Friday, February 16, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 47]:~ Celebrate

~:[CH7 - Day 47]:~ Celebrate
It was frustrating. To finish the season in a game where you don't get an opportunity to compete is tough. With a total foul count of 35-14, it was an uphill battle to climb against a good team and while we also could have played better on both sides of the ball, to be put in such a disadvantage early, made it tough. I was perplexed at the type of things that were happening besides the fouls and by games end, it was hard to stay level-headed. However, what I've learned from the ups-and-downs of life is that ultimately, there will be many disappointing moments in your life like this, especially on the biggest stages, but ultimately, as disappointed and upset as you may be, you also need to celebrate the fact that you were there. Not everyone is as lucky as you to have arrived at that stage and even more so, not everyone is lucky enough to be as healthy as you are or even alive. Life is precious and simply living within these precious moments must be celebrated. This experience also made me think about our Olympian Nathan Chen. His disappointing short program probably left him with the same feel as we felt tonight; upset and frustrated at how his performance went when it mattered the most. However, while he did not fulfill expectations of making it to the podium, he didn't back down and took a second opportunity at a long program, to set a record with six quads, as instead of putting his head down, he welcomed the opportunity by celebrating his moment on this Olympic stage. As today is a day of celebration for many (Lunar New Year), it's a day for us to reflect and think about how we go about our days. Do we walk around daily with a dark cloud overhead or do we celebrate all the moments that we are given. Being far away, I created this graphic to send to my friend since I could not be there to celebrate, however, rather than being sad, I celebrated this opportunity to design something I could put my heart into so I can send it to at least feel apart of the celebration. The circumstances in life will rarely be perfect, if ever, however, it doesn't mean that they cannot be celebrated. Tonight, our players looked sad after the game, but their accomplishments this season and over their careers need to be celebrated, much like the many moments in our lives where we fell just short or even failed miserably. As there is a moment in our lives that we shouldn't celebrated. Treasure each moment, as each of these moments are precious. Gong hei fat choy!  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 46]:~ Introducing ...

~:[CH7 - Day 46]:~ Introducing ...
I don't quite enjoy being in a room with a bunch of people I don't know. It's not that I don't like them or have anything against them, but it's just that uncomfortable feeling that I like to avoid. However, the past two days and the next two days, will not only be wearing on my throat, but also on me. I was so happy that we won our first two CIF games yesterday and today and luckily, we have two more home games tomorrow and Saturday. While it's fun playing with the mic, that same room of people I don't know is what tugs at my emotions. I guess that's the case for a lot of us. If we think about our current group of friends, how many of them did we start out so awkwardly with? Over time, someone stepped up and built a bridge and slowly, you inched closer together and eventually became good friends. As I think about many of my closest friends, I wouldn't necessarily say it happened over night. As I announce every night, I think about the various challenges I faced over my years and wonder how I got to this point of announcing at a gymnasium full of strangers. In the end, getting past the introduction allows you to open up more and get to know the people around you and hopefully you'll find people you can connect with and move forward with. While I often get stuck at the introduction, I am glad for the handful of people who have walked with me on this uncomfortable journey and who I still talk to today. Life always loves to throw challenges at you and this is one of them for me, however, just like anything else, if you put in the effort, you can overcome it. As I announced the final score and gave a sigh of relief knowing that it was done, I knew I was further along than before and what else can you do but smile. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 45]:~ A Life Full of Love

~:[CH7 - Day 45]:~ A Life Full of Love
I forgot today was Valentine's Day. With my schedule as busy as every, I was running around trying to keep up with everything. It became more of a work day than anything else, as I checked things off my list as I finished task after task. Then I heard the news of the school shooting in Florida. Maybe I should be arguing that we need to take a stand in support of gun control, but rather, I was thinking, what would have caused this person to carry out this shooting. The gun is often what is blamed, but can we look closer at the individual and see what is lacking in their lives and what could have stopped them from carrying out such a vicious attack? In many cases, we will never know the reason, but often times these people are isolated, bullied, or an outcast. The answer could easily be no, but would a life full of more love be something that could have stopped this incident from occurring? These kinds of questions filled my mind on a day of love. I reflected on my own actions and how I must change myself and my reactions so that I may react differently to lend a helping hand, rather than distancing myself from those who may just need a little love in their own lives. Those who received flowers or chocolates or who had a beautiful dinner with their significant other, probably felt the special love shared with them. A smile probably radiated from their face, as they paced as if they were walking along the clouds. These small gestures go a long way and maybe if we can make an effort to not only share these gestures with loved ones, but with those who we see may need our help, maybe we can reduce the number of these cases from happening. On this day, the hearts of many were broken, but could it have taken just a little more love on our part to help prevent something like this from happening. I am not here to stir up a debate, but rather to insist that we each make an effort each day to show love to those around us, family, friends, but also those who may be distant to us, but we see may just need a little bit of love. It may have no chance of working, but what do we lose by making an attempt to love those around us more? No matter what you think we need to do from here to stop things like this from happening again, at the end of the day, we can also take it upon ourselves to take an action that only requires ourselves to carry out and while it may not make a bit of different in the world, it's worth a shot. Today, I forgot it was Valentine's Day, but that does not mean I forgot how important a life full of love is. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 44]:~ Back at it Again

