Monday, May 13, 2013

Graduations and Pains

This past weekend has been bittersweet.

Congratulations to the Class of 2013. Congratulations to the people I came into college with. Congratulations, as I watch from behind.

It was sweet to see all my friends celebrate after four years of college. Their happiness and excitement are things they've earned. But it hit me as my class gathered together in their caps and gowns to take a picture together: I wasn't there with them. It was a sharp pain in my chest. Like the pang you feel in your heart as you look into a party where all your friends are gathered, but you're not invited.

I don't want to turn this into a sob story where you feel sorry for me. But this experience haunted me for the past few weeks.

"How do you feel about graduating?", "Did you get your cap and gown yet?", "Are your parents here this weekend?", "I didn't hear your name at convocation."

All of these were followed by an "Oh..."

I hear from every which way I turn to stay in college and that the real world sucks. Well, do you know what sucks? Seeing the people you came into college with move on without you. I can't blame anyone but myself for transferring majors late and dooming myself to an extra year of tuition.

As everyone smiled with their caps and gowns at the cameras in front of them, I looked on from the sideline with a fake smile and painfully wanted to be there too.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Man Who Bombed and The Country's Outrage

It has been 1 year, 11 months, and 21 days since the death of Osama Bin Laden.

It has been a few days since the capture of Dzokhar Tsarnaev, aka the Boston Bomber.

For the days leading up to his capture, my eyes were glued on my computer screen going through as many articles as I could trying to figure out who was responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing. I shouldn't be surprised, but reddit was the greatest help for me (and I never used reddit before). I wanted to find out what kind of person was responsible for such an awful event. I've only seen one picture of a victim and it was enough to make me sick and not want to look at any more. It was a picture of a person with half his leg blown off. I couldn't look anymore.

The news that Dzokhar was captured alive came as great news. Half of me wanted him to suffer and realize how many lives he has negatively impacted. But, the other half of me didn't want that. 

Yes, he committed a despicable act.
Yes, he killed and injured people.
Yes, he forced a major city to shutdown.
Yes, he is a 19-year old sicko.

But, I can't seem to be overjoyed.

Yes, I do want him to be arrested.
Yes, I do want him to face justice.
Yes, I do wish all the victims didn't have to suffer at his hands.
Yes, I do despise this kid.

But, what would Jesus do?

This article helped me remember why I wasn't overjoyed. It reminded me of my blog post about the death of Osama Bin Laden. What does the Bible have to say?
Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?- Ezekiel 18:23
Rather than wishing the worst upon this individual, doesn't God call us to love and forgive? How are we supposed to love someone who causes harm to others?

Jesus would love and forgive this man. How are we going to put the name of Jesus on our backs when we call ourselves Christians if we can't even do as He did? 

Pray for Boston. 
Pray for the victims and families of those affected. 
Pray for the healing of the wounded. 
Pray for the departed souls. 
Pray for angry people around the world for an understanding heart. 
Pray for the forgiveness of Dzokhar Tsarnaev.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Life and Blessings

Praise and prayer on Friday night prompted me to count my blessings. Things can come tumbling down in a blink of an eye. What God gives, he can always take away.

I am thankful everyday that I came to know Jesus Christ. I have no idea what my life would have come to if I never found Christ. My life before I became a Christian is such a blur now. I started going to church the summer before my senior year in high school. My friend told me about a volunteer job at a summer day camp at a local church. He told me to apply since I couldn't find a job for the summer. I slowly started going to church there after meeting some new friends and seeing the love everyone had for each other. It may just be a coincidence, but that following school year was the most fun I had in high school. I became happier ever since I started going to church. I've met irreplaceable friends and the amazing love of God.

I take my family for granted way too many times. They love me and they're always there for me. My teenaged years were a nightmare for my parents. You can call me a mama's boy. My mom did everything for me, much to my sister's chagrin. I saw that. I saw how annoyed my sister got whenever my mom yelled at her for things I easily got away with. I didn't want my sister to keep hating me for something I had no control over. It's not like I told my mom to yell at her. I also didn't want my mom to keep interrupting me whenever I was playing games or IM'ing friends. So I did what every other teenager did. I became rebellious. I would constantly talk back to my mom. I would get annoyed at her whenever she tried to talk to me. This caused a massive heartache for my mom. Years of this has strained my relationship with her. It's been getting slightly better. But the strain is still there and it's made it painfully difficult for me to apologize for all this. Hopefully in the near future, I'll have the courage to talk to my mom about all this. My parents aren't Christian, so that'll be an even more difficult conversation to bring up. I also owe them my income whenever I start working for putting up with my Syracuse tuition.

God, family, and friends. I have been blessed with amazing people and an amazing grace. The material goods I have in my life are awesome, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I lost it all. But it would be the end if I lost the above mentioned.

Count your blessings every day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rock Climbing and Impacts

He was a tall guy. Fairly scrawny, pretty neat glasses, and a nice haircut. Physically, he wasn't someone who stood out besides being over six feet. But a sense of admiration and awe overcame me as I saw him take steps across a wall I kept falling down from.

I went rock climbing a few days ago. I haven't gone rock climbing since middle school. I used to be terrified of heights (now I'm just scared to the point that I won't make a big deal out of it). "Terrified" is probably an understatement. I remember crying my eyes out when the guy belaying me wouldn't let me down because I "almost reached the top". I remember looking down from the top and fear quickly wrapped up my mind. I cried and put a fit.

Well, I have since made efforts to overcome my fear. Roller coasters were a big help.

