat sometime to get better acquainted. Just hit me up sometime - I look forward to it!
Way to throw it down Nadiah!
Hey Nadiah! Your blog this week was really interesting. I've faced a lot of similar feelings. I've so caught up with the competition and the stress of high standards that I lost sight of myself. I think you just really need to focus on the good you bring and the things you've achieved. Dont lose sight because your worth and effort cannot be characrerized by anyone else but you! Great post!
Nadiah, great blog. I totally understand what you're trying to say about all the competition here. Sometimes I feel like people don't even care anymore about knowledge, they just want to 'learn' whatever will make them seem like their better than the others.
I'm really feeling what you're bringing in this blog about competition. Great post and style!
Summer of 2010, Music Camp, Idyllwild-Pine
Across the street of the camp, there was an elementary school. We all sat down at the bleachers of the softball field. I was a freshman, well technically, not even a freshman yet, a freshman-to-be. I remember the instructor giving us a pep talk, he wasn’t a permanent instructor. He was more of a “guest star” instructor. He talked a lot that day, but only one thing stuck with me.
“Instead of saying you are NOT going to fail, say that you ARE going to succeed. Make it happen.”
They mean the same thing, but the approach is so different.
After that talk, something clicked for me. Or at least I think it did.
I just know that after I heard those words, I would always catch myself changing the way I think.
I’m not going to mess up.
Wait, wait, wait… No
I’m going to do well.
I’m not going to drop my toss.
I mean, I’m going to catch it.
I’m not going to fail.
Scratch that, I’m going to succeed.
Approach. Perspective. Outlook. Point of view.
Something as simple as the way you think can change… everything. Because how you think and approach a situation is all in your hands. It’s the difference between crying about rain and smiling about the rainbow after. It’s the difference between having a bad day and knowing that tomorrow will be better. It’s a little switch in your head, but it makes the world of difference.
It has taken me a really long time to grasp that idea. For a good amount of high school, I’ve wanted to pout and make others feel bad for me because somehow I thought my life was harder than everyone else’s. But we all have our own hardships and challenges, and what separates people is simply in the perspective we choose when facing these problems. And soon enough, problems aren’t problems, they’re opportunities. It all changes with one simple switch in the mind.
Like I said, It has taken me so long to really take that advice. I still don’t know if I truly look at all things in an angle that benefits me and benefits others. But I know I’m going to strive for that. And it’ll bring me just that much closer to where I want to get in my life.
If things aren’t working out the way you want it to, change your perspective.
If it wasn’t time before, it is time now. It’s never too late to want to be successful.
It’s never too late to want to be happy
Don’t prevent bad things from happening.
Make good things happen for yourself.
The time is always ripe to do right.
Class of 2014, make it happen for yourself.
Catherine I really liked your post because it was short and straight to the point. It's great that you made yourself look at things with a positive perspective, and I think that's admirable because a lot of people are actually quite negative. Nice Job!
Wow this year...
A lot stuff has happened.
There are so many things that was unsaid.
Now its the time, to let go and admit everything.
When I started high school, I was quite exciting and I love coming to school. Now I am happy to move on, I've done my part here. It's time to make a difference somewhere else. I love adventures.
I never thought I would ever get good grades, because I would never believe in myself. I am capable of studying and I have to stop disillusioning myself. I am not stupid, just because I had bad grades in the past that does not define me as a stupid person. I know I did not try hard enough. Now I know better to try.
I never thought I would be friends with the people I know now. I grew to accept people. I would always drop people out of the whim because I was afraid of commitment and constantly asking to hangout. I was caught up in my whole problems, I never took the initiative to try. I always thought I was the victim and I am going to let all the bad past dictate my life. Which is stupid now. I take control of my life now.
I expected too many things from people. I expected this weird fantasy where everybody has to like me. Which isn't the case. I expected so much and that was not fair to all my friends. I got mad at them for no reason. Just because they didn't fill in that expectation I secretly gave them. I've changed in the long run, I started to not care in a good way though. Like I just treated everyone the same, I was being myself. As long as I tried my best to be the best to other people that is all that matters to me. Their opinions and their honesty matters. I wont be all skeptical and criticize. I wont be selfish.
I never thought I would be so honest on the internet. Especially these kinds of blogs. I'm always scared no one would accept me, but like I said I don't care.
I grew out of my selfish shell and became the person I love. I am honest, nice, and forgiving. Those traits I figured out during the years in high school but never fully accepting it as part of me. I know a lot of people hurted me, but they have their own reasons, I won't be any better if I start talking badly of them. I will let them choose however they want. I will always be there for them, holding grudges isn't my thing anyway. So to those people that left me for whatever reason, its ok.
I opened my eyes.
I see everything in a totally different perspective.
I've done some bad things, but to me that is just a learning experience.
I've realized who the person is really like, I am going to stick to those like me for me.
I feel content everyday, even though I'll get stressed out of my mind. I always find my positivity.
I grew to love myself better than before.
First, I would like to thanks my mom, it was her who even not around me right now, still trying to keep me up. I know that she support every move i made.
Second I would like to thanks my sister who always there to clean up the mess after me. Although I look perfectly fine in front of everyone else, she knew I wasn’t fine. She always know how to cure my fragile heart and mind when it broke.
Third I would like to thanks the friends around me, they made me know who I am, and they made me know I am real. I am not just an invincible man whom no one cares.
Then I would like to thanks the teacher who taught me well.
Then I would like to thanks the strangers, or schoolmates who were there to make Arcadia High School running. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to be in the school.
Then I would like to thanks the strangers on the road, no matter if they interact with me or not, I would like to say thank you to them to be part of the world.
Finally I would like to thanks my beloved God, he was always there when I need him, and he always pick me up when I fall.
“So, after all these thank you, what are you going to say?”
“Um, I don’t know, wait, I thought Mr. Feraco doesn’t want you guys to be here?”
“We are just here to thanks everyone of listening to our conversation, and we thank you for being nice to us.”
“Yeah, it was a pleasure to meet all of you, and we sure will miss you all.”
“Anyways, it’s time to go, let’s leave for another to come.”
Oh yeah, I need to leave too.
I guess, high school isn’t the end of my life?
There are still more challenge await me, and I believe I can conquer all of them.
Soon we will be standing on the stage waiting for our names to be called. And the moment we throw our cap to the air, which indicate the end of our high school life. I don’t know, I am speechless now, I don’t even know why I am full of sorrow. They were all over my mind that I can’t even think of anything to say.
Maybe it’s a nature for us to miss the people around us. Maybe we were born that once we encounter someone, we don’t want to let them go. Maybe we were just there to try and keep the past to ourselves, and we didn’t realize it was something that can never come back.
We lock ourselves under the house, and hope that we can remember everything. We hope to gather everyone and everything we know, and try embrace them all. It was no use because everyone needs to move on.
Even if we look back from the future, things are different then.
For the last time in my senior life, I would like to thanks everyone for listening, and I wish all of you a wonderful future.
Don’t miss me, but don’t forget me.
I like how "they" came back to say goodbye. I like the references to "Under the House," and to go off your conclusion, you pointed out something that I'm sure we've all thought about but just never said - "Maybe we were born that once we encounter someone, we don’t want to let them go." Never let me go? Just kidding, but I just want to thank YOU for thinking outside of the box when showing you're gratitude. You see/think about the things that people should be thinking about but don't, like thanking administrators for making this place possible. As for thanking your sister, you should read my letter to my sister too. I feel like we've shared the same experience, but not really if you know what I mean. Anyway, great, great post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish. Best of luck to brighter future (which includes virtual realities).
P.S. You should definitely watch SAO...just saying..
I will watch it sometime. and thank you for commenting
SAO? You should definitely read the light novels instead, it is the original after all. I enjoyed the book much more than the anime so be sure to give the books a go.
To be honest, I have no doubt in my mind that a lot of us are thinking the same things. Many of us are considering that fact that within a week, we will graduate, move on, and break apart from our current friends. We fear the separation, but we look forward to the experiences and people we will eventually meet after graduation. There are countless opportunities, which is great, but to some, it becomes a whirlwind of confusion, responsibilities, and decisions.
High school has been a great run… I have learned more in these four years than I have in the 14 years previous to high school. The experiences I have shared with those around me, the amazing achievements and the inevitable failures, have all created who I am today.
Around this time, three years ago, we returning Feraco students, from freshman year, would have just finished out letters to our future selves. These letters contain the hopes, aspirations, and optimism we all had… some are still equally optimistic today, and others are not.
For some, that hope of achieving a great amount of success has dwindled to settling with what we are able to achieve, despite our failures, mistakes, and the lows in our lives… and sometimes, I feel as if I am one of those people…
Throughout the past year, I have gone through so many complications, family quarrels, and pressure. I have been trying to pick myself up, but every time I feel joyful and appreciative, something else manages to destroy those positive emotions and throw me back into my original state of confusion and depression. For the most part, high school has been chaotic, annoying, and just plain tiresome for me, but there are still some memorable times…
There are the times when I see our peers messing around… the laughter, the loud atmosphere, and many more components of high school have made the days pass by quickly, and they are things I will definitely miss as I move on to college. As the end is approaching, I begin to think back to those “fun” memories. The nostalgia sets in, and I began to reminisce about how quickly the years that have gone by.
It has only been four years of our lives, yet it is so much more. The little freshmen I had been as I entered freshmen year English with Feraco as my teacher is now a senior taking Search for Human Potential.
The way I write has changed, the art I create has changed, my work ethics, personality, and even my perspective on life has changed. Those mere four years have greatly changed the core of my personality, and I am grateful for it.
Through all the issues and problems I have dealt with throughout high school, each has made me stronger, better, and more confident. I am no longer that girl who is easily taken advantage of, gullible, and fearful of standing up for herself. Today, I can say that I am someone who isn’t afraid to say how she feels and what she thinks because all my experiences have taught me that being stronger during bad circumstances is the only way I will get through it.
Four years to some may not be much, but to me, the last four years of high school has been greatly influential to me. I may have some regrets about not meeting more of my classmates, participating in school activities, and losing some of my closest friends, but as I moved on, I have made high school for myself... a great experience .
I think that around this time of the year, some people are excited and having fun, whereas others begin panicking about college and the future, which is approaching quickly.
In a mere four days, we are about to leave behind the life we have become accustomed to, the people we unconsciously go to, and the halls in which we have grown and matured.
We are all branching out into different colleges, states, and maybe even countries to achieve what we want in life. We have no guarantees or promises about our futures, so all we can do is to take a risk … to take a step and move forward as we chase down the happiness and success we want as individuals.
And as Feraco ends his post, I will end mine by wishing all of “you way more than luck,"
You are You, and I am Me
People may look at me that I am a blonde with greenish/blue eyes, but that is not it, that is not everything. What I want you guys to remember me for is a person that was there, a person that helped. Even though it may not seem significant in many people’s eyes but I really care for the people that I call “friend”. I consider all of the people in this class to be a friend until when we leave, because when we leave, were adults. We will find new people and meet others and make more friends; I am not saying that we are not going to be friends in the future, but what I am saying is that we will drift apart and come together and remember the old days like in that “bar” that we read about in Feraco’s class as one of his lessons. Before I came here many people asked me…
Why do you keep going?
Why do you defend your friends when they betrayed
Why would you stand alone?
Why are you… you?
When people say these questions I think of the days in New Mexico. Over there is totally different then here, people are more concerned on how tough they are and how their personality is hardened to a point. Over here it is more open, and maybe too open for my liking but I find it more peaceful, the people that changed me into who I am today from that boy that had no one ever cared for him to a person who could be part of the group and “say what I need to say”.
The people that changed me I deeply thank for changing me so I could grow finally and not live in the past in that dark void that consumes me into hatred and even remorse. Now I think about…
How can I make people happy?
How can I make you feel accepted?
How can I make a new future?
How are you?
Are you “ok”?
I will do that for you.
I will meet you at the end of school.
I will help you even though you do not need help.
I will be there.
I will be there the next day.
I hope you are happy.
These eyes that look into the mirror do not see only loneliness and sadness anymore I see people within that looking glass to my heart I see a new future and a new me, I want everyone to think of me as a person who cared a person who is a funny and a happy little teenager that would protect his friends not a hero, but an average friend who did what anyone would have done in the situation to protect his friends.
Knowing this I want to know how people feel and why they feel that way, the human mind is so complex to understand that when we think about a past event, there can be one fact twisted in your mind without you knowing. Everything you think from the past is either worse or the best you think of it and I want to leave an impact toward people that are susceptible to other people’s emotions and give them advice for the future.
“People you help is not for a reward, or to have satisfaction of helping others. It is mainly for your own selfish reasons, a human is supposed to be like this, we care for each other. But we do not know why we do it. But we do, knowing this to be altruistic and to be able to satisfy yourself are two different ideas all together, I want you to choose why you help others, is it for you or for them…”
A huge problem I’ve always had was getting caught up in my own head. I’d let my thoughts consume me, but lately I’ve been working on making getting stuck there not such a bad place to be. I’ve been learning how to really make myself happy happy, and being able to understand what that really means. Lately, I’ve been working on trying to see things in different perspectives.
I’m really not a crazy cat lady. I’m not, I promise. But a little over a year ago I got my first pet that I can remember getting after it was just born, and raising all my own. You feel a special kind of love for a pet no matter what but when you really get to raise it like that you feel a little more of an attachment to it.
My sister gave it the very original cat name, Mittens, and I love it to death. I’ll walk around with it in my arms treating it like it’s my baby, or will spend a little too much time petting and playing with it than I’d be proud to admit.
If I hear him crying from another room I’ll get up to give him the attention he demands, or if I see him rubbing against the back door thats lead outside I’ll drop what I’m doing to let him go where he wants to go. I really do baby him.
Yet when I’m laying down in my bedroom eating a snack and he’ll rub against me in a pursuit for a piece, naturally I don’t give it to him. I know it could kill him and harm his health, so why would I? He obviously doesn’t understand this, however.
He’ll beg with his cries only knowing he wants it. He’ll wrap himself around me like a blanket and nudge his head into my leg. He’ll circle around rubbing against me, his purrs drowning out his cries in hopes for just a taste.
After continuously being denied it, he eventually gives up and moves to the other side of the room. He’ll drop his head to rest it on his paws, with his ears hanging in defeat. All he understands is that he wants it, he doesn’t understand the consequences.
With graduation around the corner, we’re about to leave the cozy comfortable lives we’ve spent the past 18 years building. We’re going to build new ones and whether that be in weeks, months, or a year from now, things will be undoubtedly different. And hopefully for the better at that.
Yet even so, there will be times when things won’t go our way. I just hope when this happens you can understand the universe has your best interest in mind the same way I have my cat’s.
For the times you pour your heart and soul into something, and that desire fills even the smallest parts of your being with how much you want it yet you are continuously denied it, I hope you can understand that sometimes it’s for a better reason we can’t always grasp. That as we let defeat wear and tear at us, the universe laughs at how silly we are for not being able to understand how it will hurt it.
Being in this class I’ve been lucky enough to spend my senior year surrounded by truly extraordinary and talented people, who no doubt have bright futures. I hope what lies ahead for all of us is as great as what we have now if not better. But for the times they seem like they’re not, I hope you can understand that the stars aren’t crooked. What they have planned for us is sometimes just too bright that we get blinded and caught up in what we can’t see.
They Will Now Be Memories
Freshman Year: “Wow I am finally in high school”
Sophomore Year: “ugh can I get out of this death hole already”
Junior Year: “ This year is stressing me out, I can’t wait to be a senior already”
Senior Year: “ Wow…I am already here, it went by so fast. I wish I could rewind and start all over”
These four years I remember saying each of these quotes and now sitting here writing my last blog on my last week of being senior I admit it is starting to hit me.
All the mistakes and regrets I have made, all the laughs and tears, the sweat and the late nights are all just going to be high school memories. There are so many choices I have made I wish I could change and for awhile all I have been saying “ I wish…I should of…why didn’t I do that”. Thinking about all the things I would of wanted to change in high school helped me realize what I wanted to write about for my blog.
Like I said we all have made mistakes in high school whether it was an abundant amount or just little things here and there. I have realized though that without all the mistakes we have made and all the things we regret we wouldn’t of had something to learn from. I feel as if it were meant for me to make all the mistakes I made early because I don’t have to worry about making those mistakes sooner in life where those mistakes would have a bigger impact on my life.
Now looking more on the brighter side of high school there are a lot of actions and things I did that I would never regret doing. Joining teams such as Pep Squad and Orchesis Dance Company have always been places where I was able to escape from all the school work and the academic stress. So many of my best memories were made with my teammates and the teams we have in high school are nothing like the ones we join in college. High school teams become our second family and always end up being the aspect in high school that we miss the most.
My last performance in high school will be Friday June 6, 2014 at the Senior talent show and its crazy to think it is officially the LAST time I get to show class of 2014 what I’ve got and how much I have developed as a person and dancer. Its going to be the last time to leave my mark on that stage and once those curtains close all those memories and laughs will be left behind that curtain and moments that can not be relived.
Yes high school was fun but it is time to start a new chapter in my life and for all of us to create more memories, make more mistakes, and live the rest of our future to the fullest and let high school be the base of how our lives were created.
I can’t wait to share one more memory with all of you when we throw our caps to the sky for the first and last time.
GRADUATING NEXT WEEK! CLASS OF 2014 LETS GO!
Hey Karissa, I said the same thing for all those four years. And I saw your performance today at the talent show. It was awesome. I am grateful that I am part of AHS class of 2014!
Hey Karissa, I said the same thing for all those four years. And I saw your performance today at the talent show. It was awesome. I am grateful that I am part of AHS class of 2014!
I'm gonna miss you Karissa you have been a good friend of mine since the beginning. thank you for this lovely post. #Wemadeit
Mom and Dad ,
Although you guys have a weird love hate relationship, you guys got me to where I am right now. You both drive me crazy, but I know I will only miss your guys’ constant nagging when I start to live on my own. Sometimes I may not give into saying that you are right when you are, and even though I will only be an hour away from you, I will constantly worry about your safety as you do for me. Mom. Dad. Don’t worry about me, I will be fine, lets cut some slack on our worrying and focus on what’s in front of us. I have a new campus and lifestyle to experience, and you guys FINALLY get to start you relaxing retirement because I’m your last bird to leave the nest. Thank you for all that you have provided me. But mom…. Mom oh mom, you have more tantrums and the craziest laugh a person can ever have. And dad…. You have made me stay up late till dawn just so we can catch ONE TINY cat fish. You both can blame each other about my bad features coming from one another, but I am apart of both of you, and both of you are apart of me.
To my sisters , (I am just going to address you all at once because telling you individually about the impact you have made on my life will take years)
You freaking weirdos. I think it’s because of you guys that I turned out this way. I have a fetish for touching people’s necks, do weird dance moves, make ugly faces, outgoing, loud and knowledgeable – because of you guys. I thought having two parents was enough but I guess adding another 6 of them isn’t so bad. You guys… I mean girls, have had my backs since the day I was born. Thank you for always understanding me and helping through the difficult times. Thank you for teaching me about your mistakes and achievements so I can learn from them also. Que, Hien, Linda, Lisa, Mary, and Jennifer, you all have taught me more than any teacher I have ever had. You guys have shown me to be kind, respectful, caring and you guys are my constant cheerleaders. There are many times that I feel doubtful about myself or insecure, you guys are there to show me what hard work and beauty is. All of us have already moved on into starting your own family and lice in different cites and states, but I feel like you guys are only one step away from my reach.
As humans, we evolve into people we want to be. We all change. I definitely am not the same person as I was from elementary school.
For those of you who had Feraco for freshman year, remember that letter we wrote to our future selves? The letter we had to keep hidden and locked away from our temptation’s reach? I found that letter and cant wait to see what is inside – probably something emo… but once I graduate and party it out at grad night. I will come home to that letter to read my old self and see how much of a different person I have changed into.
For those who told me life get’s easier… it doesn’t. You lied, it get’s harder!
You will take more rigorous classes,
Try to find a job,
Try to get a car,
Try to buy a house,
Try to raise a family.
But it will be worth it .
No matter how burnt out you feel from your days, keep your head high and push against the currents of the obstacles you will face. You family and friends will be right by your side you to act as your turbo.
Thank you family, friends and Class of 2014…. “We did it!” – Legally Blond
To the Class of 2014 ,
It is difficult for me to imagine that I’ll be walking across the stage a week from today.
I won’t ever see or talk with many of my classmates and friends ever again. But I’ll make new friends in the coming months and establish lifelong relationships.
I regret not having done many things, taking the opportunity to be a better student and a better person. But I have many opportunities that I can still take, and I have also taken many opportunities that have been presented to me.
The most important concept for me to realize is that graduating high school and starting college is just another small checkpoint in my life. My life won’t change drastically just because I’m graduating and opportunities won’t be given to me just because I’m graduating. I won’t magically become a better student because I’m moving on to college. People, myself included, expect things to get better because graduating high school is considered to be a large milestone in a student’s life, helps mark when a child becomes an adult, a contributing member of society.
The three largest problems that I’ve had throughout high school were doing work that I didn’t want to do, taking opportunities that had virtually no drawback, and asking for help when help would benefit me.
I’ve done very well on tests for the most part, but what always brought my grade down was the lack of homework that I completed and turned in. I truly didn’t care that much about my grades, as shown by the C I received in my Junior US History class. I’ve improved though, a little bit late, but I have an A in Economics in which our grade is comprised mostly of menial homework tasks that add up to a lot of points.
One step at a time.
“Why should I apply for a scholarship or a program if hundreds of other kids that are more qualified than I am are applying for it? I’m obviously not going to make it in, so why bother?” –Younger Salman
It took me a very long time to get out of this mindset, and I often go to this excuse because I just don’t want to put in the work if the results and rewards are not immediate and guaranteed. I was always too lazy to take a couple days to write out and proofread a personal statement and never thought it was worth my time. Recently, however, I’ve tried changing my mentality and taking as many opportunities as I possibly can. I applied for Faststart at UCR a couple of weeks ago, even if I was highly unlikely to get the position in the program. I did it, had my sister proofread my responses and voila. Even though I did not get accepted it was a step in the right direction.
One step at a time.
The last problem is still one that I haven’t quite figured out how to solve yet. My eldest sister intimidates me, and kind of berates me when I ask her for help and my work is not very good. However, I asked my younger sister if she could help me find a backup interviewee for my senior project, and she managed to give me links and phone numbers of universities and health centers that I could call. I took initiative and called and emailed a couple, and thankfully I was able to get my interview two days after the matter. This was in a time where I was really panicked and stressed so getting help from her was a big stress reliever.
One step at a time, I will improve.
One step at a time, my life will change for the better.
Graduation is a physical step in the right direction, but it is what happens behind the scenes and everything that led up to that which makes a difference. Graduation is a pat on the back, a showing of all the things that I’ve done right which led to me getting here.
I’ll be walking on that stage with my head held high, because I’m proud of all the little things that I did to get here.
You should be too.
“The world is your oyster. It's up to you to find the pearls.” – Chris Gardner
One step at a time huh Sal? I know it may be true for you, and you don't want to screw up your life by screwing over the steps. But maybe sometimes you may wanna jump a little, just to get the advantage that no one has? Well, Maybe I ask too much of you?
I totally understand you Sal, too many times have we failed to achieve something we have wanted, be it rejections from positions you wanted in a club or the college of your dreams. It is all in the past now and all that matters is we took the step toward it, the results are what they are but as long as we take the step we cannot blame ourselves.
Sal, we may not have known each other for very long, but I can understand what you're feeling. But in my opinion, failure can bee seen as success, just in a different way. You learn from mistakes and that's a step in the right direction in itself. It's never too late to be who you want to be.
Daddy- Thank you for being the wisest man I know. It blows my mind to know that one of the BEST, godly role models in my life is you… And I get to see you and watch you and ask you questions and learn from you and drive to school with you and greet you at 7pm every single day . I won’t be able to do that next year. I’ll have new role models. I most likely won’t even talk to you once I step onto UCLA’s campus. I will have “bigger and better” things taking over my life. And the craziest part about it, is that you’re probably okay with that. You care about me so much that you’re okay with me not talking to you just so I can benefit. Thank you for putting me first in your life, right next to God and mommy. You have all your priorities straight at this point in your life and are at the best part of your life. I’m glad you’re at such peace, because you completely deserve it.
Mommy- You are the person who has loved me the most. You have taught me more than anyone. You nursed me, came to my rescue in the middle of the night from a boring sleepover, covered up for me when sleep was more important than school, gave me money when we ran out of food, randomly bought me clothes, always made sure I looked good, always made sure that the world would love me half as much as you do, and most importantly, always have been supportive of my decisions even though they were sometimes contrary to yours. I always get mad at you for having different ways you think I should live my life, but never have I stopped to realize you’ve always let me do things the way I wanted.
I never realized until now, that you always put your hopes for me aside to fulfil my own hopes first. As many times as you say “I’m not putting myself through hell just for you”, you actually do. You put everyone in the world’s life before yours. You care more about my wellbeing than you do yours. What will I do when you’re not there to wake me up when I sleep through my alarm? What’s going to happen when that lively human being I used to hug and greet every day in the car with a smile and an iced green tea is suddenly gone?
I don’t want you out of my life, but I do feel that the time has come to take yet another step back. With every step back I grow.
DEAR FUTURE CHILD:
I have so much to teach you. So much to be proud of you for. You will be brilliant, astonishing, loving, and everything I wished I could be, or everything I was but better. I’ve been thinking about you long before you were even born. I had my own visions and fantasies of what I wanted you to become. I am willing to put those aside if they’re not entirely something you want to do. Don’t feel like you need to always please your mom. Please yourself. Do what will make you grow. Don’t always think about me. I’ve lived my life and have been thought about plenty. All I ask for is sincere gratefulness, gratitude, and understanding of how much I love you, and what I’d be willing to do for you.
DEAR GRADUATING SENIORS:
Congratulations for coming thus far! I admit that I loved every single one of you my freshman year. It’s safe to say that by my senior year I despised everyone at the school at one point. Oh how things have changed. I’ve been thinking so much about freshman year lately. About the terror I felt as I was let out of my dad’s car on the first day of school on campus drive and walked toward J9. I remember what I wore the first week of school, and how carefully I’d planned it out. I remember all the people I immediately became friends with in my first month of school. I remember all the bonds and memories I created even on the first day of school, and thought “Wow, Arcadia High is awesome. I could definitely hang out with these kids for a while.” Then routine became routine. I saw the same thousand faces in all of my classes every single year. I dealt with the same immature class clowns, “busy” worksheet after worksheet, textbook math problems after textbook math problems, annoying high pitched school bells, and freezing cold classrooms every single year. This repeated cycle made me more and more bitter about everything at Arcadia High. I hated so many of my school days, and the only thing that would brighten me up would be talking to my friends.
Senior year and Search for Human Potential changed all that. I finally found myself in a class where I was learning. I found myself in a class that didn’t give out worksheets or book assignments to fill up the gradebook, but rather creative projects that made me feel like an individual. It was extremely hard to adjust to at first, and it still is. “I could design this however I want!?” “Are you sure there’s no page limit? Or MLA format?” It’s weird to someone who has been conditioned to follow a very strict set of rules that makes me feel like every assignment I turn in is completely identical to the student next to me. Following strict assignment rules, following ugly sounding bells, following the flow of students trying to get through D hall, following the footsteps of an admired alumni, following your parents wherever they go, these are all part of our childhood. Adulthood starts when you stop the “following” and start creating. Create the future you want. Create the life you want. Go ahead, you can’t possibly fail at something you create. Sit in front of all those 88 piano keys and carefully use them to make something beautiful, heck, be reckless if you want. Don’t follow all the music theory “rules”. Create new ones. Hit what sounds good to you. No one can play the notes for you. The same goes for your life. Use the gifts, memories, and moments that define you to create something beautiful. Take a look at all the beautiful songs made from just 88 piano keys or less. Now think about every beautiful thing that has happened to you. I’m sure there are more than 88 beautiful experiences have occurred in your life… so just imagine what a beautiful masterpiece you can create out of that?
Be a little kid again. Sit in front of the blank canvas that is your life. No one is going to judge you. Paint on there whatever you think is beautiful. People who don’t like what you draw do not matter. Don’t b.s. the art, give it your all. Let it show off your full potential. Let it be a representation of everything that’s going on inside that wonderful mind and soul of yours. Let your life be a display of everything that your beautiful mind believes in and desires. Let it all come to life right before your very eyes. Go ahead, I give you permission. The blank canvas is in front of you right NOW. You make your first stroke the second you hear that high-pitched bell for the last time.
Alana, this was such an amazing post, especially the last paragraph. I love how you related the future to a blank canvas, because it is so true, our future can be whatever we want it to be. We can draw whatever we want to on our canvas.
You always write such positive things. Your letter to your kid reminds me so much of Susan Egan's song Nina doesn't care. I love how you formatted and organized this. I legit cried reading it though. I'm not that close with my dad but I realized also after reading Reviving Ophelia that everything isn't that easy. I love the relationship you have with your father. After reading this blog, I will strive to maintain a better relationship with my dad. Thank you and VERY GOOD JOB.
Looking back at it I still can’t believe I’m the same old little boy who used to play in the mud of my grandparents garden every single day. Sticking my hand in the pit of bugs and germs seemed like the life back then. But now that I’m older, I’ve come to realize that life is more than just the mud, life has so much more to offer and I’m glad I’ve had the pleasure of being raised the way I did to realize it.
Growing up I would like to thank my parents, they have always been the foundation to supporting me, both my step parents, blood parents, and even my god parents. I’m truly grateful that they were apart of my life. They helped me realize that life is not just some thing to look over nonchalantly but something that has to be taken with very careful consideration. Because if not, life WILL prove to be something that will challenge you. However, they also taught me that life has its rewards. If you play it correctly, life will treat you the way you want to be treated. Like everyone, you wanna live happily, my parents has brought me up in a way that I too have come to realize what would make me happy.
Along with my parents, I would not be the same without my siblings. If you ever needed some to challenge you, or someone to pull their hair, or someone to constantly get you mad and still come out later in the day with an unbreakable bond of being a family, my brother and sisters will always be there. They have taught me the concept of competition, that if you want something you best be prepared that there is someone who wants it as badly as you do. However they also teach me the concept of caring and being respectful, like my baby sister for example who shares the same birthday as me but 15 years younger. Being a bother that much older has taught me that sometimes you must be flexible, that you will make sacrifices for people.
Last but not least, my friends. Friends are different than siblings or family members, friends are people who teach you things that your family can not. They are there when you need it the most, and they are there because they are the people who have shaped your personality. Your friends are more than just friends but they are practically also you! They make up who you are and you make up who they are. In this type of relationship, friends grow together and not separately. I would like to thank my friends all the way to my closest friend, I’m glad to have known all of you and thank you for making me the way I made you.
Life has its bumps and turns but it still goes on. Going to miss all of you who shaped me as we all go our separate ways.
Hey Brian first off you have siblings?? and second nice job on your blog. I do agree with you that family can do things that friends can not and vice versa. Nice job and ill hope to see you around campus next year.
Up until now, most of our lives have been dictated by pretty much the same people around us. These will most likely be our family, Hailsham-esque guardians, friends, and teachers. There has been set Party rules engrained into our brains, never changing because we never really had the need to. We never thought about changing anything because we seemed to go along fine with just the way it was. We have been proles for the majority of our lives.
And as time passed by, we slowly became members of the outer-parties. We became Winston. We lived life as a zombie, just doing what needed to be done, no matter how boring it was and no matter how much your mind wandered around. However, like Winston, we got to the point where we wanted to experience things, to go out and live. Sometimes, those things involved doing something that our parents/guardians won’t like. And when we get caught, we go through our trials in miniluv, where we once again are pretty much forced to re-value the Party’s slogan.
But now, we are entering a new stage of our life. In a few months from now, majority of us will be leaving home to dorm in college. This is the moment where we can truly do what we want. This is the moment we become Inner Party members. This is the moment we make our own rules; our own slogan; our own “secret” books. We will become completely independent from there on out. Heck some of us will even try to find a job to begin their road of independency.
As we move on our own ways, we have to remember. It is better to know, than not to know. There has been too many times where I regretted not doing something. I always end up wondering what would have happened if I just actually did something, instead of nothing. You can never get closure until you actually get a definite answer or you are able to first-hand experience the outcome.
Imagine if Tommy and Kathy never went out and try to find a way for the deferral. Tommy would have depleted and Kathy would have been left wondering what would have happened if they went to get one. Kathy will then become completely engrossed in hypotheticals constantly running in her head and stopping her from doing what she should be doing. But it was because they chased down Madame to find a definite answer, Kathy was able to go on with however little time she had left, doing what she needed to do --- no, what she wanted to do.
And now is our time.
It is time for us to do what needs to be done.
It is time for us to do what we want to do.
It is time for us to remember our lost years.
It is time for us to dare disturb the universe.
It is time for us to disturb the universe.
Arms up chalyeo (attention) kumne (bow)
Annuo hap ship ne ka sa bum nee (how are you master)
This is how we start class at SK Tae Kwon Do center.
I never said the phrase again after I became on instructor, but starting a new chapter in life sometimes means that we have to leave something’s behind.
This year was really challenging for me I had Feraco work to balance and work, but in that time I have done things I regret.
I regret all the lies I told.
All the time I stole from myself.
Letting down the people I love the most.
All the people I have hurt.
All the stupid things I have done.
But there are accomplishments that I am proud of.
All the friends I have made.
All the people I have helped.
Earning my 1st degree black belt.
Fighting for my job (literally) and winning.
All times where I have made people smile.
All the small things I have done right that goes unnoticed.
