Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 27 - A photo of last summer.

Spring Lake.

2010-06-21 Spring Lake 081

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 25 - A photo of a night you loved.

Project graduation. That was a very very fun night. Just nice, good old clean fun.

2009-06-24 Graduation 044

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 23 - A photo of your friend as a baby.

Yeah, if I don’t have my own baby picture, it’d be kind of creepy if I had a friend's baby picture, no?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 21 - A photo of you standing up.

This is incredibly odd.

Well, I’m standing up… this wasn’t very specific.

2010-08-16 Taichung 040

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 17, 2010

I’m currently on a train to New York City for two days at Barclay Capital’s Wall Street Scholars Finance and Operations Boot Camp. Quite frankly, I am incredibly excited despite the fact that I have no idea what to expect. I applied to this program because I wanted to have the opportunity to learn about Wall Street fields outside of investment banking or sales and trading, the two career choices I have myself mostly aligned towards. A big reason I want to end up in one of those two fields is because of the amount of information and exposure I have to them. Whenever there are networking events or panel events, it seems that those two dominate. This program I’m going to gives me a chance to look outside of these two for something else I could potentially be interested in. It’s always exciting and an honor to be accepted by programs such as this, considering how selective they typically are. Hopefully it’ll be a good time, and it gives me a chance to get out of BC, something I’m just always dying to do. Even though I’m actually skipping an exam for this program and I have another exam next Monday that I’ll be studying for over the weekend, I just feel much more relaxed. Oh and this also means I get to spend two nights in New York City!!! I’ll be staying at NYU tonight and Barclays actually got me a room at the Crowne Plaza Times Square for tomorrow night. Definitely very, very cool. So basically this trip is perfect: I get to see high school friends, meet new people at the program, network and put myself in an even better position career-wise, learn about investment banks and the financial world, attend my fried Wall Street event, spend two nights in NYC, eat chicken and rice, go home for my dad’s birthday, get away from BC… The list goes on and on and on. I’m loving it! I will no doubt write about how the program goes.

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So like I mentioned a few days ago, I attended Harvard Business School’s Cyberposium on Saturday. Cyberposium is an annual event that HBS hosts (typically for MBAs) to make students aware of how technology is impacting the business world. The speakers who were there included one of AOL’s production executive, CEO of Pandora, ex-CEO of VMWare, and CEO of HTC (Peter Chou). They each did a keynote talking about their respective companies and their perspective on where technology is heading to. Besides the keynotes, there were several panel discussions, mostly led by CEOs of startups or venture capitalists. I went to discussions on location based technologies, mobile advertising, eCommerce, and cloud computing. They were definitely all incredibly interesting. I took notes on pretty much everything, but naturally as I’m writing this I don’t have them with me… Here are just some of the key things I picked up:

  • The internet is completely going consumer based. Everything is about the consumer, consumer, consumer. Every single one of the keynote speakers and panelists stressed how the internet is all about the consumer. What this means mostly is that the internet is going more and more towards the direction of feeding personalized information to a user. Pandora is a pretty obvious example in that by telling the website what songs you enjoy, it will suggest others that you would probably enjoy also, and on and on and on. This is going to be true about all web content, if it isn’t mostly already. For example, when you open up your home page, it will probably have a bunch of information on it (articles, videos, etc.) that are suggested to you based on stuff that you have done in the past. Seems pretty simple and obvious, but it’s also incredibly fascinating how much this has changed in the past five years or so. I still remember when Geocities was a big thing. And everyone used AOL that opened up to the same home page. There was no user-computer interaction and no user feedback at all. It was completely one sided.
  • Technology is going mobile. Peter Chou (who I briefly talked to and shook hands with, by the way. So cool!) kept talking about his vision of the cell phone as the ultimate personal device. It will more or less replace the personal computer because no one will really have a need for it anymore. I certainly do agree that smart phones will become so powerful that we can do the majority of our daily tasks on it (I’m sure the amount of web content accessed through phones will quickly overtake that of desktops). But that it will completely render laptops useless? I disagree with that. While ultimate portability, packed with enough CPU to run a full operating system, is awesome, I still believe that there are [portable] tasks that would be much preferable on a full size computer. Would anyone really want to be taking notes in class or in a meeting on a smart phone? It just doesn’t seem reasonable.
  • Shocking fact: mobile advertisements are 2 to 6 times more effective than PC advertisements. The mobile advertisement industry is exploding with the likes of Google buying Admob, Apple buying Quanta, etc. My guess is that because mobile devices are so much more personal, it is much easier to advertise something relevant directly at the user.
  • The use of location based technology in advertising is heading towards an insane direction too. The guy from (I believe) Foursquare doing the panel discussions talked about how they’re looking for wards to pointing people at specific local discounts using location based technology on a person’s smartphone.  If a person is in a neighborhood, the phone will throw at them advertisements of deals or discounts in the area. Obviously there’s also the whole mayor deal where if a person becomes the mayor of a store, the store will often offer perks, such as skipping lines or free parking or a free cup of coffee. To me, this is stuff that seems almost video game-like. It’s basically the immersion of an online game into real life. Very intriguing.
  • eCommerce has changed a huge amount over the past few years as well. It was eBay and Amazon at first with a pretty simple and straightforward business model. But now, models such as group buy (Groupon, BuyWithMe, Gilt, etc.), rental models (Rent the Runway), and personalized sales models are completely changing the way people buy things online. There’s obviously a lot of competition involved but that only fuels the change and trying to gain that competitive edge.
  • I never noticed prior to this event how many startups trying to break into some kind of Web 2.0 business there are. It’s almost scary. Simply the number of firms that were represented at the symposium were pretty overwhelming. But then I came home, did some research on startups and venture capitalists, and realized that the number of startups is just completely absurd. Firms are being funded hundreds of millions upon hundreds of millions of dollars to feed into this industry.
  • This event led me to several questions and conclusions. On a personal level, I would definitely have an interest in working for a startup in the future; I wouldn’t know if I want to be on the VC side or the actual firm side. It’s definitely something I would look into down the road, but probably not at the start of my career. But then I come to this thought: Is this just another 2000’s internet bubble? Are people feeding into this hype a bit to much? I personally think it is because the competition is so enormous and there are so many firms offering so many different services. But I think that (especially considering how people are stressing consumer personalization) people are going to want all of their content and all of their services coming from one hub. Basically something where I turn on my computer or my smartphone and everything I want to see in right there. No need for individual apps. If all of these firms do succeed, can you imagine how fragmented everything would be? At this point, my opinion is that Google and Facebook are the two firms that are going to dominate pretty much everything all of these startups are trying to achieve in some way or another. This duopoly would fuel insane competition, pushing innovation, while the people get what they want. But that’s just my opinion. And who really cares about my opinion.

Ideas and innovation fuels growth. And we are in a time when we desperately need growth. Our economy has been very stagnant for a few years now while emerging markets are taking over economically. I think that radical and quick technological such as these may be beneficial to the country.

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I started another blog called Take Me To Wall Street as a way for me to keep track of all the things that I learn about finance. I think what I’m going to do is whenever I have time, I’ll simply write a post highlighting a certain term or a certain technique. The one thing that I’m having trouble with now is putting everything I learn from finance classes and accounting classes and math classes and readings from The Journal and online readings together. There’s a lot of information and I feel that if I can regurgitate what I take in back at this blog, it’ll help me to become more successful and achieve some of my goals.

Day 18 - A photo of one of your classes.

I’m pretty sure the only class pictures I have are from high school. So here’s the last day of high school…

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 17 - A photo of a favorite vacation.

Has to be Italy and there’s no doubt about it. What a wonderful time.

2009-07-01 Rome 095

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

Ahh no time to blog!

