Thursday, December 24, 2009

What's New 2010?

2009 is almost over. Reflecting on 2009, it has been a great year for me. The highlights of the year were becoming a RA, seeing my boys play at Celebr(asian), going to Australia and people that I've met this past semester.

The year was filled with new experiences, hope, hellos, and also goodbyes.

As this chapter of 2009 closes, I want to take this time to look ahead and list out the things that I am looking forward to in the new year. I was lucky enough to have all of the important things planning out this past year and I hope to continue this streak.

January-First time in 3 years that I will be in classes for a whole academic year. Hopefully I won't burn out. January 15th will be a big day as internships will be posted for NASPA!!!

February-Looking forward to the Lunar New Year with the Family and I hope to make it a tradition and not miss anymore. I'll be turning 22 but lets keep that on the hush hush. Possibly Los Angeles for Spring Break?

March-NASPA Conference in Chicago! Decision time on whether I will be a RA again, hopefully in an upperclassman dorm. Interviews for NUin, and the summer internships

April-Decisions on the summer internships and NUin.

May-Decision on where I will be going for NUin. And the GRE?

June-Summer Internship somewhere in the country.

July-Summer Internship

August-NUin...hopefully Australia. If not, I guess I'll take Greece or England with my bud Sean Quinn.

September-Enjoying life somewhere in the world.

October-Enjoying life somewhere in the world.

November-Enjoying life somewhere in the world/returning/looking at Grad Schools.

December-Applying to Grad Schools.

Here is the year at a glance. Hopefully things work out!
Happy Holidays everyone, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Dream Lives On...

Senator Edward Kennedy passed away last night at the age of 77. He was the "Liberal Lion" or just the Lion of the Senate. Senator Kennedy first took office as Senator of Massachusetts in November of 1962, that is a month after my dad was born and served the people of Massachusetts and this country until his death. He was the youngest of the Kennedy Camelot. Brothers John was the President and Robert was the Senator of New York, both assassinated in the 1960s. He was next in line to take over the reigns however his bid for Presidency was stopped short due to an incident that happened in 1969. That didn't stop Senator Kennedy from fighting. He was the first high profile politician in the United States to suggest Universal Health Care. Senator Kennedy didn't live to see the day when this country has Universal Health Care. However, his dream never seem so close.

In 1980 after he conceded defeat to President Jimmy Carter in the Presidential primaries, Senator Kennedy said "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." He cared about the people, he cared for the youth and the poor in this country. Senator Kennedy was born into a wealthy, respected family yet he never forgot the less fortunate. His fight for Universal Health Care is a prime example. He was also one of the first to endorse young Senator from Illinois. In one of his last public appearances for his political party, the Lion of the Senate delivered a message for the people and for his country..."the torch will be passed again to a new generation of Americans, so with Barack Obama and for you and for me, our country will be committed to his cause. The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on."

The dream will live on, Mr. Senator.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer of Love, Peace, New Friends and New Home

I haven't took the time out to reflect my summer. I've been just reminiscing piece by piece but never saw put the puzzle of thought together. To begin, I went on a Dialogue through Northeastern to Australia. I was in a month-long program with 19 other Northeastern students, being with them 24/7 for a month. It can be view as "Real World: Australia" part 2 for something because I know there was one in Sydney? I had the most amazing time over in Australia, learned lots of life lessons and came back with new perspectives on life, etc. Sit back, grab a coffee because this might take a while.

This was the second time I've been out of the country,the only other time was to Montreal so I've haven't been anywhere. I applied for this trip after sitting in class one day and thought "lets go to Australia." This was back in the Fall 2008, so I applied late and got accepted. I had no preparation going into this trip. My mind set was to go with the flow and let things fall into place.


Our first destination in Australia was Melbourne, shout outs to Melbourne CITY! Melbourne has a special place in my heart, I adopted it as my second favorite city in the world next to...I'll let y'all fill that in. Melbourne has that smell in the air where you know you belong to a place. I became fascinated with the Australian government when I was in Melbourne. Australia is a Social Democracy and the more I see how the government works, the more and more I just believe in the system. I've been reading Marx before the trip but seeing how some of the theories put into work was just mind blowing. I've always been a proponent of paying high taxes for the betterment of society. If the streets were to be safer and cleaner, I rather pay that extra 10 dollars of my paycheck to have those commodities. However, the thing that struck me the most was universal health care. I know our country is in the midst of this debate whether it would "kill grandma" as Governor Palin refered to but I saw the system at work and you know what? it works. The people of Australia are more relaxed, and felt more free to do things. In a Social Democracy the centralized government is bigger and had more control, yet the people had more freedom. Isn't that a shocker? There is a trust between the people and their government which our "free" country does not have.

Pause on the politics, Melbourne had this vibe that I feel when I am back home in New York. It was vibrant, yet I feel the quiet and safe atmosphere when I am in Boston. It was a mixture of the two, something I was looking for in a city. We did a lot of the tourist stuff. However, having a Professor who was a Melbourne man himself gave us a lot of insights on what locals do. We had the pleasure of having dinner with local families in a suburb. It was fun times, talking to the kids and learning about their way of life which was not much different from our upbringing except the fact that they don't like poptarts. This reminds me to send them some pictures...

