Saturday, November 29, 2008



Today, I went to a wedding in Snohomish County. It was held in really nice golf course, with a bunch of lakes & beautiful views. It was over an hour drive, and I had to wake up at the usual time I wake up for school, 5:15 AM. Well, my mom got me a Peppermint Mocha Twist Latte on the way. I told her that my friend Marianne told me to try it, since it was like the BEST drink in starbucks. Haha, she was right. Indeed it was! :)

Well anyways, when my mom and I arrived in the golf course's main building, I saw the bride and groom holding hands, greeting their guests. It was just such a beautiful thing to see! 2 people in love, just in a few hours becoming an official married couple.

To tell you the truth, I've always loved weddings. It's not because of the pretty decorations, the good food, or the socializing that happens with new people. It's just that when the bride walks up the isle with a huge smile on her face, I see love in the groom's eyes. He smiles at her, and his eyes are just "twinkling." Haha. And after the groom & bride say, "I do," I feel so happy to take part in one of their most unforgettable experiences that they will always treasure.

Weddings give me a lot of thought. I think about how I will be that bride someday, and how in at least 10 years I will be holding my dad's hand as I walk up the isle, looking at the groom. Time passes by so fast!

The funny thing is, the bride's name was Esther too! haha, except her last name was Choi. But she's korean like me. xD hahaha.

I love weddings. I just wanted people to know that. Sorry if this blog isn't set up very well, or if it sounds horrible. This blog is just like a journal for me to vent out my thoughts of the day. (:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grandpa I'll see you in heaven someday.

It's 1:02 AM and I can't seem to fall asleep. After reading one of Abby's previous blogs about her Uncle who passed away a few years ago, it made me want to talk about my grandfather. From reading Abby's thoughts and memories with her uncle, it literally made me cry. I had tears streaming down my face, and that moment was so emotional. [Forgive me if this blog post will be extremely long, and unorganized, because I'm just venting out my thoughts.]

I'm writing this blog for my grandfather to see in Heaven. Grandpa, I'm writing a blog about you to let the whole world know what kind of person you were, because this is the least I can do to give back all the love and support you gave to our family.

Everyone loves their grandparents. Everyone has something to brag about them. I don't know how to prove in words how my grandpa was/is the best grandpa in the world. I just don't know how to let my voice be heard in this world, to let everyone know how sincere, honest, and loving my grandpa was. I probably only feel this way because he's my own grandpa. It could appear differently from an outsider's point of view.... but I want to get this straight. My grandpa made a huge difference in my life. He taught me how to smile in tough times, and taught me how to keep my head up and know that he loved me from the start and would never give up on me.

He did the simple things that every grandparent does. Bake cookies, make chicken noodle soup when you're sick, read you stories, take you to the carnivals and take pictures with you, spoil you and buy you whatever you want, and etc. I do appreciate all those small things my grandpa did for me. But my grandpa provided something that no one could ever provide the same way. I can't explain in words, it's indescribable. All that remains are tears dripping on my fingers, unable to type out the emotions that are stirring in my mind right now.

Well, in our neighborhood, in our church, or the korean community, my grandpa was known as the "smiling" man. Everyone loved him and respected him as an elder in the church, and he was always positive in every situation. He had a kind, sincere heart to any stranger. He never had enemies, or people he disliked. It was my grandpa that taught me to love everyone [even your enemies] instead of disliking them. Also, my grandpa was extremely passive. He could never say no to anyone, and was always one of the first to volunteer or help someone out. He was one of the most honest, sincere, and helpful people I knew in this world. From looking at my grandpa, he has made me want to make a difference in other's lives, like the way he has impacted me.

I remember him always waking me up for school, frying eggs and toasting bread. The very first thing I would see was his bright smile, and a distant voice saying, "Princess, princess wake up!" It seems kind of corny because of the term "princess" but that just shows how much he loved me. And he would always call my brother, "Mr. President" or "The next Bill Gates." Haha, with his broken english and addiction to golf hats, he appeared awkward to my friends. At times, I was even embarassed of him because he would stand outside infront of the car, waiting for me to come out of school, and greeting me cheerfully in korean. [very loud.] If only I knew how to thank him for always giving me that unconditional love. I regret so many things. So many things I took advantage of.

