Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

Ok, disclaimers here before I start. This is a rant. I will probably exaggerate in the heat of my stream of consciousness. I do not intend to offend or portray anyone or any institution in a bad light, I am just letting off steam.  I will not cuss in here, because I have the decorum not to, but believe me, I’d love to. So when you read it, feel free to insert or substitute a choice word every now and then to get the true fervor of the passage.

Alright. So I’m not happy with things. Sure, that’s good. It means we have to work toward making things better. Like this summer. A whole lot of stuff to do. Driver’s license. I’ve been putting that off. And I really need to do that. But the big 3 electronics – ipod, phone, computer. I probably could have done that at one time at the apple store. But I’m a pc. Screw imacs. So I have myself an ipod, and still need to get a phone and computer. Because my stupid old phone isn’t working – won’t receive or make calls. Not that people call me. But if I’m planning something or going out with people, or away from home, it’s a nuisance. Especially since I don’t drive. See how all problems are interconnected? Welcome to reality. Computer. I need one too. So I’m not on this old dustbucket of a laptop, and my mom can use the desktop instead of fighting over it for time with me. Like now. Why am I ranting on an internet blog? Well, I’ve talked with my parents, and while they have some words of support, I don’t want to start yelling at them and trying to make them feel sorry for me or anything. One I’d feel guilty. Two, it wouldn’t work. So I’m on here, typing away. Because I can’t call anyone and talk about it because of my stupid phone, and this darn laptop doesn’t have enough power to run the webcam so I can’t talk to people in person, and my mom’s been busy doing important stuff with the desktop, so I can’t use it. No meeting up with them because I can’t drive. Besides, I don’t think you’d want to hear me rant on for half an hour anyways. Or more. And I don’t want to type this much wall text on AIM or twitter or facebook. So I’m here. I guess it’s better than jumping. Got to watch out for that next year. Seriously. So finding ways of relieving my feelings rather than holding them in like I usually do is a good thing. Sorry you’re sitting through it. 

I shouted in the shower and pounded on the tile wall. I tripped over my pants and cussed really loudly. I’m not a happy camper right now. I’m not sure about anything anymore. I was cool, I thought I had my classes scheduled out for Cornell next year. Gov intro, Science and Technology studies intro, web design, freshman writing seminar, Spanish. And PE. For a total of 16 credits out of a 15 credit average. Then comes the kicker. Should I add a math course? It’s pretty intensive, so I think I want to take it a different semester than physics, because that’s really intensive. But then what to drop? Web design probably, the only fun class out of the bunch. But then I want that for PHP for Rincon, so I have an idea what the heck I’m doing when I’m doing PHP codes. See, I was going to do a calc class spring, so I could do physics fall/spring next year. But THEN I find I got a 7 on IB physics. So theoretically I could skip fall physics and start in spring semester (2nd half of the course). But that pushes the calc back, and I forget even more of the BC stuff, like this past year. So maybe I’ll wait until next year. But wait there’s more. Chinese and Spanish. I could take 1 semester of Spanish and be done with language requirements. Thanks AP 5. Or 2 or 3 semesters of Chinese. I’m taking Spanish as of now. But I want to take Chinese. But most courses are 3-4 credits. Spanish is 4. CHINESE IS 6. Now am I really going to take that next year with physics meeting 6 FRIGGEN TIMES A WEEK?  I either start this fall or next fall with Chinese. But then that brings me to 18 credits. 19 with PE. I don’t want that heavy a load. In fact, screw that. Maybe not. But for the last 4 years I’ve had 7 classes each year. Yes, my own choice. But now doing that so I can start 19 credits a semester for 4 years? With a 15 credit average? I mean, it’s like the finish line always gets moved further and further away. It never ends. I saw my friends leaving after 5th period. Or coming at 2nd. Or leaving after 6th. Why can’t I be like them? Why is this going to happen again? Sure it’s nice, but at some point it gets to you. I wish I had more time senior year to stop and smell the roses. And I regret missing some opportunities with people that I didn’t do. Here’s  what I’m seeing. I want 2 years of Chinese. So 6 credit Chinese, a 4 credit gov, a 4 credit STS (because I want to double major), gives me 14 credits. So I get one class a semester – and I’m sure both majors will require semesters of 2 classes in that field -  maybe not even one class a semester to do something fun. FUN. Isn’t that what college is? Time to go and explore new things? What about that psych class? Music theory? Oceanography? Java? Logic? Astronomy? Dinosaurs? And those are just intro classes. I want to take more classes. I want to learn more. And it seems that I won’t have time. Because the way things are now, I’m gonna spend my middle two years of college DOING NOTHING BUT GOVERNMENT, STS, AND CHINESE. Plus, I need to fit in those distribution requirements. I have no idea when I will find time to do that. Maybe I’ll spend a summer/winter there for classes – no more visiting home and friends. Maybe I’ll have a working phone or webcam by then. Yes, I can and will talk with my advisors. But enrollment is now. I don’t want to get put in the last open Chinese class because that’s what’s left and everyone hates that professor. I spent so much time trying to nail down my schedule, and now it’s all unraveling. All that time finding the right profs, the right timings, cutting out – sacrificing - classes I wanted so it would fit my schedule. I have no idea what I’m doing now. 

