Initial Failures

Sep 1, 2008

Before writing this post, I tried to mask its title with something fancy because failure seems to be so unappealing a word. But I guess people tend to hide themselves from failure and that's why they cannot move forward. Come to think of it, it's not as bad as it seems to be. Failure is, afterall, a word, and it comes before success in the dictionary.

For the first time in more than one month, I've come to feel what is called a pain. Ok, not as bad as you may think of. But it was how I felt like, when receiving a message which in essence told me that working as a part of the ICT4DEV wouldn't work out. It might work out, but not in the way that I wanted it to do. This is quite a setback because even though I've got to know this Working Group for only a few weeks, it's gained my full trust. A partnership with, or integration into the Working Group, for our Program (well, Edubuntu & Web 2.0 Technologies for educating Disadvantaged Children in HCMC, in plain English), would provide us with a solid platform to carry out what we've planned. Simply put, Plan A failed. I'm thinking of other ways to work with the WG :). This is called Stakes.

As written in a previous post, I would ask Matt to set up a Student Group at UPenn. But well, he's attempting double major in Computer Science and Bio-engineering. Despite knowing how smart he is, taking up this huge responsibility would kill him without doubt. I'm glad he declined the invitation and this had been expected. Plan B failed. I'm still working with him. Stake number 2.

The only option left is to work with SEALNet. In many aspects I'm thankful for what Project Vietnam 2007 and 2008 have given me. But to be honest, I do not entirely trust SEALNet. My sixth sense is telling me this is a valid concern. But perhaps I haven't worked with anyone from SEALNet directly and this is also a valid prejudice. After a long discussion with Tu, my highschool friend and at the same time Co-president of this Stanford-based organization, it occured to me that this kind of partnership would produce something really useful in the long-term and I shouldn't give up this opportunity. A Fellowship Program worth of $7,500 looks like a good seed funding and the resources that SEALNet can bring to our Program to a success. I'll give this more thought after recovering from today's feelings. Plan C looks rather promising. I only hope that after some SEALNet people read this post, they wouldn't find it offensive. If they do find it that way, well, they don't deserve my trust.

Independence vs Interdependence.

Yeah, cooperation works great. But it's not always the case. I'm reading The 7 Seven Habits of Effective People, and the author's arguement on this is totally true. We'd better manage to stand on our own feet first before thinking about teamworking and partnerships. So, instead of putting my entire efforts to thinking about what the best partnership scenario is like, I should also spend time finding ways to feed ourselves first before eating with others. Indeed, it is our top priority now. Oh yeah, my dad's just said" Nothing is more valuable than freedom" while he was drunk and prepared to sing some Karaoke songs. Thinking of relaxing a bit to reduce today's stressed mind.

Essentially, this is what I intended to do in the first place. But I was hesitant to do so because it would put myself in front of a lot of challenges. For some reason, I'm facing the cons of the easier option and it seems equally difficult.

To sum up, I still remember how Randy Pauch talked about challenges and obstacles: Walls are there to discourage those who are not inspired enough. I'm gonna break this wall. Anther good quote I heard first time from my friend, Loc:"When there's a will, there's a way. If there's no way, make one." Yes, I'm making one, I'm confident in my creativity.

Happy Independence Day everyone. I want to watch The Dark Knight too. This seems to fit the context so much. Independence? Dark Knight? Lol