I’ve been feeling increasingly overwhelmed lately. I get the feeling that I’m not doing well at much and that I’m falling behind on everything regardless of how much effort I put into it. The fact that I have no idea what is feeding into this feeling just makes it worse. Sighhhh.

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Okay, no time for this now, but next time I’m going to be writing about my experience at Cyberposium, a technology-business symposium at Harvard Business School this past weekend.

Day 16 - A photo of you at the last party you went to.

What kind of party?

Birthday dinner party…

Or… this kind of party…??

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 15 - A photo of you and someone you love.

I told Ruth I’ll always love her (as a friend, of course, don’t worry Jamie) in her yearbook at the end of senior year. And it apparently makes her cry every time she reads it. =)

2010-10-16 Lifehouse Concert 010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 14 - A photo of one of your favorite family members.

This one is…bizarre.

Iono. My brother maybe? Since he’s closest to me in age? Haha.

2009-12-25 Christmas Day 052

I guess I could also go with my aunt who has always been amazing to me and who I think is absolutely awesome.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 12 - A photo of you.

Again?

This would be me pretending to be a pro-snowboarder. I can totally pull it off.

2010-01-06 Epic Ski Trip 021

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 11 - A photo of your favorite film(s).

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Love love love love love this movie. Very inspirational.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 7 - A photo of someone you love.

Wups. I think I had missed this one. So going backwards!

My mother!

2010-08-12 Tainan 021

Day 10 - A photo of you as a baby.

I unfortunately do not have a picture of myself as a baby with me at school. Sorry.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 6 - A photo that makes you laugh.

Hahaha. This was my first year in marching band, sophomore year, at Rutgers Stadium.

Me and Ruth

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 5 - A photo of you.

Italy trip last year. On top of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. I’ll be back there one day. Italy is too nice not to visit again.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 4 - A photo of the last place you went on holidays.

I’m going to interpret “on holidays” as “vacation.” Sunset in Taipei from this past summer. So pretty.

2010-08-18 Taipei 110

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010- Pareto Principle and Random Thoughts

I came across an article talking about the 80-20 rule recently and it caught my attention. I had seen it before, but I didn’t’ really think much about it. Basically, the principle says that about 80% of the outcomes of an actions comes from 20% of your inputs. One of the striking examples is that the top 20% of the population owns 80% of the population’s wealth, and the more obvious 20% of your customers contribute 80% of your revenue. On a less macro level, it basically translates to: 20% of the activities we partake in is contributing towards 80% of our accomplishments.

That got me thinking: am I stretching myself out to thin? I’m constantly running around, attending seminars and info sessions to learn as much as I can. But even if I do learn this stuff, is it even worth it? There’s a very good chance the stuff I’m learning will never be of any use to me. So does that mean I should erase all that stuff from my schedule and focus on my 20% even if I actually enjoy it? Or maybe this is my 20%…

This is my new dilemma. I’ve spent the past few days thinking a lot about this, trying to find that 20 that is my real passion. I feel like with the internet making information so accessible, it’s so hard to just focus on one thing. A good amount of my day is spent reading the news, from financial news to tech new to even politics. I like having that knowledge and understanding of what’s going on in the world, but to what avail? Being surrounded, bombarded even, by all these sources of information is really overwhelming at times, and maybe it’s time to start streamlining these sources. The world is so fast paced now that it’s hard to slow things down and grasp the few really meaningful things.

Here’s a great article about the 80-20 rule I found after learning about it: What Is The 80/20 Rule And Why It Will Change Your Life

Anyway, my question to the few of you who read this: if you were to live life by the 80/20 principle, what would be your 20?

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The end of the article I linked to above concluded by talking about fear and how fear restrains people from really doing great things.

The biggest factor that stops most people from chasing their dreams and working towards their real goals is fear.

[Snip]

Don’t let fear be the reason for not achieving your goals. Stop, reassess your real passions, remove the money equation long enough so you can think without worrying about finances, and make plans to move towards your 80/20 lifestyle activities. Maximize what you are good at. Find the activities that produce the most results for you and your business and put your energy where the big rewards are.

Not that I didn’t know this already, but reading that quote made me realize that if anything, my downfall is going to come from not being able to delve into uncertainty. I like it when everything just goes according to plan. I set a goal. I figure out a path. Work my way down that path. Reach goal. But I’m starting to understand that hard work is only going to contribute so much towards making that happen. At points, I’m going to have to start deviating from that path because of some obstacle, and I need to get rid of the self-imposed wall keeping me on the path rather than try to shove my way through the obstacle.

It makes me nervous, but as my goals get greater and more involved, it’s probably the way I have to go.

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I should go to one of those self-improvement classes. There are so many things wrong with the way I look at life and people. It could probably do me some good.

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I wish I was more creative. It’s hard to be innovative when I lack creativity. And it’d be really nice if I could come up with some innovative ideas right now. New ways to tackle an old problem.

Day 2 - A photo of yourself from a year ago.

Columbus Day reunion at Rutgers last year. Good times.

Day 12 - A photo of you.

Again?

This would be me pretending to be a pro-snowboarder. I can totally pull it off.

2010-01-06 Epic Ski Trip 021

Sunday, October 31, 2010

30 Day Photo Challenge: Day One

I kind of want to do this photo thing Kim’s been doing, since it’s easy and kind of entertaining.

Day 1 - Your facebook profile picture.
Day 2 - A photo of yourself from a year ago.
Day 3 - A photo that makes you happy.
Day 4 - A photo of the last place you went on holidays.
Day 5 - A photo of you.
Day 6 - A photo that makes you laugh.
Day 7 - A photo of someone you love.
Day 8 - A photo of your favourite band/musician.
Day 9 - A photo of your family.
Day 10 - A photo of you as a baby.
Day 11 - A photo of your favourite film(s).
Day 12 - A photo of you.
Day 13 - A photo of you and your best friend(s).
Day 14 - A photo of one of your favourite family members.
Day 15 - A photo of you and someone you love.
Day 16 - A photo of you at the last party you went to.
Day 17 - A photo of a favorite vacation.
Day 18 - A photo of one of your classes.
Day 19 - A photo of you on a school trip.
Day 20 - A photo of something you enjoy doing.
Day 21 - A photo of you standing up.
Day 22 - A photo of your town.
Day 23 - A photo of your friend as a baby.
Day 24 - A photo of you that your hair looks nice in.
Day 25 - A photo of a night you loved.
Day 26 - A photo of your favourite weekend.
Day 27 - A photo of last summer.
Day 28 - A photo of what you ate today.
Day 29 – A photo of someone you find attractive.
Day 30 – A photo of you when you were happy.

Facebook profile picture: This one’s an easy one. Beach trip to Spring Lakes over the summer. I guess I could use a new profile picture, but I like this. I miss the summer.

