Bao's weblog


Meandering thoughts of a Bay Area college student… be prepared for some bipolar vocabulary

High School

Heat waves, the last rain, and a fan on my table all say the same thing: the end of the year is coming. AP testing, STAR testing, and graduation all say the same thing: the end of the school year has past. I’ve left EVHS with more regrets then fun. But of course, it’s difficult to have fun when you have a hundred-point test coming up the next day. Studying became fun. It was satisfying to know that you understood what you were learning. It was horrifying to then bomb that test when you could’ve sworn you knew everything. It was disgusting to receive your answers back and realize that if only you’ve been thinking and pressed the button next to the one you’ve pressed…

I won’t look back at my four years of high school fondly. The only thing that’s ever made high school worthwhile… weren’t the classes, the parties, or the dances.

It was all about the people you’ve met, the ones you’ve kept, and the friends you won’t forget. Because the only things high school has ever taught me are academic. Life lessons aren’t sanctioned, just imparfaits, chi-square testing, and dissecting frogs. No one’s going to teach you what love is, or how to write from your heart, or how to shuffle and deal cards. You won’t learn about table manners, how to give CPR, or how to change your car’s oil. Learning how to pay electric bills isn’t in the ESUHSD curriculum. Learning how to become social, how to meet new people, and how to make friends was never in the lesson plan.

You learn all of that yourself through the people you talk to every day. And indeed, your friends become your teachers, your second family, a free source of food, and your shoulder to cry on. My friends have taught me self defense, poetry, and how to make a good impression. They’ve given me countless samples of Pockys, jerky, chips, and rice. They’ve listened to me rant and bitch. And in return, I’ve learned how to be generous, how to keep secrets, and how to be dependable. You think you already know how to be all of those things before you hit high school. But what they’ve taught me and what I’ve learned from them is more important then learning about photosynthesis and what the cell walls in plant cells do. What they’ve taught me is how to be a better person, how to create contacts for jobs in the future, and how to meet every obstacle in life with your eyes forward.

Thank you guys.

Filed under: General

Les femmes fatales

You’re going to die, soldier. Face it. You’re never going to leave this hell hole.

Outnumbered and outgunned, we propped up several of the desks on their sides as the class screamed, lying on the floor. Commotion, commotion. Some prick threw a smoke canister into the large classroom. This mission was all political, and we were going to pay with our lives. I shot a burst of two rounds into a Korean soldier. He fell clutching his thigh, wincing.

“Don’t kill anyone! Stick to the mission!” yelled Marcus as he shot another leg. “You retard!” he yelled at another enemy soldier. He fired a second burst straight into an arm.

“Bite me!” I shouted back. I know! I know, dammit. I ducked back down to reload and Vincent took my spot. He placed a well aimed burst into a foot.

This mission was all politics, orchestrated in conjunction with Washington, the E.U., … and the leader of N. Korea himself. Ironic. This was all for show… but not for us. Politics and sanity flew out the window. We couldn’t kill any North Korean soldiers, students, or anyone else that got in our way.

The gunfire picked up again and in panic, a girl got up and ran for the door… screaming at the top of her lungs. Eddie got up and yelled. He cursed.”Crazy-assed bitch! Get down woman! GET DOW–” crack! The Delta fell in slow motion, arching back, as dramatic as ever. Eddie laid there, face up… speechless as he stroked his bloody throat in disbelief. Scarlet started to flow out of his neck and soak into his school uniform. Eddie, as motionless as ever, stared at the ceiling.

“Cover me!” yelled Joshua. He started crawling to Eddie’s body. That was when he bit it. A bullet into an arm. Another into his ear. He swore and yelled out in pain. A final round ripped into his shoulder and pierced his heart.

“We’re getting the hell out of here! Suppressive FIRE!” boomed Vincent. That’s the cue for everyone to fire all they had into the doorway to force the opposition to remain behind cover. I fired several rounds into the large panoramic window behind me. Marcus dove through the cracked window. It shattered as his body flew through. The second he declared outside to be safe, Vincent followed, shooting as he went while I continued suppressive fire. Once outside, he shot into the doorway as I made my move. Reminded me of a game of leap frog. I reloaded and made to follow when a student suddenly tried to rugby-tackle me to the floor. I kicked him away and made my clumsy escape.

We ran. We. Seriously. Ran. It rained lead. Specks of dirt and gravel accompanied our footsteps. And then BAM! We found ourselves at a parking lot. North Korea isn’t known for its cars, and many of its roads are empty save for an occasional bus. In the parking lot was a lone black limo with its engines on idle. We made a mad dash towards it. Breathless, I got the door open and Marcus got inside. Big mistake.

