You can do it. You’ve always been able to. You always will be able to. Just focus on your goal, and things will turn out amazing. You’ll exceed your highest hopes, stretch past your farthest limits. Everything up to this point has been preparation for this, and now that you have your chance, I know you won’t mess up. It’ll be a tough journey, one with obstacles—people that want to see you fail. They don’t want you to succeed. But you can do it. I have faith in you.
This is to everyone out there. The seniors, whether they’re college-bound or not. The juniors, going into their AP tests. The sophomores, realizing that college is a mere two years away. The freshmen, hoping to make high school the best years of their lives so far. Athletes, like Chloe and Taylor, who are hoping for college offers this summer. Scholars, like TGu and Melissa, who give their all and will be rewarded one day with some sort of academic prize. We all are different, in that our motivations stem from various sources. But we’re all the same, too. We all have one common goal. We all want to succeed.
This morning, I filled in 39 bubbles for the CST ELA Part 1, then proceeded to take out my Kaplan SAT Physics book and fill in 75 more bubbles. After a ten minute break, I filled in 39 more bubbles for the CST ELA Part 2, 15 bubbles for CCC/CSU placement test, and finally, 95 bubbles in the Barron’s SAT US History book I also happened to have with me.
That’s 261 arbitrary circles on paper…. in one morning. And while they appear harmless, they seem to mean a world of difference.
But what’s unfortunate is that standardized testing has started to define who we are. Everyday I’m bombarded with more and more numbers: grades, test scores, GPA, SAT….
But how are these numbers supposed to speak for me? There are only five letter options…where can I write in my own answer to express my creativity and original thought? Why am I expected to conform to the Collegeboard answer. Is this what we’re trying to teach our children?
And what is going to happen in the future? We’re the first generation to live by these bubbles, and we won’t be able to see the negative societal impact until it’s too late. Since the second grade, we’ve been taught to live within the bubbles. We’re assigned numbers and our names, personalities, and individual traits aren’t given any consideration. We aren’t even allowed to think for ourselves, so what implications will this have on future generations?
Who the hell will care what my SAT score was ten years down the road. Does it matter how many AP’s I took, or what my GPA was? And what about those 261 bubbles I filled in this morning….ask me in five years and I won’t give a damn. Can I stop being labeled with numbers, and start being Ray Chao?
We need to think outside of the bubble and begin to live as individuals. That’s who we really are, and that’s how we should project ourselves to the world.
“At the hotel front desk, there was a sign that read, "Handicapped Rooms Available." What the heck is a handicapped room? Is the furniture missing a leg? Lamps with no shades? Black-and-white TV? Handicapped is a word of the past: it comes from "cap in hand," as in standing on the corner, cap in hand, begging for money. Disabled is almost as bad…what is "abled" anyway? I don’t know anybody who is able to do everything. Use what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t.”—Kathy Buckley
I can’t believe I just spent the last 6 hours editing and compiling video footage from State Champs. With over 70 video clips to sort through, it took a while, but I finally finished and it’s about ten minutes long (originally, an hour and a half worth of video).
Video editing is such a bitch but it’s pretty fun. I wish I was good at it, but I’m a nub who uses iMovie who makes nub looking videos but it’s okay because it’s what the video is about that matters :D
for those of you that don’t know, my mind wanders a lot, about a lot of things.
not too long ago, i thought about how people express what they feel about people when its time to sign yearbooks. but by then, it’s a little too late to take the compliment cause it’s not like we get to embrace that person anymore, right? i mean granted, you can be thankful, but either way, the moment has passed and we can’t really appreciate spending time with that person anymore (assuming you won’t ever see this person again after high school)
it was then that i thought, why can’t we just tell people how we feel the moment we feel it? we can all use a compliment every now and then, and it’s nice to know we can be the determining factor in whether someone has a good day or bad. does it hurt to express what you like about a person or the impact they make on you?
after my realization, i made it a goal to explicitly express to people what i felt about them (as long as it wasn’t awkward or hurtful) or give them a compliment that i normally would in a yearbook signing, that i will no longer have to write in their yearbook now! so yay me. it also means saying i love/appreciate you when applicable =)
in a sense, it’s like a ‘live like you’re dying’ type of mindset. and i like it. so another pat on the back for me =)
“People with disabilities know how to deal with them. A person who is unable to walk knows how to use a wheelchair, a deaf person knows how to communicate with the hearing world because he lives in it, and a blind person can get around without sight. Instead of assuming what their limitations might be, why not let them take the challenge and find the solution? All you have to do is open that door. Today, the only real disabilities are people’s attitudes.”—Kathy Buckley
Stacy’s massive spam of memorable pictures reminded me of why I love taking pictures. Memories will always be with you, but with time, they become fuzzy and less vivid. Pictures capture those moments and allow you to revisit memories with much more detail.