2010-06-21 Spring Lake 048

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010

So this will be my first post in maybe half a year or so. Every time I want to make a post, I never know how to say what I want to say so I just don’t. Plus, I really have not had much time to just sit around and write my thoughts. It’s probably a bad thing that I’m doing this rather than doing homework or studying or planning or applying, but time off is a necessity and it’s nice to write out some of my random thoughts. So this post is literally going to be a bullet point list of thoughts and curiosities of mine from over the summer up to now… so here goes:

  • I got incredibly lucky over the summer working for Peregrine Acquisitions. Because it was such a small start-up company, it really gave me the chance to delve deep into specific projects and actually do things that were significant towards the success of the company. Some of the work that I did required some good problem solving skills and using whatever resources I had to come up with a solution. I was surprised by how the technical knowledge from basic accounting skills (financial statement analysis) to computer programming (writing macros in Excel) came in handy. Also, due to the fact that it was such a small company, I was never thrown into one specific project and told to spend all my time on one thing. I was given the opportunity to diversify my knowledge of how forming different businesses in different industries worked. Also, it was a great experience in that it was an opportunity for me to get a feel for what it was like working on a full-time basis. Forty hour work weeks seem pretty hefty when you have never experienced it, but I came to realize that because I enjoyed what I did and was passionate about putting in my best effort to be successful (beyond the really boring tedious things that comes with every job), the eight hours a day flew by.
  • Passion, ambition, and drive can take you a long way. People recognize it. Those you work with will appreciate it and even if it’s not greatly rewarded, it’s nice to know what you’ve gained that much respect of your coworkers. It also makes whatever you do so much easier to get through.
  • I don’t understand people who choose what they do based on other peoples’ opinions or based on what they can do to make the most money. Do what you like. Successes can hardly be considered as such if it comes painfully.
  • I’ve always been one to stress practicality. I go about life making sure that every step I take has a purpose and will ultimately lead me somewhere. Is this the right approach? Who knows. I sure hope so.
  • As I get older, I have been feeling more and more of an urgency to do well. There’s no joking around when it comes to the things that need to get done. And at this point in life, a few of the things that are priorities are learning as much as I can about as many things as possible and then finding ways to apply this knowledge.
  • It’s not really that hard to learn things once you commit to it. What I do find hard, however, is figuring out what should be learned. If I don’t know something, then how am I supposed to know to read into that specific thing. For example, in terms of trading, I’ve always know what options were and that they existed. What I didn’t know is how powerful they can be to hedge risks. I wouldn’t have known to look deeper into this if I hadn’t gone to a seminar on investment strategies a few days ago. I’m always afraid that despite the readings that I do and the work I put into understanding things, I’m missing important things that I just didn’t know existed.
  • Reading newspapers seems like something old people do. You never really see younger folks sitting on a bench reading a newspaper. It’s always old people. After maybe fifth grade or so, when I stopped doing those weekly current event presentations, I stopped reading newspapers. They just never occurred to me to be a source to turn to for information. Even last year, when I had my own subscription to The Wall Street Journal, I rarely read the paper comprehensively. I guess I’ve finally come to my senses about the newspaper and its old-fashioned-ness. I have been reading the Journal almost every day, as comprehensively as my day would allow. It’s refreshing how much more I know about the world and how things work and different perspectives and just knowledge in general. It’s great. Despite the fact that I’m subscribed to maybe twenty or so finance blogs that are updated on to-the-minute market events on Google Reader that I will try to read thoroughly, I definitely learn more about what’s going on from the Journal.
  • Speaking of Google Reader, I’m currently subscribed to about fifty blogs. Seventeen are related to baseball, mostly Yankees. Seven are on technology. Two are on cars. Two are on tennis. Eleven are friends’ blogs. Twenty are finance. Sadly enough, that kind of summarizes my interests…
  • I insist that by the end of this school year, I will have a working financial model for securities. Over the summer, I tried working with models using purely technical analysis to forecast future prices. That was kind of a fail. Apparently, I was taking a pretty incorrect approach. As I learn more throughout the year, I’ll try to build more and more of that knowledge into the model. It’s tough, but I’m determined to get it working. We’ll see how this goes.
  • School started about six weeks ago. It’s kind of been a sucky six weeks. There hasn’t been that much school work, but I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to do really, really well on everything. Some of the approaches I’m taking towards achieving that goal is really time consuming, but I really hope it will be worth the extra work. I have not really done anything particularly exciting and I think that’s just how the rest of my college career is going to be: more focus-oriented. Honestly, there is not much exciting and interesting things around that are worth being considered a distraction.
  • I really dislike the people at this school. More and more so. Last year, it was just kind of just a lack of desire to be associated with anyone here. Now that I have to live with more people and encounter more people, I’ve come to realize that people here in general, not everyone, are just douchebags.
  • There are maybe two or three people at school who I actually enjoy spending my time with. The others all just seem like a nuisance.
  • Living in a suite with seven other guys is hell. I hate that there are people around all the time. I hate that certain people think they’re welcome in my room and to my stuff whenever they please. I hate the immature and grossness that comes with typical college guys. I want a single in the future. So I can live my goddamn life without having to deal with these people. Ugh.
  • It amazes me how some people’s egos can get so big that they don’t’ realize how big of a piece of shit they are. Not saying that I’m not somewhat cocky and have big expectations of myself. But it just seems different when I’m setting a goal for myself while they’re just being unreasonable about where they are now. Whatever.

Okay that’s all the complaining and bitching I have for now. This took a lot more time than I thought it would. Anyway, I’ll hopefully be posting a lot more often again,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010

I guess this is the point where I do something about it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

Study days. Nine days until I’m free.

 

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I’ve done such a good job all year of staying emotionally unattached to everything. I have nine days left and now I’m stuck here with this dilemma. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, nothing’s going to become of it and I’ll be good.

 

God damn it.

 

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My accounting professor gave this “Celebration of Learning” lecture on the last day of class. It was possibly one of the most inspirational and motivating talks I' have heard in a really long time. It’s recorded online, so I’m going to watch it over again and try to pull out some good quotes. Honestly, I would not be surprised if I go the rest of my life and not have a better professor than Pete Wilson. Just a great, intelligent man. Going to miss that class a lot.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3, 2010

I should be taking this time to rewrite several of my essays and then do a self reflection for my writing seminar class, but I feel that it’d be worth my time to write this out instead.

 

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I’ve been struggling a bit the past few days. I’m just glad that it’s the end of the school year because I really need some time to get away from everyone and everything that’s going on. The past few days have thrown me into these pinballing emotions as I try to figure out who I am again and how I want to live my life. The past month or so, I feel that I’ve been missing objective in my life and that’s why everything seems to go to hell. I have not set many goals for myself and I have not been keeping true to any of the goals that I actually have set. This lack of objective has been making everything one big mess. I don’t know where I want to go. It’s time from a break from all of this because this is not what I want to be at all.

I can’t say that my recent bouts of exhaustion and lack of motivation is directly correlated to keeping in my emotional instability and trying to sort everything out while making it seem everything is perfectly fine. But it definitely takes a toll on everything. I need to learn how to focus on what’s important again. This sounds very cliché, but it looks like I need to sort out my priorities before I can do anything about myself.

Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010

Lingering on past memories…

 

Anticipating the future…

 

Forgetting to live today…

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

 

I’m starting to get sick of school. Nothing in particular is difficult. Classes, exams, etc. have been easy to get through. I really don’t have any other commitments besides academics, so life goes pretty smoothly. Despite this, I feel terribly drained. The moment I step onto campus, I feel a nagging burden pressing down on me. Even when I’m trying to be in relax mode, my mind is still wondering about the things that should be done or could have been done to make it better and fulfill potential. I don’t know. It’s just a mess of crap. I think a problem is that I feel like I can be so much better than I am now at everything I do. Yet, there’s always something in the way. Anyway, regardless of the reason, it’s making me feel overwhelmed. The thing is, every time I leave campus, I feel a ton better. The few days I was home two weeks ago just felt amazing. Every time I go into the city, it’s like a huge weight is lifted off my chest. When I go for my daily jogs, it’s like there’s peace of mind. I guess I’m doing the best that I can to relieve whatever it is that’s troubling me. My daily jogs seem to be getting longer and longer because they’re really the only part of my day that I can spend not worrying about anything academics related. Surprisingly, I’m trying to make the best out of the situation, do my best, and get out of here as soon as possible.

I talk to my parents last night and commented on how I have a countdown until summer vacation. They seemed surprised by that, commenting on the fact that they don’t remember wanting to get out of school that badly when they were in college. Is it just me? There’s nothing really inherently wrong with my experience here. It’d be nice to have a constant large group of friends like back in high school, but I won’t complain about what I have here.

