Monthly Archives: August 2005

I’m here in the Lincoln Library after a busy day yesterday.  Got up early yesterday morning and drove to Dartmouth for an interview and to do all the admissions stuff.  I thought it was a pretty nice place, nice town (not as small as Princeton’s for instance) and nice campus.  The facilities seem pretty sweet and their computing feature, Blitz, seems pretty awesome.  But of course, e-mail/long-distance phone calls are not the only reasons to decide on a school.  The interview was all right, not GOOD like every other one has been… partly because the questions she asked were weird, partly because she did some of the talking (that she told me a lengthy story of her own is rather unprofessional..) and she had allergies and kept using tissues throughout the interview while I was trying to answer her questions… that kinda sucked… but whatever… nothing I could’ve done about it.

Came back afterwards and stopped by in Andover for a total of 15 minutes in which time I got a haircut at the Andover Barbers.  Wow, J.I., my barber that time, was wicked fast.  I’ll remember him.  Then went to Costco briefly before getting home and going out for a run, 4.5 miles which was nice because I felt good instead of dead, but sadly I didn’t get much faster…. then again, I ran the course the other way which is the harder way…*shrug*

I wrote up my Cornell Academic Interest Essays (basically, required stuff) and I’m here in the library trying to do some more of that sort of thing… unfortunately, some of them are annoyingly complicated questions — UPenn has the audacity/idiocy to ask me, name a UPenn professor you’d like to study with and do research with mate! as if I know any of their people yet! — and other such botha-some things.  Johns Hopkins has an annoying question that asks: If you could have a day trip, spending around $10 leaving from your home, where would you go, what would you do, and who would you go with?  That is annoying.  You can even “use a different medium if you like” like make a video of it.  Too bad I live in Lincoln where there’s NOTHING that’s not mundane… grrr… I’ll try to write the other Hopkins one, about “which course has shaped your interests and future goals most?”   I think I’ll talk abou the AP bio course and the cat dissection since I’m leaning medicine now… *shrug*.  And then I “could” do SAT practice… *sigh*

Ok enough college stuff.  I have some movies at home which I plan to watch, in addition to TV stuff when nighttime rolls around.  I have to run as well… around 6-ish I guess.  Hopefully that’ll be good.  I did devos as well this morning which were good, but I keep falling back into certain spiritual ruts and pitfalls that always manage to un-good some of it… blah… I’ve chosen a rather appropriate song portion below.

Oh yes, all these little buttons and feature for editing the main update box is rather amazing!  Font colors? size? paragraphing? that’s CRAZY, way to go xanga, you lighten my day (sarcasm)

All right, back to “my future has been most shaped by….”


Sometimes I feel disappointed
With the way I spend my
How can I further YOUR kingdom
When I’m so wrapped up in mine?
– Mercy  Me


===EDIT 10:20pm===

Ok, the day is done and I’ve gotten something done in addition! 
After lunch I went to the Lincoln Library and then wrote out the short
answer and personal essay for the Common App.  I was at the
library for……. 2.5 hours straight methinks.  It was pretty
hardcore, just… sitting there, writing, editing, and -for the last
1.5 hours- slicing down the personal essay since it’s too long. 
Heck, it’s STILL too long…

Afterwards, came back and made rice.  After parents got back for dinner ate 2 mangoes which were good, then watched Prison Break which was
pretty good
I thought.  We’ll see how that goes; I’ll probably just dump following the show once school starts.

Going to see Dartmouth tomorrow: the very last school visit.  I
have an interview around 2pm, but what stinks is that my hair is
getting wicked long…. but hopefully that won’t matter *shrug*.

Someone’s shown interest, so, as I often do, I’m going to post my most
recent piece.  It happens to be my college essay.  If anyone
finds this in poor taste, please let me know.  Don’t mean to….
botha anyone.  And sorry if it’s boring… reused material
kinda…. yeah…. reused metaphors some (the one with pistons in

The air is pulsing
as I stumble up the hill.  The course is
confusing; it doubles back on itself four times betwixt sports fields and
forests.  It even goes over the same hill
twice – this same hill that I’m struggling up again.  I’m panting and sweating heavily.  I start to grumble.  I tell myself to save it.  I see my two targets ahead, and wonder how
I’m going to survive.  My throat is
searing.  My form is wavering.  All this is happening in the very first Cross
Country race of my junior year, and I have no idea what I’m doing.

I’m a
sprinter.  Short distances, big muscles
(I wish), and starting blocks.  I love
the speed, rushing wind, and thrill of winning. 
Being a thin, 5’3” Chinese male offers little advantage, except the
element of surprise.  So why am I in a 5K
race?  I joined Cross Country sophomore
fall and spent the season preparing for Track and racing for fun.  I raced for myself.

