On My Way to the Kingdom

Soo I got good news y’all!

I will probably be studying abroad this upcoming fall semester! I will be going to my dream place, the place that I’ve told everyone that I would go to: the UK!

I am so excited. The dean had emailed me today about the results of my petition, and she said that it went through and that I should be able to. I am so excited right now!

I was worried because my GPA did not really hit their minimum. I was super sad because studying abroad has been a longtime dream for me. Heck, it was the first information session I went as a freshman. I was super pumped, but I had gotten discouraged when the woman said that if you were premed, you would be in the worst situation.

Well guess what? I’ll be done with all premed requirements this year, so next year will be freed up to do whatever I wanted.

And I want to study abroad!

I have really thought about what I would be giving up if I studied abroad:

  1. I was applying for a higher job title in my job and there was a pretty big chance that I would get it.
  2. I do not have any plans for housing next year because I knew that I would possibly be studying abroad, so if this does not work out, then I will be homeless
  3. I am giving up my Inequality Studies minor, which I was so pumped to get. I am taking a Soc class right now that goes towards the minor, but there is a required class that is only offered in the fall.
  4. I would be missing out on whatever has been reserved for seniors fall semester. This will be the last time I will be seeing alot of people, so that is kind of sad that the time is cut short.
  5. Studying abroad will probably take some more money that I need to get. and I am already paying a good amount to go to this school (time to start applying for a bunch of scholarships)

But I am just so excited for it that none of this really matters for me currently. I just want to go and travel! I love to travel, so yes, I want to go!

Now all I have to do is finish the college application. Hopefully they let me in. I am so motivated. I hardly got any sleep last week (which is probably why I woke up so late for classes today. I should not have gotten out Saturday night.. though it was a great time! Okay, I digress). I was working on everything studying abroad, which is why I am so happy that everything went through! I would have actually cried if everything did not go as planned.

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Shell shocked

*I apologize in advance for all of the spelling errors and the sharp transitions between different scenarios*

I don’t think I have ever witnessed as dark a day in America since 9/11 as yesterday (11/9)

It was rainy and gloomy. It was said that even Washington D.C. was mourning.

I saw my friends who always showed hope and optimism in their eyes walk around yesterday in darkness and vacancy, as if their breath had just been taken away from them.

I walked down the path to my class (already running 10 minutes late, but I didn’t care because I had a restless night) and while walking, I didn’t hear anything for the first time.

Silence.

I felt and heard a bubble of silence around me. It was like everytime that someone passed me down this path, no one said anything. Maybe because it was out of pity, maybe it was out of guilt, maybe it was out of sympathy, empathy? Whatever it was, I felt it. People turned their eyes to the ground. Others looked at me with sad eyes. Some people gave a sad smile as if they had heard that I had lost someone, like I had lost something.

Freedom.

I wasn’t a big fan of the silence. It made me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. It was as if looking at my skin color was an automatic indication that I was not with Trump. On the contrary, there were definitely a handful of people my color who sided with him (only God knows why, but they did). Of course, I could not bring myself to support the guy because he conflicted with too many of the values that I held true and dear to me.

I meant to write a blogpost about the election yesterday, but I couldn’t motivate or energize myself enough to do it. I didn’t think I would be so physically and emotionally affected by this whole election, but it has actually taken a toll on my mental state.

I could hardly even wake up yesterday. I had a hard time falling asleep because I couldn’t come to terms with the result.

What just happened?

The night before, my dorm held a viewing party to watch the election. The entire main lounge was full of people. I was coming in and out of the room because I had homework, but it seemed like I couldn’t even focus on it. I didn’t get any studying done, because I was so distracted by it. Every time that I heard yelling or shouting come from the lounge, I would run to see what had happened. I also saw that people were also doing the same thing as me. I just kept popping in and out. I was suppose to be studying for a Biochem quiz for the next morning, but I couldn’t. It didn’t work. And meanwhile, my roommate was asleep during the ENTIRE thing.

As in, she went to bed at 6pm and slept throughout the night. She got up at around 11:30 just to see results, and then she went straight back to bed. It was as if it didn’t really matter to her. She seemed unbothered by it. I don’t believe she even voted because she never got the absentee ballot in the mail.

I really didn’t like her, but anyways…

I saw the main room. They were worried. They looked stressed. I remember when I first came into the room and saw that the votes were 120-97. I was utterly confused. I was wondering who were these people who were voting for him? How could so many people agree with his policies? With his ideas, his plots? I was scared, because I really couldn’t imagine a future with him as president.

So I kept faith. I kept on holding on to the fact that more states would make the right decision.

I was actually suppose to have a dance rehearsal until 11pm that night, but I convinced them to cancel so that people could watch the elections. Thank God that it was cancelled, because we would have missed the majority of it.

When I saw the news… it was an unexplainable feeling.

It was about 2 am.

I had finished talking to my mom who had gone to bed because she had work in the morning. She didn’t really watch the election all the way, so she didn’t know until the morning about the results.

