Thursday, December 29, 2011

Darn kids.

I love kids, I really do. Over the summer I volunteer at a preschool, I help out in a kindergarten classroom during the school year, I Y.E.S. in a third grade classroom, and I think that my five year old sister is the cutest thing that has ever existed. But the two kids that I babysit have changed my perspective. A four year old and a five year old. I walked into the job ready to have fun. I was wrong. They have pushed my buttons in ways that I never thought were possible. Now each time I go over, I brace myself for hours and hours of nonstop screaming and crying. Like tonight. They slapped each other. They slapped me. They hid my phone. They threw their dinner on the ground. One peed his pants. The other somehow lost her shirt. They threw massive tantrums. But of course, right before they fall asleep, they decide to be super sweet and adorable. When they say things like "Becky, you're the best babysitter ever," and give me a hug, I just can't stay mad at them. Darn kids.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Dear person who talks during movies,

I love hearing your reactions to every single thing that happens, it really helps me understand what is going on. Your not being able to keep your mouth shut is an extremely admired trait. Never mind the fact that I can already understand what's going on, it is much more convenient to have you lay out the details for me. Also, I'd like to thank you for enlightening me with the news of how the ending goes when you just can't contain your excitement any longer. Why are we here in the first place? You could have just told me the entire plot line and saved me nine bucks. And when you squeal every time the main actor and actress kiss? It's my favorite sound ever. Seriously. I'm thinking about recording it and setting it as my ringtone. It would make butterflies explode out of my ears to hear that wonderful sound every time someone calls. Furthermore, it warms my heart when fellow movie watchers look at me and glare because they think that I am the one who is talking. I love getting glared at. It's even better when they tell me to shut up.

I'm never going to the movies with you again.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Sparkly rainbows and unicorns

Goody-goody. Or goodie-goodie? I'm not sure how to spell it. The more I look at it, the more wrong they both seem. But you know what I mean.

One of my friends just recently called me a goody-two-shoes. It was somewhat jokingly, but still with a hint of honesty. Um I don't know whether to take that as an insult or not. 

 This came about because I didn't want to ditch school with her. It got me thinking, am I playing it too safe sometimes? Well, obviously going to school is not necessarily considered "playing it safe", but sometimes I feel like I should take more risks in general.

I am not a goody-goody; I am a normal teenager. I fight with my parents. I rant about school. I run stop signs (not on purpose). I've made mistakes. I have regrets. When I think of a goody-goody, I think of someone who doesn't break a single rule and whose world just revolves around rainbows, and unicorns, and sparkles, and everyone loving each other (I'm sorry, that's a stereotype).

 Last night, I was hanging out with two of my friends and I was talking to them about how sometimes I just feel like I need to do something differently. Not the let's-get-drunk-and-smoke-pot-and-party-til-dawn type of rebelling, (that is obviously not something I would do) but just something a little bit more outside of  my comfort zone. Like talk to some people who I usually don't talk to. Or get my ears double pierced even though my mom refuses to let me no matter how much I try to persuade her. (That's kind of drastic, I don't know if I would ever do that.) Or sneak out. This is kind of embarrassing to share, because it's so not something that I thought I would do, but I almost did that once. The snow prevented me from actually carrying out that plan because my mom would definitely notice the tire marks and footprints, and I'd be grounded for life.

See? I'm not a goody-goody. But I'm not exactly a rebel either. Probably anyone who knows me well enough will agree.

I don't really carry out any serious rule-breaking activities ever. Which isn't a bad thing. I'm glad that I've never had to deal with alcohol or drugs. I'm content knowing that I haven't broken any laws. I haven't really ever lied to my parents. But sometimes I just feel like I need to do something differently. Something unexpected. Don't read this and get the impression that I'm going to go out and do illegal things. That's not me. I just want to live a little more free.

Hey, that rhymes.

Wow this post took a really weird turn. I can't even find my point anymore, that's a lot of rambling up there. My main point: I need to learn to try new things outside my comfort zone yet still be myself. Even if I end up making a fool of myself or getting grounded, it might be worth it. It might be a chance to learn something new. I know who I am. I know what my morals and values are, and I would never put myself, someone else, or my future in jeopardy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Is this for real?

