Daniel Wang: An Academic Decathalon Genius

Erica Suh, Staff Writer

   50 schools. And of at least 500 participants, narrow it down to one school and a team of 9 students. Out of these 9 students, one amazing legend has emerged: Daniel Wang (10), the leading light of West High’s Academic Decathlon. Winning first place with an overall total score of 8,911 points in the Academic Decathlon Competition on February 1st, 2014, Wang took home the gold.

  This prodigious sophomore’s dedication is proven through his diligence in Academic Decathlon. Although it is an extracurricular, Wang views this class as equally important as other academic classes, especially because he spends the same amount of time on it. Evidently, he does not classify Academic Decathlon as a burden, but rather as an enjoyable subject. Because of this commitment, Daniel Wang was able to place first in the following categories: music, social science, science, art, language-literature, and math. Along with major time obligations, Wang holds the position of Vice President in the Math Competition Club and is an active coordinator for the Bay Math League competitions. Considering how time-consuming his activities may be, Wang took it in a positive light and stated, “Academic Decathlon truly did help me manage my time better. I learned not to procrastinate, but rather to prioritize and schedule my events. I do not enjoy wasting time and enjoy this program.”

  Daniel Wang’s victories have been long-lived. He excitedly recounted, “Winning AcaDec was pretty amazing. I feel that I am blessed by Jesus Christ and I appreciate the school for providing ample resources for this program.” Amidst the busy schedules and hard work, humble Wang remembers to appreciate his surroundings, particularly his main role models: Jesus Christ, God, and Albert Einstein. When he finds leisure time, Wang prefers to read, play chess, or write poetry by his bedside while burning the midnight oil. By being able to balance his spare time and work time, Wang clearly knows that control is a crucial aspect to being successful: “I try not to feel pressured. However, I work well under pressure because it provides a sense of excitement for me. But most of the time, I try to remain calm and happy because being pressured doesn’t help a situation much.”

  Amid this organized chaos, Daniel Wang is mostly proud to work with his teammates and represent West High School, not only in AcaDec, but everywhere. This year, his favorite quote is found in the book, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway: “What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.” As Wang is inspired by this quote, he encourages all students, especially aspiring freshmen, to also be motivated and maybe even join AcaDec.

Photo Credit: Joya Groban
Photo Credit: Joya Groban