TAS Middle School 2015~2017
MOST OUTSTANDING HISTORY STUDENT AWARD – 2015
I had a confusing and hectic transition from fifth grade to sixth grade in Middle School, especially since I was a new student. I had no idea what I liked and disliked, what I would pursue, what I enjoyed. However, history has always been one of my favorite subjects. Every lesson is a story, and every period in time is a chapter in the history of the world. Listening in class isn’t a chore.
After being awarded with the history award in sixth grade, and further being chosen to give a presentation to the parents of rising sixth graders, I know that I have significant talent in the field of history, and this is extremely important in MUN, politics, and debate because history is all about perspective; in a war, one side is a shameful loss, yet the other is a stunning victory. Both tell you different things.
These skills are ones that are crucial to get a wider view of the world; a world that is always changing, always morphing into something else. The abilities I have obtained allows me to observe and add insight on all the tiny things happening day to day.
MOST OUTSTANDING ENGLISH STUDENT AWARD – 2016
Even though I have never lived in America before, or anywhere out of Asia, really, it would be no surprise to those who don’t know me that my English would not be up to par, since I had never been to America till I was nine and Cantonese is mainly spoken at home. In fact, I only really started learning English when I was four.
However, ever since I was a child, I have always had a love for picture books, or short stories from series like Adventure Box, which I started reading since I was five. I increasingly read harder books at a rapid pace, reading Y level books on an A-Z scale in second grade when others were reading F level books. I am trilingual, and after a short period of time from being in an international school, my first language quickly changed from Cantonese to English.
I have always had a sense of an identity crisis: Being a third culture kid, I have no idea where I’m really “from”. And that is another battle that I must struggle through myself.
However, everything about opinions, politics, and MUN, is all about identity. And that can all be shown through writing.
MOST OUTSTANDING DRAMA PERFORMANCE AWARD – 2017
Ever since I was a young toddler, I have loved to sing, dance, act, and jump around. People say the drama queen within me was born when I was three or four, repeatedly singing “Happy Birthday” to myself or putting on skits with my cousin and makeshift costumes. However, it became official when I got a solo in the school musical The Emperor’s New Clothes at the age of nine. I was terrified yet elated at the thought of this solo but during the performance, I carried through. Ever since then, I have always pursued music and drama in all forms.
When I moved to Taipei, I heard that TAS was holding auditions for fifth and sixth graders to get a part in the Upper School musical, Les Miserables. I auditioned and got the part of playing young Cosette out of almost 100 people. In the continuous years, I got a solo in Bugsy Malone, The Wizard of Oz, and Oliver!, even landing a role as Dorothy in a music festival production of The Wizard of Oz.
Drama is linked deeply to expression. The idea of writing about perspective, and sharing views, writing from the point of view of a third culture kid, is all linked to the art of expression and change.
Manhattan International Young Artists Music Festival
To say I was scared would be the understatement of the century. When I walked into the room, I was absolutely terrified, and I could feel my hands shaking as I sat down in my seat. My mother had somehow miraculously convinced me to compete in MIYAMF, singing in the 13-15 age group category. But I had just turned 13, and had the least training out of everyone in the room; I was at a disadvantage. It didn’t help that since I lived in Taipei and the competition was in Hong Kong, I hadn’t properly practiced with my singing coach in almost a week, and my accompanist on the piano was someone I didn’t know at all.
And it didn’t help that I was first.
As they called out my name, I stood on the stage, my hands grasping my dress tightly until I reminded myself to stop. The songs sounded like a nightmare to me; my voice had frozen, and I was disappointed. I knew that I could have done better, and moodily, I walked back to my seat. As the other contestants sang their songs, it sounded beautiful, and my confidence lowered with each note they sang.
To say I was surprised to get the silver award would have been the second greatest understatement of the century. I was shocked.
It was my very first competition, and somehow I was able to score a silver award. I was dumbstruck as it was handed over. I had expected nothing.
I still have a long way to go on my journey in singing and music, but I know it is definitely one with a finish line that I am aiming to reach.