I, on the other hand, went to the main lounge only to see that the entire room had cleared out. Everyone went home. It was at that moment that I was scared. No one was rejoicing, no one was even watching the elections anymore. Something had gone wrong.

There were about 7 people in the room just staring at the screen. They all looked tired and worried.

I looked at the screen and to my dismay, I saw 266-215.

What. Was. Happening?

This couldn’t be. There was no way. The polls leading up to this day told me otherwise. All news stations were pretty confident that Hillary would have an easy win. There was no way that this man who was the laughing stock of the US, not to mention the world, was about to be president.

I sat down  on the blue couch on the side with my Biochem study guide in hand. Anderson Cooper and some other guy with a beard and glasses were talking about the election and they were giving us updates. 5 minutes later, I hear a woman on the screen say that there has been some breaking news…

Hillary had conceded.

It was at that moment that the whole room went silent for a second. Even the news anchors kind of went silent for a slight second. It was shock. It was finality. It was unbelievable.

The news anchors asked the lady if she was sure about 2 more times, and she said yes, it was confirmed.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, what I was watching. My eyes stared in horror. Some people in the room started crying, shaking their heads. Someone yelled at the screen, “Bullsh*t!” Other people stormed out of the room. I was still sitting there motionless, my mouth wide open in shock.

It wasn’t until I saw Trump walk to that podium with his family and supporters behind him, and I heard cheering, I saw all the bright red caps reading, “Make America Great Again” in white bold letters…

It was a horrifying sight.

He came up to the podium and confirmed what everyone now knew was a fact, “Hillary called me and conceded… It’s over”.

I lost it.

My eyes welled up with tears and I quickly walked out of the room, went to my room, sat at my desk, and cried.

I cried for all those people who looked to America for hope. I cried for religious freedom. I cried for same-sex marriage. I cried for peace. I cried for safety. I cried for the undocumented. I cried for the children. I cried for families, even my own. I cried for my parents’ efforts for a better future. I cried for my mom who received her first taste of freedom when voting for the first time. I cried for the future generations. Hell, I cried until I forgot what I was crying about.

I felt like I had just lost all hope for humanity in that one instance. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t feel anything. I felt numb for a second. I felt vulnerable. I felt like I had let my entire family down. I felt lonely, hopeless, drained, stressed, tired, sick, angry…

I even stayed awake until 4am just watching the news some more, still not processing what had just happened. I was waiting for the news to say that it was a joke, that they were wrong, they weren’t done bringing in votes, the girl didn’t know what she was talking about.

Everyone had gone to bed. It was just me in the lounge. I stared at the 6 people discussing the elections on CNN, including Anderson Cooper.

I don’t know what it was, but I couldn’t stop looking at him specifically.

I’ve already expressed how much I loved Anderson. He’s my favorite news anchor because I feel like he’s the only one to be very real with people, to not act like the omniscient, indifferent onlooker that most anchors like to emanate.

That’s why after the results came out, I wanted to see his reaction. I wanted to feel justified in my feelings towards these results. I wanted to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt something. Anything.

And I saw it.

I believe it was how he kind of stumbled through his words while talking to the other anchors (who seemed perfectly okay with it, I might add). Though he was wearing glasses, he just seemed kind of shocked. His eyes were kind of squinted, as if searching for words or trying to wrap his head around what had just happened. He wasn’t standing still like he usually did. He was swaying, he was talking alot with his hands.

And it was at the moment that I felt a little better. Just a little bit.

But when CNN decided to take a commercial break, I saw Trump’s face shown on the Empire State Building with red, white, and blue lights on it, and it just looked scary, so I turned off the TV.

I went back to my room kind of in a daze.

I feel much better today now that I have had the chance to talk about it yesterday and hear from others about their emotions. It was comforting to know that I was not alone in my feelings.

The day after the election was a gloomy one. No sun, no light. Just darkness, moisture, cold, cloudy.

It was comforting though to see how my university dealt with the matter. When I say that this thing affected my entire school… I wasn’t kidding.

My inbox was full of people emailing, checking in on people, saying that they were okay to not feel okay, telling them about all the mental help programs on campus, offering condolences, giving time and their space to people who wanted to talk, saying that they understand that this election did not result the way that they had hoped…

The response was somewhat overwhelming. It was as if we had all lost something in this election and professors were completely understanding. So many people received extensions on papers, postponing of assignments, no deductions on participation if they were absent, it was very heart-warming. And some professors called in sick and said that class was cancelled. It was almost like there was no class that day because my classes were pretty empty as well. In my Biochem class, the entire first row was empty. I had a quiz that morning, but I missed it because I could hardly wake up on time. I was outside of the room along with many others who decided not to take the quiz, and there was a guy talking to his friend, saying how badly the results were. He was cursing and yelling, getting emotional, and it just seemed okay with everyone around him because we all felt that way. We all understood him.

