Locker Room Debacle

After the previous stories that I have written regarding my various injuries, they become quite interesting as I left elementary and began middle school. This next injury was one that I could have completely avoided but because I was a stupid middle schooler and I had no common sense. To begin this injury took place in my school’s locker room and was yet again another head injury. Let me set the stage for you, it was close to the end of the year so my school had begun doing swimming for PE, this lead to the need to use the locker room to change in and out of swim trunks. Because we were swimming we used towels and anyone whos anyone knows what an adolescent boy is given a towel and put in a locker room with a bunch of other boys, (if you didn’t get this already I mean towel whips). Continuing with the story, we had finished swimming and were in the locker room changing and I decided that it was a good idea to spin my towel up and whip a kid right in the butt. Thinking back on this decision, it was the worst thing that I could do at the time. After I whipped this kid he turned around and pushed me really hard right in the chest knocking me over onto the ground. At the time I didn’t realize I was hurt other than my head hurting a bit. But about 20 minutes later I rubbed my head and when I looked down at my hand I saw a crap ton of blood, I then rushed to the bathroom to try and see the cut on my head. I couldn’t get a good look at the back of my head for obvious reasons, but luckily one of my friends at the time walked into the bathroom and I had him look at my head to see what was going on under my hair. It turned out that I had cut my head when I fell and didn’t notice until about 25 minutes later. The cut lead to me needing ten stitches and adding another injury to my list.

Image Credit:WikiHow

My second set of stitches

The events in this story happened after my last story’s events so I suggest you read that one first. After I had healed from jumping into the hot tub. It was a rainy day in my home town, so my PE class was being held in the school gym instead of on the field where it usually was held. We got there and were instructed to take our shoes off so that we didn’t get the floor of the gym wet and slippery, this was a big mistake in my opinion because I kept my socks on. We were doing fun things like dodgeball and just passing the balls, but the problem arose when we started to throw some things in the air and catching them. As I was doing this I somehow made it over to the pile of shoes. I threw the little sheet thing in the air up and ran forward tripping over the shoes and falling forward onto my face. I just so happened to fall right on my freshly healed chin splitting it open again. I remember feeling the sting that happens when I had gashed my chin before. I grabbed it like I had before to keep the blood in but I looked and saw the puddle of blood on the ground and I knew that it was bad. I rushed to the nurses where they called my mom and told me I needed stitches. There is still blood stains on the floor from that event almost eleven years ago.

Image Credit: Villageec.com

Journalism

Journalism can be strange. It is a new way of facilitating my love for writing, yet with emphasis on the most important element – storytelling. Instead of researching my topics online, I now must go into the world and obtain information from people.

The reactions differ – some are more than happy to tell their story. Others, however, remain reserved as you push your way into their schedule. I enjoy the social element of journalism. I have an intriguing conversation with at least one person per week.

Journalism has taught me how to reach out to people, even if you don’t know them. I understand the format of an interview request email, and how to conduct a conversation where I get the other person to say all the right things. In journalism, I am but the message man, bringing other people’s stories into the limelight. I have enjoyed this experience as it has shifted me away from academic writing, improved my social skills, and made me a better storyteller.

Image Credit: Nicole Schuman

a moment in the life of a western screech owl

The Kenai National Forest tucked away on the twisting coast of Alaska is home to a tall Quaking Aspen tree. The mustard yellow bark plotted with dark-colored knots protrude out of the tree to form slender but sturdy branches. The blackened forest seemed to sleep, but 25 feet up the great aspen tree, curved claws wrap tightly around the bark. Built with a slim body rounded with slick feathers and two ears that spike out of its head like horns, the western screech owl sits still. Every root stopped growing, every leave stopped falling, and every gust of wind ceased to blow as the owls piercing yellow eyes stalked down upon the scavenging rodent below. Following its prey between the plots of rotting yellow leaves and moist forest soil the owl begins to pick up its clawed feet, one after another. Preparing itself. Finally, the creature tilts forward, letting itself be taken by gravity, and with a sharp and intentional swoop, the hunt was over.

Image found on Pinterest

peonies

i hate peonies

peonies represent something I wish I could be

they push through the harsh conditions of their life

for me

sometimes its just easier to give up

although,

i hate giving up

it makes me feel less of a person

less of someone who deserves what they have

when someone says im too scared for something

or when I feel scared of something

I try to go farther than I have to

and do more than what was asked

I hate being scared

I hate giving up

I hate turning down a challenge

while some might call it

toxic masculinity

I thinks its different from that

Its not that I dont like being scared because Im a man

its because if Im scared

then i cant move forward.

peonies,

they arent scared

they survive the harshest of enviorments they are given

they are true warriors

thats why i hate them

i hate how a flower is stronger than me

How to Grow Peonies - Sunset Magazine

photo credit: sunset.com

Viruses have NO nationality

Last week, I went to a basketball game at another school. 

Before the game, my Chinese friend was sneezing five times in a row due to her allergies.

The referee saw her and made a really stupid joke. 

