Nothing for a 15-year-old Asian to do.......

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: May 2003 Archive: Nothing for a 15-year-old Asian to do.......
By Aravis (Aravis) on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 08:42 pm: Edit

I'm a freshman at a public high school in North Carolina. I'm trying to figure out what to do this summer but I really don't have too many ideas.
The thing is I'm Asian, 15 and I can't drive yet. That means my guardian will have to drive me places and she's a very busy person and I'll have to figure out possible time plan.(nowhere too far) Almost everything else I've looked at is either too expensive, for URM's or for juniors and seniors.
Part of my summer will be spent at S. Korea where my parents live. I'll also probably go with my friend to her church camp. I'll be volunteering at several places probably.(library, nursing home) And I'll be tutoring 2nd generation kids how to speak Korean fluently. (I'm bilingual, extremely bc I have lived in both the USA and S.Korea) My guardian also wants me to go to summer school to learn Spanish.
Any ideas?

By Aravis (Aravis) on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 08:48 pm: Edit

I forgot to add that I'm not really interested in either math or science. I'm more humanities orientated.

By Studiousvegetar (Studiousvegetar) on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 09:13 pm: Edit

What about taking online courses? You'll learn something, earn credits, and keep busy. You won't have to leave your house!

By Aravis (Aravis) on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 11:11 pm: Edit

I would but I can't find any online courses for high school students who aren't 16 yet. Any suggestions?

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 12:46 am: Edit

Aravis try starting with:

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 01:05 am: Edit

Good suggestion, autodidact. My son has used that distance learning program. We've been very happy with it.

By Wealthyivygirl (Wealthyivygirl) on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 01:35 am: Edit

you could start with learning how to spell "oriented."

By Aravis (Aravis) on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 01:13 pm: Edit

Thanks for the site suggestion. I'll check it out.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 10:04 pm: Edit

Are there any language distance edu. programs for high school students? (languages usually not taught at normal high schools....)

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 10:54 pm: Edit

distance learning courses normally don't care what age/grade you are. You pay your money, you take the course. Try google searching "distance learning" plus whatever language (or other subject) you're interested in.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 11:23 pm: Edit

Thanks everybody! I think I've got enough academic stuff to do now. Now I have to figure out what to do with my volunteering work. How do I go about making it not ordinary? Or is there anything else I could do?

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 11:31 am: Edit

Aravis: follow your passions, homeschoolers describe it aptly as "delight-directed." Anything that you can do wholeheartedly with continuing zeal, energy, and a time commitment which won't make the adcoms laugh will allow you to set yourself apart from the crowd--one day deals don't usually do it. Clue: Look around for an unmet need, and then start brainstorming on how to fill the need or mediate the process and the results. Start something you can devote yourself to heart, mind, and body. Don't look for the easy stuff--it's already been done thousands of times. Be original, be creative, and be ready to roll your sleeves up and do the real work. Do good and do it well.

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 02:02 pm: Edit

autodidact - are you on the homeschool2college list also?

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 06:21 pm: Edit

Texas137: No, where do I find it? I have homeschooled in the past, and still consider it the best method for some kids in terms of making education relevant and useful. Returned the kids to public school as an economy measure to allow me to work full time, but the good Lord definitely has other plans. Keeps throwing family medical crises and deaths my way, and "since I'm not working full-time" I keep getting designated as caregiver and chauffeur. I am considering it again for my younger daughter, as we may go out of country to visit her grandmother, aunts, uncle, cousin, and God-father she hasn't seen in 12 years. She's bright, but has a distinct dislike for standardized tests, which is exacerbated by testing anxiety. Doesn't play the game well at school, challenges illogical thinking or faulty facts--and has little patience with stupidity.

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Saturday, April 19, 2003 - 06:51 pm: Edit

go to
or more specifically,
I thought you might already be on it because you posted the link to U. Texas Distance Learning here about 5 minutes after I posted it to the homeschool2college list.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 02:57 am: Edit

I'm extremely fond of books. Is there anything I could do with that?(I read a lot too, I'm obsessed)Volunteering I mean. Something I could do maybe at the library. Or something I could do at a nursing home. (not just stuff everyone does)

By Aravis (Aravis) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 02:58 am: Edit

Forgive any spelling or grammer mistakes......