It was August 13th, the day my grandfather went fishing with his friends. That day just happened to be Friday the 13th, shocking... I know. Well, that was the day that he passed away from a heart attack. He left the house at dawn, and went to go fishing at Ocean Shores with a couple of new friends he made. The day before, my grandpa was physically worn out from rearranging the house, moving mattresses, and helping the neighbors move their furniture. Even though he was an old man, his spirit was still bold and young. I guess he was just tired, and weak. With his weak body but stubborn spirit, it just wasn't enough to fight against the sudden, huge ocean wave that shocked him, causing his heart to stop circulating. From what witnesses have said, his body was lying face down in the ocean, with the waves splashing him. He wasn't lying in the ocean for a long time after the heart attack, it wasn't too long before his friends found out he had just collapsed in the ocean waters. That description gave me a horrifying picture of my grandpa dying, which made me so sad and angry. The life saver tried CPR on him but by the time he was at the ER.... my grandpa was dead. God decided it was him time to go.

I will never forget the day, and the exact moment my parents rushed into the house. My mom got a phone call from a lady [wife of one of my grandpa's friends].... receiving news that my grandpa past away. It was very simliar to the scene of when Tom Robinson's wife was told from Atticus that Tom was dead. My mom instantly fell to the ground like the energy and weight just drained out of her. Her knees were locked onto the ground and she started crying all of a sudden. This was the first time I saw my dad cry. My dad's own father just passed away.... and when I stared into my dad's eyes... I could see the tears slowly form. I could see the yearning, loneliness, and fear in my dad's eyes. My grandma just had no strength to deal with what just happened. She almost fainted, and was mentally shocked, causing her to lose her memory slowly. This was a day that I could never forget. To this day, my dad still blames my grandpa's friend for my grandpa's death. My dad loved my grandfather so much, he wanted his own father to live to see the day I got married and have kids. He wanted to see me graduate and get my first job. His death was just too sudden, and early for him. That's why my dad always tells us to be careful with people in general, because if we end up with the wrong crowd, we mess up our own lives- possibly take our own lives away too. His lectures and fears are built from my grandpa's death. But even though this happened, I believe my dad should learn how to accept, and forgive in life. As a son that just lost his own father... it definitely is a hard thing to do but that's the best decision to make for our family. Someday he will.

I never got to say goodbye to my grandpa. I never got the chance to say how much I loved him, and how much he meant to me. I never did any of those things before he died. I regret it so much. I don't think I told my grandpa often that I loved him. That just stabs me in the heart, and makes me feel so stupid. I kick myself a million times for that. These are the moments when I wish I could just turn back time, and see my grandpa one last time... hug him tight, and tell him that I've grown this much. If he were still alive, I would promise him that I would succeed in life, and accomplish great things. That I would follow his footsteps to help others in need with a positive attitude, and make a difference whenever I could and wherever I go.

I can never forget his laugh, his bright smile, his one of a kind personality, and never... his kind heart. He was someone you could trust with all your heart, family or not. I'm so scared that I'll forget all my childhood memories of him, how he looks like, how he used to smell like, and what his favorite necktie was. I still hang one of his neckties and jacket in my closet. I press it into my face and desperately try to breath in his perfume, which is no longer existing.

It's funny how such tragic things can happen in one's life so quickly. One second, a person is walking down the street and the next second the person's dead..... hit from a car. Like how last Sunday I saw a dead body lying on the road, covered with white cloth, with only his/her feet sticking out. It was a sad, and terrifying sight to see.

All in all, the past is the past. I've learned to move on, and be strong. I owe my grandpa so much. I thank him, miss him, and I can't say it enough... but I'm so sorry for all the childish things I did as a young kid.

Grandpa, I will always love you. I will never give up, and keep you always, safely tucked in my heart. I'll make you proud some day, and I'm sorry for all I've done, and thankful for everything you've provided me. I will keep my Christian faith strong and always rely on the Lord, succeed in life, graduate from a decent college, have a family, and always strive for the best regardless of the situations. I promise you I'm working to the best of my abilities to accomplish all these things. Grandpa, you changed me in so many ways. I love you. And This blog is for you.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What's the big deal?

