wow.. almost 2 months since i wrote anything in here. it's been sorta stressful and busy these last 2 months, and now that i've had a chance to wind down, i think i can work myself up again without exploding.. well then, let's begin. 2 weeks before graduation, i was told that i wouldn't be able to graduate because i'm canadian. they'd take away my diploma, my valedictorian status.. i was pissed. so.. a week passed, my dad got lawyers and all that technical jargon suddenly got in order, and i was allowed to graduate.. they were acting as if i swam across lake ontario just to get into america.. yeah right. they were going to make me go to school because i was 15 when i started my senior year and it's mandatory for students under 16 to go to school, but they weren't about to let me graduate.. stupid retards. and then.. my awards ceremony night.. this university gave me scholarships that would have paid for most of my tuition, but when they found out i was canadian, the administrators said, "hey, let's screw that canadian over so we can get more money.. hahahaha." so, they took away my scholarships, tripled my tuition rate.. made my high school achievements worth absolutely nothing, and still expected me to go to their stupid school. anyway.. back to the awards ceremony night.. a rep from that university came and awarded me those 2 scholarships that they took away from me over THREE months ago, and when i confronted about her, she said, "oops." excuse me, but OOPS???? that's when i got really pissed.. so, i wrote a letter with the encouragement of my friend paul.. a politically correct, sarcastic, and basically fun letter to write. maybe i should just put it all down here...
May 29, 2002
To Whom It May Concern:
I am quite disheartened at the disorder and the lack of common sense of some of the people at your institution. While I am sure that there must be outstanding employees of GVSU, there are a few that cause GVSU's downfall, at least in my own eyes. Of course, I am biased because of the way I have been treated according to Grand Valley's policies and procedures, which I believe are in great need of repair.
While I was a senior at Creston High School, I applied to your school after hearing many great things concerning it. I was assured of its high standards for learning and the great opportunities for scholarships awarding my dedication to academics that would be presented to me once I attended GVSU. However, I did not realize that such opportunities would not apply to me because of my residency status. My family moved here from Canada, and might I add legally, as my father is working here on an H-1 visa, a working visa for "high-tech" workers. I am here on an H-4 visa, as a dependent on my father. We moved in August of 1999 to Grand Rapids, and I began to attend Creston High School.
We lived here for three long years, waiting for our papers to be processed so we could obtain green cards, or maybe even permanent residency status. However, simply because we do not have the piece of paper that states that we are permanent residents of this state, I am not considered to have lived here. When I applied to Grand Valley, I also attached a letter explaining this situation, but perhaps somehow it got misplaced, unattached, eaten by the cookie monster.. who knows? The financial aid office, or the office that awards scholarships, gave me two scholarships - the Bert Price Diversity Scholarship and an Awards for Excellence scholarship, which would cover my tuition rate, in addition to the Michigan Merit Award that I would receive for partaking in the MEAP testing. Yet, in February, the office called back and said that since I was not a resident, I could not receive these awards. Of course, I was frustrated, but I knew that there were legalities and such in these sort of matters. To make matters worse, they also said that I would now be considered an international student, tripling my tuition rate and giving me a measly $3,500 international scholarship to cover the costs.
Now, allow me to explain something to you - I am a 16 year old senior who will graduate tomorrow, on the 30th. I have a cumulative GPA of 4.0 spanning my high school career, earned a 29 ACT score, and I am one of the class valedictorians. I find it very unfair that according to your school policies and such that just because I do not have that slip of paper that says that I am a permanent resident, that all my scholarships would be taken away from me. I dedicated these last four years of my life in order to be rewarded for my efforts, and after all the hard work - nothing. People always say hard work will be rewarded, but I guess that reward is only reserved for those who were born American.
My dealings with GVSU have been quite frustrating, with me practically harassing the financial aid advisor Melanie - whom I have forgotten her last name. According to her, I would not even be allowed to get my MEAP money as GVSU would not accept it, because I should not have been in the state of Michigan while the testing occurred. Yet, I am confused - how is it that GVSU can accept my transcript, from a MICHIGAN high school, but I was not supposed to have been in Michigan all these years? It is my money, rewarded to me by wasting hours out of my life to take a standardized test, and with my scores making American students look good, I really would have liked to claim it. But no, I could not.
However, eventually I got over it, and resigned myself to the fact that me as one insignificant person could not change the system. Although my case is a unique one, I was lumped into a category into which I did not fit. In order to console myself, the only conclusion I can find is that institutions such as yours want to accumulate as much money as they can, although on their stamps they say they are a non-profit organization. Universities are the most profitable non-profit organizations there are - another example of hypocrisy in such a great society that has fooled itself into believing that it encourages immigrants to prosper in its land. My tuition rate was tripled in order to aid this profitable non-profit organization.
In any case, as I stated, I accepted what was done to me. However, on May 22 at my awards ceremony, I was awarded two certificates from GVSU, stating that I had received those two scholarships that were stripped away from me. You can not even begin to imagine the overwhelming feeling of indignation that passed through me. THREE months have passed, and yet your offices could not even communicate with each other to make sure everything was in order? Those certificates were not even worth the pieces of paper they were printed on, killing trees unnecessarily. What was even worse was that I had to walk onto the platform, smile and pleasantly accept such a fine gift.
Allow me to relay to you my frustration that evening - the three other valedictorians received over $15,000 in scholarships, for their hard work and dedication to excellence in academics. And I, for the same amount of work if not even more, because I had to fight to be able to graduate because of my residency status with lawyers and all these other things of trivial value, I received a consolation prize of $275, a Coca-Cola Cash Scholarship, which probably should not have even been awarded to me. And, on top of it all, I was fortunate enough to receive Grand Valley's hollow reward for my hard work.