When I entered, even my professor was a little shocked to not see me sitting in the front row as I usually do. I had never missed a quiz in his class. He seemed a little sad, and I felt his eyes on me for a second. And then the class started. Obviously it was really quiet.

I was the only one sitting in the front row, and I don’t know what happened, but I was sitting there and I think that’s when I really started to think about what would be happening to my next 4 years.

A single tear rolled down my cheek while sitting there. In the middle of lecture. And then another. I had to quickly get myself together because, I mean hellooo, I was sitting in the front row!

And I was the only one in the front row! I didn’t want anyone commenting on me getting emotional. I didn’t want the pity or anyone looking at me with those sad eyes.

I managed to get through that lecture, not retaining a word of what he said, and I went to my physics class. In there, it was also quiet. Many people hadn’t shown up for class. During that class, I knew that Clinton would be talking, so I sat in the back and opened my laptop to watch her speech. Normally, the professor would’ve told me to put the laptop away, but I guess today he just knew that no one was in the mood, so he didn’t say anything.

I watched the speech, and it was a sad one. Hillary was wearing purple along with her husband. She had walked out, and it was not very evident, but her eyes were somewhat red. But she still looked great. She was smiling and bowing her head at all the claps and cheers given to her. She kept clearing her throat to hold back tears. I really congratulated her on how strong she was. I wouldn’t have been able to do what she did and still does.

I skipped my physics lab because I just couldn’t handle it right now. I wasn’t mentally there. My mind kept going back to the election with every situation. So I sat in the biology office and did my physics homework due that day. It should’ve only taken me an hour, but it instead took 4 hours. Part of it was that I was with a friend who definitely wanted to talk about the election, so we kept talking about it while working. People would come in and we would talk to them about it. So yea, it just became more of conversation than actual work.

There was someone who I had not spoken to since last year. We were not on good terms. She came into the office and I easily went back to physics while she was talking to my friend.

We used to be good friends, but due to many circumstances that had happened during the summer, we were not friends anymore.

So she came in, and I was surprised that she was even talking to someone next to me given that she never wanted to even be in the same vicinity as me. When she left, she said “Bye you guys.” I couldn’t tell if she was talking to me because we hadn’t talked in months and there were other people in the room. So I didn’t say anything, but maybe I should have. She came in again later, but I still couldn’t make eye contact with her. I couldn’t even talk to her. I couldn’t tell if she wanted to.

Maybe due to this situation, it made it okay for us to talk, but I just couldn’t bring myself to talk to her. Plus, I was scared that things would just go back to the way they were after all of this kind of calmed down. So I said nothing. I worked on physics, and acted like she wasn’t really there.

I kind of wished I had said something.

That night, I had a Nicaragua trip meeting, and even the coordinator said that she had skipped her workday today because she couldn’t handle it. She made us go around the room and kind of say how we were feeling. It felt comforting to know that not one person in the room felt okay, and it was okay.

Right after the meeting, there was a debriefing facilitated by a group on campus. Soo many people showed up that they had an overflow room. It was just a time to talk about how we were feeling and initiate dialogue in groups. My group talked about how we weren’t comfortable with the idea of so many people agreeing with many of the things that Trump said. We wondered what went wrong, gave possible explanations, talked about how this affected us directly and why we were bothered by the idea of his as president. We talked about how college campuses tended to be more Democratic and why that was. A guy talked about how most of his family was Trump supporters, and how he felt distant from his family. I talked about how a friend had told me that on the night of the election, when Trump has won, he had heard cheering down his hall. When he went to see what was going on, they yelled at him “Border control! Border control! Go back to your home!” Everyone was shocked that this blatant racism was already starting. We also addressed how we felt a little weary about friends who voted for Trump because it felt like they did not respect them as a person.

After the talks (which were super comforting I might add), my vice president talked to us. It was at that moment that I realized that even the people in high power such as him were not okay with this. He knew that there was a problem. If he knew there was a problem, then there were many others who were not okay with this.

After that debriefing, there was another debriefing in my dorm lounge. People talked about how they felt, and how they were dealing. Even religion came into it. Many people believed that these were the final days, but they also felt like some religious people were giving up. While some felt like God had deserted them, others felt like God was teaching America a lesson.

One thing I really took away was that though the times looked bleak, we needed to stay optimistic and stay encouraged. It is definitely hard right now, but somehow it will get better. This is just the beginning.

My roommate was there. And this may have been the first time that I noticed that people kind of felt how I was feeling.

Alot of what she was saying was… just not what people wanted to hear at this time.

She talked about how the way she dealt with troubles was by assuming the worst. She said that she knew that things get bad and she knew that Trump would win, though not by as big of a margin as he did. But she accepted the fact that life is bad, the world is evil, and that’s just the way it was.

Well, that didn’t sit well with people to say the least.

One girl blatantly said that she did not agree with her and that it was not the way we should look at life. Of course, my roommate tried to justify herself many many times, but it wasn’t working, it only made matters worse. It came to a point where someone else had to interject and say that people deal with things differently and that we needed to recognize it.