Esther Yang
Period 3: English
8:00 PM

I'm going to make this shorter than my usual blogs, because the point I'm trying to state is really simple. There's really no complicated way to explain it.

Popularity is something everyone's wanted, at some point in their lives. I mean, who doesn't want to be well known? Who doesn't want to be loved by others? But changing who you are to gain popularity is just another stupid mistake that you can't undo in your life.

I have something to say about this. How are you going to survive in the real world, if you make bad decisions in life without thinking about the results? I mean, what is the value of popularity? Sure, you're well known. Everyone knows who you are. Everyone loves you. You receive praise from your peers. But what good will that give you 10 years from now? Will the good lucks that made you popular help you when you're filling out a college application? Will popularity have any effect on helping you reach your goals? Is this so called "popularity" going to help you give a hand to others, and make a difference in their school year, or lives? My opinion is: NO.

People will only like you from what they believe or see is the real you. If you cover yourself caked with make-up, faking your laughs, and trying to be someone else you're not.... no one's going to know the real you. They'll just assume the real you is how you present yourself. That disguests me.

You see, popularity is just another one of those useless things that may bring joy in the school years, but 10 years later... it'll bring no help whatsoever when you're trying to get a job, or when you're trying to make a family.

I wish people could see more of that. Sadly, many are not willing to listen or even care.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My love for piano.

Esther Yang
Period 3: English
Words cannot describe how much I love piano. Piano is one of my favorite instruments. Peacefully listening to the sound of the piano keys slowly drilling into my ear is one of my favorite things to do when I'm all alone.

It's so funny though, because when I was 6 years old, I hated the piano. My first piano lesson was when I was 6 years old, and my teacher was a very rude, impatient lady. If I didn't practice, or if I played one key wrong... she'd start yelling at me, throwing the books down on the floor. She had obscenely high expectations, and wanted everything to be perfect. I mean, she tried to be nice and she was at times. It's just that her "strict" or mean side was to the extreme. I only lasted 6 months with her, and I quit. I didn't ever touch the piano for another 3 years.

When I was about 9, my parents got me my first piano. For some reason, I didn't hate the piano that time. I remember I walked up to the piano, and sat down attentively, trying to make a simple melody from my head. It was from that moment on... I really loved the piano. I discovered another one of my passions, and I realized how beautiful the piano was. I didn't ask my parents for private lessons, even though I knew inside their mind they were soon going to get a teacher for me.

Everyday after school, I would come home after violin or some other activity, and play piano. I listened to certain songs on the radio, and I played them by ear on the piano. I remember I even made up my own songs, not even knowing the certain notes to the keys. For a long time, I played the piano by ear, being able to play many songs all by myself, with no books, youtube piano tutorials, or etc. It took a lot of patience, and believe me... at times it was frustrating but I loved to do it. I taught myself how to play piano, and take in all the beauty the piano produced. I played the Original Cannon in E by Pachelbel, many piano sonatas and other classics, christmas songs, and a few Korean OST songs.
Every time I played the piano, inside my heart was filled with joy and excitement. I just can't explain the feeling. I felt warm, happy, and my facial expressions would change depending on the mood of the song. Haha, I remember when I would play sad/fierce/angry songs, my eyes were shut tight, and a slight frown would appear on my face. On the other hand, when I played happy, ecstatic songs, my lips would curve upward and my eyebrows would rise up at times. HAHA, I know... this is WEIRD! But when I played the piano, I really did feel as if I could fly, or spring high up into the air... probably from excitement or adrenaline.

I don't remember exactly... but I think I started taking lessons again in 5th grade or 6th grade. I caught up quickly with everything because I knew how to play, and I had experience with the violin. All I needed to learn were the notes, measurements, and etc. Piano was a joy for me. So far, with my piano experience I've had 3 teachers. [2 no longer my teachers, my 3rd one is my current one.] I've loved all my 3 piano teachers, even the 1st one, hahaha! In fact, sometimes... I wish I could've been more patient with my teacher. This is one thing I regret, looking at my past.
When I felt sad, angry, or even bored at times, I went up to the piano and played. It was just something that always filled me, when I felt empty.

