Sunday, April 6, 2014

My World in 543 Words

In a world full of endless possibilities, how do people choose the right path? Throughout my whole life people have asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And my answer to this day remains the same, “I have no idea.” Maybe the thought that I might be tied down to something that I don’t genuinely love is what makes me so unsure of my future. Or maybe the fact that I might not be able to do everything I want to do makes me skeptical of choosing a specific path.
If I explore my past, I see how all the different activities in my world - playing piano, swimming, church, and school - have molded my life. My parents laid the foundation by instilling a love of learning and a pursuit of excellence within me at a young age. So how could it be that I still don’t know what I want to do with my life?
Collage of my public school acceptances
Playing piano showed me that hard work pays off. Beginning at the age of three, I hated the instrument with a passion until I had an epiphany when I turned twelve. Now it has become an outlet to my emotions. Swimming taught me the importance of discipline, time management, and efficiency, but it also showed me important aspects of being a leader. I learned that my words and actions greatly impacted the people around me, and if I want people to be a certain way, I have to lead by example. Along the way, I figured out how to bridge the communication gap by interpreting the different “languages” that exist between swimmers and their coaches. Through swimming, I also found out that I thrive under large amounts of pressure, and love to rise to the occasion when my team needs me. Church trained me to set my priorities straight, and to make sure that I let people know what my priorities are ahead of time. It brought me to Germany once a year to life-changing conferences where I met hundreds of people from around the world. School granted me a taste of many different subjects and an opportunity to expand my knowledge. It opened the door for me to work with teachers that genuinely wanted all of their students to succeed. Those activities have become my world.
         Yet despite how much all these things have shaped my life like a potter’s skilled hand, it is as if I am an unfinished sculpture, with endless possibilities as to what I might become. My only definite dream is to lead a life where I would constantly be challenged and under pressure, so that I could perform at my best in everything I do. All of my experiences didn’t necessarily cast me into an engineer, or a lawyer, or a doctor. They created something better: a girl that is not conformed by the influences of the world, who is open to different paths, and waiting for just the right niche to positively impact the people she has met, allowing her to give back to the community that defined her.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Post-Presentation Stuff (DIY Post #19)

I bought 2 of these fans! :)
Today I bought 2 $25 fans with the $50 we got from Home Depot. They will hopefully help keep us cool in the team room so that we don't die of heat exhaustion in there. Our hope is that it will improve the ventilation. I gave the fans to Connor so that he can set them up in the team room. And our project is officially over! :) This is officially my last DIY post!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Judgment Day (DIY Post #18)

We got 100%!! :)
Today we gave our presentation, and it went surprisingly well. As with everything else, there was one unforeseen problem that arose, but other than that all went well. At the beginning of the presentation, Mr. Ziebarth loaded our video on youtube, but it refused to play. So we talked a little bit and improvised as I tried to get the video to work on Mr. Ziebarth's computer. It finally did, and the rest of our presentation went on without any more bumps. Although there was some criticism of our presentation, for the most part it went very well. You can view the youtube video of our presentation pictures here:

During lunch, I went into Mr. Z's classroom to see what our grade was. He gave me the small slip of paper, and it said that we had gotten 100%!! I was so excited, and I told Makenna and Connor right away. Makenna told our coach, and everyone was really happy. I couldn't believe the success of our project! Not only had we helped out the swim team, but we had managed to get a perfect score on our English project as well! It was truly a satisfying day. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Prepping for the Presentation (DIY Post #17)

Yesterday Makenna's boyfriend Daniel helped us with the team room. He bought us some more double sided tape for the picture frames (using Adrian's money), and helped us put up the remainder of the picture frames. He also helped us paint the door. We put the couch covers over the sofas, and they look much more presentable. Connor and I also scraped the remainder of the blue paint off of the windows. We also borrowed a vacuum from the janitors, and cleaned up the ground. The end result was surprisingly really good. 
Testimonial video

We finished the team room by the end of 6th period on Wednesday, and a lot of our teammates came into the room shocked. They were stunned by the complete transformation of the team room, and we decided we would record their testimonials for the presentation the next day. The senior boys loved the team room and relaxed on the couches before their senior luau. 

Panoramic view of the completed team room :)
Just earlier, Makenna, Connor and I were all on Google Hangouts so that we could figure out what we were going to do for our presentation. I compiled all of the pictures and videos into iMovie.

We were going to speak while the pictures played in the background. After a bit of fiddling around - deleting some pictures, and figuring out what we actually wanted to say, we are ready for our presentation tomorrow.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Hard Core Work: Day 3 (DIY Post #16)

Picture frames
More picture frames
Picture frames, picture frames, and more picture frames. Our last main task was to get the picture frames up onto the wall. Previously, Makenna had painted all of the frames black, so that they would match the wall color better. We started sticking them up with thick double sided tape, as well as hanging them off of nails to ensure that they would stay on the wall. It was hard, tedious work putting all of that tape on the frames, and then sticking/nailing them to the wall. And by the end of the day, we still hadn't finished putting up all of the pictures, so it looks like we'll have to do some last minute work next week before the presentation.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hard Core Work: Day 2 (DIY Post #15)

Navy Blue Curtains
the beginnings of the
shelf that holds the
projector up
I visited Caltech today! And when I came back to school, Connor & Makenna as well as a few water polo guys were helping get the curtains up. We got the curtains up, and they looked surprisingly good. Then Makenna had to leave, so Connor and I worked on getting the shelf back up. It took an annoyingly long time, and we were working until like 4 because Connor drilled the wrong screws into the wall - they were too small, so when we tested the shelf, it fell off the wall. The second time, luckily was a lot easier. And we finally got the shelf up. Coach Eric (the water polo coach) was laughing at the attempt. While we were working, the coach got a hammer and fixed the nail in the white board that Connor had messed up. The room is starting to look a lot better now, and our hard work is finally paying off.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hard Core Construction: Day 1 (DIY Post #14)

I texted my coach to ask him if we could work on the team room during 6th period this week. Unfortunately, he said we couldn't because we need to spend more time with the team. However, we were allowed to work after 6th because the water polo coach Eric stayed after and supervised us.

Our main goal for today was to get the whiteboard back up onto the wall, and it was a good thing that we only had one thing on our list because it took forever. As soon as we finished practice, me, Makenna, and Jaden Todd went to work on putting the white board back up. Unfortunately it would take at least another hour for us to complete the seemingly simple task that we had set before us...

As we struggled to drill the holes in the right spot, water polo practice finished, so a bunch of polo players rushed in, eager to criticize/help. After a lot of time and frustration, we had 3 holes in the wall where the white board was precariously hanging from. Coach Eric came in to watch us, and he was highly amused to see us struggle. Finally, after it seemed like it the task would be impossible to do correctly (the whiteboard looked extremely crooked), he suggested that we "cheat." By cheating, he meant hammering the screws into the wall instead of using a power drill. I got 3 hammers out and me, Connor, and Dalton started hammering the screws into the wall. Dalton's and mine turned out perfectly fine, but Connor's was completely crooked.

However, the board is now on the wall, and definitely does not look as crooked as it used to. Tomorrow I'm going to be at Caltech, so I'm not sure how much work will be left when I come back to school, but we're gonna try and get the curtains up.