But this year, I’d
been elevated.  In a freak occurrence
this small Asian sprinter was now Varsity. 
I was the 14th of the top 14, a scoring runner.  Just my luck. 
This time the race mattered, not only for me, but for my team.

The chill of the
day is stiffening my bones but still I sweat. 
The two Choate runners are within sight but I can’t muster the energy to
close the 20 meter gap.  It’s just too
far.  They’ll simply re-pass me and I’ll
be finished.  So I hold on as we enter
the final mile, praying that God will give me the strength I don’t have.

I never asked to
be on Varsity Cross Country.  The fuzzy
“A” each winter and spring were enough; it was all the glory I wanted.  Here was more, more than I’d asked for, more
than I’d wanted, more than I could handle. 
Suddenly, I was important but didn’t want to be; asked to do something
I’d never done.  It was horrifying.  The sky seemed to tremor with Zeus’ thunder,
the wind whispering in tongues all around me. 
Spirits in the woods and gods in the clouds were betting against me,
hoping for an easy win at the races.  I
don’t blame them.  With so little
experience how could I do it?

I’m the only Andover
runner in striking distance of these two. 
I’m somewhere in the top 10 of this race and I know my score is really
going to matter.  I try to steel
myself.  I try to hold tight, breathe
right and hang onto them; a battered Odysseus clutching onto jagged sea cliffs
in the storm.  I’m praying for enough
power to do what I need to do.

And at that point,
I’ve got it.  With 800 meters left,
divine providence has arrived.  I tell my
whimpering heart to shut up.  I dare the
daring of the deities to go all in on this dark horse.  I dare myself to do what was asked – and
more.  They’re still 20 meters ahead, but
I’ve got to do it: I’ve got to go.  I
somehow have enough left for a warp speed burst, and I fire up the

With 600 meters
left, I’m running in open sprinting form, legs pounding over the unyielding
lawn and arms pumping through the unkind air. 
As I finally pass them, I hear an expletive of dismay.  I feel them sigh in desperation as this
small, out-of-nowhere sprinter is dashing by, burning grass and burning his
lungs as he exceeds the speed of sound and consciousness.

My vision is
growing static.  I almost miss it, but
I’m passing a third Choate runner, with barely 200 meters remaining.  I’m too tired to celebrate.  As the oxygen in my blood grows thinner I
realize that I’m almost there.  The white
line is nearing as my legs fire like factory pistons, turning over
automatically without my knowledge as I my head lolls back and forth.

And then I’m
across.  The line is behind me.  I can barely see.  My legs are splitting and my head is
swimming.  I feel like I’m dying.  I feel like I’m dead.  And as I fall to my knees exhausted, I hear
something.  Up above the sky splits open
and I see some grumpy god tossing coins to another, the metallic clink ringing
through the September dusk.  And I smile,
as best as my weary self can. “Thank God”. 
I’ve done it and it’s fantastic.

===END EDIT 10:31pm===

The week of XC is over and now I’m in the little…. floating period
before school starts.  That means I have to keep training (running
running running) but still get geared up for school.  That will
entail doing Apps (I’ve said this before haven’t I), seeing where my
textbooks are and getting all my packing stuff ready and clothes and
everything.  But then there’s also other things like… prepping
for SATs…. blah…. but MOST IMPORTANTLY I have to prepare and
continue to spend time working ahead for ACF, writing discussions or
finding appropriate material so that these God-given ideas (I’m really
not smart enough to come up with them for sure) won’t be sunk by lack
of preparation.

last night was pretty good and I managed to do a decent part of my mock
Common App.  We also went out to dinner last night with my uncle, aunt
& cousin.  My older cousin just had a baby, and my uncle was pretty
funny, rocking the baby around saying “you should get used to motion
sickness since your mom and dad fly so often for work!” My uncle’s
kinda silly like that

I have found however that once thrust back into reality, the rules of
reality are applying again, things like disagreements and
temptation and laziness.  I’ve been back for one day and felt
twinges of each… So I have to be careful since I’ve already slipped
up a bunch while at home, not to mention some of my less-than-stellar
self up in Vermont.  I was good several times but not so great
other times, swearing, getting mad… lots of “wonderful” things like

So now I’m off to the library, to hopefully write up a short answer and
maybe start the personal statement (whatever that means)…I’ll
probably end up writing about a Cross Country race and throw in lots of
things about…. struggles, pain, out of placeness (sprinters don’t
belong in 5ks etc…) and such…. maybe it’ll be good *shrug*

I feel kinda off right now.. but this morning was much better…. I’m
doing my best to climb back up there, I really was good this morning…


It’s [my] confession Lord
That [I] am
weak, so VERY weak
But You are
And though [I’ve] nothing Lord
To lay at Your feet
[I’ve] come to Your feet [to] say “help
[me] along”

– David Ruis

Phew… finally, the final hard run of the week is OVER!!!  6 miles around a lake.  It actually wasn’t too bad, but my body wasn’t responding well at all…. I was tight and everything but I did eventually get myself together on the way back.

