DACA

Although I am an immigrant myself, I realize that I am someone that came to America with privileges. I had paperwork and a green card, and after being in the US for a few years, my dad became naturalized and so did I. So I lived all my life in America without a single worry other than getting good grades and a good job.

However, there are many people in America that are not as privileged as I am. In particular, my friends at work are undocumented immigrants. They talk about not being able to get a driver’s license and financial aid for college. And, even the little things like always fearing that they could be turned into the authorities and be deported. They finally got a sense of relief when DACA was announced. Now, they could finally get a license and, although they do not qualify for the Pell Grant, they don’t have to worry about being forced to go home.

When I heard that DACA was being rescinded, I thought about my friends and what this meant for them. As people who have been in my life for a while, I was worried for their future. I did not want any of them to have to leave their life in America. One of them is in nursing school and is getting ready to graduate. And the other is pregnant and starting her little family here. It breaks my heart to think that they could both have to leave their lives here and go to a place that has been unknown to them for decades. All of their hard work and social ties would have gone to waste all because they don’t have papers. Their parents saw no future in Mexico and wanted a better life for their children when deciding to move to the US. DACA, to them, was a light at the end of the tunnel. Rather than kicking them out, I think there needs to be a way to deal with them ethnically. Also, rather than building a wall and trying to keep Latin Americans out of the US, we need to look at why they are risking everything by trying to come to America. By understanding their situation, the US could see a decrease in illegal immigration.

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NISO Peer Mentor

As you may know from reading my other blog posts, I was in South Korea for study aboard for an academic year. While I was there, I learned a great amount about South Korea, the world, and even more about myself. However, I often felt alone and lost as I did not know anyone in the country. My school was also not very helpful because the international student club cost money and was very centered around partying and drinking. Luckily, I made some friends after a few weeks of class and they were able to answer questions I had. I was very appreciative of these friends as they helped me through a lot
And so, I decided that I also want to be that friend. In the summer, I applied to be a NISO peer mentor, in which I have a group of international students that can connect me for help or just to hang out. I was very excited to apply and become a peer mentor because it felt like it was my way of repaying back the kindness I received in Korea. I was accepted and I attended the Crimson Connection day with much excitement. There, I met my group of students. They were from all over the world. There was a girl from England, a boy from Germany, a few from Africa, and a graduate student from South Korea. I was very happy to have a diverse group of students and potentially friends that I could hang out. One thing really enjoyed about being in Korea was the amount of international people I met, and so joining NISO allowed me to feel that way again. I will try my best this semester to become good friends with them as I really want to make connections that are worldwide.

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Reading Notes: The Iliad (B)

  • I don’t know if this counts as a reading note, but now I really want to watch Troy
  • Athena is really a jerk in Hector’s death scene. I wonder what would have happened without her
  • I wand Andromache to fight for vengeance for Hector. Even if it’s just shooting arrows from the walls of the city, I want her to take her husband’s place leading the soliders
  • I absolutely hate that it ends with Hector’s burial. That’s not much of an ending at all! I think it would be much better to end with the Trojan Horse, or with Aeneas escaping

Bibliography: The Iliad by Homer. Web Source.

Image: Triumph of Achilles in Corfu Achilleion by Franz Matsch. Source: Wikimedia

Reading Notes: The Iliad (A)

  • Did Helen want to marry Menelaüs or was she forced to? Did she want to go with Paris or did he kidnap her? I want details!
  • I like Achilles, but I want to know why he is favored by Athena and Hera both
  • I want to know what changed Achilles’ mind about the two lots in life his mother had offered him
  • I wonder what Helen is thinking during all of these battles. Does she care that all of these people are dying because of her? I want to see it from her point of view

Bibliography: The Iliad by Homer. Web Source

Image: Helen of Troy by Evelyn de Morgan. Source: Wikimedia

Reading Notes: Cupid and Psyche (B)

Today I finished reading Cupid and Psyche for Mythology and Folklore.

