Op-ed: The right to wrongness

Sam Tran
With a good night’s rest and a delicious green smoothie in my system, I kicked off a summery Monday morning with a fresh start. I came upon a mass of children and other teenagers in the parking lot after checking in with an advisor. All of us got escorted to a sleek building and sent to our appropriate locations, me walking up a flight of stairs and entering the room to my left. Day one of five of my java programming class at George Mason University and I had this in the bag.

Weirded out yet unfazed as the only female student in the room (no complaining), we began learning the basic structures. Even though I had no prior experience in computer programming, I had confidence in my ability to absorb the information within the blink of an eye. After all, I always did that the only way I became naturally accustomed to. To say it in the nicest way possible, I got annihilated.

Strings, variables, while loops, if-else statements, Boolean values these concepts quickly blurred together to become a warped mess inside my mind. In school, I tended to become frustrated with others who could not go at the same pace as me. Yet during these five 7-hour classes, I felt like only a small black speck in an entire universe. I became frustrated with myself! For the first time in my adolescent life, the best person in the class did not turn out as me; rather, the cute guy sitting to my right. Many times did I have to turn to him, barraging him with a multitude of questions.

Humiliated? Yes.

Society, scared to deal a blow to children’s self-esteems, has become brainwashed with the “everybody is a winner” mindset. But in reality, one who thinks him/herself as the best appears ignorant. A fine line exists between having confidence and exuding cockiness, and humility helps to crack down on the latter. Losing serves as one of the most important aspects in mentally growing. Seeing life through another perspective gives a chance for becoming a little more open-minded. Instead of raising children to become conceited individuals, teaching them a bit of humility allows them to understand their position, legitimately work for what they aspire, and ultimately improve in their ambitions.

Initially irritated with my constant questioning, the cute boy soon became a friendly acquaintance. And by the end of the program, I created a tic-tac-toe game that I did not and still cannot understand to this day. Walking out of the building for the last time, I only left with positive thoughts and memories. During the week-long class, no student actually received a reward. Yet for me, the most rewarding part I got from it? The experience of getting put in my place.

Humility? Yes, please.

This op-ed reflects the opinion of the listed author(s), and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the LSNews.org editorial board, its advisor, or the Lampeter-Strasburg School District. Questions or concerns can be directed to lspioneernews@gmail.com.

--Sam Tran, Special to LSNews.org

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