A New Journey.

I don’t know if it’s my personality or if it’s just the culture that I was brought up in but I always struggle to put myself out there and to meet new people. I’ve been forced to do it some many times, changing schools and immigrating to California, but still every time it’s a challenge.

It’s not that I struggle to talk. It’s just that I’m not outgoing or confident and this has really been highlighted in college situations. Although I’ll always put on the tough, brave act and get tasks done, underneath I am so fearful.

I want to meet and get to know new people but the inherent fear that they wont like often makes me restrain in many situations.

I have a common problem: I care too much about what other people think of me. Rather than putting all of me out there to get to know others I worry about all the things I will loose. In the past this has changed me, loosing myself behind: materialistic goods, clothing and friends, but now I want to go into college as me.

I guess it just takes time but from now on I am going to try and take braver, honest steps and see where these take me on my journey.

Friends

Advertisements

College and Its Struggles

Now that I enter the final phases of the college process, I look back at the godawful endeavor that it has been. While many people will tell you that these sorts of things teach and make you stronger, I could have gone without that lesson.

Now let me make it clear, I am very happy where I ended up. In the Fall it looks that I will be attending Chapman University. It is a great school and I am lucky to go there.

But what it took to get there was frankly hell. From the amount of work required on the applications during a busy part of senior year to the pains of the financial aid process, it has been an experience to forget.

My advice towards those who have not yet experienced the joy of applying is this:

1. Start Early. This makes life a lot easier for you and your family. If you can have an idea of the type of college (eg. small, big, east coast, west coast, etc.) you want to go to by the end of the summer before senior year you are on a good track. This will allow you to pick out schools you really want to go to and not stress out which ones you are applying to.

2. Be on the same page. A key to the college process is communication between the student, their parents and the college adviser. Make sure that all parties know of the general expectations and plans at all times. This ensures more productivity and less fights/homicides.

3. Be realistic. The worst thing you can do is think you are built for Stanford when you really should be going to a state school. There is nothing wrong with going to a college, no matter which one you choose. But save yourself and the admissions offices some time and choose schools within your range. Still apply to reach schools and safeties, but don’t shoot for the stars with a bottle rocket.

4. Save Save Save. Some people may have a healthy money tree in their backyard but if that is not the case then start saving now. As much as you think you are going to get those scholarships or “it will all work out” chances are you want to avoid being 100k in debt when you graduate. Save what you can and go over what you can really afford before you chose a college. Again, be realistic about what you can do and find the best option for your money.

There are parts to the college game you just have to find out as you go. Work hard in school and prepare and it will be as easy as possible. I am not saying it will be easy because quite frankly I haven’t been hearing any of my friends say what an easy process it was.

But with hard work and maybe some luck you can end up in a good college where you can really succeed and have a good time while doing it. That is the end goal and it is attainable with work.

Studying.

AP

Studying is definitely not my forte, but I try. I read, reread, write, rewrite, list terms, and read again. Through doing this process I hope that some how the knowledge and information prints itself on my brain.

In no way are my study sessions intense. I spend a period learning, normally consisting of 30minutes, then reward myself with treats such as a game of tetris battle then continue. In many ways I wish I could spend a day studying without getting bored and maybe then I could achieve a 99% on a test.

As AP exams are approaching I have started to dedicate a lot of time to study and to work. Through doing this I have realized that I have not learnt everything I need to know in classes and in others I know it all.

This is extremely worrying but when other classmates voice the same opinions I realize it’s not just me.

Maybe I should have studied more throughout the year, creating AP study guides from September. But isn’t that why we take notes in class and go to class in the first place.

I guess all I can do now is study, study, study to the best of my ability.

Brian Dawkins-The reason I am who I am

I will cover the NFL Draft this coming week. But, being as my childhood hero just retired for the NFL, I feel obligated to discuss the retirement.

Brian Dawkins was a model football player. He was a leader on the field for his team and off the field for his dedication to the communities of Philadelphia and Denver when he signed with the Broncos.

“B-Dawk” as many refer to him, was one of the most loved athletes in the city of Philadelphia maybe only behind Rocky, who wasn’t even a real person. Brian Dawkins was the heart and soul of the Eagles for over 10 years. As long as I have been watching football, Dawkins has played. I was about just one year old when Dawkins made his debut in the National Football League.

My first memory of Dawkins is during that season, believe it or not. His rookie season, “Weapon X”, another popular nickname for the homicidal safety, made a successful open field tackle against a running back that I think you maybe have heard of, Barry Sanders.

Ya, you read that right. A rookie took down the great Barry Sanders in the open field. That was when the city began to believe.

