― Ben Carson
Today at school a writer by the name of David Yoo gave a “brief” snippet of his life. It was easy to understand what was going on in the stories that he told, but what was the message? He talked to us about how he didn't study, pretended to be something that he wasn't, and trying to break away from stereotypes. OK, I will say that last one was a good message, stereotypes shouldn't label people. But the other two aren't really things someone should be aspiring to do. Honestly the message I was getting as a 14 year old is let school take the back seat and put the social circle and sports as a priority if you want to be successful. But after a little bit of googling I found a NPR segment about him. What I found out was that he was trying to get us to not be like him and try to not go out of our way to disappoint our parents, as he did. This didn't really come through clearly in his presentation, so a lot of you might have felt as I did. It aggravated me quite a bit that I couldn't clearly find his message.
He didn’t even talk about writing until the very very very end. By then, I was not as intrigued as I was at the beginning of the lecture. Most of his stories were just about him gaining and losing friends or about his acting stupidly. His first story wasn’t even remotely relevant to writing, it was about him spying on some older kids, who eventually befriend him. Then, of course, he did something stupid and loses those friends. He didn’t just lose those friends he lost them in the matter of a couple hours.
The second story he told was a little bit interesting to me because it took place in a town near where I grew up, but was still really kind of pointless. In this story he was walking with some friends and one of them asked “Do you know Kung Fu?”
Mr. Yoo replied “Yes, in fact, I’m a master.”
Listening, to his story, I did a mental face palm and kept on listening. Yes, he was the victim of bigotry, and that's sad and wrong. He went on to make up a bunch of fake Kung Fu moves since he doesn’t actually know any, the boys laughed, and he realized that lying and making fun of yourself makes friends. I'm not sure that’s a great lesson to be teaching us, or to think that boys our age are going to really get the deeper meaning in the way he intended.
I’m just going to skip the third story since that was ranting about Asian stereotypes.
The fourth story had a better lesson, but not about writing. He fast-forwarded to high school where he had a respectable goal of putting on some muscle. He said that he had a very high metabolism rate so he stayed thin no matter how much he lifted. Then one day he in study hall he sat down next to the girl that he liked and she asked him “Have you been working out?”
He responded “Yes.”
Actually, he was wearing about five layers of clothing. This gave him an idea and he started wearing five layers every single day to impress other people. But this had some side effects. Whenever he had to take those layers off to play sports he would be paper thin. This earned him the the nickname of "Heartbeat" since people could see his heart beating since he was so thin.
In the ennd, I do get his message, but it wasn't really clear from the presentation itself. I had to do some outside research to actually find his meaning, and to me, that means he was a good speaker, but not effective.