• Rin Iimi and Joyce Wu

Contradictions

Rin:

Per Joyce’s request this article is about contradictions or dichotomies (which I looked up, thanks to Joyce, and basically it means differences or distinctions, just said in a fancy way). My dichotomy is less of a contradiction but more of a disparity between appearance and reality that I strongly dislike.

So everyone knows those worksheets. You know… those. The one where the teacher says, “It’s really quick, only 10 questions!” In a particular class of mine, we have a custom, where we only do the odd problems of a worksheet for homework and leave the evens for test review. And two days before the test I told myself, “No problem, I only have the evens of two worksheets left to do.” Little did I know, I was in for a stressful night of mathing (if that’s even a proper term).

This certain problem was one of those that had subproblems under it (like part a, part b, part c, etc.) and this problem had P PARTS! ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP P-parts (that’s 16 subproblems)!! Now, I’m not blaming the teacher or complaining about the amount of work because it really did help me study and understand the material better, but I think it’s slightly absurd that a problem needs to have P parts. It’s as if I was given a pretty box wrapped up all nice, and inside there was a 1000-page encyclopedia (not that I have anything against encyclopedias or anything).

I would so much appreciate it if the subparts were just numbered instead of lettered - at least then I would know what I am going into. Anyways, moral of the story: do not be deceived by pretty wrapping; you may be receiving a 1000-page encyclopedia.


Joyce:

When I was younger, the concept of growing up excited me just as much as receiving a new stuffed animal or attending a friend’s birthday party. However, now that I’m in high school, I look back at my younger self and question why I ever aspired to be old. Thus, I listed out a few dichotomies from our childhood and adolescence:

  1. The unspoken dark side to growing up, which includes: late nights doing homework, stress and (for me and probably many others) lots of crying. I think this list is a little obvious now that we’re older and have experienced the rigors of high school, but when I was younger, I thought high schoolers were the epitome of a perfect individual: you had independence, eloquence and knowledge. Looking back at it now, developing into what I thought was “a perfect person” required a lot out of me and made me a little messy along the way (ugh, thank you, tears).

  2. Social life. When you’re a child, a lot of people encourage you to attend play dates (awww, throwback to when we used that word in elementary school!), and those play dates were when you spent a lot of time with your friends outside of school. Now, I don’t know if it’s just me and because I swim a lot, but I have no idea how I used to be able to whip up time out of the blue to just “play” with my friends. If you take a glimpse at my school planner, the amount of homework I have to do is mounting, and these assignments and “prioritizing mental health/self care” make little time to even FaceTime my friends these days.

  3. Peer pressure. Personally, when I was younger, I really didn’t care what other people thought of me. Now that I’m a little older, though, I notice that a lot of the time, I’d question myself for doing something other people may think is “uncool,” even if I really want to do that something my way. For example, during lunch not so long ago, my parents and I reminisced about when I was a middle schooler. Pretty much one of the only outfits I would wear were a comfortable t-shirt, shorts/leggings (depending on the season) and perhaps a jacket (again, depending on the season). Now that I’m a teen, however, I see that many people my age and gender gravitate to wearing crop tops and realllllllllly oversized shirts (like shirts so large they become a dress), etc., and sometimes I’m not sure if I’m completely comfortable revealing so much of myself. At the same time like many teenagers, I feel the need to fit in with my peers.

Although I listed a few dichotomies that I discovered over the course of my childhood and adolescence, deep inside I know that growing up is crucial to entering adulthood when I can get out of this teenage mess... (just kidding...well, kind of XD).