Archive for the Field Trips Category

Picture Perfect

Posted in Awards, Events, Field Trips, Friends, Out of Town, School with tags on June 6, 2010 by Jeremy


It started with math; it ends with math.  It started with something yellow; it ends with someone yellow.

I guess it would be appropriate to commence this project with math, a topic that I can say represents me very well.  I participated in a math competition today, the focus of my mind for the past few days. The excitement that had been brewing culminated in the events of today, only to be transformed into pure disappointment and regret when faced with defeat.  Disappointment for losing and regret for failing to study properly. Still, despite the unwanted results, there was free lemonade.  It wasn’t very tasty.

Parallelogram, 365,000 Words, May 27, 2009

The only difference would be the fact that I’m now ending this project and that I didn’t have lemonade this time.

I’m definitely proud of the fact that I was able to see the consummation of this project. In the beginning, I was almost certain there would be a day that I forget to take a picture, and there were a few close calls.

I feel like this project couldn’t have come at a better time.  It was the year of many changes in my life in the ways I deal with people to the ways I think.  They haven’t all been good, but that’s not a reason to forget them.  With these pictures, I’ve been able to “document” these transitions in my life.

Now, I’m really thinking of pursuing this further.  Let’s see how far I’ll get.

Click here.


Objection, Your Honor

Posted in College, Field Trips, Out of State, Out of Town, School with tags , , , , , on April 18, 2010 by Jeremy


Sorry, I don’t speak Legalese.

A school field trip to Columbia University to be jurors in this mock trial competition.  The teams were objecting so much that I was wondering whether it were normal to object so much.  At some points, I got lost in the language the attorneys were using, but they all seemed to understand each other.

The people who portrayed the witnesses were interesting as well.  Some played their roles very well, which makes me wonder whether they really act like their roles.

Aside from the trial, we also got to see the campus.  The Columbia atmosphere (which might not be that different from other schools’) made me want to go to an Ivy League school.  Alas, despite my admittance, I won’t be saying hi to Cornell anytime soon.  Financial problems due to my immigration status are  not going to make it possible.

The Last High School Affairs

Posted in Belleville, College, Field Trips, Friends, Out of Town, School with tags , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2010 by Jeremy


I asked my dad for the car today, so that after school, I can take the senior class council to the place where we’re holding our Senior Prom.  It’s about fifteen to thirty minutes away.  The girls got pretty excited about the place when we got there, even though one of them is not attending because her parents won’t let her.  I was pretty awestruck myself, but the feeling was fleeting.

It wasn’t until later that I got really excited when we began to discuss the food with the manager.   There’s going to be a huge buffet with a variety of food.  Screw dancing; I’ll be binging on food that night.

The ride home was a bit bumpy, literally.   There were some moments when we could’ve been in an accident because I was a bit absentminded while driving because my mind was on another issue—college.  Replies from Cornell and Princeton, among other colleges, were to arrive today, and I was becoming anxious.  I didn’t know what to expect.  Some assured me that I would be admitted into both universities, brightening up my expectations, but, at the same time, I considered the reality that there are many out there who are probably more qualified to be admitted into both universities.  Who was I to take those spots away from them?

When I got home, I tried to stall as much as possible, fearing the worst—that I’d be rejected by all the colleges.  After being pushed a few times by my friends to go online and find out the results, I finally went upstairs to my room and my computer.  I then found out that Princeton rejected me, after all the positive predictions by my friends.   I sat there, staring at the screen for a few seconds, trying to hide the disappointment from Joe, who was standing next to me.   I then checked the response from Cornell.  “Congratulations…” it said, but the devastation from the Princeton rejection still lingered.

For the next two hours, I brooded a bit about Princeton, but with some contemplation, I realized that it doesn’t matter as much anymore.  I’ve decided a few months ago that Cornell was my first choice, and I am fortunate to have been admitted there.  Sure, it’s a blow to my pride that the mighty Princeton practically squashed this little ambitious insect, but hey, whatever.  What’s done is done.  It’s not the end of the world, right?

Two Continents in One Building

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


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!

Screw Up

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


[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


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.

Wait, What?

Posted in Extracurriculars, Field Trips, Out of Town, School, Work/Volunteer with tags , , , on February 22, 2010 by Jeremy


It was a club meeting.  All the members gathered around the advisers and the officers, awaiting for news of upcoming events.

“For our field trip, we’re going to visit the food bank and offer our time for the betterment of our community!” one of the advisers said.

“Food bank?  What the heck are we going to do?  Mouth-feed some hobo?” a member snarked.

“You’re so offensive.  That would be like a soup kitchen.  I think a food bank gathers and organizes food contributions and then distributes them to soup kitchens, who can then use these donations to feed the hungry, which don’t necessarily have to be hobos,” one of the girls replied matter-of-factly.

“So what do we do?”

“Well, since it’s a food bank, we’re probably going to be handling food.  Probably not cooked though.  Another club who went here a while back said that they handled raw pasta and put them into bags or something.”

“That sounds mildly exciting.”


“Welcome to the F–.  Wait.  I thought you said you had 17 people in your club,” the female director said to our advisers after witnessing the four present members of our club.

“Well, some of them backed out last minute,” an adviser replied.

“Hm.  You’re a small group,” she concluded, leading us to the back of the lobby, through the door, into a warehouse.  A few doors down, and we turned, finding ourselves in a room, completely devoid of food.

“Here we are,” the director said.  “You’re going to be handling the mail.  We have newsletters that need to be sent out, and we need you to open them up, insert these envelopes, and finally seal the edges with two of these stickers.”

With that, the group of six from the Belleville chapter of FBLA was left to handle tons of paper in a food bank.