Shortly after, my roommate quickly left the room.

After leaving the room, many people were talking about her, and for a good reason I guess. They were going off saying that this girl needed to nkow when she was wrong, and that it was not okay to feel the way she did. Some didn’t know that I was her roommate, so when I said that, they looked at me with shocked eyes and they said , “I’m sooo sorry.” I was just like… yea I know. Even my RA was in there and said, “Now y’all see what I have to deal with” and she even looked at me and was like, “She knows what I’m talking about.” I laughed, but I knew that she was right, and it felt good knowing that people didn’t think I was just crazy when I talked about just how much I had to go through in the room.

Well, this morning (11/10), she called someone and started loudly saying how she felt like her opinions were not taken into account, and that she didn’t understand why people didn’t see it the way she saw things. She said how she thought the open space was not really an open space and that the girls were close-minded, and that she didn’t like it here and so on and so forth…

And mind you, she was yelling and cursing and going down the halls on the phone, so you could tell that she wanted to be heard by everyone. She even left our room door open. And this was 9:30am, when some were still asleep.

Well, she came back to the room and… needless to say, someone was not happy about this. On the other side, I could hear a girl yelling in the bathroom to someone in the bathroom with her, saying that “This girl needs to realize when she is wrong and that she needs to calm down. She should know that everything that she was saying was wrong.” I went to go and fill my water bottle to hear a little bit of the convo. The last thing she said was, “You need to tell that girl to check herself.” That’s when I realized that she was talking to my RA who also lived in the same suite as us. I walked into the room, and well it was a little awkward. I mean we already don’t talk, but still…

She called back the person she was talking to and said, “I don’t know why this keeps happening. I know that I’m going to be transferring, but I feel like anywhere I go I will have the same problem.”

I just grabbed my coat and bookbag and left…

On the night of the election, I was confident.

I was confident in the fact that America was smart, that they were accepting, respectful of other cultures, of other people. I was confident that atleast more than half of the population was in favor of peace, of unity. I was confident that Americans would make the right decision and vote not only for themselves, but for this country’s future. I was confident that people would not vote to condone more violence, murder, racism, dehumanization, rape, injustice,

I was confident that she would win.

As for the emails… no politician is perfect. In fact, a majority of the tactics used in politics involve pulling strings here and there, calling up the people that you know to help you get to high places, and this idea of justifying acts using utilitarianism where things  that may be unlawful and unjust are done for the greater benefit and the common good. Every politician has done it, but since she’s in the limelight, of course the media will exploit this to no end.

I do understand that what she did was wrong, but her evils couldn’t possibly be placed on a similar scale to Trump’s. The only thing that I know that man does well is business.

It hurts to feel like my vote did not matter. This was my first time voting (yes, that may give you a small indication as to where I fall in age), and I was excited. No, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe that I would be able to do such a thing as an American citizen. This is something that my ancestors could not even imagine me doing. My mom also voted for the first time. She was so happy. She texted me saying that she went to the voting booth and casted her vote in. That same day, I decided that I needed to cast my vote in quickly.

Especially during times like these when it may seem like the voices of the smaller number are not being heard as much, it’s comforting to know that there is a right that we know cannot be infringed upon.

Unfortunately during this election, this right was abused.

11,000 votes for Harambe?? That’s equivalent to a medium-sized college all wasting their vote away! I was horrified, and am still in shock at the fact that people could waste votes on that while there are people in America who still do not even have that right.

I also am surprised at the huge discrepancy between poll results and the results given throughout this election by newpapers and articles. Being in such a position to swindle the decisions of voters should not be taken lightly. Thoughout this election, people thought that Hillary would win. Hell, I became soo confident in my thoughts that I almost didn’t vote thinking that my vote wouldn’t matter

America tends to hold this strong egocentric idea. When I say ‘egocentric’, I mean the thought of America and only America, the idea of only taking care of their own and no one else. If you ask many Trump supporters why they voted for Trump, they will possibly tell you statements along the lines of, “I want my America back, the way I remember it,” “My life won’t change significantly, but I want the government to be about the people instead of themselves,” “I don’t want another Clinton in the White House. It will give our government a bad rep,” “I don’t want to lose my job to immigrants,” “I want to feel safe,” “I don’t want the US to be in such a huge deficit anymore, ” “I don’t like Obamacare. I don’t have to use it, but it was a failure,” “He knows how to make deals that will make America great again,” “I completely hate Trump, but I want conservative laws,” “I want the American dream, and that’s what I’m getting with Trump”…

I… I… America… I… I.. I… America… America…. I… I.. I… I… America…

Let’s think about this…

America is a world superpower. Why is that? Only God knows, but it just is.

We have wayy too much power in our hands just to only think about ourselves. The rest of the world is depending on us for almost every aspect of life. We are suppose to be the most-advanced people in the world, yet we are failing at even choosing the right leader.

