Heroes of CKI

Jonathan Wu







Cognitive Science, Neuroscience emphasis

Daly City, CA



Why did you choose cognitive science?

I needed something to be like, half humanities, half science, cause i can’t solely do, like, science. I need something in between. Something where I can explain stuff but at the same time use data in order to reinforce my statements. I’ve always been like that. I need some hardcore data in order to prove an argument. If not, I look at your argument and point out all the bad things you’ve said and be like, *high pitched voice* “Nooooo, I don’t think it works like that.”

So you’re a cold hard proof kinda guy? Like you need solid evidence?

Most of the time, until i get to that point where i’m like, you know what, let’s just look at horoscopes, i’m bored. It is interesting. That’s why i look at it, cause i’m like, “huh. Mkay. i hope this is how my day goes.” Then after looking back at my day i’m like, “nooo that is not how my day went.” I think I’m a Leo. See, that’s the other thing about this, where i just look at like, oh, your personality based on when you were born, on your specific birthday. It’s weird. They have some type of thing online for that. I look it up, I’m like, oh okay. I just know i’m born on the same day as Fidel Castro and Alfred Hitchcock.

Wow. You could be the next Fidel Castro.

Mmm, that’s questionable? Like, yeah, he had good leadership skills, but at the same time, he was a horrible dictator. I’d be down to be a Hitchcock, though. Just a little… I don’t know. He looked very serious. I don’t think i could do that.

You’re not a serious guy?

I may look like it, but honestly, if i could, i would prank everyone. Like there are days where I think of ways where i’m like, “huh, i wonder if i did this to you, how would you react?” Yeah, i always mentally think, if i did this, what would happen? If i did that, what would happen? Yeah. I think a lot.

When you usually imagine these scenarios, how does that end up going for you?

Either horribly wrong, or i’m like, oh, i got away with it, i don’t need to worry about it. For now. *laughs* I wouldn’t actually do it. You just think about it, and then you just keep it in your mind just in case… I guess.

Just in case, whoa. Better not get on your bad side.

No, i don’t mean it to be like, to be rude to someone, but more like, just to expect things that may also happen to you in the future. You know what i mean? Like let’s say, um… Let’s say i got in trouble with the wrong crowd of people. Let’s say. We don’t know. So, how in that method would i be able to get out of that situation? Well, i could always try and hide, but hiding is never really that effective. Uhh, somehow confront them, but again, how am i going to confront them if i have no base of power to face them with? Uhh, what other option is there? Um, somehow negotiate something. Yeah, those are the three options i can think of so far. There are probably more. And then somehow i visualize people talking and i’m talking, but at the same time i’m like, “no, these words don’t fit if i talk like that.” i rehearse things in my head, too.

Okay, so Circle K questions. Why did you join Circle K?

Why? Cause my-- when i was here during my first year, i was very, like… i had a very antisocial sentiment. Like i-- i wanted to meet people, but at the same time, i was like “ugh.. Sometimes people suuuck.” Like you know how in the dorm, you would think like, oh you guys are good people, but after a quarter, you’re like, oh yeah, you guys definitely suck. You’re not the right type that i would hang out with. So i’m like-- second year, i’m like, okay, i need to go make some new friends. So i’m like, well, Circle K’s an option. I already know some people in there. Maybe get to know a few more. Then i go in and i’m like, “Yeah, I could fit in with these people.” Well I already knew Brandon and April, ‘cause we were part of like, the lunch group. Yeah so, basically we ate lunch every day together with some other people. Nora, I just found out this year, that she lived on the same floor as I did, and I had never seen her. Who else did I know? I’m trying to think who else i met that has been in Circle K. I remember meeting Nhi one time, but i don’t think she was in Circle K yet. Mmm. Yeah, i think it’s only Brandon and April.

So like, since you’ve been in Circle K this whole year, have you had a Circle K moment?

Honestly for me, it’s probably when i’m… it was either during-- it was one of the times when i went to Snocial or board retreat. Cause then when I go travel, i relax so much. I don’t need to worry about anything, cause i do all my work beforehand, and just relax, go talk with people, play board games. All I can do is focus on the people that I’m with. Snocial for me was fun. Oh, did you-- I was in the car that broke down. I was in Orion’s car. So that was interesting. So we were stuck at that-- a Chevron, for a good hour or two. That was an interesting bonding time.

