, I’ve had a survivalist-esque mentality towards life. Adapt or get left behind. Take advantage of open opportunities or regret missed chances. It’s a direct result of my childhood, where, growing up in relatively poor circumstances, I saw how difficult life was through my parents’ struggles.
For these 17 years of existence, a hunger has persisted that has made me so persistent to accomplish my goals. I’ve failed so many times but my desire to reach my ultimate goals has never dwindled. Life is difficult, life is unfair, but regardless of what’s thrown at us, hard work is something that ought to persist in all situations. The feeling of being rewarded for effort is unlike any other. The joy of becoming successful through hours and hours of work cannot be confused by any other feeling, and this desire to fuel hunger does not dwindle.
With all this being said however, I am angered whenever people complain about their lack of individual “achievement” and are jealous of others but never acknowledge that they have skimped out on effort in some way or form. Speaking from personal experience, complaining never does as much getting up and giving a failed attempt another go.
Success is variable and subjective, and goals always change. Everyone goes through ups and downs, but at the end of the day, my hunger to survive and be someone I am proud of will never die. And in life, this is all I really wish for.
/end of rant
can literally pull out tufts of hair fml
Very rarely is there a movement in today’s society that really sweeps everyone off their feet and unite an entire culture in America. With his back against the wall, Jeremy Lin, as everyone knows, completed a Cinderella-esque journey to the NBA despite literally starting at the bottom of the barrel. He went from becoming the guy at the end of the bench to a man with the entire Asian American population on his shoulders. Say what you want, but for a guy heralded as slow and devoid of potential in the NBA, Lin put up stats unheard of, considering what he started out as. Yes, the argument that his ability may not hold up over the course of several seasons is legitimate, because hey, who wants to spend millions on a player who played less than half of one season? The Knicks’ very own James Dolan figured that Lin isn’t worth the 40-50 million dollars that would have been used to keep him. For a franchise who has signed players to the like of Eddy Curry to laughable contracts, Jeremy Lin, in an economical sense, is worth far more than his contract. MSG’s stock value dropped 50 million dollars within 3 hours of the Knicks officially cutting ties with in, already more than his proposed contract. But away from all this money talk, Linsanity is so significant because of what it represented to the Asian community. Jeremy Lin is living out a dream and fantasy that many Asians, including myself, aspired to achieve when they were children.
In fifth grade and most of middle school, I was, looking back at it, a really good basketball player. I won MVP, went to All-Star games- the whole shabang. With this supposed talent, I distinctly remember writing in my fifth grade yearbook that in twenty years, my dream would be to be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, a team I have religiously followed along with the Angels. My parents chuckled and nodded, proud of my basketball achievements, but knew very well that my dreams would not be possible. I remember being frustrated because, who says I couldn’t get into the NBA? I was pretty good, right? Over the next 5 years, my priorities and interests shifted, and with maturity came sensibility. It no longer made sense to follow the career of a professional basketball player because no Asian before me had done so successfully anyway.
Then Jeremy Lin happened. Long before the frenzy known as Linsanity took place, I remember hearing about Lin in his senior year at Harvard, literally carrying his team day in and day out and thinking to myself that he had a shot. I was proud that at least he got on a team and that he somewhat held his own as the bench warmer for the Golden State Warriors. But when February 2012 came along, hysteria ensued. People like me, who never had the chance to fully accomplish their childhood dreams, went crazy over a tall and wiry Asian who led his team to 7 wins in a row in dramatic fashion. Never in my 9+ years of adamantly following sports have I witnessed one player take the entire world by storm. Jeremy Lin was the brother in the family that your mother would brag about, and he was the guy that now had hundreds of millions of eyes set on him only. It wasn’t as much about his stats as it was about his story. Asians like me who never got the chance to follow their respective desires now were able to have dreams lived out by a Harvard grad who happened to also be humble and pious, unwavering in faith even when he was stuck at a crossroads.
The Jeremy Lin show has now moved to Houston, but the era of Linsanity will never be close to the level that it was for that 2 month stretch. Even as a Laker fan, I will forever wonder, what if the Knicks thought logically and signed the offer sheet to keep Lin? Would he have faltered and let this movement die? We will never get to find out, and for now, the Jeremy Lin show has taken an abrupt pause.
I usually look to my older sisters when I need help and advice, but it’s nice to know that you care enough to help me out a ton. You’re extremely busy with your schedule yet you try to help me out so much with junior year and high school in general. It sounds so cliche but I really want to succeed next year so that I don’t squander the tips and advice that you give to me.
So, have fun in Hong Kong this summer and good luck as Princeton’s Sophomore President next year! Thanks for all the help Judson.
It has been a weird weekend.
Day 1: May 18
Crammed all the bills we had left in the morning/lunch, all the while studying math and just getting ready to leave for school. Anna and I kind of accepted that we wouldn’t do very well, having prepared just for an hour the night before. Sped past 5th and 6th period and took a quiz, proceeding to enter a BMW that was already quite small and seated only five. We decided to cram in 6 people, with Anna driving and 5 large men crammed into 4 seats. Being the tallest, I was allowed to sit in the front (LOL my legs still were completely numb for being scrunched up for an hour ride to Whittier, but seeing Sidney, Evan, Andy, and Chau cram into the tiny little backseat was kind of hilarious/sad to see. We kind of left late, and were honestly scared of being dropped from Debate Champs which supposedly started at 3:30. Anyway, we all went in there with just about zero preparation and expectations and honestly just wanted to have some fun.
