Ramadan Nights- International Event 4

As a Christian living in a promplty christian community little is mentioned about other religions holidays. I spend 6 years in the Middle East where Ramadan was highly celebrated. Therefore, when I saw this event posted on group me I had to attend. It was very interesting relearning some of the traditions that other middle eastern countries had compared to Saudi Arabia. I had a blast reminiscing my childhood because I thought about all the late night mall trips I used to take when I lived there. Also, the festivities that followed Ramadan and how it was a big celebration no matter what religion. It was also interesting learning more in depth about the holiday since I did some research before attending. I would recommonded everyone to look into holidays from religions that differ yours. I am dreaming of going back to the Middle East to experience this celebration once again.


Is the US-China Relationship a Security Dilemma? – International Event 3

I attended this webinar because of the previous international event I attended a couple weeks prior. It was broken down into multiple characteristics that one can determine if it truly is security dilemma. The ones listed by the speaker were; interactivity, denial of interactivity, increasing dominance of inaccurate generalization about Self and Other, evidence of exceptionalism and dehumanization or infra-humanization, and policing internal discourse. Later graphs were demonstrated to show the trend between certain objectives like interactions between US and China events which shown a negative trend within the last couple years. I was honestly a little lost on the remaining topics of this webinar because of how in reality both governments overlap in quite a few ideas when talking about government. The difference is how each country demonstrates it. I would be interested in continuing my research in this global policies as we see what happens between these two countries as generations continue.


Tik Tok – What it means to the global community.

Since, Tik-Tok took over the social media world it really has open a look into the everyday lives of other people day to day. When the pandemic first started we could see people doing different things to help escape from quarantine. In the involved to several creators making their accounts to teach each other about different culture and languages. I have learned new things from new religions, new foods, and even new words. In recent weeks it has given us a day to day look into the war that has been going on without the media making it their own story. Of course, there is some misinformation that comes along with this platform but it has given the day to day people have a voice.


2 years later….

It has been exactly two years since the world went into lockdown. When I reflect back to that time it seems so crazy how much our lives has really changed because of Covid. I know can’t remember a time were it was weird to always have masks on you and wearing it in common places.I think about how the global community came together to show respect to our healthcare workers. This is currently happening again when Russia decided to invade Ukraine. We saw the world come together in order to help the people of Ukraine. You saw people volunteering to go fight for them and doing whatever small things they can to help them. I wonder if we will ever have a normal start to a year again that doesn’t include a pandemic or wars. One thing that has come out is a new standard for a politicians which is to be more like the president of Ukraine. He step-up when the people needed him and did not escape but to help fight for freedom. It was incredible to see him set up like that.


Poetry, Peace, and Trust : International Event-2

This webinar was a very interesting even to attend because it highlighted how literature can be used to cope with the reality of how ugly the world can get. It went through Dr.Kate Viera’s full-bright work in Colombia pre-pandemic. She showed various pieces of work her students have done in relations to the violence and reality the face in everyday life. It was interesting how some of them had a complete different outlook. At the end of the webinar she tied everything together by talking about a famous Colombian tv-show that demonstrates how music and writing brings these teenagers together in a neighborhood run by crime. Since, I knew what show she was talking about I could picture what her message for this webinar was.


Upcoming New Leadership in China. How it Affects its Relationship with the USA- International Event:1

This past 8 weeks have been pretty insane in relations to the international events; well it can said for the past two years the world has been in full on chaos mode. This webinar went into detail on the history behind china’s leaders and their ideology, the assumption that new leadership turnover might occur, and finally what it could mean to its relationship with the US. The first third of the presentation went into the requirements that someone needs to hold in order to uphold a political office. Which was very interesting because even when we want to learn about the global community we fail to think about small things like what does it take to be a political figure in a Communist country. The second part of this event goes into detail prediction of who could take power next within the Chinese government. Finally, how it impacts us as another country which one of the topics that was covered was how the China wants to enhances their international role within the global community. This will be interesting to see how they push this since, China is not the most like country bases on their political ideas.


