Last Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremony of this year’s S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Youth Leadership Millennium (YLM) program. I participated in the same program seven years ago and since then have been volunteering there.
Although I have attended many of the graduations as a volunteer over the past years, this was the first time I was invited to speak in front of the audience from my perspective as an alumnus. Writing the speech gave me a chance to reflect over the past seven years and how different aspects of YLM have been part of my life.
Much of what I wanted to share with the graduates included learning and applying what was learned to life. The first point was to get the graduates to reflect on what they had learned in the program. I learned a lot during the seven-month program, hard skills like running meetings, and soft skills like working with others. I was also exposed to different things that I wouldn’t have tried on my own.
The second point was to keep learning throughout their lives. The motto of my elementary school was “Be a Learner for Life”. The program can’t teach you everything there is to know about leadership within seven months. It’s up to each individual to put in the effort to better themselves.
The final point was to apply what they learned in their lives. I think much of the benefit of YLM wasn’t really within the program but what came afterward. The opportunities of applying what I learned in YLM Council and further developing the things that I learned in the program was what I found most beneficial.
I’m including the text of the speech I drafted below. For the actual speech, I did cut some parts out to save time because the other speakers also covered about some of the things I had planned, however I stuck with the three main points.
This was my first time speaking at an event like this as an alumnus of the program. Again I learned a lot from this particular experience both when reflecting to write the speech, and giving it on the day.
Two weekends ago, I co-chaperoned four youth from our parish on a trip to Ignite Your Torch NW, a Catholic youth conference held at St. Martin’s University in Lacey, WA. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and this blog post documents a bit of that.
Yesterday, we had a company outing to a baseball game at Nat Bailey Stadium (Vancouver Canadians vs. Everett AquaSox). I believe this was the first time I have watched a sports game in person, so it was quite exciting even though it wasn’t MLB.
The first few innings weren’t really interesting with quick outs. Vancouver finally scored a few runs to win the game. Watching in person has its benefits and drawbacks. The benefit is that you get to see everyone on the field, but the drawback is that you’re confined to one viewing angle. The TV definitely offers better angles during the pitch.
This reminded me of when I played baseball many years ago. I played a couple years of little league baseball at the local community centre when I was in grades 2-5. It was both a fun and frustrating time. In my last year, I was the main pitcher on my team and that was definitely fun. It was frustrating because I was a horrible batter.
Today I pranked people who surf my T-Comm site every day looking for “special sightings” of buses that are assigned to routes which they normally aren’t assigned. I swapped buses around such as putting articulated (long) buses on regular routes, changing the types of buses on particular routes, etc. It turns out that what caught more attention was the fact that my ‘backup’ buses in the D40LF and LFS range were being randomly assigned as cover for buses that were already swapped, rather than the actual swaps that I had intended.
Here are some screenshots of some of the swapped buses:
Some technical detail went into planning this since it was critical to also keep a copy of the actual bus assignments so that it could be replaced after April Fools. I came up of a short list of routes and buses to swap that wouldn’t completely break the rest of the system or make it completely obvious that the data was faked. Then I created a separate copy of T-Comm on Sunday night and took a couple of hours to code the swapping modification. Monday was the test day, which turned out to be very useful because there were a couple glaring bugs. Then overnight I swapped the two T-Comms and went to sleep. By the time I woke up, I already had messages of confusion in my inbox 🙂 Was it worth the effort? Yeah I think so. Lesson behind this? There’s nothing like transit-fanning the traditional way of sighting buses in person.
It’s hard to believe I’ve had this domain name for 10 years!
Although I only got the domain in 2004, my first websites date back in 1999-2000 using services like Netscape Websites and Angelfire, and when <blink>, <marquee> and animated GIFs were the craze.
I created this blog back in my high school days, before the time of Twitter (now most of my day-to-day spam is there instead… :P). That was the time while I was in IB, started transit-fanning, and developed MyBB. Over the decade, some things have changed, some things haven’t. I’ve since graduated from university, became a more active Catholic, and am still a transit fan and code monkey.
Here are some posts from the past 10 years that I’ve found interesting after looking back:
2005 – Started transit fanning since I got my first digital camera. Here’s when I first got a look of the “new” trolley bus (New Flyer E40LFR)
2006 – Blogged about Writely, which later was acquired by Google and became the basis of Google Docs