Every day I wake up and think how much of a shame I am to my parents. There are times where I look at my brother Joseph, and see his achievements. He has become the president of KCCC (this is a Korean Christian club) and has helped so many others through his work. Almost all the work he does goes unseen. I admire him for his confidence, willingness, and his leadership.
I look at my eldest sister Dorcas, and see the things that she could do that I couldn’t. She got into UCR and graduated in 3 years with a business major, now she attends Le Cordon Bleu and works at Confexion. One day she is going to open her own bakery. I take one look at her and see determination, focus, intelligence, and perseverance.
I look at my other sister Joyce and see the person I couldn’t be for my parents. She got accepted to Biola and just finished her first year with an overall GPA above 3.0. I admire her for her obedience, good willed stubbornness, courtesy, her ability for extreme time management, and her love for her religion.
I look in the mirror and see a disappointment. I see a selfish person, someone who wasted his time with useless things, giving up on the religion his parents hold so dear, and who is struggling to pass high school because of his idiocy. My parents are always telling me I have to set my priorities and know what I have to do first. I was so arrogant I ignored their advice; I always thought that the things I wanted to do were a priority. I always knew that my parents were right. In all of my 17 years I always ran away from my problems. Digging a hole deeper and deeper, and every time my parents helped me out. Despite me being always looking at others wishing to be like them, my parents just wanted Me to be Me and not some imitation of someone else.
I am sorry Mom
I am sorry Dad
In these last moments with Feraco he gives us a chance to leave our last marks. Hoping we had me a difference in our lives. He gives us time to reflect on the opportunities that are only given to us, our accomplishments, regrets, failures, the things that we all take for granted, and our potential.
It always seems to me that we don’t realize what we have until it comes to an end, just like senior year. As the year ends and everyone cries, as we share some of our last moments together.
I say Thank you to everyone who has read this post.
Arms up chalyeo kumne
Gam Sap Ni Da Sa Feraco Sa Bum ne (Thank you Master Feraco)
“Good bye my children and see you on the other side”.
- Michael Feraco-Eberle-
I admire your willingness to admit your wrongs. It's clear that you've spent a lot of time thinking this over, and you've come to the conclusion that you've disappointed your parents. It isn't my place to say whether or not this is true. Just remember that parents' judgments are often clouded by expectations but in the end, they're proud of you for being who you are, just like you said. Even if you've followed the wrong path at times, they were your mistakes. You've grown. Now, you know better.
I love the connection between your beginning and end. It's obvious that Feraco has given us so much of his time and effort. In investing in us, he's ensured our growth during our last days as children. You've paid your respects to him for that. Recognizing how much he's helped us, even through the sleepless nights and coffee-high mornings, is admirable.
Even just through this post, I see the many great characteristics of yours.
It's been ten blogs, and I think this is the first of yours I've read. I wish I discovered them sooner. Nonetheless, I congratulate you on finishing and wish you nothing but the best.
PAAAAAAAAAULLLLLLLLLL (Please excuse this, Mr. Feraco!)
Your post was really touching (got me kind of teary as well) and it was nice to see you being so reflective. Just keep believing yourself. The first step is realizing that you have faults. You can do it! I'm glad to have met you in ninth grade and don't forget you have friends supporting you.
I bet every single one of you had missed a lot of chances in your life.
7 years ago, in Hong Kong, I was a leader in every single organization. I was a leader in my class where most of my friends follow me. I was a co-leader in my Girl Scout team. I already plan out everything when I go to high school. I’m going to continue joining my Girl Scout and I’m going to involve with every school organization.
Instead, I moved to America.
I thought I can be the same as the Lilian in Hong Kong, but it is totally different. During my 5th grade year, studying in Baldwin Stocker for two months, I had so much fun. I had my friends who help me and I’m still being so confidences to ask people and talk to people around me. Then I enter First Avenue middle school, my 6th grade years was not that tough. People in my homeroom class judged me a little bit because I’m always not here for the English class (I need to go to my ELD class), but I met friends, my first friend – Cici Che. I was confidence enough to start talking to her, but people around seems to judge me.
They called me Fob.
I don’t know what that means until my other “fob friends” explained it to me. Then it is 7th grade year which I decide to join a rock band class with my two other friends. I was so exciting about the class because I love playing drum and I think it is super cool. We couldn't actually play with the actual drum and instead, we need to pretend the chair was the drum. I was always hoping to get a chance to go play the actual drum but only popular and cool people can. There was one time I really want to go try but people just give me weird look and I know what they are thinking, “what are those fobs trying to do?” At the end of the year, I remember there was a concert for this class and I really want to be part of it and perform on stage. My friends said they don’t want to… so I said I don’t want to too, because I don’t want them to judge me. Plus, if I said I want to, the other people will think why a fob is performing when it is only for popular people. Then I remember I want to try out for flag because I think they are super cool and I always do those tricks with my umbrella at home, then I heard my friends saying those are only for popular people, and I recognized myself as a fob.
8th grade year was a little bit better I thought. I was in advance drama production where all those popular people are. Each semester, there is one group of drama production; the first semester group is full with a lot of popular people and then here is the second semester group: popular people and three fobs. I never heard of what people said about us being in drama production but I know what they are thinking. And obviously, I didn't try out for the main characters which I really want to do but what if people judge me and my accent? So after all, I was just a minor character with less than 10 lines for my first performance. I regretted.
High school years were harder than I thought. I thought I can try out for drama production, basketball team, color guard, percussion, and marching band. But guess what, they are only for popular people. I remember having lunch in cafeteria for my first two years of high school. I don’t know why people like to ask me where do I have lunch, but whenever I tell them cafeteria, they just judge me and ask, isn’t that only for fobs who eat there? I got so sick of people calling me a fob that I don’t really care about it in my high school year. What I care about is when people make fun of my accent and English. That is also a reason why I don’t social with the others like what I did when I was in Hong Kong. When I start talking to some popular people, I can see it from their face; I know what they are thinking. When people from First Ave saw me in the hallway and we make eye contact, I know what they are thinking too. I lost all my self-confidence. When I finally decided I should get more involved in school, it was too late. It was junior year where I finally start joining Link Crew and then Yearbook for my senior year.
I wish I’m popular.
If I don’t care about how people look at me, I don’t care how people call me a fob, I don't care how people judge me, then who am I going to be? I might be part of the ASB, girl varsity basketball, advance drama, color guard and percussion. That is the original Lilian that I want to be. However, I missed all those chances; is too late.
Dear my friends who call me a fob before,
I hate you guys but congratulations on graduating! I will be in PCC next year, and I’m not going to care about how people look at me anymore. I’m going to join in as many clubs as I wish and I will get involve with a lot of school activities. I know PCC isn’t a big different to Arcadia High compare to other universities, but I’m so ready to change, to become Lilian Leung in PCC.
I had missed a lot of opportunities and chances to become the real Lilian that I want.
Dear class of 2014 and every single one of you out there,
Don’t miss any chances anymore. Don’t look at how people will judge you. Don’t judge yourself. You are who you are. You will not regret if you do what you want. I promise. Don't live your life impressing others, live your life impressing yourself.
Dear Mr. Feraco,
Thank you for giving me a chance to say what I want to say from those 6 years.
By the time I was eight, I had lived on three continents. Moving from a place where you have everything to a place where you seemingly have nothing challenges the soul, to say the least. I am sorry for what you have lost, but believe you have gained a tremendous amount of insight and self-knowledge. Sometimes it is necessary to go back before you go forward. I wish you well along your journey.
Lilian! I could understand what you have been through and I wouldn't think that you experienced this if you didn't tell us because you are a very different person from what you described. I like the way you always have your smile on your face and never fail to say hi to me whenever we bump into each other. I will see you in PCC! I appreciate your courage and I wish you feel better now!
Hey Lilian, nice blog! And I just want to say thank you for the message you brought on this blog. Sometimes it is hard to follow our hearts to do want to do without caring about others' comment. But hey, you done a great job on your junior and senior year. I hope you can accomplish what you want to be accomplish when you are in college just the way you said here. Wish you way more than luck, Lilian.
I really liked your blog. It opens up a different way of looking at our opportunities at our schools. Personally, I was also in Rock Band and at the time, I played the bass. I never got the chance to go plug into an amp because I was always too shy. I think the problem you went through happens to people that are too shy and insecure. In sophomore year, I built up the courage to join percussion. Just be who you want to be and join as many clubs/activities/sports as you want!
What would you say if you knew the world would listen…and how would you say it?
I can hear my heart pounding and my eyes glow up after reading this question.
“Finally, here comes my chance!”
I guess you guys would remember the short story called “the Yellow Wallpaper” where the crazy wife got crazier when she was trapped in the room. At night, I usually had a hard time falling asleep. I tried everything to fall asleep from counting sheep to reading a book. It usually took me like 2 hours to fall asleep after I went to bed. Unlike the woman from “the Yellow Wallpaper” my bedroom wallpaper doesn't have any patterns or designs except a plain white wallpaper. Thus, unlike her, I wasn't trapped in the wallpaper. Instead, I heard all of my voices inside my mind. They were wandering around that drove me nuts.
Before I went to bed, I had to turn on the lights and keep my diary next to my pillow so that I could catch my every single voice and record them all when it happened. Sometimes, I heard my voice saying “this quote might be recited by others one day because it sounds so genius!” That’s when I thought about my diary becoming a masterpiece like “the Yellow Wallpaper”. That was a childish dream but not for 14-year-old me.
There were times I was so serious; there were times I was so pessimistic...
12/19/11 - Selfishness not only equals to not caring others but only oneself, but also equals to not understanding other’s feelings.
12/26/11 - Fairy tales end with “...lived happily ever after.” In fact, real life starts there.
2/4/12 - If I cried, would my questions be answered?
Note: These might sound unoriginal to you but that was me writing down the lessons I learned each day.
I didn’t know I had all the symptoms of hyperthyroidism until one year after I lived in Arcadia when I was diagnosed with it. At first, I felt ashamed. I felt I was feeble and incapable of handling some situations. I was told to avoid emotional situations. I was told to sleep early. I was told not to involve in many activities that might give me excitement. But I am known to be dogmatic. Of course, I didn't obey even though I take the medicine every day. I continued staying up late and writing a diary. I love what I am doing.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ― Mae West
This doesn't mean “always try” or “never give up.” These are easier to be said than done. I am who I am today not because I never give up but because I follow my heart and not regret for doing so. I might face more obstacles for following my heart but at least I am choosing what I want to do.
Nothing is right or wrong. Worrying about making wrong decision IS wrong. Go for it. Follow your heart. Make sure you can take the responsibility of the consequences as well. Don’t regret your decision.
Honestly, I struggled my first two years in high school, not because of the classes but because I had hard time making friends. But just because of these two years, I gained my confidence in myself. I started moving on until I have a lot of friends. Now here I am with my friends and fellow classmates of 2014 graduating within a few days.
Thank you, Aryee (aunt) for bringing our family to this country.
Thank you, America for having such education. (I know it has some flaws but at least better from where I came from, trust me.)
Thank you, Mr. Feraco for giving me this chance to say what I want.
Thank you, my friends and fellow classmates of 2014 for all those great memories I have in this school.
Thank you, George for being my role model and paving a way for Sarah and me as I can sympathize how stressful it must be to be the eldest sibling.
Thank you, Sarah for showing your love to me even though I don’t express my love to you. I know I am not the best big sister in the world but I love you, my baby sister. After all, I am still Mama’s first girl and you are the second. face with stuck-out tongue
Finally, thank you Mama and Papa for bringing me to this world and allowing me to make my own decisions. I know you guys are proud of me. And I am proud of having you guys as my parents as well. This graduation is indeed for you guys like Mr. Finn said during the senior assembly. Shed your happy tears, Mama and Papa!
Hey Sandra, this blog of your is super cheesy. I just want to say that it had been an amazing three years with you. Even though sometimes you are super cheesy, but you will not you if you are not this way, and our group will not be the same. So nice post, Sandra. And I believe your family will be proud of you.
The graduation ceremony will be a bit lonely for me. My dad was supposed to be back here by now. Instead, he is lying in a cold hospital room and hooked up to multiple plastic monitors and equipment. To make matters worse, Los Angeles is 6,770 miles away from Taipei. I can only get fragmented updates from my mom and oldest sister.
I know that I shouldn’t fret; we really are lucky that the doctor caught my dad’s spinal condition during an ordinary medical checkup, but it’s been lonely for me. I spend most of my extra time caring for the garden, so my dad can return home to see his green tiny little baby ones all grown up and strong.
Needless to say, I have been thinking about my dad a lot. Especially about all the mundane things he does. Like how he obsesses over his EBay feedbacks, or how he would smile from ear to ear when he finds a dinosaur Ampex head stack at a garage sale.
Those memories of my dad haunted me last night. I couldn’t control my heartbeat at all. At 9PM, my mom called. He has been on the operation table for 5 hours already, but still no news of his condition. My mom asked me to pray. She has no idea how often I’ve been praying lately. Midnight approached and still no news. Despite the fact that I pulled an all-nighter the previous night, I still couldn’t sleep. Something was choking my throat.
He’s all right now. I haven’t had the chance to talk with him on the phone because he’s having trouble staying awake because of the anesthesia and the blood loss. But he’s all right. My throat isn’t choking anymore. I regained control of my heartbeat.
I’m not going to lose my dad anymore. I felt safe again. However, my realization bothered me tremendously. Why do we only begin to cherish when we know that we can potentially lose that person, object, time, or memory? I can’t count the number of times that I have turned down my dad’s offer to go run errands with him; I believed that I had better things to do. I didn’t give a crap about the garden until the once fertile soil began to crack and the leaves of multiple plants began to yellow.
It’s not just about cherishing and taking things for granted, it’s also about the lack of attention we pay to our present surrounding. We plant so many promises in the future, yet we don’t take charge in the present. We can’t expect the flowers to bloom in the future when you’re letting the buds in the present to shrivel up. Have you found yourself regretting your past? If only I had done that…If only I had started that earlier…
I’m weary of those moments. Honestly. 1975’s Heart Out is one of my favorite songs but the lyrics never got through to me until now.
“You got something to say? Why don’t you speak it out loud, instead of living in your head? It’s always the same. Why don’t you take your heart out instead of living in your head?”
Dare to say yes. Dare to say no. Dare to say I love you. Dare to say goodbye. Dare to live in the present. Dare to let your flower truly bloom in the future.
What happened with your dad was truly awful, and something no one should have to go through!! That it’s an experience you were able to grow from, however, is so great and I’m happy to hear it’s something you were able to turn positive. Dare to disturb the universe right! haha really good job!!
When I graduated middle school, I received a bouquet of roses.
When I received my Girl Scout Gold Award, I received a lei.
When I got asked to homecoming, I received a bouquet of assorted flowers.
When I was greeted on Valentine’s Day, I received a bouquet of flowers.
When it was my birthday and got surprised by a prom asking, I received a bouquet of white and red roses.
For each special moment in my life, I was greeted by an arrangement of beautifully colored individuals massed together in an assortment of stages;
just like all of us.
Flowers go through 5 stages:
1. The Seed Stage
5. Spreading Seeds
We, like flowers, slowly bloom.
1. Going into my freshman year, I was incredibly scared. Since the school seemed so big to me, I was scared of getting lost. I mean, I did know people because of middle school – but I was still scared. My freshman year classes did not really consist of people I knew. I felt like I was really starting from the bottom.
But I am not one who cares much about if I make new friends or not, so I planted myself.
2. Because I didn’t really know anyone, I was always super quiet. I don’t really get loud or start talking unless the person starts the conversation. I remember freshman year in Feraco’s class I clearly did not know anyone, so I sat at the back. I don’t know if it was my scared face or just knowing that I didn’t know anyone, but I saw this girl, from the corner of my eye, stare at me. I didn’t really know what to do so I looked up and was greeted by this happy girl who said “HI, I’M CATHERINE.”
Every day she would say this to me till I started to say it back.
That was the first time I actually felt comfortable in one of my classes.
That was the time I first met Catherine Hang.
From that day on, Feraco’s class was the most hilarious class ever because Cat really knows how to make someone feel comfortable around her. She makes people laugh and is always happy, and that is when I started to grow. I was grounded.
And Catherine, I know I never see you anymore but you changed my freshman year life. You were the first person I met who was so chill and just yourself. Thank you for all the fun memories. I will most definitely not forget you. Thank you for everything you did for me, I wish the best for you in college!
She wasn’t the only person who changed my life.
My freshman year P.E. class was the only class I had people I knew like Mark Wada and Mackenzie Connor. That class was also the class I met the funniest and chilliest guy ever – Anthony Tan.
We all formed this group of Mark Wada, Mackenzie Connor, Irene Tran, and Anthony Tan.
Because of them, P.E was the best class ever.
Because of that class, I grew closer with Anthony.
He was my first real close guy friend.
After freshman year, we sort of drifted because we didn’t have any classes and we never saw each other.
And Big Tones, thank you for all the inside jokes and fun memories we shared. You changed freshman year for me. I always hoped we would reunite again in the future!
3. My sophomore year was less nerve racking. Going into freshman year I felt like it was just a normal year in a school I go to. It was easy to locate my classes and I knew people in it from the previous year. Since I knew people in my classes, and those people knew other people, and it was just easy to make new friends. Sophomore year was the year I really just grew.
4. My junior year was the year I really got to know myself.
When past juniors said junior year is the hardest, they were not kidding. All my classes were pact with homework that lasted hours. My family opened a shop, so on top of school work I had to deal with work which put me in situations of family over everything.
It was difficult for me to balance the two because it just came crashing down on me at once. I rarely had time for relaxing to the point of almost every day I had a mini panic attack or anxiety.
But through all that experience, I knew my limits.
I found myself through everything.
That year, I underestimated myself a lot which led to me pushing myself even harder.
Through all of that, I not only found myself, but I found my true friends.
I mostly hung out with Harrison Ma and Mikaela Santos. They were like my second family. With them, I felt like everything was going to be alright. They kept me grounded and sane through everything.
We really bonded and acted like a family. I’d say each of us had a part of each other that would always be there. That bond never broke. It was sometimes tested, but it never broke.
Because of them, I could never ask for anyone better to spend my year with. I know we have drifted since then, but I will always love you guys!
Harrison, even though we are not as close anymore, you’re still my cousin and one of my number one guys. I can tell you anything and everything. I will insanely miss you next year when we are hours apart. But don’t worry, ill visit you and you better visit me! I hope you have an amazing time in college and I hope you are safe. Thank you for all the memories and inside jokes, you are truly amazing.
Mikaela, I know we drifted, but whenever we talk it’s like our conversation picks up right where it left off. I know you’re miles and miles apart, I will never forget you. Thank you for everything you have done. Thank you for the fun memories, laughs, and inside jokes. You are like an older sister to me and I look up to you a lot. I love you so much ate!
You guys saved me and I will always be eternally grateful.
5. It’s finally senior year. After all the ups and downs, it’s finally over.
I always thought this time would never come because it felt so far away. But now, it’s here.
My senior year has definitely been hands downs, the best year ever.
I’ve met all the people I have needed to meet and I have been reunited with people who I haven’t seen in years.
BIG TONES! I’m so glad I was reunited with you this year. After 3 years, I finally get to see how everything went. Reuniting with you was the most nostalgic moment ever. Even though you can be awkward, it was the best times talking with you. head nod and duck lips
I’m so glad of everything you have become. You made senior year fun. Because of you, Feraco’s class is so fun filled with inside jokes and memories. Thank you for everything, I hope college treats you well and our whole group should meet up and GO TO ROSCOS!!!
BIG ALEX! This year was crazy. I never thought that we would become close, but as I’m writing these for you guys I’m tearing up. Senior year would have definitely not been the same without you. You are the funniest and I’m so glad I’ve gotten close with you this year. Just remember that I’m always here to listen – no matter how far away I am – I will always be a phone call or text away. Thank you for everything you have done, you changed my life. I hope you have fun in college (don’t get too crazy now)! Like I said to Big Tones, ROSCOS YA! FIST SEIZURE
FRANK DA TANK! Frank, this year had definitely been so much fun with you in Feraco’s! All of you have changed my senior year to be the best. You guys have kept me sane and I want to thank you guys for all the fun times. I hope you have fun in college and I hope that college treats you well! We still have to all take a ROSCOS trip but keep up the soccer! Thank you so much for the fun memories and laughs this year, I hope you the best for years to come!
And Chris, John Christian Bartolome
This year has been interesting.
My senior year would be insanely different without you. Because of you, I got to know myself. I got to appreciate myself. Because of you, I got to know myself and actually love myself.
Meeting you was the best experience and life changing moment of my high school career.
You have shaped me for who I am today. You are like my guardian angel. Without you, I don’t think my senior year could be any better. You came into my life unexpectedly and it was the best surprise ever.
As they say, the best things in life come unexpected.
Starting off the year, I didn’t know how much you would affect my life. Through the midst of everything, you are my other half. You are my best friend.
I’ve never been so open with anyone or have felt so comfortable in front of anyone before.
And I want to thank you for everything. I want to thank you for this memorable year. I want to say that I wish I met you earlier, but that would be casual. I’m so glad I met you this year because you majorly contributed to me having the best year I’ve had in high school.
Thank you so much.
I know we will be 5 hour apart, but that doesn’t mean anything. I know us well enough to know that that won’t stop us.
You’re the type of person I wouldn’t want to lose in my life.
Because of these people, my life has been the best rollercoaster ever.
Because of you guys, because of each person I have met, smiled or waved at, I have had the best encounter with you.
To the people who I see and do not know so well: I’m sad our paths did not cross because I’m sure you would have impacted my life for the better. But that does not always mean that our paths will not cross later on. And I will be looking forward to that moment.
To the people who I see and smile or wave at: I’m glad I get to know you in a way that your smile or wave makes me smile and wave. When I see you guys wave or smile it makes me so happy to have you in my life even though we are not that close. But that does not mean that we can’t become closer. And I will be looking forward to the moment we hang out and share fun memories.
To the people who I hug: Thank you for impacting my life. Thank you for the laughs, the memories, and the inside jokes shared. I’m so glad I got to know you. Because of you, my high school career has been filled with the best memories I could ever ask for. I’m so honored to have known you guys in a light where you have shaped me and impacted me to the person I am today. And just because we will be hours away, that doesn’t mean after we toss our caps it’s over. I will always be a text, phone call, or drive away. I will try to never let you guys down because you guys never cease to let me down. Thank you for putting a smile on my face, tears in my eyes, and a warm feeling in my heart. Because of you guys, I am proud to say I am an Arcadia Apache.
Now that we graduate in less than a week, it’s our time to plant new seeds in new places where we can grow into the beautifully individual assortment of people we are.
You guys have seen me at one point of my growth and I wish you all the best next year.
Now that we have given the people around us a part of us that they will always carry, it’s our time to bloom.
Class of 2014, we have reached our fifth stage of growth and are onto more and better adventures. This isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning.
Alyssa, thank you so much for mentioning me in your blog. It was an honor being your friend in high school and its a shame we weren't really friends sophomore and junior year. Like low key, I'm simpin right now. Anyways, again, thanks for being my friend Alyssa
Alyssa, I loved your blog because it was extremely well organized. By reading through the different stages of your life, I felt that I was able to truly know you better. Thank you for sharing!
alyssa it means so much to me that you put me in your blog and that i made such an impact on your life! You made a great impact on my life. You helped me out and were just there for me in the times i just needed a hug. You are an amazing person. You are the best alyssa. I know me you and big tones are always going to see each other cuz we all love roscoes!!!!!!! So thanks for everything alyssa!
alyssa it means so much to me that you put me in your blog and that i made such an impact on your life! You made a great impact on my life. You helped me out and were just there for me in the times i just needed a hug. You are an amazing person. You are the best alyssa. I know me you and big tones are always going to see each other cuz we all love roscoes!!!!!!! So thanks for everything alyssa!
alyssa it means so much to me that you put me in your blog and that i made such an impact on your life! You made a great impact on my life. You helped me out and were just there for me in the times i just needed a hug. You are an amazing person. You are the best alyssa. I know me you and big tones are always going to see each other cuz we all love roscoes!!!!!!! So thanks for everything alyssa!
First of all, holy crap! I found your blog by doing a command find on my name… is that conceited? Hahah I didn’t do it because I thought that people were going to write about me, I did it because I wanted to see if any one commented on my blog! I just wanted to put that out there.
Anyway, as I was finding my name, different Catherine’s scattered around the blog started to pop up. When I noticed that there was a Catherine that wasn’t part of my blog or Catherine Huang’s, I was pretty freaking surprised. I read the little part you wrote about me and wow, I was brought to tears. I remember talking to you about how stressed we were about how we were both going to fail Feraco’s test. That class was honestly the best, and I’m glad that we had each other to lean on. It was really an honor getting to know you our freshman year. It’s crazy to look back and reminisce on this stuff because that was four years ago! It feels like I just met you last week you know?! It’s scary to think about how fast time flies by. It’s almost time to open our freshman letters! I don’t know If you remember that, but I still have mine!
Okay, now onto talking about your blog, I really liked it this week. It was really sweet reading about everyone that has made a significant impact on your life. I’m glad that I decided to search for my name because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have stopped to read this one. I’ve always been a fan of your work Alyssa, even when we were freshman. Great job, and we definitely need to catch up this summer! I miss you man!
Graduation is just around the corner. It still hasn't hit me yet that I am going to graduate high school. I feel so comfortable, and am so used to coming here to Arcadia High School, sitting on the chairs, listening to teachers, walking around campus, using the restrooms (D hall has the cleanest restroom now) and seeing all the familiar faces. I’m not ready to leave yet. I wish I could slow down time, and continue to enjoy high school. Things are changing so quickly that I can’t even keep up with it.
Friendships are slipping away.
I realized that senior year has been the defining year of my high school career. Friends that I used to be so close with back in freshman year are now just faces walking pass me in the hallways, and occasionally saying “Hi” when we make eye contact. Friends that were your best friends started to slip away because they got into relationships. Friends that are your current best friends slip away because of an argument you had with them, and suddenly the four years of friendship turns you from sisters to acquaintances. Why does this happen? Why is it that the last year of our high school journey is the year where you find yourself realizing how people changing and revealing who they are shows who are your true friends? How come some friends are willing to throw away your friendship over one small irrelevant argument, and find a different friend to replace you? I’m sure most of you guys have, or have had, one of these types of friends. There are so many unanswered questions that have hit me because of the occurrences in my senior year. This is one of the reasons why I wish time would slow down, so I could have enough time to reconnect with my best friend and other friends who disconnected along this patchy journey. I wish everyone could just get along. I had high hopes that senior year was going to be the year where everyone bonded and cherished each other. But I was wrong. I am trying to catch up with the differences and changes that graduating is throwing at me. Please, slow down. So, make sure to always keep your friendships strong and to never let them slip away because of small obstacles. Friendships are meant to last forever.
Relationships are coming to an end.
I had a conversation with one of my friends a day ago, and he was telling me how he has been with his girlfriend for about two years now, yet they have decided to part ways in August. She is attending a California university and he is attending a university in another state. They made a mature decision to end things in August because they did not want their relationship to end on a bad note. He said that they both wanted to look back and treasure the amazing memories, and remember all the good things about it. Ending it on a set date will allow them to prevent breaking up because of infidelity, lying, etc. When he told me his decision and situation, I was in utter shock. I could not believe he had made such a mature decision. It was so insightful. I learned that sometimes you have to accept things that will end. Now, you might wonder if I am implying about my relationship ending because of the distance. My relationship is in a different situation than my friend’s. I will try to make it work. I will try to continue the relationship despite the distance. Well, it’s not far. We will only be about an hour and forty-eight minutes away from each other. I believe that any relationship can survive - it just takes two people to work together, trust each other, communicate with each other and persevere together. Although, there are a lot of issues and problems that are bound to happen; if it is worth it, then it is worth fighting for. Despite what everyone will think about your relationship, it does not matter. All that matters are the two people in the relationship. It’s you and your significant other, against the world, as cliché as that sounds. Graduation will not be the end of my relationship. We can make it work. So for those of you that are currently in a relationship, try to make it work. If not, then compromise on a decision and embrace the decision. Instead of hating each other and being angry about what is happening, thank each other for the wonderful memories and time spent together. Thank them for making you a better person and tolerating your flaws and habits. Thank them for the ups and downs and for being there through rough times. Remember all the intimate and memorable times you shared. In ten years, you should be able to look back and be grateful and glad that it happened.
Familial ties are disconnecting
I’m sure all my peers are so ready to go to college. I know every single one of my friends wants to go to college because of the freedom and the fun that will be so easily available. They do not realize that as you go to college, your family connection will slowly fade. You will never be as close to your mother or father compared to when you were an elementary school child. The relationship is going to be different. When you come back from college, you’re going to be more focused on going out to see your Arcadia friends and visiting other people from different schools. Hanging out with your family will be the last priority in your mind. I witness this through my brother. I used to be close to my brother, and we used to spend family bonding time every Sunday. But now, he barely comes home even though he attends UCR, and when he does come home, I don’t see him because he’s always late out at night and sleeping in the morning and afternoon. There are days where he is home, but I do not see or say a word to him. He naturally doesn’t prioritize family time. He unconsciously feels that there is no need to spend time with our family, and instead would rather play basketball or grab a drink with his friends. Conversations that you would have with your parents during dinner end up being awkward silences and just noises of bowls and chopsticks colliding. College changes you, for the better or worst. My brother has disconnected from my family. I do not want this to happen. I will continue to spend my Sundays with my family, and update them every once in a while with a phone call to keep in touch with them. All of you guys should appreciate and show your gratefulness to your parents. They have feelings, although they hide them most of the time. They will not say anything to you because they know you are growing up and will not be their little baby anymore. They will take this as letting you go on your own path. But, your job is to make sure you keep a strong bond with your parents because they are crucial factors in your life. They have brought you into this crazy world and love you unconditionally. So after graduation, the first thing you should do is say “Thank you”.
Don’t let things slip away.
Don’t let yourself separate from your family.
Don’t let distance be a defining factor in your relationship.
Don’t let friendships detach.
Don’t let graduation change how things are.
Christina, your blog really stood out to me. I feel the same it doesn’t feel real yet that we are all going to be graduating because we are so comfortable right now. Yet we don’t know that some people are already slipping from our finger tips. I really liked the way you wrote it and it really just stuck with me.
Thank you Christina. You've been a valuable asset to creating the yearbook that everyone is enjoying so far. Thank you for always having a peppy attitude that really reflects on your personality. Thank you for making two of my classes everyday significantly more enjoyable. Thank you for having the ability to make me laugh, even on the days that I can't seem to surface a smile. Thank you for introducing yourself to me this senior year. Thank you for forever impacting my life and leaving a permanent impression on my world. Thank you.
And it Comes to This
When reading this title you would think, the capitals are in the wrong place but they really are in the right place. Because my whole life revolves around these five words of discipline and anger. These five words mean more then what you may think, they are full of remorse and loneliness.
“If you want me to explain then say “yes” I will, if no just leave. Because if I go into my past I would only find the twisted memories that were replaced with what time left over in its vicious bites of exaggeration and less so.”
I found myself walking down the street, alone with my hands in my pockets trying to keep the dust from piercing my skin and my eyes. Around here it is quite often to have windstorms and dust devils come out of nowhere, so you always where a jacket, you have sleeves to protect from all of the debris that would hit you in seconds. Sometimes it is extremely hot and sometimes it is below freezing.
Because I was a kid, I never really paid attention to the news or even any updates on the weather what so ever. I could read the situation of the weather very easily just from looking up into the nothingness called the sky. On that day you could see the clouds in the yonder above the mesa (desert) and usually say that we would get rain or even a drop from distance.
“Do you know what happened?... It rained when the sun was shining, when the wind was blowing from all angles. I find myself transfixed on the beauty of this already dead plains that you call the “land of Enchantment”, my hometown where I was brought up to be. The place where I never want to see again a place where the sand pricks your every inch just to see the beauty on the other side, and I ask myself “was worth it”.”
Do you know what happens when you give a bar to an angry little child with no sense of feeling or empathy toward another?
“What this kid did was almost kill another friend of mine just to prove something that he was MY friend. And after that I never found out what happened to that kid but if we were to meet one more time there would be blood spilled from each other because of his hate and my protectiveness. This is what I had to deal with when I was growing up in the “land of enchantment” I find myself alone…”
Remembering these memories bring too much to the surface and I could cry if I felt the feelings of those memories. The deep dark void that you time and the sky should never be let out at any circumstance even in dust, in void, beauty is hidden but is it worth to break that barrier in between. Is worth my own self to risk it, because I do not want to surface these memories I will keep that sandstorm in between to hide those memories until the day I need them surface to save a life. (the kid with the bar)
Why are you here?
-To live with everyone
Why do you stand alone?
-It is the only way for me to live without harming others I do not want to hurt the people next to me that I care for
Why do you fight?
-To do the right thing, to be the one to show real reason and show them that physical violence leads to nothing and talking things out makes you think.
Why do you care?
-I don’t want to be the next in the line of people to only care for themselves.
“I am a person who wants everything to be a place where everyone can live and call home and call family a place where in the grasp within each person’s hands and to be able to live, how they want to live. That is what I want .”
Every day I get up in the morning with the Angels by the XX Huglife Trap Remix playing as my alarm. You should listen to it, it’s amazing, anyway, I bop my head to the drop a little and attempt to sit up. I lay back down because mornings are hard and think to myself that I have to freaking get up and move along with another day dealing with whatever thrown at me that day. Yay.
I grab my clothes and take a shower. Brush my teeth, use my acne treatment, and finally go downstairs and say hi to my dad. Pack my stuff, eat a banana, and go to the bathroom. Take a while to do my hair because I’m fabulous and do my daily bathroom snapchat and dip set out of my house. But before I leave, I put on my mask.
