On April 19th, I went to the joint College of International Studies and American Enterprise Institute Executive Council discussion regarding the future of foreign affairs regarding Syria. Dr. Joshua Landis and Dr. Andrew J. Bowen were originally the two to host the discussion, but Dr. Landis was unfortunately unable to attend due to scheduling issue. Nonetheless, I was excited to hear what Dr. Bowen had to say regarding Syria and wanted to learn about other opinions. Prior to this event, I was very sympathetic for the people, particularly refugees, who were affected by the ongoing event, and I was very opposed to Obama’s usage of drones due to the amount of civilian casualties involved. However, sympathy alone could not be able to address this growingly complex issue. Although I did not entirely agree with military intervention from the United States as the solution to the whole problem, no intervention was not a choice to be selected if one sympathizes those on the ground who are affected. After participating this event, I gain a much understanding of the complexity of the issues and decisions that are being weighed in, and I’m hoping that the current administration takes those considerations seriously and thoughtfully as much or more as I do.
As if we already had enough elections. One of the most highly covered elections this past semester was the French presidential election. For the political nerd like me, I was able to discuss the elections with online friends who are more affected by it (i..e living in France, EU.) However, I was more surprised to see my fellow everyday Americans discussing about the French politics.
It feels weird knowing how much populism is affecting a majority of the Western democratic countries, but it feels much weirder to see casual Americans discussing about it. It’s hard to keep up with what’s going on in our own political system alone. This is definitely one of the signs of an increasingly globalized community, where major events happening elsewhere is indeed a discussion point with our everyday neighbors.
My thoughts were on the side of those who have concerns with Marine Le Pen, but I was also preparing myself to not be shock if she wins because events like Brexit and the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections have demonstrated that any outcome is possible and likely. Overall, I was glad to see Macron win.
One thing that was coming up in my newsfeed was Macron’s address to American scientists, who were concern of the current events regarding the current administration’s plan to strip back funding and supporting for endeavors relating to climate change. It was smart of him to try to attract these disenfranchised scientists since renewable and sustainable energy are smart investments for any country to make. Whether or not we could see a brain drain as other countries are trying to woo American scientists would be an interesting event to cover.
As part of my final paper in my Modern Medicine class, I had to write a paper regarding another country’s healthcare system and how it compares with the United States healthcare system.
I decided to write about Japan. It boasted having some of the best healthcare outcomes despite one of the lowest healthcare expenditures comparatively with the world. The United States boasted having some of the highest healthcare expenditures comparatively with the world, but it has some of the worst healthcare outcomes. This discrepancy serves as a great starting point of inquiry.
What I learned was that Japan has universal healthcare coverage like the rest of the developed world, but it has a unique system of funding the system. It’s considered a multpayer system, which differs from a single payer system where the government covers all the healthcare expenditures. A high percentage, but not 100%, of all healthcare expenses is covered by the government and the rest is covered by the patients themselves or their private insurances if they have one. It was an interesting combination, but it assures that the patients have access to those healthcare procedures while not having to worry about the economical side effects. I also found it interesting that Japanese residents enjoy using their medical technology/procedures such as CT scans and MRIs more so than their American counterparts. One would think that by using more of such procedures would drive up the healthcare expenditures significantly, but that’s not the case for Japan. As a result, Japan is able to have a highly preventive healthcare system does lowering the rates of occurrences for chronic diseases.
Overall, I was very impressed with the Japanese healthcare system.
This past semester, Korean Conversation Club hosted not one but two K-Pop parties at Bison Witches in downtown Norman.
Unlike your typical college parties or clubs, the music in this one is entirely from K-Pop or Korean Pop. This may sound a little weird to have a K-Pop party in Oklahoma, but I was ecstatic when I heard of the opportunity.
The best way I can describe K-Pop is the best of both Eastern and Western influences. Much of what the East is known for, dancing and visuals, combines with Western genres to make a highly modernized genre. Also, K-Pop is well known for utilizing social media to promote its brand across Asia and the world. Nowadays, even Western artists have cited K-Pop as an inspiration or influence on how they promote themselves. Infamously, they are well known for their systematic way of training artists from early age, which has been criticized by many Western commenters. In the West, developed talent comes before signing with the media companies, a stark contrasts to the involvement with companies in Korea. Nonetheless, their music remains highly popular.
I highly recommend anyone at OU to come out to one of these next semester!
On April 15th, the American Model World Health Organization chapter at the University of Oklahoma hosted a Global Health Panel, consisting of public health experts who have developed their careers within the profession. It was a really nice experience, and I was invited by my friend who is an officer of the chapter to stop by and listen to what these people had to say. Despite the topics that are often covered in the news, it was really reassuring when I was listening to these experts about the importance and relevance of public health in a global society. Given with what has happen over the course of the semester, much of the attention seems to be around what’s happening in Washington regarding health care reform, yet nobody seems to worry about the rise of antibiotic-resistant microbes. No wall can actually prevent these creatures from coming into our public systems, and it was frustrating prior to attending this event how there’s a lack of attention regarding it. After listening to what these experts had to say, it’s good to know that I was not the only one sharing those concerns.
This past semester, I took an Honors Colloquium course at my university known as Honors Darwin: Selection in Thought, Religion, and Politics. The basis of the course is to understand evolutionary principles that were applied in biology and expand the scope of the analysis to sociocultural phenomenon such as Brexit and the 2016 US Presidential Elections. A fascinating course.