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 10:40 am: Edit

Texas137: thanks for the link, I'll check it out. I'm a hugh fan of Mary Pride's Practical Homeschooling (as well as her books) and also of Home Education. I've spent more than a casual amount of time in the libraries, waiting for daughter to get out of half day classes, researching various alternative education paths--often for ammo to encourage our local district to come into the 21st century in terms of meeting students' needs. I wish the public schools were even half as progressive as homeschoolers, who seem to be on the cutting edge. Only homeschoolers have the foresight and courage to establish and support their own college--a huge undertaking, but logical for people accustomed to seeking and developing their own educational paths. At least the traditional educational institutions have now realized that homeschooling is not a passing fad. Distance education could make a world of difference in small, rural schools like ours, but there's still some (lots~) of bugs to work out of our new state sponsored initiative, so I've been looking for established systems that work. Both of the above-mentioned mags have numerous ads and listings for distance ed. If I'm not mistaken, though, you have previously posted the texas link on this forum before. I seem to remember reading it, and making mental note that you had a viable in-state option.
For others interested in distance learning opportunities: There are many options, but be sure to check for accreditation, and if you want to receive high school credit or rack up early college credit, make certain your local school agrees to granting credit, and that the college credit is transferable. It is possible to get dual (both hs and college) credit simultaneously, but you have to know--and play by--the rules.

Aravis: You can volunteer at the library as a page--but be advised it has been done by thousands of bibliophiles--or you can volunteer to assist or operate a summer reading program for children or a reading discussion group for teens. Alternately, you could contact a boys or girls club or your local elementary school and volunteer for a reading/literacy summer club, or given your ethnicity, how about an Asian Authors study group, etc. Use some imagination.

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 10:48 am: Edit

Aravis: you might also want to consider reading for the blind or for senior citizens. If you have decent penmanship, or a laptop, I'd also encourage you to volunteer to be available at your local nursing home to serve as a correspondence aide for the residents. The combination of failing eyesight and arthritis keeps many of our elderly from being able to enjoy the (nearly) forgotten art of corresponding with loved ones or penpals who share common interests. This activity is not nearly as common to adcoms--although if it should become one as a result of this post, I shall have no regrets, and neither would any of the people helped through it.

By Marthpodi (Marthpodi) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 03:03 pm: Edit

Try hanging out with your friends, watching movies, TV, playing video games and going to parties and such.

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 04:04 pm: Edit

Marthpodi: while having a circle of friends or even one or two really close friends is advantageous for anybody, Aravis was looking for different educational and volunteering opportunities, not the "normal, everyday kid," kind of activities. I believe Aravis is more than capable of arranging their own social life, but it is important to remember not to overschedule and to leave some time just for contemplation or "down time." Otherwise you start the new school year tired, unrefreshed, and a little resentful because summer came and went and you didn't get to do anything fun or that you wanted to do. Personally, I wouldn't waste too much time watching TV,though, as there are no new programs until fall. Many of them are fairly idiotic at the best of times, and if you're going to watch you should automatically tape them on a VCR, volunteer while it's running, and then fast forward through all commercials, making you twice as efficient.

By Marthpodi (Marthpodi) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 06:04 pm: Edit

Autodidact, I know. It was a joke. Because Aravis didn't actually say that "Aravis was looking for different educational and volunteering opportunities" I thought it would be funny to answer her question "I'm trying to figure out what to do this summer" with answers to that question other than the college-prep/work type activities everyone else was mentioning. Apparently, that was lost on you.

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 08:40 pm: Edit

Marthpodi: Apparently the following was lost on you:
By Studiousvegetar on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 09:13 pm:
"What about taking online courses?"

By Aravis on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 11:11 pm:
"I would but I can't find any online courses for high school students who aren't 16 yet. Any suggestions?"