Walk with Judith to school and talk about what’s up and what’s down.
I say hi half heartedly to people I hate
I go through my first 2 dreadful periods then go into a actually interesting class.
I say hi to people I hate again.
I smile and hug the friends I love or miss.
I see him and get bubbly.
Go to my actually interesting class in 3rd.
Go to theater and do stuff theater related.
Go off with my friends or eat with the “bae”.
Say hi to people I hate.
Chill in Cordero’s room and run some errands.
Head on out to the theater to hang out with the peeps.
Either hang out with the besties or head on off home.
I get home and take off the mask and finally relax.
Next thing I know it’s the next morning.
Life’s too short to remember the majority of your days to be like that. Yeah sure there are some more unique days but to be honest, there isn’t that many. But those days are going to be over soon. What… like 5 days left?
And if there’s anything I learned in high school, literally anything good that’s happening in your life never stays. The play and musical are over; the late night Skype calls of bumping each other’s stupid posts from 2011 for the sake of laughs are over. I had so much free time. More time to think about the sad stuff rather than enjoying the last few weeks of school. Lately I actually have been pretty depressed. I never realized how fast the day would come for us. I hope it all goes well. But that’s something I need to work on. I need to learn to let go and be free like the buffalo and not worry and accept the fact that I should be happier that I have such great memories rather than remember some days are better than others.
“Let go or be dragged” -BEGINNERS
To change it to another lighter note. This is my normal face. I’m tired of you people asking “Cody are you okay?” or “Cody you look mad.” I’m fine. It’s just my face. My eyes just appear more closed giving me that condescending mean look. Yeah, sometimes I am actually mad, but if you paid attention to the difference, you can tell when I’m legitimately mad. So yeah, sorry if I was ever unapproachable, but that’s just how lovely my face is.
Anyway, thanks for the great years guys. Some of you were great. Some not so much.
Cody, I can’t tell you how much your blog made me smile and laugh! Your last section about always looking mad is something I can totally relate to and always get asked. For a majority of my high school career I felt like I was running through routines too and it was really something that bugged me. I didn’t think it was a rut I’d be able to get out of, but lately I’ve been learning how to start climbing out of it. You’re a really smart guy with a bright future ahead of you, and with graduation and college around the corner it will bring a ton of change!! I hope it's all for the better for you, I truly wish you the best!
awww Cody! I really hope you got a lot out of your last year in high school. You're actually a fabulous person and I'm glad you realize that.
Say everything important that you've ever wanted to say to everyone who is important to you. Now is your chance. You are leaving and sosososoo many people will miss you and WANT to hear what you have to say. Don't be sad about it ending, though. Be happy that you are getting a brand new slate with wonderful opportunities and amazing happy moments that lie ahead of you.
I didn't know how difficult it was for you. I love these blogs. Honestly not only has it challenged me to write better but also for me to better know myself and my closest friends. I feel that way Cody but its okay. High School is still about discovering yourself. It probably hurts realizing things might not be 100 percent genuine but I have absolute faith that you will find it. You are strong and that is saying a lot. You are brave. Never forget that.
June 11th 2014
We have made it.
The road to getting here was not easy but we’ve finally arrived.
We’ve survived through the long hours of studying, the sleepless nights and those coffee filled mornings. Just to do it all over again the next day. So I want to begin by congratulating all of you with a round of applause because it’s truly an impressive feat. -applause- You all deserve it.
Next, I want to reminisce on our four short years of high school, starting from our freshman year.
During this year, many of us were simply trying to get used to the amount of work given in high school. Some of us may have struggled a little with this change while others transitioned easily. But regardless, we learned how to adapt to the new environment to the point where it became normal for us. Now, I want you to think about the person you were when you entered high school. Now think about the person you are now. Are you the same as back then? No. I can say with confidence that most, if not all of us have matured in some aspect or another. Whether it was intellectually or physically, we have changed and become the person we are today.
Next was sophomore year.
At this point, I think we were at a stage in life where we weren’t really old enough to be taken seriously by our elders, but at the same time, were too old to be pitied. The constant struggle of trying to be heard taught us how to deal with being overlooked by those in a higher position than us and that we still can make an impact without being noticed.
Next came junior year.
For most of us this was our busiest year. A year filled with multiple AP classes and extracurricular activities. We somehow fit everything into our schedules while surviving on the few hours of sleep that we managed to get each night. But this experience taught us how to manage our time effectively and efficiently, a skill that will be incredibly useful to us in the future.
Finally, we reached our senior year.
For most of us, our entire first semester was filled with college applications. We needed to figure out how to make ourselves more appealing to the colleges that we were applying to.
As the first semester ended, college decisions began to come in. To those of you who were accepted into your top college, I want to congratulate you. You’ve worked hard to get where you are now and I’m truly glad that they recognized that. But this next part is for those of us who received rejection letters.
I’m not saying that we did not work hard. I can think of several people who worked as hard as, if not harder than anyone, who weren’t accepted into their top college. One of the downsides of attending Arcadia High school is that some of our definitions of educational success have been skewed by expectations. We, as students in Arcadia have this notion that if we aren’t attending the top colleges in the fall, we aren’t as good as those of us who are. And to be honest, this is completely ridiculous. Please do not measure your own self-worth based on the success of others.
A couple of months ago, Dr. Sutro asked to meet with those of us who were rejected by Stanford. There, he showed us his rejection letter from when he applied as an undergraduate. And what he said was truly inspiring. What he said was that he was thankful that he didn’t get in because if he had, then he may not have had all of the wonderful years of teaching that he had here at Arcadia High School.
And so, I believe that whether it’s to teach you a lesson, or simply because it wasn’t the right time, everything happens for a reason. However, this does not mean that you should give up.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned throughout my high school career, it’s this.
If you truly want something, go get it.
Each and every one of you possesses the power to achieve what you desire in life. But the question is, how badly do you want it? You may not always succeed on your first try, but that’s how life goes. Life will continue to knock you down, but you all have the choice to get back up and fight for what you believe in.
In just a few short months, most of us will be going our separate ways. We will be starting over. We will make new friends at a new school in a new environment. For some of us, this might happen right away while it might take a while for others. But the thing is, we’ve done it before so I have faith that we can do it again.
Finally, I’m extremely proud to be graduating with all of you. We have successfully continued the tradition of excellence that comes along with attending Arcadia High School. I want to thank all of you for making the past four years such a memorable experience. But more importantly, I wish you all good luck as we take the next step in our lives.
This is our time to affect the future because we are the future.
So for the last time,
It's really great, what you wrote. High school really is almost over huh? It's bittersweet to think back to our early years when we were so unaware of the countdown of our days together at this school. We were so naive (we still kinda are). And I agree, everything happens for a reason. We are defined not by the decisions of others, but by our response to those decisions. So let us pave our own paths....
One thing I hadn’t realized until this year was how I took many things for granted. From the family that continuously supports me, the community that I live in, to the great programs that I’ve been involved with and the people that have touched my life, I had not appreciated every one of these special aspects enough. We don’t understand the importance of these things in life until they’re almost out of grasp.
As you may already know, our world percussion ensemble is one of the best in the country and in the world. Unlike other top groups, we pride ourselves in the depth and integrity of our musicality. We have our own identity in this activity, and only a handful of educated audiences comprehend our uniqueness.
This year in Dayton at our championship finals competition, there was this one kid who I never had seen or met before. He came up to us when we were loading the truck after we had performed our last show in the arena. “You guys are awesome, keep up the great work Arcadia.” I later realized that this guy was from one of the other groups that we were competing against, from our rival school, Chino Hills. At first, I couldn’t comprehend why this drummer would take his time to come compliment us. However as the day went on, there were many other kids from other ensembles around the world who praised our show and exclaimed how jealous they were of us. That was when it came to me. I had never thought about what great things we do and have. These kids would do anything to be in my place and perform with Arcadia. I was too caught up with the scores and placements that I forgot about what really mattered to me: appreciation, for the people that I get to work with and for the outstanding program.
I can’t stress how my time here in the percussion program has greatly shaped me into the person I am today. From the people that I’ve created bonds and the lessons that I have learned, I don’t think I could ask for a better high school experience. High school is coming to an end and another chapter is about to unfold.
Before I leave Arcadia, I want to thank all the friends who have been there for me throughout the 4 years, my parents who have volunteered and supported me since day 1, and the teachers who have believed in me to accomplish great achievements.
Mark, I'm glad you were able to effect others with the music you play. Even though not many people understand your groups musicality, everyone knows a good tune when they hear it. I'm glad I was able to meet you this year and become your friend. Only if I had known you the other past 3 years.
Mark, I'm truly thankful for being able to be as close as we are now. Last year, was certainly an experience to remember, stay up until 3-4 in the morning, trying to figure out what was happening in AP chem. Anyway you're a great guys and I'm really excited to see what you accomplish in the future.
This is not the end.
It's just the beginning.
This is just another obstacle that we have overcome.
It's sad to see people complaining and stressing that they have a 3.9 or 3.6 g.p.a
I want to let you guys know that you should not be disappointed in yourself. Even though you got out of high school with a 4.00 or a 3.50 or even barely got out of high school
I am telling you that you should be PROUD OF YOURSELF. you got through high school and now you are on to bigger and better things. Whether you are going to PCC, Harvard, Yale, or going to work right out of high school you should be proud.
All I hear about in Arcadia is what kind of school are you going too? or what?!?!?!? you have a 3.99 gpa WHATS WRONG WITH YOU!!!!??!?!?
I want to open people's eyes and tell them that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, we all have our own paths.
The school you are going to and the gpa you got in high school does not determine what kind of person you are.
Just because you have a 2.00 gpa and someone has a 4.00 gpa does not necessarily mean you are dumb or lazy or something else.
People have problems that we may never know about or they may not like school but they are trying their best to go to high school and graduate.
IT IS ALL ABOUT WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!
WHO CARES ABOUT ANYONE ELSE
WHY GET A 4.00 GPA WHEN THOSE GRADES AREN'T FOR YOU?
Think about that.
Just do you!
Go to school because you want to or get a 4.00 because you want to.
If you are happy with getting a 2.00 gpa and then going to PCC and trying hard there then by all means go for it. IF you feel like school is not for me, I would rather just start working then go it! If you feel that getting a 4.2 GPA and going to Harvard is what you want to do then GO FOR IT!
If you are not doing things that make you happy or you are just going to do these things for someone else then you are never going to be happy. You are going to always be looking for acceptance from somewhere else.
Even though we all may take different paths we all have similar goals and eventually are roads meet.
The difference will be if you did your life for you?
or for someone else?
Oh my gosh it is over.
I guess that is what I should be saying. At the beginning of the year I looked forward to the end. But now that we are at the end, I don’t want it to end. It’s all coming so quick. High School is the last protective bubble and once it’s over that last bubble is popped. You are pushed into the hurricane tsunami of adult life.
“Wait, but I’m not ready.”
These days I have been following my mom around again. I feel like everything is going so fast. I never noticed how much older she has gotten. Every time someone asks me her age I automatically think 48 but that’s not true. She’s 52 now, and it hurts. Gosh, it hurts so much. I just want to be her little one forever. I don’t want to leave her side. I don’t want to go.
“Stop, I’m not ready.”
But life doesn’t wait for me. I can’t follow her around everywhere forever. In college, I can’t find a way to snuggle into her bed after a scary movie. I see my mom every day. The most I have gone not seeing her was two weeks. She is my cornerstone and my protector. She is my heart. I love her more than anyone in the whole world. What am I going to do.
“Please, I’m not ready.”
What about my friends. I didn’t want to start high school because I was scared to build new relationships. What if people hate me? It’s been four years and I have built another family. Cody, Patrick, Anita, Alana, Alice, Rafael, Carrie, Vincent, Vivian and the list goes on and on. I’m not going to the same school as any of them. What am I going to do. I have leave not just one family but two. Everyone is so important to me and I am excited for college but this is such a big sacrifice. I’ve built my life around them. I see them everyday at school. I screamed their names at the top of my lungs. They gave me a shoulder when I need to cry. They laughed with me over the stupidest things.
“I can’t do this. It’s so sudden. I’m not ready.”
No bills. No taxes. No jury duty. No insurance fees. No worries. I’m a kid. Yeah I’m almost 18 but I’m a kid. No I’m not a kid. Car Insurance. College Tuition. Dorm Fees. Bills. Taxes. Jury duty. Worries. But I want to be a kid. I want to play tag. I want to play duck duck goose. I want to believe in Santa. I want to run around the house in my pjs before school. I want to get embarrassed by my parents. I want to be able to come home and tell my mom I love her. I want to hug her. I don’t want to grow up.
“Why do I have to do this, I’m not ready.”
“But you have to be ready.”
“What if I’m not”
“Well, too bad. Let’s give a warm welcome to the Graduating Class of 2014!”
This moment is what I have been looking forward too my whole life right? They say college is the best experience. Look Chloe, you have grown so much since Freshman year. You are ready.
“I know I’m ready. But... I don’t want to be ready.”
As we go on
All the times we
And as our lives change
We will still be
Graduation - Vitamin C
I sang this on the last day of middle school. Knowing that next year I was going to see everyone again. It won’t be the same next year for me but the lyrics will always be the same.
I love the way you structured your post. The quotes about not being ready after every paragraph was the perfect touch. I don't know you very well, but I can definitely relate to you because, as kids, all we want is to grow up. We want to grow up because of the "freedom" that comes with being older, but the older we get, the younger we want to be.
No one wants to have a curfew or have only one more minute of play time left, but no one wants to pay taxes or drive their kids to school either.
No one wants to be ready for any of these things.
So happy to be able to read your last blog post
Many people seem ready to graduate high school. Although I want to go to college, I don't feel ready to graduate yet as well, especially since I don't know if I'll be able to handle all those 'lasts'!!
I'm glad you've come to love your mom over the years, it's so sweet, and it's interesting how when we grow older we become more considerate and more thankful of our parents Haha. I feel the dread of old age as well whenever I look at my grandparents and parents, and it scares me.
I hear college gives you more freedom to be who you want, so I think people will be more accepting, you may like it. Hopefully, I will as well.
I really miss all the days we were children together, I miss the days when we could be so carefree and play all day and act as stupidly as we want without fear... Chloe I'm going to miss you so much!
We haven't been able to spend much time together these past years, but I still like how we keep in touch and find ways to hang out at times. I hope we can continually do so in college. No matter where you go, the family you've build here will always be there for you~
Nice post, it nearly made me cry haha
“As a man was passing by some elephants. He suddenly stopped; confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front legs. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could at anytime break away from their bonds, but for some reason they did not.
The man saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” the trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller, we use the same size rope to tie them and at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?”
Why do we let ourselves be fooled into thinking that we can’t do something? By not doing something you once failed at, you might be saving yourself from another failure but you might also be keeping yourself from your success.
I was like the elephants in the story too. I was always questioning my capabilities. I thought that I couldn’t pass my sophomore math class because I failed on a test in the beginning of the year. After that test I just stopped caring about my grade and ended up jeopardizing my grade even more. But then I realized that I couldn’t let that one failure ruin my whole grade. I was then able to bring my grade back up by putting all my efforts into passing that class.
If I hadn’t realized my mistake, I could have ended up failing that class. Then in the future I might have looked back and thought, ‘what if I had tried harder?’
This experience taught me two things: never give up, and never leave anything for you to regret later, because you never know how it’s going to turn out unless you try.
It is perfectly fine if you lose.
It is okay if you need a break.
But it is totally shameful
If you don’t learn from your mistake.
It is perfectly fine if you fail.
It is okay if you need to cry.
But it is totally shameful
If you give up and never try.
I hope that as I leave high school, I can still hold on to this story of the elephants and give myself hope that I can succeed at whatever I want to, no matter how hard it may seem.
I don’t want to give up anymore.
Class of 2014, as we move on to the next milestone of our lives, I hope that we all have something that we are looking forward to, some success that we hope to achieve. And I hope that this story will inspire you, just as it inspired me, to never give up on those dreams. We are still young. We might still make mistakes. But somewhere along the way, we can learn from those mistakes and achieve all the goals that we have now set our hearts onto.
So (almost) graduates, “ At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no regrets” (Steve Maraboli).
Break away from the ropes that are tying you down.
Geez Harjot this blog was amazinggggg. The story about the elephant was so good. At first I was like what does an elephant have to do with this but it was so relatable. I agree with everything you said. We should go past our limits and not limit ourselves because of what we believe. You really did awesome on this last blog, go you!!!
I LOVE the elephant story. Not only does it fit in really well with your blog, but it also fits so well with the curriculum and everything we've done in Search.
Also, I totally understand what you mean when you say you gave up too early. That was me THIS year, so props to figuring it out way before I did.
I have 3 pet peeves:
1- When I’m constantly called “Caroline” instead of my actual name
It’s almost like a curse that follows me wherever I go. For as long as I can remember, people have continually made the mistake of calling me Caroline, whether it was the teacher taking roll for the first time or a classmate I didn’t know very well. Sometimes, it was even someone that had been in my class for a while. Anyhow, more people get it wrong than right the first time they meet me. It became so normal that I stopped correcting people when they got it wrong.
2- When I’m repeatedly told I’m too quiet
Usually people who don’t know me very well call me quiet. When I am comfortable with the people I am around or the environment I’m in, I am not like that. When I’m with my friends, I can actually be outgoing. With my cousins, I am quite talkative.
However, in certain situations and in most of my classes, I tend to come off as someone who doesn’t really talk that much. Maybe it’s my fear of being judged negatively, or the fear of failing and being embarrassed. However, most of all, I think it’s from a lack of confidence. To be honest, being told that I was too quiet lowered my self-esteem and made me feel worse about myself. I wanted to change, but I couldn’t gather up the courage to put myself out there and call attention to myself.
3- When I’m described as a serious person
I don’t try to come off that way, but apparently, sometimes I just do, especially when I am nervous or uncomfortable. I find that people tend to pair quietness with seriousness. However, they don’t always go hand-in-hand. A serious person seems to connote (or at least to me anyway) a somewhat negative image of someone who is mostly focused on work and doesn’t laugh or smile very much. I don’t want to come off as a workaholic and as someone who is no fun to be around. Again, it is the issue of my being comfortable or not. Contrary to appearances, I am not all that much of a serious person. Those who are closer to me have said so. I get my work done, but I don’t let it consume my life. There are other things in life that are worth so much more such as my friendships and relationships with others.
The truth is none of these labels are actually me. They don’t accurately describe who I am; they don’t define me. I don’t want them to define me.
It’s easy to get lost in the crowd, especially in such a big school like Arcadia High. Many times throughout high school, I felt insignificant and that no one really cared about what I had to say. Maybe that’s why I never willingly spoke up or participated in class. Maybe that’s why I let my voice get drowned out. Somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I closed myself off, preferring to stay in my own little bubble of peace and quiet. As a result, a lot of people held these impressions of me that were not always accurate.
Finally, this year, I think I have found a better sense of who I am, and I feel more confident in my own skin. I would like to take a moment to thank my friends and family for their support. They have shaped me into the person I am today. They were able to look past my flaws, my apparent seriousness, and my quietness, and actually get to know me, to see the person behind the wall that she built between herself and others. Whether they know it or not, my family and friends have helped me in breaking down this wall.
So it’s important to remember that only you know yourself best. Don’t let the small things (such as self-consciousness and fear) hold you back from being the person you are. As this chapter comes to a close and a new one begins, I will keep in mind:
Stay true to yourself
Find your voice
Since only you can define who you are.
I like the way you start the post, you just dove right in rather than giving fluff haha.
I think what shows a person’s inner self better is more what they want themselves to be seen, rather than what other people see them in the now. For example, you may seem quiet and serious to some people, but saying you aren’t that way (I know situations where you can be and where you aren’t ) it says much. I know I don’t want to be a quiet one most of the time, because I want to be better in social situations and be able to talk to people endlessly without having to think about what to say first. Perhaps you feel similar, but to a different degree.
But I like whatever self you choose to be. Perhaps you don’t like to be seen as serious because you like to be light and happy and I think it’s cute. I would love to hear more of what you have to say Carolyn!
Don’t be afraid, whatever you have to say, I’m here to listen! Thanks for sharing this
Go be the person you want to be!
This was really good Carolyn! Like you, people have a hard time with my name. It’s not that they mispronounce it, I mean it’s not hard to mispronounce “Catherine.” It’s more about how they spell it. I’ve gotten a lot of interesting interpretations this year alone, I’ve gotten things like “Kathryn,” “Cathrine,” and “Kathrine.” At first, I was really upset that people didn’t know how to spell my name, but after awhile I kind of just gave up. I know how easy it is for you to just give up because people never seem to get it right. It’s tough because you want to correct them, but after multiple tries, it never seems to be enough.
Anyway, I really like how you wrote your blog this week. At first, I thought that you were speaking in present tense, and that you were still closing people off. After you started talking about this year, it finally hit me. I like how the tone of your blog immediately changes after your last paragraph. Your blog was really sweet, and I’m glad that your senior year was the year for you. Great job on this blog “Caroline!” hahaha I’m totally joking. Great job on this blog Carolyn!**
I find us really similar to each other. I am very quiet around those I don't really know, but with my close friends I am very talkative. Many people think I am a serious person too, I am actually not I like to joke around too, but just not having a very good sense of humor. Nice Post
I am very glad that I get to meet you this year, having you as my seating partner in Pasqua and part in Feraco. Maybe because both of us is pretty quiet due to not really knowing each other. Hope to talk to you more either in person or online even after we graduate.
Search for Human Potential has made me express myself more than I ever have in my life. It also made me feel a lot more confident. I realized this when I wasn’t shaking horribly when I had to present my senior project to a full class and arguably one of the harder English teachers at AHS.
I remember back in October, my body was so filled with anxiety due to a presentation that was only supposed to be three minutes long. I was even allowed to have a note card, but even thinking about the presentation would make me have a gut-wrenching feeling. I feel like Mr. Feraco ultimately helped me reach the goal that I set back when I first stepped into room D101. I remember stating that I wanted to be able to step out of my shell and be myself. May 27th was the day I realized that the days of feeling MAJOR anxiety was over and I felt loved when the class applauded me when I finished my presentation. For all of this, I want to thank 2nd period and Mr. Feraco for giving me the best experience I’ve ever had in an English class.
To Alyssa, aka Liz, Big Lyssa, Lizzisaurus,
I know I’ve said that I’m really happy that we became friends again this year, but I just can’t stress enough how happy I am. I feel like we have a better friendship than we did freshmen year even. I remember walking into SFHP and I saw you and I was thinking, “oh cool, its Alyssa, we haven’t really been friends since freshman year and I don’t plan on trying reconnect with her.” However, throughout second semester, I was reminded of what made us such good friends freshmen year. I love her silly personality, her genuineness, her kindness, and most of all, how she calls me Big Tones. I feel like Alyssa and I have great chemistry and it feels like we never stopped being friends. Crossing paths with Alyssa was a blessing and I consider it an honor to be a friend of Alyssa’s. I don’t think this paragraph emphasizes enough how much I respect Alyssa. Thanks for being a great friend though Alyssa. I really appreciate it.
I met you in Ms. Ma’s class and I wish we hung out and became close man. You’re one of the coolest dudes I’ve met and you have a rare ability to brighten the mood of a whole room. I honestly think that our 2nd period group would be super boring without you. You really can’t stop smiling and I’ve never seen you mad. To me, I feel that you make everyone happier acting this way. I know that we’ll hang out over the summer and eat a lot of fried foods! Thanks for being a genuine dude my DUDE.
I honestly have never met a girl like you. Honestly, I can only describe you as SUPER cool. You’re really open and you’re not embarrassed about the things you talk about. I don’t know what else to say though other than the fact that you’re honestly freaking awesome. Thanks for being an influence on me. You make me feel like I should be more comfortable with myself and I really appreciate that.
Gurpreet Multani, Ben Kim, Gilbert Lui, and Calvin Tseng.
I love you guys like brothers. Theres nothing else that needs to be said about you guys.
To every girl I’ve ever liked here at AHS,
your loss hehehehe.
Even though most kids here at AHS can’t wait to get out of Arcadia to take the next step in their lives and move on, I want to say that I’m not happy that we just finished the easiest part of our lives. It only gets harder from here on out and I wish everyone the best of luck. All of you say “I hate everyone and I can’t wait to leave.” I want to say that I will truly miss at least 99% of you guys. Thanks for being a huge part of my life everyone.
- Big Tones
Four years ago when I stepped foot on this campus for the very first time as a naïve freshmen I thought high school was just going to be like middle school and elementary school. I thought I would get to know everyone in this school on a personal level and that we would just be playing basketball at lunch. All the classes would be the same pushover courses that meant last minute procrastination.
hat was until I found myself lost within a sea of people. I lost track of who I was and who my friends were. Times were tough and I just went with the flow, unable to truly solidify my place in this school. It was the beginning of a tough four years that I had no idea how I was going to survive.
I wasn’t doing too well in my classes my freshmen year, I had gained two D’s in the second semester of freshman year and I truly thought I was a lost cause.
Sophomore year came and I remembered that I set out to accomplish more in school then I had ever achieved freshmen year. I wanted to succeed and regain my pride. I put aside the games that I used to play, and put extracurricular activities on second on my priority list. Needless to say I had gotten almost straight A’s in both semesters and things were really starting to turn around. I felt like I had one foot in the ground. My friends were back on the grid and I was back into the loop. Friends came over periodically and we snuck out at night just to go to Honeyboba or stroll around the neighborhood. Life was pretty good at this point.
Junior year, the most stressful and frightening year or so says all those who have warned me by saying that. I didn’t really take that many AP’s junior year besides two and one honors. I wanted to challenge myself but not bite off more then I could chew. Classes were tough but I had learned something my sophomore year that I didn’t know as a freshmen. I knew to count on my friends when I was in need of help. My friends really came through with all the extra help and late night study sessions. I solidified a lot of the bonds with my friends that year.
Four years has passed and now it is June 5, 2014 and on the 11th of this month I would finally walk across that platform and get my long-awaited diploma. Four years ago I had no place in this high school, and I was lost within a sea of people. Four years ago I was naïve and foolish to believe nothing would change. Four years is a long time. Long enough for someone to finally place both feet in the ground and gain control of their life. Just when I finally found my place in a situation I never really liked I will be leaving again to try and fit in at college. It’s sad to say but I really don’t want to leave this place, this home. Four years ago this was foreign to me. However, this is my home now. I spend most of my time here sitting in a chair and talking to my friends. I don’t want to lose everything now that I have it in my grasp. Graduation is supposed to be a time of happiness and cheerfulness. I just can’t help but have a feeling of sadness to know that everything will be gone now that I have to enter the “real world”.
Hopefully, I have been prepared for what’s ahead.
My mother has a scrapbook about her life before I was born, as well as the memories that follow after. Sometimes, when I’m bored with nothing else to do, I find myself looking through a particular scrapbook. It’s the scrapbook that spells out the very early phases of my childhood, when I was a normal baby with a blank mind and an empty canvas.
There isn’t anything creative about the way that scrapbook is presented, but the faded photos about an early life I can’t recall is always interesting for me to look at. I took it upon myself to memorize all the pictures and words in that scrapbook with the hope that one day it would matter to me. That one day, words and pictures would be some of the most important things to me in my life.
I started to grow into a more visual person as I got older. I became someone who liked to fill empty pages with pictures, hoping that later on I could stumble upon those full books and remember all it had to offer me.
I started scrapbooking when I was in the fourth grade, very shortly after I joined Girl Scouts. As a girl scout, scrapbooking is such an important part of keeping track of all the workshops one has attended as well as keeping track of the memories and experiences that have been shared during a scouting year. Just like my mother in her earlier scrapbooking years, my style was plain and generic. Anyone could scrapbook the way I did as a fourth grader. To me, simply cutting and pasting a picture onto a blank sheet of paper counted as scrapbooking, and I was stupidly proud of the apparent masterpieces I had put together.
It wasn’t until I was much older did I start to understand and realize that scrapbooking is an art all by itself. There are different ways to present a picture, and there are so many various factors that could play an important role in making a scrapbook stand out above the rest. I started to realize this, and little by little, I started to fill my pages with stickers and I started layering my sheets with different colors to make everything stand out more. I got compliments, because my curiosity and my need to make my work stand out paid off.
I was always envious of my mother’s scrapbooking style. I mean, the better version. The style she has now through many years of trial-and-errors runs and practicing until she finally came across a format that felt right to her. She always knows what she wants when it comes to scrapbooking, and she always has the correct tools that she needs to put her plan into action.
I always wished I could be the same.
Ten years later, and seven completed scrapbooks later, I found my style.
It’s different from my mom’s in every single aspect. While she has a softer style with pastel colors and giant cutout drawings on every page, I have darker colors and layering the papers is my favorite part.
Pictures started to mean everything.
It’s not always smooth sailing for me, especially in this department of art. I got older.
School consumed my whole life.
I got introduced to writing, and I was writing different stories all the time.
I learned who my true friends were, and I became more social.
I stopped having the time to scrapbook.
I stopped putting scrapbooking at the top of my priority list. The pictures I had gathered for a new booklet is on the floor of my room, gathering dust and fingerprints from all the times I shuffled through them with the sole intention of simply looking through them. My materials and tools are in the top corner of my bookshelf, unused and untouched for years.
Pictures became too hard, and too time-consuming to maintain.
I wasn’t the same.
When I was a sophomore, I got introduced to Young Adult fictional novels. My life, from there on, was consumed by another force, and that was reading. I started reading all the time, and from that, my writing skills got better. I was writing better, and getting better feedback because of it.
But as I continued on with reading, I realized that each of the stories I had spent so much time on had lines that I wanted to remember. Quotes that I felt the need to remember or read over when I was in the mood to read my favorite excerpts from books.
That’s when I started drawing quotes. It’s hard for me to explain just what exactly drawing quotes mean, but to me, it’s when I present a quote in a creative way. Whether I write the quote in cursive or in block letters, I started to do that. I started to find other ways to fill my empty canvas and paper, and this time it was with words.
I still do it. I even own a quote journal, which is just a notebook filled with blank pages that I enjoy filling when I’m bored or have a compelling quote I want to remember.
And when I don’t have enough time to draw a quote, or if that specific quote happens to be too long, I simply write it in another notebook.
I don’t have a particular type of quote I look for. If something stands out to me, and is something I want to remember forever, I write it down. When I look through those different quotes in my journal, they’re all compelling and I know they’re all the type of words I never want to forget. Because I’ve written them down, I know they won’t slip down the memory hole.
They’ll stay the same.
I’ve lived a very endearing life so far. I’ve gained friends, and lost plenty. I’ve made enemies, and been thrown in situations that have been far out of my control. I’ve had the best timing in the world, and sometimes I’ve had the worst. The lessons that Arcadia High has taught me have been important to me in every aspect of my future. I’ve met people who changed my life, whether it be in a positive way or a negative way. Either way, they’ve still taught me a lesson.
What I’ve learned in this life I’ve lived so far is that it’s never too late to find something to fill your empty canvas or your empty page. Sometimes, priorities get messed up and the things you hate the most end up taking the most space in your day. When you’re left with nothing, go find something. Go find influences and become inspired. Inspiration is everywhere, you just need to be willing to go out and find it.
Go share your experiences.
Go put yourself out there.
Go make your voice be heard.
Go find things to add to your empty canvas.
Dear Mr. Feraco,
Thank you for this very enlightening semester. Thank you for always reading my work, even though sometimes they weren’t my favorite pieces. Thank you for pushing me to step out of my comfort zone, and making me realize that things aren’t always what they seem.
Thank you for giving me things to add to my quote journal.
Thank you for everything. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Hey Traci! I really liked what you said about finding something to do that inspires you. Especially now that we're graduating I want to be able to find something I love to do before I get thrown into a new school. The story about your mom and how you started doing scrapbooking was really cute and I love that you shared it. Great job on this post!
A Last Memoir
To Scott Luong, Ean Katagihara, Leo Wan, Michael Shi, William Ho, Vincent Chung, and Aska Ng. I’m sorry my yearbook messages to you seem generic, and I hope somehow someday you might find your way to this one last heartfelt message.
Our lives haven't been easy. From birth we've been fighting inner demons, battling inter-familial problems, warring against adversity, struggling against death, and scrimmaging for resources. More often than not, we lose ourselves in these battles and forget just exactly who or what we are fighting for. We get so caught up in the moment that we succumb to the inevitable feeling of self-worthlessness, doubt, rage, and hopelessness. We have all been through some form of battle, and from what I see, we have all somewhat survived.
Middles school was the worst. I don’t remember that I even had a stable set of friends. I had a small group which I hung out with occasionally. But I thought of myself as a nomad, weaving from group to group in search of some company. And honestly it sucked. I never really contributed much talk in these groups and it was kind of my fault. I was shy, alone, and not really compassionate about anything. And to those that I hung out with during middle school, I probably never seemed to be like this and honestly it’s because I never showed much of my emotions. I was always happy because I had someone to sit with, at least for that lunch period. I was never one that showed much of anything. I closed everything to myself, and I kept everything to myself because there was no one to share them with or there was no need to share them at all. And I don’t want to sound all depressing and whatnot, but I went through that phase basically all of middle school. It was hard, I don’t have many fond memories of middle school. That is…until I found a group of friends that would change my life, my perspective, and my future.
