DECA is an international business club that is tailored to all who wish to have experience in the business field. This is my first year joining DECA and it was an experience of a lifetime. In DECA, I was able to pursue to my passions in different categories during competitions and I was also able to gain more knowledge on different items that I did not have an interest in prior to DECA. Moreover, in DECA I participated in competitions where you enact in a roleplay that suits the category you chose to be in. For example, I chose to be in the Apparel and Accessories Marketing category and participated in competitions for that. I went to the first competition, which was known as Regionals, where I “surpassed” the judges expectations and was qualified to move onto the next round. In the next round, I went to Rochester for 3 days and participated in competitions against everyone in the state, in my category. Sadly, I did not make it to Nationals. It wasn't a total waste, I gained unimaginable experience, and placed top 10 in the entire for both of my role-plays,,, so technically, I almost made it to Nationals, I missed by 1-5 places. Moreover, I earned a medal because of my achievements. Even though I did not make it Nationals, like the other 55 people who did not either, I still made it to States and that is a big deal, as not many freshmen advanced and gained very valuable experience. Throughout my participation of the competition, there were many things that I encountered or listened to that give me flash backs to the competition. For example, I listened to a song called "Bounce Back" by Big Sean. I probably listened to that song on repeat about 300 times during the three days. Moreover, there was this dance known as the "DECA Dance" that took place on the second night. Let me just say, I saw more scarring at that party, than I have ever seen my entire life. No 14 year old should ever experience that; for example, some people were doing drugs, smoking, drinking and other very inappropriate actions that would get them arrested... in some cases. Due to my unique experience, I gained a lot of confidence and knowledge in the sector of Finance and all around, DECA. Due to that, I decided to run for the board position of VP of Finance, where I lost as well. Though I had a few setbacks, I still love DECA and plan to pursue it for my remaining years at Herricks.
"At Winthrop-University Hospital, volunteers are an essential part of the Hospital family, helping them deliver compassionate world-class care to their patients." That is one of the reasons I wanted to volunteer at Winthrop. I have been to Winthrop a few times since I moved to Herricks in kindergarten. I went there in kindergarten because I had appendicitis and a few other times because of my moms health in fourth and ninth grade. My mom is not "unhealthy", she is very fit and strong, she can lift more binders and textbooks than I can! However, when I did go to to Winthrop in fourth grade, after the experience with my mom, I knew I wanted to work in the coveted operating room, especially in Winthrop-University Hospital. Essentially, my desire to volunteer at Winthrop started around 2 am on a dark July night, a week after fourth grade concluded. My mom woke up and started throwing up immediately and had immense pain in her abdomen. Quickly, my dad ran to my mom, carried her to the car and we raced to Winthrop. When we got there, there were already a few others in the Emergency Room who were waiting, however their "emergency" was a broken arm a torn ACL, and some concussions compared to my mom's regurgitation. But still, because the others came before us, we had to wait. Somehow, it took the doctors six hours to come to E.R. and admit my mom, and this was after she had passed out and my dad pleading the front desk to admit her in soon. After six hours, a bed finally opened up and they transferred my mom onto it, my dad and I were with my mom for 24 hours while they transferred from room to room, trying to find an opening. Sadly, my mom was in between conscienceless the entire time and the doctors still had not done a single exam on her. After about a day, they ran some tests on my mom and came to the conclusion that she had gallbladder stones. The next day they took my mom in for surgery and took the stones out. I remember asking why they had to operate on her, rather than just letting them pass similar to kidney stones. One of the nurses enlightened me on the fact that the gallbladder does not have any tubes that lead to the bladder, thus nobody can "pass" a gallbladder stone. After the smooth operation, they decided to keep my mom for a week to allow her to recuperate and allow them to monitor her health. I had my hopes up, that my mom would return home in the same, if not better condition than she had left. To my dismay, about 4 days into her recuperation, my mom got a high fever and started throwing up again, the doctors said this is normal and gave her a different medicine. That started to lessen the frequency of her throwing up, but to the doctors' surprise, my mom stopped eating and drinking and threw up a lot more once again. I was devastated. As a nine year old boy, I woke up everyday hoping that my mom would come home, hoping she didn't throw up, hoping the doctors knew what was happening. It was then did I learn that hoping does nothing. After a few CT scans and some other tests did the doctors figure out that my mom had a 6 mm cyst on her pancreas. This was causing her not to be able to digest food. They immediately took her into surgery and reduced the cyst. A few days after, my mom was fine- good as new! The hospital let her leave a few days after that and I finally saw my mom enter the house, 17 days later. I was ecstatic, everything was great again, the sun was out, it was 72 degrees, life was great again! I was finally content and it was then, did I know I wanted to be a doctor and work at Winthrop. But of course, luck being against me, had to make it all worse again. My mom started throwing up again, all was back to as it was 22 days ago. I was devastated the day I found out my moms cyst inflamed again and that she would have to be admitted back into the hospital. The entire summer felt as if someone took my heart and soul out, smothered it to pieces like an elephant smothering an ant with its foot, putting the pieces back together, giving my heart and soul back to me, and just as I was about to take it, they said "sike", took it away, and threw both items into a volcano. It was a rough summer, but I knew Winthrop had the best doctors on the job. Thankfully, my mom came back home only a week after her third surgery, in which they decreased the size of the cyst and put a stent connecting her pancreas and stomach, and stayed home, until she went back to work after 2 weeks. In early ninth grade, my mom had to go back to the hospital to change the stent that the doctors put, to a smaller, lighter one. When I went with her, I got word of Winthrop's Junior Volunteer Program. I knew it would be a great program to be a part off, so I applied and got accepted! Though I have been accepted into the program, I am yet to receive my badge and volunteer vests from the department. That is alright, at least now I can safely say that I am apart of the Winthrop family and am going to gain more knowledge and experience as to what working in a hospital environment is like and plus, it would help me familiarize with terms and wards for when I become a doctor!