I think I’m starting to get caught up on the whole freedom issue again. It’s probably because I go to school in a more suburban area with limited transportation, but I still feel trapped. I would love to have a car around and be able to leave campus and just go wherever I want whenever I want. That’s the clearest issue I have right now.

Does anyone out there even share the same feelings I’m having?

 

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Speaking of trapped and needing an escape, I discovered this year how amazing music can be. It is a mental escape from all the crap going on around. Concerts are so enjoyable and rocking out with other people who like the same music is great. The greatest thing about music is how much variety there is. I’ve started to constantly look around for different bands, not necessarily established ones, and I’ve realized how much good stuff there is out there. I like a pretty select style of music, and even amongst that style, there’s variety. One of my greatest dreams is to be able to sing. It just seems like such an amazing thing.

 

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I really want to go on vacation with a group of friends again. I was looking back at pictures from Italy last year and remembered how great of a time that was. Travelling and being exposed to the different things out there. And then to be able to experience that with friends is even greater because you share some kind of bond after it. I wish I had more opportunities to do that.

This summer, I’m going to Taiwan with my mother and brother. I’m actually really looking forward to it. It’ll be a huge change of scenery. I’ve been to Taiwan maybe five times, but I have yet to go there for a real vacation and get to enjoy what is there. I should be there the first two weeks of August. That also happens to be when Jess is going to be there so hopefully I’ll get to hang out with her in Taiwan! That’ll be sweet.

The whole idea of traveling has forced me to seriously think about travelling abroad my junior year. If I have not transferred from BC by then, I’m thinking about going to Hong Kong. For some reasons, HK has always interested me and this would be my opportunity to see it and live there for a few months. If not HK, then hopefully Shanghai. We’ll have to see. If I do transfer, then that’s a whole different story.

The idea of transferring has also got me really excited lately. I’m going to apply for the spring semester of 2011 to Carnegie Mellon and MIT, both as a math major in computational analysis. That would be spectacular if it works out. It’ll be really tough though, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

 

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I thought of this a few weeks ago when a friend was having a big of a rough patch in their life.

We’re all stubborn as hell. It’s tough to let go of certain things that mean a lot to us. And that’s what friends are for. They keep us honest. They are able to see outside of what we refuse to let go of and they help us to realize.

Yeah I’m probably one of the most stubborn people in the world. I like things my way and when I commit to something, that’s usually the final word. I see that as a strength of mine, but it has many of its own shortcomings. I’m trying to be more open minded about things, about people. I want to open my arms to what others suggest and listen to what’s on other people’s mind. Take into consideration the world around me.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 2010

**I’ve been meaning to write a meaningful post for a while now. This was supposed to be it, but I decided to just ramble.

 

Wow, it’s been almost a month since I last posted. I have these trends where I just seem to have a lot to say and then I go through these lulls. But then again, when I don’t have that much to say, I’m usually more at ease and it is typically when I am feeling good about things, or I’m just getting worked out of my mind. It’s been half and half over the past month. Anyway, that kind of segues into why I’m writing this post now. But first, I’ll quickly run through the happenings of the past month.

I have been going home seemingly every other weekend. Two weekends at home for spring break. I was back for two and a half weeks and I was home again for Easter break. That was a nice five days at home. I managed to do some things while really getting some relaxation time, and not just sit on my ass all day. I made my way down to TCNJ. It was my first time at TCNJ and it happened to be a lot bigger than I expected. It’s..interesting. Kind of barren, nothing sticks out in particular, and doesn’t see to be to my tastes. Perhaps that impression would change if I saw it during the day. As much as I would have loved to spend the night there, I just picked up Kalvin and headed up to Rutgers to spend the night with Ruth. That ended up being a mess of a night, but everything turned out fine in the end. I think that I should just never drink. Ever. It’d probably be better for me and for everyone else. I’m kind of afraid to drink now because of the potentially stupid things I might say or do. Plus, I still see very little benefits to being drunk. Friday, I hung out with the family and then went to Katie’s house at night. I saw Jess for the first time since Columbus Day that night. It was pretty exciting and definitely really nice seeing her. I miss her constant cheerful demeanor. The next morning, my brother and I went to see the New York International Auto Show at the Javits Center. Good day. Saw some incredibly awesome cars. Those pictures are posted on my Facebook. Then on Sunday, I found out how NOTHING was open on Easter. My brother and I literally drove up and down Route 10 looking for a place to eat lunch. That was an utter failure. Oh well. Came back to school on Monday afternoon with Joe, but that was after I got a chance to watch my brother play a tennis match. He played really well. It was really fun to watch and made me really miss playing high school tennis or just playing tennis competitively in general.

Anyway, that was definitely a much needed break. I had to suffer through my hell week of this semester and that really took a lot out of me. I had three exams in that one week and I literally did not leave my desk the whole week and I felt like my brains were going to blow up. Managed to do well, so the effort didn’t go to waste (82ish on Econ, but the class mean was 60ish, and my grade was that low only because I didn’t see a whole question; 96 in Calc3; 99 in Linear Algebra). A few weeks before that I had a Financial Accounting exam that I set the curve for, so naturally I got 100. Academically, I feel like I’ve been doing fine. It’s taking a lot out of me and I’m glad that I’m able to dedicate myself to doing well. I still wish I could get myself to work harder. I feel that there’s so much more that I can do to do better.

Yeah, so that’s that. Just a quick (not really) update of the goings of my life. I’ll have an actual insightful, meaningful post up soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12, 2010

Several random ideas that I’ve been meaning to write about over the past few days. There’s no connection between them.

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Influence. I have been thinking about it quite a bit lately and then just happened to come up in a conversation two nights ago with Viv.

I hate the idea of influence. Everything we do is based on our own decisions. We have to discern whether or not something that we see or experience should be taken in and incorporated into our lives. Just because we see or experience something doesn’t mean that we have to emulate it. We are given a choice, and this choice defines us as an individual. That’s what makes us unique because everyone has a different opinion on what they see or experience should be a part of their persona.

This is kind of a rule that I try to dictate my life with. I don’t do things just because other people are doing it. I do things because I see it, think about it, and realized that it would be in my best interest to do so.

I want to say that I hate people who just does something because everyone else is doing it. But I guess they could be going through this same thought process; except they just accept everything.

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Next random thought.

Chatroulette. I read an article on CNET News yesterday regarding this apparently huge trend amongst college students. It basically talks about how this website is bringing more of reality into the internet.

Nowadays, online interaction is done within our selective network of friends-- people we carefully choose to share our lives with. A few months ago, this sense of comfort was disturbed when Chatroulette launched, a site that pairs users with random Webcam partners.

We can choose what we do on the internet. Almost all of it is based on whether or not we want to do it or not. Very rarely do we see something unexpected because everything we see is based on what we are looking for. Chatroulette changes that because you’re putting yourself, your actual identity out there and seeing what comes up on the other end. You know to expect the unexpected. That, all of a sudden, seams to be the reality of our every day lives. This next quote is where it gets really interseting:

In the "real world," people don't get the opportunity to present their profiles. There's a moment when two people meet and judgment is passed: a first impression. From there, the relationship ends or evolves.

Chatroulette emulates such an experience with one exception: you can't get "nexted" in real life. When paired, users have the choice to chat or hit "next" to see a new person. When I tested the site, there were times when I was "nexted" within seconds. A first thought was, "why?" If we interacted in the real world, it would be socially unacceptable for them to just walk away from me.