Thoughts:

  • Honestly I’d love to write this from Venus’ point of view. She seems so dang angry, I want to get in her head and figure out why
  • What if it wasn’t ants that helped Psyche. I think it would be funny if Vulcan sent some of his little creations to sort the pile, just to spite Venus. They always had a rocky relationship. Or if she did something crazy that technically fit the instructions, but wasn’t what Venus had actually asked for
  • I think it would be really funny for Pandora to narrate the part of the story where Psyche opens the jar of “Divine Beauty.” I think she would have a lot to say to someone who should have learned from her mistakes
  • Then “Wedding Feast” portion of the story is so rushed! I want more detail or, at the very least, a window into Venus’ thoughts

Bibliography: Cupid and Psyche by Apuleius. Web Source.

Image: Olga Fersen on a Donkey by Karl Brullov. Source: Wikimedia

Famous Last Words: I’ll do it in the Morning

This was a really rough week for me and I am 100% blaming the long weekend. I always look forward to breaks as a way to recharge and get ahead on some of my course work. But is that ever what happens? Of course not! I spend all of the break lazing around and then spend the next few days (weeks) feeling stressed and trying to catch up on the work that I was supposed to do. Forget about getting ahead at this point.

This long weekend was ever worse than most because it coincided with the release of Tower of Dawn, the seventh book in the Throne of Glass series that I have been anxiously awaiting since I finished book 6. So Labor Day on Monday plus new book on Tuesday equals very tired Margaret. When I am tired I don’t always make the best decisions. Case in point: convincing myself every day this week that I would go to sleep early, wake up early, and get some homework done. I’ll give you three guesses as to how that turned out for me. On the bright side I’m almost finished playing catch-up, and there are no long weekends or long awaited book releases in my near future. (But I am already counting down to Throne of Glass book 8 – coming to a bookstore near you in May 2018!)

So what did I learn from my famous last words this week? I should never be allowed to make decisions when it involves books. I also learned that everything is a work in progress. Just as soon as I start to get overconfident in my ability to keep up with the semester, I get buried under a figurative mountain of work and obligations. So I guess I learned something that I already know: I need to remember what my most important priories are, and stay flexible with the rest. I’ll get there eventually.

Also – I should totally get paid for all the advertising I do for Sarah J Maas‘ books! 🙂


Image: Stock photo of “To-do List.” Source: Pixabay

Wikipedia Trails: From Bluebeard to Brontë

For this episode of Wikipedia Trails, I started with Bluebeard. Why, you ask? Because I’m considering including him in my project and I’ve been doing a lot of research, so I guess he’s on the mind.

From Bluebeard I clicked over to “Serial Killer,” which is honestly understandable if you know anything at all about the fairy tale. This page was honestly disturbing and had way more information about different types of murder than I ever needed in my life.

On the Serial Killer Wikipedia page there’s a link to Victorian Era, so I followed that. Let me tell you, that is one comprehensive wiki page; everything about everything is on there, from Queen Victoria and her family to birth and death rates, political policy and everything in between.

The Victorian Era page also included popular entertainment from the time, including famous authors, which is how I found my way to Charlotte Brontë. I’ve read Jane Eyre and, while it isn’t one of my favorites, I can respect the novel for the classic piece of literature that it is.

It was really cool to see how connected everything is, especially on the interwebs. Who knows where I’ll end up next time!


Image: Photo of “You are here graffiti.” Source: Public Domain Pictures

En la azotea – un microcosmo de la adolescencia

Estoy seguro que En la azotea, un cortometraje dirigido por Damià Sierra Gauchetiez, un director catalán, toca la fibra sensible de mucha gente, casi todos que se han sentido fuera de lugar durante su adolescencia. Lo extraordinario de esta película es su banalidad. Transforma un evento cotidiano – una banda de chicos adolescentes presa de hormonas alborotadas tratando de mirar a una mujer desnuda tomando sol en su terraza – en un estudio profundo de las dinámicas entre chicos adolescentes y muchos fenómenos pertinentes a esta etapa de la vida – el temor del rechazo, el deseo de estar aceptado por todo el mundo, la incertidumbre, el miedo de ser diferente y por eso ser excluido por los demás.

