Implications of BTS winning a BBMA

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Last night, history was made. Today as I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, all of a sudden, I saw video clips by CNN International, Buzzfeed, NowThis, and other such websites that had seven familiar faces on them. And then, the articles, one after another trying to figure out who BTS is, how’d they even get here, what is ARMY, etc etc

BTS, or Bangtan Boys or, in the original Korean, 방탄소년단, were the first K-Pop group to be invited to the Billboard Music Awards ceremony. They won the Top Social Media Artist, a position that also had artists like Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Shawn Mendes. PSY was the last Korean artist to be invited, in 2013, for his smash hit “Gangnam Style”.

As someone who instinctively analyzes everything and is in a major that encourages such mentality, I naturally saw this as both an exciting event as a BTS fan and also as a social scientist in training. Allow me to unwrap the BBMA win and it’s implications in several fields: Continue reading “Implications of BTS winning a BBMA”


The Power and Responsibility of the Internet

I think I’m going to integrate TED talks into my life more. I realize now that I watch a lot of random videos as break (usually funny videos/music videos/reaction videos) but I can surely also fit in a video to make me think and to expand my world in my YouTube break session.

I watched this video today titled “Ten Reasons to Stop Apologizing for your Online Life”

Continue reading “The Power and Responsibility of the Internet”

I Love Asians Sign?!?!?!

When I walked back to my study table from the restroom something caught my eye…

It was a loud, blatant sign that said I LOVE ASIANS. And guess what, folks? It was on the laptop of some white guy. And I’m pretty sure that sitting across from him was an Asian chick (His friend? Girlfriend?). Either way, just…really? REALLY NOW?

Sorry for being blunt but that’s honestly disgusting. This is a fruit of Asian people being fetishized. Seriously. Like you’re going to use the same sign to say things like I love bacon, I love Beyonce, and then you’re going to use it to say that you like a certain group of people? Continue reading “I Love Asians Sign?!?!?!”

Reconstruction of the Blog!

A big hello to all my lovely readers~ I hope your day is going well because you, my friend, are a wonderful person, don’t you forget that! 🙂

*This post is mostly administrative. I’ve changed how I organize my posts in (I hope) a better way to navigate between all the topics I write about on my blog.*

Slice of My Life has posts stemming from my personal life. Things like faith, random thoughts, and updates about how my studies are going. Brain Children is the branch containing my material: poetry and prose. Brain Sparks are very different than the Brain Children tab. Brain Sparks has posts that are a result of my brain being interested, or sparked (ahahahahaha clever Ashley, clever) into following a rabbit trail to some topic. Academia has posts that are mostly reflections about what I’m learning in class. It’s a new category and I’m hoping to fill it up more and push myself to think more critically about what I’m learning in class. And last but not least is Hallyu, where I both analyze and fangirl Hallyu in all it’s spectacular glory and layers.

I hope that clears things up a bit more! And hopefully this new layout of the blog will make it easier to find something interesting to read~

Happy reading! Enjoy your stay on Wings, Ashes, and Lights and please do come back to visit!

Thank you thank you thank you for swinging by~ 🙂


Shine Some Light!

Do you ever have that moment when you see someone but you’re never sure if you should wave or say hi or not? What if they don’t see you? Or worse, what if they do but ignore you? Or, even more than that, what if you get into an awkward conversation that seems obligated?

Being back on campus, I’ve definitely seen some familiar faces and have hesitated or not done anything. But just now, I was pleasantly surprised.

Continue reading “Shine Some Light!”



-wait, did I? I mean, don’t take it personally dear firewall-free Internet, but it was kind of nice being away. It’s not you, it’s me. *starts laughing because it sounds like some breakup line*

I wrote that I’d write posts while I was in China, didn’t I? And that I might get back onto my blog to make sure everyone knew I was alive? I mean, I technically could have with the magic that is VPN, but I didn’t. I was honestly way too busy with everything and it felt nice to be away from it all. Now, this isn’t to say that I haven’t spent some of my time back scrolling through social media (I have, I so have). But at the same time, now after having my first delicious taste of traveling the world on my own, I’m more keen to explore my world more rather than wasting time in front of a screen.

