8.29.2012

Everything I Need to Know I Learned in High School

There's a popular book called "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."  As for me, it took me several more years of public school. 

Looking back on my high school days, I'm increasingly thankful.  In addition to having good friends and a good school, I did some great extra-curricular activities that gave me skills and perspectives that I continue to use to this day:

(1) Speech and Debate.  Here I got comfortable speaking in public, practiced how to craft an argument, and learned that there were defensible points on both sides of every issue.

(2) Basketball.  Here I saw how players worked together in a system to get a basket or a stop (as opposed to one-on-one "jungle ball"), learned how to put others in the best position possible for them to succeed (I was a point guard), and came to encourage good play (either teammates or opponents).

(3) South Bay Taiwanese Youth.  As VP of our Taiwanese youth group, I got practice making leadership decisions, baked in my heritage, and had opportunities to mentor younger kids.

(4) Future Business Leaders of America.  I competed nationally in accounting so mastered that subject inside and out, and also got practice attending business events and learning business etiquette.

(5) Church.  As a newbie, I of course learned the basic precepts of the faith, but also caught the vision for being a people on mission and being a people caring for one another.

(6) Classes.  Oh yeah, school itself.  Our public high school was really good - I'm convinced many of our teachers could've taught at the university level - so I got good instruction, especially in history, science, and math.  In English alone, I gained a love for words, the ability to deconstruct a story, and skill in writing. 

Being a child of immigrants, you're taught the importance of education.  And, being ambitious, I had some inkling that extra-curriculars were useful.  But it's only been the passage of time that has given me a true appreciation for the important lessons I was learning back then, that have made me who I am today.  For that I'm thankful. 




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