Eighth grade, second semester, Google and Lab Coats, I was seated at a table with people whom I’ve never knew much before. It was exciting in a sense, but of course I didn’t show much of it. Weeks passed in that class, and truthfully and I don’t know why, but the moments I had in that class were some of my best times in middle school – the few good memories I had of middle school were in that class. Then one day we were assigned a project. The project was to find a science myth online and verify it (like Mythbusters). My partner was Scott Luong, and everything I have come to cherish now, everything that I have pursued, and where I am now, started with him. They say you only remember a few things in your life that truly matter to you…this was one of those day. And perhaps he doesn’t see the significance of that one day when he invited me to play Frisbee with him and his friends, but that was the day that I met a unique group of people whom I would spend my next four years so closely with.
I’m usually not one for thank you’s, but I suppose there is a first for everything:
Scott Luong thank you for all the times you invited me over to your house despite the fact that I’ve never even once invited you to mine. I think we both know now that doing so would have been impossible and I thank you for understanding and inviting me over anyways. Thank you Leo Wan for being close to me during cross country. XC was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and even though I am not in it anymore, I’m glad you’ve decided to continue. William Ho thank you for hanging out with me in general, you’ve always been so cool to me and always supported me. I don’t think you ever once made fun of me, and honestly, thank you for that. Michael Shi thank you for inspiring me to pursue something more than myself. Your coding skills are insane and you helped me realize that I could push past beyond my limits just like you did for yourself. Thank you for being there when I did that science fair project with you; none of it would have been possible without you. Ean Katagihara thank you for your shining personality. You are perhaps one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. You showed me how rewarding it was to be nice to everyone you me and how rewarding it was to smile just all the time. You taught me to open myself up, to be kinder to others, and to just work hard. Aska Ng thank you for being my friend. It has been tough over these few years and seeing you and the others every day during lunch these last four years has really helped me through tough times. Thank you Vincent Chung for treating me so many times to food. Thank you for showing me the weird side of you, we had some good times.
Scott Luong, William Ho, Aska Ng, Leo Wan, Mike Shi, Vincent Chung, Ean Katagihara, I want to thank all of you. I want to thank you for all the times you took me to In-and-Out. I want to thank you for all the times you guys invited me over to your houses. I want to thank you all for the Fridays we spent playing Frisbee at the track or park. I want to thank you for taking me to restaurants to try cuisines I’ve never thought I’d try. I want to thank you for our deep late night Skype calls. I want to thank you for tolerating my gaming skills. I want to thank you for all the poker games we had. I want to thank you for our cards against humanity sessions that we had together. I wanted to thank all you guys for being there and being available when I went through some tough times. I want to thank you all for accepting me for who I was and for encouraging me to be who I wanted to be. I wanted to thank you for shaping me into the person I am today because honestly, I would be nothing without you guys. I wouldn’t be going to where I am going if it wasn’t for you guys. Every single one of you shaped my future and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for all of you. Thank you for these last four years, and I know this shouldn’t be goodbye but it sure feels like it. Even writing this now, I can't seem to keep back the tears. You all matter so much to me. I don't know how I'll bear to see each and every one of you go. You guys have been my family when I didn’t really have one; you guys were my brothers when I had none, you guys are everything to me. I don't know if I'll be able to hold back when the time comes to say goodbye.
Because the truth is we don’t fight our battles alone. If we are lucky, we find others struggling in their own battles and we form alliances with those battling their own enemies. We come face to face with those allies every day, yet we can’t see each other fully. We can’t see each other’s emotional wounds, each other’s internal sorrows, each other’s fearful shadows. We can’t see each other, but at the same time we can. When you get to know someone for a long time, you can start to see the invisible battles each and every one of us is facing. You see the occasional sorrowful smile, the occasional tear that breaks through the barriers, and the occasional worrisome face. We see that in our friends, we can see that in our close friends, and it’s hard because usually we can’t do anything about it. We think that we are only spectators in someone else’s battle, that all we can do is talk to them, give them a pat on the back, or encourage them. But sometimes, sometimes that’s more than enough…it certainly was for me.
Thank you for everything my friends…my success…my everything…I owe it all to you…it has been a ride and I hope it won’t take long until we meet again…until then…may the future illuminate a path for each and every one of us.
Thank you…Thank you…Thank you a thousand times over…thank you…
I'll probably forgot to comment on yours so I might as well do it now!
Thank you Alex so much for being the guiding light I always envied in high school. Your story is very unique and even under the most special of situations, you pulled out. All those days that you spent volunteering while I was pulling off my shenanigans really inspired me to what I've become today. (which isnt much compared to you really) Although we rarely talk anymore, you've still given me an important lesson in life. If you could do it, why couldn't I? Thank you again so much. Have fun at Harvard. You deserve it. Hopefully one day, our paths will cross again.
It is almost here. The moment we have all been waiting for from the first time we stepped foot into those dreadful halls four years ago as a freshmen. But, we stand here today knowing all that we have accomplished within these four years. We are examining the good moments, but sometimes we can’t help ourselves by also examining the bad. These bad moments aren’t so bad, because I bet all these bad moments turned into great moments once we have learned from those mistakes and try to become a better person.
When you walk across that stage, we are walking into a brighter future. A future where you have the chance to call it your own and shape it your way. You have the command of following your dreams and make that impact onto this world. There are more than 900 of us in the Senior 2014 Class of Arcadia High School and the future does look bright for us.
Although I know that most of us will graduate from college, find a stable job, find the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with, and start our own family, there are greater things too.
One day I hope someone from our class will become a famous actor or actress.
One day I hope someone from our class will invent something super cool.
One day I hope someone from our class will become the president of the United States.
One day I hope someone from our class will cure cancer.
“It doesn't matter that your dream came true if you spent your whole life sleeping. So get out there and go for it, but don't be caught waiting. It's great to plan for your future. Just don't live there, because really nothing ever happens in the future. Whatever happens happens now, so live your life where the action is — now.”
-Jerry Zucker (2003 Commencement Address at University of Wisconsin)
I have great faith in this class that each of you will use his or her own unique skill and talent to achieve the greatest, the excellence that we have been taught here at Arcadia. We will all do great things one day, but we really have to seize each moment in order to do the great things we aspire to do. We really have to give it our all.
“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
-Steve Jobs (2005 Commencement Address at Stanford University)
Hold your breath, because it is almost here.
Class of 2014 you better get ready, because GRADUATION is almost here.
I love the part where you wrote about what you hope we'll be one day. After graduating, our future really can be anything we want it to be. Maybe one day someone we know will cure cancer or do other great things. Your post made me less worried about the future and more excited for what lies ahead.
I had been so different yet so similar to myself when I was first entering high school and had Feraco as my first high school class, as an incoming freshman in the summer. I had so many high hopes and expectations then, and I filled up my schedule and allowed myself to be busy… And I enjoyed it, I was happy and I changed so much in that transition into high school.
High school is now coming to a close, and although many seem to have tied up all ends and are ready to leave behind their high school life and move on, I feel as if there is still much left in my life left undone and unfinished. Besides the first year, high school didn’t go very well for me. In focusing on fixing my life throughout high school, there are so many experiences and joys I did not have as a result. Yet, I’ve gone through my own unique experience as well, so even if you do not understand what I say here, bear with me.
I have lost so much these 4 years. There was a time in which I was fearless, and I couldn’t stop smiling no matter how much my friends teased me about it. That’s now lost somewhere deep inside of me after these four years, after struggling so much as my foundations (family, friends, etc.) had crumbled beneath me and I couldn’t find a way to rebuild it.
Yet, I have gained so much as well. I sincerely loved school. I loved to learn all of the subjects, and I enjoyed all my teachers and wanted to know and get close to them. I wasn’t as concerned for my grade, but more for the respect and love of my teachers and friends, for that is what I considered most important and satisfying in my life. Unfortunately, sometimes, I just seem to fail to gain that respect and friendship I so desired, and I wondered what it was about me that was so unable. I wish I was better at talking, I wish I could make people laugh, and speak endlessly and intelligently.
I will be sure to struggle to achieve that one day, but as I struggle with those inabilities I have only lost more. What I feel sad about the most in this class, as I leave, it is that I have not been able to know and make a greater impact upon Mr. Feraco and my dear classmates.
I know many others do not have these desires, do not find it as important, but I have constantly strove to be different and deviating from my classmates. I don’t know if it was a good decision after all, since it was just my way of evading competition, the mainstream, and feelings of inadequacy, and although it has brought me to new lands unexplored, it only made me so much lonelier compared to my peers.
In this class, people may constantly complain about the workload and wonder why Feraco may do the things he does, but I have my explanations. I actually like the challenge and I like working, although one of my friend says my willingness to work is ridiculous, and I feel my passion constantly creeps people out… but as Feraco says, by pushing, we have gone through so much, considered new grounds not trodden upon before, and experienced things that many others do not. I am thankful for this class because I see it more as an opportunity – to explore and be free, seeking to understand and synthesize, or finding enough inspiration to help us push towards our potentials (although I have felt discouraged from time to time with writer’s block and the teacher’s hesitance). But I love this class for the opportunity that not many other teachers give, to express, to be free to create and do whatever you want, and to truly let yourself out.
If there is one thing I dislike most about myself currently, that I wish I did not have to graduate with, it is my inability to take action. I know once upon a time I was able to, and once before I didn’t know fear, but after a time, after trying and failing and repeat, I eventually ran out of energy to stay optimistic until I stopped believing I was capable of doing anything, and I saw myself unable next to others who were successful, and I believed I was that unable and brought myself down.
But one thing I wish I did do, it is to know as many as possible: the classmates, staff, teachers, etc. When I was concentrated more upon myself and my family and life, the last thing I considered doing was pursuing new relationships and new experiences as I was struggling to rebuild and fix the foundations that had so carried me through life.
As of now, I can say part of it has been pieced back together, but my foundations will never be the way it was before. My family, my friends, as I lose them I cannot bring them back with the same intensity, and I can only look on enviously at others who still have such strong foundations and struggle more to rebuild mine.
But now that I’m leaving high school, I feel so sad that I have missed so many opportunities and so many experiences I missed in my frenzy.
But I plan to make it up in college. I am going to try out everything. I cannot regain the foundations I used to have, but I shall build new ones. And besides, there were still plenty of great things I was able to do nevertheless, like helping people over the internet and in life, and hopefully I have brought some light into certain teacher’s lives as well.
The rest of the blog I have joked that it was like a suicide note, because in some way, it is one. We will graduate and scatter all over the world, no longer will we be able to amass this giant mass of people in the same area in the same time ever again. For many of them, I don’t know if I will ever meet them ever again in life.
I’ve realized that as I was looking back at old pictures. There was one I remember of my middle school birthday party. I didn’t have many friends back then either, and I only got two girls to come and hang out with me. As I looked at the picture of me sitting behind a birthday cake with the two girls, I didn’t remember the girl sitting to my left. I couldn’t even remember her name. Unless I conduct some high effort research in an attempt to find a match for a face that probably has already changed so much over the years, I probably wouldn’t ever see her again, and similarly, it may happen for the rest of my classmates, and maybe those I consider good friends right now.
So here is some advice I would like to give you guys while you’re still around:
Enjoy life as much as you can, I know we all say that but I really mean it.
But yet, just don’t forget to be compassionate and help others enjoy life as well.
In this world that breeds more competition, I do not want the feeling of community and connectedness to fade in our desires to outpace each other and reach the finish line first.
College will be awesome, go out and carve the person you’ve always wanted to be. I find what best defines a person is their desire and aspirations, and I ask you to constantly attempt to fulfill those desires and aspirations. College will give you an opening to so much more freedom, and we will be in the middle of the greatest intellectual debates and movements of our times in such a erudite environment.
We may become richer and smarter, but it doesn’t mean we are becoming happier, in fact, perhaps less so, considering the number of mental illnesses and depression and problems going up. We do live a fairer life than in the way past, but we are still far from perfection.
We will continually come across problems in our society, about censorship, extent of governmental control, increasing psychological illnesses, drug abuse, internet issues, scientific ethics, and so on, and we will have so many chances of getting our voice heard, of rushing into the middle and screaming out choosing how we wish to lead the world.
Remember that although we love America for its freedom, we must not let ourselves abuse this freedom or this belief, and we cannot forget the many others across the world who are envious or who continue to suffer and look at us with disgust as we are given the luxury to contemplate life, and choose Feraco as our teacher, and pursue our dreams knowing there is a chance of it being fulfilled, while there are still so many others without that privilege.
Some lessons and conclusions I’ve come across in my own life I’d like to share with you guys as well:
No matter how down life seems to be, no matter what happens just keep on living, even when you want to give up with all your mind and soul. Sometimes it isn’t worth suffering. Imagine that you are some significant being of another world, living this life for the fun of it, and that you are here to conquer as much as you can before you return back to that world you’ve come from, before you return and choose another adventure of another life of another human being, and set out on that path.
Or maybe expel yourself from your mind until you imagine you are but a consciousness above you, no longer living in the moment but living in consideration of the moment, as well as the past and future, through objective lenses.
Maybe read up into some philosophical or scientific writings, and see yourself through new eyes. Maybe we are indeed the universe experiencing itself. Maybe nothing exists, and it only does because we say it exists, and our minds create this world, this universe, to observe and live in to fill in the illusion. Maybe everyone else is you too, in a different life and different moment – and when you die and return back to the other world you came from, you may then chose to come back to experience life as someone else, say, Feraco.
You are a conscious mind, not only aware of your surroundings and the moment, but of time, emotions, and the future. It’s interesting how when you break out of the shell that is your body, and look the universe in a more empirical and expanded way, life and emotions no longer seem so significant in the big scheme of things. Yet, we are still part of this world, and this moment, and our actions create big effects that we can feel. We must use that ability to perceive the future as we act, so we will not be reckless.
As I previously mentioned, I believe we have so much potential, especially in knowledge, in science and technology, and our ability to keep on improving and innovating. As our power increases, we must use our ability as rational and conscious being to make great decisions and bring along changes for the better.
So as you go out and scatter in the world, know that there is still so much more at hand, that the workings of the world is so complex and you will inevitable be part of you. You will be entering a new era that the adults now know nothing of. Know that you will affect it in some way, though the way and intensity will be your choice. Focus on the small and the big, the present, past, and future, you and everyone, the water and the bright coral, and basically as you get caught up in life do not forget to pause and release yourself once in awhile.
Lastly, to Feraco, you have no idea how much you’ve been an impact upon my life. Your teaching complimented with another person, and together you’ve both changed me into the better, by teaching me to be more considerate and constantly question already held beliefs, by learning to be emphatic and accepting, and finding both good and bad in every idea and situation and allowing me to choose what I wish to believe with clarity, and too in making me believe I can take control of my life and achieve my greatest dreams, and that I am special and worthy to have met you and knew you.
It’s funny how, but changing my mindset and giving me new experiences, my whole life has changed along with it.
And thank you to everyone else as well.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for living.
When you all become famous one day, I too would be glad to say that I once knew you, even as a classmate, friend, or even teacher.
I'm glad you were able to gain many positive things from high school despite the difficulties and losses you had.
There's nothing wrong with being different from your classmates since that's what makes you unique. Even though it may be a lonely road, at least the people who stick by your side will love you for who you are.
Learn from your mistakes in high school and try new things in college. I will definitely keep that in mind as well.
I loved reading your post, and I can tell this one is one is, if not the most, personal one that you have written.
Alice, I am glad that i was there with you all these three years. All along the year, you have helped me a lot. From biology to french, you are there. And now, we are already graduating. I know the kind of fear that you have. Things may not be perfect or it will surely not be perfect. I may not be the kind of Refina that I want to be, even if I enter college. But just think of the path that you have already gone though, and the changes that you have made, then you will be motivated to keep trying and fighting.
I am very glad that I get to meet you, from Pasqua to Feraco. Though we did get to know each other a little bit late, but I hope we can hang out sometime, you are a wonderful girl. Nice post
Class of 2007
I tried to make friends when I was in elementary school. I had a couple of friends but would always want more. (I mean, who wouldn’t want more friends??) I would hang out with new people and forget my old friends. I regret that. I would put my trust in the new people I hung out with, but would always get stabbed in the back. When I went back to hang with my old friends, nothing was the same as before.
I remember the day I graduated from elementary school; I promised myself that I would make new friends and would not ruin the ones I already have.
Class of 2010
First day of middle school, I hoped to NOT do what I did in elementary school. I was too shy to talk to others, so I started to look for comfort through movies and television shows. Once I gathered up the courage to actually talk to people, they would shut me out because they already had their “own” group of friends. Fortunately, there were people just like me; shy to talk to others and needed friends. We made some unforgettable memories together.
I remember the last day of school from middle school; I was sad to leave the happy memories to the past.
And now…Class of 2014
I hung out with the same group of friends for two years. I joined Harmonix my junior year of high school. I made many friends, many memorable memories, and am proud to call them my second family. Not going to lie, I thought my senior year would be a year without work or stress; turns out I was wrong. I made into Chanteurs my senior year and because of the preparations for competitions, it was really time consuming and, sometimes, stressful. Together as a group, we have gone through many ups and downs, but we are still one happy family. Although I have made many friends and memories these past four years, I still look for comfort through movies and television shows.
Although Cal State L.A. is not my number one school, it is a fresh start for me in my “new” life.
To my family,
Thank you for always being there when I needed you the most. Thank you for teaching me how to live in life. Thank you for raising me. Thank you for supporting me through everything. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for dealing with me when I was difficult to handle. I love you.
To my teachers,
Thank you for preparing me for the future. Thank you for giving me knowledge. Thank you for being there when I had problems that needed to be handled. Thank you for helping me. Thank you for everything. I will never forget you.
To my friends,
Thank you for being there when I didn’t know who to go to for help. Thank you for hearing my problems. Thank you for always being yourself. Thank you for entertaining me. Thank you for carrying about me. I will miss you.
Always cherish the people who care and love you. Do not do something that you will regret. Try to remember the memories you have made in past years, and do not let it slip away. Now that everyone is going their separate ways, I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you again in the future.
We are young,
We are one,
Let us shine for what it’s worth,
To your place, place, place,
We’re on our way…
On Our Way - The Royal Concept
I understand what it's like struggling to maintain friendships, especially ones from elementary school until now. I'm amazed of the friendships that I have lost, but also of the ones that have lasted this long, and to think, we'll all be graduating in just a few days! Don't be sad of the memories you are leaving behind. You are not abandoning them, you're carrying them forward with you in to the future to share with others. The memory hole project has really aided me in doing so, I hope it has done the same for you! Good luck to the future you in your "new" life!
The Future Awaits
"We were young, we were wild
We were halfway free
We were kids on the run
On a dead-end street
Looking back in the rear view mirror
You know the view used to be much clearer
But we'll laugh and we'll cry
Till there's no more tears
And tonight can we just hold on to those 18 years
18 years" - 18 Years, Daughtry
It's very unsettling to realize in a couple days I don't need to go to high school anymore. For the last four years, we've been studying, reading, working, and writing to attain what we wanted on the first day, the diploma. At what point though will we realize how much we've accomplished and how much we value the high school experience. For me, I never went to any prom or taken an AP class. Do I regret that now after multiple and seemingly endless college rejections? No.
"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them." - Andy Bernard, The Office
I don't regret my decisions. I had fun. Even if I never asked out that girl or taken any leap of faith, I still move on. The road ahead has far more paths then the cookie cutter high school experience has fostered. I can live without limits, per say. I don't need to conform to the predisposition of me and others. I can, in essence, live free. I'm not saying you can go full YOLO, but being semi-YOLO is okay.
Maturity, as most things, comes with time. I hope one day I will have a family, a job, and friends that love me for what I become. My childish antics will disappear hopefully and a new state of "Leo" arises. One day I will grow up and be a proud and strong lion. (get it? leo...lion okay)
To the Leo of tomorrow:
Look back at what you've done and be happy about it.
Screw others' perception of you and do you.
Risks are worth taking. (better be true!)
"fifteen years ago
we barely knew right from wrong
even now why did it take so long
mistakes can take days, months, years to learn
in ten years, that’s all worth in what we earn
trying to see what I changed in myself today
don’t even know how to fight the regrets I've made
its okay, life is a learning experience
try not to make it so serious" - Leo Wan
And with that,
"Focus, keep eyes open victory never sleeps
My prayers for you is that you hit all them goals you trying to reach
I even hope at one point you take it farther than me"
- Impossible is Nothing, Iggy Azalea.
Wow Leo, that was a very strong blog. By the way, I can't believe you didn't go to any dances. You should've but it is okay. I like how you didn't follow the typical Arcadia students' path by taking a lot of AP classes. I'm glad you enjoyed your high school journey and are looking forward to what is coming to you.
Now that we have survived 4 years of high school, everyone has created their own stories. Some of us have become rather bitter. And maybe your view on life has always been one of cynicism, but a cynical life isn’t one of happiness. Above everything else, I value happiness and I want each of you to be happy.
I want to start by talking about “being realistic”. Being realistic and being negative are two very different things. A realist has a clear understanding of his or her limits and how to break past those limits. A pessimist is someone who creates limits and allow these limits define them. It is realistic to DREAM, to hold onto HOPE. It is negative to call dreams impossible; it is negative to shun hope.
I believe human potential holds the master key to opening all unopened doors.
There are no definable limits if you don’t want there to be.
Limits are something that is meant to be broken; you just have to figure it out for yourself.
If you are putting your all to work towards your dream, it is NEVER laughable. It is never appropriate to laugh at someone’s aspirations. I won’t laugh at you if you tell me that you want to become a famous Hollywood actor, but I will laugh at you if you say that without trying to improve your acting and build connections to the best of your ability.
All throughout my life, I have told myself over and over again that I’m not good enough to do anything-- that I shouldn’t try since I know I will fail anyway (might as well save myself from the embarrassment). After meeting someone very special and confessing this, he made me realize how ridiculous I was for shying from challenges that I had been perfectly capable of conquering. I lost out on so many opportunities while holding onto negativity. Don’t let that be you.
If you want live, live the way you want to live.
(think about that for a second, don’t dismiss it as grammar errors)
I've spent so much time on the border of realism and pessimism and like you, I have held my back so many times by being "realistic." The lines between the two are so blurred that I was never able to distinguish one from the other.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts for the last time. It's exactly what I need to hear and for that, I'm grateful.
I'm glad I was able to help! Good luck in the future!
I'm glad I was able to help! Good luck in the future!
The time I spent here with you was beyond what I asked for.
It was great seeing you smile, especially because I made you smile.
It was a good run.
Now you’re gone.
We all have those people in our lives that we love so much. It can be from family members, to best friends or loved ones, to even pets—we all have those people around us in our lives that we cherish and love the most. Without love, none can survive. Love is one of the most important things in our lives—to live is to love. Every moment with all of our loved ones should be cherished dearly, even if it was a bad moment.
You never know what can happen to your loved ones. You never know when anything can happen to your loved ones.
Anything can happen.
Happiness won’t stay in your life forever. Happiness is only temporary.
This was honestly a rough year for me. I have lost quite a few loved ones throughout the months. I hated this year—senior year killed my time in high school. So many people I loved and cared for left my life. But long story short—everyone doesn’t stay in your life forever. Most people leave your life at a certain point of time.
Love never comes finding its way towards you—you have to find a way towards love. Love is happiness. Without love or happiness, the world will be a terrible place and life would be black and white. Love and happiness fills a person’s life with colors and spectrums. Love is the key to a great life. Love is the key to happiness.
A flower cannot blossom without sunshine , and man cannot live without love .
Hey Jason! I thought the blog you wrote this week was kind of strange (not in a bad way). Nevertheless, I absolutely agree. With love comes happiness and it's so extremely difficult to find happiness when you lose love. Trust me, I know. Senior year wasn't exactly the highlight of my high school career as well. I think you just have to be strong and bring the happiness for yourself. It's not always just about receiving love. It's about giving it as well. Stay strong and be happy!
Jason! Your post almost makes me cry. Recently, I had went through some "love" problem with my friend. When I'm reading your first half of the post, I was thinking about my boyfriend and I thinking how much I love him and he loves me. And then I don't know why I'm thinking about one of my friend who is now in love again with her new boyfriend. I don't like it when she get a boyfriend, she seems like she just forget about friendship. And then I saw your happiness part... and I'm just wondering... is her happiness from her loved one as her boyfriends or friends. When I'm reading your blog... I really don't know am I/ are we one of her loved one that can give her happiness.
Four years. That’s how long we’ve been in this school. That’s how long we had to make memories with people that have stuck with us through thick and thin, the ones who listened as we rehearsed for a presentation and the ones who smiled with us after we finished our senior projects.
There were times in school when I felt like nothing I did mattered. My older sister had already graduated before so my parents would of course expect me to graduate too. It wasn’t special what I was doing. Just another repeat of what my sister did. But then I think back to all the times I complained about the workload and the nights were I would stay up to finish all my work. Is that not an accomplishment? Even if I am not the first to graduate, I still did. For most of us, we think keeping good grades is a breeze. For others who work hard for their diploma, I’m even more proud of.
I remember junior year, where I ended up with my first C’s on my report card. I was devastated. I listened in class, studied my notes but the information never stuck. My mind just rejected those subjects. I was so scared for when my parents saw my grades. No, not scared. Worried. Worried that I was disappointing them. In their eyes, I would always be the one that didn’t get into as good a school as my sister, the one that didn’t get as good grades as she did.
As we come down to the end of our time here at AHS, we should stop comparing ourselves to others. It doesn’t matter if the person who sits next to you at graduation is going to a better school or had better grades than you. You’re both here. You’re both done. You both finished.
Just a little while ago, I was at the Senior Awards Ceremony. I watched as my friends got up to receive their awards and I listened to teachers and coaches retell stories about each of the students. I couldn’t have been prouder of everyone on that stage. And when I went up to get my award I couldn’t have been prouder of myself. Because it was with my mind and work that I was able to receive that award.
We shook hands.
We smiled for the pictures.
We gave a standing ovation.
We cheered for each other.
It’s that knowledge that we’re all so appreciative of each other that really got to me. We were sitting on that stage for almost two hours. But we always yelled each other’s names out as they walked up to get their well-deserved awards.
All of us here made it this far. Soon we will move our tassels from right to left, throw our caps in the air and as they fall back to the ground we will cheer our hearts out at what we accomplished. Because we made it guys. We made it.
Something we cannot control.
Sometimes it passes too slow and is the source of our boredom.
And sometimes it speeds by leaving us wishing we had more.
Time will only pass, it does not help or hurt. It is up to us to make the best of how ever much time each and every one of us has left on this earth.
That is how much time most of us has already spent on this earth, few will view it as the perfect eighteen years as we can always find wrongs as we look back into the past. But we all know that no matter what any of us do that time will not come back.
I know that I have had my fair share of moments that I wish I could change about my past. But I do not live to regret my past, what is done is done and all we can do is look forward toward our future. I know it sometimes feels as if we have no idea what our future will be. It can be scary but I say it is a good thing, we do not need to set a limit for ourselves and what we can achieve. As the far as we all know, we may be doing something that has not been invented in this world yet. So we should all just put all of our worries behind us and work toward whatever our futures may hold for us. And I know the future will be bright because of I know that is what we will all work towards.
We all are a part of this earth and sometimes it feels like we are simply one part out of seven billion, it is easy to think of ourselves as insignificant. Even if we know we should not it is just an unconscious thought, but we are not the same. We are not one out of seven billion but one out of one, we are ourselves and there is no one exactly the same. We will all make different contributions to the world no matter how small. And significance is not determined by how big or small the contribution is, it is determined by the people that will feel and remember your contribution. As long as some one remembers no contribution will ever be insignificant.
We have all struggled through high school, be it academically or personally. Our job is not to forget these struggles as we graduate but to remember them and keep them close to our heart. They will serve as lessons for us and help us push through when we face the problems that will inevitably arise as we live out our lives. All we have to do is look back at ourselves and know that we have survived and pushed through the trial known as high school.
We are at a turning point in our lives, this is the first point in our lives where we make choices for ourselves and not just simply drift along the system. And this is also the point where we part ways from people we have known for a significant portion of our lives. This point is both and end and a beginning for everyone. But it is not an end to everything, though we will say goodbye to friends and family and though we will no doubt lose some as time passes as long as we keep them close to our hearts nothing will come to an end.
Finally I would like to thank everyone of the people I have met throughout my life here, I am by no doubt a better person than I was when I first came here eight years ago. And I have definitely lived a happier life than the life I had back in China, so with all that said and done I will see you all at graduation.
I like how you choose to look forward rather than back. We can't fix what we have done, but we can learn from those mistakes.
There is a point in our lives that many of us feel insignificant, but it really depends on how you choose to look at the world. I really liked the way you approached this part, that we are one out of one, instead of one out of 7 billion.
I will definitely keep your advice in mind for college.
For those who walked pass the hallways with your head down.
The blog of Megan that Mr. Feraco read to the class this semester impressed me the most. It showed how little things one person said may mean the whole world to others. How hard is to say “Hey, you are beautiful”? Yet we don’t say it often. I don’t say it often.
There were times in this year when I just wanted to go to my classrooms as quick as possible because I didn't want others to see my face. I had a pretty bad allergy attack and it lasted a long time this time. If I have to come up with one good thing that my allergy gave me, it would be I became to focus on other people more.
I used to think those who against me were on my way. However, during these past few months I thought a lot of maybe I was the one who was on their ways. Also I thought much about if they really against me out of bad will. I used to complain frequently about my dad to my friends. I complained about his bad temper, and how he was never satisfied. I complained about how he was not fair that he liked my sisters more. I complained things that I can’t even remember right now. However, as I thought of why he is the way he is, and if he really doesn't like me, I felt that I been wrong about him. When I looked closer and spend more time with him after I finished my meals, instead of just rush back upstairs, I figured out that I could learn a lot about life from my dad. Maybe I am the one who has bad temper, and is never satisfied on what he had given me.
My allergy condition altered from good to bad and from bad to good every other week. When it was the week that I did not feel the burn on my face, or when it did not appeared to be super red, I would walk to my classes with a slower pace, and look at others’ faces. Since I have allergy on my face, I focus on how others look a lot. As I passed through hallways during passing periods I noticed that many people walked alone, many people didn’t have a smile on their faces. They looked serious; they looked sad, and some of them, just like me when my allergy condition is bad, had their heads down. I understood why they looked they way they look; their lives were not perfect. Some of them might worry about GAPs. Some of them might worry about their families. Some of them might worry about their future. Some of them might worry about things that I could not name of. I felt for them, it was not easy sometimes to go through one day. I wanted to cheer them up. I wanted to tell them how beautiful they were. I wanted to tell them everything was going to work out just fine. But I was so scared to tell them. I was afraid to be called the weird one. What if I interpreted their face expressions wrong? Therefore I let them passed by me every day, and every day I wanted to tell them the same thing.
However, this time, I will not let this chance slips away, so listen carefully to what I am going to say:
Maybe today you walked through those hallways with your head down, pondered about the obstacles in your life and how you are not worth it. But hey, do you notice that you have a pair of beautiful eyes? Do you know I envy of your silky, healthy-looking hair? Do you know that I think you are radiating when I passed by you?
Hey, so keep your head up, a new life awaits in front of you.
Hey, you are really just gorgeous.
Hey, it feels really good to say this out.
Esther, honey, since the first day I saw you, I never thought that your beauty is hindered by your allergy. And you know what, I feel you because I have this red birthmark on my forehead that always shows on my photos but you know what, physical appearance isn't important and you should accept what you have. If people judge you by your physical appearance, just say goodbye to them. They aren't worth it for you to associate with. You are the bravest person that I have ever known.
Esther, fight on. I was like you when I had my acne breakouts. (P.S. take note of the "s") Everytime, I would look down on my toes when I walked pass the hallways, when I entered the classroom and even when I sat on my seat. I just want to avoid eye contacts, to avoid the surprise and disguise look. But just what, when I looked back at the old pic, my acne was not that bad. It was just me who is self conscious about my condition. No one else cares about it. Just be proud of yourself. I am proud of you!!
Congratulations fellow searchers.
We have made it a long way. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. Less than a week from now, we are finished and it hasn’t really hit me yet. I still have my senior project to present tomorrow and I don’t know three more things due in this class so I have not really taken in the time to think about our graduation.
I am super nervous about tomorrow though. I don’t think I should be because I know everything so well. It’s just in that moment when you put pressure on yourself that something so natural can seem so difficult.
People are weird. I mean, we are all just animals anyways. I just do not understand what made us so smart and why. Sometimes I think we are too smart for our own good. I am not sure if God put us here or it is all just coincidence but I have no reason to believe anything I cannot witness myself. I just don’t get why human kind has to be so complicated if our only purpose is to survive.
Maybe it isn’t natural, the way we as people have come to be. Who are we? And what are we doing here? I am Stig Hedlund and I am writing a blog. If I am lucky my post will catch somebodies eye and this could possibly entertain that person for a couple minutes. Or they could just read enough to make a valid comment so they can finish the assignment. Other than that, everyone just keeps scrolling a bye and down the blog goes with the others, down the memory hole.
It all happens so quickly. Evan just landed his first big job at Corporate Cheesecake. Brad is graduating in the fall. My cousin Kenny is being sent on a yearlong Coast Guard voyage stationed in Alaska, and he just got news he has another child on the way. My parents are looking to sell the house we grew up and move away. Life is happening.
My childhood was nice while it lasted. It has served its purpose in my life as laying the foundation to whom I am as a person, and who I will build upon for the rest of days. It was a good run. Now it is time to get real.
I wish you guys luck and good fortune in all aspects of life. I hope you stay true to who you are and live peacefully and fulfilling. Stay open minded and perceive the differences between illusion and reality. Have fun.
Oh Stig, it really has been a pleasure sitting next to you in class for the past couple of weeks. You are one cool dude. To be honest I did stereotype you as a jock but I soon realized you are this complex person who isn't worried about materialistic things. You managed to catch my attention and amuse me with your blog. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You didn't need it to be fancy or anything like the others. It served its purpose and it was good enough for you and that's all that matters.
