Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

I loved that Perry Como song in middle school. And I still enjoy it. Anyways, I was just thinking about some really good days in High School this past year. My Magic Moments as they may be. I probably talked about them before, but hey, this is my blog, so here goes.

Marching Band!
There was one field tournament this past year where we basically won a bunch of awards and there weren't enough seats for us and we stood on the sideline. I think it was South Hills. Anyways, this was an amazing year, with the success that we had. But the best part was the end of this tournament - when Peter and the captains came back carrying all these trophies, and the band just ran up to them and we had a huge group of hugging, crying, laughing high school kids. It seemed like the end of a movie. And a magic moment.

Star Wars Concert
This was pretty cool - for our Spring Concert, we played music from the 6 Star Wars films, and Mr. Alvo came to me with this idea of making a video to go along with the music. So we floated around doing a Star Wars spoof with band kids, but ultimately that didn't happen due to the timing of AP/IB testing, and the enormous pile of other proejcts going on at the same time. So I ended up getting video clips from the films, and put them together. The fight scene with Darth Maul for Duel of the Fates; various Naboo scenes for Across the Stars; the battle over Coruscant, various scenes of Princess Leia, the forest battle on the moon of Endor, and a montage of battle clips with the second Death Star. Anyways, it was cool to run back and forth to the AV room in the gym - made me feel like my 8th grade year at Rincon, running the AV equipment in the DMP. But the magic moment was seeing my creation on screen! And it synced perfectly in the bandroom - that was magical too - and almost perfectly during the concert. But then the Death Star explosion synced perfectly with the last duh duh duh duh. And that was magic. Special thanks to Victor who got the timing down for the video clips so that everything synced well!!

Speech and Graduation
Speaking in front of 5000 people. That's something I never thought I'd do - and it's the biggest audience ever. I usually start shifting around when I have to speak in front of the small IB class! But I remember sitting on stage the Tuesday before graduation, in front of 500 and being freaked out. Though after a few hours, it felt completely normal to me, and so did practicing out on the field Wednesday and Thursday. I thought I'd be scared to death in front of 5000 people, but I felt quite prepared. And that in itself was magic. But then people clapped when I was finished! I'm sure at least half the people were asleep, but hearing the applause at the end was magical!

President Obama "Race to the Top" Contest
First let me say thanks to everyone who helped in this - Jessica, Christina, Benson, Frances, Tim, Olvidio, Alyssa, Ian, Mrs. Phillips, Mr. Falk, Mr. Brunyer, and everyone else. So I found this contest the White House was doing for the President to speak at a high school commencement ceremony. (Obviously we didn't win, because they got stuck with me!) This was a fun process for me. Getting called out of class for a meeting with the group and Mrs. Phillips, rushing the final copy from Mr. Houghton's room to the library to Mr. Brunyer's office - almost very West Wing-ish. But I was thrilled by it. And one of the best parts was the Sunday before it was due, and most of the group was at my houe writing the application. And we had notecards of ideas taped to the walls, surrounding us. And an alarm ringing every 15 minutes to keep us on track. And in the end, Jessica, Christina, and I stayed working up toward the 11th hour - quite literally. Anyways, magical process working on that application!

Every 15 Minutes Funeral
Well okay, this was sad too, but it was magical as well. Walking in was hard - especially when I had to walk by my IB classmates. I saw Mr. Suradeth as I came in the entry way - he sort of looked at me and gave a nod and a caring expression. I sort of nodded back and looked at the ground. And yes, I cried during the "funeral." But like I said in my original Every 15 Minutes post, the ending was amazing. Everyone backstage hugging and crying - most people who I had just met a mere 24 hours before were like family. All of us together, embracing, one last time together as a group. There was a bond there. It's hard to put into words. But those few last minutes together were like magic.