The screensaver on my Mac is a slideshow of pictures and sometimes I just sit and watch each picture come onto the screen, unable to move the cursor to get back to my work because I want to see which picture comes next. Although the picture library on my Mac is relatively limited, it’s awesome to look back on experiences from the past and relive them through pictures.
I wish I took more pictures, and even video (like David Yao). I saw this thing once about video diaries, and it looks SO cool, minus the fact that video editing is a bitch. I do have a small camcorder, so in the future, I’m going to try to document things better, and maybe I’ll make short video diaries after big events (I’m going to try to make one for State 2010). It’ll be time consuming, but in the future, I know I’ll look back and thank myself. And call me a camerawhore, but, one day, you’ll thank me too :)
I think everybody is feeling the heat of Junior year right now at its peak. Everything is piling on at once and there’s so much to study in such a little time. At this time last year, I only had one AP test to study for, so I could concentrate alot of time on that AP Bio book, but this year having four tests to study for, it’s difficult to allocate my time. In some ways, I have to “sacrifice” certain subjects to study for other subjects.
SAT2’s are in a week and I’m so unprepared that I won’t believe that SAT2’s are in a week. I think my damn SAT2 scores are the biggest roadblock standing between me and college, and it pisses me off that we have to be the last class to take this stupid test. It’s just another test to study for and more time sacrificed from my AP’s.
I’m glad that, at least, there’s a break from speech, but I hate how one of the most important meets for swim of my season is the Saturday after AP’s end. CIF is really important for colleges and I haven’t been able to consistently train. I’m scared of what college coaches will think after a disappointing performance this year.
I wake up every morning more tired than the last, and it’s just tough to get through everyday. In a way, I feel like this monotonous robot that trudges through the day without realizing it. And nothing phases me anymore…the emotional impact of everything is mitigated by my exhaustion and stress.
The worst part is that I keep telling myself that it’ll all be over in three weeks, but it really won’t. It’ll only be a short break before college apps and senior year. Then before I know it, college will be here and I’ll be beating myself up with school again. It’s like a perpetual cycle of studying and stress.
But I’ll only be able to make it through if I tell myself it’ll be over soon. Three more weeks, three more weeks, three more weeks….
Thank you for your email to Coach Durden and your interest in the University of California at Berkeley. Our swimming program is consistently competiting for an NCAA Championship.
To maintain and exceed this level of success we are committed to bringing in the best student-athletes to our program. While you are certainly a great student, your current top times would not be fast enough to walk-on to our program.
Last year when I finished reading the AP Bio book, not only was the conclusion freakin cute and inspriational as heck, but it also gave me this comforting sense of accomplishment. Just a few minutes ago, I finished reading the APUSH book, and again, the ending was super inspirational and optimistic.
I was planning to do a recap of each day in a different post (I succeeded the first day) but I got too tired and there wasn’t enough time, so here is the rest of it.
Saturday started pretty slow. It was tiring because we never sleep on travel trips and I had to wake up at 6:30 to go to the school with Andrew for LD.
Rachel was Flight B so we hung out a little before her round and then I ate breakfast. Round 2 for OA was next and it went pretty smoothly. I was relatively satisfied and I tried my best, which was all I could ask for. Going back to the hotel, Andrew and I bought a pint of ice cream each from CVS, ate it, then took a two hour nap to rest up for IE round 3 and it was probably one of the most productive naps ever LOL.
Hanging out with the team before IE-B round 3 helped me realize why I love Arcadia so much. We definitely have the most fun and no matter what the results say, we have a ton of fun.
Our Saturday night team dinner was at Mimi’s Cafe…they stayed open an extra two hours just for our team! How awesome…
Our team has a tradition of finding out breaks together as a team in a hotel room after the team dinner. We don’t check postings, but our coach announces the breaks in the room as we sit together in our pajamas.
This year, it became the saddest moment of the trip (nothing unusual about that), but it was very disappointing to see how few people broke to Semifinals this year. Last year we had upwards of ten people who broke and this year it was a measly four. Ultimately, we attributed this discrepancy (and the entire tournament’s weird ranks) to a judging problem, but it was still a low point in the trip. It was astounding to see people who had worked hard all year, and done extremely well all year, not even break to semifinals. But shit happens, and that’s why subjective judging sucks LOL
Virginia, Nancy, Michelle, and I were the lucky ones, and got the opportunity to compete again. Even though the results were not nearly satisfactory, I’m so proud of our team for coming this far and dealing with this problem so well. We know, as a team, that the experience matters most….and there we didn’t fail in that category :D
Semis went okay, but unfortunately, Virginia, Nancy, and Michelle didn’t have the opportunity to advance to Finals. They are amazing nonetheless (and I don’t mean to be bitter but they really didn’t deserve some of the scores they got)
I did have the opportunity to compete in my first State Finals ever, and that was exciting for me. I went in and had nothing to expect. I had the best performance I’ve had this entire year, so I was satisfied with whatever happened. I was glad that State Finals would be the last time I’d deliver my overfishing OA, and felt blessed to have the opportunity to learn and grow.
