Time Flies…

After this week, I have four weeks left. I don’t know how to describe my feelings, but it all just happened too fast. Because of the pandemic, I didn’t even feel like I’m a high schooler and I’m about to go to college. For half of my high school, I’ve been staying in my house and doing homework. During the other part of my high school life, I was still busy studying and getting ready for college. I wake up, study, gym, and sleep every single day. My high school year has been very different from my expectations. I thought those things that happen in high school movies are the things that are going to happen to me, but I guess it’s just a movie, right? Time flies by way too fast. It’s really hard for me to take it slow and enjoy the moment. Even the bad times I’ve been through are going so fast.

Photo Credit: HuffPost UK

CIF Volleyball

Yoooooo so Volleyball made CIF somehow, even though we’re like 5-4 in the league. But it’s gonna be lit. We leave at two in the afternoon and the game starts at six in the evening so that’s really cool. We’re gonna be back at like 11 or 12 or something crazy like that, which is so ass, but I’m still excited. It’s hopefully gonna be an incredible game and we’re all super excited. It’s like the culmination of everything we’ve worked for this whole sports season and we are not gonna go quietly. We all love Volleyball and are all beyond passionate about it and cannot wait for the game. Anyway, wish us luck because we are gonna need it.

How to Play Volleyball – Rules & Key Moves | Olympic Channel
Photo cred- Olympics https://olympics.com/en/featured-news/how-to-play-volleyball

Living away from home

When I was 4 years old, I lived away from my parents for the first time as I went to a boarding school for kindergarten. At the age of 11, I moved even further away, to a foreign country on the other side of the earth. Through living independently (not completely independent, I had to live with a host family or in a boarding school) at a relatively young age, I’ve experienced both positive and negative sides to it. 

I can have a lot more freedom since my parents are far away, and I can do whatever I want in my free time. But this also brings the major downside— the loss of self-control. I always had a hard time with time management, and after I started to study abroad, the situation became worse. I didn’t know a lot of English, so I didn’t understand anything in class, I tried to take notes without knowing even what they meant, but it didn’t work, and I still can’t keep up with my class.  Being the only Chinese student, the overwhelming foreign language and environment smacked me. I gave up doing any school work, resulting in a row of Fs on my transcript.

Although I don’t regret anything about my experience, my suggestion to parents who are considering sending their kids to another country is: to make sure their child knows what they are doing before sending them off to a place full of strangers. 

morehouse.edu

AP Chemistry Exam

So the AP Chem exam is coming up. May second, which is in like a week and a half and I am beyond screwed. The exam is so impossibly hard that a 44% is passing, you get a 3 for a 44% on the exam which is just crazy. We’re gonna have our class final exam sometime next week which is right before the AP exam, and hopefully, that will prepare me for the AP. I guess in the past the final exam for the class was a pretty good indicator of how you would do on the AP exam so I guess we’ll see how I do next week. I’ve been studying so much, like every night I have FRQ’s or multiple choice questions to do. We had a 54 page slideshow to work on over spring break, which I did ok on but that’s not a very good indicator of the AP exam. Now we have like 8 FRQ’s due on Monday and some of these FRQ’s have like 9 parts (a,b,c,d,e, etc) which is just a crazy amount of questions.

AP Chem Exam Review - PTHS AP CHEMISTRY
Photo Credit- PTHS AP Chemistry https://pthsapchem.weebly.com/ap-chem-exam-review.html

Pilgrim Game

Yesterday, we had our second volleyball game against the Pilgrim School. The first time we played them it was at their court which was nice cause it was indoor and stuff, but this time it was a home game. Having it as a home game definitely makes a difference too. We have an outdoor grass court which is far different from an indoor court, you lose a lot of energy jumping on grass compared to jumping on a court, as the grass absorbs a ton of the power you put into the jump to go for a block or spike. Anyway, we did a lot better this time around than when we played them a month or two ago. We were playing our best then but our best was not very good, now we played our best and we held our own. The first time we played them we lost every set and only scored around 12 or 15 points in the three sets, but this time we were able to win two sets which were just awesome. We have never played like that before and we might not again, but honestly, I’m proud of what we did. This is the first year that our school has even had a boys volleyball team ever, and not a single one of us has ever played competitive volleyball in our entire lives. But man do we love it. I think it might be the favorite sports season we’ve had for most if not all of us even though we are probably not going to win the league like we have for the other two sports seasons. Despite our complete lack of experience, we have some incredible players that have held it down for the team in quite a few games. Anyway, next year we are going to beat Pilgrim for sure, we will all have more experience and since none of us are seniors, we will be playing with the same group of guys we have been playing with this year which means we won’t have to relearn the game and how we play with one another. Anyway, I love volleyball and I think our game against Pilgrim only reinforced that love for the sport.

BYU men's volleyball one win away from national title
Photo Credit- Salt Lake Tribune https://www.sltrib.com/sports/byu-cougars/2021/05/06/byu-mens-volleyball-one/

4 Square Diaries

Some say soccer is a beautiful game, but I beg to differ. For me, it’s four square.

This quarter, four square has taken our high school by storm. Yeah, you read that right, four square and high school in the same sentence. It is mainly played by the freshman, who isn’t the most mature bunch (ask anyone), but a small contingency of senior boys, myself included, also are driven to play. It’s probably because, like the freshman, we are not the most mature bunch.