There are so many things about rock climbing I never understood. There was this one route I was trying to climb. A trail of pink tape marked which rocks (I don't know what they're actually called) I'm supposed to use as grips and footholds. I got near the top every time but I would fall at the same exact spot. Then the tall guy previously mentioned started the same route I was trying. He gracefully got to the spot I repeatedly fell at. I noticed he was on his toes a lot. He then made a quick cross with his legs and reached the top. I was dumbfounded. I never thought of sidestepping. For me, the only thought I had was up. Not to the side.

Not only did I reach the top the next time I tried it, I had a much more enjoyable time getting to the top of other routes.

It's great how much of an impact you can have on a complete stranger and not even know about it. Thanks "Rockclimbing Tall Guy".

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Atmospheres and Flirting

Everyone should learn how to read situations and atmospheres. By no means am I a professional when it comes to this, but I still have a somewhat decent understanding of it. Enough, at least, to realize the obvious.

I spent the majority of yesterday and today in the initial phases of jury duty. I took a novel off my bookshelf that my sister left there in hopes that I could kill time with some reading. Eighteen pages into the novel and my eyes refused to read another word. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of a vanilla sundae. As boring as it gets. A boring novel waiting for my name to be called for jury duty. I spent the rest of the time people watching and napping.

Eventually we got separated into groups for interviews with the defense attorney and prosecutor. This took 3 hours of yesterday and all of today. Anyways, I ended up talking to two asian guys my age because...well, we're asian and about the same age. They talked to me first for the record. Onto reading atmospheres. One of said asian guys talked to me, a lot. (I'll name him Asian Guy #1 in this post) Probably because he's seen me before somewhere and uses that as a premise for knowing me. Besides being a ridiculously messy eater (the guy dropped every sesame seed off the bun and half the lettuce off of his burger during lunch break) and having a rather weird sense of humor, I supposed I didn't mind talking to him.

But I spotted a cute girl in our group and she was sitting alone during breaks. We exchanged several glances in and out of the courtroom. Harmless flirting. Outside of jury duty, I'll probably never see her again. So as Asian Guy #1 kept talking, I inched little by little away from him and towards her. As soon as he averted his attention somewhere else, I escaped him and proceeded to talk to said girl. I honestly wasn't hoping for any type of relationship with her, but I did want to talk to her. In comes Asian Guy #1 not even 10 seconds into our conversation.

Really, dude? Really?

Atmosphere ruined. Well, the atmosphere I was trying to build up anyways. Asian Guy #2 was much more understanding and struck up a conversation with an elderly woman nearby instead.

Props to you, Asian Guy #2.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pretentious Girl and Lovable Man

I tend to be a very bad initial judge of character.

On the first day of my acting class, there was one girl who always raised her hand for every question and answered with a solemn face. She was an acting major in a class for non-majors. I automatically assumed she was a pretentious know-it-all who was in the class to be better than everyone else. I soon found out that this girl would smile at everything and encourage everyone to be better. She just has that solemn, cool and collective face when answering questions.

I saw a man sitting by himself at a bus stop once. Everyone else waiting for the bus waited outside of the little shelter. The man looked like a bum, but looked like a nice man. I sat next to him at the shelter and he immediately asked me for change. I politely told him I had none. He then asked me for a cigarette, to which I also said I didn't have. He then apologized and proceeded to mutter something every time someone walked by. It was usually a quiet holler at every female that walked by or a derogatory remark to every guy. In short, this man was an asshole.

When I first see someone, it's like I'm given a multiple choice of their personality and I always get it wrong. Good thing I always get second and third chances to reevaluate people I actually want to continue talking to.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Going Green and Capitalism

It's almost 5 AM and I've long given up on my assignment for Thursday. My bed is calling for me, but I'm too stubborn to listen.

My "Design Issues" professor has been going on about sustainability, climate change, and a whole load of green words for the past week or so. How does all this relate to design? Beats me. I've tuned him out since the beginning of the semester and opting to read articles in class on my laptop. Hey, I'm still learning in class right? Surprised I haven't been called out on it, though. Whenever my professor walks by, I'm sure he can see I'm not paying attention or have anything relevant on my screen. I guess it's how I conduct myself whenever he walks around the room. Most people lower their screens or quickly change to a word document when they notice him walk by. I find that ridiculously suspicious. If I saw someone take notice of my presence and promptly lowered their laptop screens, I'd be curious as to what they're hiding. Whenever he walks by, I just shift my head to let him know I know he's there, and then continue on as I was doing.

I have a friend in the class who is an advocate for all that green stuff. She's probably one of the three people in a class of fifty-something people (about 30 of whom actually attend class) who are actually engaging in the material. The rest of us zone out or are on our laptops. Anyways, she goes on about the problems we can face if we don't act. Something like that, I think. I wouldn't be able to recall. I zone out when she talks about it, too.

Should I care? Probably yes. It's an important issue. I recognize global warming is an actual threat that Republicans seem to not understand. Is it because I'm probably going to be dead by the time the Earth is rocked to its core by natural disasters (barring any 2012 doomsday conspiracies)? Or is it because it's not having an immediate effect on my life?

The most I do is recycle. I don't want to waste my time slowing down the inevitable. No matter how small or big the difference I bring to the cause, it won't stop the fact that global warming is still going on. It's like the vegans/vegetarians who protest against the slaughter of animals for consumption. The animals are still going to be killed and consumed no matter how much they protest. It's the sad truth that capitalism is built on. The meat industry is way too big and profitable to concede to some moral issues. The gasoline industry won't go down against however many alternative energy source ideas pop up.

It's all for the money.