Going into high school, I had a good idea of what colleges wanted. And it didn’t really matter for graduating, because anything I took would take me on a graduation path. Not so anymore. It’s my responsibility now. I need to figure out how to fit in all the graduation requirements. And on top of that, I have no idea what grad schools look for. Or various professions. What skills they want. I HAVE NO IDEA. I AM LOST IN THE OCEAN. And cornell is a big ocean. 14,000 undergrads. Maybe I should have gone to Swarthmore,where it’s closer to 1400. At least you don’t need to pay for every tiny little thing there like the ability to use the gym, play pool, practice music, or get them to open your room when you lose your key. That’s what I get for going to an eastern elite establishment school. Draining out my wallet. 

Of course, you’ll say don’t worry. It’ll work out. You’re fine. You’ll do great. Don’t worry about the future. It all glosses over. I do worry about the future. That’s part of my insecurity. Worrying. I worry too much. Which is why I haven’t gotten my license. I can’t even reach out to get that false sense of security or comfort from people because I can’t call/webcam/visit them. And AIM is  NOT the best way to comfort a person. So you know what – I am going to worry right now. I think I need something better than a “You’re Richmond” right now. So if that’s all you’ve got, thanks, but no thanks.

So much on my plate right now. College classes. I need to get a phone/computer/license. Heck, I don’t even know what phones these days can do, I’ve got a 5 year old one. Computers, I’m a bit better, but stupid Windows got rid of movie maker, so I’ve got to invest in a program that does way too much for what I need, or find a copy to download of the old movie maker – which brings its own risks. I’ve got to put out social fires caused by facebook. Maybe it’s better to leave altogether. Which I’ve been on the verge of doing several times. So if you’re reading this, don’t make me do that. I’d rather not, but sometimes it’s easier to shut the door on a fire than waste water putting it out. And I have to find a clarinet audition piece. Or pieces. For the Cornell Wind Ensembles. I have no idea what I’m doing there either. I never had any lessons or formal training. I’ve never tried out for a group. I’m completely lost there – and I’m not even sure where to go for help! I’m just a high school player who can play somewhat decently and would like to continue.   

Yeah, here’s where you say “if there’s so much to do, why not get off you butt fuming at a computer and do something about it?” I don’t have a good answer. This is easier. I’ve been doing something for the past 6 years non stop. I just want to be able to stop and smell the roses. Is that too much to ask? I want to stop before I hit working life. Working hard for 2 years, so I can work hard for 4 years of high school to get into a good school to work 4 more years to work another 40-50 years. Life’s great. Just a year, or a semester where I can lay back and enjoy my place in life. Darn, I just want to do that – is that too much to ask? I’m sitting here fuming, so I don’t go out and cuss the next person I talk to, ok is that a good enough answer for you? I’d rather get my anger out here than take it out on a person. So I can be the happy jolly Richmond everyone sees. 