“You got that virus too?”

No one laughed, except him. 

credit by: twitter.com

I saw the news today. 

In the subway station in NYC, an Asian lady was attacked for wearing a mask, and called a ‘Diseased B*tch’. 

I was totally shocked, I just couldn’t understand it. 

I thought mask means protection, for the people who are wearing it. 

But in that news, mask brought her something completely different from protection.

This is a story that my friend told me. 

She is a student abroad in Sydney, and when she called a taxi from the airport to school. 

The first sentence driver said to her: “Are you from China?”

She said: “Yes.”

The driver said: “Don’t open your mouth in the car.”

She was so confused and astounded, feeling endlessly helpless.

Ebola is not an African virus, H1N1 is not a Mexican virus, and the coronavirus is not a Chinese virus.

Viruses have NO nationality.

Racism is the MOST dangerous virus.

Let’s go against viruses together, NOT Chinese.

Rekindled

I ran 17 laps over the course of two hours, I was winded, but hardly exhausted. These were the days I lived for. I was in first grade when I first participated in the Terry Fox run, an annual international charity track event meant to raise funds for cancer research in honor of Canadian hero, Terry Fox. This event is where I believe my relationship with sports or athletics in general really began, racing my friends across the long stretches of the track until we collapsed on the grassy ditch to catch our breath, just to do it again countless times.
 
For the next three years, my passion for sports grew even further. At school I participated in badminton, dodgeball, fitness, swimming, everything they had to offer. I was by no means a stellar student-athlete; outside of school my childhood consisted of next to no physical activity, having busy parents, no siblings, and neighbors I was unfamiliar with, my outdoor activities consisted solely of digging holes in the backyard. All of that aside, I still loved physical activity, making sure to fill my recess with as much tag and soccer as I possibly could.
 
In fourth grade, however, I found that my affinity to athletics had shifted towards food instead, and as I slowly gained an appreciation for eating, I slowly lost interest and ability to participate in sports. I began an exponential weight gain that lasted, thankfully, only five years, but took a tremendous toll on my body. At my peak in seventh grade, I would strain myself climbing the stairs, I’d wear shirts two sizes too big to conceal everything I could, and I was eating a family-sized bag of chips every day. So to sum things up, things weren’t looking too hot for me. In those five years, my relationship with athletics had become estranged and I intentionally belittled sports as primitive to somehow justify to myself my current condition. However, being the aspiring hypocrite that I was, I still tried desperately to get onto every sports team offered at my school, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, whatever team sport that would have me, but unsurprisingly, every time, I was nowhere to be seen on the lists.
 
Even after I got my weight problem under control and ended up going too far in the other direction I found the same issues with sports. I had no strength, no energy, no agility to participate in any activity apart from golf, but I was awful at golf so that was out of the question for me anyway. In the last four years, I’m proud to say I’ve finally gotten my weight under control, I no longer count every calorie that enters my body out of fear of losing control again. I know what went wrong and how to avoid those same mistakes.
 
Basketball is where I’ve been able to express this change the most. My freshman year I had 12 minutes of playing time the entire season. I can’t blame my coach for any of that, I was 6’4 inches of skin and bone, I didn’t have the strength to shoot a basketball from the free-throw line, and I could jump maybe a foot off the ground. The past few years, I’ve grown taller and stronger and I’ve trained relentlessly. I’m by no means the MVP I had hoped I would be. But now being one of the main contributors to my basketball team after my tenuous past with sports, I can finally look back and feel proud about my athletic ability, something that once meant so much to me, for the first time in nearly 10 years.