This speech totally fits your personality, loved it stiggie!
This speech totally fits your personality, loved it stiggie!
Pomp and Circumstance
Signing yearbooks has always marked an exciting time in our lives. It signifies that summer is drawing near and that it has come time to bid our farewells to our classmates only to see them again in three short months.
When we were younger our yearbooks were filled with “HAGS” (Have a Great Summer) and the “I hope we have classes together next year!” sign offs. It didn’t hit me until I signed my first yearbook this year that this chapter of my life is closing. In just three short months all of us will be starting a new page of our lives in different destinations.
I’m not prepared to sign off just yet..
Dear Mrs. Tedei,
I will never be able to thank you enough for your help during my sophomore year. It is because of all you did for me that I am able to walk across the stage in a few days and get my diploma. You believed in me when no one else did, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Dear Mr. Poon,
Thank you for putting up with all of my “urgent” emails at odd hours of the day. Thank you for helping me persevere through tough times.
Dear Mrs. Wilkins,
You are a truly wonderful person. Thank you for looking past my academic report and seeing the true leader inside of me. You saw something in me that I didn’t think existed anymore, and for that I cannot thank you enough. Although I was not able to serve along side of you this year, I am truly thankful for all of the opportunities you pushed my direction. Thank you for seeing the real me when I needed it the most.
To Mr. Feraco,
I have known you for a solid four years now, and I still can’t seem to express to you how much you have done for me. You have made me a confident writer and you taught me that my words have value. I have never wanted to impress a teacher as much as I have for you, and I hope I have lived up to all of your great expectations.
I want to thank you for all the times you went out of your way to make sure I was on track with work. You have always seen the best in me, and always given me second chances when I needed them the most. You are the best teacher I have ever had, and I say that with a thankful heart.
Thank you for helping shape me throughout these past four years. You were instrumental in helping me become the writer and person I am today.
Thank you for everything. I hope I can continue to make you proud as my new chapter begins.
Throughout the past four years I have met so many amazing people. In such a large school I thought it would be almost impossible to fit in, but what I have found is that it’s almost impossible not to. Everyone in our school has a story, and having the privilege to be in Mr. Feraco’s class once again gave me the chance to share my own story with all of you.
It has been an honor writing alongside all of you either this year or only this semester. You are all amazing people inside and out. Thank you for commenting on my entries with opinions and advice, and not being afraid to speak your mind.
We all have something to say, and we were all lucky enough to be able to say it this year.
Congratulations my fellow classmates of 2014, we did it. I couldn’t have done it without you.
I wrote something similar to your blog. I took the chance to say thank you to everyone that changed my life. I'm glad I wasn't the only one. It's amazing no? To think that our everyday interactions with our significant individuals can make such an impact on our future. It just comes to show how much we underestimate our actions and the actions of our peers.
Pomp and Circumstance
Signing yearbooks has always marked an exciting time
in our lives. It signifies that summer is drawing near and
that it has come time to bid our farewells to our classmates
only to see them again in three short months.
When we were younger our yearbooks were filled with
“HAGS” (Have a Great Summer) and the “I hope we have
classes together next year!” sign offs. It didn’t hit me until I
signed my first yearbook this year that this chapter of my
life is closing. In just three short months all of us will be
starting a new page of our lives in different destinations.
I’m not prepared to sign off just yet..
Dear Mrs. Tedei,
I will never be able to thank you enough for your help
during my sophomore year. It is because of all you did for me that I am able to walk across the stage in a few days and get my diploma. You believed in me when no one else did, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Dear Mr. Poon,
Thank you for putting up with all of my “urgent” emails at odd hours of the day. Thank you for helping me persevere through tough times.
Dear Mrs. Wilkins,
You are a truly wonderful person. Thank you for looking past my academic report and seeing the true leader inside of me. You saw something in me that I didn’t think existed anymore, and for that I cannot thank you enough. Although I was not able to serve along side of you this year, I am truly thankful for all of the opportunities you pushed my direction. Thank you for seeing the real me when I needed it the most.
To Mr. Feraco,
I have known you for a solid four years now, and I still can’t seem to express to you how much you have done for me. You have made me a confident writer and you taught me that my words have value. I have never wanted to impress a teacher as much as I have for you, and I hope I have lived up to all of your great expectations.
I want to thank you for all the times you went out of your way to make sure I was on track with work. You have always seen the best in me, and always given me second chances when I needed them the most. You are the best teacher I have ever had, and I say that with a thankful heart.
Thank you for helping shape me throughout these past four years. You were instrumental in helping me become the writer and person I am today.
Thank you for everything. I hope I can continue to make you proud as my new chapter begins.
Throughout the past four years I have met so many
amazing people. In such a large school I thought it would
be almost impossible to fit in, but what I have found is that
it’s almost impossible not to. Everyone in our school has a
story, and having the privilege to be in Mr. Feraco’s class
once again gave me the chance to share my own story with
all of you.
It has been an honor writing alongside all of you either
this year or only this semester. You are all amazing people
inside and out. Thank you for commenting on my entries
with opinions and advice, and not being afraid to speak
We all have something to say, and we were all lucky
enough to be able to say it this year.
Congratulations my fellow classmates of 2014, we did it. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Congratulations to the Class of 2014.
It’s been a long 4 year journey together.
We’ve been through it all.
Making friends and losing friends.
Having good grades and bad grades.
Stress and relaxation moments.
Although in a couple of months, we will all be separated into different parts of the world, our memories here at AHS will stick with us for forever.
“One day I pray you love someone, I pray you love her so much that when you close your eyes you see her face. I want that for you. I want you to know what it’s like to love someone — to truly love someone — before I take her from you.” – Cersei Lanniter
Hopefully, we are all graduating without regrets left behind. But most of us have probably made mistakes in high school.
From circling the wrong true and false question to gaining the confidence to ask the girl out on a date, I’ve learned that life is trial and error.
The key word is to try. In order to achieve any goal, effort, hard work, and motivation will help be the guide towards success.
Our time at AHS is coming to an end. I won’t forget all the things I’ve learned and gained here at AHS.
All the different experiences, from going to school at 3am in the morning to march in the rose parade to staying up all night cramming for that major test, has opened my eyes to different perspectives of life.
I hope as a Section Leader, I was able to pass down the knowledge to the underclassmen here at AHS, warning them and giving advice when needed.
“Carpe the heck out of that Diem” – Feraco
Although our high school years are gone, new chapters of our life have just begun.
We can use our experiences at AHS to help learn from our mistakes.
We have been given a fresh start at different schools, giving us the opportunity to meet new interesting people.
Use this chance to make your new school more entertaining. We need to live our life to the fullest.
This wouldn’t have been made possible without the help from our supporters. Our success comes from the help of our friends, families and teachers.
We couldn’t thank them enough for the kindness they’ve showed and the support they provided.
Thanks again for the support guys, it truly means a lot.
Again, Congratulations to the Class of 2014, we did it!
To all the friends I've made, and to all who I missed:
I hope you take a moment to read this. It's just a note, from me to you.
It’s always good to take a break every once in a while. I’m not talking about a coffee break, or a nap.
No, I’m talking about a stop-and-smell-the-roses break; a break-the-normality, step-out-of-the-routine kind of break.
One where you have the opportunity to stop and take a deep breath of life.
Inhale. It’s time to leave.
Now’s the time to look back at what we’ve done together. What we’ve made together. What we cherished.
Now’s the time to recollect our thoughts and dreams; to gather up in our minds and hearts the memories we’ve created, and to hold in our own hands ourselves.
What have we done?
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Or perhaps it’s a street, a vein in the city body. We’re all headed there, but we all walk our own ways.
Most are running at a fast clip; others jog on by, and some take the shortcuts. Few take the long, winding, scenic routes, and even less do so on purpose.
But no matter how fast or slow we go, no matter if we take the long route or the shortcut, we will all reach the light.
The light is coming up. Are you ready? Are you ready for this?
You better be standing on your own two feet.
C’mon now. Show me what you got.
The world is dissolving around you. Sound mutes. Vision narrows, blurs, then refocuses. Your own light breath will be the only thing you hear.
Your heart is ticking like a clock. You can feel it in your chest, your own bodily rhythm.
Come on. You can do it. It’s just a little bit more. It’s almost behind you now.
The time is right. The time is now.
“Let’s go” they said. You start to turn your head, but you stop midway. You know whose voice it is; it’s the voice of your friends and family.
Those who truly have your back. Those you love and whose love is requited.
It’s the voice of those you’ve met and those you’ve missed.
You’re long past doubting and forgetting. You’ve pitied yourself for too long, and regret harasses and stings you like bees. You are dead, yet you see the future unfolding in front of you.
Courage is the solitary torch in the dark.
Courage is seeing all of your own drawbacks and mistakes
but taking a stand, taking a risk,
taking a chance to be who you want to be
and doing what you need to do
in spite of all your doubts and misses.
When you take that chance,
you’ll feel your clock tick;
faster, faster now,
the gongs and trumpets
will ring in your ears.
Your body will shake
and the adrenaline will fill
You will be triumphant!
You will stand, victorious, conqueror of all your fears!
But you haven’t done so yet. You haven’t pushed passed the veil that shrouds you; not passed the limits that deter you.
It’s screaming in your ears, “YOU CAN’T SUCCEED! YOU CAN’T PREVAIL! YOU CAN’T, YOU CAN’T, YOU CAN’T–!”
But you will. You must.
You’re standing alone in the street in the dark. You have one, solitary torch to guide you.
You’re afraid it’ll burn out any second; you’re practically counting them away with that old, bodily rhythm of yours.
You don’t want to lose the light in the dark.
You can still see the other light in the distance.
You’re standing still, holding your breath.
Exhale. It’s behind you now.
Don't worry about it Alex, your post was great. That last line however made it so much better, what a great line to finish your speech.
Honestly Alex, I've read a lot of blog posts while in this class. I was going to skip over yours just now, but something I came across as my eyes skimmed this post made me go back to the beginning and really read this. With me having the attention span of a three year-old (approximately), I rarely do this.
I went back to the beginning before I reached the end, so I had no idea who was writing this. I kept reading and reading thinking, "How the hell did I not notice that there was a writer in our midst during these past months?"
When I got to the end, I didn't know what to do. But I had to go back and reread it because when I read your name, I finally knew what you were talking about. The amazingly put together stream of words that I had just read now came together as a story.
The last final steps in your races are a lot like our final steps onto that stage, for that handshake and piece of paper. The moments after are filled with congratulations and a lot of relief, on our part. Though we've been through so much these past four years, it is all past us now. We've finally made it to the finish line.
This speech. Just.. wow.
Well, this is it. All those countless hours of studying and preparing have finally paid off…but it’s not over just yet. The amount of effort that you have put in has only got you this far. Be mindful that it’s going to take a lot more work to achieve your next accomplishment, whether that would be graduating from college, finding a job, etc. After graduation next week, it’s ok to relax for a couple of months but then it’s back on the grind once August hits again. No whining or complaining, please. Everyone will be going through the same process you will be going through next year.
You will magically start to feel like a freshmen again even though you were a senior three months ago. Fascinating how fast time goes by. You will have to prove to others that you do indeed belong, and that you are here to stay wherever your life takes you. The means justify the ends: it doesn’t matter what route you take to get there as long as you get there. There are endless options you can take in the future that will help you arrive at your desired goals.
I really don’t have much to say. There’s nothing that I can say that will inspire and affect others around me in a major way. I’ll leave that up to those who will be giving the graduation speech next week. But for now, I just wanted to thank all of you for a great year; this was the best senior year I have ever been a part of. It’s tough to say goodbye at this point but eventually the tears will start coming out at graduation next week. You can’t help it; if you cry, you cry. However, it’s time to move on and start your own life. Just remember that everything you do in the present will affect your future somehow.
It’s time to say goodbye now. Hope all of you guys succeed in whatever you want to succeed in. Attack your goals, don’t be hesitant. Take calculated risks instead of playing it safe because that’s what living is about. And most importantly, have fun. Enjoy yourselves because you only get to graduate high school once, graduate college once, etc. Take care fellow searchers.
The Last Blog Ever
Finally, we are doing the last blog. When I look at the prompt, I thought “ok, this blog is going to be way easier than those previous blogs. There are only six sentences and it is very general. I can basically write about anything.”
But I was wrong.
Yes, I can be insightful. Yes, I can be creative. Yes, I can be clear. But no, I cannot be honest.
I am not as brave as many of you guys. There is a demon in everyone’s mind. There are memories that we want to keep for life and there are memories that we just want to flush them down the memory hole. I can’t imagine myself reading my blog ten years or twenty years later and regret that I have made that secret public.
I worried too much. So I always ponder and think a lot before I say a word make a move and write down any word that will never be deleted. Often when I am done with my thinking process and feel that it is the perfect time to do it, the chance is already gone.
I can’t remember for how many times I had let the opportunity slipped away.
I can’t remember for how many times I had kept silence when it was right to stand up.
I can’t remember for how many times I had pretended that I did not care about the outside world and just ignored these matters.
When I was doing the Examined Life project, when I looked at these pictures, I recalled that I have never made a great move since seventh grade. During that year, I was the class representative and I am in charge of the class discipline. One time, two girls had a fight that they had broken the class window. And immediately, I reported this incident to our room teacher. I thought I was doing the right thing. But since then, rarely anyone in the class talked to me. Even those students who supported me did not say a thing because of peer pressure. Since that, I have that attitude. I would think of the reaction of others and how they will perceive me before I do anything.
The situation is even worse in high school. In high school, everyone is stuck in a social hierarchy. People are already separated into groups according to the middle school that they have attended. People worried about looking cool and acting cool. As an outsider, I was eager to fit into this social network. I wanted to find a place. I wanted to be accepted. So often times, I was forced into doing things that I did not want to.
As a senior, I started to get tired of living a life like that. I questioned myself: is your friends living your life or are you live your life? If your life, then why do you let others decide what you can do and cannot do. I want and need to change.
I have heard a lot of great things about college. I heard that the professors do not take attendance and I can choose to go to class or not. I heard that people wear pyjamas to class and no one cares about how others look.
I know that this is my chance to correct my mistakes. This is my chance to be the real Refina that I want to be. And I will not let it slip away anymore.
Hey Refina, I am glad that you share this on your last blog. I know being honest to face problem like this is hard. I just want to tell you that you done a great job of being yourself these past three years. I wish you will remember what you determine to change about yourself, and live your life. Wish you way more than luck, Refina.
Oh the title Refina, how sad, it’s all so sad, how we’re ending so soon… but I doubt this will be your lost blog ever. Maybe for this class sure, but I hope you’ll write more in the future
Haha, interestingly enough, I found this blog to be one of the most difficult blogs throughout the whole year as well. I’m also amazed at the amount of blogs we’ve managed to do this entire year.
I understand your fear Refina. We may share our most inner secrets for hopes of finding sympathy and that somehow, by letting out, our situation may improve as a result – at least, that’s why I release, although I admit that in each blog there have been sections which I censored out for being too personal, too stupid, too mean, too creepy, etc.
But I get the fear. I’m not as scared of embarrassing myself, I’ve learned to be scared of the result. I’m scared of being rejected and becoming an outcast, of losing those I love so very dearly due to one of my actions. I like to think I’m able to love people regardless of how they act or what they think of themselves, but I doubt others are able to do it with me, and so I live in fear of loss.
But you know, I’ve been thinking. For some reasons, we’ve been wired to try and keep our pain and worries to ourselves, but after so many years of that I’m tired and I conclude that it leads to nothing. I think if you express, at least, it would give you a release of what you’re holding inside and allow you to feel better. But even more, if you express, there will always be disapproving people everywhere, but by expressing it counts as taking action and the universe and the people will know of your desires and suffering, and the gears of the universe will move forward knowing you better, and perhaps it may end up coming back to help you get what you want one day.
So thank you for sharing this Refina, I don’t know how much you’ve let out but I like to read it and know about you. Arcadia is different from your old school, and I thought you did pretty well here, but I didn’t know you were stuck in this social network muck as well. As you know, I was more of a rebel and tried to go in the opposite direction of my peers, but now as high school is ending and I’m living through all this social loss, I’m not sure if I did make the best decision. Maybe I should have done some things for social acceptance, because not having it is worse.
But I can say that I want to be someone around whom others can be comfortable and fearless, until they fear not of sharing their darkest secrets. I don’t know if I am now for you, but I want to be there to see and accept the Refina you want to be. I think that you were still able to show a true side of yourself regardless of what you’ve forced yourself to be throughout these years though. I don’t consider what you did in high school to be a mistake, because it’s understandable and normal, rather I consider it an experience, and I want you to consider it as that as well, because I can give you the experience of someone who refused to conform and suffered too many impediments as a result, and so I conclude that there is no right or wrong way. Strive to be who you want to be, but be intelligent about it, because sometimes we must take detours and patiently wait for opportunities to arise, but regardless of the journey, I will be there to support you along the way~
Paper stars are magical -- at least, that’s what I’ve been told.
They’re easy to break, they’re fragile, yet they have the strength to hold all of the layers together. They come in all kinds of sizes, big or small, fat or skinny. Some are big enough to fit the entire palm of your hand, and some are small enough to fit into a pen cap. Each of them are seen in different patterns of colors. When you unfold them, they’re just one long strip of paper. Nothing else. Sometimes it’s blank, other times it contained a message. Sometimes a wish. Sometimes a memory. They’re written in folded layers, until you can't see it anymore. Then one by one, they fall into one big jar -- as if going down the memory hole.
Someone once told me, “if you made 1,000 paper stars and store them in a jar, your greatest wish will be granted.”
I thought that was pretty foolish. Wishes don’t come true.
Every day I put on a smile. I try to be enthusiastic and interact with my fellow classmates. I try to be nice. I try to be less ignorant about the things spoken out of my mouth. I try to be less shy. I try to involve myself into groups. I try to hold in the pain and the tears. I try to be happy.
It doesn’t work out.
Every day I’m struggling. Just like the rest of you. Every day I tell myself, that we’re fighting our own battles, and I can’t surrender now. Just keep going. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Just keep on going. Don’t lose hope. Don’t cry. Not now.
So I keep going. Non stopping, just holding in everything and continue to walk forward.
Yet, it doesn’t work out.
Sometimes I look at the world around me, wishing it all to end. Sometimes I look at the people around me, and wishing they’d stop acting. Sometimes I think about the past and wish it had never happened. But I can’t. It already did. Wishes don’t come true.
I started to fold stars. One by one, I pop them down the bottom of the clear jar. It was a foolish story to believe in, but I still liked folding them. I’ve brought it with me everyday to school, placed safely in my backpack. I was always a little embarrassed when a friend or a classmate caught sight of the messages I put down on the long strips of paper. They stayed hidden whenever I felt a presence of someone near me when my head looks down at the polka dotted patterned strips. The last thing I needed was people spreading rumors about what kind of things I do, again.
It doesn’t work out.
People found out. Called me names. Rumors were spread. Drama happened.
“Did you hear that girl wrote something about that guy?”
“Doesn’t she have any friends?”
“Why is she always by herself?”
“She’s so quiet”
Grow up. Grow up. Grow up. Grow up. Grow up.
The sound of my voice rang in my ears. All of them did.
No matter what I’ve done, no matter how much I tried, it just doesn’t work out.
I was alone. Lonely. But what could I do about it? I had no confidence. I didn’t had a loud voice, didn’t had the courage to do so. I was scared. Afraid what people might say.
I was just another girl in another crowd.
Junior year. Summer.
No longer hoping for something more. No longer caring.
I grew up. Things changed.
I took some wrong turns. Made some poor choices.
I changed. Just no longer myself anymore.
The clear glass jar still remained on top of the shelf, half filled with different patterns of paper stars. I haven’t touched them for a while, but they remain there. Just collecting dust. Sometimes I look up at the jar, wondering why I even started making those stars. I didn’t believed in wishes, for they never came true.
But, they were still fun to make. I decided to make one every time I felt sad or lonely or lost...and still in the same jar. I started getting into the hobby again, folding stars. I bought different shaped jars just to fill them in and poured in different colors of stars for close friends. Maybe it’ll seem like a simple gift, but to me, it’s something much than that. It’s a memory. Something to recall. Something lost. Something that words couldn’t even describe. Something part of me.
I don’t know why it helped, but it did.
It worked out.
I never really know where I belong or why I was there. But I’m here. I’ve made my mistakes, lost people, made new ones. I’ve struggled through the battles that rest of us have struggled. Yet, we’re still here.
It’s hard being a human. I know. I’ve been there. So have you. We’re all connected in some way. But we still make it through.
I’d like to input this in this last blog. I want to thank you, Mr. Feraco.
Honestly, out of all of my classes, this class made me cry the most. Not from depression, but realizing there’s just so much emotions mixed in between the things that comes out. I came to this class with heaps of uncertainty and struggles of personal issues. I didn’t know what’s there to come and what’s happened. Thanks for the support. I mean it. I know I’ll probably be dragged to the counselors if I post it again, but you know what I’m talking about. At the moment when I’m in need of help, you were there for me. “Don’t do it. Not now,” is what you said to me behind the doors of D101. The blogs, the lectures, and everything exposed to me through them managed to help me realize what I’ve always been passing by. A truth behind these posts.
Thank you, for the support.
Thank you, for reaching out to me.
Thank you, for bring out the best of me.
Thank you, for believing in me.
Thank you, for everything.
Thank you, for remembering me.
That was amazing.
Sometimes, there are no words to describe why you feel how you feel. Sometimes, there is no way to express how you feel. You just do.
This is probably the last time I'll ever speak to you again. Even so, I hope to see you on the other side of the day.
I just say I feel for you, so hard that I cried.
Your post reminded me of this: http://strangelykatie.tumblr.com/post/17138793324/full-version-of-my-comic-counting-stars-which-i
I wish I could get to know you
I just found out that we are similar in someway. I love folding paper stars too. I like to give them out actually, like on my friends' birthdays I would give them the amount of stars according to the age they've become. Nice post
So I’ve never really been good with long good byes. Mostly because they usually get way too emotional for me and because it’s hard to walk away from the ones you love. I’ve said this way too many times before, but high school for me was one of the best times of my life. I didn’t like high school for the learning. I liked it for the relationships that I’ve formed over the past four years. Yeah, graduation speeches should be inspirational, but this graduation speech, my graduation speech, is going to be about the people that I’ve met and how they changed my life for the better.
To the girl who made me feel welcomed:
Thank you for everything that you were able to give me. Thank you for being such a great friend. I don’t think that I would as friendly as I am now if it weren’t for you. Like they all say, you learn from the best, and I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to learn from you these past years. I’m glad that we’re still close now, and every time we hang out, I’m constantly learning from you. I know that no matter what happens you’ll always be there for me, and I thank you for that.
To my best guy friend:
Thank you for teaching me that it is possible for a guy and a girl to be just friends. I always thought that you were really cute, and I actually started to fall for you my junior year. Given the fact that you were already talking to someone made it extremely hard for me, but it taught me that best friends of the opposite gender don’t always end up falling in love. After getting over the fact that we will never become a couple (because it’s just too weird now), I’ve learned to love you for who you are, which is my best friend. Thanks for always giving me the time of day, and thanks for always having my back even when I don’t always have yours.
To my chick crush:
It started as a chick crush, then it went to best friends, and now we’re married! I’m really glad we were fortune enough to meet each other my freshman year. When we met, I never knew that it would end up with us being as close as we are now. I honestly thought that we would be hi, bye buddies, and that I would admire you from afar. Thank you for four great years of friendship and for always knowing what to say to me when I’m upset. You’re honestly the best and words can’t describe how much you mean to me. We’ve had four great years together, and I know we’ll have about 50 more. You’re the best and I love you!
To the guy and girl who helped me when my world was falling apart:
I can’t stop thinking about that day, but what I really can’t stop thinking about is the fact that you guys were by my side the entire time. I never really got to thank you for what you guys for me because we kind of just forgot about it, but even if we don’t talk about it anymore, it still gets to me. I don’t know how I would have made it through that terrible day without you guys by my side. I haven’t really said anything about it since then, but thank you guys so much. Not just for that incident, but for everything else. From giving me advice about band to helping me pick what to eat, I know that I can always count on your guys to have my back. This isn’t something I say often to you guys, but I love you.
To the girl that thought I looked scary:
It’s funny how you went from thinking that I looked intimidating to being one of my closest friends. I remember asking you for your first impression of me. All you said was that you thought I was scary because I stood with one leg popped and my arms crossed. As soon as we actually started talking, we just clicked. Thank you for staying up with me whenever I have a ton of homework due, and thank you for always agreeing to read and edit my essays whenever I ask for help. Thanks for everything that you have done for me so far, and for knocking some sense into me whenever I’m acting up.
To my classmates:
Thank you for keeping the class alive. Every time I walk into class, there’s a new adventure calling. Some are bad, some are good, and some are outright hilarious. Even though we had some crazy Facebook rants, you guys still managed to keep this class a blast. You guys definitely kept me entertained this whole year with all of your crazy blog post. It was really interesting to read about your life outside of the classroom setting. Thank you guys for giving it your all and never giving up. We’re almost done!
To the 2013-2014 Bari Saxes:
Okay, we were pretty amazing this year if I do say so myself. Thanks for an amazing season, and thanks for putting up with me for one whole semester. It was really hard for me to get the year going because I was new to the whole leading thing, but thanks for your patience. It was an honor to be in the same section as you guys. I’ll always remember our weird conversations and the time Henry flipped out about Jon and I ditching. Thank you guys for always putting faith in me even though I wasn’t always the best leader. You guys mean a lot to me, and you probably don’t even know it. If you guys have any advice, or need anything at all, I’ll just be a phone call away.
To the 2014 Varsity Softball team:
First of all, I just wanted to say thank you for one hell of a season. Like most girls, we had a fair share of drama during the beginning of the season, but after we resolved it, we started destroying. Thank you guys for an amazing season and I seriously wouldn’t want to change a thing about it. We had drama, but I honestly feel as though it brought us closer as a team. I cried at our banquet, and I’m definitely going to cry when we are forced to go our separate ways. I love you guys with all of my heart, and thank you for making my last season of softball a very memorable one.
To my freshman English teacher:
Thank you for teaching me about English… and about MLA. Your MLA lecture really helped me out with my senior essay. Romeo and Juliet was a pretty interesting story too. The Lady or the Tiger lecture was one of the best lectures that I’ve gotten that year. You’re a really cool person and you gave us super cool assignments. So, yeah, thanks for that. You rock. OH! And thanks for convincing me to take your class again my senior year!
To my senior English teacher:
Thank you for all that you’ve done this year, I can tell that you went through great lengths to make this class what it is. This semester was definitely a challenge, and I would be lying if I said that it was easier than the last. You did a great job with us this year. I’m sure that almost every student that you’ve taught this semester is walking out of the class with new knowledge and a new perspective. I’m excited to see what you’ll make of your new class next year, and I’ll be sure to stop by to see what else you’ve accomplished. I can honestly say that wouldn’t be as wise as I am now without you being there to challenge my thoughts. I guess I’ll end this with what I said in one of my blogs from last semester. Thank you Mr. Feraco for everything: not for teaching me about life, but for making me teach myself.
To the graduating class of 2014:
It’s crazy to think about how we were all freshman, trying to figure out where we belonged. It’s our time to move our tassels and to throw our caps. It’s our time to hold our diplomas and to make a different future. It’s our time to make our parents, our teachers, and our siblings proud. It’s our time to shine. I know that everyone has their own path in life and hopefully one day, our paths will cross. I just wanted to congratulate you guys and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. I just want to tell you guys that this isn’t a good bye, it’s “I’ll see you later.” We finally made it class of 2014.
Now, let’s start chasing stars. We’re all in this together.
I loved your format. It was a very cute way of saying thank you to the people who impacted you through your high school life. And that fact that you kept it so anonymous was just great haha. Glad to be in the baris with you cat!
It’s been four years. Four long years in this place we call high school. We have come a long way from being to under dogs to being the top dogs. These four years have been the best and the worst times of my life. I’ve been through so many friends. I met some amazing people and lost some. Honestly graduating is the most bitter sweet experience and I don’t know if I’m ready to leave everyone behind. I make it seem like I’m so ready to leave and go to college and say that I don’t like the people at this school. But in reality, I’m really sad that I have to leave, all my friends that I don’t get to see anymore, I’m going to miss them. I’m going to miss talking to them and seeing how there day went and just being able to talk to them face to face. Yeah, going to college sounds great and all, but you have to leave a part of yourself here at high school. All the memories you made, all the laughs you shared, all the friends you’ve made, you have to leave all that behind. I do wish I did treat them better because I feel like I will miss them so much and they won’t miss me as much. I do truly love the friends I have but I wasn’t always the nicest to them and I wish I was because they know me as the mean one. I do feel bad but all I can do is treat them better now.
Looking back on the years and seeing pictures from freshman year made me realize how much I have changed over the years. I think it’s crazy how over the years how many friends I have had and have lost. I thought those people would be in my life throughout high school but they left and the most unexpected people came into my life and stayed. I am a very difficult person to handle and I applaud my friends for being able to deal with me, especially this year because I have had so much going on. I really need to thank my friends for always being by my side and supporting me. I am so grateful for the things they have done for me and I couldn’t have asked for any better friends. This high school experience would have not been the same without these amazing people in my life. Some of them I’ve known for years and some I have only known for a few months, but all of them have a had a positive impact in my life. They helped me realize who I truly am and accepted me for me. For the ones I haven’t known as long are just as special as the ones I’ve known for a long time because they were the ones who didn’t know me that well so they didn’t expect much out of me and seemed to like me just the way I am. Everyone always managed to put a smile on my face when I’m down and they all seemed to forgive if I did something wrong. So I just want to thank my friends for staying in my life and loving me.
I also really want to thank my family. I would definitely not be here today without them. They were the ones who always told me to do what makes me happy and it’s always my choice. The opportunities I have gotten in life were mainly because of them. They always helped me be the best I can be from sports to school. They always put me in extra training because they knew I was dedicated to each sport I did. They always got me a tutor for school because I always struggle and they just wanted me to do well. I don’t know how to repay them for everything they’ve done for me and how much love and support they have given me. I think the only way to show them how thankful I am to them is them seeing me walk across that stage in my cap and gown and receiving my diploma. I think when they see that, they know that everything they wanted for me, I was able to accomplish that. I know that they are proud and I know for a fact that I am proud to be my parent’s daughter. Them seeing me go off to college and play soccer and hopefully be successful is all they really want. I just love them so much and I know it’s going to be really hard for me to leave them when I go to college. But when they come to see me play I will be playing for them.
So now I have to leave and say good bye. Good bye to my amazing friends, my wonderful teachers, and most of all a school where I have spent an amazing four years at. This is going to be very tough for me. I will cry, like a baby, and try to convince myself that everything is going to be ok because everything will be ok. Honestly I really hate crying infront of people because I feel like I look so silly, but I know that it will be a happy cry. I will be happy for what I have accomplished, I will be happy for what lies ahead of me, and I will be happy for all that memories I have. Now, it’s all over. Good bye Arcadia, thank you for a great four years.
Well…Here we are, sitting in our chairs all excited and ready to start new lives, but never forgetting the past. I remember walking in to this school for the first time with no care in the world. I was such a naïve kid back then. I always thought life was going to be just like school, something that I could just breeze through. Like most kids, I didn’t really think much about my future. I didn’t seem very important for me at the time. All I thought about was getting through each school day and going out with my friends after. I had no plans for myself and I honestly didn’t care about anything else but myself.
Sophomore year rolls around and I still acted the same way. Classes got harder so I worked a little harder. To me, nothing much changed from freshmen year to sophomore year. I acted to same way as I did. I walked around with my immature attitude think that the whole world revolved around me. Nothing mattered to me or seemed at all important. I went through school as if it was a chore. Even though I noticed my peers making plans for the future, I decided that I didn’t have to plan at that moment. I was the same clueless kid that walked through the school halls freshmen year.
Junior years hits me like a train. I actually started to worry about what I was doing with my life. I started noticing that my life at that moment was so boring and mundane. I needed to start caring about myself and start planning for the future. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing, but I was so clueless about everything. It was pretty much crunch time for all of us since everyone tells us that junior year would be the most important year. It was time for me to get my stuff together and plan for the future. That year, I changed slightly but eventually went back to my old ways.
Now we are in senior year. Most of us thought that this would be the easiest year in high school. Sadly, it didn’t meet our expectations. Most of the students started to slack off and the work load didn’t change. Like other students, I did what was required of me and nothing more. To me, this year was the hardest year since I had the “We are seniors now. We don’t have to do anything” mindset. This year was when reality hit me the most. Most of my friends felt the same way. I knew that I messed up by not working hard enough and I was paying for it now. Even though it seemed bad in the beginning of the year, I eventually faced reality and knew what I needed to do for myself.
We have changed so much from our old naïve selves. We sit in each of our seats with elaborate plans for our futures. Most of us are nervous about tackling the new environment that we are about to enter, but I can assure you that everyone is ready for it even if they don’t know it. We are all excited to go out into the world. We have all worked so hard and it is time for us to reap the benefits for our hard work. We now know enough about ourselves to go into the world ready and strong.
Now all I want to say to you guys is thanks for the best four years of my life. Without you guys, I don’t know what I would do. I wish you all the best of luck and I hope that we all become the people we aspire to be.
I remember when I was in elementary school I would get out a piece of paper, and try to figure out when I’d graduate from high school. I would write it out from Kindergarten-12th grade—so from 2000 onward. My little brain couldn’t handle strenuous mathematic calculations, so it took a while to get to the end result. 2014 ended up being the magical year and I always thought to myself, “That’s so far away…I wonder what it will feel like when I get there.”
