My Pitch for the Baltic States

Over the past month I have been lucky enough to travel among the Baltic States and to see parts of Latvia and Lithuania, including their respective capitals, Riga and Vilnius. Previously I spent a weekend in Helsinki, Finland. In general, I think we in the US tend to think of the Nordic states (Norway, Sweden, […]
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English in Perspective

I’ve always known that speaking English as a first language was a considerable advantage in the increasingly globalizing world. English, for a variety of reasons, is quickly becoming the default language of business, academics, and cross-cultural communication. Without delving into the problems with this trend, I will say that my experience with being a native […]

Entrada 4: Formada por unas Evoluciones

Aunque todos los adultos eran jóvenes en un tiempo del pasado, las diferencias entre las generaciones de jóvenes son increíbles. Creo que las diferencias para ser jóvenes entre mi generación y la generación de mis padres originan con las políticas y la tecnología. Aunque solo hay treinta años entre mi madre y yo, hemos vivido vidas casi completamente separados por todas las razones que mencioné anteriormente.

Primero, cuando mis padres tenían mi edad, tenían un ambiente político muy diferente. En ese periodo de los Estados Unidos, existía la “guerra contra las drogas”. En resumen, el ambiente político en América parecía menos fluido al público y al resto del mundo. Ahora, no hay seguridad en relación a la diplomacia de los Estados Unidos, ni con el funcionamiento de los precedentes que habían. Más recientemente ha pasado la “guerra contra el terrorismo”, en comparación. Sin embargo, los ambos de los periodos han pasado con conflictos que involucraban y sigue involucrando los Estados Unidos.

Luego, un tema adicional sobre que hay muchas diferencias evidentes son las diferencias entre estas generaciones relacionadas a la tecnología. Durante los años mientras que mis padres eran mi edad, tenían tocadiscos, el radio, la tele, computadoras tempranas, y móviles eran objetos demasiado nuevos y caros para obtener. Después de todo, durante el tiempo de mi generación, tenemos muchísimas más opciones de tecnología – Netflix para mirar, móviles en que podemos hacer lo que podrían hacer con una computadora, portátiles ligeros, relojes con pantalla táctil, aparatos para supervisar nuestra salud… La lista podría seguir. Esto puede relacionar métodos de guerra, también; es decir, cuando había bombas mientras que mis padres tenían mi edad, ahora tenemos ciberataques. No obstante, los ambos de estos periodos están y estaban formados por la evolución y progreso de la tecnología.

En conclusión, aunque mis padres y yo estamos viviendo en el mismo tiempo ahora, hemos crecidos durante periodos increíblemente diferentes. Por ejemplo, las diferencias entre la política y la tecnología son evidentes. Aunque hay muchas diferencias, también hay similaridades. Para empezar, los ambos de los periodos han pasado con conflictos que involucraban y sigue involucrando los Estados Unidos. También, los ambos de estos periodos están y estaban formados por la evolución y progreso de la tecnología. Pienso que podría disfrutar vivir como mis padres vivían cuando tenían mi edad; En todo caso, a mí me gusta mi vida como está ahora.

Latin Dance Club, Stress, La Ciudad de Nueva York

Long time no post! Hey there again. I would like to apologize in advance for the formatting of this post, but there was little that I could do to make all of the pictures look very presentable. I’ll use this post as a learning opportunity to get some pointers on how to format nicely since I’ll have a lot when I study abroad this summer.


Latin Dance Club outdid themselves again this semester! I’m so glad to be a part of this group because the dancers are just so talented. Usually I would be intimidated by how good they are at dancing Salsa and Bachata, but they are just so amazing that I can’t help but admire their performance which is entirely improvised.
My boyfriend Peter and I learned the basic steps (Peter is a modern dancer so the style is different, but the new moves came naturally to him) at the beginning which were really simple. However, they were deceptively easy, because when it came to show time we had trouble switching between forward-backward and side-to-side motion.


Stress has been hitting hard this semester, so I had to withdraw from another course. Thankfully it won’t affect my future because the course that I withdrew from will not be required for the major that I am planning to switch to! I’ve been considering a career in mathematics because the research aspect of astrophysics was honestly killing me.