Yes, a lot of stress. A lot of text too. I’ll get over things eventually and move on. That’s life, isn’t it? Lost in an open sea. Always going toward a finish line that keeps moving. The green light from the Great Gatsby if you will.  If you’ve made it down here, thanks for reading this far, it means something to me, I guess. I’d ask you to call me, but my phone won’t answer. But leave a comment or something if you’d like.
Kevin Hayakawa
7/8/2010 04:10:48 pm

Hey Richmond =)

Congrats on getting a 7 in IB Physics and a 5 in AP Spanish. Kudos for keeping this post PG, you should see some of MY blogs posts. Sorry for giving such a generic answer that you probably don't want, but I'm sure the advisors at Cornell will help you work out your scheduling dilemma. And don't perceive you're worrying as a negative thing; it's good that you're concerned about your future. When my brother went to college, my mom and I practically did all of the registering and scheduling and making sure it fulfilled all his graduation requirements (don't tell him I said that).

Maybe you're just not seeing the benefits and rewards of all the hard work you've done for the past 6 years. YOU are the SALUTATORIAN of the Rowland High School Class of 2010. YOU were the Woodwind Captain of the Regiment. YOU are the only student from Rowland High School who will attend Cornell in the fall.

I'm sorry again if this wasn't the comment you were looking for, but I really hope you feel better and I just wanted to let you know that you're more appreciated than how much you're implying in this post.

jesssicaaaaa kuo
7/8/2010 04:55:34 pm

hey you.
yep. life does suck. most of the time we wonder why the heck we try so hard. nd it IS easier just to give up. alot of our classmates seek the easy way out, and they DO seem like they have a great time doing this or doing that. but i guess all i can say is... do we really want to be them? i know that's arrogant and elitist, but we want to be the best. we might feel like we're missing out on life... but i know we'd feel useless and horrible if we didnt try our best.

for example, this summer is the first time im not doing ANYTHING. no summer school, no SAT, no work. nd yeah it should be freaking great, right? this is what we've worked for. yet at the same time, i was terrified. why isnt there anything to do? i was jealous of anna cuz she had work to do -.- but my point is.. yes it's great to take the time nd smell the roses, but i think you should get that rant out, take that time to relax, and get ur butt back to working hard =] haha work nd stress sucks.. but it's what we live for. no one would get anywhere without dealing this. remember what we said our success quote is? ambition is a balance between personal fulfillment nd something something about being satisfied with life =] i think in college u'll find that balance. sure we'll work hard, not sleep, nd go ALL crazy from the stress.. but that just means u have to find ur happy relaxing place. whenever u feel overwhelmed, u should DEFINITELY write. maybe that's ur happy place. or maybe hanging out with friends. i know we're gonna hate life sometimes, but there's definitely an upside to everything.

i think i get ur frustrations. at first i was confused.. why is richmond ranting about technology? not having a phone or laptop... that's something we can get around. but i think ur frustration came from a feeling of isolation.. plus a feeling of fear of the future =] yep college is scary.. we have no idea what we're getting into.. nd it just doesnt seem like we can accomplish everything in just four years... but for me, that's just how i felt four yrs ago going into high school =] nd i think high school was a great experience.. i mean.. we didnt do EVERYTHING we hoped.. we didnt get the PERFECT transcript or all that other stuff. but basically no regrets, right? i dont think us freaking out will help.. cuz high school was not what i expected.. for one thing.. i thought i'd be in IB.. HAHA funny how that turned out, hm? so.. yes we can freak out cuz college is soo far away nd soo intimidating.. yet... things will happen as theyre meant to. =]

nd my usc schedule didnt work out the way i thought it would.. like honestly, i felt like screaming at something.. cuz u know.. we always have some crazy expectations of our classes.. but things wont always work out HAHA i only got two of the four classes i wanted.. im not taking the classes that i should be taking as a freshman -.- but im okay with my schedule now. i know everything will work out anyway =]

so richmond.. life sucks. but that's just what makes us struggle to be the best, right? nd u're ever feeling stressed.. just AIM me. comfort can come through AIM text =] u just gotta do it the right way HAHA

Alexander Chan
7/9/2010 08:07:54 am

Wow, I think this was very well written.