The Outside Ghost

In the past few years, I’ve developed a love for the outdoors that is indescribable, I live for the moments I spend in the backcountry. I yearn to lounge on my hammock, strung between two awkward trees, uneasy about my weight. I dream of not getting back into the vans, of staying near the spot where I dug my favorite latrine. But I have to say one of my favorite things about the outdoors is the chilling experiences.
The first one very vivid to me occurred nearly three years ago in the Eastern Sierras. I had gone backpacking with my school about 10 miles up into Little Lakes Valley, a quaint spot along the John Muir Trail, and we had set our packs down by a lake snuggled into a cliffside. A few of us, being the adventurous souls that we were, decided it would be fun to summit this peak, towering around 1,000 feet above us.  Half an hour into the climb, I had to stop, at our elevation, nearly 13,000 feet above sea level, wearing a heavy ski coat, I was winded. I was given a walkie talkie, water bottles to hold onto, and told to standby as they submitted.
Being on a neighboring peak, just slightly lower than the peak I originally set out for, I had a nice view of the three that continued on. As I sat alone, talking and singing to myself, using up 30 minutes of footage on my phone, I felt a sense of tranquility I hadn’t experienced since starting high school. Around 15 minutes into my time alone, as I carefully examined the pockets of snow that lay in the distance between the jagged rocks that covered the mountain where I would occasionally see the hikers jumping through as the continued to summit, something interrupted by solo jam sesh. In the footage, you can hear me rambling about a second rate animated movie from my childhood, and all of a sudden a voice maybe 40 feet behind me interrupts my train of thought. I hear the click of a walkie talkie as the gruff voice says, “OK hold up.” However, the walkie talkie sitting beside me remains silent.
Now at this point, two things are running through my mind, either there is a stranger hiking by his lonesome and he’s for some reason communicating with another hiker far another away where he needs a walkie talkie, or that there’s a ghost. Seeing as I have turned to face the source of the noise and there was no face to put to the voice, I quickly jumped to conclusions that it was the latter. Regardless, as my experience from horror movies dictates, if I acknowledge the ghost as a ghost, it will mess me up. So I narrate to the video what just happened, and QUICKLY change the subject so that the ghost believes I am just a naive little freshman, not worth the trouble. I increase the amount of panning shots in my video so I have opportunities to look around for the voice that is intermittently speaking, traveling, but maintaining a consistent distance from me so that I can keep an eye out for the ghost without it catching on.
A few minutes later the voice disappears completely, but as it does the weather takes a turn, I see the hikers running back as they indubitably saw the storm cloud moving in our direction, completely invisible to myself until the hikers were almost back. Now I’m not saying that the ghost made it dump snow on us for the next 12 hours, but if he did that was a pretty crappy move. Regardless, when we get back to camp I refrain from telling anyone because I am convinced I’m still within earshot of that petty man, so I go about the rest of the evening and kind of forget about it. When I wake up in the morning, sore from the number of times the gusting winds slapped the roof of the tent into my unsuspecting face, I hear stories that convince me that the ghost man didn’t like our group.
One tells of how he heard trailing footsteps when he went off to pee shortly after dinner but saw nothing, no indication that he was being followed. And the three girls all corroborated that in the night, in the worst part of the storm, when the howling winds would’ve prevented any sane man from leaving his tent, no matter what capacity his bladder was at, they heard footsteps circling their tent, unaffected by the storm, oblivious to the bitter cold, definitely a ghost. When we hiked out of that canyon the next day I vowed never to return, but I actually did a year later when I school offered the trip, and I had a really splendid time. However, everyone who went on the night hikes heard footsteps in the woods around them and experienced wacky flashlights malfunctions, which is to be expected when the ghost man is out there. That is precisely the reason I didn’t go on the night hikes, I knew about the aggravating spirit that lay waiting in the darkness, so instead, I elected to stay in my tent, on my phone, where I had downloaded a Patton Oswalt comedy special and had a very enjoyable evening.
Next week I got another doozy so keep an eye out for that one.
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650 Words

How am I supposed to tell you who I am in 650 words?  Are 650 words really going to tell you who I am and why you should choose me for your school?

photo credit: pinterest.com

I am more than 650 words.  I am 650 pages that are still be written.  There are too many stories for you to know who I truly am from only 650 words.  Only one small story will be able to fit in these 650 words, so don’t think this is truly me.  Please don’t believe that this is all I am and all I can be.  I am so much more than this small part of my life.  The story has impacted me a great deal, but it is not the only thing that has.

When you read this please remember that I am a novel and 650 words will not do me justice.  So college admissions counselor, read these 650 words and remember they are just a taste of what I could be and not all of me.

The story of kale, tangerines, and the realizations I made.

I ate a piece of kale the other day.

It was growing in a garden box at school, so I pulled a leaf off of the plant and ate it.

It was a nice, sturdy piece of kale. It tasted pretty good. I continued munching on it as I walked over to the baseball field.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Kale can be a nice snack, if you’re into dark leafy greens. But, as many experienced plant-eaters know, raw kale is quite tough to chew.

My jaws were getting a little bit tired, so I switched over to eating a different leaf that I had also picked from the garden box. I’m not sure what plant this was, but it was softer and sweeter than the kale.

As I was chewing, I twirled the piece between my thumb and my pointer finger.

I started to study the leaves. The kale was dark and rough. It was much more aggressively textured than the other leaf.

It was at that moment when I stopped chewing, for I noticed dozens of very tiny, white bugs all along the sides of the leaves.

I swallowed my bite, then tossed the remnants of my half-eaten leaves aside. I decided not to dwell on it too much, because I didn’t want the thought of the bugs to take away from the otherwise positive experience I had eating them.

(I would like to apologize to the innocent lives I took that day. I didn’t thoroughly inspect the leaves before eating them, and that was selfish of me. To the bugs that once inhabited the kale: I am sorry.)

On a completely unrelated note, this morning my parents and I went out to our tangerine trees. It was time to prune them. After about an hour of picking fruit and chopping branches, my dad said to me: “This is a chore that very few other people your age have to do, but you have to remember that it just makes you more cosmopolitan.”

Though I didn’t really enjoy being outside when it was 40 degrees, I did find comfort in the fact that our work would provide more fruit for us next season.

I never realized it before, but I am so thankful that I know how to take care of citrus trees.

I live in a place where I am fortunate enough to grow my own food. I take that for granted.

I hope that I will always have this luxury, bugs and all.