Unless you can speak Chinese, you won't understand what they're saying. But what they're saying is not really relevant anyway. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I now have Blogger on my phone. It took about 15 minutes of tampering with it to figure out how to sign in and sync stuff, but oh well. So, ladies and gentlemen, this is my very first mobile post! You could say I'm excited.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Let's travel around the world

I've always loved to travel and I've always loved to experience new cultures. I would do anything for a chance to drop everything and just get on a plane and visit as many countries as I possibly could. Even though I absolutely hate riding planes. You see, I've been following the blog of a family who is currently traveling around the world. They've been traveling for nearly 300 days. I am So. Flipping. Jealous. Every time I read their blog all I can think is, No fair. No fair. No fair. I wish I was you guys. Please bring me along! I'll carry your bags! They are traveling all around Asia right now and it looks absolutely stunning. The temples, sushi, street markets, and little restaurants all look amazing, and I hope that I get a chance to go to some of those places someday. I've already been lucky to visit a few different countries and I'm so thankful for those trips. But I still hope to travel more when I grow up.

In eighth grade I went on a cruise and visited Grand Cayman and Jamaica. The best part of the trip, hands down, was swimming with sting rays in Grand Cayman. No, I did not get stung. They were nice! I definitely like sting rays more than I like dogs. 

If I could pick one place to visit right now, I would go to Greece. I'm not exactly sure why, but ever since The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Mamma Mia, I've been dying to go there. Of course, like I said before, I want to go to other places too. But for some reason my heart is set on Greece. 

Doesn't it look gorgeous? I guarantee you I will find sometime in my life to go. My parents said that I might be able to go there as a graduation present. Maybe. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. 

Also, how cute is this song? So cute. I love it. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mini Rant

I'm really not liking AP Chem right now.

That's all I wanted to say.

Now I need to go finish my chem homework.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What Is All That?

My room is semi organized. Most things have a place. But...
There are a couple of little bins that just contain the most random stuff. They are the designated random stuff holders. Whenever I find something that I don't want or just don't know where to put it, then I put it in there. Today, I opened one up and poured the contents onto the ground.

What is all that?
  1. See all those colorful glittery things on the ground? Those are little origami stars. My grandma taught me how to make them when I was in China the summer after fourth grade. I got really sick there and was in the hospital for 21 days. She told me that if I filled up an entire jar with those little stars I would be able to get out of there. So I folded and folded. In China, they don't let parents stay with you when you are in the hospital because they are afraid of germs. Plus, I was in the wing that held the patients with lung problems and they didn't want the air getting contaminated or something. So I was usually left alone. Except my mom was able to trick the nurses and tell them I couldn't understand Chinese that well so she would need to come visit everyday for an hour and make sure everything was okay. (Even though I actually can speak and understand Chinese fairly well.)  I still make those little stars whenever I get bored. 
  2. Coconut Lime Verbana Lotion. Ew. I like coconut. I like lime. But when you mix them together into a little tube of slimy lotion, it smells like...just...grossness. I do not like that smell at all. I'm pretty sure I got that lotion as part of a gift from one of my friends for my 14th birthday. I remember that birthday party. I had all my friends come over to my house for a slumber party. That was in eighth grade. Man, middle school. Okay, I don't think the friend who gave this to me reads my blog, so they won't know that I didn't ever use the lotion and that I stuffed it into a bin filled with random crap. 
  3. Oh hey, there's that cord! That's the cord to our portable DVD player. My mom has been looking for it forever. Whenever we have to go somewhere like a synchro meet or family friends house, my mom likes to bring the portable DVD player so that my five year old sister can stay entertained. Dora can keep her entertained for quite a long time. She is cute at first, but if she doesn't have something to keep her entertained she can start to become quite annoying. Ever since the cord has gone missing, there's been a lot of running around at synchro meets. Don't worry, we usually don't let her watch TV at home. Usually. 
  4. My old cell phone. I dropped that phone in the toilet last year. But I managed to save it and get it to work again. I wiped it with hand sanitizing wipes at least ten times. Unfortunately, it died every two weeks. I swear I had magical rice. Every time it died, I would stick it in a bag of rice. After a few days, it would miraculously turn on again. There's no scientific or technological evidence to support why this worked, but it did, so whatever. I still love that phone. 
  5. Let's measure our oxygen levels! Seriously. I actually do that. But I don't put my oximeter in the case so now it's in that cylindrical box. There's not much to say about this...I don't feel like explaining why I need an oximeter. It's a really long story. I just have some lung problems. But it's fine! I'm fine!
  6. Study those Latin roots! I found a stack of notecards from honors comm last year. I'm obsessed with notecards. I make them for everything. Honors comm last year was interesting... To be honest, I always did my math homework in that class. Yay for 4x. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Big Reveal