I became a Melbourne Demons fan!

I was in Melbourne for two weeks and I still long for nights where we sat outside in the balcony and just chill. I missed walking the streets of Melbourne at 3am, the delicious crepes, the trams, sausage rolls, meat pies and the overpriced beer. Like I said before, it was just the vibe in the air where you know you are where you want to be. I made a promise to myself that I will go back, and I have a hunch that it will be like going "home."

Goodbye Melbourne

I had the pleasure of going to the Australian Outback for a week. I am a city kid, so camping out in the desert was not something that I do everyday. That week was something that I will almost remember. Before going to the middle of nowhere literally, we stayed in a town called Alice Springs. I've said really nice things about Australia but that town was where I saw the flaws in Australia and in humanity. To give a background, Australia was where the old British empire sent their prisoners. Most of the prison sentences were 7 years and then the convicts have the option of staying afterwards. Long story short, most of them did and that was how Australia came about. Before they "established" the country of course, there were natives called Aboriginals. Much like the Native Americans here in the States, they were pushed to the side and considered two rate citizens. I come from an inner city neighorhood in New York City, so I shouldn't be surprised to see half the things that were happening with the Aboriginals yet I was still shocked. We've heard about all the bad things like alcholism, fighting and povery within that community but its one thing to hear and another thing to see.

I felt kind of strange sitting on the other side of the spectrum. I was sitting in a cafe in Alice Springs, a nice establishment and on the other side of the streets were Aboriginals sitting on the grass trying to sell their art. I felt hopeless not being able to help them. I wanted to buy their art because it is beautiful yet I know if I bought them, they would use the money to buy alcohol. If I bought them at a shop, I know the shop owner ripped the artist off. I was at this crossroad that I was trying to balance what I thought was right. I've always been about equality and justice for all. This was the first time in my life that I've been on other side seeing the struggle. Something I was not used to.

So I went on a 5 day 4 night adventure into the heart of Australia...Centralia if you will. That experience was just unreal. I've saw some of the world's greatest natural treasures. Uluru and Kata Tjuta was simply amazing and breath taking during sunrise. At night time, I've never seen so many stars at night. You look up at the sky and you realized how small you are in this giant world. Yet somehow, you know you are so important to a few individuals. The Outback humbles you in a way that you never felt before. I showered twice during that week and I've felt cleaner. For once, I felt at peace with what I was doing and where I am. I didn't have a worry in the world. I lived IN the moment. Everything was nice, I had my friends that I was with and I had me being me in the Outback.

Sunrise over Uluru

The tour guide on this trip was one of the people that I will never forget in my life. His name was Brad, I called him big brother Brad because that was basically who he was. He took care of us, and even though it was his job...he told us that we were his favorite group. His outlook on life just changed my perspective and made me how I am right now. Brad said "as long as I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night...everything in between is an added bonus." I go by everyday thinking of that line and I have credit Brad for this thinking. We live in a complex world where not everything is needed. We live on accessories instead of necessities. Brad reminds me that the finer things in life are the simple ones, family and friends. We just needed the camp fire, sing alongs and each other. After the trip, we were family.

We could have ended the trip in the Outback and I would be fine with it. But WAIT...theres more! We went to Sydney for a week. Sydney was cool but I didn't have that attachment like I did with Melbourne. We did a lot of sightseeing in Sydney. I was watching a video posted by Passion the singer when he visited Sydney a couple of days ago. He went to some of the destinations that we went to and it reminded me of good times. Bondi Beach was the most beautiful beach that I've ever been to. We were greeted by a "guest lecutre" who wanted to give us some American opposition talks. However, the beach was still beautiful. The Sydney Harbor was amazing as well. I got to take the ferry rides during sunset so that was cool.

Even though it was not summer in Australia, it was a summer to remember. I couldn't have a better time. It was the perfect trip in a more perfect time in my life. I am three semesters away from graduating, and I felt re-charged and energized to tackle the next three semesters. Even though things are up in the air, the trip taught me how to just let go and enjoy the moment. As long as I am happy, thats all it matters. So long Australia, thanks for the memories, take care. In the words of the terminator, I'll be back.

Opera House/Sydney Bridge

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To the people of New York City...

Please obey the street lights. If it's red, please do not cross the street. Go only if it is green. Also look both ways when you cross a big intersection. Almost killed 5 of y'all today. Thanks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

What Teachers Make

I've been debating myself on my future lately. It always seems like I go in a circle yet somehow it lands back on teaching. I've been "teaching" since I was 17 when I landed a summer program job. I loved every minute spent with those kids whether playing UNO's, going on field trips, making fun of them, teaching them homework or just listening to their stories. As time passes and I drifted away from that environment, I've been thinking about every profession besides being back in the classroom.

Until I listened to this poem.