Was that your Circle K moment?

No no no, that was not my Circle K moment, that was too early. I’m like-- because I’m like, “I just want to get to the cabin, set up where I’m gonna sleep, and sleep.” You know? I guess my moment is when everybody’s together and we’re all like, playing a game together, I guess. Or when I’m like, again, when I’m just feeling relaxed. And with good people.

Why did you apply for Service Project Director?

Well, technically at first I wanted to be, what was it… fundraising chair, but then some of the ideas I had were a little bit… unstable, if you know what I mean. Like, something implausible, something you couldn’t carry through on. ‘Cause I had a lot of food stuff. And then service one, I’m like… I was thinking about running for SVP, but I’m like, “First of all, I don’t want to deal with a lot of responsibility, but I want to help the club, and I do want to do service-related things.” So I’m like, well, I could always apply for service chair. There’s someone helping me, and I could help them whenever is necessary. So then I don’t have to have that much responsibility, I can still contribute to the club, as well as trying to do stuff outside of the club if I need to as well, so there’s a balance. ‘Cause that’s what I always strive for. There needs to be some sort of balance. Just with anything, you need a balance.

Give me an example.

I think the best time I’ve had balance was junior year of high school. ‘Cause I was balancing band, track and field, two other clubs with positions, uhh, three AP classes, and like… what else. Oh, plus we had to do--we went to a music competition that spring, so I’m like, I need to prep and all that. So that one I had a really nice schedule. Like, every day I’m like, “Oh, time to go to sleep from like, 11, wake up at this time, go to school, after school go to practice, after practice, oh, I should do homework within this portion of time.” But then now in college it’s like I have so much free time I don’t know what to do. That’s why I’m like, “I need to fill this void with something,” so I’m like, “Ayy, CKI, that’s useful.”

Are you thinking about joining any other clubs here? Or have you joined any already?

Yeah, I think the priority right now is maybe get a job, find another club, maybe join a position, internship, or research. One of those four. And then what else. What else I’m gonna fill that void with? Oh, I need to go exercise more, I feel so lazy. Like, I feel like a blob if I don’t exercise. Like, yeah, I feel like I could just--if you lay me down on the ground, somehow I just inflate and start rolling everywhere. Yeah.

I mean, it feels nice. You know, not having to do anything.

Mmm, oh, okay, certain times. Like, let’s say you wake up, for a good week you’ve been waking up at 6 or 7, and then sleeping at 11, okay that makes sense. But if we were to say like, oh, you sleep in till like 10, but you slept at 11, it’s like, okay, that’s kinda bad. Especially the morning. The morning is always the most productive part of your day, and then once it hits afternoon, you’re like, either need food or a nap to recharge you for the rest of the day. Maybe it’s just me. Or, this is me. I’m productive in the morning and at night, but in the afternoon is where I’m like, “UUHHHH what am I supposed to do?” I don’t wanna do work, but at the same time I should be doing something, but I don’t know what. All my classes are in the morning. Yeah. If I didn’t do that, maybe I’d be like, “Oh, I could do all night classes,” but then night classes aren’t fun. Especially during the winter, ‘cause it’s all dark and all. So, yeah, morning is the best, ‘cause you don’t have to--you wake up early, and then the entire day you can do whatever you want.

That’s true. So what are some things you like doing with your day? Like hobbies?

I enjoy reading, cooking, and exercising, but at the same time I don’t have the time to like, fully exercise sometimes. And there are days where I like, lounge around the home and watch Youtube videos on cooking, and that wastes a good two to three hours of my time. ‘Cause I’m like, “Ooh, I wanna learn how to make some croissants! Oh, I wanna learn how to make some custard tart!” Again it’s a thing where it comes back to the thinking, I’m like okay, why did you do it in this manner and this method, why did you add the eggs before the cream? Why did you add the cream before the eggs? And then you’re like, oh that’s probably why, you’re gonna produce this certain outcome if you did this step compared to like, let’s say adding the whipped cream before the apples, you know? ‘Cause whatever you do and whatever order you put it in, you’re gonna have a different result. And then you wanna optimize your results to be the best, SO you gotta choose the best options of what you gotta do!

So what are you thinking about doing with your major once you’re out of here?