Inside the limo were the craziest people I would ever meet.


The people vital to this story Rashika (far left), Cassandra (far right), Marcus (second to the right)

The girl in pink pulled out a revolver and pointed it directly at Marcus.

“Drive,” she said in an icy voice, and the limo accelerated. The femmes fatales held us at gunpoint. For the first time in my life, I was resigned.

Our cello cases were still in the classroom.


Filed under: General, old, unfinished stories

2 posts in 1


Period 1 ~ Government/Econ ~ Mr. Hubbs
Period 2 ~ Art ~ Mrs. Leung/ Mrs. Levinson
Period 3~ English~Mrs. Panes
Period 4~ Biology~ Mrs. Taylor
Period 5~ French 4~ Mme. Weiss
Period 6~ AP Statistics~ Mr. Johnson
Period 7~ open ~ friends

People you mostly talked to during:

Period 1~ I was pretty closed… Cynthia Lau during passing period perhaps
Period 2~ Also pretty closed…
Period 3~ Yeah…
Period 4~ Andrew Chau
Period 5~ Martin Nguyen, Cassi Van
Period 6~ Diana Nguyen, Kuljit Singh, and Jennifer Nguyen near the end. Before… closed
Period 7~ Saurav Agrawal, Martin Nguyen, Eddie Truong,  Christine Dinh

Random questions:

Who was your favorite teacher?
Mr. Hubbs!

Who annoyed you most 3rd period?
All the people that wanted to be in my group for an “automatic A.”

Who did you sit with during lunch?
My crowd… too many to list

Which period did you fall asleep in and not pay attention?
I never fell asleep. But I was the most drowsy in 4th period Bio.

Which classes were you the most hyper?

What was your favorite class?

Did you like lunch?
Not particularly.

Do you like going to school?
Eh, I was apathetic about it.

Who sits behind you 3rd period?
Ty Le (senior)

How many kids are in your 2nd period?
Damned if I know

What teacher did you dislike the most?
They were all fine.

Can you talk in your 3rd period?
Not supposed to, but the teacher never really had full control of her class…

Who sits next to you 5th period?
Left: Mico Deluz Right: Kevin Hseih

Who sits in front of you in 6th?
A SHITLOAD of people. Directly in front of me is Natalie To.

Summarize your year in three words:
Fun towards end.

What do you hope next year will be like?
More excitement, more friends, less work… I got pages of these I could go on

This past school year have you:

Changed hair color?

Discovered a new talent
No. My magic tricks are crap.

Broken up with somebody?

Met someone you can’t live without?
Wouldn’t want to find out.

Was this your best year?
Yes, but seeing that high school was fucked up, it’s not sayin’ much

Made a lot of friends?
Made a lot of contacts and acquaiantences… define friendship

Fail a class?
Not even close

Hate a teacher?
Annoyed, sure.

Get in any fights?
Almost weekly

Drew any blood?
Yeah and DAMN it felt good.

Gain any new friends?
A couple.

Lose any old friends?

Get in a fight with a friend?

Gone to a movie with a friend?

Lost a family member?
Cousins lost a grandmother on the other side… doesn’t count nvm.

Get any taller?
You know I actually haven’t measured…

Know someone that graduated from high school?
God no 0_0

Cut your hair?
Yeah, but not many noticed, ‘cept for the last one.

Hug more than 3 different people?
Christine, Cassi, Vikki, Teresa, Vincent, Alex, Andrew Sutedja, Eddie, Marcus, Saurav, Van, Melanie, Esther, Xi. (no homo)

Tell someone I love you and meant it?
What is love?? (And yes)

Went to a fair?

Kept a secret from your parents?

Dated someone you wish you hadn’t?

Hated someone of the opposite sex?
I disliked several. (Thanks Cassi -___-)

Hated someone of the same sex?

Saw a kiddie movie at a theater?

Spent most of your year watching TV?

Sat through something boring?
Several times a week

Drove a car?


My life seems really unimportant and insignificant. It sickens me to feel this way, but I really envy the girl that died protesting in Iran. Neda sparked something new. She added more fuel into a dying movement. I’m practicing piano and trying to get better at my flying sim. All I can do is type on this insignificant blog, a speck in this universe.

She’s dead. I’m alive. And the more I think about it, the more I feel guilty. While she was out there protesting, I was probably playing Dead or Alive.

Anyways, I was going to continue the prom/graduation series, but I’m not in the mood.

Filed under: General

The Prom/Graduation Series

A(n) (lame and vain) attempt by Bao Pham to incorporate all of his prom and graduation pictures in this harrowing, semi-serious action series! LMFAO!

ehhh… at least semi-serious for the people who are in these pictures anyways.


