Sunday, June 24, 2012

Secrets, Thoughts, and Honesty.

I've been staring at this computer screen for a good amount of time, still lost in an array of emotional feelings and sentiments, as well as realizations and character development. I feel like a mute woman right now in the middle of a jumbling urban street hearing everything and absorbing all things around her but not being able to communicate. In my case, so much has happened today that it is hard to explain through writing the journey that I, in particular, had.

First things first, I think after reading my blogs you should at least have some sort of idea as to how passionate I am about the United Nations. Well, I'm sure our chaperon has also gained a glimpse of my enthusiasm for the UN and allowed us to visit the center this evening. I was so excited this morning about this opportunity that I woke up literally with a tremendous smile on my face and I got ready a lot sooner than I've ever been of this trip so far. Thank God we had more sleep last night so I had the ability to be more alert while experiencing today!

Lately I have been so desperate to start a UNICEF club on my campus, it's unbelievable. Pinole Valley High School has a lot of great clubs and extracurricular activities that students can be a part of. Amongst these clubs, only one of them functions to help the community, and that is interact. However, unlike other schools, Pinole Valley High does not have any sort of organization that dedicates itself to the PEOPLE of our community, or the world. To be fair, leadership does arrange different fundraisers once in a while for different causes, but we never have anything with a specific motive that dedicates itself solely to one specific cause. There isn’t a “target” or a main focus, it’s usually just scattered which prevents it from having huge success. Having a club with something it’s specifically dedicated to gets more things done, and contributes a lot more to the cause. As a leader I am determined to start this club, the first club on campus made solely for the interest in fighting global child survival. The club itself will affirm the power of young individuals to make a major difference, and that in itself is very important in our modern day society. Today, the world may see us as just a minor set of individuals in society, but it's up to us to prove to the world that we are more than just kids; we are the world, and we are the future. Some outlets to self expression us teenagers find are organizations such as Junior Statesmen of America that allow us to step outside into a world where teenagers' voices do counts and we aren't considered children, naive, or inferior in regards to philosophy or belief. One sort of change that I can make in my community/school is create another one of these "outlets" where young students despite their age or background can somehow contribute to something larger; thus day by day until I provide this to the students of my school my passion for starting such a club will continue to grow. I think the reason why Pinole Valley High school students aren't as involved in philanthropic activities isn't due to the fact that they are not interested, but they are not given the opportunity due to lack of resources to take advantage of such organizations. Sure leadership may contribute to a wide variety of such organizations, but lets be honest, aside from the more limited group of individuals that contribute in leadership, not many regular students know such things are event going on on campus! Of course they are contributing to a good cause, but I believe the involvement of our school community in helping other individuals is a lot more powerful and creates a more active school body. These are only a few main reasons why I am so passionate about it. The reason why I chose UNICEF in particular is because of the sense of unity it also provides and my passion for United Nation as a whole. The past three years I have been trying endlessly to take every opportunity I may have and volunteer at a center, but each time it has been completely impossible. In Iran, I went with my mind set to volunteer, but it turned out the center was way to far for it to be possible for me to volunteer there. Now we're in New York and again, it's way to far from campus but I also want to make sure I'm focusing mainly on my course to ensure I fully take advantage of what is being provided to me. I worked very hard to be here today, and I'm determined to make the best out of it so study most definitely come first!
On our way to the UN.
So overall, the reasons behind my excitement for such a visit were very clear, and once I arrived I was breath-taken. The first thing I noticed was a group of individuals performing a royal Scottish dance. I just sat there for a good amount of time while my cohort looked around the visitor center and I felt a deeper meaning of the dance as a whole. It wasn't just a group of people dancing, it was a group of different individuals of different backgrounds uniting in respect and despite their differences, holding hands and smiling in a peaceful environment. I'm not quite sure if the spectators thought as deeply of it as I did, but the dance certainly amazed me. Lately I've been seeing a lot of people in the city that don't care at all about one another, and this simple dance symbolized just so much to me.

Secondly, the photos on display were extremely touching. Just viewing each photograph was like entering a portal into a world of differences and feeling the pain others feel that you might not have ever experienced. While looking around I noticed a hidden door on the side of one of the exhibitions and couldn't help but to take a peek and I'm really thankful I did. Beyond the hidden doors was a room dedicated to silence in the outward sense and stillness in the inner sense, opening doors to infinite lands of thought and prayer. However, while authorities and nations today fight over matters causing blood-shed, discriminating against one another based on faith, and disrespecting each others beliefs, people here unite under one roof practicing many different religions together respectfully. When I entered the room, it was dead silent and completely empty. The room was simple and relatively ornamented, but I sat there for about 20 minutes completely fascinated. I later called in all my friends to join me, but I'm sure they all felt like I was crazy for being so excited about an empty room. Regardless though, I still loved what it stood for and I will always continue to admire the purpose of it's creation. There, people scream with their thoughts than speak with their lips.

Totally mesmerized by the such a simple room.

Sending a postcard to my mom and dad from the UN.

A while later we were each called out from the room to speak to Mrs.L privately to communicate our thoughts about our trip so far. The meeting was completely confidential, but I will tell you that everything I mentioned was positive. I'm proud that I'm among a group of such welcoming students because we all practically feel like family.
As soon as we were all done we walked towards the hotel and through a fair. What was different about this particular fair was that the most attention was attracted to a toddler! It was actually one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life because that specific toddler was playing the drums in the most professional manner that perhaps a lot of people 5 times his age could not. He was so talented that we all put down everything we had in our hands and just stood aside for at least two full length songs to witness the genius of this young boy.

When arrived back to the hotel, we had a lot of time to relax and prepare packing for the following day when we move to our dorm rooms. The dinner that followed was the most emotional dinner I've had thus far. It seems to me that each dinner for me has been memorable for one particular characteristic, and this one will probably always stay in my heart for the level of intense learning. I talked to one of the alumni's at Yale who is also a life coach. I started talking about myself and my interests, and later progressed to what we expect of colleges we might like to attend. For me, the answer to this was a school that not only can provide me with endless opportunites, but a school that I can use those opportunites provided to me to utilize my resources and actually give back to the community that develops my character. So for me, a school is a "good fit" if I know I can take advantage of all things and use it for the benefit of the school itself. Later, he asked me questions and we started speaking about how I feel like there's so much to say about myself and theres so much I must say about my character, but in the personal statement I feel like I can't express the level of my passion and personality as much as I'd love to. Throughout the dinner, the conversations just became more and more intense to a point that Aurea and I became so emotional that we actually teared up by the end of the dinner and had to go to the bathroom. Let's just end it at that...

By the end of the night, I was walking under a dark, starry night just trying to absorb everything that had gone throughout the day.

Quick recap of colleges: I've definitely gained more interest in the universites that we have visited and learned a lot from both things I like and dislike as well. I'm definitely interested in Yale and UPENN, but I'd like to speak to more individuals from Vassar and Sarah Lawrence to make my final decisions. The community and student body is very important to me and all four schools consist of very passionate students that take part in a variety of activites. Academic wise, the schools were all challenging in their own unique way and interested me in regards to different aspects that I have previously mentioned in my former blog posts. Overall I can say I will definitely apply to all 4 universities, that's for sure.

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