I’d now like to share some of my favorite moments of Brian Dawkins.

I remember in an NFC championship game against the Atlanta Falcons, where the quarterback was still Michael Vick.

The Falcons were the fastest team in football with players like Warrick Dunn, Vick and Alge Crumpler.

One play in that game set the tempo early.

Vick dropped back and fired a dart about 40-50 yards down field.

Alge caught the ball. Dawkins caught Alge.

Dawk met Crumpler with a MASSIVE hit which left him down on the field for a couple minutes. While he wasn’t injured, the Falcons became demoralized, which led to an Eagles’ Super Bowl appearance.

There are so many Dawkins moments that I could dissect. But, I will randomly provide the readers with other Dawk moments as my blogs continue to come.

Thank you, Brian, for your years of service to this great game. You are the reason for my random yell into the air before every quarter of football or lacrosse that I play. You are the reason why I hit with such intensity. You are the reason that I strive to compete every second I’m on the field. Most importantly, you are the reason I have embraced a leadership role wherever I go. You taught me to be a leader. I couldn’t have asked for a better model.

The Four Agreements

I stumbled upon a book today, The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz.

My dad told me about the Four Agreements when I was in third grade.  Being an 8-year-old, I thought nothing of them.

But now, they are of value to me.

The Four Agreements are devices used to end needless suffering.  By following the Agreements, one can (in theory) achieve serenity.

The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

I find the first three to be the most helpful to me personally.  Number 2, Number 1 and Number 3 (in that order) are what will reducing my suffering the most and the most quickly.

The book has each of the Agreements as the subject of a chapter.  Ruiz goes on to explore each Agreement in depth, providing examples for the reader and from his own experience.

The concept of the Four Agreements is based off of ancient Toltec teachings.  The book, and the Agreements themselves are really, truly worth a look.

Ruiz emphasizes that much of suffering comes from selfishness and the unwillingness to let others see our imperfections.  It is a bit of a blow to the ego, reading about how we are the sole cause of our suffering and anxiety.  But nonetheless, a much-needed blow.

So seriously, check it out.  Maybe start your attempt at serenity today.  I think I have.

Planes & DARPA = Progress

Aircraft have been around for a little over a hundred years. In 1903 the Wrights brothers were able to create the 1st “ airplane “ in recorded history. Useful technology evolves quickly; the airplane was no exception to this rule. By 1914 airplanes were being used in open warfare albeit in a limited fashion. By World War II planes were used in armed combat.
http://makezineblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/darpa.png
Warfare escalated the development of the plane but the planes most advanced capabilities would be developed during the Cold War. By the Cold War Chuck Yaeger had successfully broke the sound barrier flying at a record. It wouldn’t be but a couple decades later that humanity would gain the ability to leave Earth.
https://i0.wp.com/www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/darpa-plane.jpg
A couple of weeks ago DARPA launched the newest generation of aircraft. This aircraft can go 13,000 MPH making a trip from Los Angeles to New York in 12 minutes. Unfortunately soon after safe take off the aircraft was ripped apart by its own speed.

Boston and Beyond!

I’ve got to say, this break has been one of the best so far.

It’s always great when you meet people from your past and reconnect!

There pictures are of my friends from elementary school. We are at Tom N Toms Solair. They look exactly the same as they did ten years ago!

This is a picture from the Boiling Crab located in Koreatown, Los Angeles.

My friend took me to the Boiling Crab. I had never been there but after that time, I plan on going again and again!
The cool thing about this restaurant is that they sell seafood by the pound and cook it for you with a sauce of your choice, if you choose to have some.
It’s so fun to eat here too! They lay the table out with a waxed paper. The table basically serves as a plate.
Check out the menu by clicking here.

This is my friend I met at Beverly High School during my sophomore year! He picked me up to go to church together and spend the rest of the day catching up on each other’s lives.


This is my buddy from the summer. We were taking the same class and just started talking one day. Now, he is one of my close friends! Obviously, as you can tell from the picture, he can be very silly…


This is Yeon. He graduated from OVS two years ago. I was shocked when I saw him because he had lost so much weight! He looks great, though and seemed to love his time at Boston University. He is leaving after this year to go join the Korean Army for two years. That means that when he comes back to school, we will end up graduating together in 2016!

The last few days of my break were fantastic. I visited Wellesley and made my decision to go there. It is beautiful! The buildings are made of brick and gave me the feeling like I was in Hogwarts.

Furthermore, I attended the 29th Annual Star Scholar Banquet and got to hear Ken Jenning’s speak! Not to mention, take home a $5,000 check for an essay that I had submitted.