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Second Period. Honors Integrated something (whatever came before pre-calculus). Sophomore year in high school. While most people can only remember sleep deprivation, I remember my awesome math group which included A. Phan, A. Cheung, and L. Li.

There are two distinct eye-problem memories from that period of time that made that class memorable. The first was that it was in that class that I got the set of glasses that would serve me into my senior year in college. They were a set of black, thin-frame Calvin Klein glasses which, at this point in time are beat up and dirty like crazy. Up until receiving them, though, I had been using a tacky old pair which had lost one of its screws. To hold my glasses to my face, I would thread the hole where the screw was supposed to be with staples. Whether or not this was good for my eyes, I don’t know, but it was essentially trying holding my glasses together with chickenwire.

On that great and wonderful day that I received a new pair of glasses, I wore them with pride knowing that I would not have to resort to tape and staples to hold together my means of looking at the board.

A. Phan, of course, noticed the change and of course poked fun at the fact that I had been using staples and tape to hold together my glasses. To which I replied in my best sing-song voice:

“I can see clearly now… the rain is gone…”

This became a running joke for us in the years since. One day, I became fed up with the fact that I only knew the first two lines: “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone | I can see all obstacles in my way” and A. Phan and I printed up a copy of the lyrics. I’ll admit that time has dimmed my memory such that I don’t remember the lyrics anymore, but I do remember singing the song on car rides.

The other big eye trouble-related memory from that class was that A. Cheung also had some contacts/glasses-related problems during that year. In order to see the board, instead of using old glasses or asking to sit closer to the board, he brought BINOCULARS to class! Every now and then, A. Phan and I would see him attempt to surreptitiously take out these massive binoculars and set his sights on the board.

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