By NICK BRAMANTE
Tyler Zeng is a senior at Malden High School, one who has seen a lot of action, both inside and outside the classroom. Growing up in China, Zeng lived there for about 12 years. It was after those 12 years that he made his transition to the United States, and continued his life in a new environment. While Zeng easily adapted to life in the United States, he was careful to remember his Chinese roots.
Chinese culture taught Zeng many lessons, but he specifically remembers to have “a lot of discipline and respect which will be useful for the future in both the military and civilian life.” In his life Zeng has had no specific influences, but states he accepted a somewhat general influence from people that surrounded him such as family.
Zeng’s high school career has been “decent with moderate effort.” His academic effort reflects that of a person really doing their personal best. Unrealistic expectations and soul-crushing studying appear to not be as important to Zeng as others; he has done the best with what he had. Could Zeng have really worked harder and done the best possible? “Definitely yes, but there’s only 24 hours in a day.” Zeng’s response reflects what kind of a person he is. One who not only works, but someone who enjoys life along the way. In other words, a classic high school student.
One of the best moments in Zeng’s career was when he actually won 20 dollars from Principal Dana Brown in the Knowledge Bowl freshman year. Another memorable moment for Zeng took place this year during the annual Spirit Week rally in the gym. It was a great experience for Zeng when Principal Brown thanked all the veterans who were currently serving. The event was truly an emotional time for Zeng as he shed tears during the moment of silence as well as during the National Anthem. The kind of honor and pride that Zeng feels towards the armed services is a remarkable trait. He truly cares about what he has done so far and cares very much about what he can contribute to the world later.
Zeng joined the United States Army Reserves as a junior; the following summer he entered and passed Boot Camp. Zeng is not on active duty in the Reserves, but he will only be asked to serve when the Reserves are called upon. Despite this fact, Zeng still needs to complete annual drills two days out of every month. According to Zeng, “Boot Camp was really the hardest thing for [his] military career... and [it is] already over.”
From a young age, Zeng knew he wanted to join the military. “Maybe [it is] because of all the movies [he] saw when [he] was young; those people looked heroic and attractive.” Even though Zeng considers himself to not be extraordinarily intelligent or an extremely hard worker, he is sure about his passion for the armed services. He joined to “accomplish what others [will not] do,” among other reasons.
When asked to express any final phrases or words to MHS, Zeng took the classy route. Quoting Charles Dickens, Zeng explained, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” The quote was taken straight from Chapter 1 of Tale of Two Cities, a Charles Dickens classic.
Zeng is enthusiastic about the novel, and explained, “if freshmen want to know the rest of the quote, they can read Tale of Two Cities… [It is] such a great book, [do not] skip reading that.” As a final piece for freshmen and upcoming upperclassmen, Zeng urges to enjoy freshman year, take on challenges as a sophomore, and work the hardest junior year. After those three years, “senior year will fly through.” And as a general rule of thumb, “always respect the teachers.”