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Summer Summary: Challenging, but…

My blog stopped updating at my birthday. Where have I been for the entire summer?

I have been working nonstop this summer. I might have been the busiest summer of my entire life. But I enjoyed it.

I accomplished things that I can’t even believe I accomplished.

During my trip to Yellowstone, Arches and Grand Teton National Parks, I walked a couple hours a day under the 100 degrees sun; but I made it, made it to the Delicate Arch, made it to the Devil’s Garden, made it to some of the best overlooks of the world. It was hard, (since we accidentally walked into a hard trail) and there was once that I almost thought I’m never getting out of that trail.

Me holding on to the rocks while getting over an almost vertical cliffMe holding on to the rocks while getting over an almost vertical cliff

And that was not my only challenge this summer. There was so much more.

I went to Washington Cathay Future Center for internship/volunteering jobs. It might not be considered a real "job" for me, but I have definitely learned stuff from this wonderful opportunities. I met awesome people, adorable kids, practiced my leadership skills… Everything… Everything… I’ve been doing easy work: social media translation, teaching assistant, event filming… To some people, I might be working way too hard. Yet my goal was simple – I was doing it, so I wanted to show them my good work ethic; they were paying me, so I want to show them that it was worth hiring me.

twinsThe twins at WCFC who had been bullying me for this entire summer

Johns Hopkins Center for the Talented Youth (CTY) was another big chunk of my summer. I haven’t been to a lot of summer camps, but CTY was so well-organized that I can promise it was worth the bucks. I was not expecting "math logic" to be like that. As a computer science fan, I think formal logic is probably more important than those boring school-curriculum-programming classes. It helped me start thinking about things in a different way.

My classmates at CTYMy classmates at CTY – Ellen, Skye and Raj

Marching band. At first I struggled when deciding to join marching band or not, because I knew that marching band would take up a lot of my time. And it turned out that my concern was reasonable – because marching band rehearsal is usually half to full day, I had to take off classes for band. Sometimes I had to piss off my directors by missing half a day of band rehearsal and not knowing what to do after coming back. Standing in the sun for hours gave me sunburns; however, it also strengthened me both physically and mentally.

Among all these amazing opportunities, I learned how to be a nice co-worker, a friendly roommate, a strong marcher, and in general, how to organize my summer. I really appreciate everyone I met throughout the summer – campers, volunteers, interns and staff members at WCFC; hallmates, classmates, my RA Marcus, TA Luba, and my instructor John at CTY; staff and friends at marching band; co-hackers at BigParser Hackathon; and all those who made my summer one of the worst, and one of the best.

HackathonCo-hackers at BigParser Hackathon

It might seem like I wrote this for no reason and it looks extremely boring. This is just for my own record so that I know my amazing summer, as well as surviving it, was real.