By Aravis on Friday, April 18, 2003 - 11:23 pm
"Thanks everybody! I think I've got enough academic stuff to do now. Now I have to figure out what to do with my volunteering work. How do I go about making it not ordinary? Or is there anything else I could do?"

So Marthpodi, the above is pretty explicit to my way of thinking, try to stay on focus with the online conversation, please. FYI: I often tell my daughter to lighten up and get a sense of humor, if you are hypersensitive in life, you're going to waste a lot of time in negativity. So get a grip, I didn't mean to insult you or ruffle your feathers. Have a great time with your friends, designate a driver if those parties you're attending involve alcohol or drugs--or avoid them altogether, which is a far safer alternative, and have a great, safe summer.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 09:12 pm: Edit

Marthpodi: Nice advice but I'll probably be doing the whole hanging out thing a lot anyway. Besides the majority of my friends can't drive so it takes half of forever to get to do something anyway.
Autodidact: Thanks for your ideas. I'll probably twist your ideas around some to come up with something new.(if that's possible, I'm in a extremely(temp.) depressed state of mind. It's telling me that pratically everything has been already! There's way too many brillant people out there!)

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 09:59 pm: Edit

Aravis: Whatever you do to make a project yours increases its individuality and your chances. Best of luck, and for the record most of the parents on this forum aren't nearly as accomplished as their kids--and, heaven help us, we all get by. This forum, as you mentioned, is filled with brilliant kids who have been given opportunities we never even dreamed of. Educational opportunities are changing, but people pretty much stay the same. Take heart. Adcoms are still looking for diligent, involved kids. My guess is not a lot of them get to visit Korea and tutor second generation kids--you're preserving a heritage. Too often our culture encourages its immigrants to abandon their native land and tongue and assimilate. Homogeneity is boring. You're counter-culture, and maybe that can be your hook. I've been a little bit disturbed by the assertion on another thread that being Asian works against you. Being proud of your ethnic heritage should never work against you, so keep an eye out when you go to Korea for items or experiences which you could share with those you tutor or which would make for an interesting essay.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 10:44 pm: Edit

As usual forgive spelling or grammer mistakes. (I know!)

By Glares4real (Glares4real) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 11:37 pm: Edit

i can't help but notice that you spell "grammer" wrong
it should be grammAr

By Incognito (Incognito) on Sunday, April 20, 2003 - 11:43 pm: Edit

oh pish posh

By Aravis (Aravis) on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 08:34 pm: Edit

Any advice instead of all the edit tips?

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Monday, April 21, 2003 - 09:06 pm: Edit

Go take a look at MIT's Open Courseware. It's free (non-credit), and includes a variety of offerings (not just science/math stuff).

By Aravis (Aravis) on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 06:07 pm: Edit

I've decided on a language course(distance). I'm not quite sure which language to take though. I've decided against Spanish. And I'm taking French right now so that's out. Any ideas? (I don't want to take either Chinese or Japanese at the moment)
Yes, I know I'm a horrible speller. Forgive typos.

By Marthpodi (Marthpodi) on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 06:14 pm: Edit

Try russian, german, latin, or perhaps portugeese -- those are good.

Good luck

By L76 (L76) on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 06:21 pm: Edit

I think learning a foreign language is a great idea. I took Spanish in high school, so I plan to take both French and German in college as preparation for graduate study.

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 - 06:51 pm: Edit

Texas137: Great site! I'm looking forward to it launching.
Aravis: Have you thought about Arabic/Farsi? Since 911, many colleges have new offerings. Or perhaps you'd like to consider classic Greek or Italian.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - 04:20 pm: Edit

I'm not quite sure about Arabic. I was thinking about Russian, Greek or Italian. Any pro or cons? Do u think it's easier learning a language similar to the one you already know or something that's totally different?

By Aravis (Aravis) on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 12:59 am: Edit

Does anybody have some worthwhile summer reading lists?