I would have not put this together myself, but I cannot agree more. Chatroulette is kind of like walking around New York City. You see some of the strangest things. You can meet some of the strangest people, or you can meet some of the nicest people. It’s a giant mixture of all different characters. Essentially what this Russian teen did was bring social reality to the internet. Amazing. Honestly, what’s the difference besides being able to next someone? (Just throwing this out there, but if you meet someone really strange on the streets in New York City, you’re very likely to just walk away).

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-10465705-2.html

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Another thought.

Kalvin was telling me yesterday about how he thinks I express through text a lot. I guess I agree. I enjoy formal communication and I feel that’s more easily satisfied through writing. I’m not really an eloquent writer, but I feel that it gives me more of an opportunity to express what I’m trying to say. I enjoy elaborating and you typically don’t do that as much through verbal communication. It’s strange how a lot of my closest relationships were originally solely based off of written communication (IM, email, etc.). Just an idea that I’d thought I would share. Kind of weird. I suppose this doesn’t bode well for me in the real world considering people don’t sit around typing conversations to each other regularly. Heh.

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Last thing. I just did this personality survey. It’s pretty interesting and seems relatively accurate. Here it is:

I am a “Builder / director.”

You are an executive. You are consistent, reliable, thorough and persevering. You can also be socially charming. So you are good at managing others at home and work, in your social circles, and in community projects.

You are efficient too. You have high standards and take your duties seriously, focusing carefully and persistently on your assignments with sensible, concrete, tough-minded thinking and exactitude.

You respect schedules, rules, routines and customs. Appropriate behavior is generally important to you. Yet you have a streak of the independent and innovative thinker. As a result, you have a good balance between conventionality and originality.

You are also a good leader. You are direct, analytical, and skeptical, as well as emotionally contained and clear headed. You acquire the perks of rank more easily than most. And you handle your possessions gracefully. You also enjoy time alone, focusing deeply on your personal interests.

With Builder as your primary type, you can be:

  • Traditional
  • Patient
  • Social
  • Community Oriented
  • Loyal
  • Orderly
  • Dependable

With Director as your secondary type, you can be:

  • Decisive
  • Competitive
  • Focused
  • Self disciplined
  • Analytical
  • Independent
  • Logical

Relating to others

You like people and are generally comfortable with them. Family is important to you and you are very protective of those you love. Yet you are skeptical of people who are impulsive and impatient with those who don't "get to the point" in conversations. You like concrete and focused conversations on everything from trivia to the important topics of the day.

In love and relationships

As a Builder, you need a partner who knows his/her own mind and earnestly wants to help you establish a stable family life, cultivate a network of friends and build career and financial stability. You are good natured and willing to do thankless jobs for friends and family. And you gravitate to people who are honest and respectful of traditions. You particularly admire people who are socially conscious, and who participate in community-based organizations--for both charitable and social reasons. Foremost, you need a partner who is devoted to family, sensible with money, responsible with possessions, compassionate, and wants to have detailed and informed conversations.

Things to be aware of

  1. You can be overly swayed by the opinions of friends and family.
  2. You can be critical of others. There is often more than one "right way" to do something.
  3. Sometimes you have a hard time changing your mind, even when you think you should.

So what do you think? Accurate?

 

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Sorry about the intensely long post.

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010

If I fall and crash and burn
At least I know you're by my side
As I crawl that lessons learned
It reminds me I'll survive
I've been hurt and I've been scarred
At least I know that I'm alive
And If I fall and crash and burn
At least we both know that I tried

-Lifehouse, Crash & Burn

I LOVELOVELOVELOVE that song. AND I CAN’T WAIT TO GO SEE THEM NEXT WEEK.

 

Okay, I don’t really have much to say actually.

 

Time for me to go crash and burn.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6, 2010

I love dreams. As awesome as sleep is, I think it's the dreams that make it so amazing. I love the feeling of waking up after a good dream and feeling satisfied and ready to go for the rest of the day. For those of us with few experiences of true success, dreaming about good things is a nice way to make up for it.
Anyway, I had a dream last night that I was an olmypic skier. I was in the ski cross event, although for some reason it was mixed together with snowboard cross. Greatest thing about it was that I was racing against Ohno (yes, the speed skater was skiing). I got second place after some crazy theatrics on this crazy course. IT WAS SO COOL.
And then the rest just made it even better. Let's just say it involves a girl. Nothing bad, in case you perverts were reading this.
So that dream just made my day. I feel all light and happy and ready to take on the world today!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 28, 2010

Hey look, we’re one-sixths of the way through this year already. That’s absurd.

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I’m on spring break. SPRING. I’d love it if there wasn’t a foot of snow on the ground. But whatever.

----------

Went to Rutgers last night. Didn’t really do much there. Couldn’t decide if I wanted to go party or not, so that kind of kept getting pushed further and further back. So just ended up seeing a bunch of people.

Jackie’s friends are insane. They’re not just the typical college students that party and drink and smoke. The things they do are crazy. I don’t get how they live like that. I guess there are people who are willing to live life on the edge and have no fear of killing themselves or anything.

I’m even more convinced now than ever that no one has changed since going to college. Not even the sophomores. I saw Alex and Chiou. They’re still the same. Played ping pong with Alex. I suck now. But it’s okay. I’d rather be good at tennis anyway. It was fun looking back on old times and the weird things that happened and the people we met along the way. I love it that even though we hadn’t seen each other in a really long time (must be a year or so), things just pick up where they left off. No awkwardness.

Saw Sam and Leo afterwards. Not for too long though since it was already 3AM by then. Chatted for a bit and went back to Ruth’s place. Oovooed with Kalvin…

THEN WENT ON CHATROULLETE. That was the revelation of the night. That website is hilarious. Basically it’s omegle with video. So you video chat with a randomly assigned person. Almost all of them are sketchy guys asking to see tits, just a penis hanging there, a guy masturbating, or some fat slut. It was thoroughly hilarious. Some of the people we met were actually legitimately interesting. (This all happened somewhere between 4:30 and 6AM). One kid was a theology major at Fordham and he had a crazy mustache. He’s trying to grow a Fu Manchu. So funny. He just seemed like an intriguing person. Then there was Tanya. Hilarious story. So after the stream of creepy guys, fat old guys, penises, masturbators, and ugly sluts, it came to my surprise that the next person we got was a really cute Asian girl. Naturally I wake up from my half-asleep state. Talk to her a bit. Found out she was doing CommonApps for transfer. To what school? BOSTON COLLEGE. Yes. I got really excited. We talked about that for a bit, etcetc. Then the stupid chat thing stopped working but the video kept going, so we were writing messages on post-its and putting it in front of the camera. That got kind of annoying so Ruth proposed giving her my number so she can text me. That happened. We had a whole texting conversation going on before we realized it’d be easier if we just called each other. So I ended up talking to her for like half an hour on the phone before she decides she needs to continue working on her applications since they’re due soon. Wished her luck. Hung up. And realized how bizarre that whole situation. It’s definitely not safe to give people your phone number on a sketchy video chat site. But it’s all good. I’ve been texting her sporadically throughout the day.

The end. That’s my story.

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I think it’s almost time for me to make a confession. Or else I’m just going to die keeping it in. Maybe sometime this week.

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IF ANYONE IS IN PARSIPPANY AND WANTS TO DO ANYTHING, HIT ME UP. I’M DOING ALMOST NOTHING ALL BREAK.

KBYE.

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Oh crap, I forgot to mention how nice it was to get to spend time with Ruth. It’s been a while since that’s happened. I like that she tries to pry things out of me that I normally wouldn’t be apt to admit. It’s good to get things out, especially to someone I trust.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010

I’m so unaccomplished. In every possible sense of the word.

