Archive for the Extracurriculars Category

Bitter Work

Posted in Belleville, Extracurriculars, Friends, Home, Out of Town, School, Work/Volunteer with tags , , , on May 18, 2010 by Jeremy

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This week, we have two talent shows back-to-back—one on Thursday, one on Friday.  The first one is actually a competition between each class, each one having three acts.   The second one is just a show.

Today’s the dress rehearsal for the first show, aptly called “Battle of the Classes.”  Of course, I had to work for Stage Tech.  It’s definitely becoming bitter work.

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Lame, Shame, Fame

Posted in Belleville, Events, Extracurriculars, School, Theater with tags , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Jeremy

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Indeed, it would have been nice if I had gotten a picture that doesn’t resemble that of this past Thursday, but what could I do?  Fame dominated my day.  With two shows, one at 1:00 pm and one at 7:oo pm, and people from Stage Tech required to be there about two hours before they begin, there was no time for anything else.

This concludes the high school theater career for the seniors in the musical.  It was emotional for some.  It kinda sucks that I wasn’t able to partake in the experience as a senior, opting to stay behind-the-scenes this year, but what’s done is done.

I heard mixed responses about the show.  Some revered it; some chose to rename the musical, Shame or Lame. Of course, everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinion, but I just didn’t appreciate the degree that some people denigrated it.  One can express his or her disapproval politely, but some just outwardly bashed it, using a tone that sounded so disgusted that one would think they were talking about some massacre.  “It was terrible!”

My face is terrible.

Ah, that doesn’t work.

Two Continents in One Building

Posted in Extracurriculars, Field Trips, Friends, Out of Town, School with tags , , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Jeremy

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Today, the Sociology students of Belleville High School embarked on the most anticipated field trip of the year—the trip to Old Tappan. We were just so excited to be immersed in a different environment and to form our own judgments of the conditions at Old Tappan that differ from ours.

I didn’t get to take many pictures because I was too busy taking videos.  I wanted to compile them in a sort of documentary about my experience.   With this picture, I tried to highlight how the school accommodates the students with up-to-date technology, something my school sort of fails at doing.

The most “controversial” or “intriguing” aspect of the high school was the cafeteria.  Cafeterias, rather.   You see, there are two lunchrooms at this high school.  Most white students have lunch at the north cafeteria, appropriately dubbed “North America,” while the South Koreans (and other Asians) frequent the south cafeteria, dubbed “South Korea.”  Many see it as segregation, something negative, but I was assured by some of the students that there is no animosity between the people from each cafeteria, which is nice to know.

A couple of my teachers did comment on this notorious fact, questioning why this separation exists in this high school.  I didn’t think it was that bad that students chose to group themselves like so.  However, once my teachers mentioned the word “segregation” rather than mere “separation,” my mind immediately traveled back to the time before the Civil Rights Movement.  Such a comparison certainly evoked negative thoughts in my mind.  Then, I told myself, “Surely, this segregation at this high school isn’t like segregation between the whites and the blacks.”

When I then heard the statement that there are no hard feelings between the white kids and the Asians, I was assured that the situation at Old Tappan isn’t anything bad.  The separation isn’t enforced, and I justified this division with preferences.  These students just prefer to mingle with students who are like them, as anyone would.  The South Koreans, for example, like to be among students who speak their language, as one of the students said to us.  Indeed, as I passed by a couple of tables in “South Korea,” I heard many speaking Korean to each other.  Also, since I did mention that people tend to gravitate towards others who are like them, I’m going to assume that the South Koreans eat together because of their culture.  Although we should not allow stereotypes to dominate our judgment of a person, we can’t deny that, for the most part, people do tend to follow the stereotypes associated with them.  That serves as a link that pulls Asians towards each other.  Of course, all these apply to the North Americans as well.

One can’t say that these students should get out of their comfort zones to meet new people.  I mean, come on.  Lunch is a relaxing time of the day.  You sit down.  You eat.  You tell your friends anything interesting that happened.  With whom would you want to share this time?  Of course, with people that make you feel at ease, people who are like you.

Besides, outside the cafeteria, everyone mingles with each other.  I saw no racial discrimination of any sort.

Thus, I conclude that the South Koreans and the whites divide themselves accordingly during lunch in order to be with people who are like them, not to avoid the other group, which would constitute a sort of discrimination.

In other news, I got to sit in a Japanese class!  We watched the original version of Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back!

Quiero Brillar

Posted in Belleville, Events, Extracurriculars, School, Theater with tags , , , , on April 2, 2010 by Jeremy

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I can’t remember if I mentioned it, but I quit the musical a couple of months ago even after all that fuss I made in a few posts back in November or December.  I was aware of the demanding schedule of the play, and I decided not to dive into that exhausting life. Instead, I offered my assistance with the Stage Technology!  It wasn’t as demanding of my time as the musical itself, but like I mentioned before, there has been some Stage Tech vs. Tennis conflicts.

