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Brian T. Liao
Dec 31, 2018 • 6 min read

On High School Part 1


Disclaimer: I’m always scared about sharing private-ish info about myself. It comes from my parents, protecting myself and getting a job as recruiters can see this stuff but many others talk about where they are from, their school, what they do and such. Writing this blog is sort of a way to get over that fear.

High School is often framed by movies or TV. Boring school, big kids small kids, bullying, drama, cliques. I’d say my experience was pretty good. I got my shit done. Made friends. Study. And Repeat. It’s also weird seeing how everybody turned out afterward and perhaps I studied so much I missed the drama. I also don’t get to talk about it, everybody just talks about college at college. Anyways, let’s get into this, a reflection of high school.

Freshman Year 2013-2014

It’s a bit nervous at first, but gets better. You get to meet new people 🙂. Honors English 9 was great, Ms. Sullivan is really sweet. Ms. Prelerson’s no homework policy was great, I got to slack off but hearing from my friends it set up a lot of bad habits for them in math and not doing homework. I was ok, I was really good at math. Photography was fun, but I also missed days for swim. I remember Alex saying my final presentation, I seemed really nervous, and I still do feel nervous for presentations. Some people are so natural, I don’t know how. I played JV tennis, swim & dive on 50 and 100 yard and track & field on 100m and long jump. I did robotics with my friend Joseph and we did it at STEM high school, but at our own houses. Joseph ran most of the team. We did well, we won Eastern Washington State. I strategized that we should compete there. I strategized a team winning smash WASABI autonomous robot actions making them miss while they could have scored more and letting us win. I was cocky and bad to the team. I disassembled the robot and made everybody mad. We went to worlds, and I had a pretty good time. I wore too large clothes. I also had eczema skin problems, my outside mouth area would cut and peel and be itchy and really painful. I also started contacts but didn’t go through with it. I ate lunch with Archan and played emulated pokemon, it was great.

In the summer, I probably played video games (Halo Reach?) and traveled (Cruising in Europe and the Mediterranean?). I think I skied a lot in the winter.


Sophomore Year 2014-2015

I took 3 AP classes while most people take 1. I took AP Physics A, AP Computer Science A, and AP World History. I kept this secret because I was scared what people think, but I didn’t have to be. I was a dick to my robotics team. One day at Pro Club, my mom said something that made me angry so I told my team that I quit. I’m sorry I did that. I should have clarified more. I thought the rest of the team wasn’t carrying their weight so why should I? AP Physics was incredibly hard, but it made me so much more analytical and helped me get the fundamentals I needed to do work later. AP CS A, I worked with Adrian, who would become my best friend. Ms. Prelerson also taught this class. AP World History was with Mr. Dawson and he’s a super fun guy. I liked the class, but it has so much writing holy crap. Crash Course is a life saver. I read all the book, but I know a lot of people who did not and did fine. Math was with Mr. Prince; he seemed really sad a lot of the time. 10th grade honors English (you got to have the “wow” factor) I had a terrible paper where it was long so I wrote a really complicated intro then realized I wrote too much and crunched the rest. It was bad. Ms. Cuillier was my teacher, it was my only B+. I like the Stranger, it influenced a lot of my personal philosophy, existentialism, absurdism, and made me question who I am, why I live the way I do, why is society the way it is. My Spanish teacher was a sweet lady, also a communist who said we were all privileged compared to her teaching in Philidelphia, which is definitely true. I still played tennis and track & field, doing triple jump getting to around 30 feet. I still had eczema, which sucks; it would break and make me want to kill myself and get better and so on.

Another moment was I broke down crying at Microsoft at an AP CS event. I was alone by myself in a crowd of hundreds of people. There were college booths; I wanted to talk to Stanford but I was scared and interrupted. It made me think I wouldn’t be able to succeed in life. I felt little compared to everybody else there. Two teachers came to me and comforted me, and I got over it, but it was a real facing the reality of being really little.

Another big influence on me getting ready for college. Some people will go to Running Start, you do two years of community college, and usually go to UW and finish the rest of the two years. My advisor said it wasn’t a good idea if you were going out of state, which being a young cocky high schooler, I thought I was going to go somewhere like Stanford. I stayed in high school but many of my friends went to running start and that made me feel like I was behind. I was angry with myself for a long time because of that. It drove my next years of high school, I took a crap load of AP classes.

In the summer, again I played a lot of video games and traveled, I think to Northern/Scandinavian Europe including Russia on a Cruise. I also went to Iceland, but that could have been the summer before. I’m really sad how I forget these trips, they become faint memories.

Part 2!

Post by: Brian T. Liao