Michael Yokote

                I hate myself. I hate myself, but what I’m saying is not necessarily true. I don’t hate who I currently am. I understand what has made me who I am. What I hate is who I haven’t become. If I could describe myself, I would describe myself as lazy… very lazy.

                There was a period of my life where several of my grandparents passed away.  It felt like it was just one after another, but my memory is probably just overexaggerating it. My inability to properly deal with the stress caused me to be “lazy.” My laziness was not just the normal laziness, but also an excuse that I used to avoid any sort of responsibility. I did what was easy, lazing around all the time and playing video games. During this time, my growth as a person was stunted. Eventually, I ran out of grandparents. Now before you think I am a cold, heartless person; I would like to say that I loved my grandparents and am just a tad annoyed by their timing. Nevertheless, I eventually got my mental and emotional reprieve allowing me the get my head on straight (though some would say otherwise.)

I was lucky to get robotics as one of my classes during my junior year and I attribute that class to most of my mental growth during that year. The class itself was quite interesting, with a large portion of the year focused on an FTC competition. You know robot stuff, hitting things with hammers, wiring things, ect. But what made the class REALLY interesting were the other students. If I had the describe my classmates, I would describe them as the “car guys.” I say this because you could always here them talking about cars or trucks, off-roading in those cars or trucks, or making strange modifications to cars or trucks o something like that. I don’t really know, I know nothing about cars. When we were designing our robot, I sometimes felt that we weren’t trying to create a robot that could complete certain objectives. But instead some contraption that was trying to be a car. As cool as suspension sounds, we didn’t need a robot with off-road capabilities when it was only going to be driven on virtually flat ground. Needless to say, the class was a little chaotic, but also quite fun. In the end, we created a janky robot that somewhat worked. It could have been a lot better but I believe that the things I learned in that class were more important than succeeding in the competition. Not all of those lessons were necessarily about electricity or mechanics.

One of the things that I personally learned in that class was the value of approaching a problem with the correct train of thought. Like anything, proper form and flexibility is important, even in thoughts (as weird as that sounds). When we approach a problem, we generally have a list of questions that we run through in order to find our answer. I think a correct train a thought is knowing which questions to ask first, or what question to ask to find the questions necessary to find the answer you are looking for. I believe that learning is just this. Either we learn how to questions things better and more efficiently. Or we gather more information so we are able to answer a larger range of questions. I think this can be applied to something straight forward like a math problem, or to something more vague such as everyday life.

                Another thing that I learned was how much I dislike myself. I hate my procrastination (as I finish my draft on Tuesday). I hate my social ineptitude. I hate how impulsive I can be. I could go on. I hate so many aspects of myself, but I don’t hate the person who I am now. There isn’t a reason to. Often times, we focus on the things we’ve done in the past and get stuck there. I can’t change who I have been in the past, but I can make the effort to change who I’m going to be. I think this is what makes prospects of the future so appealing, yet absolutely terrifying. Anything can happen, the question is what will?