In fact, we put the least-qualified man in the position to take over the world. No political experience, never been in a war (besides business conflicts), didn’t study law, hasn’t the slightest clue as to the structure of this government…

I bet some politicians are pissed at the fact that a man who didn’t even need to study law could become the president of the United States while those who have been working in politics all their lives could barely even get on the ballot. How messed up is that?

I have two friends studying abroad in France, and when they heard about the elections, they were as shocked as everyone else. The next day, French journalists stopped them and came up to them, asking them about the election: what were their thoughts? How did they feel about it?

The fact that the rest of the world also saw that this situation was not right, it wasn’t good… And the fact that controversial leaders such as Putin are congratulating him… does anyone else smell something fishy there?

1st Weekend of SMDEP (06/10)

(Sorry of the grammar for this entry is wonky. I was watching Batman Begins and wasn’t really paying special attention to what I was writing. Hopefully I made some sort of sense and you got the gist of everything I had wanted to say)

So I never really talked about SMDEP (now SHPEP) in my blogs, and it actually had a huge impact on the reasons for why I am on the pre-med track

So here was the first weekend.

June 10th, 2016

For the first weekend that I was there, it actually didn’t start very well. I woke up to news that Christina Grimmie had died. Christina Grimmie, a huge person who I had loved, had been shot at her concert in Orlando by some crazed fan. Her brother, after realizing that the guy had shot, tackled the guy to the ground. I imagined the emotions that were running through him at that time. He just lost his sister with one shot, and he witnessed it. Of course he would tackle the guy to the ground. Hell, he would have killed the guy right then and there. What a crazy time for the family, and for the world in general.

She had such a huge impact on people. She was the reason why my sister got into piano, and that’s big because my sister was obsessed with piano for the longest time. I wondered where the sudden passion came from, but it all made sense now. And now, she’s crazy good at it. All because of Christina.

It’s crazy because Christina was a person who my middle sister had been super obsessed with. She had an amazing voice with killer piano skills. She was even on the Voice and was ridiculously amazing. She made it to the final round and won 2nd place in the entire competition. But Adam Levine completely loved her. I thought he would marry her if he wasn’t already involved with that Victoria’s Secret model. But he did decide to pay for all the funeral charges and helped out with the family as much as he could. I told both my sisters and they were pretty sad about it. I told my mom about it and she was a little indifferent about it. Obviously, she was sad that she had died, but she had no idea who she was. That’s when I realized just how much social media affected my generation.

Life just wasn’t fair. She was becoming huge in music. She had worked so hard putting out Youtube videos and getting her name out there. And finally while having a gig in Orlando, she was signing autographs. She was becoming famous, and then this happened. She was beautiful. She had an amazing voice. She loved God. And she was only 22… That’s just crazy how life happens.

She didn’t deserve it. She was on her way up to fame, and it was crazy how she stayed so true to herself the entire way.

Well after that incident, the weekend got a little better. Things started to lighten up a bit. There were still alot of fun adventures to come.

During the first weekend that I was there, we all took a whole bunch of cars and went to this creek where they had a swing rope and a cliff that people could jump off of. I was a little nervous because… well.. I don’t have the prettiest legs  (I have these 2 scars on my knees due to childhood. I’m not taking back my childhood, but I just wish I was less of a tomboy), so I thought I would be judged by them. It turns out that people do not judge you as much as you think. We walked through the creek, and I felt like I would slip on the rocks. They all were covered with algae and mold maybe? It felt weird and I hoped that I would not get any foot disease or anything. As we kept walking, we finally found the big cliff, and there were already a good amount of people there from around town. It seemed like a very common hangout spot, and it was pretty cool. We quickly took off our clothes and kept our bathing suits on.

The rocks kind of hurt my feet, so I balanced myself on the large rocks. I sat on them to release some of the pressure on my feet. It felt so relaxing to be sitting in the water listening to the children who were in the water and watching people jump off the cliffs and all of that. I eventually mustered up enough courage to try the swing rope. When I was finally up there with the rope in hand and I looked at how high I was above the water, that’s when I thought about it again and I really asked myself, “Are you sure? Do you really wanna do this?” Kids were behind me waiting for their turns, and they looked kind of impatient at the fact that I was standing there for so long, so I needed to make a decision quick. I decided to just go for it. I believe my last thought that really made me do it was, “When will I get this chance again? You mind as well try it once.” I also thought that kids were able to do this, so why couldn’t I?

I did it, and boy, that thing was actually hard to do. The hardest part was keeping myself up. I needed to work on my upper body strength…

While going through the air, I felt my knees skid across the water as I tried to keep myself up. It was pretty tough, but I tried it again, and this time I kept myself up a little more. It worked for a little, but when I landed in the water, my butt hit the water first and kind of left it sore.

But it was worth it.

Obviously the kids were much better at it than I was, but I thought that they had it easier because they didn’t weight as much. It was okay though, because that summer I went to the gym every single day (they had a crazy nice gym facility since sports is huge for them, and it was right across the street from where I stayed for the summer. It was the biggest gym I had ever been to, and it was the nicest. Everything was new. And it was 3 stories. How crazy). Just they wait… my upper body strength would be amazing by the end of the summer.

