When I was in the sixth grade, I joined a debate team. I was hesitant at first because debates were quite intimidating to beginners. The objective was to convince a judge, or the person facilitating the debate to vote for your side. “Your side” was either pro or con, and either agreed with a statement or disagreed with it. For instance, if the topic was “Should schools sell junk food?” The pro side would agree with this statement and the con side would disagree with the statement. A typical debate round in my division, public forum, lasted around half an hour. We would have to convince the judge through a series of speeches, summaries and “crossfires” which were basically a cross-examination of the opponent. A typical debate speech lasts four minutes and usually has three contentions, or three reasons as to why your side is right and why the team you are arguing against is wrong.
After many tournaments, I improved and improved until I was debating in the advanced division, and then until I was debating in a national tournament, taking place in Alabama.
Debate has taught me a lot of things. Not only did I learn about the many controversial topics that I had to debate for, but I also learned how to research, write and persuade a person, all while maintaining my composure and articulating well.
I visited the Skydeck in Chicago, which stands as the tallest building in the United States. The view from above was astonishing. It’s not only been with the Skydeck though. I’ve always been fascinated with looking down below from an elevated point of the ground. It gives me an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and pride. Giving myself that scenery gives me a motivation and drive to complete my tasks quickly and pursue my new interests.
If you really want to experience an area, you have to live like a local. New York is a pretty tourist-y place, and I can guarantee you that the tourist areas are often wastes of time and money. If you truly want to experience the true side of New York, find those hidden gem restaurants. Shop at the local fashion districts. Climb up onto a roof and bask in the lights of New York’s skyline. Live like a real New-Yorker.
Sometimes, stuff in life happens, and although it might be bad at first, it’s really funny afterward. For example, in the image above, my father and I have just taken out the GPS box built into our car. At first, we were a bit worried as to if we broke the thing, or if the GPS was going to ever be fixed. However, the absurdity of it all was quite humorous and both of us laughed at the fact that we had actually deconstructed our car. In the end, though, things worked out really well. After cleaning the circuits and intricate gears of the GPS, when we put it back in its place, the GPS started working again! It was a bit of a shock and both of us laughed again. Things find their own amazing way of fixing themselves, and DIY-ing the GPS repair saved us around 3,000 dollars.