Blog: Sophomore Year

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My name is Marcus Mau. I’m a sophomore at HBA. I’m an “average” HBA kid.

Asian and skinny is about the average HBA kid profile, for a boy at least. Not all HBA boys are skinny and Asian but the school is about 90% Asian and 80% skinny, or at least that’s the way it seems.

Here’s just an idea of what I look like. I think most people can grab my arm with their hand and their thumb will touch their index finger. So yeah, I’m pretty tiny. When my mom is shopping for clothes (online—I hate going to stores) she complains that I’m too skinny so finding clothes for me is hard. Fortunately, I like my shorts and T-shirts. Long pants are uncomfortable and I don’t dress up too much. You’re welcome mom.

I wear glasses a lot too so I have a bit of a tan line from that. I have a pretty bad sock tan too and I’m really self-conscious about it. Thanks Cross Country. As much as I try to wear slippers, it just seems like I can’t get rid of it, like it’s a part of my being. There was a point when I would only wear shoes because my feet looked like mini suns, but then I thought to myself that it wouldn’t get better if I did that. So I sucked it up and now wear slippers everywhere but school, to the dismay of the poor souls around me who catch a glimpse of my “ghost feet”.

This blog is going to just be about an average HBA kid. Average isn’t bad though. I mean who else is going to write about what a kid like me thinks? Or maybe someone just wants to waste a few minutes reading a blog a kid like me wrote for class.

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Algebra 1 looked easy compared to Geometry, and now Geometry looks like a breeze compared to Algebra 2 honors.

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This year I’m taking Algebra 2 Honors. Frankly, the main reason why I signed up for it was because my mom and sister said that if I could, I should. I got B’s in Geometry last year so the thought of getting an A for this class is out of the question. Algebra 1 looked easy compared to Geometry, and now Geometry looks like a breeze compared to Algebra 2 honors.

My teacher is really nice (Mrs. Djajamuliadi) and I got a pretty good seat near the front so I can see really well. But I can tell I’m the weakest one in the room: Other people are jamming away and I’m sitting there still trying to get my calculator out, that sort of thing. Trying to look productive and actually being productive are very different things. Like I said, around 90% of the school is Asian so they’re already destined to be good at Math (at least according to the stereotype.) In reality, I would say over half of these students actually apply their brains. I am not in that group.

I’m not sure I get the real world application of Math in general though, which is nice to think about when I rage at the eBook. (I’m not saying Math is useless; just that I don’t really like it, so teachers please don’t flunk me.) I mean, it’s great to know what a function is or how to sing the quadratic formula song but when will we use it? Unless, of course, you want a job in a Math field. Then you really need to pay attention in class instead of seeing who can get the furthest in piano tiles.

Membean

Something tedious and mind-numbing like Math (again, I’m not saying Math is useless), but actually holds real world value is Membean. I really don’t like Membean but I admit that it’s very practical in learning words you can use in writing and speech to sound smarter than the people around you. Writing and speaking is pretty important in life. There’s submitting college apps, job interviews, and other stuff like that. Even the NHS application had a written portion.

But I suck at writing too

Writing seems more practical than Math, even though I’m not too good at it either. English, my mother always told me, was “my strong suit”. Funny thing about repetition: Once you hear something enough, you start to believe it. By the time I was a sixth grader, my little brain had been hearing it for six years since kindergarten. Surely I was the great writer my mother said I was right? Wrong. I’d only gotten consistent B’s with the occasional A- on my pieces. One day in sixth grade, I realized, whoa, my mom is totally wrong. So now when my mom tells me how good I am at English, I say: “Is that why I got a B in English for 9 years straight?”

But English is something I really want to be good at. I think if you can write well and make things interesting to read, you’re cool. When I read my sister’s writing, I think it’s really interesting to see what she has to say, even if it’s on something I don’t even know. I think my strange affinity for English is in part because my sister is so good at writing. It sucks to have to proofread a boring essay, especially if you wrote it yourself. That’s basically me whenever I read over my essays. I cringe a lot at my writing.

I think understanding something makes doing it fun. Then, when you really like something, it makes it fun, even if it’s a subject in school. I really like History so I try super hard to understand it, which makes thinking about it “fun” because I know what I’m talking about. For Math, that’s not the case. I guess it’s my fault for not liking Math. I didn’t pay attention in elementary school or middle school so when I got bad grades on tests and quizzes I gave up trying to get better. But now, because my grades really count, I actually care about Math.

Next week I’ll probably talk about some other random thoughts my brain spews out, maybe about how Cross Country is going or something like that. Don’t worry, it’s much more exciting than it sounds. If you like reading about a skinny Asian kid’s random thoughts, this is the blog for you.

 

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