 

Sigh.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

February 13, 2010

Wow, rough week. It almost seems as if nothing went right. I just wasn’t really emotionally invested into anything that was going on during the week, and that has to change. I can’t afford to lose focus like this. Everything seems to have gone by in such a blur. By the end of Thursday, I was hoping for a nice night to relax considering that the only work that I had was to study for a short linear algebra quiz. But no. My computer deices to crash. It literally took me all night to figure out that I wouldn’t really be able to recover it and I’d have to reinstall the operating system. Naturally, I don’t have the Windows 7 disk since it came from the school, so I had to go to the help center the next day. As most people know, I’m pretty anal about my computer and I don’t like people suing it. The idiot guy tried to convince me that they couldn’t just hand me the disk and let me do it myself, and that they had to do it for me. So I sat there for a good fifteen minutes arguing with him trying to pry the disk from him. Finally I get it, reinstall Windows 7 and all was fine. There are still some strange glitches that I can’t quite figure otu…But whatever. It’s operable. I’ll figure the rest out as I use it. So right after all of this computer fixing, I head to my linear algebra class. With all the computer mess, I barely had time to study. Naturally I mess up a question. I realize the moment I leave class and I was ready to kill myself. It was so stupid. Yeah so. Emotionally, I just wasn’t there. My luck wasn’t there either, judging by the computer. And I had to pay for that crap.

So I was hoping to relieve some stress last night after recovering a lot of the stuff on my computer. I decided to work out. It was great. I did two hours worth of P90X. Twenty five minutes of upper body stretches, an hour and a half of cardio, and finished it off with apripperx. The cardio was intense. I felt great. I felt much fresher.

I did most of the workout while watching the Olympics Opening Ceremony. It was pretty good. I loved the part where they set up the fake mountain and had people float down from the sky as if they were skiing down. That was cool. It was hilarious at the end when there was the technical malfunction.

Unfortunately, my attempts to try to forget this past week costed me a bunch of homework and studying time. I was supposed to study for multivariable last night and I didn’t get much of a chance to. Whenever I sat down to really do work, my mind would drift. Hopefully being home this weekend is just what I need to reset myself.

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Chinese New Year is tomorrow. I can’t wait for dinner tonight. It should be great. I hope my parents prepared something awesome. I ended up deciding to go home since my cousin and his wife wanted to go. He rented a car. Free ride back home. I’ll take it. Not to mention, I get to isolate myself from civilization on Valentine’s Day. Blech. Not a fan.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February 11, 2010

We're all always surrounded. Even when we are alone, we have access to other people and resources. Technology has brought about a huge change in the dynamics of daily social interactions. I often feel that I'm literally carrying the world in my pocket on a daily basis. From my cell phone, I can easily access thousands of people through texts, email, and the internet. Social networking in particular links people from all stretches of the world together. These networks are supposed to help us, right? It's nice being able to say you know 500 people. It's nice to be able to keep in touch with old friends. But, honestly, how many of those Facebook friends do you actually know? It's scientifically proven that the human brain can only handle social circles of up to 150 friends and even these 150 friends probably aren't true intimate relationships. Also, if you really want to keep in touch with someone you truly care about, wouldn't it be a better idea to make a phone call or video call, or write a letter? If you really cared, you would make that extra effort to express that care. The sporadic "hey how's it going?" "it's going great" conversations on Facebook walls don't exactly inspire sincerity. The same goes with texts. Texting is a great way to keep up with people, such as figuring out when and where to meet, etc. But to hold a full out conversation over text? That just seems kind of sad. What can you say in the 160 character limit? There's no room for any expression of emotions and ideas. This lack of expression essentially renders the conversation useless. Moreover, over-obsessing with these forms of communication results in losing the ability to hold on-the-spot, expressive conversations.
I love technology. There's absolutely no doubting that. But , I feel that our traditional ways of communication are much better. They allow people a chance to actually express what they want to say, and this expression is a huge aspect of human nature. It might be tough to think of what to say and put it to words on the spot, but that's more or less what makes life interesting.
I know that I've somewhat fallen victim to this, and the more I notice it, the more I want to change. I've felt more of a need to express my feelings and thoughts lately, and using texting and social networking isn't cutting it. Just because it's easier to communicate with technology doesn't mean that it's the best way.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 9, 2010

This past weekend was wild. Dipika, Jackie, Lil, Ryan, and Maria came up to Boston to celebrate “the birthday month of Dipika.” Rather, it was just an incredibly nice reunion. Between Thursday to Saturday, I was literally all over the place. Thursday morning started with my writing seminar professor complimenting the rough draft of my paper on Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (although I’m not sure how much credit I can take from those comments now after reading the other “really good” essay). Anyway, my 9AM course was followed by an hour commute to Northeastern University for an interview for a volunteer program call Math Stars. It’s essentially a tutoring/mentoring program that involves playing tennis with the kids afterwards. The interview went over well, although I don’t think it could have not gone over well. I’m going to Dorchester this Thursday to see if it really is something I want to invest my time in. Afterwards, I went to the Boston Public Library to get some studying done before the grand arrival. The Boston Public Library is so ridiculously nice, almost like a museum. I wandered through several large empty marbled corridors before actually finding the “reading room".” I never actually found where the books were though…which was strange. After sitting in the library for a few hours, my normal fear for libraries took me over again, and started getting uncomfortable. Naturally, I ended up at the Starbucks at the Barnes & Nobles inside the Prudential Mall before finally heading over to Back Bay Station to pick everyone up. We all headed back to BC, ate dinner, chilled. Alexa, Christina, Parita, Jaime, and Dips joined us later in the night. I love being able to spend a night with great friends without the use of alcohol. Sleeping that night was interesting. Alexa left so we were only left with…I think 11 people. Of course sleeping 11 people in our nice little dorm room made for a bizarre situation: three people in each bed and four on the ground. Not very comfortable. Anything to see good friends, though.

Woke up at 7:30 in the morning to bring Christina, Dips, and the NEU girls. Had breakfast, went to the library to get a little studying done. Ended up passing out in the library, BUT I made it to class! Came back from class at noon and everyone was still sleeping. Jackie and Ryan were displaying a nice ensemble of snores. It was quite amusing. Anyway, we cleaned up a bit and headed out around four. I dropped everyone off at the T stop to head to BU while I headed over to Tufts. We then had our big reunion dinner at Bertucci’s out in Longwood. I was so exhausted during dinner, but it was still fun.

 

NOW HERE COMES THE INTERESTING PART. We took a cab back to Northeastern to pre-game. We got rid of a bottle of tequila and half of vodka, but all that food we ate during dinner caused none of us to feel anything. That was unfortunate. We headed over to an MIT frat party. MIT frat houses are classy, to say the least. Classy frat house almost seems…paradoxical. It was pretty fun at first, I suppose. Was not drunk at all, though, and once more and more people started piling in, I just started to get annoyed. People were spilling stuff on me, everyone was sweating; it just wasn’t…preferable. It was a fight just to get to the bar every time I wanted a drink. I basically just gave up after a while. I was really happy when Christina asked me if I wanted to go to an Indian party at Northeastern. So, we took a cab there. Got in. Everyone was super hospitable. Literally as I was walking in, people were offering to take my jacket and hang it up for me while pouring me shots. I took two shots of some unknown blue alcohol and all of a sudden, I was gone. It was so weird. I had five-ish shots of tequila, two gulps of vodka, about a cup of “punch",” and two cups of beer and didn’t feel drunk at all. All of a sudden, I had two shots and I was gone. Anyway, I took two more mixed drinks and I decided I had to stop because I had to wake up at 7:30 the next morning. So, I stopped drinking and I started getting phone calls from Jackie asking me where I was. A while later, I got several texts from Lil and Jackie telling me that they were raped. Naturally, I was terribly worried and freaking out. In my drunken state, my mind was just being extra dramatic about everything. I kept apologizing to them. I tried to stop thinking about it, and I danced a bit and was apparently talking a lot to everyone. I remember having a heart-to-heart with Vin. Funny. Anyway, by around 2AM, Christina and I left. On the cab, I kept asking her “What’s wrong with me?” because I was still thinking about how Lil and Jackie had been raped. I was beginning to have my emotional breakdown at that moment. It was strange because during this whole emotional breakdown, I couldn’t stop smiling whenever I had some random happy thought. When we got to Christina’s place, she went to sleep and passed out immediately, but I ended up laying there for nearly an hour.

