"To make one's self as pure of heart as one is capable of becoming, to put fear and cynicism and craftiness behind one, and to abandon one's self to the reflection that if the simple truth will not do, then nothing will."
- The Prince, Dostoyevsky's The Idiot
And here we are, 228 days since the great academic adventure that is the Ivy League Connection Yalie journey began. Eight hours before I rudely awaken myself (by choice, mind you) and head to El Cerrito High School to board a shuttle to an airport to take me to another airport and take the Yalies and our wonderful chaperone, Ms. Tracey Singh-Poole, to one final airport where we'll begin a college tour before starting an intensive 16 day Grand Strategies course at Yale as Global Scholars. Just typing that sentence felt draining. We are going to exert all the effort and tenacity and work ethic and determination and perserverance in the world, because we plan to prove that the West Contra Costa Unified School District BELONGS at institutions like Yale. And to think I once thought one sentence ago that writing this post felt difficult.
You could say we're under a lot of pressure. You would be half right. Am I nervous, eight hours before our nineteen day excursion? Of course I am, but there's also this inner peace and calm that I have inside. And trust me, it wasn't because that's who I normally am. You see, this summer, I went through numerous life-changing experiences that shaped the person I want to be going into this trip. And the miracle of the narrative of this summer is that the lessons I learned prepared me for Yale as well as the required readings did.
"Often there is a gap between principles and actual events that cannot always be bridged by a succession of logical deductions. Then a measure of self-confidence is needed, and a degree of skepticism is also salutary."
- Clausewitz, On War
|Loni Hancock's Chief of Staff office|
"The result is that there is no place in public life for an honest and moderate man."
- George F. Kennan
Ignore the fact that I attempted dressy
on top and casual on bottom
"...experience counts more than any amount of abstract truths."
- Clausewitz, On War
After getting back, it was time to rest up...not for Yale, of course, but for my third annual Relay for Life, a 24-hour cancer walk. As co-captain of my team, we raised $1800 for the American Cancer Society. Walking through the dead of night was tiring and difficult, but it was an incredible experience, which is why I do it year after year. Seeing people like cancer survivors and caregivers walk the track reminds me of the struggles that cancer patients go through year after year. As I walked, I realized how lucky I was to have a great team dedicated to helping each other relay for each other's lives. Great leaders have great advisors.
Heading into Yale, I've learned how to see people differently. I've learned the ideals of being a good leader and have seen the corruption that I will have to face later in life. I've read thousands of required reading pages and learned how to defend my positions. I've learned how to relate to people as a person and as a leader, and how to get things done. I hope to bring back a great wealth of knowledge and give back to the wonderful community I'm proud to be a part of, and I sincerely thank you for following me on my journey.
"He had a historian's consciousness of the past, which gave him a visionary's perspective on the future."
- John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life
We're off in nine hours. Will you join us?