Valuable Learning outside of school

In an outsider’s perspective, I have been a girl who has been successful in many ways: both in academics and sports. Diligent student who constantly tries to find ways to improve. Achieved runner who has run competitively in varsity cross country and distance track program.

I also have known that deep in my heart, I am very passionate about computer science, the science behind sports (kinesiology), and writing. I was very fortunate in a sense that I realised earlier than my peers about what I truly want to pursue. However, I never had such courage to create my own life path or make my own decision or judgment.

This might be me before the meaningful conversation with Ryuji today. Just a typical student who is successful at school, but does not know where she is heading to. If I was me before the conversation, I would not post this photo in public, but I decided to do so because I am confident about who I was and am. Photo Credit to Ryuji.

A few days ago, in the process of planning for a professional photoshoot with Ryuji, I was actually weighing in between friendship and rationality. After the winter break last year, my good friend asked me to join his project about “spreading the coding/programming opportunity to underprivileged students.” I indeed agreed with his idea and has been involved in the NGO project, using my programming experience. Although I believed in the mission and vision of the organisation, I had doubts about how it would actually develop and progress. Ryuji called me right in the moment I was hesitating; however, I hesitated once again to tell him about this whole story & my agony when he asked me how the photo would be used. I was saying to myself, ‘It’s first time talking to him and I’m not sure if he would understand me as my advisor in high school, Matthew Poage has.’

Today, the conversation with Ryuji proved that my assumptions were totally invalid. Yes, it was a moment for me to challenge my assumptions.

Ryuji first told me about the true nature of the NGOs: even difficult with passionate board members having previous experience in the area. Also, an advise from an experienced expert: absolutely necessary. But this Non-Profit I got involved because of friendship? No way, it was far away from those. Ryuji encourage me to make a bold decision that I was unable to do because of my fear breaking a long friendship with someone I care a lot. Work is work. Personal relationship is personal relationship. Don’t let relationship be an obstacle in making an objective decision.

Definitely looking different from the first pic. Don’t let others control my life. I decide what to do! Photo Credit to Ryuji.

Thinking all photographers simply take high-res photos? My answer about Ryuji is a definite NO. He conveyed my life story in photos, but most importantly he opened my mind with his honesty and life experience. I can be a talkative person, but I rarely tell my candid story to a person who I have never met before. However, with his genuine advice and encouragement, I could reveal my true self to him, without any veils that conceal my weaknesses. Outside from my family and teachers, he was the first person who really understood my passion in software engineering, exercise science, and writing. A lot of people considered my interests as something absurd, just because it’s a combination not many people had.

He rather encouraged me to pursue what I can feel satisfaction and happiness by doing so, even when I’m going against the traditional pathway or standard of a successful career.

I would like to give credit to Ryuji for not only for the amazing photos, but also for motivating me to start blogging and sharing my knowledge and experience with other people. At the same time, I hope I can learn from other people. Learning, tinkering with new stuff, and pushing myself from my comfort zone all are aspects I truly enjoy in my life and feel the the most satisfaction from. That might be the reason behind my passions!

I really appreciate the conversation with Ryuji today. It’s another stimulant for me to become a “bold, resourceful, ethical, and global citizen who can shape a changing world.”

**I posted reviews about the photoshoot experience as a google and facebook rating.**

Ending the Post with happy and confident me. Photo Credit to Ryuji.