  1. Narration
  2. Comparison/Contrast
  3. Description
  4. Process Analysis
  5. Example
  6. Cause and Effect

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Forgive and Forget

When I was a little kid, my sister and I fought about anything and everything. To be honest, we still fight. It's normal sibling rivalry. But when we were younger, everything she did annoyed the crap out of me. Once when I was six and she was four, she accidentally ripped off the head of my barbie princess. That could be one of the most traumatizing things that has ever happened to me (kidding, but it was horrifying at the time). I was fuming for the next two hours, which in little kid time is basically a freaking eternity. My mom talked to me about how it was an accident, that sisters should always love each other, and that I should learn to forgive Lucy. That is the first time that I can recall learning about forgiveness.

Forgiving and ignoring are two things that some people may get confused with each other. Maybe you have heard someone say something like "I'm over it okay? I've moved on, now stop talking about it!" and then they storm away in a hurry. Or maybe they just say something like "It's forgiven okay? I'm fine." Now these people haven't actually been able to forgive what happened. They are just trying to avoid the topic. They've pushed the memory deep into the very back of their brains and vowed never to think about it again. But they won't truly be able to move on until they learn to forgive. Learning to forgive, to let go of any resentment or anger, is one of the hardest things to do.

When anger is eating away at us, it's hard to find compassion to forgive someone. We've all experienced feelings of animosity and fury; these emotions take over until it's impossible to think clearly. In order to be able to focus on more important things, you will need to let go of the hostility that has taken over your life. Once you do forgive, you will be able to embrace feelings of calmness, peace, and joy.

It takes a while to learn how to forgive and forget. At first, you are angry. You hate the person, the situation, everything about what happened. You might even kill if it weren't illegal to. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration but you get what I'm saying. Once the anger starts to fade away, you start to reflect. What really happened? What went wrong? Then you start to think. You will realize that it is not worth it to stay angry forever, and you decide to forgive.

Being able to forgive is a highly admired trait. In YES class, we were talking about a book, I cannot remember the name--this is bugging the crap out of me. Anyway, it is about an old man named Morrie (or Morry; im not sure how to spell it,) and Morrie is terminally ill. The person writing this book, looks up to Morrie as a mentor, a father figure, a role model, and he visits Morrie once a week. Morrie teaches him many life lessons, and the most important one to him is the one about forgiveness. He said that you need to let things go, because once you are lying on your death bed, these things that you are holding grudges about will not even matter. You need to forgive people and hold on to the relationships that you have formed throughout your life. They are more important than anything, and nothing should stand in the way.

Forgiveness does not come easy. When you are overcome with feelings of bitterness, vengeance, and thoughts of revenge, it's difficult to let go of those emotions and forget whatever has happened. It takes tremendous emotional strength to finally learn to forgive, but once you do, life will be much better. I realize that I sound like a fortune cookie right now. It's kind of embarrassing, but whatever.  It doesn't help anyone or anything by holding grudges. By learning to forgive, you will experience peace and be able to focus on other parts of your life more.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Surprise-- It's Mickey Mouse!