There is a funny consequence of changing majors right now which leaves just two classes until I complete a minor in physics and astronomy. Surprise, surprise, I will have three minors (including Spanish which I hope to finish over the summer). Kind of silly, I know.


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View of Manhattan Island by the Brooklyn Bridge

¡Todavía no me he olvidado el idioma! Ha sido una prueba porque no tengo tantas personas con que puedo hablar, pero visitamos a la Gran Ciudad de Nueva York donde conocí a mucha gente hispanohablante! Cuando fuimos al pico de la Plaza de 30 Rock, hablé con unas familias de España y Panamá. Pensaba que hubiera mucha gente de la República Dominicana y Puerto Rico, pero ¡había mucha gente de todos partes! A mi me encantó la ciudad porque las personas no les importa nada lo que se hace en público por los desconocidos. Sin embargo, ellos eran los más enterados y amables a quien he conocido. Aquí están algunas más fotos para aburrirte:

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Chrysler Building (estaba nevando cuando tome la foto)
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Selfie because I am a Millennial
Van Gogh's Starry Night
Van Gogh’s Starry Night

Déjame decirte que me hizo BIEN deslumbrado cuando vi la obra de Van Gogh porque es muy famosa y la a mí me ENCANTA.

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol

The United Nations building was closed!

Trump Tower
Trump Tower

Lamentablemente la torre de Trump estaba abierto.

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Chinese New Year

On Image result for chinese new year 2017Feburary 2, 2017, the Asian American Student Association (AASA) hosted their annual Chinese New Year Celebration. The Chinese New Year is a traditional Asian holiday that marks the beginning of a new year based on the lunar calendar. Therefore, the exact date of the Chinese New Year changes each year. This year it was on January 28th. Since it was on a Saturday, AASA decided to host the celebration the week after. The Chinese calendar cycles through every 12 years and each year is represented by an animal; 2017 is the year of the rooster.

There was a huge turnout to this event and the room was packed. The evening began with Chinese food and a dragon dance by fellow students. Attendees could obtain tickets at different activity stations such as a dragon boat race and making a paper lantern to try to win prizes. Throughout the night, there were different performances such as martial arts and dancing. The guest of the night was DANakaDAN who is a Korean YouTube star. I sadly had to leave the event early due to a personal emergency involving ammonium hydroxide.

 

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Things That ‘Did Not’ This Week

Her teeth white and painful and fake

My X-Ray the fuel for her finessed façade of interest

“You nearly fractured your elbow,” she says

But I didn’t

“All the damage is here except for an actual fracture,” she says

But I didn’t

“You should have paid attention to your body,” she says

But I didn’t

“You should have listened to the pain, come in sooner,” she says

But I didn’t

“You should feel very lucky,” she says

But I didn’t.

 

 

You sit in front of me with your despair dripping like melting ice cream

The need outweighs the discomfort found in every pause

“I wanted to,” you say

But you didn’t

“They say I am at risk,” you say

But you didn’t

“It’s heavy, it’s everywhere, I feel like I’m drowning in it,” you say

But you didn’t

“I want to end all of it,” you say

But you didn’t.

 

 

3:00 AM wears thin on my ceiling as I stare up into the morning darkness

The paint of that hour dries faster than my eyes drift to sleep

“You could choose stay,” I say

But I didn’t

“It would be safe, you should feel safe there,” I say

But I didn’t

“You could have found a boring, beautiful happiness,” I say

But I didn’t

“Don’t run away, just this once,” I say

But I didn’t.

 

 

God makes His plans known to his people by blowing kisses through gusts of wind

He sits in a tall tree above an empty wooden swing

“You could write beautiful things instead of sad things,” He says

But she didn’t

“Listen, the world is asking for you, don’t you want them?” He says

But she didn’t

“If you left Me, the whole world would applaud you,” He says

But she didn’t

“I think your sad things are also your beautiful things,” He says

But she didn’t.