~:[CH7 - Day 44]:~ Back at it Again
We're back here grilling, preparing for NHSMUN. As I told the group, we're not where we need to be. Of course, it's not the time to throw my hands up and give up, rather, it's time to get focused and back to work. It's easy to take on a challenge, but it's difficult to see it through until the end. Even when we face difficulties, we must try and face them straight on so we can figure a way to get around it all. Even when you've done something so many times, as easy as it seems, there is always a new wrinkle that tries and keeps you from reaching your end goal. This group has had it's share of struggles, but slowly, they are finding their way to the light and I am hope that eventually, they will find the breakthrough before the conference arrives. Much like in all things, if you keep at it, even if you don't reach your end goal, you'll find a way to grow and find success. As we rolled into the evening, I saw more and more that we're taking small steps towards this larger goal and I just hope that they don't back down and know that they have to pour all of themselves into this effort in order to have it be a success. Only time will tell where we go from here, but my hope is that they begin to see that they have the ability, they just got to tap into their potential. It's time for the grind as the countdown to NHSMUN begins.

Monday, February 12, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 43]:~ The Real Adventure is Home

~:[CH7 - Day 43]:~ The Real Adventure is Home
I've been out of town over half of the days of 2018. It's exhausting, but there is something around every turn. Most people would say that I am lucky to be out and about, but the real adventure to me is being home. As much as I love to explore new places, being at home gives me a comfort I can get nowhere else and experiences I would not trade for an adventure anywhere else in the world. The comfort and feel of home far surpasses any spectacular view that you can find or experience you can have. I appreciate the fact that I can go to many places, but also am so appreciative when I get to come back home. As I look towards a long stretch of being home coming up in a month from now, I'll soak up all the energy I can and experience the real adventures I can have here surrounded by my family and friends who I appreciate so much! Tomorrow, I get back into my normal daily routine, which I know will be a hassle, but at the end of the day, I'll take it, because being able to come back to a comfortable home, is something I never want to take for granted.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 42]:~ Knowledge is Power

~:[CH7 - Day 42]:~ Knowledge is Power
One of the things which I can be so proud of is that when our team ventures off somewhere, I know that the majority of them will be well-researched and know what they are talking about. As freshmen, when they enter my class, many of them look lost and the amount of work that they must do is quite overwhelming. As seniors, their comfort with the material is evident as they can talk for a long time about a variety of topics. It's no wonder why I am always so proud of them when we go to conferences even before the ceremony starts. I know that conferences are quite subjective, so there is no way to evaluate a conference performance on awards and our style doesn't always fit what chairs are looking for, but our style is also what I am most proud of. Our seniors spoke well, but they also delivered content that was detailed and researched. Conferences are so focused on how to make these experiences "fun" for the delegates, but the reality is that a conference shouldn't need to entertain delegates, rather to help guide them to use the knowledge they gain through these experiences to empower themselves. I avoid the ridiculous committees like Oregon Trail and the like for a reason, because Model UN isn't about "fun," it's about enjoying the process of learning about the world, its problems and how to deal with them and while many of my students will not become politicians or even deal with something in this regard, the experience and knowledge they gain will be immense. From learning how to research and write, to negotiation and work with others, to learn how to deal with people and keep your cool, to experience disappointments and also success, to speak up and orate their thoughts, but most importantly, learning how to do what they do well and to the best of their abilities. I find it the most fulfilling when one of my students gets upset when they final session of committee becomes a joke when they do superlative (joke awards) or introduce a ridiculous crisis topic because ultimately, they want to use the knowledge because ultimately that is where their true enjoyment will come. Ultimately, I have no control over a conference, but at least I know that with my students, we've grown to take this organization called Model UN seriously. They've used it to gain experience, grow their knowledge and ultimately develop themselves from naive little freshmen to confident and knowledgeable seniors. Today, they were recognized with a delegation for all the work that they put in today, but ultimately, the true award was not in the form of any certificate or plaque. We ventured home and ironically at the security check, they did not allow three of our five gavels through. As I thought about it when I finally arrived home, exhausted from this long trip, I guess it was quite symbolic. Regardless of whether they had those gavels or not, whether taken away by security or never given to them at all, I would have been equally proud of them all, as the greatest award they received, will never be taken away.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 41]:~ Training for Parenthood