The world seemed so grand, exciting and exhilarating when we were younger. We were so naive yet curious and eager to do just about anything. I remember taking a car ride with my dad and brother a while back and Brian was talking about his high school classes and I blurted out, “I can’t wait to take notes in class!! It seems like so much fun!”. Yeah, I was clueless at the time. But we approached newfound obstacles with curiosity and strategically worked around them, hoping to learn from the world around us. We were little kids waiting to see what the world was ready to offer.
As we stand here today, we have experienced a lot more of the world than our elementary selves could have ever imagined—some more than others. Although we are all dealt a different hand of cards, our paths have all lead us here…together. The road that I have been traveling on took me on many detours, some of which have altered who I am as an individual and my perception. I’m thankful for those opportunities and I’m happy that I can pave the way for others who may fall on those same paths…whether they are ready for them or not. It’s difficult to go through those patches in life without a leading example and it proves itself to be a challenge, but it’s during those times where you unlock doors that will lead you to somewhere greater than you could ever envision.
You know, we’re planners, always planning and anticipating what’s going to happen next. But if there’s anything I’ve learned or even wanted to take away from my time here, it’s to not do that. We get so caught up in what needs to happen rather than savoring what is happening. I feel so selfish for not absorbing the moments that I had with my dad or uncle. I immaturely thought that there would be time, but there wasn’t. My preconceived ideas were ingrained in my head and I didn’t think that anything could allow them to crumble. I found security in my plan but it wasn’t the one to follow. So divorce yourself from planning what’s going to happen later down the road, because you may never even reach that point. It’s impossible to have it all laid out before us, so invest yourself in what you have… what you have in that very moment, in this vey moment.
We blindly started this chapter four years ago, not knowing how slow or fast our time would go by. Being the procrastinator I am, I figured that I could prolong my swim survival test because I still had time. Freshman year didn’t seem like the opportune time because I was a chicken, I wasn’t in PE Sophomore year, I told myself I’d do it Junior year, and I got a contract at the beginning of Senior year saying that I’d do it, and then I found myself at the pool nearly two months ago jumping in and getting a chin laceration and stitches on the day of the Orchesis show. Something so trivial as the swim survival test haunted up on me in no time. My time on Orchesis officially ended once the new company was announced for the first time yesterday. I have already retired my Senior Men & Women blazer and passed it onto my successor. I made the memories that I want to keep. I thrived in academic settings and I immersed myself into new opportunities. Our four years have come to a close and in just a few moments we will all acquire a new title that we will later add to our Arcadia High School ‘resume’—-Alumni.
Well, here we are. We are “there”. How does it feel?
Well it’s finally come. The day that everyone, including myself, has been waiting for ever since I can remember. I am finally about to graduate high school. I honestly never thought I would ever make it this far. It amazes me as the days get closer and closer, it honestly scares the living hell out of me too. The fact I now am leaving a place I have been at for four long and memorable years. It makes me honestly quite sad; I never thought I would even care once I got to this point. It is ironic how I actually care so much now; I am going to miss high school so much. No matter how much I hate to admit it.
I want to thank everyone that got me to this point in my life. I want to thank my mom for not caring how annoying she was pushing me through to succeed ever since I was a little kid. I remember my first grade teacher explaining to my mom I had a learning disability and my mom knew it was bull. She worked hard with me and tutored me and look at me now. I’m graduating with a 3.0 in regular classes and that teacher didn’t know what she was talking about. My mom always has spoken so highly of me even when I have been a screw up. Same for my dad, without him I wouldn’t be where I am either. My dad has always been hard at showing emotions, but with me I’m the exception. He always has shown me love and without him I wouldn’t be where I am today either. He has always pushed me to reach my full potential and given me beyond maximum praise for it. I love my parents for what they have done to get me here.
I also want to thank Anthony of course, the love of my life. Without him pushing me to want to succeed, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. He pushed me to get good grades; he was my motivation and still always will be. I am proud to say my other half drives me to want to succeed, without him I don’t know what I could ever do. He’s amazing, simple as that, for helping me through everything life has thrown at me. Lastly, I want to thank my former tutor Darcy. Without her I defiantly would not have graduated. I almost gave up on my math and she was there to help me push through it all and I made it. I passed it and it was all because of her. She pushed me, and I needed that during my struggle. I wish she knew how grateful I truly am.
The end is coming near. I am ready, no matter what emotions I come across or start to feel. I am ready to take that stepping stone to my future. I am beyond ready as a matter of fact. High school has done me well and I hope college is the same. I am ready to see what is on the other side.
As freshman, we walk down the halls as novices, thinking of the four years to come.
As sophomores, we keep our head in the game and hope that the year passes by in the blink of an eye.
As juniors, we get the job done by taking every minute, and making them worthwhile.
As seniors, we try to make every moment a lasting memory and wish that we could REWIND back to the time we took our first steps on campus.
(Taken from the Yearbook, Arcadian 2014
Page 422, Closing)
The day I get my yearbook every June, I don’t take much time to look through it. Just like everyone else, I jump right to the back of the book to see what pages I am in. I check out the funny senior quotes and I look at the pictures that everyone is raving about. It’s not until a couple days later that I actually sit down and appreciate this beautiful, expensive memento that represents and recaps the school year we just had.
Three days ago was that day. I sat down and delicately flipped through the pages one by one, soaking up the memories that came along with the photos. Once I was done looking at my friends senior photos, the pages dedicated to school events, the group pictures of each sports team and club, and my senior dedication page created by my parents, I came across the page that I quoted at the beginning of this post. This was one of the last pages in the yearbook, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I read and reread this page too many times to even count.
Something about that page, those words that perfectly represented each year of high school, made me see the past four years in a whole new light. It made me think about my time as a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior, and all of the experiences I had. It made me recall the way I felt as an underclassman, and the way I feel now as an upperclassman. It made me think about the things that stood out and defined each year for me. It made me realize how much has changed since the day I stepped foot on campus.
As a freshman, I had never been more scared in my life. I remember walking down the halls, so afraid of what everyone thought of me, and I only worried about good impressions and pleasing the people around me. I felt out of place because I had lost a lot of friends in the transition between middle school and high school. I spent too much time stressing about appearances when I should have worried about enjoying my first year of high school. I was excited to become a sophomore so that people stopped calling me “fresh-meat”.
As a sophomore, I had a little bit more confidence. I was able to stand my ground and I wasn’t picked on anymore for being a freshman. I still had trouble finding myself, but by the end of the year, I found my place. I found an amazing group of friends and finally felt comfortable at school. I prayed that junior year would come fast, so I could help “rule the school”.
As a junior, I was so excited to finally be an upperclassman. I was at the top of the school (kind of) and was able to make an impression on those below me. I found out who my true friends were, and who were the people I could actually trust. I didn’t have a lot of time for my friends though, because I was constantly neck deep in homework and tests. This is when I started to realize how fast high school had already gone by, and although it wasn’t the end, I started taking advantage of the time I had left.
As a senior, I finally felt at home at the high school. I felt as if the school was in the palm of my hand, and let me tell you, that was the greatest feeling ever. I remembered that this was the last year with my friends, so I cherished the time I had left with them. I used every free moment I had and tried to make it into an amazing memory. I did everything seniors do, and tried to leave my mark on the school and the years to come.
As my high school career is coming to a close, I am reminded of how much has changed, and how much I have changed, throughout these past four years.
Graduation is 6 days away. In 20 minutes, it will be 5 days away.
After spending these last couple of days remembering the past, it makes me wish I could go back to the first day of high school.
Although my time as an underclassman was uneasy, I would still go back just so I didn’t have to leave this all behind.
Now that it’s almost over, I truly wish I could go back in time and relive the past.
I wish I could…
Your last line really got to me. I willed high school away for so long, and now that it's over I find myself wanting to be able to go back and enjoy some of the moments that I wasted. It seems a lot of people are feeling this way right now. I really enjoyed your post, and I'm excited to see what awesome things you end up doing next year!
This is indeed one of my favorite posts. Mostly because you've forced me to look back through all my high school moments and hardships, and I absolutely agree with you. I wish I could rewind if I could. I spend a lot of time wanting to leave this place, but at the same time, I'm just not ready to leave it all behind. Thank you so much for this heartfelt and wonderful post. It was truly amazing.
“I wish I could grow up faster.”
“I wish we could end school earlier.”
“I wish it would all end already.”
How quickly time has passed… It feels as if it was only yesterday that I was practically chanting these three phrases.
Now what? We’re all preparing to walk across that stage in cardinal and gold in four days and all I can think is:
“I wish I could never grow up.”
“I wish high school never had to end.”
“I wish I could start all over again.”
I have wasted too much time making mistakes and creating regrets over the course of my youth while preparing for this one day. High school graduation; this is the moment that marks the end of my childhood, the day I enter adulthood. And all for what?
So I can attend more years of schooling to form more mistakes?
Actually, scratch that.
I can only make more valuable memories, learn more life lessons, and be offered more opportunities in the future.
So what if I’ve failed too many times to count? So what if I’ve disappointed my parents thus far?
I still have time to make up for my faults and show my parents that I still have many options open to me. After all, mistakes are a part of life. I haven’t succeeded or tried anything new if I had never made an error, so why not put it behind me? I will learn from them, but I will not bring them with me into the future.
Rather than wish for re-dos and the easy way out of situations, I will take every chance and opportunity open to me, and I’ll make my own. It all comes down to me. My future is in my own hands. I’m setting myself up for a bright future, one where I’ll make a difference in this world just as everyone else will.
The next time you doubt yourself or wish for the short-cut, just think of how quickly time passes and how you should value your mistakes. Once that last school bell rings, run out there and embrace the day with no regrets. Know that you are not just one out of a million, you are THE one out of a million. All opportunities are open to you, but you are only given so many chances, so don’t sit there praying for re-dos like I had.
Ah Ashley, how I thought the same. I, too, was sick of school but now that school is almost over I can't help but have this feeling of belonging. I don't want high school to end and it just hit me at the Senior Talent Show that everything will be gone. Lets just make the best of whats left!
I agree, our futures depend on us and I've learned this the hard way looking back on my high school career. I remember opportunities that I decided not to take in the past which has left me regretful. However at the same time, There are others that I am glad to have taken. Thank you for your wise words Ash and I'll make sure to live life to its fullest so I will have no regrets.
Hey Ash, I really liked what you wrote for your blog, especially about the errors part. I didn't know how much I would miss high school until the senior talent show. I realized how much I love my APN-ers while watching the end credits and I started crying badly. I had no idea what memories I would keep from high school but that was definitely a defining moment. Thanks!
Wow. How the time flies.
It seems like just yesterday when I walked onto this campus for the first time as a freshman, not even knowing where the office was.
It seems like just yesterday when I pretended that I was a dinosaur and cut my head open on an air conditioning vent.
It seems like just yesterday where we didn’t even make finals for SCPA finals as a line percussionist.
I never thought I would be here so fast.
I would have never made it this far without my family. Thanks for everything you guys have done for me. There is nothing I could do to repay you guys for the countless hours spent on me. Thank you for all the support and words that have encouraged me.
Without my friends I would have never wanted to make it this far. It is only because of you guys that I was able to believe in myself. Without your constant nagging and pushing I would have never come up with the motivation to pick up my feet and drag myself to the finish line.
On the other hand, I could have done so much better. I could have achieved so much more and made such a better person out of myself.
I’m sorry for all the grief that I have cause to those around me for the past 18 years. I wish I could take it all back and start over with the knowledge that I have now, but it’s too late for regrets and apologies. There’s nothing that anyone can do to change the past, so the only thing left to do is reflect on it and learn from it. I know that I have screwed up, and wasted every opportunity that was given to me, but I can only learn from it and change for the better.
it's never too late. I know how easy it is for things to just slip away but so difficult to catch up. But every experience is a learning experience and that does not mean your life is over - it's just beginning. There is a reason for everything. Who knows, maybe you'll meet someone special on your journey.
As much as we want to rewind back time, life doesn't wait - but that doesn't mean life doesn't have some surprises on the way.
I think that friends and family are an irreplaceable part of our lives and without them we wouldn't be here right now. None of your friends blame you for anything. We all just wish you the best.
3,773 students and over 900 of us sitting here today. We wait for our teachers to call roll one last time and hand us a piece of paper that officially symbolizes the end of our childhood.
It’s kind of weird to hear myself say that now that it’s actually happening.
My years here at Arcadia High School have been pretty crazy.
From that naïve, self-conscious little girl I was my freshman year, to the mature, passionate young lady that stands before you today. I would like to believe I have changed for the better over the course of the last three years; we’ve all changed. Whether it’s our look, our mentality, or our personality, there is something different about each and every one of us.
There are those in the world who are able to portray their talents in ways that will make themselves and those around them exhale “wow,” or cry out “thank you, that was beautiful.”
And there are those who have yet to discover their true talents and abilities that may one day make a crowd go wild just by breathing.
Perhaps there are more, but the point that I am trying to make is, whether it’s to impress your family, your classmates, the world, or even just yourself, don’t forget that we all have the ability to do so because we are all unique and special I our very own mysterious way.
Yes, I know, this is a very trite and ironic speech. I’m talking about individuality when we are all about to wear the same banal cap and gown this upcoming Wednesday, but let not that define who you are, because the person under that outfit is different from the person sitting in front, behind, or beside them.
I have enjoyed all my years spent at Arcadia High School even though there were some moments I was embarrassed, angry, and depressed. Everything, from the good to the bad, has made me and brought me to become who I am. The only thing I found difficult was standing out. Walking with a crowd of around 3,700 people doesn’t give you room to really “be different.” Being different is just a concept we hold in our minds and implement into others. We say we are different, but how do we actually prove that?
Does it take winning an award or becoming a celebrity? What steps must we take in order to provide evidence of our originality, of our genuine character?
There’s only one step you can take:
Believe that you are capable of doing anything. Believe that one day you will live the life you always wanted to live. Believe that all this time spent here in high school has made you the best that you could be. Believe that you are amazing just the way you are.
For without belief, there is no will, and without a will, there is no way.
My dream has always been to be famous. It sounds a little self-centered, I know, but I didn’t really care. It wasn’t something I’d openly acknowledge with my friends, but it would be implied based on what I said I wanted to pursue when I got older. Sometimes I’d get strange looks and comments like, “Really? I never really took you as a _____” or “That surprising seeing that you’re not really a great _____.” This would be a little discouraging, but I knew that one-day, when I do become famous, I’ll look back and smile.
They say that hate is the strongest motivator, and yes, that could be proven true. Sometimes when I get rude remarks or “hate” from someone, I tell myself, “I’ll show them” in an angry little voice in my head. However, the same could be said about love. My love for film, my love for acting, my love for singing, and my love for pleasing are also motivation. These, and others, have pushed me to bring myself here. Today, at the Senior Awards Ceremony, I received an award for “Creativity” in Apache News. This may not seem like a lot, but for me it meant the world. Knowing that people see my talent and believe in me makes me love film even more. Seeing that the videos I have produced and all the energy, effort, and time put into these little thirty second to one minute clips have been noticed and liked just makes me feel like I’ve accomplished so much just in this one year.
So it comes down to the one question Mr. Feraco asked us in the beginning of this second semester that nearly stumped us all: What is stronger, love or hate?
Now, I know my answer. It’s love: the love of our uniqueness and our talents; the love of our selves and the belief that we can accomplish anything; the love of a hobby or even a career; and now that we look back, the love of a school, the students, and supporters.
We talk about how much we’ve done for the school and the community and how we don’t get enough recognition for it, but have we ever really thought about all the things the school has done for us? Without the community, there would not be a school for us to attend. Without the students, there would not be anyone to call a friend. And without teachers, there would not be anyone to help us to the end.
Let us all rejoice one last time as seniors, as Apaches, and as the Class of 2014 to thank the staff, the students, and our families. Without each and every one of them, we might have believed we were nothing but a face in a crowd. They taught us to believe in ourselves and to be the best we can. They helped us realize who we are and who we want to become. They are the ones who taught us how to dream. So before we leave, let’s all just take a moment to say thanks. Thanks Mom, thanks dad. Thanks Ashley, thanks Jacky. Thanks Mr. Feraco.
I don’t say goodbye because it’s not. It’s merely just a “see you later.”
Chrystal, I really liked how personal you made the speech. Sometimes we have to learn from other people’s experiences to become that better person. The way you worded and phrased it made it extremely different and unique from the others. It was really well-written and I love the end there too. By the way, congrats on your award because you really deserved it.
Hey Chrystal! First of all, Congrats!! & I love how passionate you are about filming and editing (especially during your presentation!). It really is wonderful to find that driving force in life. It's impressive how haters don't bring you down. I will try to be stronger like you and not let negative words crush my confidence. Great post!
I loved reading your post. I could actually hear this as if it were an actual graduation speech! It's been so great getting to know you and reading your posts! Well done and I loved the personal touches!
Image is not everything.
I went into high school wanting to be super popular I was cautious about every detail of me. I fixed my hair in the morning and I would spray body spray hoping girls would notice how well I smell. Many guys smelled like me, “Axe Chocolate”. I was nobody special with the spray on. Many Asian guys had fohawks. So did I. My hair was not special either. I got my new classes freshman year and was intimidated on the diversity of the class. More white than I saw yellow.
Our teachers are beautiful people. They teach us the meaning of education. Good or bad, they still teach. Sometimes we forget that, but we must remember. Our only job is to take in information to gain knowledge for the future. I never told anybody this, but my best friends, but during my 4 years of high school, I failed and retook two classes. I did not try my freshman year, I cannot remember why. I was still Ian Duran, a very humorous loving guy, but I guess I just was not smart enough. I was embarrassed. I would lie about my schedule just so I can feel like I am like the rest of my class. I would feel scared if somebody would ask for help. It took me awhile to realize that they do not really care about my classes as long as I am a fun guy to be around. Do not let your gpa tell you who you are. You are you.
Clothes are the first thing people look at in the halls after your face. It’s what draws attention from the crowd. I was not a hipster because I thought it looked weird and I was not a hypebeast because I thought, and still do, think it is ridiculous to spend $30 per shirt and up to $150 for shoes. Those people attracted the comments of the wow factor. I was just casual sometimes lazy. We will grow out of it guys, we are adults, we make our decisions. I can go places with crocs and a Hawaiian shirt and not care. My clothes is my choice.
We will all hit rock bottom at one point. It is our choice to get up. High school is not everything. It is to prepare us to battle our fears in the future. We left high school getting rid of embarrassment and sorrow. We are able to walk tall in the halls, and share our life with our peers. Go climb the wall when you hit the bottom. Make it out with glory. We are apaches and we will prevail. Be an individual do not be controlled by your surroundings. Let you be you.
First off, I really appreciate how honest you were about wanting to be popular when you entered high school. I also love that you expressed your love towards our teachers, even though not all of them may be great educators. Spending hundreds of dollars on one outfit is ridiculous.
Yeah i agree there is alot of pressure in academics in high school it i really dont like how people judge you on your grades people dont know why people get the grades they get.
“Just because someone stumbles, loses their way, doesn't mean they're lost forever.” -Charles Xavier.
Three years ago I remember walking into my second period class. It was Speech and Debate, a school activity that, I argue, shaped my personality into the charismatic, and quite charming if I can say so myself, individual that I am today. Being a second-year Junior-Varsity member, I was prepared to use my experiences from the prior year in order to segway myself into the realm of success. I was granted something much more different.
The second week of school I was approached by one of our coaches, Carl Trigilio, former AHS alumni and future womanizing-magician. He informed me that I was to co-lead an event granting me a leadership position of event captain. I was thrilled. It was an unexpected moment for me and it was the first leadership position I was ever given. I accepted graciously with the intent of both leading and succeeding in the event during competitions. There was only one problem: I was terrible at the event.
I was to lead the team in Thematic Interpretation, TI for short. It was a unique speech event which contained element of drama and humor in order to put on a theatrical, 10 minute performance with the use of 3 scripts and a small black binder as a prop, elements that are unique to TI specifically. First off, I am definitely not a funny person. Secondly, my drama ability is rivaled by a sloth with no legs. There was no possible way for me to succeed in this event, and in hindsight, probably wasn’t the best event for me to select. Still I went about my responsibilities as if everything was just how I wanted it to be, constantly lying about having my script memorized and making excuses that I wanted to focus on my 3 novice pupils.
They were all talented, intelligent, beautiful girls. TI, an already small even in the community, was the least popular at AHS. Yet, these three girls went ahead and picked it right up. Megan Conner, yes sister to our wonderful Mackenzie Conner, was a quirky, small individual. She was naturally funny and had a melodious voice that resonated to all those who heard her. Second was Cambria Braun, a tall, blonde athlete who was awkward in her performances, but absolutely charismatic and delightful in person. Lastly, there was the person who changed my life forever, Amelia Jin. She was taller than the average girl, enthusiastic about everything I told her and drop-dead gorgeous in her appearance. She was different. She listened to me and my advice as if I had all the answers to the universe. For the first time in my life, I felt appreciated and respected. I always thought I was an entertainer since everyone called me an awkward comedian, but this new role that was presented to me, I liked it. I liked it a lot.
By the end of the year, Amelia had qualified to the State Championship tournament in TI, something that I take so much pride in. Although my other two padawans didn’t have a year as filled with success, they were both eager to learn from me once again next year. I was content.
It then dawned on me, that I haven’t even qualified to state myself. How can somebody who is respected as a mentor call himself a teacher, when he literally has no awards himself? I was scared. I did my best the following year. Taking on the role as a leader, becoming an officer for the team (Go Josh!) and continuing my role as event captains, while still trying to maintain my competitive spirit. I worked hard, picked up more pupils, prepared for debates and when the time finally came, I failed.
I was in shock. At this point, several of my friends were succeeding to the State Championship tournament and I was going to be left behind. I panicked, saw that I had one more year left, and vowed to continue my pursuit, pracitcing harder and harder as every second went by. I mean, if I went the semi-final round for both the events I partook in (TI no longer being on my list) it should be easy for me to make it my senior year with just a little more practice. So senior year came and rolled around I stayed up countless, sleepless nights reading article after article and researching debate topics over and over again. I knew that no matter what, I just had to win.
The State Qualification Tournament came around the corner and I was prepared. Placing in the top 5 of the last couple tournaments I attended was a huge confidence booster for me. Not only was a I ready to win, I was ready to qualify. Each round went by, the second feeling better than the first and the third feeling better than the second. Postings for the semi-final went up for my first event. I looked for my name expecting a Josh Tran to just stand out in my field of vision. Except, it wasn’t there. I panicked and desperately looked again only to be further disappointed. I shrugged away and pretended to be happy for my friends who advanced realizing that all my hope was basically lost.
My luck changed, however. My friends were screaming for my name at postings indicating that I was on the semi-final roster for my second event. I jumped for joy and began to panic. I rushed to the preparation room and awaited by topics to form my speech. I knew that this was my weaker event and I was not confident at all sitting there alone at my table. I took in all the advice anybody could give me. I paced back and forth rehearsing my speech after writing it within the thirty minutes that was allotted to me. As I walked into my room, I saw the look in my judges eyes and knew that it was time for me to give my speech. It was literally all, or nothing.
To this day, I still believe that this was the greatest speech I had ever given in my four years competing. My heart was racing every second that led up to the final postings. I crossed my fingers, said a prayer to both God and Buddha, I hopped on one leg, fasted, held my breath until finally the postings came out. And it was to my disbelief that my name was not on that list.
I laughed at myself. I curled up on the bus. I remained silent the whole way through. I called my friends up to take me to In-N-Out since I thought I could eat out my feelings. It didn’t work.
However, I knew I had one more chance left. You see, Week 1, there are only speech events that you can compete in. The next week is where all the debate events are held. This was where I truly shone. I picked up a partner who has been competing in debate for almost 7 years and I was certain that with his knowledge and my charisma, we’d at least stand a fighting chance. Literally, this was my last opportunity to win.
We had one week to make a case, create arguments, find counter-arguments and rehearse our case to the slightest detail. We were pumped. That weekend, we walked in with the mentality and that we needed to go undefeated in order to qualify to state and we competed with that mentality all the way. And we were on the streak, beating one team after another as if they were nothing but flies. Then the final posting went up and I received a text message from our coach: “Win this and you’re in. Goodluck.”
We were literally in arm’s reach. We could taste the victory on each of our taste buds and I knew that there was so much riding on this last debate round. Our competitors were good and they were just as eager as we were. We kept shouting and arguing until finally the time was over. All that was left to do now, was wait.
It had to be about a full 30 minutes before we saw our assistant coach come out of the tab room to report our results. We were all nervous and I could tell that this was going to be a day I would remember forever. I was right. That was the day we almost qualified to state for the second time.
Four years on the team and I never qualified to the State Championship tournament. I was the only one, out of seven, officer this year who did not compete at the State Tournament. It sucked. I honestly didn’t know what to say or do. I was in disbelief especially since I had a full four years of experience on the team. I was lost, wondering if I had wasted my time or if I should’ve focused more on something else. It wasn’t until I started looking back that I remembered exactly what I was on the team for.
Flashback to sophomore year: Amelia Jin came up to me right before my yearbook banquet. Being the stylish diva she was, she went ahead with her summer dress on and approached me.
“I voted for you.”
“Voted? For what?”
“Best mentor. You are the best mentor. Nobody else can compare.”
That year, at the yearbook banquet, there was a total of 3 votes for Joshua Tran: Each of my students had voted for me. The year after, I won that trophy at the banquet, and I won’t lie, it really did feel 100x better than any other award I had recieved in my entire life. I’m equally proud to say that this year, I was recognized with the exact same honor.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Faculty and Students, Parents and Children, I am here to tell you that where you sit right now is a place that separates into several directions. We have a class of nearly 1000 students who all are going toward their own dreams. And each of them are going to find a place for themselves, even if their initial choices don’t bring them to their desired designation.
Class of 2014, we just crossed over that rough road of High School and I hate to tell you, but the mountain’s only going to get more steep as the year comes. But just remember that you are somebody. You have a role. You have a life. Use it. Live it. When it doesn’t seem like things are coming together, get rid of it and find a new one. I’m not saying that you’ll find your niche on your first try, but I guarantee that as long as you keep trying, you will find your niche. Even if I’ve failed several times as a competitor, I believe my role as a mentor is the greatest achievement I could offer and I’m proud to provide that in every aspect that I can. Find something that you can offer and be proud of it. You’re good at being who you are so stop trying to pretend like you’re somebody that you’re not. Who knows? You might just rediscover yourself in a completely new light. And as you witness your last minutes of high school, you remember all the lost nights you have of being somebody that you no longer are. And that’s ok. Because you will be the new you, the you who you and everyone else will accept. I’ll say it just for kicks: We made it, but it’s not over. I’m proud of all of you and eager at the same time. I want your life to be something that you can smile at, so you give way to everyone else’s happiness at the same time. Congrats.
This was an interesting read Joshua. This story was not only very engaging… but it’s one of those stories of complete failure. I almost expected around the end, at the last possible moment, you would suddenly win, and this would be a story about how if you persist, you will win. But no. This was rather a story about coping, and finding joys and wins in other aspects of life. I think that’s what life is about though, we want stuff, and we probably won’t get what we want because there’s limited supply… but in the end, we will still get something worthwhile and worthy of the same joy and pride if we search for it.
Thank you for the message, and thank you for the story!
“‘Let's go, today is war again
We fought against and took each other's hands” –Shizen no Teki-P, Summertime Record
Next week, a battle ends, and another begins. You have fought long and hard but you can’t give up now. Different people and events will try to shut you down but you have to push forward no matter what. Stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone walk all over you. Don’t lose hope. You’ve worked so hard for so long so you have to keep going otherwise it will have all been for nothing.
There will be times when you will feel alone, hurt, and lost. You may feel like no one loves you; that no one will miss you; but you’re wrong. You do more than you think for those around you. They appreciate you and they love you.
Don’t lose your way. Don’t lose your mind.
Realize that if you do, you will be letting down all those who have supported you thus far.
Even when you think no one is listening, someone may be stressing out about how to help you. Someone may be beating themselves up for not being able to help you as much as they would like. Appreciate those who try.
Never forget those who have been there for you. Be happy for the little things that they do. It might mean the world to them. Understand the power you hold over other people, literally or not, and don’t abuse it. Don’t say anything you want because you assume that your words are worth nothing. It could change someone’s life; for better or for worse.
Learn to forgive yourself.
You can’t hate yourself forever. Not everything you do is as bad as you think it is. Stop holding onto your faults and accept that you will change. If you have made a mistake, learn from it and work to be a better person afterwards. Discover yourself. Who you are not might not be who you turn out to be. So don’t worry if you don’t like yourself very much. You might in the future.
Look for something to hold onto. Let it motivate you. Let it support you. Find what you want in life and start looking for it. Look for more after you find it. Find something that makes you happy and let it pull you towards the future.
Don’t be afraid. The road will be long and hard but you will have all the support you need. You aren’t alone. You won’t ever be alone; so stop being so scared of yourself. If anything, remember these words.
Thank you, for being you.
Hey Cindy! our blogs are sort of similar! Good Job. I really enjoyed reading your blog, you are giving us advice that stuck out and that sometimes we forget about those things. I love the last sentence where you thank us for being ourselves. That is something Feraco would totally say.
Thank you for being you!
Time flies by quick.
It was just yesterday when we were wee little freshmen, little explorers traveling in the forest of unfamiliar buildings and faces.
And now look at us now. We are the seniors.
We have finally done it Class of 2014! It has been quite a journey for all of us. Whether it was keeping those grades up through junior year to receive that college acceptance letter or having fun at the beach the day we were all “sick”.
It’s the last year of high school and a lot of us have slacked off, I, myself included. I have let senioritis taken the most out of me and I’m feeling lost. My grades have suffered and my parents have lectured me greatly. I go to after school tutoring classes so I can prepare myself for college courses. My parents put great time in enforcing me to work on class work instead of playing video games all day. It seems like I have given up.
I spent nights playing video games with my friends. They are seniors and I am as well. However, what differentiates them and me is that I am not them.
A lot of parents like to compare their child to other kids. I am often compared and critiqued by my parents when they someone doing extraordinary in school. Whenever I disappoint my parents, I feel lost and useless. I feel like I am not a part of the family because they wish to see someone more successful.
It’s brought me to uncomfortable and depressing conditions.
But, not everyone is perfect.
Each individual here is unique to their own abilities. Whether that ability is school smart to gaming smart, we are all different. No one is alike, we are all best at something another is not.
We cannot be compared because we are our own best. Whenever you’re compared to someone else who looks far more superior then you, look at the mirror and say,
“You are you, you cannot be compared because you are the only you”.
Remember those moments because they are never the same.
Remember the hardship and mistakes because they have changed us.
Remember the broken hearts because they have taught us lessons.
Remember the teachers, the idols that assist us with our success.
Don’t look back and look at the bad and the worse.
Don’t give up because someone is better than you.
Don’t let the bad habits take over your future.
Don’t let the good habits run away from you.
Look at the progress we have made and the amount of impact we have delivered onto Arcadia High School. We are the image of Arcadia, we the students, are what truly make up the high school. We are the Apaches.
However, it’s time to let our legacy be passed onto the class of 2015.
We are all now on our own journey to become great successors, great fathers and mothers, and great role models. We must chase after our dreams and remember that we are where we are now because it is our power and choice to do what we do best.
Chase after those dreams, class of 2014!
We have a lot that lie ahead of us. We have a journey to fulfill and we couldn't have done it without the class of 2014. We’re all going off to college in a couple of months. We’re all going to separated like we were in middle school, but we are all strong. We are the Apaches and we will remember each other and keep the Apache pride strong.
Stay strong Apaches.
Hey Jack! The messages in your blog are great! Those advices are much needed for us seniors because we are walking into something new next year. "Don’t look back and look at the bad and the worse" is definitely my favorite line & I will try my best to do that so I don't get stuck in the past!
I don't think people should be compared to others. As you said, everyone is different and unique in their own way. How are you supposed to compare something that isn't remotely the same?
Part 1: Lonely lyrics.
People are puppets held together with string
There’s a beautiful sadness that runs through him
As he asked me to pray to the god he doesn’t believe in.
Time and again, boys are raised to be men
Impatient they start, fearful they end…
(The Hoosiers, A Sadness Runs Through Him)
Sense never seemed to make sense to me.
Not the sense you administer repeatedly.
I fled to the hills so i could clear my mind.
I couldn't swallow the pills that i was prescribed.
People didn't always like each other Did they?
People didn’t always get along.
I read the news but it wasn't good,
Because the bad guys won when the good guys should.
Was it i told you that the worlds not flat,
Tell the beautiful source can it be taken as fact.
People didn't always get along though did they?
People didn't always like each other did they?
Ooo you know you'd never get to find out anyway.
The game plays us for fools.
You know you'd never get to have the final say.
You'll get to make the rules.
(The Hoosiers, Rules)
Part 2: An Evil Only Man Has Made.
A life for a life is the loss of two lives. War, is endless, needless, death. Weather we must send out children to fight for their country, or we, to protect our children, death ensues. A child is born into a world where he must pledge allegiance for some painted cloth on a stick, and then go off into a battle that he does not to fight and die, while the parents sit around feeling sorry for themselves and their children. Praying to god that their sons are alive and well.
It’s a hateful world, and war, is a world without meaning. It is blood, metal and dirt all wrapped up with a bow, with human lives as the expenses to pay for it, and chaos to shake the present box around. Let the children go off, and fight for their country because they must.
War will continue. You, your children, you will all be affected by it.
Part 3: To Our Cubicles.
Soon he will be gone
He will lose who he was. Is.
And find himself, in his cubicle.