It’s my second day of secretly mourning as I once again reflect over that dreaded incident. But alas, there was still work to be done. I’ve led my friends of five into the lion’s den. Two of them met their ends. Even though it’s frowned upon, it’s difficult not to feel emotionally attached to them as one by one they succumbed to hails of raining hot lead. Their screams still echoed in my mind. Eerily enough, the screams were never accompanied by pleas of mercy or cries for help. Did this made me proud? Angry?

Eddie… Joshua… never again will I see them. I remembered exactly how they died…


“0300 hours. Time,” I said. Let’s get the ball rolling.


From left to right: Joshua, Vincent, Bao (me), Marcus, and Eddie

We were part of the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, or simply known as Delta. We’re a highly secretive special forces organization and the Pentagon publically refuses to acknowledge our existence. Twenty-four hours ago, we were dropped by submarine over the hostile waters of N. Korea to assassinate Kim Yong-nam. We dressed in the country’s national uniform that many of its citizens must wear. We were all Asian. We were all equiped with cello cases where we stowed our HK 416 assault rifles. We all carried combat knives and M1911 pistols in our jackets as well as fake IDs and North Korean Wons. Offically, we were transfer students from Vietnam and China… but we’re actually students that carried enough ammunition to kill several hundred people. Between us, we carried over 750 rounds. (30 rounds per clip, 5 clips per person)

Today at 1500 hours, Kim Yong-nam and Kim Jong-il will visit the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies. Amidst the crowd of 10,000 students, we will make our move. However, things go wrong. The target never arrived. Instead, men and women from the Korean army rushed the school to “quell an attempt to assassinate our Great Leader.” Our entire classroom went beneath our chairs and desks simultaneously with what must be the rest of the school.

It felt kind of eerie that everyone was eyeing us suspiciously. I was pretty sure our tracks were well-covered. We all opened up our cello cases, grabbing the weapons we weren’t supposed to need.

A Korean squad entered. The leader saw us, pointed, and yelled. We opened fire.


Filed under: General, old, unfinished stories

FREMONT!! [[Warning! EXTREMELY LONG post]]

hybrid yearbook

EVHS yearbook... Mission signatures

On the 17th of June, 2009, was undoubtedly one of the most awesome days of my life. Remember this date Bao! Remember this! But that might not be anything special anymore, since all of the most awesome days do have a tendency to involve several Fremont friends. However, yesterday was really one of the best days of high school.

 Interestingly enough, the best day of high school didn’t start off as a good day period. I drove my sister home from swimming, and by the time she finished showering and dressing, we left the house at 9:40, even though we were supposed to be at Mission San Jose High School at 10:00. After leaving the house, I drove to the park to meet Van, but he was several minutes late due to family issues. We dropped off my sister at my grand parents and hit the freeway at 9:50. Ugh.

 We arrived at Mission at 10:20, 10 minutes past their lunch. There at 2 hour parking, the first awesome event happened: Xi came to meet us! Oh my God, it was Xi! I LOVE YOU XI! Van, Xi, and I wandered through the harrowing maze of hallways, lockers, and strangers that was the campus of this old high school, where Van commented it as a hybrid between Mt. Pleasant and Independence. Wider in square footage, and definitely older than EVHS, Mission High has some of the oldest lockers and classrooms you’ll ever see.

 Xi led us into a strange classroom, which turned out to be a calculus class. In that classroom… I met Vincent’s cousin Alex! From short hair to long hair, from short to tall, Alex has indeed changed in the span of the three years since we had parted. However, his pleasant personality remained mostly the same, just matured a bit more. I really couldn’t believe it. And then…

me and alex, alex et moi

me and alex, alex et moi... courtesy of Derek

 I met Melanie for the first time in at least six years. Six years! That’s already a third of my life. I couldn’t believe that I was looking right at her and as we embraced I still couldn’t process this information. The day I left Fremont for good, we never had a chance to even say good bye. And as we stood there holding each other in our arms for those brief moments, I was speechless. I was thoughtless. All I could do was close my eyes and take it all in.

 After that, I met Andrew Sutedja. (Pronounced Soo-tay-ja) We knew each other for two years and I still remember those times in Hopkins where he bought his super weak yet effective Yu-Gi-Oh deck to do battle. I still think Gravity Bind is awesome, and he had three of them. 😀 Also, I met Derek Wong. We weren’t as closed together as I was with Martin or Xi or Vincent, but I still had a good time with him at Hopkins.

We also stopped by the biology room, but freaking Erik wasn’t there.