Anyway, tonight was the opening night of our musical, Fame, and I watched it from afar, in this small elevated room in the back of the auditorium, where all the equipments are.  I was in charge of the lights for the show, which was what I wanted to do for the longest time.  </nerd>

As much as I miss singing and, to a certain extent, acting, I don’t regret stepping off the stage into the background.  It’s not like I would have gotten recognitions and accolades for my performance.  Being in ensemble for three years kind of put me down.   During curtain call, I was usually near the end, fighting with other students with small characters for a spot as near to the leads as possible, dreaming that one day I would be in the middle among them.

Alas, that was not going to happen this year.

It’s the Mic or the Ball

Posted in Belleville, Extracurriculars, School, Tennis, Theater with tags , , , on March 21, 2010 by Jeremy

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Another gloomy day.  No tennis practice today, allowing me to focus on Stage Tech, which has a crucial role in this year’s musical.  Although I don’t have the problem of Tennis vs. Spring Musical this year, I am troubled by the Tennis vs. Stage Tech battle.  It just so happens that the most important parts of both activities occur around the same time.

Anyway, today, I was able to catch up with some of my Stage Tech duties.  I’ve been missing a few rehearsals due to the beginning of tennis, so I needed to catch up with what’s been going on.  Several weeks ago, I was always present in Stage Tech meetings, trying to help out with organization and stuff like that.  Very slow.  Now that it’s hectic and full of jobs and tasks, I’m MIA. It’s difficult.

In tennis, we have matches to decide who’s going to be in Varsity. I’ve been screwing up with that too, just like with many things in my life right now.

I’m not choosing one over the other.  I’ll just have to use a Time-Turner or something.

Screw Up

Posted in Awards, Extracurriculars, Field Trips, Out of Town, School with tags , on March 20, 2010 by Jeremy

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[I’m pretty sure I forgot my camera cord at the hotel for the FBLA trip, so here I am with millions of pictures stuck in my camera.  I don’t know how and when I’ll ever get to upload them.]

The second day of the FBLA State Leadership Conference.  The big thing today was the Awards Ceremony, where we would obviously find out if we won the competitions or not.

I was really excited for everyone.  Like really.  When students from my school were called out loud because they were finalists, I started jumping up and down my seat.  One team got third place, and one got second place.  It felt like I won when their names were called.

The announcement of the finalists for my event was last, and after all the excitement that I felt and the anticipation, I was met with much disappointment when I won fourth place for Word Processing II, a fairly easy event.

Some people tried to console me by saying, “Fourth in the state!  That’s still really good.”  But I looked back at how well I did last year and saw myself from that angle.  “I’m screwing up,” I told myself.

Tell ‘Em, Qui-Qui

Posted in Extracurriculars, Field Trips, Friends, Out of Town, School with tags , on March 12, 2010 by Jeremy

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Last year, before my FBLA trip to California, I told myself that, before I left home for this nice vacation, I had to leave on a good note, i.e. all the issues that may have been bothering me had to be somewhat resolved and all my friends were in good terms with me.

Some people might see a vacation as an escape, but personally, I’d never feel pleased or satisfied if I knew all aspects of my life weren’t as perfect as they should be.   These unresolved issues would most probably bother me during the vacation, and it would just ruin my mood.

Besides, we should all know that, as much fun as we have during vacations, they all end.  And, eventually, you’re going to have to return to reality, and who wants to return to a real world that’s filled with problems? I wanted to be excited during the flight home.

Fortunately, last year, I was able to pull it off.  Before I left, I was able to leave on a pleasant note.  I came home, bummed to have left California but still glad to be home back to my friends.

Today, a few students from FBLA went to Edison, NJ with me for the State Leadership Conference.  We’re staying here overnight, so we’re coming home tomorrow afternoon.  Because of this, I’m considering it a mini-vacation.  Two days off school.  Four-day weekend.  It’s perfect.

Unlike my vacation in California, I left my house this morning with a mind boggled by an unresolved issue, an issue that arose just last night.  Well, it’s not like my life was even close to perfect before this began to concern me, but this was just as unpleasant as the others.

Anxiety plagued my mind for the first half of the trip.  I couldn’t get enthusiastic because I was letting things bother me.  Then, I just decided to let myself have fun.  I tried to detach myself from the real world with the hopes of enjoying my “vacation.”

And it worked.  Soon, I felt much more relieved about everything and focused more on what’s going on now than what’s going to happen later.  And I think that when it comes to vacations, it’s fine to be like that.  Who cares about the future?  Think about now!

I think I’m going to be trying that approach more often now when it comes to vacations.