This is when I started to have a huge mess of emotional confusion. For a few seconds, I was smiling at the most random things. And then all of a sudden, I had an emotional breakdown. IT WAS SO WEIRD.

Anyway, I had to wake up just a few hours later to go to a nine hour PWC seminar about accounting. It was interesting, and the morning after wasn’t as bad as I expected. Nothing really exciting. I was supposed to go to a Harvard party that night, but decided against it when I realized how exhausted I was.

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So here’s the thing. My emotional breakdown seemed to highlight what seems to be some kind of emotional confusion I have had over the past few weeks. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve felt a big jumble of blechhhh within me. It’s tough to fix that when there’s something you want but you know you can’t get. I actually think that my confusion stems from not knowing if it’s what I want or not. That internal conflict is enough for me to tear myself apart. I don’t know. I need some time to sort out my thoughts and figure out what it is I want.

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Another thing I realized over this weekend is that I’m not really sure of who or what I am. Christina says I’ve become another college student. Is that who I want to be though? I’m not sure. Yet another thing I can’t really figure out about myself. I’d like to think of myself as better than that, but maybe it’s inevitable.

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Yeah I know that it’s not easy
I know that it’s so hard
Follow the lights to the city
And get up and
Go, take a chance and be strong
Or you could spend your whole life holding on
Don’t look back just go,
Take a breath, move along
Or you could spend your whole life holding on
You could spend your whole life holding on
Believe the tunnel can end
Believe your body can mend
Yeah I know you can make it through
‘Cause I believe in you
So let’s go put up a fight
Let’s go make everything alright
Go on and take a shot go give it all you got

 

-Boys Like Girls, Go

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31, 2010

Spent last night at Tufts with Christina. It was a good time. I decided that the people at Tufts just seems more down-to-earth than the people at BC. I haven’t met many people at BC that I thoroughly do not like, but the people at Tufts just seem easier to connect with and more accepting. Sure, the people at that school isn’t as pretty or whatever as those at my school, but the people just seem more genuine. And that’s all that should matter.

 

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Meanwhile, for three straight nights, I’ve had dreams about some random dream girl. Maybe that’s telling me something…

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 30, 2010

I’m enjoying this semester so much more than the last.

But it still feels like something is missing…

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010

I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars
15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

-Five For Fighting, 100 Years

Damn, I’m old. 19 years is a long time. Let’s see where this 20th year takes me…

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 22, 2010

Death. It is the inevitable conclusion to one cycle in the circle of life. It is something that we must learn to accept and as we grow older, the idea becomes more and more relevant.

Life is full of potential. Each of us are put into this world to try to satisfy that potential, whatever it may be. It is up to us to make a conscious effort each day to do so, and in turn, we hopefully pass what we learn and accomplish onto our future generations for them to be even greater. Some people will live to say that they have done for themselves, their loved ones, their community, and their future generations. Some choose not to fulfill their potential. Others are simply not given the chance.

On the afternoon of January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook the island of Haiti. Tens of thousands, possibly even more, perished in this tragedy. These people were never given any chance to accomplish all that they can. To make matters worse, the level of poverty in Haiti is preventing those who survive from getting back on their feet and making a full recovery any time soon. It’s truly sad how many lives were ruined, how much potential was lost in this one natural disaster.

There comes a time
When we head a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can't go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of
God's great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need

-Michael Jackson, We Are the World

Similar to these people, a good acquaintance of mine, Bhavin Desai, recently  passed away. While I have not kept in contact with him since he graduated from high school, it was painful and saddening to hear about this. He was such a brilliant and happy kid. I met him in FBLA and I was amazed by how quickly he could learn random facts. He was always so nice to everyone and was always willing to lend a hand. He always made sure I didn’t feel out of place in FBLA before any of my friends joined the club. Anyway, it’s just so sad that a kid who could have potentially done something great had to lose his life so early before he had a chance to prove himself. I guess I could say that it’s almost not fair. But such is the circle of life.

The thing that prompted me to write this blog post actually happened last Monday. My dad was dropping me off at school and while saying good-bye, he started crying. Basically, my grandma has Alzheimer's and Parkinson Disease. She was hospitalized in September or October because of a high fever due to an infection. Since then, she’s been bed-ridden and can no longer talk. Since being discharged from the hospital, she’s been in a nursing home. My dad would go visit her practically every single day. When I was home over break, I realized how tolling this was on my dad. He leave home for work at around 5:30 in the morning and he wouldn’t get home until around 8 at night because he would go visit her after work. Anyway, over the past few weeks, my grandma’s condition has been worsening and they had to put her back into the hospital. She’s been losing blood for no explainable reason and her blood sugar is uncontrollable. Basically, she’s not doing too well at all. As my dad was dropping me off, he told me that if grandma passes away while I’m at school, I’ll have to go home. I nodded in agreement and then my dad started crying. I gave him a hug and he got in the car. That was the second time I had ever seen my dad cry. The first was when my grandma called one night from Taiwan telling my dad that my grandpa had passed away. I was really young the first, but this time, I noticed how devastated my dad seemed and it transposed onto me as well.

For the first few days after this, I couldn’t help but thinking about it. I went to see my grandma once over break and I realized how much I would regret not going to see her again if something were to happen to her while I’m at school.

Even though she’s dying of old age, it’s still really hard to accept. The few days after this all happened, I just kept flashing back to memories of when I was little and my grandparents would come visit from Taiwan. I’m sure my grandma has had a fulfilling life and has done her share to make a difference.

 

Basically this whole post sums down to one thing. Time doesn’t wait. It’s important to take advantage of every minute of the day. Who knows what might happen in the next minute. Because we can’t tell the future, we must do everything possible in the moment to accomplish as much as we can.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010

A week ago, I watched the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots. It was one of the greatest movies I have ever seen in my life. It invoked so many different emotions from me. It had a unique story and one of the best, most sincere motifs in any movies I have seen recently.

It was about forgoing customary expectations (those of society, parents, etc.) in favor of listening to the heart. People are able to find happiness and success through doing something they enjoy. Honestly, I don’t remember a lot of it at this point. I’ll definitely be watching it again when it comes out on YouTube. I found that the story was very relatable, especially as a college student raised by an Asian family. Next time I watch it, I’ll be sure to write a real thoughtful piece about it. This movie helped me learn a lot about myself and I think I should write about it. It’ll just be a lot easier when I remember the plot better and have quotes to back what I want to say.

Basically, go watch this movie if you haven’t already. It’s amazing and I’m sure you’ll take a lot out of it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 17, 2010

It’s hard to believe that a month has gone by and I’ll be heading back to school bright and early tomorrow morning. This month has been a lot about relaxation, rediscovery of self and social bonds, as well as reflection.

 

[disclaimer: there is a ton of rambling in this post…it was really for me to just throw down some thoughts and organize them into words]

 

Pretty much the first week of break was all about relaxation. I came back from a week of torturous finals and preparing for these finals and some time to really unwind was really in order. I literally tried to spend the whole week really using my brain as little as possible. I watched a few movies that were not too intensive and require too much analysis. It was a much needed week.