Este cortometraje ganó varios premios desde su estreno hace dos años, y no es muy difícil comprender por qué tuvo tanto éxito. Aunque es una película muy corta (dura aproximadamente once minutos), tiene toda una historia rica que relata una experiencia con que muchos, yo incluido, pueden identificarse. Muchos chicos, cuando alcanzan la pubertad, se dan cuenta de que son diferentes, de una manera, a sus coetáneos en su sexualidad.  Puesto que casi nadie quiere destacarse de manera que pueda hacerse vulnerable al acoso, temen que todo el mundo se entere de su homosexualidad. En el miedo que se vislumbra en el rostro de Adrián, vi el miedo que yo tenía cuando era más joven. Su emoción era tan realista, en mi opinión, que casi parecía verdadera.

Las mejores obras de arte no sólo relatan una historia, sino también nos dicen algo sobre nuestras propias vidas y nuestro mundo. Viendo el miedo, la intimidación, y la incomodidad que sentía Adrián, comencé a reflexionar  sobre el momento en que salí (o tuve que salir) del armario, y el sentimiento de libertad y aislamiento que resultó después. Por eso este cuento sencillo y banal pude conmoverme.

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Tasting – Primo Amore Moscato

Name: Primo Amore Moscato

Variety: 100% Moscato Bianco

Region: Veneto

Country: Italy

Year: NV

Price: $10.99

Seller’s Review: Straw-yellow with golden reflections and a delicate mousse. Fruity and very inviting, with intense scents of peaches and exotic fruit. Fresh and pleasantly sweet with a taste that reveals its varietal characteristic.

My Review: I absolutely adore this wine! I’ve had it before but I’m tasting it for this class because I thought it’d be interesting to analyze a wine I’m familiar with. Honestly, even with this wine, I noticed a lot more things than I ever have before. I think the seller is being overly poetic, the wine is basically clear, but it smells like apples and pears, which I had never really paid attention to before. When I tasted it, I got hints of apples and pears again, which is normally where I stopped, but there was something else I couldn’t quite pick out. After consulting with my wine wheel, it hit me! Lemon and honey! Weird, because I wouldn’t expect all of that to go well together, but the wine is amazing.

 

I didn’t eat any foods with this wine, which is the way I prefer it. It’s so good it doesn’t need anything to go with it.

Tasting – Ruby Vine Red Wine

Name: Ruby Vine Red Wine

Variety: Red Blend

Region: Santa Rosa, California

Country: USA

Year: NA

Price: $9.99

Seller’s Review: With the exception of sparkling or fortified wines, non-vintage wines get a bad rap sometimes, dismissed as being lower in quality because they consist of grapes blended across different vintages. We beg to differ, and this juicy red made from California grapes is the perfect example of how NV blends can be perfectly delicious. Because we weren’t restricted by the vintage, we were able to use the best grapes we could find from each year, be more creative, and come up with a wine that’s balanced and food-friendly – the perfect house red. Ripe, full-bodied and fruit-driven, this versatile wine will pair well with everything from spicy Thai takeout to a spread of tapas. Keep a few bottles handy on your wine rack for any occasion that might arise

My Review: This wine, when you first meet it, definitely has a spicy smell. I broke out a wine wheel and I think I narrowed it down to Black Pepper and Cinnamon. I think they wine maker may have aged the wine, possibly in an oak barrel, because I noticed heavy tobacco and smokey flavors when I tasted it. Another reason I think it may have been aged is that it is very smooth. There weren’t many tannins still in the wine. Overall it was a very tasty wine, and I wish I’d had something to eat with it. It seemed to be more of an old world style, and meant to be paired with food.

 

I didn’t eat any foods with this wine, but I think it would pair well with something a little spicy.