And then… Esther out of nowhere pops into the classroom! Melanie said she’d call her over, but swept away by current events, I quickly pushed it out of the back of my mind. So when I finally saw Esther for the first time in months, I went blank. Who are you? Oh yeah. Hey… OMG HEEEEY! So glad to see you! But deep down, “so glad to see you,” was completely inadequate. You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words. All of the pictures in the world can’t possibly… *blank

Moving on…

I started feeling like a Mission student when the unthinkable happened. (this is a regular day in Mission btw and, according to a friend, happens on a weekly basis) All set to leave for lunch, then a physics teacher returned a final to a friend, which dropped his B grade down to a D, threatening an admission into UCSD. His only chance… a last minute, full fledged, physics project… in only an hour and a half. He had four options:

Build a suspension bridge out of 100 popsicle sticks.
Build a propellor powered car using no more than 9V of DC current. Diagram must be included. <– we picked this one.
Build a magnet that turns on and off or something like that, similar to what they use in junkyards.
Build another vehicle using some motor or what. (This was immediately crossed out, since no one has ever succeeded before.)

By the time we picked one, we had an hour left. By the time we received materials from other friends, we had a half hour left. I really wish I could’ve brought Saurav, Kevin, or Eddie… anyone in AP Physics. But it was only me and Van, the useless AP Chemistry fools. In the middle of the drama, I left with Van, Esther, and Melanie to go to a bagel shop. If we couldn’t come to lunch, then lunch shall come to US! We ordered several water bottles and sandwiches to go then came back at 12:36… six minutes past the infamous deadline… way waaay past the bell dismissing students from their last day.

The grade is determined by distance travelled. The car went…

in circles. But out of nowhere, however, another body was produced and it went in a very straight line… until it hit the wall on the other side of the classroom!  With the DC current powering the alluminum/duct taped propellor, the car probably went over… don’t know. Probably more than any car ever produced by EVHS.

Mission completed, everyone sat down for the sandwiches right there in the physics classroom. I got my yearbook signed, and I signed their’s as well. Only a little bit later, it was time to return home. Everyone else would come back at three for their graduation ceremony and party.

Wii and Brawl consumed me along with Van, Martin, James, and Vikki. But alas, that must end as well. That day was one of the best days of my life. I came to Mission hoping to meet old friends. Who knew I’d end up being part (even though a very small part) of the academic life of Mission. Of course, I’ve got no right to say this, since I was kind of useless… dead weight. Ugh, if only I had taken AP Physics! But still, it felt good to see this unfold. And hey… I helped carry lunch!

The next morning, however, tragedy struck as Xi was rushed to the hospital via ambulance. At 4 am during the after party, he apparently collapsed in a “seizure-like way?”

According to him, it was because of low blood pressure and hyperventilation.

He was released the same day. Thank God he’s alright now.


Filed under: General

Gone are the the days of high school

and along with it, my will to blog.

Don’t know, but despite a countdown I had in sixth period stats (okay, 10 minutes left of high school. Kay, 2 minutes. One minute! 30 seconds!), it still hasn’t sunk in that there will be many people who I’ll never see again. Ever. High school is gone from our lives. Forever.

Psh right.

There’s still at least one more week of campus activities followed by summer. Summer is when it’ll really hit me. Good bye forever. Adieu. See you in a few years maybe.

I feel like blogging less and less with every new post. But once I start, it’s difficult to stop.

And oh my God, I love my friends. So many good lucks, call me when you’re famouses, fly me away when you become a pilots, have a great summers… and other uncalled for compliments that’ll make any guy blush. Day 185 of high school was so emotional, mundane, and anticlimactic.

But oh well, graduation and beyond is when things will really begin to… kick off.

And if this blog really does stay alive, please please comment! I’d feel so much more reassured if I know my old friends and classmates are reading. This blog has been directed towards you guys after all, and for any people I haven’t, but shall meet in the future.

This blog is a time machine, a diplomat, a journal, and the only proof that I can show to the world that I DO exist.

I’d wish you guys a great summer, but that’d be premature. Still got plenty of time to hang out.

Filed under: General

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Filed under: General

4 more days

High school was never supposed to end. That’s just how it was for me. Five times a day I woke up and dreaded the upcoming AP chemistry test, or math analysis test, or U.S. history presentation. Because that’s how high school is. Going to school seeing friends is just as regular as the sun rising every day. Now I find out that my sun won’t rise anymore. Martin’s going to SOCAL. Saurav’s going to San Luis Obispo. Ugh, my two best friends in Evergreen. And I won’t set foot onto my high school campus for awhile.

And no matter how melancholy I feel about all of this, the sun will rise the next day, and life will go on, dragging me back into it like how waves drag seashells into the ocean’s abyss.

Hang in there, only 2 more years.

Filed under: General