A Typhoon Flew Around the World

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Living in California, many hardly react to the idea of hurricanes. But utter the word typhoon within Asian countries and the people will shrivel up in fear. Typhoons, AKA hurricanes, are common in countries such as China, the Philippines, and Japan. With wind speeds of up to 230 miles per hour, the results can be disastrous. Homes are wrecked, trees are uprooted, and every visible object above ground in the path of the fiery storm is smashed and destroyed. Fortunately, with adequate warning, people are able to evacuate before the worst of it comes. But even so, many people are rushing to abandon homes that were once their only place of comfort and security. Even if these do get safety, their lives are turned upside down by the process of restarting a new life with basically nothing.

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Meranti, one of the strongest super typhoon headed towards China and Taiwan.

Once upon a time, during the 1950s to be exact, humans left behind their farmlands and abandoned agriculture to seek a “better” life. But not just a few families here and there, but millions of people decided to hop on the bandwagon that led them to the big cities. With that, urbanization began. With so many people searching for the opportunities that cities provide many are bound to be left behind. Similar to the people seeking shelter from typhoons, these migrant workers are in the same boat. After having lived in farms for generations on end , these people are forced to abandon their source of pride, nourishment, and home. For many of these people, traveling to California in hopes of jobs is really the set plans they have. Just like the people having to uproot from their homes in the face of a natural disaster, migrants workers are forced off their land with no way of turning back.

 

In order to seek a home for their families to live and grow, victims of typhoons are forced to travel further inland. In many cases, those living inland welcome and pity these victims, but not everyone is fortunate to find a good Samaritan. As a result, the government has to step in and donate money. But when this isn’t enough, programs such as UNICEF, Red Cross, etc. have teams of people volunteering to find ways to fund raise enough money for these victims. In all honesty, these programs can also be applied to migrant workers. By setting up more programs that encourage young adults and teens to volunteer their time towards service, there would be an overwhelming amount of help directed towards migrant workers. Whether it’s fundraising money, building homes, or taking care of children so that parents can go find jobs, everything could help these people.

 

Life would be so much simpler if people shared their wealth with others without being forced to. If we just took a couple of hours within the day to volunteer in a program, we would be contributing so much to society. Every small action counts and there’s always a time(if the time is made) to help those in need.

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Seeing the Unseen: Perspectives of Slaveholders

 Despite the tragic history of African Americans and their life of enslavement, one man by the name of Frederick Douglass broke his ties to this lifestyle through certain wits and dedication. In his autobiography, he depicts his life transitioning from one white man and woman to another. Whether his owners were good or bad, each individual’s actions has molded his body and mind from the moment he was born until he was freed. And as slaves are considered “property”, how has the way each owner handled their belongings reflect on their morality as a human?

Continue reading “Seeing the Unseen: Perspectives of Slaveholders”

I went for night runs for a week…

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Now, the idea of cardio and exercise has always been an enchanting idea to me. Always a new years resolution that I promised myself to start. Now that 2017 was here, it was time to turn this idea into reality. So for 30 minutes a day, I forced myself out of the house at 7 pm to start my night jog. At first, I would run with my ears plugged in concentrating on how hard it was to breathe and the cold sweat that I’ll break out into in the chilly night air. The next day was the same. I probably looked like a pale, sweaty mess with my hair plastered to my face. But that night when I came home, I felt energy pulsing through my veins like I’ve never felt before. After a nice shower, I started homework and to my surprise, the problems that I’d previously struggled in became an obvious answer. Because of that, I was able to sleep early and wake up ready to start my day. Like a domino effect, the results of just 2 days of running were amazing. The third day became even easier as running was no longer exercise; it was a routine that looked forward to relax at the end of the day. By the fourth day came, I couldn’t help but realize that just as the rapper Logic was addicted to his “Nikki”, I was addicted to the sweat and energy after a run. By the time the weekends came, I went out of my way to be sure that even if there was work, I would somehow squeeze in time to run. It was well worth it because as I ran, I looked up into the the beautiful night sky and saw the full moon rising above the veil of the clouds. Surrounding the moon were stars that twinkled so beautifully I was breathless. And for the first time, I took our my earphones and instead of listening to Logic or Asap Ferg, I listened to the sounds of the breeze that whistled through the bamboo leaves in my neighborhood and crickets as they whittled away. Somehow, it felt like being in a Buzzfeed video minus the embarrassment I’ll feel from being recorded. Forcing myself to run has created phenomenal results not only on my physical health, but also my mental health as well. During that time, my body became less bloated and I was reaching for fruits in place of chips. Although it’s only been a week in, I know that running will truly transform my 2017 into the year that I can be proud of.

