Finding More Than the Answer to a Math Problem: 2013 Resolutions

By Dakota An

With 2013 comes another fresh start, and students throughout all grades are declaring the “New Year, New Me” cliché. Many have taken the liberty to use the occasion to set goals for themselves with New Year’s resolutions. Both students and teachers have begun the arduous task of making changes in their lives.

Some students in Tech have begun carrying out their goals of building character, maturing, and improving their lives. Win Seen Huang ’15 set several new goals as her New Year’s resolution, including getting more exercise and a “more peaceful mind,” socializing more, improving her personality, and finding better ways to deal with her family. Win Seen decided to take advantage of the new year by taking control of the direction of her life.

“I got to specify what I want, and it’s nothing too physical, like getting good grades. I just want to work on my life and the people around me.”

In order to succeed, the Sophomore stated she will try to learn something new every day, hoping to view life from different perspectives.

“That will help me learn about others and understand how to solve problems effectively. I think that if I’m able to complete this resolution, I will be able to develop my life in the long run. I would be able to deal with people much better and know the kind of people I want to be with. It’s definitely going to help me a lot.”

Others have their ambitions set on becoming better students this year. Kathleen Huang ’14 has the same resolution every year: to get better grades and put more effort into schoolwork.

“I have the same goal every year because January is right in the middle of the school year and it keeps me motivated to pick my grades up. Since I’m a junior, it’s really important to have good grades.”

To get started on her resolution, Huang ’14 plans to start her work as soon as she gets home from school, and ignore everything else until she finishes. Though she thinks she can follow through with this goal for a certain period of time, she already knows she will probably check her phone every once in a while.

“I just like to keep a goal in mind. Resolutions can be effective, but if you really want to start improving your life, you shouldn’t wait until the New Year. If you really want to change, you should start now.”

Some teachers have made resolutions of their own. Michael Sikoutris of the Physics Department holds a resolution to finally obtain dual citizenship from Greece with his U.S. citizenship, as well as learn to speak French fluently.

“I resolved to make this a goal for this year for a few reasons. I am of Greek heritage, and my family lives in Marseille, France. Spending a lot of time there over the past six years, I fell in love with European culture and the way of life; it’s a way of life far from that here in New York City. When my family asked if I would ever live and work in the South of France, I thought about it and definitely see it happening in my future. I plan on obtaining dual American-Greek citizenship by the end of this year (it is a long process), which entitles me to live and work in any country that is part of the European Union.”

Sikoutris has to contact the Greek Consulate of Manhattan in order for his father to apply for his citizenship. Once his father has citizenship, Sikoutris said, he will be able to easily apply for his own.

In addition, Sikoutris is taking several steps to learn French.

“I took an online demo of Rosetta Stone and immediately fell in love with the process in which they teach a new language. I invested in the French version of Rosetta Stone, levels one through five, and I plan to devote at least five hours a week to learning the language.”

Sikoutris believes he will accomplish his resolution this year. He plans to spend two months with his family in France this summer, and by July, he says he should be fluent in basic introductory French. Sikoutris has stated that he hopes he should receive Greek citizenship by the beginning of next year.

“Normally I do not make New Year’s resolutions because I feel people make them just to make them. However, I think that having the option to live and work in multiple countries, as well as being fluent in another language, opens a door of great opportunity.”

Sikoutris, now a teacher at Tech, was once a student as well.

“As a student in Brooklyn Tech, I went through the Italian II, III and AP courses with Signora DiProssimo-Parks. I continued with the language in college and discovered my interest in learning foreign languages. Since then, I have built my vocabulary in Spanish and Greek, but most of all in French. While not fluent in French, I hope to change that within the next six months.”

For now, Sikoutris is continuing to teach Physics to Freshmen and Juniors, while also working to achieve his Master’s degree. He, like the students he teaches, is investing time to fulfill a New Year’s resolution in 2013.

Good luck to all who are embarking on this spiritual journey this year, and to those who are not, it may be something positive to consider for next year.

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