Saturday, June 30, 2012

Meeting Expectations

There's been way too many times in my life when people told me that I didn't do enough, didn't do more than them or better than them. I am pretty sure that I am not the only one out there who has experienced it. I also got to say that I have proven many of them wrong, even if they chose to not acknowledge the fact.

I've already mentioned that I been bad at math, which was why I didn't do so well during my high school years. Because I found math challenging it, my siblings used it against me. I've been called stupid and that I could not meet up to the standards of other siblings, but that didn't stop me from getting tutoring. It did not stop me from getting the best grades as possible to get into a university.

During my university life, I've always worried about failing a class. Even if I felt I did good in a midterm or paper, I would be very worried because they were a great proportion of my grade. Luckily, I've had the motivation to do well. I am fortunate that I never failed a university or college class. I never got a D or a F. I'm so proud of that fact. It totally freaked me out when I learned about Academic Probation/Dismissal, as well as not being able to meet the passing requirements of the classes.

Although I don't owe it to anyone to blog in this blog, I still believe it is important to stay consistent. Blogging just once or twice enough is not enough. The least amount of blog posts I've had so far is 11 each month. Although I did not make any goals for my blogs, I do know that I want to keep it alive. Maybe that is why I haven't let myself get under 11 blog posts each month this year, so far.

And, now, my biggest challenge yet: landing a job. I believe this is more of a personal expectation than anything else. I want to land a job that I like and believe is good for my future. I don't care about getting it right away, its about getting there through my skills, overcoming obstacles, and possibly with the assistance of others.

So, yes, I just described a few expectations. Some were expectations from friends, family, the community, and others. Others were expectations of myself and what I want for my future. Nonetheless, those expectations are sort of like goals that I need to meet. I think those are goals that are important to overcome and to prove that I can succeed.

Friday, June 29, 2012

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

I been to BJ's restaurants several times now. I been to both the location on Arden and in Elk Grove. I would say that the Arden location is for middle age folks, while the Elk Grove location is more for teens or the college crowd.

I been to BJ's more than I would have anticipated. The first few times I went I wanted to go because my friends and other people I knew raved about it. But, after going their more than a few times, I don't have the same excitement for that place. BJ's is one those restaurants that my friends would usually pick to go and I would be okay lets go there.

When I usually go to BJ's, I would order pasta. But, after a few times there I realize that there pasta wasn't as good as I would have liked it. In addition, there pasta dishes don't seem that unique. For me, it seems like they have the regular pasta options, chicken fettuccine alfredo and spaghetti. I also don't like that their sauces. The sauces always seem to be to light than I wanted.

Besides pasta, BJ's is also popular for their pizza.They have deep dish pizza with different selections for toppings that you can choose or select a special. For about a personal pizza that is 10 inches and it's about 10 dollars. And, yes, 10 inches is less than a ruler and I don't think that's enough to keep one person satisfied. Well, at least not me.

I like that BJ's have many different options for appetizers although I'm not usually an appetizer person. They also have different selections for entrees--pizza, mahi mahi dish with rice and vegetables, sandwiches, hamburgers, pasta, and more. They are also famous for their pizookie.

I went to BJ's yesterday. This time around I decided to order the Barbeque Beef sandwich with potato wedges. I saw in the menu that there was onions, but I forgot to tell them to take it out. I liked that the onions were fried though. It sticks less to my sandwich and was more appealing than usual. I really enjoyed this meal. I liked that the bread was kind of crunchy and that I had barbeque meat, which I usually don't eat.

My friend ordered the chicken fettuccine alfredo. I usually would order this pasta, but decided not to. I love the garlic bread that comes with it. When I usually order this pasta I would ask for extra and they never charged me for extra bread! The pasta itself tastes alright. It could use better sauce throughout the pasta.

My other friend ordered the Mahi Mahi dish. I was glad that she ordered it because I like seeing other dishes. I think the Mahi Mahi looked delicious. But, if I were to eat it I would want more rice.