Filming our Bee-6 "Don't Stop Believin' Video"
This is the one that made me start thinking of all of this. The preparation in Ms. Woo's class (complete with pelvic thrusts all around) was great, especially with the tape lines and moving all the desks - how often do you get to do that with a teacher? But the real fun was the morning of the filming. Thank goodness that we had done the band concert the Wednesday beforehand. We filmed on a Friday; the same Friday as the junior/senior assembly. Getting there in the morning, I was super excited. The Friday before, Rita had gone through the basics of lighting the hideout with me at the Jazz Band concert.
Anyways, I suppose the magic of this moment was at the beginning of the day. I was the first one there. I went to the back of the room to the sound box, got out my bag of wires and stuck in my CD with the Glee version of "Don't Stop Believin." And hearing it come out of the speakers and echo around the hideout was, well, almost magical. It was a great moment, just to hear it, and the excitement built up within me. One by one, the group members filtered into the hideout. Rita even came to help out with lighting! Oh my goodness, the lighting was just as magical. I am so thankful that we were able to use the lighting set up for the choir show. The fade out at the end of the video - that's not a computer effect, THE LIGHTS ACTUALLY GO OUT! Shooting stuff practical instead of using the computer - that stuff makes me giddy and bubbly inside! It just seemed so...much more professional than other things I've done. Chase lights during the guitar solo; lights on max at certain music notes; and DOING THE WHOLE THING IN ONE SHOT! Well almost one shot. Technically it was two - the first half, and the second half, with some audience shots in the middle to show something during an instrumental break. Ok, technically three, because I snuck in a second shot in the first half. But it's hard to tell! Anyways, making it look like it was one shot gave it another level of professionalism, and I loved that too! More movie magic happening! Anyways, that morning was magical to me - even though ASB kind of interrupted the ending; that was one of the best hours of my high school life. The music echoing through the room, lights flashing - I felt like I was in the middle of a real show!
As the school year draws closer to its end, it becomes time yet again for English video projects.  The project that everyone most looks forward to - a showcase of writing, understanding, acting, editing, and creativity.  And thus came this year's AP/IB English video project, with the usual scramble for groups, ideas, etc. 

This year, we elected to go in a supergroup.  Instead of the six person group, we ended up with eleven.  Myself, Trevor Graham, Victor Guzman, Priscilla Yun, Kelly Chan, Jessica Wang, Tesia Au, Yongjin Jin, Daniel Lei, Eric Whang, and Kevin Tian.  Before we were going to do two groups - but one group wouldn't have any girls - and that's no fun! (For obvious reasons and otherwise).  But besides that, we had all sat together in a mass 4x3 block of desks for the whole school year.  (Except for the days where we all switched seats and confused Ms. Chu) Anyways, I think it'd be accurate to say that we really bonded over the school year, and had a lot of fun teasing each other and what not for the first 160 days or so of the school year.  All of us were either in Band or does that make us an iBand group? (Note: I wrote this blog before Apple trademarked that...because they will someday!)

Though eleven people gives you plenty of resources, getting everyone to talk together at once can be pretty darn difficult as well.    So there were many ideas thrown around at the beginning - a multi story epic that was interconnected in strange ways.  A Comedy-Musical Murder Mystery.  Or Glee.  Ultimately, the male bloc vote was compromised and we were stuck with Glee.  Which is how I felt at the time - I wasn't all that thrilled about it.  But we went ahead, with myself blindly moving forward, not knowing anything about the original show.  My only experience with Glee was the Jimmy Fallon parody of the show, called 6-Bee, based on his studio name.

Soon AP/IB testing time came - and so did my time on Hulu watching the past episodes of Glee.  And I found a new show to add to my list of must watch TV.  I wouldn't say I'm as far as a Gleek - but very much a casual viewer of the show - maybe more.  Perhaps quite a bit more.  And I began warming up to the idea.  I enjoyed the show, and soon I found that I couldn't wait to make our own version.  So I must thank the four girls, and Kevin for switching his vote, to force us all to do this video.  In the end, it was an enjoyable experience, and perhaps one of the most fun I've had on a video project in my four years at Rowland - definitely the one with the most laughter and strange, awkward, hilarious moments.  I got my chance to "sing" - which is something I've wanted to do for years.  Well, not quite - I've always imagined a singing/dancing flash mob at school.  But random singing within the video works just as well!  And I got my favorites - a Jimmy Fallon version of Livin' on a Prayer, and Don't Stop Believin' - in the video!

Anyways, I'm glad I was able to work with the people in the group - especially the four girls.  Being in band with them meant I knew them and I was friends with them, but I had never really worked on big projects like this with them (well except Tesia, but that was a spanish video in sophomore year - a lot more low key than a 12th grade english video!).  It was nice being able to get out of the IB bubble.  Granted, five in our group were IB kids, but I enjoyed working with different people than in from the rest of my classes in the year.  That's one of the reasons I really enjoyed my english class this year - as an AP/IB combined class, I got to study with and interact with other friends as classmates who were not in IB.  And now with one week of school left, I'm beginning to realize how much I'm going to miss all these people.  But more on that later!

Here's our finished product: