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Commentary: End of year wrap-up

Clark Zhu | The Feather Online

Senior Clark Zhu shares highlight moments during his two-year stay at Fresno Christian. Zhu joins the Feather video team at his senior year and his favorite memory is Feather’s trip to New York City.

“You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.”  —Boyhood

Time has gone by fast since I came to Fresno Christian. My two-year stay in this school flew like a sharp arrow. Every day I still have the feeling that I just got here, but now it is almost over. But luckily, I can tell myself, without any regret, that I made the most of it during my time here.

I used to be an extremely shy person. I did not talk to people a lot, I was afraid of public speeches and I didn’t get jokes others made. But I think Fresno Christian changed my being an introvert. Here I got to make friends with people from different backgrounds which made me open up myself more than ever. I am grateful for them to accept me, a new guy, an outsider of American culture. I am grateful for their kindness and tolerance. I would be a much different person if they did not show up in my life.

Junior year was more of a “fit in” year for me. I just arrived in a new country, fresh off the boat. I stayed quiet for most of the time to observe and learn the way things work in American society. I started to build up friendships with my peers and teachers.

The highlight of that year was video production class. Video adviser Evan Christensen is such a talented and charismatic person and I really enjoyed learning filmmaking from him. We had two short film productions throughout the year and one of them received ten film festivals selections and one editing award. I am very proud of what we achieved. Taking video production also happened to be my first step to joining The Feather video team.

I was not even aware of The Feather video team until adviser Kori Friesen pitched it to me near the beginning of senior year. I made the right choice and I decided to join the Feather. It has been a blast. Even though I only stayed on the team for one year, I learned plenty of skills from adviser Greg Stobbe, Kori Friesen and my boss, Jarrod Markarian.

And I want to express my gratitude to Stobbe in particular. He has taught me so much about making a video look professional. I can recall that afternoon at Columbia University, 15 minutes before the start of the award ceremony and Stobbe was still helping me on fixing title cards and the written post for the Peter Hurley interview video. In the end, effort surely paid off: the video became the second most viewed video on Feather’s Vimeo channel. It would not be the same without Stobbe’s teaching.

Clark Zhu | The Feather Online

Zhu will spend the next chapter of his life at Loyola Marymount University, major in Film Production.

Speaking of New York, Feather’s trip to the Big Apple was surely a highlight of my senior year. It was tiring trip, as my job was to make recap video for each day’s activities. Therefore, I needed to stay up late to finish editing, but every moment was worth it. In addition, I am proud of what our team has achieved and being recognized, a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown.

Another highlight I want to mention is the Feather’s suicide PSA, “Hope: Let’s Talk.” The PSA was something I had the chance to direct, write and edit. It gave me tons of pressure during the production process but I have learned so much and grown as a filmmaker.

The PSA offered me an opportunity to fully control a project from the very beginning to the end. And I believe the video succeed in making an impact to the community – as we are interviewed by the local television reporter Christina Tetreault from CBS 47.

At the night when the interview came out, I was anxious at an extreme level. I sat by the TV and waited for that moment I could later be proud of for a very long time. Then, there it was: Jarrod and I, on the television screen, talking about something that the Central Valley community deeply cares about. It was an honor to achieve such accomplishment as a member of the Feather.

All the other activities I participated in Fresno Christian have been blessings to me. I choose to take drama in my senior year – which should have been a nightmare for any introvert – but it has made my personality more open and outgoing than ever. I stopped fearing speaking in front of the crowd thanks to this class. Its influence on me grew larger than I expected.

My high school life at Fresno Christian has been like a rollercoaster – there are ups and downs, yet the overall journey is absolutely exciting. It has been a wild ride. I will miss the people here. Thank you for all your kindness. May your best years be yet to come, and so for us all.

Clark Zijun Zhu will spend the next chapter of his life at Loyola Marymount University. He will major in Film Production and continue to pursue his passion in the world of filmmaking.

“In case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night!” —The Truman Show

For another senior reflection, please read: Senior reflection: Dawson Triplitt.

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