The biggest sport figure in the world right now is a 22 year old swimmer. Michael Phelps broke the record for most gold medals in a single Olympics. The previous record was seven by Mark Spitz but now, that title belongs to Michael Phelps with eight gold medals. He also broke the record for most gold medals total. It’s amazing how such a young person can be so successful and be so dominating.

          What was so inspiring about his achievement was not by him. The 400 meter freestyle relay event he compteted in was one of the most amazing races I’ve seen. Phelps started off for Team USA but his time was 3rd from 4 times. Teammate Jason Lezak was the savior for Phelps. Lezak was the last swimmer for Team USA and he was a full length behind French swimmer Alain Bernard, who held the world record for fastest 100 meter freestyle, which was the length Lezak had to swim. Instead of giving up, Lezak had a adrenaline rush and caught up with Bernard in the end and won by a hair. The other U.S. swimmers were screaming in joy, especially Phelps. Although Phelps is the greatest swimmer right now, he owes Lezak big time.

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Redeem Team

August 28, 2008

          At the Oympics at Greece in 2004, the USA basketball team was filled with stars from the NBA, such as Allen Iverson, LeBron James, and ten other superstars. However, despite all of that superpower, Team USA finished an embarrasing third. This year in Beijing, Team USA had a chip on their shoulders. Also, this team had better focus and less selfishness on the court. They all shared one goal: to win the gold. Despite filling the team with superstars once again, these particular group of players sacrificed scoring and played as a team. They put their egos aside and shared the ball with another. Kobe Bryant, the best player in the NBA, focused on defense instead of carrying the team. Nobody complained about playing time and had a team-first attitude. All this sacrifice resulted in Team USA dominating the playing field and winning the gold with ease and reclaiming the honor of having the best players in the world. What was amazing about this team was the attitude they had. Nobody thought a bunch of stars would give up so much. This showed a sense of unity and a love for their country nobody saw from previous USA teams. Thats why this team was the best USA team ever.

So Young, and So Gadgeted

August 28, 2008

          I think technology is a good asset to society. It makes life more easy and comforable. However, we shouldn’t fully embed our lives with technology. Our thoughts become limited and we can get lazy. Putting that in consideration, I think children should get their first cellphone once they reach the 7th Grade. This is when I got my first phone also. Giving a 6 year old child would not do any good for the child or the parent. The child would get obsessed with the phone and the parent would just be wasting money on something not necessary at that point in a child’s life. I think once a child reaches the 7th grade, they’ll be mature and teachable enough for a parent to make the kid understand that technology is not our whole life.

          I’ve heard of Jean Piaget in Psychology class previously this year. He was one of the most influential child development psychologists of his time. He watched his own children closely for his research. Piaget identified four stages of cognitive development. The first stage is from birth to the age of two. This is when parents should buy camcorders to record the first moments, instead of getting kids “gadgets”. The second stage is from the age of three to five. At this stage, kids tend to “pretend play” a lot. The third stage is from the age of six to eleven. At this time, parents should watch closely what the kids do on the internet and steer them toward good sites. The last stage is is from age twelve and on. At this stage, they should be allowed to experience technology on their own.

          The gadget I’m looking forward to getting at college is a new laptop. Also, this might not be considered a gadget but I’m really excited for my first car.

Fraud in China

August 18, 2008

          When I watched the Opening Ceremonies, I was simply amazed by the embellishing decorations and the perfection to which it was performed. That was before I read the article saying that the fireworks were fake and the girl that was shown on camera didn’t even sing. Now, my high praise for the opening ceremonies have diminished to “was any of the things we saw real”. I can understand the fireworks because they feared that the image couldn’t be captured on camera well enough. The footprints were so well depicted that I had no clue that the fireworks were fake. I’m not against it because there could be an error or it could be dangerous. However, using the two girls in two different roles was wrong. First of all, think of the mental impact it can have on the two girls. I know the little girls said that they are fine because they were able to contribute in the Opening Ceremonies, but what if they are not? Lin Miaoke, who has the better appearance, would probably ask herself, am I that bad at singing? On the other hand, Yang Peiyi, who had the better voice, would probably ask herself, am I that ugly? For chidren at their age, they need compliments, not criticism. Also, there isn’t a perfect person in this world. Why are they trying to represent China in the most perfect fashion? The perfect girl shown on the television was a fraud and the way they used both girls was wrong.

Disappointment

August 9, 2008

          Everybody was pumped up for the new Batman movie, “The Dark Knight”. I was too. However, after I watched the movie, I thought that the second movie was worse than the first one. All of my peers said that the second movie was better but after I watched it, I was left confused. Well first of all, I’m not saying that the Dark Knight was a bad movie. It was still a good movie but maybe with all the hype, I was expecting more than what I saw in the movie.

          I thought that the first movie was more fluid and better connected. In the second movie, I don’t get why they show Crane again if they aren’t even going to use him later on in the movie. I thought that was pointless. Also, I was confused when Gordon dies but comes back from the dead. Why does he pretend to die? He said that it was for the protection of his famiy but I don’t get how that protects his family. Also, I thought that they should have showed what happened to the Joker. Does he die from the police officers or does he get taken to jail? Those are some of the questions from the movie after I watched it.

Trip to Japan

August 8, 2008

          From August 5th to August 8th, I went on a trip to Japan with my family. My expectations were crowded streets and hectic traffic in the city of Tokyo but it was the complete opposite. We went to the quieter side of Japan to Hokkaido, which is an island in Japan. In Japan, we did a lot of moving around in buses, boats, trains; you name it. My head is in agony because of all the travel we did. However, after the trip, I think I wouldn’t mind living in Japan. The weather is nice, the water is clean, the people are respectful, and people drive politely and with manners.

          There are many differences from Japan and Korea. The driving lanes are the opposite. Korea and the United States drive on the right side of the road but Japan drives on the left side. It took a while to get used to this. The culture is really different too. Korea usually provides extra free services at restaurants such as refilling the kimchi bowl or providing coffee afterwards. In Japan, there is no such thing. You get what you get. I didn’t know this until I asked for more kimchi. When I did, the waitress looked at me strangely and I didn’t know what to make of that odd look. Then the tour guide had to tell me that there are no refills.

          Although that kimchi incident was embarrasing, I enjoyed the experience of a new culture. The trip to Japan was tiring yet memorable.

Here They Come Again

August 2, 2008

          Last year at this time, everytime I go out to meet people, play basketball, or whatever I went out to do, they would always tell me that I should be studying or preparing for the upcoming school year. Their heads would be steaming with aggravation and with their comments, mine would steam up too. It’s worse when the school year actually starts. Then during the summer, when the weather is so humid and hot and sweat pours down my face, they would actually calm down and give me some freedom. Now, the time has come again to face those demands to study and prepare. I know parents say this for our benefits but at the same time, it’s hard to see it like that. This is going to be the last year I have to face this scrutiny. After this year I’m on my own to make my own decisions and nobody is going to stop me from what I do. I love my parents dearly and I know they love me back too but sometimes, they can be a pain the ass. I wouldn’t mind being away from them for a while.