A child. Unaware of the struggles in his surroundings, grows and develops. Untouched by the evils and discomforts of the world, the child branches out his potential.
-It grows inside of him.
What is it?
-A small speck of an idea.
But what is it?
-The beginnings of a dream.
The child, lives away from the dropping bombs, the watching eyes, and the rats. He grows to be a fine man. A man about 18, whom has a goal, a plan, and is off to become something great. He is off to explore uncharted territory and become someone important, either to his family or to the world.
-There is goes
What is it?
Where has it gone?
-Reality got to it before he could ignore reality for long enough to achieve it.
The child, impatient, wants what had planned for sooner. He starts rushing, failing more often, and finally, he quits. “money sure is tight these days” he says with a sigh. The child goes off, and finds a steady paying job. 25. Discontent fills his heart.
-I wonder if he ever figures it out
What is it?
-Well, it’s that he will never be happy with where he is right now.
Well what can he do?
-Not make the same mistake twice.
The child, now 40, bored with everything, finds his old passion for his dream, in a box of memories. It rekindles his flame, and brings life into his eyes.
Once again he thinks about his life. Once again he…
Part 4: A Timely Work.
A tree stump.
The tree was used
The stump remains.
Part 5: But We Were Kids, Not Long Ago
It wasn’t long ago, when we didn’t know that the word “genes” could possibly mean something other than jeans spelt wrong.
10 years ago, all we cared about was getting home and playing some more Windwaker on your GameCube, and for the more rich kids, GTA:San andreas, on their PS2’s.
You just existed. No reason, and you didn’t care. You wanted to play, beat the level, score the goal, finish the picture, and roll on the grass.
It feels like those times, 10 years ago, aren’t too far away. It hasn’t been a long time since then. I wonder how I lived my life without a [Redacted].
Part 6: Answer, and be forever rewarded.
Even though people are puppets
We hold ourselves together with string. We patch ourselves up, and continue on.
There is a beautiful sadness that comes from war.
As she asked me to pray to her god, that her son comes back alive and well..
People didn’t always like each other, did they? People didn’t always get along? The war has raged on forever, and taken so many lives.
Oooo you know you’d never get to find out anyway, but don’t let that stop you. The game plays us for fools, but the fools end up changing the world.
So what will you do, when you get to make the rules?
Poof… You find yourself in the cubical. Dreams, hopes, life, gone. You lose yourself in the cubical, thought, experience, memories, knowledge, gone.
Rip off that button on your shirt, throw it on the ground, and curse god for this world we live in.
Then go off to find meaning.
World , if you were to listen, I would not give you a statement. I would give you a question. It is for all those who inhabit you.
“What is your reason for living?”
Omg Leonid, I really love all the poetry and descriptions going on in this blogpost.
Especially your description of war… sad, yet meaningful.
The cubicle part made me laugh a lot! Wait. Oh my god. I love this. (sorry I’m commenting as I read) I say you’ve done the best job so far of depicting that depressing moment where we fall short of our goals and live in discontent… until that tragic moment when we are old, and we realize it is too late. (I think almost all of us feel that frustration and depression as we struggle in our cubicles feeling like we cannot escape its confinement)
Box… ah yes…that reminds me so much of a song that I want to share now:
“Yesterday or today
I opened a small box covered with rust
I’d forgotten what’s inside
Like I’d forgotten many faces from my past
All my dreams lies in that stupid box
With the smile of the ones I used to love
With the smell of the rain that used to comfort me
Everything was there
Even that strange taste of blood in my mouth
When I thought i’d to leave one day
To a better place, a better life
Sometimes I wish I had not found that box
Now you have to find your own…”
Part 4 is absolutely amazing as well. 4 lines, yet with so many messages.
I think your post inspired me the most. I mean, right now I’m still bogged down with all this stress and sadness in life that I continually struggle against. Not caused by war or by hatred, fortunately, but of crushed dreams and slippery hopes, and a fleeting of will to fight.
But your post, I love it because you do not resort to the typical usual safe optimism that most people do. That optimism that I too have tried to resort to in order to provide cushion for my unanswered pessimism, and as an act to show I am still trying, because optimism takes a lot of energy and will. But your post, you don’t try to do that. Rather, I consider it to be more cathartic and… strengthening. An acceptance of this world we live in, without accepting our fates and lost hopes.
“Rip off that button on your shirt, throw it on the ground, and curse god for this world we live in.
Then go off to find meaning."
You make me want to yell, and scream, and curse this world, and curse all sadness and pain and negative emotions that ever goes on in all human life, but at the same time, you make me not want to give up. How do I explain that feeling, when you stand on the cliff side, exhausted and drained, yet still ever so ready to continue fighting and pushing through, while feeling the wind blowing over your face as you look at the broken world before you.
Us humans have been trying to find meaning to life for a very long time now, and I doubt we are any closer to the answer than before. But at the same time, finding meaning in life and finding a reason for living are pretty different. I’m curious though, you haven’t given a reason for living, or a way to find that reason… but what is your reason?
This is an amazing post Leonid, I loved it a lot. You are amazing, it’s actually a pretty interesting post too for our last blog, because it seems to warn of the obstacles and feelings we may come across in the future, yet it gives strength to face it. Thanks for sharing!
Spoiler alert, if you dont want to know how to connect the dots of my blog, DO NOT READ THIS. This is an explanation for what, and why i wrote what i did.
I haven't found my meaning yet, it's a question that looms over me. I ask it all the time though. I remember that when i was younger, i always felt that, i should have an answer to it. If i couldn't find an answer, i would get sad, and feel like giving up. Recently, and mostly thought this class, i found to accept the feeling, and understand that, it's not over yet. I knew i would be a fool if i stopped trying, but always felt a fool trying at all.
Now, for part 4, i meant that to be somewhat of a base for part 2,3,and 5. People are used, their memories stay, they husks (bodies, alive or dead) remain in the aftermath. People lose who they are, and who they would be, when they stop trying.
Now, when i say trying, i mean trying to find meaning to ones existence. Finding something that makes you feel good doing, you enjoy doing, something you cannot live without! For you, I imagine it would be science!
This entire post, was a way for me to communicate my understandings of the world and how we are going to deal with it. It's sort of a "dont give up yet" post.
Most importantly. I really didnt want to give a flat out, hey everyone, here is something i would say. I wanted to ask a meaningful question that i honestly think everyone should ask themselves.
I personally stay away from the generic "family, friends, whatever" stuff, because it's not... me. It doesnt give me reason to live. It gives me a good time while im alive, but i do not live solely for my friends.
War, is to a sadness. because of this sadness, we try to hold each other together with strings.
its a beautiful sadness like the fat man from war, who smiled, and laughed a laugh that could almost be called grief.
The cubical, is like all the lost dreams we have. (motley what i already talked about up there ^ It's very much a centerpiece.
for part 5. I put that in because. Think about it.
We were kids not long ago.
We are about to graduate, and be real adults.
When i think about it, I feel like the tree trunk. For the split moment i feel as though, i am a husk of what i was. I feel as though, because i think that phrase, i have become something different. It's a drastic change.
Im still not entirely sure what the feeling is, or how to accurately describe it, but i wanted to see if anyone else would feel a sense of nostalgia from it. (or even better, the same feeling i have).
The ending is... An ending. I tried to connect some more dots, but not so many that i spoil it all (like im doing with this reply).
I want people, like Rivera, to think about what i wrote, and connect the pieces. (also i made an allusion to every book except Macbeth i think, some are blatant "rip off the button" and others more discrete.)
Im really glad you liked my post! I hope everyone can read it before they leave to live their lives. It might save them some internal troubles along the way.
Always ask the question.
What is my reason... ?
I knew I wasn't wrong! You did just happen to write one of the best blogs I have read in this semester and I was incredibly confused until the end. Excellent job working in the Earth Did Not Devour Him Style. I must say, I am thoroughly impressed.
I am going to be 18 years old on August
It has been 18 year already. How much more 18 years would I have?
We are usually blinded by the thought that we are still consider young and often forgetting each second that passed is gone forever.
I want to remind myself every day that my time is limited so I can make the most out of it.
Seize the day!
Surprisingly the last couple day in Arcadia High School doesn’t feel too much different from other days.
I wonder if I ever reminisce about Arcadia High School again, what would it be about?
Is it the lecture Mr. Feraco gave us?
Is it the constructions that are always going on in the school?
Is it the Spicy Wing that I and my friend always wait in line to get on Friday?
No matter what it is, it is my precious gift that I should hold on.
I am not going to get a second chance to experience all that again.
I am about to graduate from High School.
I don’t know what the future hold for me, and I am excited to find out.
Please don’t disappointment me, the me ten years later.
There are many paths ahead of me.
No matter which path I take, as long as I followed what I had always believed, I will be on the right path.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood ….. I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
Lastly, GG well played Class of 2014 and see you all on the other side of the day!
Fin. The French term used at the end of in classic silent films. The year is over; my high school career is over. We climbed the mountain, beat every obstacle, I’m so excited for what’s yet to come in the future.
After my senior project presentation today, it hit me hard. It wasn’t a fatal blow but just a huge eye opener. High school is over and I may never see the same people I saw today… ever again. I’m so grateful for everyone I’ve ever met throughout these four years, words can’t even describe that. I wish everyone the best in whatever the future holds for them. This is only the beginning of greater success, new passions, and new friends.
Throughout these four years I have taken a lot for granted. Sometimes In the past I would wish that I went to a high school by the beach, because I felt like I didn’t fully belong here. I would constantly complain that Arcadia’s workload was ridiculous and that every other school had it better than I did. I was an idiot to ever make such remarks. This is the best school, with great teachers, great students. I couldn’t see myself thriving any better if I would have gone anywhere else. The nights where I stayed up till 3 a.m. doing essays… I’m going to miss it. The extremely hard tests that had me exhausted by the end… I’m never going to experience that feeling again at Arcadia again. This school has supplied me with so much, I’d wish I had given back more. It hurts me that I didn’t take very opportunity that was thrown at me, but to regret the past is to forfeit the future. I wouldn’t be the same person I am today without the competiveness, the drive, and passion Arcadia gave me.
It’s been an honor spending my last semester of English with such a great class of thinkers, innovators, and scholars. I had Mr. Feraco my freshman year, and it was the first best class I had ever been a part of. Not only that but he is my first and only favorite teacher I’ve ever had. Yes he gives us a big workload, but in the long run it has vitalized how I approach everything now; full effort. Everyone that says that they are glad they didn’t choose SFHP as their course this year missed what might have been the best course they have ever taken. When Feraco presented this last blog, I was in shock. I was sad, I can’t really describe how much emotions I was feeling but I was tearing up inside. I’m not going to hear any more of Feraco’s great deep lectures that always kept my eyes glued to the screen. I’m never going to get pointers for my essays again, nor hear his famous intros to our lectures. I’m definitely going to miss that. We had it the best this year. There’s no other senior course that could have supplied me with any better substance than SFHP. I wouldn’t be the same writer or the same person without Feraco’s lessons and guidance. It’s been one hell of a ride. I can’t wait to take what I have learned in this class in future.
I wish everyone the best of luck and more, let’s take what Arcadia High has supplied us with and become the people we want to be, accomplish what we want to accomplish, and finish our search for our true potential.
The Bits and Pieces of You I'll Take With Me
When I began high school, I met (let's just call him) Adam.
At first, he was just a boy in one of my classes. But from there, we quickly became close.
We talked everyday, and kept up with each other throughout these years of high school.
I could talk to him about the stray thoughts that popped into my mind.
During times of stress, he calmed me down.
When I took life too seriously, he would tease me or joke around.
It was exactly what I needed.
He taught me so much.
In one of my many years as a student, I somehow ended up having five classes with (we'll call him) Finn.
Naturally, I saw and spoke with him quite a bit.
Because of this, we got closer. (Theory of proximity, anyone?)
Now, I only see him every once in a while, but that’s what makes every interaction so special.
Our encounters are never planned. It’s usually me running into him while wandering around during the hours after school has let out, due to some project or event.
When I see him, we always have these conversations.
It’s like all the thoughts and feelings I felt I couldn’t share have built up over the months, but I am able to talk to him about it. Those times have made me feel safe. I didn't have to pretend to be anyone else.
Through him, I finally see the uselessness of closing myself off.
During the summer before junior year, I took Spanish 1 in Monrovia.
It’s only ten minutes away from school, but it could have been ten states away for all I knew. Everything was so different.
To be frank, it was a class of ten and I was the only Asian there.
At first, I felt isolated from them. They all had something in common, and I was the odd one out. But I could sense their intrigue. It was as if I was some sort of foreigner, even though I am an American, born and raised.
Luckily, it only took a couple of days for these barriers to break down.
With such a small class, I was able to connect with each of them over the weeks. They all had quirks and qualities that distinguished them from one another.
Through their actions, I came to how realize how unique every individual is and how pointless our efforts to blend in are.
“I’ve noticed that the older I get, the less I see people as individuals. Instead, I see them as combinations of people I’ve already met—someone’s nose, or smile or voice, or dislike of certain foods brings to mind another place, another name, another time. If I know them long enough, the feeling is reduced down to ghosts and they become their own person who someone else reminds me of. And I think this feeling is probably shared among the people I meet. Who are they seeing when they look at me? Was I someone they loved? Someone they’d prefer to forget? I suppose I’ll never know.”
—Lauren Blain, Tumblr
(The original post, if these words do not do the drawings justice: http://iguanamouth.tumblr.com/post/86102460852/something-about-memories)
Monrovia was so familiar.
During those weeks of summer school, I often glanced around the room. I couldn't help but look at the strange faces and connect them to my life so far.
In Taylor, I saw the naivety of Finn.
In Owen, I sensed the familiarity my cousin’s persistent, stubborn nature.
In Jessica, I saw the openness that I’ve seen in Diana Nguyen since we were tiny baby little ones.
And in George, I saw the same lighthearted and good-willed humor of Cody Lucas.
In Finn, I see my little brother.
Not the little brother I have now, but a future version of him.
I can honestly say that because of this, I’m not afraid of leaving. I know he'll turn out okay.
For Adam, I cannot even begin to describe how important he is.
He became a part of who I am, and I know that I’m a better person because of him.
If someone becomes as important to you as he is to me, you see him in everyone.
So if you ever think that your time here was irrelevant, you're wrong.
You have all become part of each other's journeys through high school. Personally, I would like to thank you for taking part in my time here.
I know that I will be at college in a few short months and I will have countless teachers.
I am sure that in every one of them, I will find some part of Feraco.
And in doing so, I will find my way back here, where I have met all of you.
Again, thank you.
I hope to see you all again, even if it's in someone else.
Dear Alexandra, oh my goodness I loved your post sooo much! My favorite part was the ending "I hope to see you all again, even if it's in someone else." and I will always remember that. I completely understood everything you were saying in your blog, and really hope you find the people you love in the future people you meet.
Your blog made me realize that this isn't really the final goodbye. I will think about and be reminded of and SEE everyone I know now some time in the future.
Thank you for an awesome post.
AWE ALEX! this is a really sweet post! (thx for the feature btw ahahaha BUT REALLY! i like how you incorporated how our personailites can remind you of us within other people. I thought it was really sweet and that we all will remmeber eachother no matter what which makes me leave arcadia on a happy note. Thanks for reminding me that we will always have eachother~ GREAT JOB!
Never let me go.
“DON’T GIVE UP. You’re going to make it. Don’t forget me now! I wanna always be by your side, soul mate! Big sis will never let chu go. I love you forever and always.”
“Baby, keep holding on to me ok? Never let go. Things are really hard right now but keep on fighting. I know when you are born will do great things in this world. I love you Katrina.”
“Keep doing your best in whatever you do in life. Believe in yourself and don’t let anyone else tell you other wise. I love you. You are my energy and my inspiration. Never forget that your family will always be here for you wherever you go.”
“Did you really think that Patrick and I would let anything bad happen to you? You’re our baby sister! You can go to whichever college you want. Don’t stress, you stress too much. I’d work double, triple, quadruple jobs just so you can go to your dream college. We love you and we’ll never leave you.”
“‘Make sure she’s back home before 10pm on May 24th. Love, Katrina’s Big Bro’ Just let me know if anything happens. Call me any time if you want to get picked up. I never want anything bad to happen to you. I love you. Enjoy your senior Prom.”
These thoughts flood my mind.
The past couple of days have been extremely challenging for me:
Last SCAC Meeting. Last ASB Business Meeting. Last SSC Meeting. Last SSLT Meeting. Last End of the Year Luncheon. Last Board Meeting. Last time I get to see the familiar faces I’ve said ‘hi’ to for the past 4 years at Arcadia High School.
Letting go is hard.
I feel like I’m being replaced. Which, I am.
But as I journey this emotional roller coaster ride, I’ve realize that it’s not the thought that I’m being banished that’s been bothering me.
The knowledge that this is my last few days in high school, my last few days as a kid, my last three months spending time with my family as the ‘baby’ affects me the most.
Reality hit me.
In just three short months, I will be the one leaving my family. As much as I don’t want them to go, I chose to go away in order to learn how to become independent. When I come back, I know I will never be the same again.
That’s the hard part.
How can you hold on to something so dear, knowing that in no time it will just be a fragment of your past?
You live in the moment.
Enjoy everything as is.
Try to capture all the memories in your head. Or, document everything; write about it, take pictures, make scrapbooks, create something you can look back to.
It’s still hard to accept the fact that I’m already a senior. More so, that it will be MY graduation in 3 short days.
Every little thing affects me right now.
From seeing the excitement of my successors, to the last few times I’ll hear the school bell, to the surprise that my name is finally on the June 10th Board Meeting Agenda, Business V item i “PRESENTATIONS: 1) Student Representative 2013-2014: Katrina Villacisneros”.
It’s coming to an end and there is nothing I can do but accept it.
Every little thing affects me right now.
My time here is done.
They don’t need me anymore.
Being forgotten—something we strive never to happen. Something unavoidable.
How can the people we were so close to in freshman year suddenly become strangers in our eyes?
There are four important phases I learned in high school:
Freshman Year: New beginnings. This is the time when friendly faces appear as the frightened fresh meat does their best to adapt to a new environment. Old middle school groups suddenly re-band together to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance in the new world they’re in.
I stuck with my First Avenue group throughout the entire year. We ate lunch together, hung out a lot, and basically did everything together.
Sophomore Year: Life is pretty good. You’ve made new friends while keeping in touch with the old group. Hangouts occur frequently and workload isn’t that bad. You start to slowly get used to the school and you try on new things such as being a part of clubs and organizations.
I met new people. I still had my FA group but I got to expand my circle a bit. I interacted with more students from the other middle schools and some became my closest friends. I joined clubs and became part of the Student Government.
Junior Year. Your life falls into pieces. Homework and projects becomes your priorities. You’ve signed up for too much leadership positions. You lost the friends you’ve tried so hard to keep. Depression becomes a norm, as you never get to spend time with yourself and your family. However, you meet new friends who you never thought would completely change your life.
I lost all my friends. Somehow we all drifted apart. Homework, activities, clubs, and AP classes took over our lives. Despite the fact that I lost my old group, I am extremely thankful for Cassie Chu and Winnie Zhang for being the best seniors out there. They welcomed me in and not only treated me as a friend, but as their little sister as well. Cass and Winnie, I honestly do not know what I would do if you didn’t enter my life. I am so grateful that up to this day, I am extremely close to you guys. I hope that will never change.
Senior Year. The finish line is quickly approaching. Another end is a new beginning. Finally. You think its an easy ride from here but really, it’s not. College essays and applications occupy your first few months. Just when you’re finished, rejection letters pile up your mail. If you’re lucky, you get one or two acceptances here and there. After sending your State of Intent to Register, you want to make the most of your last few months here. Next thing you know, you’re out of time. Graduation is just around the corner. Your last few days result with tears streaming down your face. You look back and realize, “man, I’ve actually had a lot of memories through all the things I’ve been through. Thanks Arcadia.”
I became a student leader. Although my favorite seniors left me for college, in a way we got a lot closer because we kept on checking up on each other. Random texts, calls, FaceTime, and care packages are the best! Thank you for that. I ensured that I did my best in all the things I’m involved in. Hopefully it worked out. Even though at times I thought so negatively about my performances, and myself, I learned that it was the complete opposite of what others perceived me as. As my time draws to an end, my tiny little baby ones commended me for a great year and told me how much they look up to me and how I became their mentor. It’s been a great ride. Thank you for a wonderful year.
I would be a completely different person today if it weren’t for the support I’ve received from my friends and advisors. Besides family, they taught me how to interact with people in different levels.
Thank you for always loving me and never leaving me. You’ve been with me through it all, specially this year. It has been a hella crazy emotional roller coaster ride but I am so grateful that you were there to either console me from all the tears or let me rage on until I felt a lot better. And yes, thank you for dealing with my 1 am phone calls or my random spam texts. I admire your love for God and the others around you. You have helped me become a better person by teaching me how to be patient and caring towards others. You are one of the very few peers that I look up to. Thanks for setting a good example last year as a senior. I couldn’t be this amazing senior everyone thinks of if it wasn’t for what I’ve seen last year.
I appreciate all those times you’ve surprised me this year! It’s amazing how every time I’m at the peak of exploding, you were back in Arcadia from SD. You were ready to listen to all my problems and frustrations or to celebrate with me when I had successful events! Thank you for the weekday 6am breakfast runs (before school started even though you were on winter/spring break and you could’ve slept in), afterschool dinner dates and ice cream runs, and hanging out with me at church! I can still clearly remember that one night. It was 11pm and I was terrified of driving alone cause of something that happened. You drove your car next to mine all the way to my house and stayed on the phone (yes, we used Bluetooth) just to ensure that I got home safely. You and Cass are the best seniors out there. I am so happy that I met you guys.
Dear Ms. Dillman,
I want to start off by congratulating you for an amazing first year as the ASB Activities Director! It has been a memory-filled year and I am honored that I got the opportunity to work with you during my last year at Arcadia High School. Thank you for all the times you’ve helped me in AP Comp Gov! I always got an A on the quiz/test after your tutoring session! I can’t wait to see where you’ll bring ASB next year. Good luck and… have fun in all those SSC and SSLT meetings x)! Too bad we can’t take selfies any more after every meeting. I’ll definitely come back and visit.
Dear Mrs. Moore,
You are the best SCAC advisor ever! I love your calm but determined attitude! Even if there are crazy problems presented to us, your composed, ‘we got this’ attitude guarantees that nothing bad will happen. Thank you so much for saving our behinds and doing damage control that one Monday morning. Yeah… it got too crazy for me… it was during the time when college admission results were coming out and a lot of things were on my plate. The worst thing that can happen on a Monday morning after receiving a bunch of college rejections are getting called in and getting yelled at. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the baby clothes from SCAC! It was tremendously fun buying baby clothes and other surprise presents. Send us pictures please!
Dear Mr. Tung,
You have been my advisor since freshman year, when I decided to run for Sophomore Council! It has been my pleasure working with you for the past 3 or 4 years. You’ve seen me grow from the tiny little freshman to the still tiny super senior! I still remember that day when I didn’t make it to junior council. You asked me if I was planning to run again the following year and I said yes. You were happy because you said you wanted to have me back in ASB again. Look at me now, from Girls Relations to losing elections to this year’s Student Rep to the Board and SCAC Chair! Through all my accomplishments and failures, you’ve been there supporting me. Thank you. I love talking to you because you challenge me and make me think and reflect on things. I’m looking forward to more our lunch or dinner hang outs!
P.S. I’m glad you’re one of my buddies! Haha I honestly don’t know why people are afraid of you! You’re super chill and awesome! As long as we don’t screw things up then we’re good!
But with all these going on, I know at the end of the day, it’s my family that I will always go back to.
Even before I was born you told me to keep on fighting and be strong. To be honest, the only thing that’s scaring me about college is knowing that you wont be there to take care of me when I’m sick. No one is going to cook Filipino food for me everyday and I’d be stuck with burgers and other non-Asian food Good thing Jollibee is only a few blocks away. But seriously, thank you for being my bestest friend ever. You have exposed me to experiences, adventures, and big, out there people at such an early age. You’ve helped shape the person I am today. I’m so lucky to have you as my crazy mother! Thank you. I love you so much and I’m glad to know that I’m making you proud!
I still remember the story you told me when I was born. The first thing you did was to call the priest to bless me in hopes that I’d survive! It was a battle well fought and I am proud to say I conquered it! Without you (and Mama), I wouldn’t be here today. I love you so much. Thank you for the training and guidance you’ve led when we were growing up. Telling your life story to us proved that life isn’t easy. We’re so lucky and blessed with the lifestyle you’ve given us. Thank you for all the lessons and word of wisdom you’ve shared. It’s the best present you could give to us siblings. Your advice led us to become who we are now. It gave us better judgment in making decisions. We wouldn’t be successful if it wasn’t for you and Mama. I love you so much Papa!
I’m so glad that I have a successful and inspirational big sister like you! I think our family is just too crazy and too involved. I mean, come on, our family time is normally family business meetings! We just want to be productive all the time, always thinking ahead and making things happen! I’m extremely proud of you, your businesses, your new house, and all these amazing awards and recognitions coming at you! Thank you for being there for me and for helping me with a lot of things. I love it when we’re both up at 2 am trying to finish our stuff or when we go on random stress shopping or food runs! Not only do I not have to pay for anything (hehe) or pull an all-nighter by myself, but I get to spend time with you too! I’m so excited to see where else this year will bring you to. I’m looking forward to work for your company this summer! I love you so much Ate and I’ll miss you in college!
Thank you for being my overprotective brother. I’m pretty sure you scared all my dates haha! But really, thanks for teaching me how to be strong and not let anyone take advantage of me. From bullying and annoying me everyday when we were little, to being my videogame and work out buddy when we moved to America. I love you and I’m so glad I have a sweet, big, buff bro like you! Congratulations to us, Class of 2014! I’m proud of everything you’ve done for your Frat. You might be small too but I know every one is scared of you. That respect level is impressive. I love you so much Kuya and I’ll miss you in college!
Like I said, high school has been a crazy roller coaster ride for me. But I’m glad that through it all, I found the people that care and will stay. Now as I look back, all I can say is WOW. I’ve grown so much in those 4 years. I’m so thankful for all the experiences and lessons I’ve come across.
Thank you to everyone who became a part of my Map. Whether it was to simply pass by or to stay for good.
Class of 2014, it has been an amazing journey but it is now time for us to part. I’ll see some of you in the future. As for the others, it has been nice getting to know you. Thank you for all the lessons and experiences you gave me, both good and bad. Someday we’ll rule the world, together.
“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high-school class is running the country.”
Mr. Feraco, thank you for challenging us. This class literally changed my life. Thank you for assigning projects that lets us learn and express who we really are. Dropping AP Lit for English Prep has been the best decision ever thanks to you and your class. As I say my parting words, I want to tell you, “someday, I will see you on the other side of the day.” This isn’t the end. One day, my brother and I will visit you as alumni. Thank you for everything Mr. Feraco.
Dear Future Katrina,
I am confident that you’ll do great in college and the future. Greater things are in store for you. You have an amazing family and friends that love you. They’ll be there no matter what. Now is the time to learn more about you so go out there and experience even more. I want you to know that I’m proud of what you’ve already done and will do. Re-build that confidence and trust yourself. You’ll do great things if you have those tools. Another adventure awaits. No more time for tears and goodbyes. Enjoy the last few days for it will never be the same when you come back.
Time to grow up.
Just remember, I’m proud of how much you’ve grown from the Katrina I’ve known before. But no matter how amazing you are, I’ll always remember you as the crybaby who would call home every lunchtime in first grade just because you’re homesick and you want Mama to pick you up already. Or the kid who ditched the First Communion practice in second grade just because Ate and Kyla had minimum day and you wanted to go home.
--I thought I’ve already grown up but I can’t believe how lately I’ve been thinking like the 1st grade me again. Going to college. Wanting to leave but wanting to stay at the same time. --
Well whatever happens, happens. Enjoy yourself. I wish you the best of luck.
Cassie, I wont give up. I wont forget you. You’ll be by my side; you’re my soul mate.
Mama, I’ll keep fighting. I was born a princess warrior, remember? Gift ako ni God. You’ve believed in me even before day one. I’ll continue changing this world one step at a time.
Papa, I’ll do my best in everything I do in life. You taught me to give it my all. I’ll never stop believing. Wherever I end up going, I know family will always be there for me.
Ate, I’ll try to stress less. You’ve shown me how important it is to go after my dreams. I know I wont get there without hard work. I appreciate all your support.
Kuya, “Big brother is watching you.” You made me want to have a son as eldest child in the future. I want someone to look after my kids too when they go to dances! I’ll be sure to call you when I need protection and a bodyguard.
Katrina V. signing out.
This is my last minutes and lost evenings.
Class of 2014.
I will try and stress less just as Katrina says. Lasts minutes and lost evenings, these really are my last. It's amazing, and I can't believe it.
this was such a great post. I really liked how you added little messages to people. I really enjoyed reading it, great job!
Maybe because there are some much I want to write about, I don’t know where to start.
I’ve always love writing, I like to write about ideologies, philosophies and about the world.
I never really like to write about myself because I don’t really know what to write.
Well until I can write about myself, I will write to you guys.
This year has been a difficult year for me.
Leaving the city I had been living seven years. . .
Leaving the friends I know since middle school/ freshmen year. . .
I thought I am already used to it. .
This is not my first time moving anyway. . .
Why I feel this loneliness in me?
Why I feel this bitterness when I saw my friends smiling pictures on Facebook even without me there?
I should be fine right?
I like to be alone anyway.
Yet, I am not fine.
I am not.
But I didn’t say anything.
To class 2014 SFHP:
Though it had been a difficult year for me, I really want to say that I am very happy that I sign up for this class and for two semesters
There may be a lot, but I never regret of signing up for this class.
This class gave me a wonderful experience that no other classes can give me.
We may complain about all these works but we know these are for our benefits.
And being a good teacher is trying to provide as much as benefits a student deserve to receive.
I had never written as much as I did in this class.
I am not complaining about it, but thanking this class for providing me this opportunity to write as much as I want.
Only in this class I am able to forget all those lonely times and feel happy.
Thank you, Mr. Feraco, for teaching us, thank you for providing me wonderful experience during my last year of high school.
Thank you, everyone in this class, for writing such amazing pieces, giving me a chance to hear all these stories.
Goodbye and Good luck!
To the friends I made here:
I really thank you guys for being with me through these lonely times.
Many of you I wish I had knew and talked with early.
It’s sad to say goodbye when we just got closer to each other.
Though we only know each other for such a short time and don’t know when we will meet again, I won’t forget these friendships we made.
Hope we will bump into each other one day.
Thank you and goodbye. . .
To my forever dear friends:
It had been a long time, though we contact each other occasionally.
You guys know I am not very good at expressing my feelings.
But I really miss you guys.
I may not say often and try to stay happy.
But I am very lonely without you guys.
I thought I would be okay without you guys.
Yet, I am not.
I miss those days we spend lunch time together every day.
I miss those days we hang out and have fun together.
I want to say sorry that I didn’t keep our promise.
That we will go to prom together.
That we will graduate together.
But I guess it’s fine after seeing you guys having fun at prom without me.
Seeing you guys happily getting ready for graduation without me.
Really seeing you guys happy I feel happy too.
Thank you for being my friends.
And hope visit Seattle soon
To my forever wonderful mother:
I don’t know how many thank you I can say to show my appreciation to you.
Mom, thank you for bringing me to this world.
Thank you for being my friend, hearing me out all the time.
Remember I say it doesn’t matter where we are as long we are together, it’s true.
All I want is our family to stay together.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
To my forever loving me father:
I also don’t know how many thank you I can say to show my appreciation to you.
Dad, thank you for working so hard for our family.
What I want to tell you is I’d never blame you.
I know what you’ve done is for our family so I’ve ever blame you.
Instead it’s enough.
What you have done for us it’s enough.
I may only be a half-adult, but I can, I can start helping you bearing some of the heavy weights.
I am not a child anymore, please let me help out sometime too.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
To my forever mom and dad:
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for guiding me through these eighteen years.
Thank you for raising me into a daughter who you are proud of.
I had never forgotten about my initial dream, one day I will definitely buy a big house.
In that house, there are mom, dad, Kenny and me; maybe my husband and our children, and maybe even Kenny’s wife and his children.
This home is going to be a very warm and happy home.
I can’t say I love you, only through writing I can express this
love to you.
I love you, mom and dad.
To my forever cute little brother Kenny:
I may be mean sometimes.
I may say things you don’t like sometimes.
But this is all out of love.
Because I love you I want to tease you.
Because I love you I have to day things that you may not like.
I don’t want you to regret, not like me.
That’s why I want you to experience all the things I was unable to experience during my childhood.
I just want to be happy.
Okay now, let’s not get emotional.
Thank you for being my little brother.
Thank you for being my friend.
Thank you for bearing such a mean sister.
Thank you for crying when I told you I am going to leave this home one day, letting me know how much you love me.
And sorry for being mean to you.
Sorry for not being able to get the toys you want.
Just wait when I get a job I will definitely get what you want.
One day I will be leaving this home, the responsibility of taking mom and dad is going to be on you.
Make sure you take care of them well, not to get them mad and worry about you all the time.
I love you.
To class of 2014:
This is not the end.
We still have a long way to go.
This is only the beginning.
We may be saying goodbye to this school.
But at the same time, many of us are saying hello to a new school.
A school where we can learn with people that share the same interests as us.
A place where we can discover more about the world.
To some of the people, they are saying hello to the adult world.
There is nothing wrong with that, they are only a step ahead of us reaching the adult world.
Let’s happily say goodbye when we leave this place and not to leave any sad memories behind.
Happily say goodbye to our old self and get ready to welcome our new self.