Look at those carefree kids playing in the grass LOL
Awards was a blur. I was tired and exhausted but I was extremely anxious to see how I did. Before semis, I knew I was 1/1/1, so I was fairly confident, but I couldn’t anticipate my final placing.
Getting first place in State Champs really topped off my year in speech. Justice was done to this OA, and I was so happy and words cannot contain those emotions, so I won’t even bother to try to explicate that.
I also can’t describe in words the happiness that you bring to my day :)
Overall, this trip was absolutely great. I had a ton of fun, it was a great break from my hectic Junior year, and I am extremely satisfied with the results. State Champs never ceases to be an awesome end-of-the-year tournament (but luckily, this year I still have Nationals :D).
Thanks Arcadia Speech for being an awesome and supportive team…I’ll never forget State Champs 2010.
We drove up to Bakersfield today for Speech State Champs. My entire car was dead tired for some reason and decided to sleep on the way there which was super boring for me, except in the beginning, Andrew, June, and I camerawhored on my Mac LOL.
Bakersfield is so empty LOL but it’s okay since we didn’t come here to hang out. My first round was today and that went alright….competition was just okay. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.
CRAZY WEIRD HILARIOUS story with Andrew when I was trying to find Rachel.
Andrew and I came back to the hotel and then had dinner at this mexican restaurant. Except we walked there and it was so scary because there were like no streetlights LOL we were super scared of getting mugged.
We might go swimming tonight LOL but I do need to rest for tomorrow. I’m breaking out my salmon colored shirt tomorrow hehe subliminal messaging. More updates on state later.
Oh, and seeing you makes me so happy that I smile to myself like an idiot.
Speech State Champs starts tomorrow. It feels a little bit unreal and it’s hard to believe that the end of the season is already here. This year has gone by so fast and this year in speech, especially, has flown by. I’m proud of my results from past competitions but those will have no influence on the next three days. I’m so excited but extremely scared at the same time as I do have high expectations for myself.
I don’t mean to complain, but my cough could potentially become a serious problem to my speech. Practicing today was extremely difficult, and I couldn’t fully get into my OA-mode. Hopefully it’ll be fine by tomorrow and the adrenaline will help, but I just want to finish off this OA with a bang.
State is always the best competition…I’m excited to see what we can do. Tumblr, expect updates within the next few days and….bring it on, Bakersfield :)
is REALLY pissing me off. I have state in less than two days and you start getting worse NOW? I couldn’t even practice my OA today without stopping to allow you to take over my throat, you bitch. Get the hell out of here.
Mock Trial Info Meeting went relatively well. I was impressed by the level of interest and am satisfied with the direction of next year’s team so far
Trained Andrew and Carl in the park. It’s fun to be on the other side of the workout for once, and I’m proud of Andrew for sticking through my workout for the second time. I’m proud of Carl for learning the horrors of fast food today :D
Went with Andrew and Carl on a secret excursion for our surprise plan. Can’t say much here about that
I have relatively little homework tonight. Can you say OA practice? I promise myself I’ll practice 3 times.
I usually never stay up so late but I’m not tired and I feel that I have many more urgent things to do.
Michelle convinced me to write more of my OO tonight, and I finally realized that it’s going to be too late if I don’t keep writing so I promised myself I’d reach the 500 word mark by tonight. That’s about 1/3 of the way, which I’m satisfied with.
Whoever sent out the prom royalty nominations email is a complete douche. Like…that is probably one of the meanest things I’ve ever seen and…imagine how you would feel if your name was on that list. It’s not funny at all and all you are doing is causing more emotional hurt to people who don’t deserve any more pain. What compelled you to socially ostracize and humiliate people who are already going through social problems as it is? Are you helping them live a better life? Stop and consider your actions for once, and if it is going to hurt somebody, why in hell would you follow through?
I’m going to ditch first and second tomorrow. School is SO blah now and all these review schedules are scary as heck. And finals? Holy crap, my first final is next week…WTF?
This week should go by relatively fast and I’ll be content this weekend in Bakersfield. I’m looking forward to a weekend of fun and relaxation as well as intense competition and hopefully, I’ll bring home a heavy trophy :)
Back to my Oratory. It’s legitimately bad. I hate my lack of self-confidence when it comes to these things.