I have nothing against the education given at Grand Valley - I am enraged at the adminstrators, the authorities there, and the financial advisors who refused to find a way to help me through this unique situation. What ever happened to the land of opportunity us immigrants are frequently told about? The opportunities are reserved only for the ones who were lucky enough to be born into this country, in which football merits more value than genius. In a country that prides itself for being so technologically advanced, the people in charge could not pick up the phone and consult each other about the awarding of my scholarships? In a country that prides itself for being one that somehow every person in the world wants to escape to, how is it that I have been given the short end of the stick?
The only reason I maintained my 4.0 after finding out about my inability to receive scholarships was for my pride's sake. I have kept my complaints silent, until somehow America found yet another way to deliver a devastating blow. I am only 16 years old, and yet I have had to fight to be able to graduate and to fight to get some recognition for all my hard work, and sadly in the latter, I have failed. I thought maybe, just maybe, GVSU might award me something since it claims to be such a diversified place. What better to maintain diversity than an Asian-Canadian living in the United States? Yet, I can not even get myself a loan.
I had planned on attending your school, until that night of the awards ceremony, which now I am thoroughly ticked off and want people to know. You may throw away this letter, it makes no difference to me. I have said what I wanted to say, or actually, I've only said a quarter of what I had wanted to say. But now, finally in concluding, I've realized it makes no difference, for me, anyway. I just wanted to throw a few rocks at you while you machine-gunned away my hope for a happy future. Oh, I'll have a future; it just will be a result of a mutilated past, that's all. Well, I thank you for your time - I hope you are satisfied with how everything worked out. Your university, your country is the best, after all. I wonder why some people don't like it...
-------> haha.. that letter makes me laugh everytime i read it.. people say i write some pretty good shit.. maybe i should become a writer instead of a doctor...
i changed the guestbook, so there's nothing in there right now.. SIGN THE GUESTBOOK!! anyway.. i also changed the song to Yesterday, by the Beatles.. hehe.. i'm in a somewhat sentimental mood.. it won't loop forever though, cuz after 3 times, it gets somewhat annoying.. i'll change the song later if i can find a good one..
argh!! so frustrated.. why must little children be so noisy? this morning, i was in my bed, having a nice dream, and then i hear BOOM BOOM BOOM, on my door. to top it off, jay jay, the name of the little brat my mom is babysitting, asks, "MAYSEE, ARE YOU STILL SLEEPING?" well, not any more, apparently... the thing that ticked me off was that this was at 6:30 in the morning, a time when any normal teenager would most likely be just starting to fall asleep during the summer. even my dad wasn't up yet. anyway.. my mom takes him away and says, "shhh.. they're still sleeping", which i can assure you i was already jolted out of my wonderful dream of baskin 'n robbins with its yummy jamocha ice cream, and then she says, "whisper, ok?" jay jay replies, "WHAT'S WHISPER?" k;sdljf;lkadjf;lkjdf... do you know how annoying that is? so he went on yelling until 8.. 2 hours of nonstop annoyance and banging and noises of stuff being thrown around, and that's when i finally lost it. i went up to him, and said, "when you go to sleep this afternoon, i'm going to pick you up, bring you to the park, and leave you there." MUAHAHAHA.. lol.. he got scared and finally shut up.. for 2 seconds. why do children never learn? i know why.. americans are scared to give their kids a nice smack on the bottom because they can be sent to jail. that's why america's filled with stupid, ignorant, obnoxious, disrespectful and immoral people, who are proud of it nonetheless.. yes, i've solved america's problem.. when children get too rowdy and mouthy, you get a piece of duct tape, put it over their mouths, and when they're about to throw a tantrum, threaten to pull it off.. slowly. hehe.. no, i'm not that mean.. just ticked off at the moment... it's nice to dream
I was cleaning out my stuff last night, going through all the "junk" i've accumulated throughout the years.. and it was sort of weird. it's like throwing out a huge portion of my life for the sake of going to the philippines without all the extra "baggage". oh yeah.. i'm going to the philippines for university because i'm sick of getting jipped off by america and canada.. anyway.. i got 2 huge black garbage bags filled up, and that doesn't even include the english essays i've written, which i'm probably going to burn once i get the chance. and, this weekend, i'm going back to toronto to see my friends graduate, and for some reason, it seems like i'm the only one who changed drastically after talking to them online making plans. how is it that people can go through life totally unmarred by everything they see? do they just ignore it or are they just so focused on themselves that they don't see any of the decomposing waste around them? i don't know.. that's what i was thinking about last night as i threw away the insignificant school notes and tests that i've taken, coming to the realization that after all 4 years of high school, none of it matters anymore..
i am bored out of my mind.. i'm actually contemplating on if i should clean some more. every summer it's like this.. i get so excited to be out of school, clean like one of those dirt-phobia people, and then i fall into this "i don't care" stage and try to annoy my dad anyway i can. yep.. the only problem is, this year, i don't really have anything to look forward to. sure, i'm going to university in a country that's halfway around the world, but for some reason it's just not doing anything for me. when i think of it, it scares the crap out of me because i don't know the language, there are some muslim radicals there just dying to kill an american (no pun intended).. hmm.. that's interesting actually, considering that i went through a lot of crap here in the US cuz i'm not an american, but in the philippines, even if i'm canadian, they'll still consider me american and i could die for it. hehe.. and then, there's the other part about being in a totally strange environment, where wearing shorts and a tank top at the same time equates to being a harlot or an american tourist, which is really the same thing to them, and where they dread the sun.. where being able to play the piano is totally unattainable by most of the population, or having a crummy 1993 apple computer means you're rich.. where i have to learn how to watch dragonball z in a totally different language.. oh the horrors.. hehe. well, i'm done making fun of myself and everything else.. so, i'm gonna stop..