Like people have said before, you have achieved much more than most have achieved. Just keep running and never slow down. For all you know, what you're running with is who you are, and everything that makes you of your mien. Don't let yourself stop, for all, keep your inertia. Its the power behind all of us.

Alexander Chan

7/9/2010 01:31:12 pm

Hey Richmond,

Sorry to hear your frustration.

First, no technology advice because I'm a Mac ;-)

Second, college is only scary because it is still an unknown. You have mastered high school, but you realize that that does not automatically guarantee you success in college. (BTW, though, it is a VERY good indicator).

About the overachiever thing, I'm sorry to tell you, but this is simply who you are. It is a personality type. Maybe it's genetic. You basically have very high standards for yourself, and you will, in all likelihood strive to meet those high standards for the rest of your life. I bet when you did a group project, you did most of the work. It will be that way in your college and professional career. Deal with it. You will see colleagues "done for the day" at 4 o'clock while you are taking work home or pencilling out a new idea at midnight. It is just who you are. Jessica said it pretty well; You could kick back, but you wouldn't be happy because you know you could be more productive.

They say there are 3 kinds of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, "What happened?" For better or worse, there are two of those categories you will never be in.

I understand this well. I am in the middle of my summer vacation (teacher joke: Q: "What are the 3 best things about teaching?" A: "June, July, and August.") and I am currently creating (and correcting) assignments for my IB students to work on during the summer. I'm making lists of things I want to try out when school starts again. Why do I do it? Why do I work for free? Because it feels like the right thing to do. I couldn't sleep at night if I thought I was doing less than the bast I can. I do this not for altruistic reasons but because it is because the way the synapses in my brain and what ever chemicals make them talk to one another tell be this is what I must do. Do I (sometimes) feel resentful of teachers who end their professional day at 3 o'clock and their professional year on June 10th? (Like your friends who went home after 5th period.) Sure, but only occasionally and only briefly. I realize that it is my choice (to some degree) to be driven and that if I sat on the couch all summer I would not feel good for doing so. So in a sense, working hard and trying to cram more activities into a day than can actually be achieved is what satisfies me.

So, is this unrelenting drive to be successful a blessing or a curse? It is both, but I think it is far more positive than negative. It is very likely to help you to achieve success, and a great deal of satisfaction can come with that.

Advice? (beware of free advice, you get what you pay for)

There will never (for your personality) be enough time to do everything you would like to (or feel you need to) do. Therefore, try to find things that serve two purposes. If there are two ways to meet a goal, try to pick the one that brings the most enjoyment. For example, I enjoy learning about technology (goal 1), but I feel compelled to spend a (sometimes) inordinate amount of time preparing for my classes (goal 2). Now they pay me to do a good job with goal 2, so that would always win out when I try to schedule my limited time. So, what to do? Well, a long time ago, I figured out that if I found interesting ways to apply technology (goal 1) to improving instruction for my students (goal 2) I could have my cake and eat it too. So when I am trying to refine my teaching, I try to combine it with other things I enjoy. It is not a coincidence that your vector crime lab (which took quite a few hours to design and develop) involved taking a nice drive in a convertible through beautiful scenery. Now I'm not quite sure how this applies to your situation, but if you get what I am saying it is something to consider.

If helping Rincon with their website brings you satisfaction, then you probably should figure out a way to take the php class, even if something else (perhaps equally important) has to wait a semester. I'll let you continue the list.


Mr. H


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