As that relaxation phase began to die down, I started to feel a need to start thinking about myself and my experiences, as well as beginning to catch up with my high school friends. First of all, I put a lot of thought on my life goals and how I expect to achieve them. I first looked at my academic and career goals. I had just received my first college semester grades and GPA and, while I did well, wanted to figure out what I should focus on a prioritize so that I can do even better in the future. I know that my first goal is to try to transfer into Carnegie Mellon. CMU has a very high bar set in allowing transfer students in and I need to do a lot of to get myself up to that bar. I know that I need to study much harder, especially with the  courses that I’m taking this next semester. Most importantly, however, is for me to learn the material progressively throughout the course rather than right before an exam. Outside of academics, I want to dedicate myself to some sort of community service and participate in my activities. In high school, Key Club and volunteering at the hospital were important parts of my life. They gave me a place to meet people of similar interests while doing good for society. They gave me a purpose. This was something I sincerely missed throughout the first semester of college. Hopefully I can regain that part of my life. So, I have emailed a few volunteer organizations that I find interesting. Perhaps one of them will consider me. Another goal I have set for myself is to provide myself with as many opportunities as possible to attend seminars and internships with the business field. This will give me a nice basis in my future career field and a head start in trying to build a network. My social rediscovery involved a lot of contemplation about past relationships and continuing to build experiences with my greatest friends. I thought a lot about my relationship with Catalina and I discovered the weaknesses cause by infatuation. It’s really tough to see the bad in someone you love. I thought about the basis of this relationship and how each of our personality flaws – her inability to passionately want anything and my close-mindedness about certain things - essentially doomed this relationship. Olivia asked me whether or not I would still date her today if I had the chance to. Honestly, I don’t know. I feel that the version of her I saw was not the complete person. Add that to the blindness of infatuation and all I had the opportunity to see was the things I wanted, which is why she seemed so perfect at the time. I am hoping that these discoveries will make me better in future relationships. I also put a lot of thought into family. I tried to piece together the importance of family and familial support, which I always took for granted until I went to college. It’s nice to know that there are people always there for you. Going on that overnight ski trip and having a lot of time to bond made me realize how awesome, fun, and supportive they are. Lastly, I allowed myself to rediscover the importance of pursuing things I am interested in. It’s kind of related to my desire to do community service, but more on hobbies. Not being on the tennis club team was horrible, but I still have the ability to enjoy it because I love tennis. I didn’t allow this to happen in the first semester. Things I enjoy always seemed to be overshadowed by the things I must do.

The final part of my break was my opportunity to reflect on all the things that happen in my life: both the good and the bad. My rediscovery period was more of my thoughts on overall things in my life, whereas the reflections focused on more specific events. I had posted some of these reflections as a part of my 2000s decade reflection post.

 

Anyway, that was a ton of rambling. I wrote a lot of this late at night, so there is a possibility that it doesn’t all make sense…sorry about that.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9, 2010

I remember what you wore on the first day
You came into my life and I thought
"Hey, you know, this could be something"
'Cause everything you do and words you say
You know that it all takes my breath away
And now I'm left with nothing.

-Two is Better Than One, Boys Like Girls ft. Taylor Swift

I love that song so much.

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Anyway, where do I start?

Ski Trip.2010-01-06 Epic Ski Trip 021

Snowboarding was an interesting experience. I learned quickly: about five trips down the bunny slope and I convinced myself I was ready for greens. I managed to make my way down the green trails without doing too much damage but it was absolutely exhausting. Snowboarding is just such a difficult concept to understand. It doesn’t make sense to me. The whole balance thing wasn’t terribly hard, but it was just so damn hard to move on freakin’ flat ground. I got really frustrated by the end. It was nice to give it a try, but I think I’m going to stick with skiing in the future because I find it to be much more enjoyable. I wonder if spring break is too late for another ski trip.

I was kind of disappointed that we did not go skiing the second day, but we weren’t sure if we were physically able to do so and it wasn’t worth risking wasting the money.

What differentiated this ski trip from those in the past was spending the night at the hotel. That was fun. I think these two pictures summarize it pretty well…

2010-01-07 Epic Ski Trip 0082010-01-07 Epic Ski Trip 034 

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Sometime last week, I realized how pissed off about life I was and decided that maybe if I drank a bit, it’ll help make it a little better. That was an interesting experience and a lot more fun than I thought it’d be. It was this weird feeling with everything seeming to lag behind a little bit. I felt like I saw trailing images of things. I also had urges to do some stupid/strange things, and after I did them, I was wondering in my head what could possible instigate me to do that. For example, I felt a big violent. At one point, I picked up Shiv and flipped him upside down. And then when we were playing pong, I threw a ping pong ball at Vin’s head. That was pretty funny actually. I was also really bouncy and was draping myself over everyone I saw. It was a good time…

Anyway, I’m not going to try to encourage anyone to drink. But I’m not going to be as against it as I used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t understand why alcohol has to be the basis of social interaction, but I’m a little bit more open to the concept.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 6, 2010

don't make someone fall for you if you have no intention of catching them.

-claudia chan

I watched the movie Up in the Air today, which tells of the story of a guy who’s life consists solely of his work. While he initially says he is surrounded by the world due to his constant travels, he eventually realize how isolated from friends and family he truly is. He had no aspiration other than to be the seventh person to achieve ten million frequent flyer miles. Through work, he is paired to work with this young girl who was just out of college. While brilliant (the movie states that she graduated top of her class at Cornell), she was the victim of all the false aspirations that the world and society place upon us. She relinquished the opportunity to work for several top companies in order to be with her boyfriend, who ultimately breaks up with her. The real purpose of this movie was that our aspirations should focus on family, friends, and love, while the tangibles are much less important. It portrays the view that our lives, as pointless as it may be because we will all die in the end, are only worth living when there are loved ones around us. Good story.

However, the secondary moral of this story is that everyone has fantasy dreams. The girl in the movie was telling her dreams of being out of college and married by 23 to the perfect six-foot tall guy and having kids and being able to settle down. The truth is that that dream cannot just come true as it’s pictured. It’s not that easy. It is clear through the two older characters that at some point, there comes a wake up call when we realize it’s just not possible. There are always things from these dreams that we have to give up.

…which brings me back to the quote. I wonder when all these girls that guys fall for will realize that they’re never going to catch some hot guy from Gossip Girls or, as ridiculous as this sounds, the vampire boy from Twilight. It’s so frustrating to sit here and have to wait for that realization.

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So I’m getting ready to go on this epic ski trip tomorrow. It’s our second annual trip and we’re making it overnight this year. I think it’s going to be pretty awesome. It’s funny that everything has to have its fair share of drama involved. The bigger the trip, the bigger the drama. Good shit.

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With a lot of people, I often feel that I get such mixed feelings about them. When a certain side of the person shows, I enjoy their company and do not find anything wrong with them. When another side of the person shows however, I just simply have no desire to deal with them.

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I was having coffee with Viv today (well having coffee as in we sat in Starbucks, without actually buying anything). In the midst of conversation, she described me as jaded. Thinking about it, it’s incredibly true. It seems that every occurrence in life just feels so old and pointless to me. I’m simply exhausted by the every day comings and goings that everything has become pretty meaningless. I think I need to seek the advice of Up in the Air; try to find the human connections and love to make each day more bearable. Stop isolating myself from the world. Give others a chance and maybe I will  find the person or people that makes each day worth it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 2, 2010

What. The. Hell.

 

WHY CAN’T I JUST FUCKING LET IT GO AND MOVE THE FUCK ON.

 

AUGHHHHH.

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 1, 2010

I’m starting a “2010 in Pictures” project. Basically, I take a picture for every day of the year. Hopefully this turns out well. I wonder if I can create a separate blogger page simply for pictures. Hmmm.