We all decided to go to BJ's yesterday for a friends early birthday. The friend got a bacon cheeseburger. It was huge!! I thought it looked delicious though. My friend cut a part of it and there was still a 1/3 of it left. She finished the fries though. For me, I would like a burger that I can finish entirely and not save it for later. But, I do like getting more for my money. She also had a drink there and I tried a sip of it. It reminded me of a medicine I use to take, but I liked it.

What I've Learned During University

I've completed four years of undergraduate life. I've learned a lot through those four years, so I must have something to say about those years. In this blog post, I'm going to reflect on some lessons I've learned, as well as my own personal advice for those who are entering university.

1. Take the time to learn about major and university requirements

When I first considered double majoring, I decided that I had to learn about the school requirements. I studied the requirements for both my major and the university. I knew that if I wanted to stay in the university I had to learn what was expected and meet those expectations. Although I felt that I understood it, I went to see one of my major advisers every quarter to ensure that I was fulfilling requirements and that I was taking the proper courses. Because I learned about the requirements and double checked on them, I was able to graduate in four years with a double major and a minor.

2. Understand your weaknesses and don't let it overtake you

I was aware that I had to keep good grades during university, but I also learned that I can be kicked out if I did not do well. When I learned about that, it became one of my worst fears in university. Getting kicked out because I could not do well in my courses. I knew that I had trouble with math and I had D's in high school and did not want that to happen during university. I learned that there was tutoring available and went as much as possible. And, yes, I passed my math courses!

3. Use your resources

I think that was one of my most valuable lessons I learned and took advantage of the opportunities. I used tutoring. I went to the reserves and stayed in the library for hours just so I wouldn't have to buy a book that was a $100+. I had my resume and papers checked, which provided me helpful advice and ideas of what I should change and add. I went to The Pantry and got myself some good snacks or other useful items, which was helpful in times of need or desire of items.

4. Stay Motivated

When you are off in college or university you may be away from parents or some good friends, which may means that you don't always have a support system like before. But, remember that support comes in different ways and that your friends and family would want you to succeed although they can't be physically present. Those college courses may be difficult than what you are used to, but that doesn't mean that you are a bad student or just not as good as others. It just means that you need to study harder and find new academic habits or strategies. I discovered that fear or other forms of motivation are helpful and can help you succeed, so find your own forms to relax or new ways of encouragement.

Of course, I have more advice, but I can't write about all of them on this post. I think that you can learn so much during university. Each persons experience is unique and it is up to the person to decide what he/she wants for their experience. But, if you do take my advice, I hope it helps. It surely helped me during university experience, especially during rough times.

Getting Lost

When I was young, I was quite adventurous. I loved going out. I just liked being outside the house and explored. I thought there was so much to explore in the world. I enjoyed going on the car rides with my mom or whomever. I liked going to the stores although I don't always get something. However, my adventurous side has also led me to getting lost.

Although I don't remember it, my mom told me that she once lost me at the airport. I don't know if I was actually lost though. She told me that she was using the bathroom and told me to stay there. But, when she got out, I wasn't there and she couldn't find me. Turns out, I was at the McDonalds. I'm assuming that since I was at McDonalds I was probably hungry.

One time I was with my mom and my aunt shopping. They were waking around the store and I decided to split from them. I suddenly realized that I couldn't find her. I, then, told a Target employee and I ended up getting a slushie and found my mom. I remembered being very happy that day because I had that slushie and when I found my mom I was like look I have a slushie.

When I was in China, I got lost a few times. But, one certain time, hits the memory bank. I was with three of my other study abroad mates. We were on our way back on the bus and one of them said we should get off at a stop, but turns out it wasn't our stop. That was when we ran into another study abroad mate and decided to walk back together. We walked for about 20 minutes and that was when the study abroad mate realized we were lost. It suddenly rained and there was thunder. We ran into the teahouse for shelter. When we entered, the owner was sweeping the rain out of the shop and it was the tiniest shop I have ever been inside.The owner reminded us for a goofy character and there was also a tour guide in the shop. The tour guide helped us find our way back. When we were back into the bus, me and a few of the study abroad mates connected more with each other because we got lost. Two of them were also studying history, which I was quite happy to hear about. That is one of my favorite and most memorable parts of the study abroad experience.

