Like the worry wart that I am, I’ve been overly freaking out about HT camp coming up soon. I mean, how could I not? There are prayers to study. Knots to perfect. Bibles to read! Too much too much too much. I’ve been worrying that I won’t know anything, I’ll teach badly, I’ll just be straight up dumb. But, getting an email from Chi Trang telling me my lesson was really good and not to change anything has definitely reassured me, along with talking to other HTs. I mean, let’s face it. This is the camp my entire Thieu Nhi career has been leading up to. I’ve been prepping myself for this camp for 11+ years. I’m practically a TN veteran. If I’m not ready now, I’ll never be. And God knows, I’m ready for this. I’m ready to go to camp and blow their minds. I can’t possibly fail at something I’ve been preparing my entire life for. I’m ready to do my best and make everyone proud and. I’m just ready to finally take this step. This sounds so cheesy and overly done but it’s insanely true. This is something so important to me that it’s gotten me so nervous. But now, I feel like…I’m just ready to do it. I’m not scared anymore. I’m not nervous. I’m just ready to go and make the best of this camp and come out on top by my own standards. That’s all.
SBTNTT 35th Anniversary: Dang, has it been that long already? I’ve been here for three anniversaries already. So proud of the performance our kids put out. We put a lot into this day and it definitely went above and beyond anyone’s expectations. Happy 35th birthday SBTNTT. Thanks for giving me the most wonderful people I could ever ask for in my life, the greatest experiences I could ever experience, and a better life than I ever imagined I’d have. Here’s to 35 more years with you. :)
SBTNTT Promotion/Thanh Cap Part II: You guys are the greatest HTs ever and I am so lucky to know you guys and I love you to pieces post!
Obviously, these pictures cannot possibly encompass all the amazing huynh truongs I have in my life. There are so many of them who have taught me so many things and been the source of the happiness in my life. I could go on and on for days and days about how great they are and how important they are to me. But, I’ll try to keep it short for the sake of your sanity (honestly though, if you’re reading my blogs, I question your sanity…ho ho ho.). Let me just start with Lan and Kathy. They are literally mine and Lany’s best friend doppelgangers and the big sisters I always wanted. Not only were they great teachers, but they were amazing listeners and inspirational role models (redundant…) for me in TN and in life. Kathy, especially, who started teaching me when she was my age right now, has known me for so long and I literally hope I can be as great of a friend and HT for someone else as she is to me. I love love love them and I know Lany would say the same for our BFF doppelgangers. :)
Hiep/Hippy/scary guy when teaching formations, whatever you want to call him. He is my number one role model in TN. Jokes aside, I look up to this guy like no other and it’s almost embarrassing to say and I hardly say it aloud ever but SERIOUSLY, HE IS MY ROLE MODEL. If there’s any HT I wanna hear “Jessica, I’m so so so proud of you!” from, it’s this guy! I’ve known him for so long and he’s someone anyone could easily look up to. Smart, assertive, caring. If there are any qualities an HT needs, it’s those ones. He’s been there for me through thick and thin and I can honestly, if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be an HT right now. Straight up. It was so easy to see the way he changes lives every single day and if he could do it, I wanted to too. Maybe it’s the fact that he willingly drove me to all the TN events or kindly convinced my parents to let me out for the summer to go to Missouri or took me out every year for my birthday (the “one time in the year I got to leave my dungeon”). Whatever it was I love him to pieces and pray to God I can be as great of an HT as he is.
John is one of the most spiritual and faithful people I know, and also one of the biggest jokesters. Out of all the HTs in his generation, he’s the one I’m closest with in terms of being friends rather than mentor-mentee. Obviously he’s a huge mentor, but I love that I’m comfortable enough around him to joke around like friends. I know I say I hope that I can pick up all the qualities of these people but I can’t say it enough. I really hope I can have a strong a faith as John’s someday and build a friendship with another kid the same way we have. Side note, I was especially happy he remembered his promise to get me a kickass pink clipboard when I got my red khanh. He is da best. :)
The only thing I can say about Looney/Anh Luyen is that his picture is here because he’s hella old and has watched me and Lany grow up our entire lives. So he deserves a spot in this post. Hahaha! Last but not least, Jessica. The other Jessica in my life! She’s been super supportive this past year especially in helping me become an HT. Getting the opportunity to work with her this year has been an amazing experience and I really look up to her in terms of how she works as an HT. She commands respect and is assertive but she’s not so mean that the kids are scared of her. I think that’s basically the perfect combo for an HT. Respected and loved. She’s the best.
In the end, I could go on and on for books and books about how lucky I am to be a part of St. Barbara. I have amazing people like Huong and Sophia Nguyen to back me up when I’m teaching a dance to the kids. I have Teresa takes care of me like she’s my mom. I have Thuy D. and Bao who worked endlessly to make this promotion possible. I have a plethora of huynh truongs at SB to look up to and who I can turn to when I need them the most. Literally, this is a “YOU GUYS ARE THE GREATEST AND I AM SO LUCKY TO HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE AND I LOVE YOU TO DEATH” POST. The end.
Obligatory edit for Anton (TonTon) Nguyen: Cat, real talk time. I really respect you and look up to you because you’re like…freaking amazing. I’m especially happy that we’ve gotten significantly closer in the past several months and no joke, your words mean a lot to me. I hope you continue to be an amazing huynh truong that I can look up to and I hope we can continue to listen to good French music and exchange witty comments in the many years to come. Love, Jessica.
IT'S THE MOMENT WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR. I AM FINALLY A HUYNH TRUONG.