This was one of the most unique experiences I have ever had! I was never expecting that I would be asked to be in a photoshoot of any kind, by anyone. I was asked by my friend, Aayush to star in some of his shots that he wanted to post on his website. Aayush is not an ordinary kid, he is extraordinary! Aayush is one of my close friends and he is really passionate about some of the liberal arts. A few of these passions include, singing, dancing, photography, and acting. He has a professional camera that is worth around a couple thousand US dollars! I kid you not, that camera is worth around $2,000, and he even brings it to and from school often. Anyway, he has a website (in the making) where he is going to post some of his best photographs. He asked me if I wished to be a part of it, and I exclaimed my desire to do so, so loud that deaf person could have heard me. I went to his house on a Saturday, where I met him holding his camera and acting like an old, famous French photographer. From that point, I knew it was going to be fun day. I started off by notifying him that I had never done this before and do not really know what to do. He said, "be yourself" and "do whatever you want." I did what came naturally, I took my cricket bat (which he told me to bring) and I started to take some practice swings and walk around the block, trying to find something to hit. Then I took my book (again, which I was told to bring) and started to read a few pages, because a bookmark for Mr. Stein due the Monday! It was pretty fun, and then Aayush started to have some ideas. We went around town finding adequate places to take some shots, it was pretty hard given that it was windy, so my hair kept blowing. I probably walked about 5 to 7 miles that day... in leather shoes! As we were walking around, we found a few great places to shoot "natural photos" as Aayush likes to call it. What those are, are me acting like a human in its natural states, whether that be meditating or relaxing against a post on a bridge. Once Aayush got some photos that filled his desire, he decided we should go to a setting a little less inhabited. Turns out, by Aayush's house, there is a part of an interstate that is closed off, he decided that that was the best place to take some photos. He was right! It was so fun, sitting on the side posts of the road reading or admiring the field below. I had never felt so at peace in a place that was once full of hustle. I was with Aayush for about 3 hours, and he managed to capture some amazing shots, thanks to that expensive camera! That was very amusing, and defiantly a unique experience that I will never forget.
My dad has owned numerous motorcycles when he was India; from a Honda to a Yamaha, he has most likely owned it. One time, his job made him relocate to Chennai, India and he stayed there for a year or two. When he was there, instead of buying a car, my dad bought a motorcycle! His love for the two wheeled roller coasters was about the same as a mother orangutan's love for her child. Sadly, when he moved to America his love for motorcycles died out, as he kept a majority of his money in India and came to America wth 10 USD and started from the ground up. He lived without a motorcycle for 15 years, until my mom bought him a motorcycle for his birthday. She bought him a Kawasaki Ninja, and my dad loved it! He has been riding it every chance he got, since the day he received it. I am always on the back of the motorcycle, I love the thrill of speeding up, the gear shift and the turns! One day in the summer, my dad was driving his motorcycle and when he came back, I asked him if he could teach me how to drive one before school starts. To my disbelief, he said “sure.” I was ecstatic. I have wanted to drive a motorcycle ever since I got on the back of my dad’s. I was a quick learner, and learned the basics and a few tricks within 15 days. Now, I drive in my yard and down the street all by myself. The feeling is similar to being in a car on the highway and sticking your head out the window! I am defiantly going to own a motorcycle when I get older! It was not simple and easy to learn how to ride; there are many processes that one must keep in mind when driving a motorcycle. Some of these processes include, learning how to transition between gears while riding, shifting to and from neutral, and knowing which type of brake to use at what time. Sure, it may seems I am making this up, however I had to learn these things before driving otherwise I would have broken the internal mechanisms of the bike. One time, I was riding the bike in my yard, and forgot which brake to use as I was slowing down, and I forgot how to shift back to neutral; I slipped on the bike and slide sideways on it for about a foot... thankfully I was not on concrete! Moreover, I plan on getting a permit around the age of 24 and a license soon after, so I can freely ride on the road instead of making raisin like turns in my yard.