Although I have just detailed three of my favorite lost experiences, I am also good at navigating my way around places once I have familiarized myself with the area. That also means that I'm not afraid to get lost because getting lost may turn out to be a good experience and turn out to be a favorite memory. In addition, getting lost may be the key into remembering a place and finding out more about myself and others. If I don't get lost, that means I know the area too well and that I haven't explored, which is why I don't mind getting lost. Getting lost requires me and others to connect more with the community through asking questions, looking at maps, and getting to know each other, which I think is fun.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Post-Grad Life

I officially graduated from university! It's so crazy! I'm still adjusting to post-graduate life. I don't think it has fully hit me yet. Maybe because it's summer time and it feels like a break.

So far, I realized that life is way to expensive. I already have bills to pay and loan payments aren't even required until 6 months from now! Also, there's still food to buy frequently. Gas that has to be pumped in order to get anywhere. Ahh...

I've applied for some positions of interest, including state positions. Besides applying for state jobs, I've also applied for internships. I hear back from one in the beginning of July and I have a interview on Wednesday. I have jury duty on Monday, but hope I won't be employed in jury duty service. I'm helping my mom out at the restaurant since I don't have a job at the moment. I'm still doing movie reviews and I'm probably going to do about 2-3+ each month.

I've also applied for Samsung's Global Blogger position. But, it seems very competitive! It sounded like a really good opportunity, so I forced myself to apply because I knew I would regret it if I didn't apply. Even if I don't get it, I know that I will still be super excited for the Olympics. Ever since the 2008 Olympics, I been a great fan of the Olympics, Olympians, and other related manners. I just find it very entertaining and inspirational!

I know I wanted to travel as well, but I don't have the finances to pay for all those fees that come with traveling. There's airfare, hotel, food, and so many stuff to worry about. As of now, Europe and other wonderful destinations would have to be postponed until they can be financed. But, I can still have my own local adventures discovering new places I never been to or even noticed! I can also attend new events of food places that I never been, which I love doing anyways!

In other news, I'm currently working on a scrapbook and hope to finish by the end of the month. It's 20 pages, so it's kind of hard thinking of what to put for each page. Also, it is more time consuming that I thought.

Well, that was a much longer post than expected. But, I haven't blog in a while, so I don't mind it being lengthy.

Monday, June 18, 2012

SEA Grad

Southeast Asians (SEA) grad was yesterday during the evening. The ceremony is to acknowledge the Southeast Asian community, especially those who were affected by the Vietnam war. Although I do not consider myself as Southeast Asian, I know that my parents were affected by the Vietnam was, so I was too. There were about 40 participants. Most of them were Hmong, Vietnamese, Laos, or Cambodian, and a few Chinese as well.

When I arrived, I signed in for my guests. I also received a program booklet. I'm the first person that is listed in the program. It has a picture of me and a biography that I wrote. It also included one of my quotes that I find inspirational and it's a quote by Booker T. Washington, which has to do with success due to overcoming obstacles, which I felt I have done and will continue to need to do.

l also received another sash when I arrived. I really like this sash! I think it is so pretty!

After the speakers, awards, and performances, it was finally time for the graduates to make a one minute speech. I think everyone thanked people in their lives. Some included a list of people they wanted to include. Others mentioned a quote. The person before me made a speech and was tearing up when she made it. I thought I might tear too, but I actually was excited to make the speech when I got there! When I made my speech, I thanked friends and family and I also said that I appreciated obstacles because without it I wouldn't have grown or have made graduating college an accomplishment. After making the speech, I walked over and got my certificate, cup, and took a picture.