We have created all types of rule sets: feet only, west coast no feet, and many more. Most of which came from one of the most magnificent minds of all time, (can’t say the name but it’s pretty great).

Each player uses their own rule set when they are king. The power of tailoring the rules to your strengths is intoxicating and keeps the players coming back. This forms them for square identity, with the only other factor being how much they argue and whine.

There is so much whining and arguing that goes on, it is plain to see how much these people care, even though most act like they don’t. When two players disagree on a call, it becomes a screaming match, with the mob of players itching to get back to the king square serving as a jury. If the jury grants it, a 1 v 1 starts, in which two players face off. The winner is usually the person who throws it at the other person’s shins first.

On April 1st, Mr. Floyd pranked the players, sending freshmen into what I can only explain as identity crises.

“This isn’t FAIR!” whined nearly all of them.

That dark day demonstrated how reliant these students are on four square. They truly care about a children’s game, as if it is the NBA. I have been punched, insulted, and jeered over it, and I am fine with it, it’s in the game.

PC: Playworks

Cold

I got a cold. It came on last week Thursday, with a dry throat. I suffered through two days of school, then went home, where it got much worse. I tried to hang out with a friend on Saturday and just felt horrible and fell asleep. I was in bed from then until Friday morning.

Being in bed all week actually gave me some much-needed rest and relaxation, but the looming stress of schoolwork hung over me, making it less enjoyable. I managed to get my work done, but I couldn’t turn a corner on my cold. I was, and still am stuffed up, even though I feel better now (Sunday).

I pushed myself to drive to school on Friday, an hour and forty-five-minute drive both ways which in retrospect I should not have attempted. I was still sick, so I woke up late, got to school late, went to two classes, and halfway through the third, decided to go home. I did take my important stats test and finalized a journalism story, but it wasn’t great.

photo credit: today

In addition to my fatigue, I got denied from my top school, which sucked. I spent the weekend resting, which was great, and I hope to catch up on my work this week, slowly climbing up a mountain of papers, tests, and materials. 9 more weeks soldiers.

Artemis

So NASA has a moon landing program called Artemis. This program is going to take the next group of Americans to the moon, including the first woman and person of color to ever go to the moon. Today, the Artemis rocket was rolled out onto the launchpad from the vehicle assembly building. In the coming days, the crew will practice loading and unloading fuel from the rocket and go through a full launch procedure known as the “wet rehearsal”. The first launch of this rocket will be uncrewed ahead of the crewed launch to the moon to bring the first astronauts to the moon since the 1960’s. When Artemis I launches in 2024 it will go farther than any human-rated spacecraft ever. It will go 40,000 miles past the moon carrying testing equipment and data measuring devices to see how humans will fare in the Artemis spacecraft. Once Artemis II launches it will carry humans on a 4-6 week journey to the moon and back.

Artemis I Undergoing Final Rounds of Testing | APPEL Knowledge Services

Photo cred- NASA

A Sky Full of Stars

I have two other brothers, and they always did everything better than me; which I always feel so much pressure doing something with them. I always doubt my ability to do anything, like anything. I began the thought of I just can’t do it right. This year, I become a senior, ready for college. You have no idea how much pressure I have on myself. I don’t want to give up and go to random college, meantime, I still keep believing that there is a 1 percent possibility I can make something beautiful. A couple of weeks ago, Penn State needs a requirement of 120 scores for the English Language Proficiency. I spent my own money and took it almost twenty times, my highest score is 115 still couldn’t reach 120. Penn State can be an easy school that most everyone can get into. However, I’m still stuck in that dumb English test and couldn’t think of any way to improve it. Recently, most of the decisions came out, I got rejected by UIUC and LMU. I am not surprised at all because I know those types of good schools won’t accept me. Until this Tuesday, I got an email from Syracuse University. I just want to say, I think I’m dreaming right now. I got accepted! At that time, I told myself that I’m not that bad, not bad. Meanwhile, I’m so thankful that my brother and friends are there always supporting me. I just can’t believe it, really can’t. I can say I am really proud of myself, and I should love myself more.

Photo Credit: Stars

Volleyball

So we started boys volleyball recently. It first boys team at the school in like 20 years which is pretty cool. But honestly, I’m loving it. It’s so fun like genuinely and the games just don’t seem long enough. I’m a starter too which is really cool. We had two games this week, one against SCVI and one against Pilgrim school. We beat SCVI which is pretty cool because I don’t think we were really expecting to. But we played Pilgrim today and we definitely knew we would lose but we put up a good fight. It was honestly some of the best volleyball we’ve played ever. Which I guess isn’t saying a whole lot seeing as we’ve only been playing for a couple weeks but that’s beside the point. I got home and took my shoes off and my toes are literally bleeding from playing, that’s how hard we were trying. Pilgrim was definitely the better team though, but they have had a boys team for a long time. We genuinely were improving as we played the game and it was frickin awesome. We have two more games next week and I can’t wait to see how we do.

Hawaii vs. BYU: 2021 NCAA men's volleyball national championship highlights  - YouTube
Photo Credit- NCAA Championships, Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0gpwY1xh-Y