The alarm rings. It’s 4 a.m and snippets of Emily Ann Robert’s song is echoed throughout the room. He turns off his alarm for a second or third time, until it snoozes, and begins getting up for the school day.
Early in the peak morning, the day is slow for Real Schein. A freshman at Pasadena City College, he commutes from Chino Hills to the campus by driving on intersection 71, then going roundabout to intersection 57 , and finally merging through the busy lanes to intersection 210 that connects to the city of Pasadena. By the time he arrives on campus, an hour has already passed. If there’s no traffic, Schien is usually early to his morning class and can relax for a while. Until then, he still has 6 classes to attend, over-enrolling in the Spring semester for a total of 23 units.
“I’m not involved in any extracurricular activities at the moment,” Schein said. “I’m taking 23 units and I have 7 classes [for the Spring semester].”
On his iPhone’s notepad app, he tentatively made an educational plan that listed all of the future courses that he’s interested in. In the summer intersession, he wrote down the courses to register for: two honors-accredited courses and the three humanities courses, totaling up to 15 units. He plans to beat his record of enrolling in 7 courses, by taking 9 classes for the next fall semester. That, in total, accounts to an impressive feat of 25 units.
“I’m also planning on taking 5 classes over the summer and 7 classes next fall,” Schein said.
His decision to register for multiple classes were modeled after, in retrospect, to his high school A.P classes he took. He said that he took 5 A.P classes in his senior year, 4 A.P classes in his junior year, and 3 A.P classes in his sophomore year.
To Schien, balancing a heavy workload can be challenging. He said, in a joking manner, that he doesn’t have a “social life,” and how he considers himself to be “not social” due to his inclination from “talking to people over a long period of time.”
For a typical school day, he stays more than 12 hours, getting home around 9 p.m.
“I don’t even have time to breathe at this point,” he said while mentioning about his school schedule.
What about Tesla?
An aspiring real estate agent and an options stock trader, Schein ventured into the economical trade in the summer of 2017, pouring in small amounts of shares into companies that looked promising.
“I’m not one of those huge investors that say, ‘Oh, I have millions of dollars that I would like to invest in,’” Schien said. “I’m basically just buying a share of the company.”
Apart from dealing with stocks, Schein is also an automobile fanatic. His favorite movies are, not surprisingly, centered around car racing and the mechanics of a new automobile revving its engine.
“I’m an auto enthusiast,” he said. “I’m more interested in seeing the mechanical side of things. I also like seeing how automobile companies progress.”
From Schein’s perspective, Tesla’s future in the market business doesn’t look so bright.
“Tesla, in terms of the viability of the company being able to expand their quick-charging stations, isn’t going to happen,” Schein said. “I don’t think the company is going to last long, especially with their financial situation. Elon Musk, in general, is just crazy.”
Partly, his response towards the company’s recent shares stems from being enrolled in his accounting class and from his knowledge of stock trading. Tesla, he said, is marginally failing “hardcore” due to the company’s balance sheet and financial statements. In the month of march, the electrical car company reached a “new low,” according to an article from the Wall Street Journal.
“There’s not one aspect of Tesla that’s leading way [for the automobile industry],” he said. “I think everything is failing.”
Based on a report of autopilot crashes being statistically higher than human drivers, he said that there’s “not much viability in the future” and no “WOW factor” because of the Tesla’s faulty self-driving function. However, he did admit that the company is slowly improving.
“I will admit that they’re getting better, but they’re mainly funded by investors,” he said.
Back in the Past
Featuring a line of brand-new automobiles from an auto dealer, a preadolescent Schein can be seen holding his smartphone. The angle is not directed towards his face, but to his occipital view of the vehicles, glancing over the many bright door frames.
The videos he uploaded were mainly “car walking” and his commentary on an automobile’s new car model. On average, his videos were around twelve to fifteen minutes, each discussing about a car’s engine or their features.
In one rare occasion, Schien also uploaded a vlog of himself talking about mundane subjects surrounding his life. The skit would describe an instance of how his day was spent.
“I also did vlogs, but it was bad,” Schein said. “It was essentially me reading a script from my bedroom. At the time, I was 12.”
His short YouTube stint would come to an end, in part by high school and academic rigorous classes he signed up for.
“I just had no time [to create videos] anymore,” Schein said. High school was coming and [I had multiple A.P classes].”
From the daily occurrence of studying back-to-back, one physical feature that was noticeable, to him, were the dark bags under his eyes.
“Do you notice this?” he said, referring to his visible eyebags. “It’s all from the seven classes I’m taking.”