I know I will always play piano my whole life. I will pass this on to my kids, my grandkids, and etc. because I want them to know the benefits of music, and how it can really change your life. I will play piano at my church, at special events, and whenever I can throughout my whole life! One of my life goals is to make a difference in this world, community, my surroundings, or anywhere/to anyone positively. I want to do this with what I have, with my passions. Piano would be one of them, and I don't know how I'm going to get there. But all I know is that, I want to bring music alive to people who have had no experience with it. So they can eventually discover what real music is, and the good things it can bring.

Piano will always be one of my main passions.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Comparing KTA & KMTA

Esther Yang
Period 3: English

I decided to compare the KTA and the KMTA technology academies.

Well, if you haven't known, I was in the KTA since the 7th grade. The KTA stands for Kent Technology academy, which is located in Mill Creek Middle School. And obviously you guys know what KMTA stands. KTA was the first technology academy at mill creek for middle schoolers, and KMTA was made so the technology academy could continue. Anyways, the 2 major differences are the workload and the bond that everyone has with one another.

Last year, my 9th grade friends from the KMTA [now 10th graders] all told me that Tech. was going to be extremely hard, and that the work load was 2 times as much as what we had in 8th grade. That did make me nervous, because in my 2 years of middle school, we had an EXTREME amount of homework. Now I'm talking about projects, projects, and projects! The least amount of homework we had on a daily basis was about 3 projects and assignments to work on. The most work I ever had to do was in 8th grade when I had about 6 projects, a Humanities IRP, assignments from every class, and 2 tests to study for. That definitely was chaos, and I did lose a lot of sleep. It was only normal for me to go to bed late, and have very little sleep everyday.

I prepared myself like crazy over the summer to get ready for the workload, and of course get ready for high school. But after few months into 9th grade, I was so shocked on the shortage of homework I got!! I mean, I thought I'd nearly die with all this work but it was the exact opposite!

And the reason KMTA isn't giving the amount of workload than I thought it would have, is probably because the teachers shortened the homework this year. They cut ideas to new projects, assignments, and etc. because last year the students, especially the new students were failing and stressing out tremendously. This is from what I've heard from my sophomore friends that were in the tech. academy, and from my opinion based on what I see.

When it comes to school work, middle school was more strict, stressful, and harder, but high school definitely has more responsibilities and rules.

I feel really lucky and relieved that high school really isn't that hard for me, because all the new tech. kids have never had this much work before. And they are stressing & freaking out on nearly everything! It's actually pretty funny to see them like that because they would still be stressing out even more if they were in KTA. Because of the hard training I went through in middle school, it definitely is easier for me now! :)

Another difference I realize in the KMTA is that.... I barely know ANYONE in the tech. academy! And I'm not even that close with my teachers, so obviously I don't know that much about them. But of course, they remain as my most favorite teachers, that I enjoy! Anyways, there are so many new kids in the school, and I believe there are only 31 kids from the KTA that are still in this program. In KTA, the tech. academy was really close, and the KTA only allowed 90 students, not 120 students like this year. We were like family, and the teachers were really involved with the students. Especially in 7th grade, everyone knew what was basically going in each other lives, and our teachers were like part of our family. We made so many special memories together, and I'm talking about everyone! No one was hesitant to talk to each other, and we had this mutual care for one another. Together as a whole KTA, we also made websites and got together to help saves lives in Africa from Malaria by donating/selling mosquito nets, and make a difference around the world with our technology. This was a year long on-going project, and it was called Nothing But Nets. We made podcasts, and put pieces of writing, blogs, games, and etc. all made by our own students, put onto our very own website. Our website was called: Unfortunately, the site has been removed because we have not worked on it since 7th grade. Well anyways, in the KMTA, I feel like no one feels the need to bond with one another and all they need to do is get through the school day and finish their homework. I know not everyone is like that, but just the KMTA community seems very dry and empty to me now. I'm not saying we HAVE to bond, but I just don't know anyone. I'm scared that I'll still be calling a girl named Nelly "Hey you" or "You with the blond hair" at the end of the year.

But overall, both tech. academies are GREAT! I love them both, and I know the advantages and benefits I have being in the tech. academy! I'm looking forward to another great year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Be Somebody.