After all the graduates had their speeches, the graduates move their tassels from rights to left. Also, while we waited my baby sister came up and gave me flowers! Then, the graduates started to dance in front of the stage! It was suppose to be a flash mob or something the audience did not know was going to happen. We all graduated and it was time to celebrate.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Commencement

It's been a long four years and I finally went through commencement! Why, it's just so hard to believe! I had NAS graduation yesterday, commencement at 9am today, and SEA grad tomorrow. Then it is up to me to find out what I want to do and look for opportunities!

I received an alumni pin after walking the stage. I just love pins. No matter where I get them from.

The brochures that were given to my family when they came in the pavilion. I also received one along with my program book.

The three sashes that I wore during the ceremony.

A sticker I was given when picking up the guest tickets!

I was given this when I was walking on the stage. It isn't the diploma since they don't pass it out until January.

The program book! If you look inside, you will find my name under Asian American Studies and History.

Me and my family (minus my dad) after the ceremony. I met with some friends and family afterwards. I was also given a flower by one of my friends!

Oh, and another thing. Some people had flower necklaces and I wondered how they gotten them. I realized that they were available to purchase, along with flowers around the ARC. 

I can hardly believe that all this is really happening. I'm really grateful. And, commencement is just one big part of my life, as there is so much more I still have not done yet!

NAS Graduation

On Friday, there was no instruction or exams! That meant I finished my Spring quarter and my last quarter of my academic life. Wow!

Also, on Friday, I participated in the Native American Studies (NAS) graduation. The graduation is for Native people, as well as major and minors. I'm a Native American Studies minor and I actually finished it last quarter. The ceremony was held at the Student Community Center. A lot of people showed up to support to their fellow graduates. My sister and brother showed up!

The ceremony started at 11:30. Actually, I guess it didn't start at that time. But, that was when people began to arrive. The ceremony began around 12pm, then it was opened up by song and speeches. Then, there was a break to get food.

I was given a feather, a pouch, a bracelet, and a sash (not shown above). I was very happy to receive the gifts! The native students received blankets and I think it matched with which tribe they were in. I think all the gifts were great.
Afterwards, we gathered back for student acknowledgements. Each student came up and was allowed to give a speech. There was about 15 students participating the ceremony. There were people who gave moving speeches. Mines was about 2 minutes, which was pretty short. I didn't want to cry, so I kept it short.

I'm glad that my two siblings came to support me! I have on my three sashes in this photo! The only one I'm still waiting to get is the one from SEA grad on Sunday.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Discovering a Bit of Yolo Wildlife

The other day I decided to make a trip to the Vic Fazio Yolo Wildlife area. Before I went, I looked up directions on Google Map. I didn't really see any wildlife, besides birds. I wished I would have seen something else or more. Maybe, during my next trip I will see some other interesting wildlife. I recently found out that at least 250,000 bats live under the Yolo causeway! I hope that when I'm driving one day, I will get to see them fly!

My interests in seeing wildlife in the area was sparked when I saw a Sacbee article with photos of birds. I did see birds though. But they were flying in the sky and I didn't end up seeing them close enough, unlike the close up photography of birds I saw of Yolo wildlife.

I always drove pass the Yolo Fruit Stand and said to myself "I'm going to go there one day!" Well, the other day I went. The had fruits, vegetables, snacks, ice cream, and some other items. When I was there I was really happy to see watermelon, ice cream, and drinks, it really fitted the moment since it was hot and it would have been nice to eat one of those.

The entrance!!!

A view of the wildlife area and the entrance! 

The sign that you would see if you were to pass the Yolo Wildlife area. And, yes, you would see what the rocks would say. Sometimes its a name of a fraternity or other random messages, but when I went there it said "got wolk?" I think they were referring to Dan Wolk, who was recently voted as a Davis council member.

This is behind the Yolo Fruit stand and in front of the wildlife area.

This isn't actually part of the wildlife area...But, close to the place.

A view of the area. If you look closely you can see the sign for the Yolo Fruit Stand, the freeway and cars, and the road.

