A Full Heart

My heart is so full.

 

I didn’t understand this phrase when I first heard it, but I get it now; my heart is so full and it’s a beautiful, wonderful, marvelous thing.

 

My heart is full with names, faces, smiles, laughter, memories, the taste of strawberry ice cream, the sweat from an intense game of ping pong, laughter as I learn the Arabic alphabet, the satisfaction of properly picking an apple, the sweetness of a long overdue cupcake run, the warmth from a smile from a stranger, the slight crinkle in eyes that hint to a fond memory.

 

I didn’t know that I could pour out into so many different lives and absorb this much. I’m amazed that my heart has this much capacity, and it doesn’t feel like I’m going to dry up any time soon; it rather feels like I’ve only scratched the surface. There are so many wonderful people in the world, people that God wants me to meet, people with fascinating stories and beautiful smiles.

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A Letter to my Chemistry Professor

Dear Professor,

When I heard your voice at the cafe, I felt as if I was somehow transported back to my first semester freshman year, in your Chemistry class of one hundred odd Honors students. I remember how passionate your voice was as you taught us about bonds and solutions as if they were the most fascinating thing in the world, which, to you, they were. And although I have never liked Chemistry, when I heard the excitement and reverence in your voice as you shared with us a snippet of your field of expertise, I started to respect and honor Chemistry for the first time. I still do not like it to this day but I can respect it for the field it is and the people who have dedicated their lives to the field.

I wanted to thank you for teaching Chemistry so passionately, but you were in a conversation with another professor. I hope that this letter will be enough to share with you the impact you had on my life, in a way that you probably didn’t anticipate.  Continue reading

Arirang: The Layers of a Much Loved Song

//I wrote this as a response to “Song of Ariran” by Kim San and Nym Wales, a reading assigned from my Modern Korean history class. It was about the life of a Korean rebel who before the age of fifteen, lived in Tokyo, Manchuria, and Shanghai chasing after Korea’s independence among exiles and diaspora. It was the most personal response (because it was a free form reaction) and the most intimate response among the history major responses. Fair enough, because I am a Korean American, and these events can be traced back within my family history…

I knew before reading this piece that Arirang was in fact a sad song. It is a song that today is immediately linked to Korea. There are remakes of the song, but more along the lines of pop music, rap songs, or dance covers, rather than the original remakes that landed people in jail for the revolutionary lyrics. I originally knew Arirang from it’s version talking about lovers; reading this piece expanded my connotation of the song.

 

For some reason, I have a tendency to get emotional when I listen to Arirang, and this began before I knew the meaning of the lyrics. Something about the melody was yearning, raw, and powerful, never failing to draw tears from my eyes (which is ironic considering I never lived in Korea and don’t know all of its culture). Perhaps is it part of the inner Korean crying out, the blood of my ancestors? I’m not sure.

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A New Appreciation for Ballads

I used to not like ballads/slow songs. They were too slow and sometimes had no meaning or emotion. It seemed like some were slow because there had to be a slow song on an album, as if fulfilling some quota. I also thought that ballads were only for when someone was sad. Ballads were almost always about love, anyway. Why listen to someone mourning over one sided love over a breakup? Please, I don’t need any more angst in my life.

But now, I’m appreciating ballads more. When I do find a good ballad, I feel like it’s finding a shining jewel. The emotions are all there, sparkling and wrapped in beautiful colors that seep through the song. And then it’s not the emotions or the tempo that matter; it’s the combination of everything that makes it beautiful.

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My Weird Talent: Phonetic Accommodation

No one believes me. Not even my family; they think I’m trying to be cool or something. They tell me to stop doing it, stop trying to impress people, just stop it.

But I can’t. 

And I finally decided to do some research into it.

I think it started when I was in grade school? I remember we were walking through some impressive executive building with lots of glass windows and my family was together and I started doing some faux British accent, copying what the EPL (English Premier League) commentators said during soccer games. It was entertaining to my grandparents; apparently, it was hilarious to see me doing this somewhat British accent.

But then as I grew older, I realized something bizarre;

I started to do it unconsciously. Or, maybe I did it before or I hadn’t interacted with people with noticeable accents before.

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injustice

My Facebook newsfeed has been recently depressing but I’d rather it be like that than live in ignorance to what is going on in the country I live in.

People are being killed.

killed

(even the word itself sounds harsh, wrong, inhuman)

killed because of how

they

look?!

I’m sorry, I must have seen that wrong. Because surely, our society has risen above such childish perspectives? No.

Because it isn’t childish, it’s systematic, it’s what we’ve heard, what we’ve constantly seen on the TV screen, what we’ve eventually absorbed, instinctively

All the studies come out saying that we view our black brothers and sisters differently but okay. so?

so,

this happens.

alton sterling. philando castile. and this only this week. added on top of the long list of others who were killed

killed

murdered

because

of

how

 

they

 

 

looked. 

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