Here it is. Obligatory emotional post about how I finally became a huynh truong. Most of you probably already know this but for those who don’t…I’ve been a part of Thieu Nhi at St. Barbara for quite some time now. I started at age 6, a little early but thug life you know? So it’s literally been about 12-13 years since I’ve been a part of this organization. I wouldn’t even be exaggerating when I say TN has been my life, pretty much. Ever since the day I’ve joined, all I ever wanted to be was a huynh truong. I don’t really know why. Maybe it was because I liked the pretty red khanh or because the huynh truong I had were so pretty, I wanted to be just like them. Whatever the reason, even at age 6, I knew I wanted it.
I guess as the years passed by, and I went from green, to blue, to yellow, to brown, the desire only got stronger. I can say for a fact that it was because of the huynh truong who I was blessed to have in my life that made me this way. I’ll talk more specifics later but, as a whole, they seriously changed my life. They showed me how much you can touch someone’s life just by being by their side and encouraging them. Just by teaching them a simple lesson. Or reminding them that they’re always there. I know this because that’s what they gave to me. And I guess, because I was lucky enough to have them in my life, I wanted to do the same for someone else. For my entire 13 years in TN, I worked my butt off. I wanted to be a kid they were proud of and eventually, an HT they were proud of. I seriously am not exaggerating when I say so much sweat and tears were literally put into this whole process for me and for everyone who chose to become an HT. I’ve never wanted something so much in my entire life.
And when the moment came, I seriously couldn’t believe it. I am not even joking when I say me and Lany were literally shaking in our seats in the few minutes before our names were called up. I know, the process is hard for everyone. But I really have to say that Lany and I have been through a lot together in these past 12+ years as friends and as two people who wanted to become HTs. And as we were sitting there in church, the last 13 years were literally flashing before our eyes. All I could think about was everything I went through to be able to sit in this spot. I remembered being in nganh Au with Chi Anh-Thu and I remembered Huy Pham eating a fish taco. I remembered seeing Hippy and Kathy and Lan getting their pink khanhs and just thinking, man how weird. I remembered Looney as our nganh truong in nganh Thieu and those gigantic inflatable soccer balls. And being scared shitless whenever Hippy taught us formations. I remember nganh Nghia, people dropped out left and right and by Hiep Si, we were down to be about 7 or 8 kids. The Hiep Si retreat, HT camp, everything.
And literally, me and Lany were tripping balls about the sheer craziness of the moment. I’m still surprised I was able to will myself to get out of my seat and walk the long distance up to the altar. I thought I was going to faint from dizziness. I’m so glad Lany was standing on my right and Andrew was standing on my left. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. As we were reading the oath, I seriously got really emotional and I realized it was really happening and I started tearing up. And I looked over at Lany and her eyes were welling up and we both were just going crazy up there. And when Cha finally took away my brown khanh and placed the red one on my shoulders, the feeling. I just can’t even describe it. I know for a lot of people, becoming an HT is whatever. I finished the requirements, I got my red khanh, easy, done! But it wasn’t that way with me. When I got it, the feeling was indescribable. I guess I can’t really explain the feeling of finally getting the one thing I wanted for 13 years of my life. The one thing I worked towards for over half of my life. All I can say is the feeling was amazing and worth every minute of the past 13 years. It was official. I was a huynh truong.
I can’t say I’ll be an amazing huynh truong like the ones before me. I can only hope that I will be someday, as I always wanted, a kid they can be proud of teaching. And I can only hope that someday, I can change someone’s life the way they’ve changed mine as a huynh truong.
You are the salt of the earth, the light of the world.
All I can say is…DHNS 2012 went pretty damn well. It was my first DHNS as an HT and it was so much fun. As a kid, playing the games and competing is great and everything. But I think I’ve really found my calling. ENTERTAINING KIDS. LOLOLOL. I’ve gotten overly comfortable with making a fool of myself (ask anyone) to make them laugh so…that’s what I did at camp. Danced like a crazy person, sang like a crazy person, roamed around like a crazy person. But as long as the kids are having a good time, I’m having fun too! I honestly would say the best part of camp was just doing all that stupid stuff. Dancing in public is embarrassing but ten times more fun when you’re just…having a good time. I’m really proud of everything we accomplished this camp. Whether we won one award or ten thousand awards, SB still kept up the spirit and had fun either way. Can’t wait for next year. SBBBBBBB PRIDEEEEE.<3
Nghia Si Christmas Dinner 2011: Despite not being a part of Nganh Nghia, I had an extremely good time helping out at their dinner over the weekend. Even though peeling ice cold shrimp and attempting to cook yummy food without taste testing was hard, the night was enjoyable all around. I made creamed corn for the first time, which was exciting because I love creamed corn. After dinner, I was in a major food coma and had to will myself not to sleep. In the end, I got to spend my evening with people I love being around and that’s all that matters. So, all’s well that ends well. Thanks Nganh Nghia! :)
08/21/11: tn choir party at anh kevin’s house! his house is freaking NICEEEE. and his pool is even NICER. there’s a waterfall and a slide! and rocks! and under the waterfall is what me and lany call the makeout area because there’s music and a bench and lights and a waterfall. it is also the dancing club area where i danced for everyone, ho ho ho! the whole day was just super fun. helping little kids swim. almost drowning. sitting in a water fall. KIDS ARE SO CUTE. i could not even handle the cute. but honestly, what more could i have asked for in a good day. awesome pool. sunny weather. cute kids and trolling friends. and FOOD, yup the good food. it was a pretty darn good day. just saying.