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Frannie Leung

Thursday, February 19, 2004

An ‘emo’ kid
comes to terms with
life’s petty truamas

Just the other day in Advanced Placement English class, my friend slammed her hands onto her desk in frustration. I knew all hell would break loose after a boy commented about her minor grammatical error.

My friend had been going through a rough week; we all had. Handouts and different homework assignments flew into our hands in jumbled heaps, tests for five Advanced Placement and intensive classes all scheduled within the next three days threatened to overwhelm us all.

Homework, music rehearsals and marching band night practices, performances and athletic games smothered us like a cloud of air pollution over Los Angeles on a bad day.

Praise the kid who managed to turn in every single assignment on time while getting the recommended eight hours of sweet dreams.

The rest of us lived through nightmares, sitting blankly before our humming computers or AP chemistry books and pulling all-nighters with the help of our good buddies "Coffee" and "Tea."

That's why my friend lamented, amid her sobs, about how useless she was and how her life sucked.

My self-pity, however, transformed into remorse and guilt in a record-breaking three days. My thoughts settled on one idea, a revelation: "We are all 'emo' kids who do not know what we're talking about."

My friends and I define an "emo" kid negatively, as someone who is overly emotional about life's daily problems. I admit that it is a generalization, but I found myself utterly disappointed and embarrassed about all the "awws" and "it's-too-hards" that I had ever said in my life.

The thought that nagged at me was of a little girl on the other side of the globe in an underdeveloped part of the world who was suffering a swollen belly from malnutrition. And here we were crying about the difficulty of mastering the Law of Cosines in trig class!

I remembered a little girl who I had met two years ago when I visited my distant relatives in rural Canton. There is so much irony in the fact that we are related. I have two loving parents whose devotion is only disguised as scoldings; I have a clean and spacious tiled shower tub; and I have full access to a flushing toilet.

This distant cousin of mine, only 3 years old, seldom receives a hug from her mom, showers in a filthy, moss-covered cubicle that is dirtier than the person trying to wash off the day's dust and whose "bathroom" is a trench in the ground outside.

I suddenly realized how much those late-night homework chats with my friends, those chemistry stoichiometry problems and those cheesy jokes of my scary history teacher's meant to me.

I realized that my happiness far surpassed my petty traumas. Life is much more beautiful when put into perspective.

Frannie Leung is a junior at Moanalua High School.


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