Round 1: The Child has been left behind
First round was having us go against NCLB, and I haven’t done any sort of speech-related activity for 2 months, so my first speech was terribly rusty. Ended it on a strong note, and got the early win here.
Round 2: No discourse, no peace. Know Discourse, Know Peace.
Absolutely tore this round up as neg. We played it pretty defensively, so their argument didn’t stick very well. It felt pretty cool when the judge asked if Anna and I were from San Marino, who’s known mostly for debate, since we performed quite well. Any expectation to not do well was kind of thrown out the window here. According to Amit, we were heading into third round as first place.
Anyway, we decided to go with Andy and Andrew and go grab some McD’s in between.
Round 3: The gay rights movement needs a Rosa Parks moment
Entering the room, I knew we were in for a really tough round. One of our opponents was part of a team that was really close to qualifying for State Champs with Parli, so it was obvious that it would be extremely tough to win.
However, Anna and I defended our case really well, and although we got full speaker points (60/60), we ended up tying with the other team, and the judge thought that the other side had a better casing. Funny thing is that one of the judges was this guy that trolled us at Spring Varsity and kept us from going to Finals. Felt ironic that he was the one judging us LOL. Sat at 2-1 after the third round, but felt proud that we did so well considering we had a lack of any kind of prep.
Round 4: Using deaths of enemies for political gain is a good thing.
Had this one in the bag, since the prop. side had a really nonsense argument. Left Cal High 3-1, so not bad, considering the rustiness.
Our car ride home honestly was the best part of Friday. Supposedly a maximum of a one hour trip, both our GPS apps on our phones became unavailable, with the phones dying. We got lost and went in a circle, and ended up having to stop in Ontario HAHAHAHAHAHA. It got stretched out into a 2+ hour ride, and we had some really deep and meaningful talks, so it was just as serious as it was fun. I feel like I had more respect for each person in the car, and we played Truth or Truth and basically asked each other really serious questions. We finally got back to El Monte, and then Andrew asked for a ride home, saying that he lived pretty close by. He lived in Baldwin Park. Baldwin Park. It took us 30 minutes to get all the way to his neighborhood, drop him off, and get back on course. Silly freshman.
We continued to have talks until Evan and I got dropped off and getting home at 1 ish, my mom was understandably pissed, and I reasoned with her, knowing that it was pretty dangerous to be out so long.
Day 1 was ridiculously tiring yet fun and we set our eyes on trophying.
Day 2: May 19th
Saturday was Novice IE Champs at Gab, and like Parli, I didn’t do crap for Saturday but still felt pretty confident. My first round was a little rusty as expected, but I felt I got a 2 or 3. My friend judged me, but had no idea how to do Impromptu. She gave me a 5 because I went from funny to serious on my topic of underpants, not knowing that change of tone is what you’re supposed to do for topics such as these. The person who got a 1 was honestly not very good, but was appealing to a lay judge who didn’t know the event, as she jumped around and made a very tech-filled speech on submarines. After first round, I honestly felt pissed, especially since she asked if I wanted consolation for not doing well. Her poor judging was disappointing to say the least, and then her ignorance kind of set me off a little more as well.
Round 2 and 3 went pretty well- I think I stayed at a 1 or 2 for both rounds, having pretty easy topics such as adventure and Obama. Knowing that my cume from an entire tournament (Spring Novice) was the same as my first round crappy score, I knew I was screwed from breaking into finals for IE. Feels bad man.
I went to go play basketball with some of the seniors and played well considering I had not balled in a couple months, and was also in a suit. Got dirty and sweaty and regretted playing soon after heh.
Anna was meh when she broke for OA finals, and we went out to cruise around, talk, and get Starbucks. She ended up going in a circle and we returned to Gab until we decided to just get some Taco Bell LOL.
We ended up getting 4th for Parli, which was disappointing, since we had the highest speaker point total for any team competing, which is pretty awesome, considering there are 40+ teams going at it. We would have been 1st if our third round judge circled our side instead of theirs, but hey, can’t really complain about getting a trophy, considering that I have been screwed over in a couple of past tournaments (bad judges, no losses but ties, etc.) Anna headed into Saturday planning to not really do Speech next year, except for Parli with me. She ended up getting first place in Advocacy, so hopefully that persuades to stick with Speech. She had a pretty crappy week, being runner-up as ASB secretary as a result of a rigged vote tiebreaker. Anyway, she could have double picket-fenced, but we both ended the speech year on a good note.
JKwok gave me a ride straight to the ASB bonding event, and in a suit and other formal attire, I was really not in a good position for exercise. The event was fun, and we played a CTF variant on the grass. I didn’t know it at the time, but I ended up severely spraining/tearing the ligaments on my right big toe, so as I write this, I’m unable to both walk and go to school without crutches. My ignorance and carelessness kind of made me crippled, and it sucks knowing that a trip to the bathroom is now a difficult hobble there.
So in the end, this weekend was really tiring, packed, and ended with a bad injury, but it really was so fulfilling and made me realize that Speech should be a big priority in the next two years.