After swimming, we went to Olive Garden to eat. It was okay for a little bit. I mean helloo…. Olive Garden was (still is) my favorite restaurant. The food was nice, and everyone sitting around me was cool… to some extent. But it was annoying to see that part of the table (and we had a pretty long table) seemed to want to be more mannered and more… boujie than the other side. The other side was more talkative and laughed much louder than the other. The side that I was on just kept doing side looks to the other side and kept quiet. I hated it. But it’s my favorite restaurant.

When it was time to leave, there was a bit of a mix up with the receipts and stuff like that. In the end, about 2 people had their orders paid for and another 2 people got free desserts. Olive Garden lost alot in profit that day…

Afterwards, we decided to go to the big Illinois bridge (idk what the actual name of the bridge is called, but it lies between Illinois and Indiana). It was funny, because we decided to go at night, which we wondered why we wanted to go so late.

We still went, because we thought that since we would start getting super busy after this week, then we should go now.

So we went.

And let me just say… it was so beautiful. The bridge lights up at night and they have rainbow lights on it. There were violinist on the sides of the bridge asking for money. There was a girl who was singing, and her voice was amazing. And she seemed only 13 years old max, but her voice was like a 30-year-old. Her mom was on the side supporting her along with her younger brother. There was a little boy breakdancing on the ground. He seemed to have maybe a huge tumor growing around his mouth. His face seemed double the size as it should be. Maybe he was raising money for the surgery…Some of us gave money but I didn’t have any cash on me.

We walked all the way to the Indiana side, and we asked someone to take our picture. It was really nice.

I felt kind of bad because I felt a divide between our group, kinda the same divide I felt back in Olive Garden. A group of us were walking a little more ahead than the group behind. I wasn’t sure what had happened, because I felt like we had not known each other enough to have any sort of beef between each other. I had told my friend (his name begins with a C last name W, so I’ll call him CW) about the divide that I was feeling, and he noticed it and thought it was really weird to have some kind of beef like that between each other. We were all trying to be Doctors and Dentists, so why couldn’t we just come together?

The bridge was still pretty awesome, and I had never experienced anything like it. I was happy to have gone with people who I think would become some of my best friends.

But anyways, after having gone through the program, those people actually ended up being my closest friends, so maybe it was just an initial feeling, or maybe it was their initial reaction.

 

It has been quite a while

My, my, my, there has been so much that has happened during these past 2 weeks. Where do I even begin??

I probably won’t put it all in one blog post because that may create the world’s longest blogpost.

  1. Finals weeks (ughh)
  2. Packing and storage (another ughhh, but also a yaayy)
  3. My birthday (woot!)
  4. My travels back home (what an adventure!)
  5. My adventures while back home (mainly just Hulu)
  6. Grades (yet another ughhh, and some yays, but mostly ughh))
  7. My travel to the city with friends from both college and home (when 2 worlds collide)
  8. Swimming that one time this summer
  9. Getting my brand new laptop (Ahhh!)
  10. The summer program that I am now attending (another Ahhh!)

So I have a lot of ideas to write about, and I can’t wait to get started, it’s just figuring out if I even have enough time to write about them all >.<

I guess I’ll start with the most current. Stay tuned…

 

Over-Stretched and Over-Worked

I’m stressed to the max right now because I have too many uncertainties in my life.

1. I have a final in about an hour, and I’m already sitting in the auditorium. (Why would a school decide to put a final on a Sunday anyways?) I don’t really know what the professor wants from us given that he didn’t really lecture to us about the information.

2. I am suppose to have another final exam tomorrow (almost exactly 24 hours from now), and I have yet to start studying for that because I was too busy studying for this exam and yesterday’s exam.

3. I have yet to start packing anything because I don’t have any boxes.

4. My friend was suppose to pick up my boxes yesterday, and apparently they never came.

5. He heard from another friend that they indeed came.

6. The information needed for the summer program that I’m doing was turned in late, so they might kick me out of the program. It turns out that everything was sent home, but they all said that they never saw it. ;(

7. I’m suppose to be coming back to campus halfway through summer, but I don’t know what I’ll do about housing.

8. I’m suppose to be leaving campus by Wednesday morning, and I have yet to packed.

9. My friend is taking me to my favorite restaurant Tuesday night because Tuesday is my birthday.

10. I don’t know if I will be able to take this makeup exam on Tuesday morning for my other class. I really hope so, because I might cry tonight.

11. I have a music assignment due tonight, so I have to complete that.

12. I just want to go home and sleep, even if it’s for a little bit.

13. I still have to work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but I need to get this one shift dropped that I cannot make at all.

14. At the same time, my friend says that he thinks that we are not spending enough time together (I don’t think he understands my life at all, because he’s demanding more than I can give. He knew how busy I was from the beginning, so I don’t really understand what he wants.)