You might be wondering why I'm writing this blog post at 12:15 am. Or you probably didn't even notice. But either way, I'll explain. I just got home from my friend's house, took a shower, and now I don't feel like going to bed. You know the feeling that I'm talking about. It's one of those times where you're exhausted yet don't want to go to bed because you just don't feel like it. So I decided to blog. Because I enjoy blogging.

Disney World. A little kid would live there if you gave them the choice. Heck, I would live there if I could. But that's not my point. My point is that everyone loves it there; if you don't then there is something seriously wrong with you. Disney is a classic american icon.

And guess what? I get to go there over winter break!

I have already been able to experience the childhood wonder and joy of seeing Mickey walking around a whimsical amusement park. This time is my sister's turn to live this moment. My youngest sister, Aly, is five years old and is the cutest little girl you'll ever meet (at least I think so). She's been begging my mom for the last year to take her to Disney World. "Mommy! I want to go see Cinderella in her castle! Please!", "Mommy can we go see Ariel and her fishies?", "Mommy, Olivia just went to Disney World, let's go tomorrow!" Each time my mom would just pinky promise her that we will take her there sometime.

My mom bought tickets to Orlando two days ago. We decided that it's going to be a Christmas surprise for Aly. Since she's such a clueless little kid (and I say that with love) she probably won't notice anything even when we take her on a four hour airplane ride. Sure, she'll probably ask where we are going, but we've decided that we're going to just tell her that we are going to Florida; she doesn't know where Florida is yet. Remember, she's in Kindergarten. The reason we are keeping it a surprise is that we want to see her face light up when she walks through the gates that lead to Disney World. I can already see her jaw dropping and then her giggling with joy. It's going to be the most adorable thing ever.

This is more exciting than when I went to Disney World my first time. I can't wait!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Privacy Please?

x² pg 126

Internet. The World Wide Web. Is it really safe? 

Don't get me wrong, I use the internet almost daily. It's a very useful tool. I can't imagine life without it. But while there are many benefits to using computers, are the uses spiraling out of control? Where do we draw the line? 

The things they listed in this little box on the bottom left of page 126 are all worrisome. I feel like if someone really wanted to know stuff about me, they could find it on Facebook. Even though I have set my privacy settings to "Friends Only" it still may not be perfectly safe. I just saw a documentary about Facebook, and they were talking about how apparently Facebook can give out your information; you allow them to when you check the little accept terms box. To me, that's kind of scary. I feel like I should delete my Facebook now...I don't know if that's going to happen though. We'll see. 

Am I being paranoid? I don't think so. I feel like this whole technology controversy may be a legitimate concern. How do you know that your credit card information won't be stolen after you buy those cute shoes online? None of your information is truly safe. Somebody could hack into one of your accounts. 

Also some other things to address. Pornography. Slander. Vilification. What? I don't even know what to say. Just...Why? These are absolutely disgusting. Whoever bothers to use the internet for these reasons is a pig. I'm sorry, but that's the truth. Period. 

Besides some of these security concerns, there are some other issues to think about. Is the daily newspaper going to fade away and die? When it comes time for us to be parents, are our kids going to be saying things like "Ohmygosh, you guys actually wrote stuff down, and read things on paper? WEIRD!" Let's not let the world come to this. First off, everyone would have horrible vision from staring at the computer all day long. Secondly, the newspaper has been with us for hundreds and hundreds of years. Letting it vanish would be devastating to history. Even though we would be killing trees, I feel that it would still be a good idea to print newspapers daily. I would much rather read a newspaper than look at an article online. Reading too much online makes my eyeballs hurt. 

Furthermore, people would start to lose communication skills. We can already see that happening in society. More and more people are relying on texting, facebook, and email, instead of face to face confrontation. If people stay isolated at home, instead of going out to interract, then what is the world going to come to? A planet of introverts? (Logical fallacy. But still, you should see my point.)

Bottom line: Although the internet is a very useful tool, the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages. 

This has absolutely nothing to do with my post, but I love this song! I've been listening to it on repeat while writing this post. So just thought I'd share. Props to Shelby for sharing this song with me :)

Keep Your Head Up- Andy Grammer

Friday, November 4, 2011

Getting Artsy

I love art. I love to draw. I love to doodle. I love to paint.

