Name:Andrew Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
Interests: JCL, MAO, glowstringing, penspinning, and juggling Expertise: tennis and gymnastics, and minesweeper (times: 2-24-78), and rubik's cubing (3x3x3 best single solve: 29.94 seconds, best mid 10 of 12 average: 44.789 seconds) Notice: This Xanga makes use of a Xanga Tracker. Xanga requires me to inform you of this, even though I don't look at it very often.
Hey all, I just woke up from my recovery from JCL convention. I regret that I didn't have much in the way of closing remarks to say, so I'll attempt to write something both in the style of closing remarks and in the interest of those of you who weren't able to be there. Also, this way you don't have to listen to me saying it while you're really tired and just wanting to get home.
So, it's been a wonderful six years. Six years ago, I was a seventh grader at BRCCS. There were about twelve or thirteen of us in grades seven through eleven. Not even any seniors. The previous year, BRCCS had sent a delegation for the first time.
A note about myself as a seventh grader. We were all middle schoolers once, and we all mature a lot simply by being in high school for four years and getting older. However, at this point in my life I was perfectly positioned to develop into a type of person whom I don't really like. There are many absolutely brilliant people in this world who accomplish nothing important once they realize that they can meet life's requirements with no effort. In seventh grade, I definitely wasn't putting much effort into life and didn't plan to any time soon.
One's first JCL convention is always a life-changing event, granted that one is a part of a delegation which has a good spirit program. As many of you know, the first event of JCL convention is a spirit competition. In this way, each year many self-conscious freshman are hurled into a mass of screaming people and peer-pressured to scream their loudest. Ask yourself, when have you last yelled your loudest in joy, not in anger or distress? For all of you JCLers, that time is last night, maybe sooner. However, for a large portion of the population this time is much too long ago.
A good yell does a lot of good for a person. To yell, you must fully express yourself. You must fully devote yourself to a single impulse (or, in the case of a spirit session, thousands of impulses in a mere fifteen minutes). Your voice and your body together are every means of communication you have, and spirit compels your to fully exert both simultaneously. To yell, you must decide that the opinions of everyone around you are secondary to the cause which drives you. Spirit compels you to give a good yell when you first set foot in the hotel on friday noon. Spirit drags you out of bed the next morning and forces you to do it again. Spirit throws you outdoors into the fresh night air and drives you to yell and process around the hotel for all the world to see.
Too many people don't yell. Too many people never fully exert themselves towards anything. Too many people live life below 100% because they are afraid to jump. I suppose the word "jump" comes from my being a gymnast. Gymnastics and spirit have alot in common. Both force you to throw yourself from where you feel safe. You must throw yourself over the bar; you must throw yourself into the melee. You must throw yourself through a situation where you could kill yourself, either literally in body (gymnastics) or figuratively in reputation (spirit), and experience that you land safely on the other side. However, I digress. There will be a time to talk about gymnastics.
All I want to say is JUMP!
In keeping with the comparison, JCL gave me leg muscles. I was an atrophied seventh grader, with only the slightest chance of ever jumping for anything. Spirit threw me onto a hurdles course and chased me through it. Many times during my walk in life I've come upon a feature which has been too tall to simply step up onto. I was forced to jump. Thankfully, JCL gave me the ability to do that.
Therefore, it is with complete conviction and the utmost sincerity that I thank JCL for making me into the person that I am today. While I grant that I've taken much from gymnastics as well, how would I ever have been able to jump up onto the pedestal of gymnastics without having the JCL experience prior to that? Beyond that, there are many more experiences I probably would not have jumped into if JCL had not stripped me of my over-self-consciousness before I even began high school.
In closing, I'd like to leave you with a few words from the JCL Creed, which have proven indubitably true to me.
We affirm that the JCL experience, develops responsibility, fosters brotherhood, promotes enthusiasm, encourages competition, inspires dedication, and enriches our total growth.
There will be many times in your life when someone celebrates alot over beating you at something.
However, the happier someone is at beating you, the more highly they think of you.
I realized this twice today.
The Saints defeated the Eagles just a few minutes ago. I'd be really excited either way, but the Eagles were definitely the hottest team coming into the playoffs, because of how good the Eagles have been with their 2nd-string quarterback, Garcia. That makes the Saints win is even sweeter.
I beat Neal Wu at the individual test at CHS's math tournament today. When he got 2nd, there was more of a surprised "Ooooo" than any cheering. I got plenty of cheering, and plenty of hugs and high-fives afterwards. However, after a few minutes of that I felt a bit bad for Neal. But the quote above definitely applies. I've won plenty of other individual tests but none of them have been so exciting.
That said, with all of that, I had an awesome awesome day today.