 

 

The Music of Jewish Spain

The words song, Jewish, and Spain all have special significance to me; therefore, when a poster advertising the event Sephardic music: Songs of Devotion and Desire: The Musical Heritage of Jewish Spain caught my eye, I was immediately enthralled. I love listening to live musicians, have a deep personal connection to Judaism, and adore Spanish language and culture. Although I had a crazy Monday due to cancelled flights back to campus and was extremely tired by evening, this was an event I knew I could not miss. Entering Pitman Recital Hall, I was extremely curious as to what exactly I was about to experience; it seemed like such a perfect collision of my interests.
The event began with a short lecture about the history of Jews living in Spain and in Sephardic communities outside of Spain (these emerged after Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492). Although people most commonly associate religion in Spain with Catholicism, a rich Jewish history existed there for many years prior to the domination of the Catholic Church. Important figures emerged from Spain during this time, including the famous Jewish philosopher Maimonides and several significant Jewish poets.
After the professor concluded his talk, the musical portion of the night began. Janice Meyerson, the singer, floated onto the stage in a long black gown, followed by her accompanist. As his fingers danced along the piano keys, her operatic voice filled the hall with the sounds of a spectacular cultural heritage. While I recognized signature elements of the Jewish musical style, it was a new experience to hear them played with ladino words. (Ladino is the Sephardic Jewish dialect of Spanish). Some of the lyrics were a blend of Hebrew and Spanish, and this unique intersection of language was absolutely amazing to discover, as I never knew such a thing existed. The songs Ms. Meyerson sang revolved around love and desire, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with the magic of the music of Jewish Spain.

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Denial

The Holocaust was an extremely horrific event in history; millions of innocent people were murdered due to prejudice, antisemitism, and hatred, and it is a hard thing for many people to talk about. However, for professor Deborah Lipstadt, talking about the Holocaust turned into a fight to prove its authenticity. The movie Denial is based on the true story of how she was challenged in court by famous Holocaust denier David Irving. After discrediting him in her book Denying the Holocaust , he takes her to court for allegedly slandering his name. In the subsequent court proceedings, Deborah’s dedicated legal team endeavors to prove that Irving intentionally twisted the meaning of historical documents to suit his personal view that the Holocaust was invented by the Jews and never really happened. It is a battle to prove that the Holocaust happened, to have this tragedy legally recognized as a part of history. It tells the incredible story of a woman who dedicates herself to fighting for the truth.
The Schusterman Center for Judaic Studies and OU Hillel co-sponsored a showing of the movie Denial several weeks ago, and since then I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about its significance and relevance in a world that is once again becoming increasingly antisemitic. We cannot allow the Holocaust to slip from our memory, as bomb threats are regularly being called into Jewish Community Centers around the nation and antisemitic messages are being spread. Allowing ourselves to forget about the Holocaust is just as dangerous as denying it ever happened – acknowledging and learning from the horrors of the past is the only way we will ever be able to move forward toward a brighter future.

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My First Few Weeks in Daegu

As my days abroad continue to rush by, I haven’t had a great deal of time to sit and process everything around me that has changed so drastically in such a short amount of time. So far, my study abroad trip in South Korea has been a whirlwind of new experiences and new friends to share them with. However, I find myself noticing so many little things within daily life here in Daegu that are so similar to back home. despite the wide array of difference, there is so much that seems fairly universal.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been exploring Daegu and trying to find the best coffee houses and restaurants I can! My KNU buddy has been extremely helpful in navigating the campus and their online systems. Most of my exploring has actually been with other exchange students. there are people from all over the world living right next to each other in this new environment. My roommate is Russian and I’ve become good friends with people from France, Portugal, Ireland, Mexico, Italy, and Japan to name a few. Most of my classes are of course mainly Korean students (besides Korean 1 XD) so I’ve made some Korean friends with the help of group projects! Most everyone is very friendly, although I definitely feel the shift of perspective from majority to minority.

Korean is slowly but surely coming more easily to me. the alphabet can be a bit confusing due to how similar the syllables can sound, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. Making Korean friends has definitely helped with this! Also, I’ve been trying to eat as authentically as I can while I’m here, which can be a bit difficult when fried chicken and beer is on of the most popular group-hang destinations! But I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything I’ve eaten thus far.  (except the dorm cafeteria)

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