But ironically, I don't think that I am that artistically gifted. And by that, I mean I am not super imaginative. Sure I can produce decent works of art, but not without someone to instruct me. Every Sunday I used to go to drawing class, but my teacher moved to Arizona--so that was the end of that. She helped me with so much, but it's hard to create amazing works of art without her around. She guided me through each piece, which now thinking about it, I guess was both good and bad. Good because the paintings I did with her were my best ones ever, but bad because I couldn't really expand my own creativity. I was too dependent on her, and now I regret it. But here are some of my favorite pieces that I have drawn or painted. These are my masterpieces.

This one is my favorite. 

This one seems kind of banal to me, but I think it's pretty good. I drew it way back in '06. ( Hey, I used a vocab word!) 

The majority of my drawings do not turn out this good; I don't have a lot of time to just sit down and paint for hours. Most of my drawing time is now doodling in class. That day I drew something that according to my friend, looked like the guy from LMFAO. Not what I was aiming for, but whatever works.

I don't think I draw to express myself, that's kind of deep, but because I just think it's fun. It's exhilarating to paint the first few strokes on a canvas, and when I am finally done, I can step bad and proudly examine my masterpiece. Or my disaster. It could be either. Usually for me, it's the second one. Unless I have someone to help me. But I still love it. Even if it ends up looking like someone puked on it-- I'll still love it. I made it, and either way I will be exuding with happiness.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Blog Post? Check.

Sweats on? Check. I am unable to focus on homework when I am wearing jeans in the comfort of my own house. You will rarely see me in jeans while I am at home, there's no need to wear them. No one is gonna see me, so I might as well dress as comfy as I want to. Who cares if I look like crap? On go the sweatpants and sweatshirt.

Coffee in the mug with black polka dots on it? Check. It always takes me forever to write something, and I like to have coffee to keep me awake in case I end up working late into the night. I drink regular coffee with some skim milk. It's bitter, and not my favorite, but I figure it's better than loading it with pounds of half and half all the time. Drinking coffee at night may not be the healthiest choice. But...oh well.

Phone on silent? Check. I already get distracted very easily; I hate this about myself. Almost every night I get mad at myself for not using my time wisely. I could gain many more hours of sleep if I were able to focus. It's a bad habit. There are just way too many distractions, and I'm unable to tune them out. I really need to learn how to get over this and get more sleep.

Heated blanket? Check. I get cold very easily, and I like to feel cozy when I'm writing. I don't have a preferred spot to write, just as long as it is not at a desk. I will do my homework anywhere except at a desk or table.  Frequently, you can find me in my bed typing away on the keyboard of the laptop. If I'm cold, my fingers are cold, and then I won't want to type because I will be looking for something to warm my hands.

Relaxing music on softly in the background? Check. This might be one of the habits that leads me to get distracted easily, it's hard not to sing along. But I just don't like sitting in complete silence. It's eerie. So usually I will be listening to my  "de-stress me" playlist, or whatever other song I am obsessed with at the moment. These things aren't necessities, and they may not even be benefitting me, but they make me feel more comfortable and relaxed.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We need the perfect balance

*The post below may have some contradicting thoughts. I have multiple different feelings towards this topic, and I didn't know how to express them all.

The day has come. You're sitting in class, waiting for your test to be passed back when you hear "Crap. What the heck? Oh my god! He's just such a bad teacher! This is all his fault. He never teaches us anything. Gahhh! I hate my life." I'll even admit that I've said stuff similar to that before. But really...think about it. Is it honestly the teacher's fault?'s ours.

There are people who walk into school Monday and are like "Holy crap I still have so much homework. I just did not have time to do it over the weekend." And then you hear that they were having sleepovers and hanging out with their friends. Like REALLY? Just stay home over the weekend and catch up. It's not going to kill you. You brought this upon yourself. I don't find it annoying when people have legitimate reasons (such as family emergencies, extracurriculars, stuff like that) but if they are just going out and having fun, then I truly do not care if they are swamped with homework.