 

 

 

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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One of the craziest things brought to my attention during class was the idea that it’s possible not to realize how incompetent we are due to our incompetency. In other words, because of our stupidity, we don’t know how stupid we actually are. As we were listening to a podcast about a man who blatantly robbed a bank without any form of concealment, I was truly puzzled. But it turns out, the man seriously thought that by rubbing lime juice all over himself, he would become invisible and deemed that he could rob a bank as a result.

The most captivating concept about this whole effect is the idea that smart people are the ones aware of this blind spot. For example, a less intelligent person  would believe that what they know is everything there is to the picture. But taken from the perspective of someone more knowledgeable, they realize that there are the “unknown unknowns”.  In everyday life, we try to prepare for the problems and risks that result from our actions. But the mind-blowing question is, what if there are risks and problems that we’re not even aware of and in which case, we can’t come with up a solution for? Apparently, this can be diagnosed as anosognia, a condition where a person suffers from a disability that they’re unaware of. In the story above tells how the life of a women is twisted around and about as she battles this tiresome mental disorder.

King of Fruits

Growing up, I’ve never really enjoyed eating this mushy, knock off of a jack fruit before. But not long ago, I ate a piece my grandmother gave me and was bewildered by how sweet and homey it tasted despite the strong, sickly scent. As the most popular fruit in Southeast Asia, I realized just how much we don’t appreciate the culture and history that this fruit retains. Surprisingly there are many superstitions surrounding the fruit. One of the most interesting that one that I found was the idea that it is aphrodisiac. I searched it up and discovered that this means…well you should search up the word if you don’t know it. But due to the durian’s unusual characteristic, the Japanese have created rules as to when it should or should not be consumed. As I was scrolling through the internet, I found a love story based on this idea that this fruit may be the reason as to how a couple fell in love. The connection between the fruit and this love story is quite fascinating and I would recommend taking a look at it. Overall, I hope this random post made everyone realize that it’s the little things such as the durian’s aphrodisiac abilities that makes everyone special in their own way.

The Neighborhood Kids

There’s a reason why I stray away from the idea of “best friends”, and would much rather refer to my good friends as the “close ones”. In my years as an elementary kid, I was everything but shy and reserved; I was constantly the one cracking jokes and laughing until snot came shooting out my nose. So, as you can see, it wasn’t so hard for me to develop a group of friends or the “neighborhood gang” to be exact. And through these friends and one crazy summer, I discovered Kelly and Jessica. Two people who would eventually become the “best friends” of  my sister and I.

Growing up in a community with gates and all, it wasn’t too hard to convince my grandparents to let my sister and I out. And in the summer, during the hours before the sun dipped, we spent our time playing hide and seek in the little park that was our “territory”. Day after day, you could hear voices after voices of kids shrieking or screaming in sheer happiness as we tagged each other, trying to unfreeze another, or running to the safety zones. When we all got bored of that, and the sun was boring down our backs, we would fill water bottles from home and turn the our typical slide into a water slide. And when we’ve exhausted our imagination and needed a dose of energy, everyone would bring a little treasure from home and trade it in. By the end of each day, it was pretty fulfilling to know that all of us in a way had a little piece of each other.