See, the thing is with me, it’s like, even though I get my degree, it does not necessarily determine what path I will take in life. Because I’ve talked to so many older people, like my Japanese aunt. She was majoring in like, communications or something, but somehow she became a nurse in the end. My mom, she thought she was gonna be a teacher, but somehow she became a dentist, I’m like… I guess. Yeah. And then who else? I have like… a white grandpa, who’s like… what did he do? I don’t remember. Like he double majored in bio and poli sci, somehow he became a counselor at this school, and then afterwards he got a PhD, but I don’t know what he got the PhD in, I’m like, INTEResTING. I don’t know how he did it, but he did it. And he played for Stanford. I strive to be that type of dude. Somehow, just… yeah, I don’t know how he did it, I just strive to be someone like him. He’s a cool guy, too.

So you don’t really have an exact kind of goal, you’re just kinda going with wherever it takes you?

Or at least, my end goal is, I just wanna have a house to live in, a roof over my head. That’s the main goal. And one that I earned on my own.

How many siblings do you have?

One younger brother and one younger sister. My sister’s… wait, okay, I’m 19, 20--okay, she’s 17 right now but will turn 18 in the summer, my brother, he’s--I surprised him for his 15th in February.

So what’s it like being an older sibling? The oldest sibling, I guess.

All I have to say is, like, we tell you stuff because we want you to do well, it’s up to you whether you wanna listen or not, but most of the time we’re right. *chuckles*

So you’re the mentor-ish? But also not really?

I can be if I wanted to, but how I explain things sometimes can be very like, it’s too passionate for them, I guess. It’s too--is verbose the right word? Yeah, I’m too verbose too. I’m like my dad in that manner. When I explain stuff, I just go on, ramble a bit, get back to the main point, ramble some more, return to the main point, and conclude. *laughs*

I feel like that was what you were doing right there. Has your dad been a really big influence on you then? Or do you think it’s just a natural thing you picked up?

No, I think that part of him definitely influenced me, ‘cause in our family, he’s basically kinda like a stay-at-home mom, even though he works. Yeah. So he’s the one like, nagging us more. We see him more often than our mom, ‘cause she’s the one who’s working. I think both of them work full time. It’s just that they adjust their schedule so they try to do like a half and half thing, but it’s more like we see our dad than our mom. ‘Cause like, especially over the weekends, it’s like, Saturday is like a prime day where most people go out, my mom’s working that day. But then my dad is like, “Oh, we’ll take you out to like dim sum or something.” And then Sunday it’s like, our mom’s here, but at the same time, it’s like, ah, we got homework, even though we should have done it Saturday, but we went out Saturday, so yeah. We try and like, balance. Maybe I should add that into my life philosophies. Balance. Balance everything. That’s always good. Just don’t focus on one thing. Unless it’s yourself, then yeah. Focus on yourself.

I wanna ask one more question. I’m not sure if I wanna go in a more introspective route, or a “Tell me an embarrassing story.” What would you feel more comfortable with?

Introspective. ‘Cause embarrassing, I feel like I have some, but at the same time I’m like, if I remember the entire details correctly. Yeah.

How about “What’s your favorite thing about yourself?”

Okay, never mind, let’s go to embarrassing story. Yeah, I never liked those questions where it’s like, you look down but you also look up at yourself for some reason. ‘Cause I’m like, as a human being, you’re like, you’re both good and bad, you can’t really pick out good things. ‘Cause also, the good and bad stuff, it’s all relative too, to different types of people. Therefore I try to choose like, neutral things, or relatively neutral words to describe myself.

I mean, even the way you look at yourself is biased. So, even if you’re trying to be neutral, you’re kind of biased.

In a way, yeah. But at the same time I’m still--how do you say it--I’m still accounting for my bad qualities and my good qualities, therefore I look down the middle road. ‘Cause I can’t be perfect.

Yeah, of course not, but you do have good qualities, and you should acknowledge that.

You know what, I’ll just think of one good and one bad quality. Uhh, good quality. Okay, bad quality, I know that one, that’s easy. I’m either too stubborn or I’m too quick-witted? No, not quick-witted, uh, I think too quickly. Or I act before I think, there you go. Good quality… I can be a loyal friend. But the problem with that is like, I could be blind with loyalty.

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