I'm not saying that everyone is like that though. In the documentary Two Million Minutes, they portray American students as complete slackers. Yes, there are people like the ones that I described in the paragraphs above. But in reality, the majority of us aren't. Most of us know how to balance our social life and academic life. Our lives aren't focused around school 24/7, but that doesn't mean that we don't care. Also, unlike the students in India and China, we do stuff like volunteering to help our community. This will prepare us for life in the real world, and help others in the process. When they said that American's ranked highest in self confidence, I took that as a good sign--but not in a cocky way. If you feel good about yourself and believe that you can accomplish something, then that will bring you to push for what you want.

Furthermore, I don't think that it is sufficient to just be book smart. If you are socially inept, how are you supposed to go through an interview and get a job? You need a balance of intelligence and self confidence.

I'm not saying that we don't have room to improve though. We can still do much better, and use time wiser. At least I know that I could. I often get distracted while doing homework. And I can see students at Wayzata totally slacking off. If you are failing even the most basic classes, then I don't even know what to say. That takes skill. The students in China and India may not have had as much fun, but I mean let's face it. They have amazing work ethic. Do you wake up in the morning and do 3 hours of homework before breakfast and then multiple more hours of homework and studying  like that girl in India? on a SATURDAY? No? Didn't think so.

 But then again, why would you want to? You see, my opinions are rocking back and forth. I feel like this blog post is kind of wishy washy. I want to side with both sides. For one thing, I feel like the importance of school has been ignored more and more nowadays. It seems that the social scene has taken over in America as a whole.  Students need to buckle up and reconsider the choices they are making. But on the other hand, I don't like how they are bashing the students in America. I dislike how the focus of the documentary was that American students are complete lazy bums and are losing their competitive edge.

Lastly, I'd just like to point some stuff out. As a Chinese American, it bothers me when people laugh at the kids in China or talk bad. To be honest, at first I was embarrassed by watching it. Why did they have to portray China so negatively? Not everyone is a nerd who makes tests for fun. But then I thought about it more, and realized that I should be proud of them. They didn't do anything to me. They didn't do anything to you. They're working hard and what are you doing? Oh yeah. Laughing at them. Not cool. Yes, they could get a life, but oh well. It's just different cultures. And when you point out that they actually didn't get into the school they wanted to go to. Okay, let's think about this. There's almost five times as many people in only the best of the best of the best can go to the top schools that they were trying to get into. If the kids there don't study their butts off then they will have zero chance into getting into any prestigious college, or college at all, because some other kid WILL be studying their butt off, and their score for the college entrance exam will beat the score of the one who wasn't studying. And then they won't be able to go into whatever school. Because in China, colleges base their entire decision off of your college entrance exam score. In the movie, there was probably just some other kid who was smarter than them, so they couldn't get into the college they wanted to. The competition there is one hundred times worse than it is here. So stop making fun of them for doing what they do. They know that to be successful in their country, they need to study like crazy. I'm not saying that they are perfect or that students in America are stupid. But I just needed to let this out and clarify why these teens need to do this. I WISH that I was as smart as them. But I'm not. Not even close. 

All in all though, I feel that this documentary doesn't tell the audience the entire story. It's based off of the situations of only six teenagers and they definitely do not represent every student in their countries. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Embracing my Asianness

In an effort to embrace my Asian heritage, I decided to do a blog post on my vacation in China. I went to China for the sixth time over the summer, and I visited some pretty interesting places while there. Some were touristy...most were not. I spend most of my time with family.

What I hate about China is that there are so many people everywhere. And I mean EVERYWHERE. Plus, the traffic was absolutely horrific. A trip that would usually take 10 minutes would end up taking like 30. Take a look.

This is the traffic that I ran into on a daily basis. 

But other than that, I had a pretty good time. I ventured outside of Beijing this time, and went to Shanghai and Suzhou. Let me just me just say, I LOVE SHANGHAI. It is such an awesome city; It's developed and modern and gorgeous. Look at this view. 

Tell me that isn't a spectacular view? Just look at it. Isn't it amazing? Yes it is. 