It is powerful, it reminded me why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place. It reminded what my purpose and focus should be. Strangely, my latest imaginative was going to law school but no I don't think that can make me happy. The sole purpose of me wanting to go to law school was the money. I want to be able to provide for my parents, have them live comfortably because they've been working for all of their lives. And yes, I do want to help the poor out but I would also be taking money from them in return...which contradicts the purpose.

So why do I keep on going back and forth? Maybe I am just scared of the committment that I will make to be in the classroom for however long. Maybe I just need to man up and admit that teaching is what I was meant to do. Time will tell but this Taylor Mali and his poem reminded me why I love it in the first place...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rest in Power Dr. Ron Takaki

I've been struggling to to write about Asian Pacific American Heritage month. I was going back and forth on whether to write about little known history on Asian Americans or just what that term means to me. This changed two days ago when I found out about the news on the passing of Dr. Ronald Takaki.

In case you don't know, Dr. Takaki was a poineer. He was an innovative scholar who asked us the question "how do you know what you know, you know what you know?" Dr. Takai re-shaped the American History by fighting the master narrative. Most importantly, he was the Godfather for Ethnic Studies and the father of Asian American History.

I was not fortunate take his class. However, I got the chance to meet Dr. Takaki once when he came to Northeastern for a lecture back in 2007. He was really nice and jolly for man who has fought for justice all his life. During his lecture, I specifically remembered one line that stood out to me "we must comprehen the world before he can start changing the world."

After the lecture, I faciliated a discussion where he sat down and listened to me speak. I almost peed in my pants because here is the legendary Ronald Takaki listening to this 19 year old talk about Asian America. After the event, Dr. Takaki came up to me and told me that I did a good job. That moment was almost unreal to me.

But finding out that he passed was unreal to me too. I have plan to visit the West Coast one day and maybe send him an email asking for his advice as to what I should do with my interest in Asian American history. Now, it's too late. He was and still is my academia idol. A man who gave Asian Americans the closest thing to a history. He was a fighter for justice, a man who touched the lives of thousands just by listening to him speak once. He was jolly but at the same time, he was fighting his own demons. However, I want to thank Dr. Takaki for everything that he is done.

Rest in Power Dr. Takaki, I am forever grateful.

Also Rest in Power to all of the Asian American Freedom Fighters who passed away recently. We are suppose to celebrate our heritage month yet we lost so many poineers along the way.

Richard Aoki, Mr. Manong Al Robles, Dr. Ronald "Ten Toes Takaki and Professor Him Mark Lai may you all Rest in Power as we continue to carry on your traditions.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Leave Carrie Prejean Alone

I am tired of reading this whole Miss California thing on the news, saying how she is a gay-basher and how she stirred up all these controversies. I, on the other hand blame the media. The whole thing started when Perez Hilton (of all people) asked Carrie Prejean, Miss California about marriage. Ms. Prejean answered that "she believes marriage should be between a man and a woman."

Okay now, what is wrong with that answer? Is it because it was asked by Perez Hilton? or Is it because SHE was expected to say "marriage should be for all?"
From last time that I checked Barack Obama said he didn't believe in gay marriage as well and no one called for his head or his crown in this matter.

The underlining matter is the fact people forget that fact there is a freedom of speech in this country. She can say whatever she wants! See I am a gay marriage and gay rights supporter, I don't believe marriage should be just a man and a woman. I believe that marriage should be for people who are in LOVE. However, I am not offended by her comments at all. In fact, I am glad that she said what she said because she is stating her opinion, freedom of speech again. The New York Daily News went too far by saying she was a gay basher because she never did say "FUCK THE GAYS."

It is another case of how ugly this country's political spectrum is. Conservatives and Liberals are one of the same. They attack each other the same way. Liberals in this case saw Carrie Prejean as a conservative figure and attacked her the way without even looking at the substance of her comment. Now revealing, naked pictures of her is for one I think a classless act on the Liberals.

Oh now, I am bashing Liberals, so am I a Conservative now?

See why does this country have to be so polarizing? It is so dialetical that there's no in between. Democrats and Republicans think the same, they just handle their business differently. Coming from a Democrat side, if one is a moderate...then he/she is a too conservative. It is vice versa coming from the Republican side.

Well I, for one is not ashame to say that I am a Moderate...a Humanist Moderate. You can take it anyway you want. I like to put logic first before party lines.

And you know who else is a Moderate?
Our great "Liberal" Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. If you really follow their careers, their voting records have been in the middle and the only reason why they have been deemed Liberal heroes is because they are Democrats. People have to read between the lines and not just go with the popular flow. Yes, Fuck Bush...but why Fuck Bush?

I am a registered Democrat but if a Republican comes along and impress me, you bet that I will vote for he or she.

Bottom line is this whole thing should be squashed. Carrie Prejean did nothing wrong. If you are looking for one type of answer then don't ask the question. I thank Carrie for answering the way she did because for one she is showing the public that we are the stupid ones for making this a whole big mess and two, there is still something called FREEDOM OF SPEECH!