Esther Yang
Period 3: English
7:10 PM

To be at the top, to be the most successful, and to be the best of what you can... you can't just leave everything to your minimum potential.
-You can't afford to call it done, when you can spend hours on it until you know you've tried your absolute best. Who cares if you lose sleep. Do your best anyways.
-You have to pour in all your effort, all your hard work, and focus. Be it the simplest of all things, or the most complex things you've ever dealt with. But one thing that'll always be true is that you have to be SOMEBODY to be the best.

To get accepted into a top college, let's say Stanford or Harvard, you can't lay around the couch all day and finish your homework. You can't hang out with your friends everyday and go catch a movie to kill some time. That won't even lead you to UW. Your application will only be ignored out of all the other thousands of applications from all across the world. Your path leads to a community college, so dream on. Getting straight A's is not enough to cover you for a university. You have to excel and be recognized in many things, with exceptional talent. And you can't excel in these things around your just in school. You have to think in a national scale, comparing the student in New York to you in Washington. Getting top grades and rewards are only the standards.

There is also a clear line between excelling in many things, and joining many things. To excel in many things, it means the person is exceptionally talented in those areas and are most likely passionate about it. Joining numerous clubs and other activities just to write it on your high school transcript is another useless strategy college admissioners know. Sorry folks, but that old trick doesn't make a difference or benefit you on your transcript.

Attack yourself with this question: Why do you want to go to Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, or Princeton. Why do you have to go there when there are thousands of other great colleges? Is it just the name & reputation? Is it the greed you have inside? Or is it really because you know they provide an excellent area of your major/interest? You see, people say that they want to go to an Ivy League college, when they don't know what every college is recognized for. Being accepted into an Ivy League college doesn't prove how far you go in life. It doesn't prove a man's worth. Chasing after an Ivy League college, but not knowing if they provide an excellent education for your major, is just the same as stripping away all your years of hard work and putting it in the dump, going after a blind dream.

Anyways, back on track. To excel in something, such as a sport, or musical ability, it takes practice.practice.practice. & patience. It doesn't take just a few months to excel in track, volleyball, the piano, violin, or whatever. It doesn't just take a couple practices.

An example of patience could be this: To find the "perfect" man/woman and to form a family, it takes time. You can't afford to marry the person that you have dated for only a few months. To spend the rest of your life with them, you have to evaluate and know them carefully in and out.

You see, it takes years, patience, willingness, and passion to be really good at something, and excel in it. It's all based on effort, and how you work your way up.

This is a lot to demand, from one single person, but it's all up to you, whether or not you will be that somebody. The usual slackers will give up now and the believers will either finish strong 'till the end or get tired & lose hope in the middle of this competition. But the head-strong group of people will never be willing to give up under any circumstance, and eventually beat everyone at the end. Which will you be?...

Everyone will try their best. Everyone will have the same greed, and willingness to do better than the person next to you. But are you willing to do even more than that person next to you? Are you willing to sacrifice more for what you want? The competition is on. But even though you're doing great right now... well you still have the same strength to thrive next year, the year after that.....?

There is no easy way out in life. There will always be obstacles, tough trials, and tests you have to experience to see if you're truly willing to go through all that to achieve what you want.

Although your 4 years of high school and college are the busiest times of your life and are very important, they do not prove whether or not you will be somebody in life.
But, it's based on how you apply these beliefs throughout your whole life, be it anywhere and anytime, because that's how life should be lived.

This advice/Info. comes from parents, past middle school teachers, and cram school instructors. Thank you to those who have taught me so much. You have truly made a difference in my life, lifting me up in heavy, hopeless situations.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What to do on a 4 Day Weekend

Esther Yang
Period 3: English
5:12 PM

Well, I almost I forgot I had to blog once a week for Mr. Hartley's class, because we have a 4 day weekend! This blog is going to sound more like a diary, with my thoughts and the things that happened this weekend.

On friday, I was so excited for our 4-day weekend since we didn't have to go to school until wednesday. Look now, it's ALREADY monday! I swear, 2 days seem more like 10 hours to me! I think I'm just getting old...... or, I don't know. Hahaha.