During the heat of the summer, when the sun was unbearable and that all drove us indoors. My sister and I became especially close with Jessica and Kelly. As their mom was nice and all, we were constantly invited over to enjoy homemade popsicles and whatever her idle hands would make. At this

point, I considered Kelly more than just friend, she was my “best friend” and I was hers. But despite the sweetness of the popsicles coating my tongue, the aftertaste of bitterness lingered- but I didn’t know why.

Just as Kelly and I developed our friendship, so did Jessica and my sister. They had become so close that whatever we had was theirs and vice versa. But one day, a book that my sister had borrowed and lost soon triggered feelings of jealousy and despise between the two of them. I, being too young to understand, sided with my sister while Kelly with hers. Soon, what might have been a little misunderstanding blew up into gossip among the kids in the neighborhood. And of course, my sister and I were at the center of it.

After maybe a week of being tossed around as the “bad” kids and being shunned from the group, my sister and I threw in a backhanded move by visiting the sisters’ mom. There we went, taletelling on the sisters for “bullying” us with mean words and adding in details from previous mischief for emphasis. And oh boy did Jessica and Kelly get in trouble because the next few days, you can bet that they were grounded inside. Just as my sister and I were celebrating the fruits of our success, Jessica and Kelly came out. We’ve celebrated too soon.

As they threw in their fury with words that  hurt the ears, my sister became heated and I too could feel my blood boiling. Although we’ve been  taught that “stick and stones can break our bones, but words can’t hurt us”, the things we heard was enough to set my sister off who(I am extremely proud of to this day) threw in the first punch. I threw in a few cat scratches myself and pretty soon, their cousins had to come in and fight us because they were crying since we were too strong. Anyways, as soon as my sister and I realized we were no match for their guy cousins, we booked it back home and slammed the door. Baaaaad idea. Really bad idea. The next day as we were welcomed back into the group, Jessica and Kelly retaliated by making a surprise visit to our home and telling my grandparents about what we did. As soon  as we got home, we were greeted by some broom whacks to the gluteus maximus, lots of yelling, and a good hour or more of us kneeling faced to the walls.

From that day on, our “best friends” were barely seen in the neighborhood. Although I continued to hang out with the neighborhood kids, my sister along with Jessica stopped. I guess as the older kids, they had probably gotten tired of the same games everyday. As the summer came to an end and the cold weather along with school drove the kids indoors, I guess I too grew out of our silly games. And as one by one, the kids in our group moved away, we all decided to disband without even a proper goodbye. Although I still see Jessica and Kelly every now and then, I think we’ve all forgotten or gotten over the incident that happened one summer so very long ago.

Why I Write

One day, when my teacher randomly announced that the day was National Writing Day, he told us to jot down a few reasons why we wrote in a creative way. I wasn’t too stoked about the assignment, yet as my pen started moving, the letters spilled out and all of a sudden, I didn’t have enough room to express my reasons. As I dug into the back of memory, I came to the realization that I wrote not only to express the emotions that I usually bottle up, but let the stress and pain that it causes me to hold it in. When I was younger, I remembered having pretty bad temper tantrums, but that phase somehow faded away. Somehow, through reading and writing, I had learned to love journaling. So even if the day was boring, I forced my myself to develop a habit of writing before I slept. Soon or later, this habit became a hobby that I learned to love and enjoy.

Sakae Sushi

On a friend’s birthday trip, we all decided to visit Newport Beach and found this sushi restaurant on the way. At first, we were hesitant to enter just because the atmosphere felt almost too bougie and we were just a couple of kids. Nevertheless, we entered and were greeted by the sweetest hostess. She immediately tried to accommodate to our large number and had us seated right away. I guess the highlight of the night was honestly the beautiful interior of the restaurant. The walls were mirrored and everywhere were signs of Japanese culture. I particularly noticed that the workers were dressed in garments that I later discovered were were a combination of happis with the designs of a kimono. Overall, the combination of the two types of clothing made quite a beautiful combination that I would truly love to come back for the food and also see.