Continue reading “BACK FROM CHINA”

It’s Been a Year!

Today I was greeted with the pleasant news that it’s been a year since I started blogging! Crazy, isn’t it? It seems like it’s been much longer, probably because of university and all my posts in between. I mean, this is my 162nd post and believe it or not, I actually have 110 people following my blog. I didn’t think that I was that interesting, so thank you to each of you 110 beautiful people for following Wings, Ashes, and Lights. I will work hard to make this blog with your time 🙂

This was my first blog post. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, and actually it wasn’t my idea to start blogging. My dad was the one who planted the seed in my mind when he saw me being a slug at home during the summer. (ah, well, not much has changed in that sense though…) It fermented it my mind for a while and then one day when I was wallowing in my boredom, I decided to actually do it. And I’m so glad I did.

This blog is my way to organize my thoughts on anything that sparks my interest. My followers have probably gotten used to my posts oscillating from religious rants to fangirling over kpop to poetry to travel stories. And although this blog isn’t perfect, I’m extremely proud of where it is now. It’s like keeping an online journal and it’s cool to click through my past posts and see how it was in that moment of time. Although I’m not a pro yet (still don’t really know what all the side buttons on the dashboard mean…), I’m going to strive to get there.

So again, thank you to everyone who stopped by this blog to read some tidbit of mine. Whether you clicked on this from Facebook by my incessant posts, stumbled across this while looking for kpop reviews, or just clicked on my link perchance, thank you. Here’s to another year then, of Wings, Ashes, and Lights!

Who Remembers Zack and Cody?

I was scrolling through Facebook (mindlessly. again…) and was trying to find something to write about. I told myself to post once a day some sort of writing to keep me exercising my brain and avoid being lazy. And lo and behold, the random posts of Facebook gave me something interesting to talk about.


Raise your hand (yes, you) if you ever watched The Suite Life of Zack and Cody when you were younger. (pauses) Yup, pretty much everyone reading this blog. I mean, who didn’t love the show? All of the twins’ crazy antics, Cody being a nerd and the more sensible one, Zack being the wilder child (I still remember when he pronounced bleach ‘bleckk’ XD), and the hotel staff, and London and Maddie breaking stereotypes by being the Asian airhead and blonde smart girl…

Ah, memories~

Continue reading “Who Remembers Zack and Cody?”


Today is officially my third day of summer, folks! I’m back in Montreal and it feels right but slightly off. Not in a bad way but it’s like my environment remained the same but now it’s occupant (me) is different. Ah well, I should have expected this.

This is the first summer that I’m excited for. Or no, wait, perhaps a better way to say it is that I’m really excited for this summer because I have things I want to accomplish:

  • Research/learn more about Korean history, Asian history. This was started from my Korean Civilization class I took last semester. I feel like my brain has been expanded and now I’m craving to learn more and educate myself about the history of my motherland and issues around the world. It’s like it’s waiting for me to discover, for the taking.
  • Learn Mandarin! (and maybe some Japanese along the way) Because I’m going to Beijing in July to take two classes at Peking University! I will dedicate a post in my Adventures Abroad tab about this opportunity later~
  • Record my songs/compile them into an album, because wow I actually wrote a good number of songs during Freshman year, come to think of it.
  • Exercise! Well, I mean, my entire family is going to do this so that’ll be a fun project.

My end game overall is to come back to Iowa better than when I left it. This summer needs to be effective and efficient. If anything, this post is just a note to myself, something to keep myself accountable because I really need to be smart about how I use these three months until school starts again.


A Beautiful Irony


I almost forgot what spring looked like. I was surprised one day to see, miraculously, tiny splashes of colour throughout campus. A splotch of vibrant green against gray buildings, or a tiny bud of purple on a previously dead tree. Now, campus is fully alive with brilliant colours everywhere.

My favorite trees are the ones pictures above. Yes, yes, I went on about how beautiful colours are but look at this tree. The white flowers dotting the branches almost look like snow stuck on the branches. Ironic, isn’t it? Just as spring comes in at full spring, there’s this type of tree reminding of us winter.