Well, I planned out a lot of things to do on my 4-day weekend. First of all, I had to practice at least 2-3 hours of piano & violin everday to get ready for my competition. It's hard getting used to practicing for hours daily because your body gets all stiff, and your back starts hurting like crazy. But I know practice makes perfect, so I didn't complain. I also planned to finish all my homework by Sunday so I could practice piano & violin even more on monday & tuesday, but things haven't worked out that way! Gosh, I really need to get on top of things. Then on Sunday, I went to Church like I do every week. Church is something that I consider already a part of my life, not another place I have to drag/force myself to go to. I love going to Church, because it helps me grow my faith and have fellowship with other Christians.

Well, other than homework, practicing instruments, and Church... on Sunday after church, Marianne & I went to my friend, Helen's place to get a hair cut! Helen's mom is a salonist, and at her place my friends and I are able to get discounts because I'm close friends with Helen. (: Marianne and I also hung out at the Super Mall, and we both had a cinnamon sugared pretzel. Hahaha. It was blast, because I haven't hung out with my friends like this in a long time.

And now I cannot believe it's already monday. I know I should my time more wisely and finish all my homework by TODAY! I've been so lazy this weekend. Also, today I couldn't sleep in because I had to get up early to practice piano in order to get my hands warmed up before my piano teacher arrived at my house for a 2-hour lesson at 10 AM. I was really tired, and cranky after the lesson.

Then on wednesday.... great it's SCHOOL. =(

Haha. But I can't for wait Winter break! (=

Monday, November 3, 2008

Busy/Fast Life.

Esther Yang
Period 3: English
5:55 PM

I decided to write about how people can keep up with such busy schedules from reading Joanna and Tyler's blogs. Well, high school is a busy time for everyone. Although last year in the Tech. academy, I had a lot more homework then right now, there are a lot of other things to focus on. For instance, I've joined several clubs, sports, and other after school activities.

I've never really had time to hang out with my friends, and it's been that way ever since I was a young kid. I always had violin or piano lesson, a competition to go to, church gathering, or some kind of extracurricular activity I had to attend. I missed out on some fun that a lot of kids got to do at a younge age, when I couldn't. But I don't regret that, because I believe that has been a huge part of bringing me where I am today. I know how to deal with a stressful, hectic environment confidently because I was trained to do this at a young start, and now I realize it makes things easier for me in the long run. People ask me why I have to do "everything" and some of my friends constantly tell me, "Esther, you're insane!" or "Esther, you have too much on your plate."

I know I have a lot of things going on, but I enjoy the things I do, and I want challenge myself so I can expand my limits. I want to be a well rounded student, and at the same time know how to manage my time wisely. I still live my life everyday normally and know how to have fun. It's my schedule and routines that help me get through each day. Just like Joanna said in her blog, she has a routine she follows daily. Like her, I know what's going to happen after school and I know where I'm headed, and what I need to prepare for. It not only makes things less stressful for me, but makes me feel more organized.

I have a lot of things going on but the important thing is, I love what I'm doing so nothing else matters. I am joining a few clubs: debate club which I totally love, Key Club, Young Life, and zero hour Chamber Orchestra. These are all clubs that I have an interest for, because they're related to things I enjoy. A friend of mine and I are also planning to join the Royal Herald since we both love to write, but I don't know if it's an open possibility yet.

I have several other after school activities but it would be a lot to write down here. Some of them would be violin & piano lesson, Church orchestra, Bellevue Youth Symphony, cram school for SAT prep/study sessions, competitions, and the remainder activities. Then I'm expecting to have a few young piano students later on. All of these things fall in categories of mainly church, music, and education. In addition, I'm the vice president of a business website and I'm working on a KM Video Production with a small group of high school students, that'll take us about a few months or a year. It seems really overwhelming to list all the things I take part of everyday, but my life is still enjoyable and healthy because I've learned to be more organized. High school isn't that much harder compared to middle school. I mean, I was basically as busy back then as I am now.

I don't want to stop myself here from what I have. Although I can be lazy at times, I'm excited to learn and be productive in life. As each high school year passes, I want to grow even more and expand my limits. I want to try new things, and stay commited to new discoveries & passions. Although high school is a fast life, it's also a fun experience. It's basically the time of your life, and changes you dramatically so I want to make the best of it.