Hands down, that was the best part of my trip. Even though I only stayed there for like two days. If I ever had to live in China, I would choose Shanghai. While in Shanghai, I also got to go to the FINA World Championships, and watch synchronized swimming. These were NATIONAL teams. The people who would be going to the olympics. I was absolutely in awe. Their timing and rhythm and skill just made my jaw drop. The lifts were impeccable. Look at this. 

How is this even possible?

Also, a place that I went to on a daily basis was starbucks. Something you may not know about me is that I love coffee. If I could wake up early enough in the mornings, I would make coffee everyday. But in China, I was never really in a rush so I was able to get coffee a lot. There's a Starbucks in China. You probably really don't care about this as much, but it was a cool picture, because you can see Starbucks written in english and in chinese. Also, I can't find many of the other pictures I took. Stupid technology.

My favorite thing to do in China though, is to shop and bargain. It's difficult to find a place here where you can bargain, and bargaining can actually be really fun. The shop owners get angry when you set the price too low. And no offense to them or anything, it's really funny. Usually. It can get terrifying when they get angry at you and start yelling. I bargained something down from 160 yuan to 60 yuan. I was so proud. 

I just realized that this blog post went from wanting to talk about Chinese culture, to random bits about my time in China. But oh well. It still works. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Obama's Education Speech

Think about the future. Try hard. Live up to your potential. These are all things that President Obama is trying to get across to students. He uses pathos in the beginning to get us to think. He entire speech is also built around logos. Study hard and you will have a successful future. That's basically what he is saying throughout this speech."You’re this country’s future.  You’re young leaders." And this is true. We ARE this country's future. In a couple decades, some of us will be doctors, lawyers, teachers, and even president. But the only way we can reach that is to work hard.

He uses many different examples to inspire us to create a better future for ourselves, and our nation. For example, we used to be ranked number one in the world for college graduates. And now where are we? We are now ranked sixteenth. That isn't very good. We can do better. He also tells us that  more than 60 percent of jobs that will be available to us in the next decade will require more than a high school diploma. This statistic is used to motivate us to go beyond high school, and finish college.

One of the first things I noticed was that Obama uses words that the average person can understand. This is probably because his main audience is students. His diction is tweaked so that we can follow what he is saying, and really take it in. If he used big words instead of simple ones, much of his audience would not be able to understand, and they would probably just zone out.

Also, Obama connects to the audience by using examples from his own life. This is a type of ethos, and it also makes us, as teenagers, trust him more. He tells us about his own experiences as a teenager and admits that he was never perfect either. Another way he connects to us is by talking about things that relate to us, such as facebook, twitter, extracurricular activities, and so on. This shows that he knows we have a lot on our plate, but we need to learn to balance things.

The way he delivers his speech is also impecable. By being the president, he has already used much ethos. But by the professional way that he is dressed, and the way that he carries himself, makes him seem even more trustworthy and believable. He uses gestures by pointing at the audience, and making movements with his hands when emphasizing a point. His gestures are not over the top though, so they do not distract from his speech.

In addition, he talks about teachers and helps us realize how hard they are working. They aren't just people who talk in class, and then load us with homework. They are people who chose this profession because they obtain satisfaction from seeing us learn. They take pride when they see us work up to our potential, and learn new things. Teachers do a lot more than what we see on the surface.

He also uses repetition to emphasize his point. "You will be the will be the will be the ones...", "I mean..I mean....I mean..." He does this intentionally, to really get this idea implanted in our brains, and get us to do our best in school.

Obama then goes on to talk about how we are not only needed for the future, we are needed now as well. This is an example of pathos. His examples were Will Kim, Jake Bernstein, and Amy Chyao. He uses these examples to show, that we can start leaving our marks in the world right now. We don't have to wait until a decade later. We can start right now.

I know that after hearing this speech, I will try better in school. His speech was extremely motivational, and encourages all students to try hard and fulfill their dreams.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Disgusting Jim Crow Laws

The Jim Crow Laws. Wow. I can't believe the U.S. was like that before. Well, I mean I knew, but each time I hear or learn about it is still shocking.