15. I still have yet to fill out financial aid.

16. A friend of my keeps butting into my relationship, and I am not appreciating it

Ughhhhhhh!! My Lifeeeeee!! >.<

Stories from the Past

Growing up, I really wish that I had spent more time asking my parents questions about their past. It’s something that had never come up in our conversations, and I wish it had.

Last week, I had mentioned how I had a paper about genocide, and it was a topic that I became super interested about.

I don’t think I have mentioned this in any of my past posts but… I’m Nigerian.

My whole family is Nigerian. I’m the first in my family to ever be born in America, which is exactly how it sounds: exciting yet daunting.

I’ve always asked my parents about how they met or how they came to America, but I never received much information about it. It seemed like something my parents just didn’t want to talk about.

But today, I had to call my dad about financial aid matters, and then, as usual, we diverged to other topics usually related to school. He would talk about his friend who has a daughter in Brown and she decided to pursue her Master’s after graduation. I talked about how I was still looking for summer storage and I was debating on whether I should stay this summer or stay at home.

Then it got to the topic about college and if I was on track. I reminded him that my birthday was in two weeks, and he was surprised at how fast time had flown. He talked about how he had finished school at a much later age. Then he really thought about and wondered why he had finished so late. I told him that maybe education was started much later in Nigeria. He said that that wasn’t it.

Then he said it was because of the civil war.

It was then that I had a lightbulb moment. I told myself that I would ask him about it, but I completely forgot until he mentioned it. Wow, would you look at that?

I had tried asking my mom about it a few weeks ago, but she was really tired and said that I should just try to ask my dad about it. But I forgot to ask him…

So for my genocide paper, I had wondered if Nigeria had ever experienced a genocide, and it turned out that they did have a civil war/genocide called the Biafran War between 1967 and 1970. about 2 million Igbos were killed during this time (and my family is from the Igbo tribe). I looked at the places that this had affected, and it affected the exact places of where my parents were from. I was super intrigued and wondered why my parents had not mentioned anything about it.

My dad was born in 1959 and my mom in 1964 so I was really wondering if this had affected them at all.

Apparently it did, much more than I would have ever imagined.

So I asked him if it was the Biafran war that he was talking about, and he said “Yesss”, as if a bunch of memories just flooded back into his memory.

There was a civil war brought about by religion in that Christian Igbos in southern Nigeria were trying to secede from the republic of Nigeria (which had been established on October 1st, 1960) which was majorly Muslim, and they were trying to make their own state called Biafra. The war was brought about my government officials (who were all Muslim) who didn’t support this event. As a result, the Biafran war began.

My father was about 8 when the war started and it didn’t end until he was 11 year old. He was still in school during this time, and he talked about how anytime there were bombings happening, they would all run into the bushes to hide.

The Head of State, who was an Igbo man, was killed, which is one of the events  that helped to start the war. He said how his family eventually relocated out of the area  (about 3 hours out) and into the village where trees would hide them. I asked him if he had witnessed or heard anything. He said that he could feel the bombs hitting the grounds, and he could hear the airplanes flying over and dropping bombs on public areas such as schools and churches. Then, after every bomb the military soldiers on the ground would come and catch and kill the people who would survive the blasts.

During this time, there were killings happening everywhere. He said how on trains there were fathers being killed while the mothers and their children were allowed to escape.

Bridges connecting the Igbo land to Yoruba and Hausa lands were blown up, and the ports on the southern region of Nigeria were closed off. The Igbo people were closed in, making the annihilation of its people easier.

He talked about how times were so hard while in hiding. He had to fetch water with the elder women from a stream that was 5 miles away at about 5 in the morning. Usually a girl would have done it, but his mother bore no daughters, only 7 sons. As a result, since he was one of the younger kids, he had to do it.

He talked about how he had plenty of brother- and father-inlaws who were drafted into the army to fight in the war, and he never heard from them again. The little kids weren’t drafted because of schooling.

He talked about how the whole year after the civil war was over, military men came to every door, searched the houses, and collected all guns and weapons from everyone. His father had a gun that he hid in the kitchen, but he had forgotten that there was a bullet somewhere in the house. When the military approached and searched their house, they found the bullet and interrogated his father about where he was hiding the gun. His father tried to lie and say that he may have sold the gun or something, but then the military men pulled out their gun and hit his father with it. That was when his father had to pull out the gun from its hiding place and hand it over to them.

I was completely shocked by this. My father had witnessed this along with his brothers and his mother. They had done this when everyone was home, and everyone had thought that the war was over. According to my dad, there were still plenty of killings going on and it was still unsafe to leave your house at night.

He said how during this time, no school was in session. Everyone was in hiding with their families. As a result, he didn’t attend school until the 3 years of war were over. Unfortunately, they also had to make students repeat grades, so he really didn’t finish all of his schooling until the age of 27.

He says how to this day, no Igbo men are allowed to be in office due to this event. The only ones allowed are Yoruba and Hausa.