One of the important concepts we were studying and discussing was the concept of memes. Now, I know it’s easy to describe memes as the silly Facebook posts that everyone likes to circulate, but memes are much more academically complicated than that. They are, simply as Richard Dawkins coins, the new replicators that were analogous to genes in biological evolution.
I think it’s quite fascinating to utilize evolution as a tool of assessment regarding political events such as Brexit. In fact, my final essay was analyzing Brexit from that standpoint. To oversimplify things, I saw Brexit inevitable due to the historical tendencies of the UK to remove themselves from European affairs, even when they were inevitably drawn to it. Based on that tendency alone and using the evolutionary principles of variation, competition, and inheritance, the debate about the predictions was simply when Brexit was going to happen rather than if Brexit was gonna to occur.
Overall, the class provided some intriguing insights, and I would love if I can study more on that subject and expand the scope of the analysis to other world phenomena.
- January – The World Health Organization announces an outbreak of the Zika virus.
- February – North Korea launches a long-range rocket into space, violating multiple UN treaties and prompting condemnation from around the world.
- March – Three coordinated bombings in Brussels, Belgium kill at least 32 and injure at least 250. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claims responsibility for the attacks.
- April – The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung publishes millions of confidential documents from the Panamanian corporate Mossack Fonseca that provides detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies, including the identities of shareholders and directors including noted personalities and heads of state.
- May – EgyptAir Flight 804 crashes with 66 people on board over the Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo.
- June – The United Kingdom votes in a referendum to leave the European Union.
- July – The Philippines wins the arbitration case they filed regarding the legality of China’s “Nine-Dash Line” claim over the South China Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
- August – The 2016 Summer Olympics are held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After the Olympics, the Brazilian Senate votes to impeach the President of Brazil.
- September – The government of North Korea conducts its fifth and reportedly biggest nuclear test.
- November – Donald Trump wins the 2016 US Presidential Elections
- December – The Aleppo Offensive closes in.
A lot has happen.However, the best thing we can do is to continue making the world a better place, one small step at a time.
It’s easy to get stuck at the moment and realizing how horrible the future may hold at times. (Looking back at it, it sorta confirms with that belief .)
Even so, take a deep breath and take care. Continue enjoying today’s experiences and fight for tomorrow’s experiences. That’s all I have to say.
Here’s to another great year of living!
The title is somewhat misleading. I’ve had Korean BBQ before but never at an actual Korean BBQ restaurant. My first experience eating Korean BBQ was at a meeting with the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers chapter at my campus. I wasn’t even a member of the organization at that time to be honest, but a member of their executive board invited me to try out Korean BBQ. It was amazing, and it definitely got me excited to eat it again.
To give a brief overview of Korean BBQ, it significantly differs from traditional American BBQ in both the cuts of meat and the overall experience itself. The meats can be marinated or unwarranted depending on individual’s preferences. The most representative forms of meats are bulgogi, galbi, and samgyeopsal. Also, the participants grill the meat themselves, allowing them to customize the doneness of the meat. It’s also a good social experience, as many people will interact and converse while cooking the meat collectively. Also, did you know that the banchans are free including refills? I’m pretty sure Korean BBQ is so expensive because the sides are consumed so much because they add another dimension of flavor to the meats.
I went out with friends from my 2016 Holiday Head Start committee during finals week. Sounds crazy, but it was a pleasant break from all the studying and writing that I had to do this semester. We went to a place called Dong A in Moore. I highly encourage all to check out their spicy chicken and pork entrees!
My 3rd year at Holiday Head Start!
For those that are not familiar with HHS, it is the official philanthropy program of the Asian American Student Association at the University of Oklahoma. It’s goal is to provide a holiday meal and celebration to underprivileged families from the surrounding city. A major portion of the funding for this came from Asian Food Fair, AASA’s largest event on campus where it provides a venue of authentic Asian cuisine from ethnic restaurants in a buffet-styled environment at an affordable price of ($5). Other fundings came from organizations such as Student Alumni Association, Student Government Association, College of Education, and restaurants nearby.
I’ve been doing this for three years. It alway brings me joy to see families having a pleasant experience knowing that they may not be able to have that during these harsh economic times. I’m also impressed by how much AASA does to the community overall; not only are they providing an experience for college students, but the profits derived from the food fair go straight to the philanthropy event, meaning AASA made no financial gains from any of this.
This past semester, I had the opportunity to serve on the Budgetary Committee of the Student Government Association at my university. The responsibility of the committee is to allocate funds from the student activities fees pool to student organizations.
After being exposed to so many incredible opportunities and student groups on campus, I feel it was important for me to go behind the scenes regarding the operations of the SGA Budgetary Committee. During the previous Spring semester, there was some shaken controversy regarding the bias the committee had against multicultural oriented organizations. That event caused friction between the organizations and SGA. Due to the emphasis of serving others, SGA administration had to reframed itself with policy changes concerning the issues the students had voiced. The primary changes was switching the application process to strictly an online form, creating auxiliary funding, and expanding organizations opportunities to apply for funding outside of primary funding, where a majority of the funding occurs during the school year.
I’m proud to be apart of a committee that makes so make incredible decisions on how to best serve others with the limited resources it had. While I was skeptical of some of the proposed changes, I feel more confident than ever after this past semester that the changes we had to make are the right ones.
I look forward to continuing that service next semester!