America is supposed to be the "Land of the Free", but how is rascism a way to portray freedom? How is bigotry supposed to give America a good name? Why would anyone feel that prejudice is acceptable? The whole thing is just ridiculous.

I don't think that these people understand how unintelligent they sound. It's like saying that people with brown eyes can't associate with people with blue eyes. Or people with long hair are superior compared to people with short hair. Or that people who are right handed and people who are left handed can't get married to eachother. It just doesn't make any sense. The people who are racist have no reasons to back up their claims. Why do they hate African Americans so much? What did the African Americans do to deserve such harsh treatment? Nothing. There is no reason to justify the fact that they were treated like that.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My response to the seemingly huge packet of stories that actually didn't take long to read at all

Almost everyone is responding to the same thing: eggs. So I think I'll skip that one.

Maurice Sendak recalls an important memory in her life that includes books, sibling love, and jumping out of a fourteenth story window. Out of all the short stories that I read, this one struck out to me the most. It intrigued me and made me laugh as I was reading it. In reading the first sentence, you never would have guessed that the story would end the way it did.

In the first paragraph, I love how she made a simple memory of her grandma pulling the window shade up and down into a picture book. At this point it was apparent that this child would grow up to be a writer. With an imagination like that, how could she not? As a child, if that same thing happened to me, I would have been like "Oh hey, grandma's pulling the window shade up and down. whoopee!" I definitely would not have compared it to turning the pages of a picture book.

The story that the author and her brother wrote together is so deep and passionate, yet so innocent at the same time. It shows how naive kids really are, and how they truly do not understand the world around them. How were they to know that siblings don't marry siblings? My favorite part of the story was probably the end of it "...they cry out in unison, 'We are inseprable' andleap from the fourteenth floor of the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital-SPLAT!" For one thing, you would never have imagined this coming out of a seven year old. Secondly, it was just hilarious. Not because they died in the end, but because they made it so intense for a something written by children.

I also noticed in the whole short essay/story, she did not focus on one specific thing. Yes, the whole thing was about "writing in general", but she jumps from topic to topic. She starts out talking about the window scene, and then The Prince and the Pauper, and then the story, and then ends with how she ended up becoming a writer. Even though she talked about all these things in less than a page and a half, it all seemed to flow and become a pleasurable read.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm bad with technology...

I can't seem to figure out how to attach a link to my blog...
So for now let's just put it here. Here's the link to the blog I will probably be following:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Why I Write

George Orwell and Joan Didion talked about in their articles how they write because it is their passion, their destiny. My reasons are nowhere near that deep. Though it sounds bad, most of the time I just write for a grade. I would say the biggest reason as to why I write is to work my way up to a good future. I wish that I could say "I write because I love to." But unfortunately, I cant.
 As a child, I tried to write. I started journals, started poems, even started a few stories. But those were never completed. I just did not have the devotion or drive to push me to keep writing. To be completely honest, I used to hate writing. Well, hate is a strong word...let's go with strongly dislike. I used to strongly dislike writing. Everything that I was being forced to write was a burden. But I soon realized that in order to be successful in what I wanted to as an adult I needed to know how to write, and more importantly, know how to write well.

So I pushed myself. I chose classes that I knew would help me enhance my writing abilities, and I worked hard. I think it has helped me tremendously. Writing has never been one of my fortes, but by going through these experiences my writing has improved. It is still far, far away from anything amazing though. There's still a lot of room for improvement.

Everytime I look back, I think "Why did I hate writing so much?" And I don't really have an answer. Maybe it's because I was never good at it. But that's not an excuse. Just because you're not good at something doesn't mean you should loathe it and stop trying. Or maybe it's because my brain just does not think creatively. I am a person that functions and thinks better with concrete facts. The half of my brain that works better is the science and math part. It's hard for me to be creative and think of the metaphors and imagery that brings life into a piece of writing. So I need to keep pushing myself to push through that barrier. And I think I have a little bit, because I am enjoying writing a lot more than before.