I drove around the area that surrounded the Yolo wildlife area and there's not that much there. There's a lot of empty lands. I didn't see animals. They were probably hiding or sleeping.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Judge, Detective, Baker, And An Author

Judge, detective, baker, and an author is what I would say I wanted to be if you were to ask me during my middle school days. I knew it didn't sound realistic, but I knew that I was interested in those job positions. They were not in any order of preference, but each of those positions sort of defined my values and interests when I was in middle school.

I wanted to be a judge because I believe that there were too many inequalities in the world and I really wanted to help provide truth and equality. I notice that not everybody was treated equality and I wanted to help out. I believed that I could play a part in helping someone, and not let them go through any troubles that I experienced. Today, injustices still are still prevalent and strong; I still want to be a part of diminishing it.

I wanted to be a detective because I love solving mysteries. I love figuring out people. I like to notice how peoples reactions, behaviors or whatever can lead me to understand the person. I liked to find ways to understand what I didn't already knew. I liked to conquer unfamiliar territory and explore new places that I haven't been to yet. I liked solving Sudoku, scrambles, and word search puzzles. I thought it was fun stuff to figure out things and people; and, I still feel that I like to do those stuff. But, now I realize that I also like to figure out food, places, cultures, and so much more.

I wanted to be a baker because I love bakery products. I like cookies, cupcakes, croissants, and so much more. I thought it was wonderful to be surrounded by food that you loved and made. I like the idea of providing good food to people. I guess that's why I always enjoyed baking and found it a fun activity. However, I don't think I would want to pursue baking as a career, rather more as a fun activity.

I wanted to be an author because I really want to write amazing stories that people wanted to read. I've read some amazing pieces that were inspirational, touching, and/or deep and I wanted to do that someday too. There are so many amazing authors out there with good ideas and I want to have a good idea too. I believed my ideas and experiences could also be potentially useful. Today, I still want to be an author and write at least one book that is published at some point in my life, but maybe during my later years.

I understood that it would be rather impossible to pursue all of those professions at the same time. Yet, I still kept those professions in my mind because there was a reason that I wanted to pursue them. The reasons why I was interested in each of the four has shaped what I love to today and what I want to do someday although it might not be in a fixed position. What I do could be something small or all out, but somehow still relates to the few tasks of those four positions. That would make my childhood self happy; and, that I did what I've like to do since I was a child.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Chinese School

I said that I would blog about Chinese school in a earlier blog post, so here is the post about Chinese school.

Cindy's 11th birthday
I don't remember when I began Chinese school. It was probably in middle school when I first started going to Chinese school and stopped going during high school. I didn't like the idea of going to Chinese school. I attended Chinese school with my other siblings, Cindy and Brandon. We are not all the same age. Brandon is three years younger than me and Cindy is three years younger than Brandon. Yet, we all began Chinese school at different ages and in the same class, kindergarten. The class was pretty easy since it was mostly step by step work and we didn't really learn that much. Then, we went on to 1st grade. 1st grade was much better since we learned more stuff. But, we also made some new friends from the other classmates. Not all of us are the same age, but with a small class we all knew each other. In fact, I believe everyone recognized each other.

I found Chinese school fun because I got to connect with other people that I wouldn't be able to at regular school. It was fun celebrating someones birthday. We got to have pizza parties, water balloon fights, and did other silly things. It became really funny when someone did something silly because everyone in the class would laugh along.

 Me and my siblings went up to 4th grade before we decided we were not going to go anymore. There were some teachers that my class liked or did not like. And, we had new teachers every once in a while. Unfortunately, some of the most unpleasing moments were because we did not have that much fun learning with some teachers.

The picture above is how Chinese school use to look like. That building was pretty old. Some of the tables broke and the chairs were old. The building was remodeled over a year ago, so this building is no longer what Chinese school looks like. When I was still attending Chinese school, there were plans to remodel Chinese school and a build a playground. But, unfortunately, only the building got remodeled and no playground. The building for Chinese school is also next to the temple. The temple is a spot for some funeral ceremonies.

Here is another view of another side of what is around the building. There is a pond and it is pretty dirty, yet there were a lot of fishes there.