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By: Blair Bi

1. Introduce yourself and discuss the following: your family, interests, activities

(extracurricular, community, athletic, etc.), and experiences that you value or enjoy.

My name is Blair Bi, I’m twelve years old and my family has helped me become the person I am today. My mom especially has helped me accomplish my goals and learn from my hardships.

My favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh. His depictions of emotion create one of my favorite styles; vivid brush strokes capture his freedom of expression. My favorite composer is Franz Liszt. His original and dramatic compositions are both difficult and fun to play. They capture something I love about music. I enjoy playing music because it is both technical and creative at the same time.

I love to think, which is why physics interests me. My love for this subject came from a stash of books used by my dad. They are about astrophysics and the cosmos. Another one of my favorite subjects is biology, especially neuroscience, and psychology. As was naturally exposed to biology because I sketch people, I decided to delve deeper and explore more. I tend to be drawn by vague content, as I like to think and have my own interpretations. For example, English is another one of my favorite subjects because I like to read books and connect the themes to my own life and the real world. When we read the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I loved learning that the story is an allegory where all the characters and things are symbols of the political situations of Baum’s time, but also symbols that connect to the modern world.

I play tennis for fun and to maintain my well-being, and I sketch and paint for creative benefit and use my work for charity fundraisers.

2. What has been your greatest challenge? What have you gained from that experience?

My greatest challenge was time management. When I was little, every time I would get an assignment from school, I would do it right away. That worked well; I turned in everything early and still had time to do everything I wanted to do. As I got older and the workload increased, I followed the same routine. At the same time, my extracurricular activities, especially my piano practice became more intense and time consuming. I began to procrastinate practicing until it was too late. I saw this was an issue and talked to my mom. We came up with a solution together, building tolerance. At the start of each week, I would practice for two hours, then increase my time by thirty minutes. Of course, this didn’t happen immediately, I would practice two hours for two days and increase only 10 minutes a day, but I eventually got to my goal by taking little steps. From this experience, I learned that I must make things work out for myself, even if it seems impossible. Now, I don’t avoid difficult tasks, but instead make my distractions productive. For example, if I don’t want to do a project, I will start it but switch to something else like learning or other homework.

3. Phillips Academy is committed to creating an intentionally diverse summer community and to serving youth from every quarter as an essential part of its mission. What benefits do you see to being part of such a diverse community and what do you hope to gain from this experience?

In a diverse environment, one can experience the range of personality and interests of other people, new friends eager to share their outlook on life and different subjects. A benefit of being part of such a diverse community is the new perspective I would gain. For example, when I attended the Mannes School of Music, I decided to take a class on Brazilian music. I learned about the different rhythms, popular musicians, and the different instruments in the culture. At the end of the semester, me and my classmates performed everything we learned to the other classes. With different people come different culture and backgrounds, which can create open – mindedness. With new perspectives come more creativity; everyone will have a different way of doing something. I am hoping to engage in conversation about their different views on certain controversial questions and theoretical topics relating to science and social studies like “what makes us human?” When the different ways cause disagreements, one will learn how to communicate effectively with others. Overall, diversity will lead to more critical thinking as a group because of the different methods used to solve problems and explore areas. Being in a group full of people different from each other will help find happy medium and unbiased answers. I am hoping to gain more friends and knowledge by differences in personality and environment.

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