Tonight will be a sweet dinner with good desserts & and everything.  When we return to real world however… I’ve gotta prepare for school and that entails starting my APPs… *sigh* blah… personal statement? oh boy…

ok better get going.


how great is Your LOVE?
so much higher than the heavens
with faithfulness that reaches the skies
– MercyMe

I’ve got a spare moment up here in Vermont.

Ran a 5K yesterday…. it was bad, lactic quads are awful, and the hills were very unforgiving, even though my lungs are doing all right…

Gotta go outside, we’ve built this garden into the hillside near his house, must say we’re pretty proud of it, just need to add some more soil to finish it off.



I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to [run] in Your ways
O step by step You lead me
And I will follow You all of my
– Rich Mullins

YAY back from College trip!  Cornell is so far…… but we got
there with good time this morning.  WOW: NICE CAMPUS
kinda….. middle of nowhere but nice nonetheless.  From what I
can tell, as far as Ivy schools go, it’s the least obsessively
aggressive within, and their admissions seems more friendly than some
of the others.  So that was good

Driving back after the visit took a long time but we made it safely and
everything.  God’s been w/ us this whole time, didn’t get lost
once really, and even through the TERRIBLE TERRIBLE storms (which
sadly…. really sadly caused the death of one of my middle school
classmates….).  What a rough summer…. middle school, from

I’m packing and prepping for XC camp 2moro.  Gotta meet the team @
10am @ GW to get a ride up to Vermont.  I heard it’s a great
time… but… we’ll see if I survive

Oh, so good to be back… if only for a little longer!


so what’s your story in His glory?
you [oughta] find your place in the history of grace
– Matthew West

wow, what a day.  saw NYU this morning then Columbia in the
afternoon.  City schools are kinda different than what I’m
accustomed to… I’m thinking no-go for NYU, and Columbia… not
sure.  They’re kinda annoyingly strict (literally, there are core
courses EVERYBODY must take… and core work takes up 1/3 of your
undergrad career).  So yes…. then driving up here to Cornell
(well not really…. we didn’t intend to get to Ithaca, just somewhere
“near” it) was awful.  Drivers on the New Jersey highways are
abysmal, they’re slow, and hypersensitive to rain.  I don’t
understand… like, Boston traffic is bad, but 4 lanes of highway, and
our max speed is 40? mate… that delayed us like… 2 hours.

Got up here…. and then the hotel we intended to go to was full… as
were the next 4 we looked at.  Basically, that took us an extra
hour looking for a place to say.  We’re now (finally) staying at
this fancy place (though actually the price ain’t bad) but the MAJOR
downside is that it’s up at Syracuse, which is 50 miles from Ithaca
instead of the intended 20.  So we have to get up earlier than
we’d hoped.  *blah*

Had some random outbursts of anger… well not really random, they were
brought about by bad traffic and the fact that hotels are filled up by
the “class of 2009” (i’m guessing for Cornell’s orientation, funny
that…) but I’ve been noticing that all in all I’ve been getting
better, especially with my Dad.  So that’s been an improvement.

I have determined that when I go up to Vermont for XC camp I am going
to die.  Seriously, I haven’t run at all this week….. and I’m
deplorably behind on training to begin with.  Blah, this trip is
at a terrible time but *sigh* 1) we had no other time and 2) I’m about
to finish it anyways.  Hope Stabes doesn’t kill me or anything.

Ok I should sleep now.


Say Your name, just Your name
And I’m ready to
Even ready to…
-Nicole Nordeman

I’m in a hotel 7 miles from Princeton U.  I’ve been on the road
quite a bit this week (as it is my tour of the northeast) starting from
Hopkins, to Georgetown, to UPenn (today), to Princeton, to NYU and
Columbia (same day), then finally Cornell.  And the day after I
get back, I’m whisked up to Vermont to receive suicidal running
training with the rest of my team.

Well it’s late.  We get up pretty early and such… so it’s time to sleep now!


[He promises…]

I’ll take you back always
Even when your
fight is over now
I’ll take you back
Even when the
pain is coming through
I’ll take you back

– Jeremy Camp