By Texas137 (Texas137) on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 01:24 am: Edit

I'll bet your librarian does. Probably a number of them, geared towards different interests. Librarians love this sort of question.

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 09:19 am: Edit

Aravis: Texas 137 is spot on this one, the librarians will probably be able to hook you up with a reading list (out of a book the name of which escapes me) for your specific college choices. Many titles are the same on all lists, but then you get the titles which reflect the values or diversity of the college. Back to the language question, if you're already studying French, Italian would be the easiest to add due to the number of cognates (look alike words, and often have same or similar meanings). It would make adding Spanish next year a breeze, as you'd already know two of the Romance languages. My daughter loves Italian. Greek is more difficult because you're not using the same easily recognizable alphabet.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 04:09 pm: Edit

What would be atypical for an Asian?

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Thursday, April 24, 2003 - 06:30 pm: Edit

Farsi, Portuguese,Italian,Greek,German,Russian, Latin, Spanish, and French from least taken/spoken to most common. Partially based upon availability of the class, partly due to secondary language (a fairly large number of Cambodians,Laotians, and Vietnamese speak French fluently, and Spanish is offered at the most American high schools). Aravis: First determine what you want to be able to do with the language. If it's not potentially useful with a probability of usage, don't take it--languages should be pursued with a love for the language, otherwise you'll get bogged down in the grammar.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Saturday, April 26, 2003 - 01:20 pm: Edit

I just like languages. Being bilingual myself I appreciate the subtle little things in everyday speaking, besides it's just plain interesting!!! I never do or did pay much attention to languages. I got a perfect score on the section of the TOEFL without prepping. Got to concentrate on speaking a language first or else you'll get saddled down with all the grammar tidbits.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Saturday, April 26, 2003 - 11:18 pm: Edit


By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Sunday, April 27, 2003 - 12:25 am: Edit

Continuing ed programs offer conversational classes if that is your main focus. Volunteering at a shelter, soup kitchen, adult literacy or citizenship programs will do the same. Good luck!

By Aravis (Aravis) on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 09:25 pm: Edit

Anyone else want to have their say?

By Aravis (Aravis) on Thursday, May 01, 2003 - 07:53 pm: Edit


By Texas137 (Texas137) on Thursday, May 01, 2003 - 09:24 pm: Edit

Aravis - what more are you looking for? It seems like you have plenty of ideas to follow up on. Do you have something in particular in mind? Maybe if you look at some of the links you already have and try to narrow down your question...

By Dxiw (Dxiw) on Thursday, May 01, 2003 - 11:44 pm: Edit

you dont need to drive to do anything. usually u dont need a ride and if you do grab a friend who can drive, trust me not driving shouldnt hold u back I'll be a 15 yr old senior in hs this coming year and i have 3 pages of ec stuff.

By Aravis (Aravis) on Friday, May 02, 2003 - 03:42 pm: Edit

The majority of my friends can't drive either and yes where I live you NEED a car to get around.

By Autodidact (Autodidact) on Sunday, May 04, 2003 - 10:21 pm: Edit

Aravis: I'm beginning to wonder if you are totally without imagination, creativity, and ambition since you have lots of good, viable ideas but continue to procrastinate and question rather than act. Are you really trying to figure out a logical reason for needing a car? If so, embrace the teen american dream, get a job and start saving. You'll learn lessons in the real world not taught in school. Lots of kids make money or provide service to their neighbors--you don't have to go to great distances to go out of your way to help others, and you'll be helping yourself in the process. I'm waiting to hear what you've done, not what you're considering. Get at it!

By Aravis (Aravis) on Monday, May 05, 2003 - 03:14 pm: Edit

I'm sorry if you're offended at my "fishing for ideas" but this is the first time I've exactly had to plan out my summer.(Before my parents always did it for me due to Asian expectations and all)And I just want to get as many options possible and I don't really know what American teenagers do in the summer so........

By Aravis (Aravis) on Monday, May 05, 2003 - 03:29 pm: Edit

So please bear with me.... I just want to see what options I have.

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