My Favorite Music (and everything else) of 2021

Looking back at my Favorite Albums of 2020 writeup, I realized how the album format was an important part of my relationship with music: albums were mirrors, vehicles, and companions that accompanied me through the confusion and crushed expectations of 2020. While I still love listening to albums, my music consumption took a new direction in 2021. I don’t think I could pull off writing about 10, let alone 50, albums that released this year, because there weren’t enough that resonated that deeply with me. What I do want to write about, though, is what my music consumption has evolved into: a comprehensive monthly reflection of my life experienced as…vibes. 😛

2021 was the most chaotic year of my life. The idea of “normal” was completely shattered and most of the time I couldn’t process all that was happening. This blog post is my attempt to reflect on my 2021 via a journey through music, art, and/or experiences I had at the time. I learned a lot this year and grew in ways I would have never imagined as I navigated life’s twists and turns.

Around autumn of 2020, I started making playlists of music framing my life experience that I can best describe as “sonic journals.” These sonic journals evolved, taking on the format of 1.5 – 2 hour playlists, loosely based around the idea of a radio show or a mixtape with two distinct 45-minute sides. The way this post is formatted shows the journal (framed as “episodes”) for each month of 2021, a description of the vibe, key songs/albums/artists/films/TV shows/books/whatever that formed the basis of the vibe, the episode’s tracklist, and a journal reflection of what I was feeling and experiencing at the time. It’s pretty different from an album of the year list, but ideally more meaningful. My hope is that these sonic journals can provide clarity, comfort, or connection to anyone reading who may relate to any part of it. At the very least, if you discover a song or anything else referenced that you end up enjoying, that would be cool too 🙂

Anyways, here’s my favorite music (and everything else) of 2021.

December 2020/January 2021. Ep008: Pinecore
January/February 2021. Ep009: White Velvet
February/early March 2021. Ep010: LLLLL
March 2021. Ep011: Home
April 2021. Ep012: Receptors
May 2021. Ep013: New York, I ____ You
June 2021. Ep014: Hot Spell
July 2021. Ep015: Head Cheerleader
August 2021. Ep016: The Rise of the Disco Samurai
September 2021. Ep017: Curaga
October 2021. Ep018: The Return of the Disco Samurai
November 2021. Ep019: Fluidity
December 2021. Ep020: The Vast

Asking my friend about her thoughts her first time flying overseas.

When I interviewed one of my best friends for the last couple of years about her first international flight to Costa Rica she told me this about the things she knew, what she learned, and her the best thing that came from it. Her response to the first question was that she we knew was Spanish because she got lost in the rain storm and couldn’t ask for directions to find the restaurant. The one thing she learned was that people can be okay with so little, since the towns are so small and people just seem so happy. The best thing that came from it was the food; the best coffee, fruit, and milks. This was so interesting to be since I was so small the first time I flew internationally and couldn’t remember my feelings. I felt so giddy talking to her about it because it reminded me about all the things I love about traveling.


Shimmering Lights

I remember growing up, after church on Wednesday or Sunday evenings, looking into the sky and picking out constellations of stars out of the sky. Even though I certainly couldn’t see all the stars, I remember being able to easily spend 5 minutes just looking up, observing what can only be described as a universal marvel. Sadly, due to the light pollution around Norman (and really most of the US and urban areas), looking into the sky, marveling at the stars, just isn’t really an option anymore. I might be able to pick out a handful of the brightest stars in the sky, but the rest are obscured, hidden by the luminescent excesses emitted by our cities.

            While I could consider myself impressed and engaged by the stars as a child, that wonder pales when compared to the importance of the astronomical bodies in Inka society. Steven Gullberg, an OU professor who has spent years researching how Inka architecture was influenced by the positions and movements of cosmological phenomena, gave a summary of his research on October 15 over Zoom. Within this presentation, it was remarkable to observe just how much of Inka culture was centered around the sky. For example, some of the Inka’s major cities, including Machu Picchu, were oriented with respect to each to mirror how the sun’s position would change throughout the year. The equinoxes were days of celebration for the Inka, and the sun was used to track when both agricultural and religious activities ought to occur. While today perhaps the starts hold more allure, for the Inka, the sun was both the literal and metaphorical bringer of life, and therefore occupied an incomparable position within society.

            While the sun was the most important astronomical body for the Inka, the Milky Way could, perhaps, be described as the most fantastically significant. It was a visual representation of parts of the Inka’s mythology of the cosmos and is clearly a magnificent representation of the beauty one can find in nature. I’ve never seen the Milky Way, but I hope I get the chance one day, maybe while hiking an ancient Inka road through the depths of the Andes.