~:[CH7 - Day 41]:~ Training for Parenthood
I guess my job is training for parenthood. As I took my delegation to the delegate dance, they compared the moment to a parent dropping off their kids at a dance. It felt that way. As I jokingly told them that they needed to keep 12" away from all others and that anyone they dance with must pass through me first, the reality of my job is, I have to be a parent for a week. You take them to eat, you discipline them, you show them things they may never have seen and then you try to deal with their complaining and see them face their struggles. At the same time, you see them excited for something new that they discover, you see them grow and learn and ultimately, you create memories with them. Tomorrow, I will be more than happy going home, only having to worry about myself for once, however, I must admit that this weekly training for parenthood has been quite memorable and something that I hope to use one day. I've learned how to plan, how to watch over them while allowing them to learn and grow, and also have created so many memories over all the years as an advisor. Tomorrow will be the final day of my trip, however, the experiences I had while on this trip will be with me for the rest of my life. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 40]:~ Your Voice

~:[CH7 - Day 40]:~ Your Voice
With the conference in full swing, the committees reminded me of our voice. For MUN, the students prepare by collecting document after document and spending hours writing their papers. They collect ideas and practice their speeches, but in the end, if they do not speak up, all that work is pointless. In a place where majority rules, you can be the smartest and most prepared, but you need to use your voice combined with all of that, to make people listen and sway them to your side. I think that many of us have great ideas and have a lot of great points to make, but we also have to have the confidence in ourselves to use our voice. While some speak too much, there are many more who speak too little and who should be the ones standing behind the microphone. At conferences, I always hope that our students use their voices and that is the one thing I usually say to them, be involved and speak up, not to win awards, but to allow all of the work that they put in, not go to waste. You are more powerful that you ever could have imagined, but that voice is only powerful if you speak loud enough for those around you to hear you. Share your message and find out just how amazing you truly are. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 39]:~ Transparency

~:[CH7 - Day 39]:~ Transparency 
We dragged ourselves through the morning and rolled back out of bed just before noon. We wandered to the Boston Public Market and later on through the North End. In between, we made our long stop for the day at the New England Aquarium. It is always one of my favorite places to visit and while I may have given them too much time, it still was quite enjoyable. I especially loved the jellyfish exhibit, which I think I also highlighted last year. I think it's incredible how they move and just how amazing they appear, yet at the same time, the exhibit is hidden in the corner and not necessarily the highlight of the museum. As I had some time to rest and relax as I watched the start of the Olympics, I kept thinking of those jellyfish. They swim through the water carefree and while I will not ever know what (and if) they are thinking, I can help to think, what if humans were as transparent as these jellyfish. I think one of the most challenging things in life is reading people and trying to figure each of them out. We as humans don't always say what we want to say or don't show our true selves to the world and sometimes that tears us up inside. Whether it's the fear of being judged or an attempt to protect something, it always has seemed to me that transparency would be the best way to go for us all. Sometimes saying everything on our mind, might be too much for others to handle, yet at the same time, it could also settle a lot of misunderstandings that we face. However, as I stared at the jellyfish, I thought, it would be that nice to be that carefree. Personally, opening myself up to others hasn't always been the easiest thing in world, however, as I analyze my past, I think about how my inability to be transparent has hindered myself from progressing as far as I probably should have. Regardless, as I take baby steps towards my goals of being more open and to be clear where I stand, I see that we all have to make strides if we all want a world where we can float around carefree. The world is already a challenging enough place, my hope is that we can all find ourselves and not be afraid to be who we are. Instead of being an onion, with layer after layer surrounding ourselves, maybe, just maybe we can all try to be jellyfish. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

~:[CH7 - Day 38]:~ Creating a Masterpiece

~:[CH7 - Day 38]:~ Creating a Masterpiece
I've heard it said that good things come to those who wait. However, while patience is important, you also cannot simply sit back and do nothing. As we ventured to New York for a day trip, we hid from the rain by stopping off at MOMA to see the various styles of art, as our adventure was our own part of creating the masterpiece of our lives. The greatest artists, politicians, and inventors of our time, didn't simply wait for things to happen, they often forced the issue and took it upon themselves to create a masterpiece that they imagined in their mind. While we never may make the masterpiece we imagine, we each have the opportunity to paint on the canvas of our lives. Think clearly about what you want on your canvas, as while you may feel you want to quickly fill the empty spaces of your canvas, you have your whole life ahead of you in order to fill it, as once you put something on it, it will be there forever. While you may be able to cover it up, below the pain, it will forever be. Regardless, in the end,  you'll have a chance to take a step back from this crazy process to see exactly what you created and you have to ask yourself, are you happy with what you created? Is it close to what you imagined? Whether you want to star in the headlines of a newspaper, to give a helping hand behind the scenes, or to simply have the goal of happiness, at the end of the day, it is your masterpiece and you should be proud of it. I hope we all get up and take steps forward to begin our own process as within each of us, we have our own masterpiece to share.