These have been my voices through the whole year. Thank you for those who had been listening to my voices.
Rivers and Stars 2013
09/10/13 Blog#1: Flowing Down the River
09/19/13 Blog#2: Inquiring Minds Want to Know
10/02/13 Blog#3: Will the Future Blame Us
10/10/13 Blog#4: Searching for a Former Charity
10/23/13 Blog#5: With Love We Will Survive
11/13/13 Blog#6: ...And Were We Angels After All?
11/19/13 Blog#7: I Never Wanted… (The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows)
12/04/13 Blog#8: Revenge Therapy
12/14/13 Blog #9: ...And Just ‘Cause He’s Gone
01/16/13 Blog #10: Non Est Ad Astra Mollis e Terris Via
01/19/13 Blog #11: Is This Where I End, or Is This Where We Begin?
Last Minutes and Lost Evenings 2014
02/06/14 Blog #1: Making Islands Where No Islands Should Go
02/12/14 Blog #2: Doomsday and the Echo
02/27/14 Blog# 3: Our Heads Are Spinning Around
03/19/14 Blog #4: How to Win Friends and Influence People
03/29/14 Blog #5: . . . But Not in This Lifetime
05/01/14 Blog#6: From This Soil We’ll Grow Together
05/08/14 Blog #7: Sparks Against the Sun
05/14/14 Chapter the Last, Part the First: The Future Freaks Me Out (Our Last Days as Children)
05/21/2014 Chapter the Last, Part the Second: Picking Up Pieces (Somebody That I Used to Know)
06/07/14 Chapter the Last, Part the Last: I knew Prufrock Before You Got Famous
I know sometimes it may be difficult to write about the self haha. When I first had Feraco, I hated all these assignments where I had to write about myself since I just didn't know what to say. Now I am better
but I love talking about other subjects that doesn't pertain to the self as well, maybe we can discuss those things together eh?
I hope you're not fully alone. You're one of the ones where I will probably regret not making friends with earlier (especially since we've slightly seen each other since the beginning of the year) but I'm still glad I got to meet you eventually! I want to know you more
Let us have great moments together as well, so you can make all of your friends back there jealous in return haha
And let's not let this goodbye be a goodbye forever. Even though we barely met each other and we must part to different places, it doesn't mean we have to say goodbye. We can always speak with each other, and hang out, whether online or in person. This is not an end, but a beginnign, because by leaving high school, we would be free to do what we want together, without classes and adults putting restraints upon us!
Your family is so sweet. Families usually are eh, for they are the ones who act as our support and foundations on a day to day basis. Haha, I love reading all of your thank you and love messages.
It's almost like you're going to be gone forever, but you know, you won't be! I shall be here for you, and thanks for letting me know you~
Thank you Alice, these goodbyes are not forever one day we can come back and say hi to our new seniors.
I wake up every morning and I stare at the face staring back at me in the mirror, and I sometimes forget the dark circles under my eyes were from the hours of sleep I didn’t get, for the education I’m lucky to have.
I stare at my little cousins running around on the grass and throwing dirt at each other, and I sometimes forget I was that kid once.
I look at the pictures on my door, and I sometimes forget that every single photo was taken on a certain day, at a certain time, at a certain location, with certain people.
Sometimes we simply forget the little things in life.
I stare out at this vast sea of cardinal, and all I can think about are the little things.
Those late nights when you’ve sacrificed sleep for a good grade on a test.
The times you sang Happy Birthday to your friend, four years in a row.
The moment you had your first kiss, and you couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that your guys noses got in the way.
It’s amazing how far we’ve all come, from little freshman babies, to senior adults. We’ve matured in ways we’ve never expected to. All the times we hugged one another these past few years, we never thought that one day, we’d be hugging for the very last time.
I believe that sometimes, we are too caught up in the present, we forget there’s so much that the future holds for us. We become scared, and we feel rebellious. We live in the present. When the future becomes the present, we’re not prepared, nor ready.
I think about how at graduation, I’m going to be thrilled to finally finish, but at the same time, I don’t want it to end. The finish line is so close, but I find myself slowing down.
After I put on my cap and gown for the first time today, I stared at the face staring back at me in the mirror, and I forgot all about the dark circles under my eyes.
It was a feeling of excitement, and awe. All I could think to myself was, “It’s really going to happen.” The girl I stared at in the mirror, is the same girl that walked away from her parents on the first day of kindergarten. I’m going to be walking away from them again, but for a different reason. I know longer need moral support for stepping into my first class with 30 other little children, I need the support for this massive world I’m about to tackle. I can’t do it alone.
Thank you, mom and dad, for raising me and for loving me. I know there will be times when I can’t agree with you, and yet, you still love me with all your hearts. I’m forever grateful and blessed.
Thank you, to all my friends, for being there for me when mom and dad couldn’t. Thank you for the smiles and laughter you’ve given me, especially on those days I needed them most.
Thank you, Chanteurs, for making me feel a part of something so amazing. Thank you for being my second family. “Choir is having people to sing with and eat with.”
Thank you, to all of the people who’ve supported me and loved me. I cannot stand here before you today, being the person I am, if it weren’t for you. You’ve all touched my heart.
Thank you, Mr. Feraco, for being the best (not exaggerating) English teacher I’ve ever had. Please don’t tell the other English teacher I said that.
Lastly, thank you, Class of 2014, for being by my side every step of the way, as we conquered this rigorous, yet fulfilling journey. We will all part, making our marks throughout this country, throughout this nation and I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing school.
Let’s leave today with new hopes and dreams for tomorrow.
Arcadia High School Class of 2014, we did it, and I couldn’t be any more proud.
If I could say one thing and the entire world would hear, I would say, “play World of Warcraft.” There is a plethora of ways to entertain yourself in this world, but World of Warcraft is superior to all other forms of entertainment. Well, except maybe dating and sex, but otherwise you get the best bang for your buck by playing this game. Others things won’t keep you preoccupied for nearly as long, and they can be a bit costly, but World of Warcraft only costs fifteen dollars a month and there is always something to do in the game.
Other forms of entertainment are inferior to World of Warcraft for a number of reasons. Movies can cost much more than fifteen dollars (with food, drinks, and tickets included), and they only provide a few hours of entertainment. World of Warcraft can keep you entertained for hours a day and all for a prices of just fifteen dollars a month. Books can take take up quite a bit of your time depending on how long they are, but one book certainly won’t take up a month of your time. Furthermore, after reading a book there is pretty much nothing left to do with it and you have to find something else to do with your time. World of Warcraft is constantly being updated with new content so there are always new challenges for players to undertake. Television is simply unengaging, you have to put up with all the crappy commercials, and you also have to be watching at the correct time in order to watch the shows you want to watch. World of Warcraft can be played any time of the day, from dusk till dawn and dawn till dusk. It is also very engaging and requires a great amount of skill in order to be good at it, and there are no advertisements to interrupt your gameplay.
I have been playing World of Warcraft since the seventh grade, and after playing on and off for a few years I have found the game very enjoyable. From the Burning Crusade (which I never really got to play), to the freaking panda land (which isn’t as bad as it sounds), I have watched the game evolve and somehow still remain the top played subscription massively-multiplayer online role playing game of all time. The game has given my friends and I many memorable experiences that have shaped our lives and inspired our futures, and one day my I will share this game with my kids. Actually the game will probably be dead by then, but if it isn’t then it is definitely something worth sharing. Overall World of Warcraft is a great game and our whole world needs to know about it, so if I could have everyones’ ears and say just one thing, then I would say, “play World of Warcraft.”
There are millions of words and choose these
I have really made a lot of connections, with people in this school. I truly thank every one of you. When I came to Arcadia I didn't know anybody here only my, cousin Chris. Then I did my thing first day of school. I was over whelmed and frankly I was happy at the same time. The reason for this was because back were I used to live there wasn't much to do. It was a plain dessert of boringness. I finally went to zero period football and I made some true friends. They are now my brothers, and will never be forgotten. As the years went by I lost friends I made drama. All those things are a way of life, things happen and you just have to deal with them.
A big shout out to my friends on the soccer team my mistake my brothers. I have truly gotten close with this group of guys. Making a name and legacy for ourselves, truly the best feeling ever. Love you guys.
And now Mr. Feraco I know I might have been a pain in your ass multiple times and I deeply apologize. I’m truly sorry for all this late work. You have really opened my eyes to a whole new way. I don’t just look at a tree the same or a house or even my date life. And for that I truly thank you.
You are the best teacher I have had and I’m happy I had you second semester.
Now to the class of 2014
We Made It
I don’t think we realize how our actions affect the people around us. Especially at this age where everything we do is for our own benefit rather than to help those around us that need it. I want to say it’s a teenage thing but why should it be? I think it’s more of an our generation thing. Our generation has grown to focus solely on appearance and technology and improvement rather than appreciation and relationships and others.
Our actions and words are a lot like the butterfly effect. Someone steps on an aunt and in another country, a person dies. Someone gives a quick word of advice or support and eventually all around the world advice and support is being given. Maybe that’s not the best way of putting that but I hope that somehow my point is getting through.
In the same way that support can spread around, so can negativity. As sad and depressing as it is to say it, negativity spreads a lot faster and from what I can see is currently taking over the world’s population. Specifically when it comes to people’s words towards each other. Other people whom are different to be exact. We see someone that isn’t exactly the way we are and we automatically treat them differently. Sometimes without knowing it. Someone of a different race may walk by and we instantly reach for our belongings and step out of the way to avoid interaction. Or maybe it’s just in our head. We jump to conclusions. We judge, assume, separate.
It’s sick, right?
But, we all do it…
We’re all so similar though. We all breathe the same air. We all have eyes, and noses and ears and hair. We all want to succeed in life. We all want a future and majority of us want to create new life from the life we’ve been blessed with.
So what if the roles were switched. What if the people we considered lesser than us were actually in our shoes right now and thought that of us? All we’d be thinking is how we’re the same just in different shades and shapes and sizes.
I think we all need to focus more on the quality of the people around us rather than the appearance and presentation of the person. We’d get farther in life, meet a lot more interesting people, and the world would be so much more positive than it is now. There would be peace and relationships and acceptance and I don’t know about the rest of you, but that sounds like bliss to me.
Are you ready? Are you steady? You better be.
I throw my hands up in the air sometimes,
Saying AYO! Gotta let go!
I wanna celebrate and live my life,
Saying AYO! Baby, let’s go!
-TAIO CRUZ (Dynamite)
Let me thank you in advance. Know you’re be-you-tiful, and that I miss you already.
When can I see you again?
The last 13 years have been a series of hallways. “[I’ve traveled across the halls.] Searching far and wide.” And navigated them like a captain on the high seas, steering through treacherous passes and stormy oceans. I can pass more than 200 kids in one passing period, and that will only have been 5% of the school. And that is microscopic compared to the 7 billion in the world. We are tiny as individuals.
How much do I really matter?
But the power… it’s inside.
We will meet so many people in the next few years and the years that follow. But we will also forget a few people. More than a few. And if we ever forget each other—I’m so happy I met you guys. Really. And I hope you feel the same way.
At this time, we are already gone. We checked out of school a long time ago. Not that we aren’t trying or that we aren’t attentive, but we’ve realized there is more to life than grades. People are actually meeting up outside of school now. People are putting aside homework for friends. It’s hard to know what a good balance is, but balance is key or else you will tip.
But we want to live, and we are so ready. I can taste the fresh air!
But the world has already changed. Actually, no, the world is the same... our point of view has changed. Now we will walk into a store and the cute cashier is our age. We’ll soon be calling our elders by their first name, and people will refer to us as Mr. and Mrs. Soon, our peers will be on the television. Soon we will have little ones. Our class mates will be rocking out on stage. We will be teaching our little ones. Soon we can add Feraco on Facebook.
I’ll still be me. You’ll still be here. It will still be today.
But I won’t be *me*, you won’t be *here*, and it is no longer *today*.
Soon we won’t be walking in halls any more. Soon I won’t see you guys. It sucks to suck.
But we will be walking across a stage. We will be walking for cancer. We will be walking for Nobel Peace Prizes.
Just keep swimming—keep moving forwards.
After high school, there will be no clear path for us to follow. We won’t have as many guide lines to follow and it only gets worse as time progresses. It’s like a giant Feraco project. Take this and do something cool with it. Ready? Steady? GO!
We won’t have the luxury of a cement path. We won’t have hall ways. In high school, we can choose which hall ways to walk down. There’s (B is in construction) C, D, E, F, and G. But they are all made of cement and mental, and they are all clear cut and easy to see. The road less traveled might be traveled less because it is unseen. So keep your eyes open for the correct path.
In college the halls will turn into paths. Dirt paths. The ones that are good for adventure, exploring, and running.
Why would you run?
Personally, I like the peace; it’s so serine. It’s great—I can think. Or, if it’s a long run, I can talk. And if I’m too tiered to talk, I can admire the landscape: the tree, the bird, how friendly some people are.
I think that’s what people mean when they say they get away. They aren’t running away from their problems… they are preparing for confrontation. They get away from technology and drama. They escape for a brief moment in time.
And time is so important.
I guess that’s why I wish I knew you sooner. There’s no time like the present, but wouldn’t we have more memories if I met you before? Maybe…. Maybe not…. I’m just happy I met you. We’ll talk in the future right?
Maybe I could have given you something. Maybe you could be me and I could be you. We could have helped eachother.
Is it too late to start now?
I want to remember you… so don’t let me forget. That picture is great. The one we took. The reason people act so crazy and happy in front of cameras is because it is how people want to be remembered. So I’ll remember you how you want to be remembered. But I want you too.
But I don’t want to have to remember you. I want memories of you. And I want to relive them with you. Let’s go to somewhere only we know.
Haven’t you ever had that talk with someone… that person you never thought you were that close to? You met a long time ago, say the 5th grade; and suddenly, you realize how much stuff you have done with them around. And how many memories you can share. Soon, you’re filling up a whole page on their year book. And it would seem like you guys were best friends at one point—to an on looker. But that’s not the case. It just that you want to be close, and for that moment. you are. You are infinite. You are powerful. You are important.
There is a time for everything.
There is a time to be happy, sad, serious, mad.
There is a time for fun, productivity, and playing in the sun.
There is a time to float in the wind, sink to the sand, and soar like an arrow.
There is a time to let go and a time to hold on.
There is a time to pace and a time to kick.
Just know that although people say life is not a race, it is a race against time. And the time is always ripe to do right. The time is always right to make a mood bright. There time is ready for an adventure. The time is always right to love. The time is always right to come closer. The time is always right to try. Because we are all moving closer to completing the finish line.
I want to sleep. I really do. But I am quite in capable at getting to bed on time. How will I ever learn? How will I ever be refreshed? How can I ever wake up, and be in light end-rays? How can move forward if I want something so bad? And how can I ever get it if I do nothing? No. Waiting is not the answer. But I can’t be too solid—I have to move. And I can’t be too flimsy—or else I’ll flop. I need to fly.
Maybe I should take control. I’d have a goal—I would have power. But do I even want power? Do I want that power?
But what if I was given power? Not control. I could kill monsters and fight dragons. I could make my family proud. Hey, I could make my whole village proud. I’d make everyone happy—except for me. No, I’d be pretty miserable. I’d probably die alone.
And I hate being alone I really do. I hate being in a crowd and feeling alone. That’s worse than sitting in a corner where nothing can see me. It’s worse than being invisible. And somehow, being alone is holding me back. I seem fine—I almost never change—at least on the outside.
But being alone is torturous. It kills. It burns. I’d give anything to not be alone—but that too might kill me. No, I can’t let these rats change me—I need my star.
But they won’t let me go! I just want to help them. I donate my time, I really care about them, but they are holding me back. I don’t want them to forget me… but why must they hold me back? I just want them to let me go. Maybe I’m not giving them enough.
And so I’ll give them love. I think that’s what they wanted in the first place. I guess I never knew—I don’t think they knew either. That’s probably why we kept doing the same thing over and over. I know where to go now—I know what I must do.
Of course I want things. Of course I’m powerful and gifted. I guess that’s why I won’t be lonely—and that’s why they won’t let me go; and why they can’t hold me back.
I hope I can move them… I think I’ve learned enough… I guess it’s up to them. If they want to go on an adventure—it’s out there I know it. But I have to accept some things… like how Summer can be so unbearable… maybe I prefer Autumn actually.
I have been so passive in my resent years… I need to be more active. That’s the only way I can reach my potential. I will falter many times—but I simply need help being picked up. And I won’t be alone—neither will you.
Do what is right, wise, nice, and necessary.
Make no regrets--just memories. You only live once.
Let’s be dynamite
hopefully I’ll see you on the other side of the day
I wish I could find words that I thought were worthy of this post. My jaw is cemented to the ground. Allusion after allusion, and that fragmentation, yet the ability to see it all connect through. Like a mosaic. I'm sorry I can't find the words to truly explain to you how good I think this is.
They don't quite measure up. I hope you realize just how much of a piece of art this post was. Thank you so much.
It's been quite a journey has it not? Looking through your post, you've made connections to so many things that we learned in Feraco this semester (and last semester), and it is just amazing to see how much you've matured.
To be honest, I never really got to know you until this year, all the other years I've only known you as Ean.
And in essence, that's all I now you now, but now I have context...I know you as a friend rather than just another person now.
I'm glad we had this year to catch up for all the years that we lost. I'm glad for all the times we hung out this year.
For that I am glad to have met you, and my only regret is not having met you sooner....not having talk to you sooner...
We will definitely meet again...
.I've always looked up to you...thank you for being an inspiration...
I look up at the school with a heart filled with both anxiety and excitement. I could feel the butterflies forming in my stomach. I couldn't believe I was starting high school. Hearing the walk sign is on button, I crossed the street. I became less excited and more nervous. What was I getting myself into? Was it too late to go back to Foothills Middle School? I couldn't find any of my friends, and I became uncomfortable and vulnerable. Everyone is superior to me.
I still feel like a kid.
Why did I feel this way? Why was I so insecure?
As I look back on my four years of high school, am I greeted with both happy and sad memories.
Arcadia High school has taught me more than just education. I have grasped the knowledge of teamwork, hard work, dedication, learning how to move on, and the importance of family and staying together, and how to see things in a different perspective.
I am really happy with the person I grew into. People say that I haven't changed at all. That my personality has remained the same and I have stayed true to myself. But I know that I have changed. I do not think the way I once did. My confidence has grown due to my experiences in high school. I no longer look at people and see that their accomplishments and uniqueness diminishes my own.
Your talent is God's gift to you. What you decide to do with it is your gift back to God.
Through track I've learned the importance of true hard work and dedication. I feel blessed to have my athletic ability and feel content with my accomplishments in high school. I look forward to unlocking my full potential later in in my life. I've learned that Hard Work beats Talent when Talent doesnt Work Hard.
Fast Forward. I have made friends and also have lost friends. I used to be a bitter person about it, but I have come to learn that friends are like chapters in your life and sometimes those chapters end, but they still served a purpose.
High School is more than point A to point B freshman to Senior year. Its about finding out who you truly are and where you plan to go in life. It doesn't have to be all figured out, but knowing where you're going is the start of building a good foundation for a better life.
It seemed like we would never get here, but now that we have, what do we have to show for it?
Not only educational accomplishments, but have we built stable relationships?
Have we treated others with respect and maintained integrity?
Am I ready?
I still feel like a kid
I have to believe in myself and the things I have learned. It is important to carry these traits with us even when we leave. I have learned its okay to not fit into a clique, everyone has their own sense of individuality that makes us special. I would like to thank everyone for very memorable years at Arcadia High School. I cherish them always and will never forget them.
“You are not your bra-size, nor are you the width of your waist, nor are you the slenderness of your calves. You are not your hair color, your skin color, nor are you a shade of lipstick. Your shoe-size is of no consequence. You are not defined by the amount of attention you get from males, females, or any combination thereof. You are not the number of sit-ups you can do, nor are you the number of calories in a day. You are not your mustache. You are not the hair on your legs. You are not a little red dress.
You are no amalgam of these things.
You are the content of your character. You are the ambitions that drive you. You are the goals that you set. You are the things that you laugh at and the words that you say. You are the thoughts you think and the things you wonder. You are beautiful and desirable not for the clique you attend, but for the spark of life within you that compels you to make your life a full and meaningful one. You are beautiful not for the shape of the vessel, but for the volume of the soul it carries.”
To those I am leaving behind but never forgetting:
“ I look so weird in the photo.”
“At least you smiled. It’s a miracle you did.”
“Meghan - with - an - H,
You’re here to run. Run some people into the ground by racing that second mile - the first is about tactics, but you get to be fierce on the second. And out of all the people you think might be watching, remember the four you will be. You’re the leader every team needs. Run like we’re behind you. For every girl you pass on that second mile, just remember: She had it coming.
Tears fell fast on that humid Monday afternoon. I was sprawled in the dying grass, letting go of the stresses from the past forty-eight hours.
“I’ll move heaven and earth...if you need something, tell me. And if I can’t, then I’ll find someone that can.”
I promised you I’d give this race everything. I lied - I can’t do that. I don’t care about this race. The only reason why I’m here, why I’m fighting, why I’ll fight today,
So no, I’m not racing because I love to race. And I refuse to give this race any part of me. But I will give it all to you,
and for this team.
CIF Finals Junior year
This all came so close to never happening.
You are smart. You are kind, with a side of sass. You are beautiful in all ways...And you are the strongest person I have/will ever met/meet.
There are those in life that we cherish, those that our souls can coexist with a certain level. It is these people, each an individual thread that come together to form a tapestry.
When we’re born, we arrive into the world as a blank slate. Pain does not exist yet, nor does love and hatred. We have yet to learn about moralities and ethics or the difficulties of the unspoken dialect of adolescence. We have yet to learn about being in the throes of love. We exist for a moment in time as beings without experience and knowledge.
We learn from others around us - it is our connection with others that drive us towards decisions. Our experiences, memories, and influences from others that form each and every one of us. We use these experiences and our relationships with others to be unique - it is how we react and view what goes on in our lives that allows us to be ourselves.
I’m not stating that if a group of people have the same experience together they will all think and act the same way. We can absorb an experience or have an influential relationship that impacts how we perceive ourselves, others, and the world. We stop being a blank slate - we learn and experience.
We need each other. And as much as we need each other, as a species we are beginning to place ourselves and not others first.
My father was an abuser. He struck out at us to feel superior - to feel as if he had some control. I was his favorite, and in an odd, twisted way it resulted in more punches.
It ended with a child broken more than what was shown on the exterior.
Toward the end he stopped bringing home money - he worked, and yet there was never enough. There was enough to buy food to last almost the entire time before the next paycheck - if there was one child. There were three of us, and I began skipping meals or going days without eating.
During P.E. one day, a girl pointed out how my ribs showed. They saw how underweight I was and tormented me for it. I began taking everything dished out at me not only at home but at school too.
We got out of that situation - but it seemed to follow me.
I didn’t trust people. By the time sophomore year had arrived I chose to do something. I struggled with socializing and the stress of school and home was hitting hard. I was waking up almost every night with the sounds of screaming dying in my ears. Memories of my father were brought back to life through nightmares.
I decided to cut my own thread.
I sat on the floor using the dim light of my phone to write the note. The knife laid next to me and as I finished writing, I felt tired. I stood and quietly walked to the restroom. I flicked on the light, forgetting that the fan turned on with what sounded like a hacking cough. In the other room I heard someone get out of bed and in sudden panic I threw the knife in the hall closet.
My sister called out my name, the outline of her body showing slightly in the darkness of our bedroom.
I whispered for her to go back to sleep.
I listened to the rustle of sheets.
I turned back to the closet.
The knife had landed between my running shoes - I stood frozen. I don’t know how long I stood there. After a while I picked up the knife in one hand and my shoes in the other. I put the knife in the kitchen sink and with ease I slipped my running shoes on.
I slipped out the window and went for a run.
Somewhere at the bottom of that lake in the wash is the last known place of my note.
It all came so close to never happening
Phiona grew up in the slums of Uganda. I don’t know her personally but as Feraco read her story to his class of seniors, I fought back tears.
As Phiona left the celebration headed for her home that night, someone excitedly asked her,
“What is the first thing you’re going to say to your mother?”
“I need to ask her,” Phiona said, “‘Do we have enough food for breakfast?’”
I remembered the sharp pain of hunger. How over time it was a throbbing ache that never went away.
I turned my body more toward the board and away from the others in his class. I buried my head in my arms and the tears flowed softly.
Sometimes we need to take a step back and view the threads in our tapestry. Those other lives help make up your own. Those threads form a beautiful piece. Other lives have helped me form my own into something that is beautiful in its own way.
A friend said he thought that if I could change one thing about the world it would be this: To change the way others think. That sometimes the way people think about certain things got to you.
I only want people to be open-minded. You don’t know everything about a person - I hope what I shared was enough to prove that.
When you hate someone else, you really hate something in yourself that you see in them. They act as a mirror.
And when you love others they see it just as much as you do. We need each other to survive - to be human. The act of reaching out to one another, to be able to be a piece in someone else’s tapestry is something that fundamentally change a person.
I have my training schedule for Whittier already, so during 6th period I’ll be running. And while I’m gone I want you all to write in my yearbook.
Show me the colors of your thread. Show me vibrant reds, loyal purples, calm blues...show me the impact we’ve had on each other.
The comments that started this were marks already left behind by others. Leave yours.
So, Teammates of Mine,
Remember the road ahead may be harder for some - be there for each other. There is a story for every person and you can’t possibly know every single one of them.
But you can keep an open heart.
Because others are just as human as you and we are all still learning from one another.
That is why life is so beautiful. There will always be ugliness and hatred in the world but there will always be something small that is completely beautiful.
Saying my last good-bys
It has been a long journey in the four years of high school, and I am almost at the end of it. On this Journey, I have done and seen a lot. Some parts of this journey had roads that were paved, and others that were just dirt roads. When choosing my routes for this journey, some were bad chooses, and some were good chooses. Some of the paths led to dead ends while some were really helpful short cuts. There were unexpected events from traveling certain paths while others were just what I expected it to be. I saw some of the most beautiful paths, while others were just the ugliest I have ever seen. I even traveled with others who came from different paths.
When traveling with others, it made it easier to reach the end of the journey, but it also made it easier to get lost on my journey. I have shared this journey with many different types of people. From my teammates to my own mom, I have traveled with at least a step with all those that I’ve met. When I would fall down on the path, someone would always give me a helping hand. I’ve been lucky to have had all these people help me on this journey, because I know of some who did not complete their four year journey. There were times were I had to face a challenging mountain, or face a huge river all alone. These times of the journey were hard to face, and I remember how hopeless I felt when faced with these obstacles. There were times when I wanted to give up and go back, and there was even one time where I almost just gave up on this journey. But I did not give up because I thought about the end of this journey and how I would see all my friends for one more last time at graduation.
Now that I’m so near the end of this journey, I can tell you a few things that I’ve learned while on it. One of the most important realizations I’ve made on this journey is how important friendship really is, and how you should enjoy them while you can. Now that I’m near the end of this four year journey, I must say good-by to all my friends. But I still march on to the end of this journey because I know that when an old journey concludes, a new one begins, and I will enjoy my friends until that new journey begins. And as I walk on to the end; I will be hearing this song
“Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
your heart is true you're a pal and a confidant
I'm not ashamed to say
I hope it always will stay this way
My hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bow
And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see, the biggest gift would be from me
and the card attached would say,
Thank you for being a friend
Thank you for being a friend
Thank you for being a friend
Thank you for being a friend…”
Thank you for being a friend by Andrew Gold
Hi Mr. Feraco! I don't know if you'll see this, but I just wanted to post another graduation speech just because. The other one was a little rushed, but of course that is going to be the one that will be graded. This is just a pre-graduation graduation speech. I just had ideas, so I started writing and it just flowed. Alright. Here we go:
The summer before upon entering my freshman year, I remember family members, friends, and even strangers telling me that high school wasn't forever. I remember them telling me to "enjoy it while it lasts because after this, it's over. You only live high school once."
During my freshman year, I remember wanting to do a lot. I wanted to play on our school's basketball team. I wanted to stick with orchestra for another four years. I wanted to be on Apache News. I wanted to take AT LEAST 5 AP classes by the time mt high school career was over. I wanted to befriend everyone I met. I wanted to do everything I possibly could. Although I accomplished a few of these goals, I obviously didn't achieve as much as I had hoped.
I think I wanted to do all of these things because I was so caught up in doing something extraordinary; in doing something that would make ME stand out.
I remember putting a lot of effort into what I wore. Before my senior year, I believed I wanted to pursue something in fashion, so my freshman year, I tried dressing for the part. I wore big belts around my waist, different shoes every week, and other unnecessary things. My transition from middle school clothes to high school clothes was dramatic, so I got a lot more compliments that I would usually get on an average day. I thought that keeping up this image of my new and improved look would help people recognize me; let them know who I was.
I think in high school, most of us just wants to know we did something great, something special. We want to leave some sort of mark, so we try to do just that.
Being lost in this sea of 3,000+ people wasn't exactly ideal for me. I felt that I was always born to do something extraordinary (like almost every kid in the world). I thought this was my mark. I thought to myself, "if I could keep this nice wardrobe up for the next three years, then people would know me and acknowledge me." But as the years went by, I started to care less about my appearance and focused more on the important stuff: school, friends (the ones that I had left), and family.
I think this is something we all kind of go through, that "lazy phase" where we start to get our priorities straight. Our clothes became a little less fashionable and a lot more comfortable.
Some of us were good at maintaining that comfortable, yet stylish look ahem Sonia *ahem*, but most of us, including myself, just fell into a slump. The stresses of junior and senior year had gotten to me, and I fell hostage to the isolation and "I don't give a damn" attitude toward it. I had become someone I would never have expected to be. You could see my change in character and personality from freshman to senior year. I had changed, but I didn't know if it was for the better or for the worse.
I think I had lost the desire to be "special" for a while. I just didn't want to fail my classes or disappoint my parents. At that point, I didn't care if I was popular or not, I just wanted to go to college.
I honestly hadn't realized how isolated I became until the second semester of my senior year. I asked myself, "where did all of my friends go?" They decided to stop asking me to go off because I was always so busy. My other friends told me they had no time to hang out because of school activities or clubs they were all a part of together. And I didn't feel like I belonged anywhere else. I knew I was a bit isolated, but I didn't know I was alone.
I lost all passion for everything I wanted to do. I despised going to orchestra. I quit P.E. after two years. I ended dropping out of my SECOND AP class out of my whole high school career, and I had lost almost all of my friends. I think the only good thing was APN and not because of the people, even though the people there were great.
I thought I had lost what made me special, but actually, I was just on my way to finding it.
I found my passion in film. I loved to edit, direct, act, produce, etc... and I was told people liked what I did, so I continued doing it. Doing this just took me to another world where I was able to express myself and be who I was: bossy, creative, obsessive, cranky ol' me. It took me to a place where I saw the future; my future. I saw so many wonderful things, and I saw a bright future. I was special.
I know I did my senior project on this and no, I'm not trying to brag about how great I am or anything. The point I am trying to make is that we are all special. I'm not trying to steal this from Feraco either. I've had all of this in my head, but I just found it so much easier to say/write here than on the blog. I was blocked, but this kind of just flowed out of me right now. You are special. You may not think it, and you may not believe it but you are. Sometimes people know it right away, but other times, they never really know until, maybe years later. I spent about a good thirty minutes to an hour writing this because I thought you should all know just how amazing you are. We've all made a mark on this school - there is no doubt about it. But many of us have done so much more than that. We've made a mark, not only on the school, but also on the community, on our friends, on our family, and some of you have made a huge mark on me. And I would just like to thank you for that. You've helped mold me to become the person I am today.
So how MY story ends (as of now) is that I reconnected with my friends because I realized they were just too valuable to lose. And I can honestly say I will miss orchestra, even though I still suck at the violin. But the thing I will miss the most is definitely the school itself. The students, the teachers, the classes, have all helped me realize my abilities and talents, and they have all helped me realize that I am, indeed, special. So thanks teachers and students of 2014! You've been awesome.
Within the four years I’ve changed for better and worse, although I would also like to believe that my positives outweigh the negative. I thought I could win friends and influence people throughout the years, turns out nobody really read anything of mine which made me think hard like how these people think when they write but I can’t hold myself to write like them. All in all, he didn’t feel himself anymore, felt as though he was an outcast in his own time still eating lunch by himself like he did in middle school, sometime its nice though, it’s quiet and wholesome. They say high school is a place you’ll miss, I am going to miss it, the person I am right now isn’t even half of the person I’m going to be after college, but it still changed my life as of now. High school… you did your job! I am a little tentative about leaving for good too, however it is for my own good, change is good and so are the presence of new people.
I chose to wallow in my own sadness, for what happened to be back growing up. It did check my actual actions in this wicked world, and molded me for a while; to this day I still make the same mistake letting my past define me. I feel chained by my actions, I felt devastated. I did what I could to talk to people and have as many friends as I could but I learned my lesson not trying to impress my friends anymore for all the wrong reasons coming into the world in such a dim, dim light. I have loved and I’ve lost, but dies like you mean it and live as though it is your last day on earth. This is a feat coming this far and I’m surprised even writing this now. I look back to the bright side of high school and try to see whose lives I at least touched a little.
I am glad I got to explore what it had in store for me though, going through all of this and all. Naturally like any senior going out of high school, they have their regrets, for me it was not putting my hand in the Performing arts department. There were a lot of thing to be pleased with too though, the friendships, opportunities, and so much other stuff. The world seems so much smaller when you have multiple perspectives. But despite what I’ve went through it been a trivial, confusing, thoughtful road coming up to this point has been a big accomplishment.
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