Archive for March, 2010

Sashimi

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Today, I’m going to write about food. I am not a picky eater and I am certainly not a foodie (definition: ardent or refined taste in food, as in a gourmet eater) like a lot of my friends. Every now and then, though, I do get a craving like today: I just had to have sashimi. So, Ms. Kao and I went to this Japanese fast food place that is relatively cheap but tasty. They sell a small plate of sashimi for a reasonable price, so I ended up getting 3 orders of the salmon and 1 order of the marlin, plus I had a California roll and a lobster sushi. The hot tea that complemented the meal was just perfect. I came away very satisfied. What a way to get my fix!

If anyone is wondering how the movie went last night (this is for you, Eric), it won’t make it to my top ten favorite movies, but it was certainly worth watching. The costume design, graphics, and fantastical creatures were amazing. They kept me glued to the screen (even though my 3D glasses were just too heavy for my nose that I had to hold it up with my hand practically the whole time). I think the Queen of Hearts was the most memorable character for me — she was not only well-acted, but she was distinctive and very colorful. The movie is not as dark as I thought it would be; in fact, I think it is rather family-friendly. I was confused half the time because even though I recognized the characters from the book, I did not realize until towards the end that the movie is NOT the book, but a projection into Alice’s older self, not as a little girl but a young woman. I would still recommend this movie for its wonderful imagery and attention to details!

Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Tonight, I am going with some friends to watch Alice in Wonderland in 3D. I am excited about it only because it is 3D and it reminds me of the time I went out of my way to watch Avatar. But just like Avatar, I am not looking forward to the story. The last time I watched a movie where Johnny Depp plays a strange character was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I did not enjoy that movie at all. The preview of Alice in Wonderland is not all that appealing; it looks like it will be a dark movie, too. Maybe it will surprise me. Well, if anything, just the experience of going to a movie theater will be worth it, and especially hanging out with my friends. It’s all the way in Puxi so it will be quite a trek. I hope the movie is good, though.

Running

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I’ve decided to start running again. Today, I went out on the track and ran a few laps. Even though the air was a little chilly, it felt good to stretch my legs and get my lungs pumping again. I find that not only do I build up stamina, but I also tend to think more clearly when I exercise. I’ve “hibernated” long enough. This past winter was really bad as I’ve stayed indoors most of the time because it has been too cold; moreover, I’ve been inundated with all kinds of work and responsibilities. I am so looking forward to spring. I hope it doesn’t rain so I can keep running.

Life Goes On

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

About three years ago, the school agreed to enroll a group of underprivileged students from Wuhan. These students lived in the dorms, participated in school events, and hoped to graduate from this school so they can have a future in Shanghai. I think they were hoping for a job in the company after graduation. I still remember when they first came. A couple of them opted to be in the English track even though they had to work extra hard to learn the language. They stayed together in a group, eating together and spending most of their time together, as though they needed that support. At that time, I was the adviser of the Community Service Club and a few of them were actively involved in helping sort donated clothes, working at fund-raising events, and assisting in the Art Charity auction. I remember speaking to Johnny during the auction who told me of the differences between his life in his hometown and his life in Shanghai. He spoke of the scarcity of clean, drinking water and how people in his hometown did mostly manual labor. He felt his new life in Shanghai was almost extravagant. There was also Karen who was in my homeroom at that time. She was a quiet girl, but she persisted in all of her classes even though it was difficult to keep up. In the two years she was here, she gained the favor of her teachers and friends. In fact, she was even voted Prom Queen her senior year!

This morning, I came across Lucy, one of the girls in this group. She told me that after graduation, they all went their separate ways. Two of them went on to America for college while a few of them stayed on to work at the company, but they all kept in touch. This summer, they plan to meet together in Australia for a vacation. I can’t help but to feel a sense of pride in seeing how this group of students made the most of what was given to them years ago. Australia is a long ways from Wuhan … it just goes to show how far one can go with hard work and perseverance.

Perception

Saturday, March 27th, 2010
Evil?

Evil?

As I was surfing online this morning, I came across this article called “Spooky Creature Endangered by Superstition.” It has a picture of the aye aye. I have never seen nor heard of this animal before, but it certainly looks sinister. I googled some other images of this animal, and the other pictures definitely make it even more “evil” with its eyes, claws, and little mouth.

It made me think about how different it is with cute little puppies and darling little pandas that make us naturally want to love them. Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder? Or are there creatures that are universally beautiful and creatures that naturally inspire fear? My first reaction to this aye aye is to fear it because of the way it looks … but what kind of animals are they really? According to the article, they are nocturnal, solitary, and weighs a mere 4 pounds. They are curious little creatures who are not afraid of humans, but they are not aggressive nor are they dangerous. It is unfortunate that these creatures have become endangered because perception has turned to accepted belief. I wonder how often we judge the world and the people around us by mere perception ….

Here is a link to the article I was reading —

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36053677/ns/technology_and_science-science/

An Inconvenient Truth

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

I think I’ve seen this documentary a total of five times now, and with each viewing, I learn something new.  These last 2-3 days, I’ve been thinking about the power of persuasion.  The documentary uses all the tricks in the book — facts, evidence, cool graphics, personal anecdotes, statistics, quotes, ad hominem, even humor.  I also enjoyed the references to history, current events, science, and literature.  In the end, though, I wonder what would really convince a person to change one’s habit or way of thinking.  Is logic enough?  Is it enough to persuade someone by bombarding them with facts?  Personally, I don’t think so.

If the goal is to persuade someone to change their habit or lifestyle, one has to go beyond logic because not everyone operates that way.  In order to convince someone to change their way of living, it has to affect them in a very personal way, especially in areas that they care most about, like their safety, their families, their health.  I think the documentary touched on these effectively because it focused on how a global issue like the climate crisis is relevant to one’s immediate experience.  I also appreciated how it  not only provided but strongly suggested practical ways that each individual can do something about global warming.  It reminds me of an old Indian saying:

Tell me and I will forget,

Show me and I will learn,

Involve me and I will understand.

To WW class

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

If it were not for the Writing Workshop class, I probably would not start another blog. It has been fun to read everyone’s entries and, as busy as I am these days, I owe it to them to write my daily entries as well. I have enjoyed getting a glimpse of everyone’s everyday life, and I hope my entries can be even half as interesting! Happy Reading!

So, for my first post, why did I choose “Sojourners” as the name of my blog?  A sojourner is someone who lives in a place temporarily and moves on to another place.  Besides the cool-sounding “j” and “r” of the word (!), I also allude to my own love for travel.  I like seeing new places and meeting new people.  Since leaving my parents’ house, I don’t know that I have ever really called any place “home.”  As a sojourner, there is always somewhere else to go, another destination to reach.  I think that this is true of many people.  We are always looking for a place called Home, and I think we find it more in the journey than in the actual destination.  But that’s just me.