Lion’s Head, Snake’s Tail

There is an old 成语, or chinese idiom that my parents always say to me: 虎头蛇尾, or translated literally, lion’s head, snake’s tail. It honestly is a back-of-the-hand insult, meaning that you start too many things but never tend to finish them.

Honestly, it describes me quite well. I always have this huge amount of enthusiasm when I begin a project, and for a couple of days, seem to live off the adrenaline rush that accompanies it. I start reading up, getting signed up for everything, and just so heavily involved in every little aspect of it.

Yet, wherever I go, I leave behind a trail of projects that have fallen by the wayside, forgotten or covered up in utter shame. There is so much that I do that just ends up in nothingness.

When I translated this idiom in google translate, it actually gave me the term “anticlimax”, which I suppose makes quite a bit of sense. You tend to build and build and build, but suddenly you hit a brick wall and *poof*, all of your work has gone away.

My attitude tends to make me a person who is a “jack of all trades, master of none”, as I have pointed out several times earlier. I like to dabble, to get involved in the amateur stuff, but my weakness is in persisting through with an idea; to see it to its end. I might blame my short attention span; I might attribute it to low willpower. But whatever it is, it is one of my major flaws.

In fact, procrastination really tends to stem from this. If there is something that I am supremely interested in, I couldn’t afford to procrastinate! It is that I just slowly lose interest and the project falls, dead to my mind.

There are ties to education as well; why I love reading popular science articles yet find it difficult to really sit down and learn. I want to be stimulated, but I’m afraid of putting in the energy.

Like all habits, this is something that I need to slowly work on, day after day. It might just mean doing something that I don’t like very much, just to get into the habit of working. Maybe it means forcing myself to love and to learn even when it feels like that dark cloud of gloom is upon me again. Whatever it is, it is something that I need to change.

Score Shaming

Today is the last day for early AP score access, as well as the first day that the west coast, where I live, will be able to see those scores. Also, the IB scores were also released today, for my fellow International Baccalaureates.  Judging by the messages and reactions I’ve been getting from friends all week, I think that this post is quite obligatory for all you high school students out there.

Ever since Friday, I’ve been seeing posts about students using proxies to get access to their scores just a little bit earlier, or trying to find some way to see those numbers. People have been messaging me in a frenzy, trying to figure out why their browser was crashing or why they couldn’t find the proper identification codes. And you know what all of this means?

It means that we are placing way too much of our dreams and hopes upon the college board.

The Advanced Placement program, that which seems to dominate our lives.

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Anti Anti-Nuclear

Fear of the unknown is quite a large motivator in our lives. If the fear is derived from an unknown cause, then that cause will likely be abandoned, shut down, and just shunned by all who tout the negative effects even if there is much research to have been done.

It is like our childhood fixation on the horrors of the dark.

Are YOU afraid of the dark today?

As a kid, one does not simply wake up in the night to stare into the blankness of the ceiling above, or just go for a walk as the bright globe of life and light heads into the twilight zone. The dark seemed to be a thing to be feared, and rightfully so! for our imaginations have already revealed to us the monsters, the dangers, and the utmost terror that not only lies within the dark, but *is* a fundamental part of the dark.

A child would not be able to comprehend the peacefulness that is only obtainable through the cover of the night, nor the silent pleasures that arise from quiet meditation. A child would only see the harsh darkness as something that should be fought at all costs, even sacrificing money and time to see it gone. A child, or at least most children, could not lead fully happy lives knowing that darkness, and the scary monsters and sprites that it brought, would be back to haunt them at night.

Ladies and gentlemen, today we are all children, cowering in fear of something just as misunderstood and just as feared for no true reason.

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Rant on Education

Inspired by a late night chat about the failures of education … as I was doing a time-filler exercise from one of my teachers. Oh how we love irony.

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I’m not exactly sure where I’m going to go in this post, but I do know that in order to do a full OPVL on anything that I write, you should probably know a little more background about me, my educational experiences, and what has influenced me to be where I am.

As covered in a couple of older posts, I’m pretty engrossed in education these days. It hasn’t always been that way though. Even though I have always been in a family that has heavily focused on the pursuit of education, the schools that I attended didn’t constantly reflect that view point.

Through my elementary and middle school years, I attended the Farragut group of schools, located in a suburb of Knoxville. Within the Appalachia cultural region of America, one of the less prosperous areas of the US, there isn’t really that large of a regard for education. Even though I was exceptionally blessed to be attend one of the wealthier schools, as well as having certain opportunities to challenge myself, there wasn’t the same culture of education that was at Farragut than there may be here, in Bellevue. Primarily, not all the students had their long term goal to go into academia, or needed that level of education.

Cultural shock was a big part of moving to Bellevue, if not in the edge-city feel, then in the radical change in the attitude of the people around me. The air of discovery, masked beneath a faux display of contempt was enough to drive me through 8th grade and into high school, to where I stand today. I would like to believe this fabulous little lie, that because of my origins, I am able to appreciate this education better than others, even though that’s fallen through so many times, evident in my own actions. Still withstanding, however, is my passion to learn.

And from there, why don’t we start on my rant?

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