In the past, I have helped others with math and science, however that was because I was part of the Herricks Middle School's Peer Tutoring Program. That was a program that allowed guidance counselors to match younger students in the Middle School who need help with certain subjects, with eighth graders who are in the National Junior Honor Society. I tutored a now seventh grader last year, and it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. When I graduated, I could not tutor him on behalf of the school and he did not want help anymore. From that moment on, I knew that I will tutor others as I did previously. Thankfully, I have a lot of friends who look up to me as a bright student and revere me for my teaching abilities. One day, a friend named Raheem approached me and asked if I would tutor him in Algebra; I immediately said yes. It has been 7 months since I started tutoring him, and he has come a long way, I am glad that I have been able to help him. Moreover, I have been asked by 2 other of my friends to tutor them as well, and they are doing great too! It gives me great joy that I have been able to help them with their difficulties and boost their confidence level in Math, Science, and French. Though they were my friends, I treated them as students and put a lot of work teaching them the basics then elevating them to theorems and tricks to remember formulas and ways to visualize certain processes. It was not always easy, sometimes they would seem defeated, moral lower than the depths of the ocean. My response to this was to teach them different ways to see how they learned and I tutored them everyday and did not move to another concept until they were confident that they knew what they were doing. All the hard work on both our parts paid off, I helped one person go from a C+ to an A. I loved helping others so much so, that I even created my own website to advertise my services in order to help more people.
Boom, Boom, Clap! Boom, Boom, Clap! The time has come. Battle! The one week long war between the four grades. Everyone gathers together to help each other out and gain points to beat the other grades. The points are earned by the grades competing in competitions as well as having the best hallway or cafeteria window. What I mean by this is, each grade is assigned a cafeteria window to decorate that correlates with their theme. For example, our theme was Harry Potter so we decided to paint the window with items such as Platform 7 3/4, The Marauder's Map, as well as the Sorting Hat. It turned out amazing, there was such cohesiveness and each item, though they were separate seemed as if they were happening at the same time. The window decorations took about a week and then there were the hallway decorations. The hallway was done in a few nights by the entire grade. The students in the grade met after school and made items such as the Weasley Brothers' candy shop and the entrance to Hogwarts, all out of cardboard. It was very detailed work, even though we spent 4 hours everyday for four days. The student government body requested for people to volunteer to be characters from the series, I did not need to volunteer, the entire grade told me to be Hagrid and out of peer pressure, I agreed. After about 3 hours of searching the depths of my house for items that I can put together to help me look like Hagrid, let me tell you... I defiantly exceeded everyones expectations. I was probably the best character anyone has ever seen (if you want a glimpse of what I looked like, check the header photo). Now for the actual events themselves. People signed up for battle events weeks before the competitions. I enrolled in Balloon Relay, Tug of War, and Hungry Hippos. The battle is after school and lasts until 8pm. There was so much energy in the room, that the energy output from the gym alone surpassed the energy output of a star. The ninth grade did very well and it was obvious that our points would have led us to be in second place, however since the battle is rigged, we came in last place. Guess who came in first, then second, then third? That's right, the seniors, then juniors, then sophomores. We all knew that it was a rigged event but it was a lot fun, and the fact that we did so well for our first time really boosted our moral and our perception of what team work really is, which got us the gold in our hearts.
This was an intimidating situation. I was not sure what was going on- nobody did. It was all out of the blue. I had no emotion when it happened. It felt as if it was a drill, even though Mr. Frisone stated many time that it was not. I along with all of my friends at lunch went down the unexplored, cafeteria basement. The trek to the basement was a pretty cool experience. I was able to witness how the pizzas, sandwiches, and fries were prepared. All the teachers and cafeteria workers guided us to the basement and made sure that we packed into the rooms so tight like spandex on a 350 pound woman. To my incredulity, it was very hot down there; I thought it would be at a cooler temperature because hot air rises and the basement stores all the food and produce, so they would need to keep the area cool. It was like a sauna down there, we were all sweating after 24 minutes. It was evident that this was not a drill, when the monitors ensured that no body spoke a word, by threatening to take anyone who spoke to Dr. Ruck. To my dismay, I was not scared, my heart rate was a steady 84 beats per minutes; I thought I was insane, not being scared or stressed in a life or death situation. For 30 minutes, I was contemplating all the possible psychological issues that I could have had and why the sympathetic division of my autonomic peripheral nervous system was not releasing the hormone, norepinephrine (I was studying the nervous system at the time). I legitimately thought I had psychological issues and would need to go to a therapist. I decided to veer away from those thoughts and study for my nervous system test that was the period after lunch. We spent 2 hours down in the basement until a police officer knocked on the door and opened it with a master key. Everyone was relieved and some were crying, I acted as if it was another day at the office (this did not help me veer away from the thoughts that I was not psychologically sound). When we were out of the basement, the cops made all of us wait in the cafeteria until the other classes were cleared and the entire school was looked over once more. Even though it was ninth period, the last period in the day, Mr. Frisone told us to report to eighth period for 10 minutes and they shortened ninth period to supplement for the time differences in relation to periods left and how much time was left until school was over. When I went to my science period (8th period), Mrs. Clark moved the test and was trying to calm a few of the kids who were in shock. I asked her if there was anything wrong with me because I did not react as if I was going to die, like a majority of the other students. She told me that this "un stressed reaction" to a stressful situation is genetic. I was so relieved when she said that, it was like the weight of an elephant jumped off my shoulders. Thanks Mom and Dad, for passing that favorable gene down to me!