Voices from SD Orientation: Ivan Gomez-Siu

Good morning everyone!  Glad you decided to wake up so early.  It’s nice to see so many people here.

Since senioritis has hit its apex for me, and I’ve procrastinated on writing this speech until this week, I’ve decided that I’ll have you guys do some of the work.  

So, how many of you know exactly, exactly what you want to do in college, or after college, you know, as a chosen career path?  Or life plan?  Let’s get a show of hands.

For me, it wasn’t quite so easy.  Way back in 2010, when Toy Story 3 came out, Spain won the World Cup, and Simon left American Idol, I (too) had absolutely no idea what I was going to do when I was older.  To be fair, I had only just finished sixth grade, but because I had just finished the sixth grade, my parents insisted that I “do something productive” over the summer.  I was not particularly… enthused with that prospect.  Yeah, I was that kid, and yeah, I know that’s some of you out there.

However, they gave me the option to pick among the courses in the catalog.  So I picked the most interesting one to me: the introductory web design course, The Internet Classroom.  

Ok, to be perfectly honest, it looked like the least boring one.  Funny thing is though, that upon entering the class, and perhaps even a little leading up to, I got super into what I was doing.  After that year, I kept coming back, and then, I really was picking the most interesting classes.  And one year, one became something more.  That class was Computer Engineering, and I instantly knew that this was the kind of stuff I wanted to do, and so I pursued it.  You would be hard pressed to find a person my age who gets excited about XOR gates and truth tables.  

That was when it happened.  I found what I liked to do, and I continued to pursue it.  I returned year after year as a TA, and this is my 7th year with ATDP’s computer science department.  And next year, when I go to college at UCLA, I’ll be studying Electrical Engineering.

But what’s important is this.  ATDP is an outlet for you to explore what you might want to do, what you like to do.  You might not find what you like to do now, or it may change in the future.  But you just might.  It might be that Japanese class you keep going back to every year, first as a student, then as a teacher’s assistant.  It might be that one English class you take after two years of math classes.  Heh, it might be the one Math class you take after nothing but English classes.

My point is this: make the most out of your classes.  If you like it, learn more about it.  Explore your passions.  If you don’t, come back next year and pick a different course.  Rinse and repeat.

Do I know what exactly exactly I want to do when I grow up?  Probably not.  But after my experience here, I think I have a better idea.

Cheers, and I’ll see some of you in a few weeks.