The Midwest

How long has it been? Too long. Last you guys heard from me, I was nearing the end of my high school career, just coming back from a fabulous journey in South Korea. Now I have left the comfort of my SoCal lifestyle to explore the Midwest, more specifically, Wisconsin. Yes folks, I am a Wisconsinite. A Sconnie. A Cheesehead.

Why Wisconsin for college? Well the wonderful Posse Foundation has awarded me with an incredible scholarship in order to study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Also, who doesn’t want to study out-of-state?

I have been having the time of my life out here in Wisconsin, eating all the cheese curds I can get my hands on (Every time I eat another one, the words “Freshman 15” flash through my head). Oh, and studying. I do that too.

So considering everything, I guess I am a Cheese-Headed Writing Monkey now…

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Korea!

Hello all! I am back from Korea and you know I just had to make a cheesy video of my experiences out there.

But first, a little backstory. In November last year, I was accepted to a program called Project Bridge. Its purpose is to bridge the gap between cultures, more specifically, Korean culture after the LA Riots. Despite being Korean, I know next to nothing about my ancestry, which is why I signed up for Project Bridge. Surprisingly I got in and twice a month, I attended workshops with 7 other students all over Los Angeles. Finally our workshops led us to a 10 day trip to Korea (an ~all expenses paid~ trip, might I add). There was another Project Bridge group in New York and we all met up upon arriving in Korea and from there, we travelled as one.

We were lucky enough to stay with busy high schoolers, live with monks, meet large Korean companies, and connect with a culture not distinctly seen in the vast melting pot of America.

Now here I am, back from Korea with many stories, memories, and connections I will never forget. It was emotional and beautiful and seeing a new country so different than what I’m used to yet vaguely familiar was a strange feeling and I hope one day I can go back.

More information about Project Bridge and PCI, the group that established Project Bridge.

And the video you’ve all been waiting for, enjoy!

 

Rice CakesKing Sejong StatueHanbokLanternsFish Market

Violence in Failing Venezuela Schools — AP Images Blog

A beautifully written article. These kids are no older than me yet are having such sad thoughts. It helps me remember that I’m truly lucky to be where I am now.

Photos by Ariana Cubillos Maria Arias slipped her notebooks into her backpack, scrounged for a banana to share with her brother and sister, and set off for high school through narrow streets so violent taxis will not come here for any price.

via No Food, No Teachers, Violence in Failing Venezuela Schools — AP Images Blog

What Owning Dogs Has Taught Me

Selfies with my puppies.

Selfies with my puppies.

In honor of national dog day (which was on Tuesday) I decided to dedicate this post to my precious babies (my puppies).

My family has had a total of three dogs. Our first one tragically died during our year in Texas, it was so sad and if you were to ever talk to my mom about it, she’d probably tear up and change the subject after describing how good of a dog our first baby was. It was heartbreaking. Once we managed to recover, we received two little sisters. Their names are Alice and Olivia and they are the cutest things ever.

My family has been owners of dogs for about five years now, so that basically makes us experts on the subject. Of course, owning a pet can really change the way you look at animals, and here are some of the things I’ve noticed about owning dogs.

1. They have feelings. This may sound strange but before owning dogs, I never really thought of animals having feelings or preferences. My first dog taught me that not only do they have feelings, but they’re also very adamant about what they like or don’t like. He didn’t like to be pet while eating and he didn’t like to have his paws touched at all. Our dogs now have very picky tastes and the fatter one picks and chooses what she wants out of her kibble.

2. They have their own personalities. Again, this was something I never thought of before owning dogs. My current dogs fight a lot yet cry when they’re without each other. The fatter puppy, Alice, is a feisty girl who doesn’t like to be touched too much while Olivia, the skinny one, is timid and shy. She sometimes will just sit next to you just because she wants to be close. Alice, on the other hand, prefers to be alone yet wants you there when she needs it. Alice loves car rides, sometimes she tries to hang outside the window and we have to drag her back into the car, Olivia will shake and throw up the first minute she steps into a car.

3. THEY LOVE YOU SO MUCH. You could step on them and they’ll come back to you with the same adoring eyes they always have. They just stare at you with a loving look, and sometimes, when you’re sitting on the couch, they’ll move to your side just to be close to you.

4. It’s like they know when you’re tired or sad. It’s soul comfort when they curl up into your lap after a long day. They know when you’ve had a bad day and they know just how to help you.

5. They’re family. The reason my family was so devastated after the death of my first dog was because we loved him as if he had been with us since the beginning. Even with our dogs now, it feels as if they were born right into our family, and we love them as so.

Some believe owning a dog is just saving another dog from a kennel. I believe that owning a dog actually saves the owner rather than the puppy, they will love you unconditionally, forever. They will even love you more than they love themselves.

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This is Alice after we gave her a bath.

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Alice on the left, Olivia on the right.

Blue

To me, blue is when you close your eyes while listening to your favorite song as you allow a pleasant nap to sneak up on you – the kind to leave you feeling refreshed and calm. A soft color of complete tranquility and relaxation. Where you lay on your back under the warm sun on a cloudless day, and stare up at the limitless sky while feeling content with the world. The feeling of perfect control over everything in your life. When a sight, sound, or scent lulls you to wonderful nostalgia and you bask in your memories. That is the color blue to me.