He explained to me how Igbos were considered the minority during that time, and they were treated as such. They were not respected as people.

He says that this mindset led to Igbos being more industrial and stronger people. They started building industries, working with mine and oil, and created a stubborn mindset among the people.

My dad also says that this led to the reason why he wanted to leave Nigeria. It wasn’t a nice place at all. He wanted to come to America.

He says that everything he does today was shaped by that event, and he could never look at Nigeria the same because of it. Unfortunately, this event has also led to him and many other Nigerians not having very good thoughts about the Muslim faith.

I don’t think I would have ever thought to ask my dad more about this subject if it hadn’t been for the anthropology class. I wonder just how many stories my parents had and they were not telling my sisters and me. Don’t they know that this is how we preserve our culture? Do they know that these are the stories that need to be passed down generations? Without them, we lose our culture, and we lose everything that our ancestors worked so hard to establish.

Getting Excited About Science

For the past few weeks since I have been back to school from spring break, I have been donating a large amount of my time on the weekends to community service. I realized that it’s something that I really like to do, and it’s something that I have constantly done since I was little (even throughout high school). I thought it would be a good idea to get back into it.

Earlier this semester, my friend had introduced me into this one group on campus that is focused on community service and leadership. Some of the requirements of the group is to obtain about 250 hours of source through work, community service, clubs, and organizations that I had been involved in. At first, I was pretty sure that I had just eliminated my chances of being in the group because I realized that I never documented any of those hours.

It took me a while to muster enough effort and motivation to actually start thinking back to the amount of times that I had actually did community service. It turns out that I had done alot of it. I remembered volunteering last semester, and it still counted for this semester. I was super happy about that. I had volunteered at the inauguration of the university’s new president. That was really fun because I was a volunteer that guided people who needed special needs. I felt special, like I actually played a role in the inauguration. I remember volunteering only for the benefit of saying that I actually did it. I mean who could honestly say that they helped out with their president’s inauguration?

For whatever reason, at the time I felt like this inauguration would be memorable. And it certainly was, definitely for reasons that I would have never imagined.

Anyways, a few weeks ago, I helped out with another event on campus that was about increasing the amount of involvement of females in STEM fields. I had helped out last year, but those hours wouldn’t count. It didn’t matter. It was something that was always a joy for me to help out with. I fully believed in the fact that more girls needed to be exposed to STEM fields. Many times, the guys are the ones given the building toys and the computers and the video games and the technology. On the other hand, the girls are given the little kitchen sets and the dollhouses and the sewing kits. That’s only going to help them become good stay-at-home moms. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what if that girl wants to do something else? What if she would like to learn how to build and design things? What if she learned how to engage in combat? What if she knew how to build her own computer?

That’s the purpose of the organization that I worked with.

So college students are paired with 7th and 8th graders, and you become her “buddy” for the day. You take her around to different workshops and work with her aon different activities.

This year, I had a 7th grader who, I must say, really impressed me. She told me that she wanted to study Computer Science, just like how her dad did. She had already had programming experience from her dad who is a programmer for a very renown camera company. He has already shown both his daughter and son how to write code! Her dad went to MIT, and her mom was super nice.

We went to a workshop about bioluminescence. So they mixed a few chemicals together, and it glowed in the flask. I watched as they took a really long time measuring the chemicals and pouring them into flasks. They even took a super long time putting on gloves. It was the funniest thing to watch, because nowadays I could do all of that under a minute. It goes to show that all the abilities that we did learn were acquired…

After that, we went to this computer programming workshop about coding and making your own code to create your own animation. I was fascinated at first, and I now understood a little bit about how code worked, but it was sooo boring for me. I quickly fell asleep during it. I even had to excuse myself so I could walk around a little to stay awake. The girl I was with definitely had fun, especially since her mom, dad, and brother were right with her the entire time. They were having a jolly good time.

After that was another chemistry lab, which woke me up. It was all about polymers which was really cool. I learned about how you could easily break a CD once you put some esters (or was it ethers) on them. In the next one, we dissolved a styrofoam cup into a solution. The next once, we made some silly puddy. In the next one, we made this long polyester chain. Now that one was really cool because he showed me what exactly he did and how it worked. I came up to him after the experiment and asked for the mechanism. He asked how much organic chemistry I had taken, and I told him that I was finishing up my 2nd semester. It looked like his eyes had lit up, and he was like “Oh cool!”. so he showed me the mechanism which I was super amazed by because I had just taken a test on it. It was all about a substitution between an amide and a carboxylic acid. He even showed me how to make the bonds on a large scale, because apparently he was showing them the baby version way to make it. I was super intrigued by it.

So after that, it was time to go. I said goodbye to my buddy and her family after the closing ceremony (where she actually won something in the raffle! 😀 ), and I left.

This is honestly something that I plan to do every year that I am here. Maybe next year I’ll be on the planning committee. Though that will be a whole lot of work, I believe that I could do it.

I had