Monday, November 30, 2015

Last Stop: Hot Spring, AR!

I'm sorry I forgot to post the last leg of my Fourth of July trip! Right after writing my draft, I completely forgot about it!

So, here's the last story about my road trip with my ex-roommate!

July 4th, 2015

I went to a small town next to Little Rock, AR called Hot Spring!

It's a small and old town, but the views are beautiful and it was pretty busy (with tourists), so my roommate and I had a great time relaxing!

We went to a hot spring museum. American and Japanese hot spring resorts are really different.。In Japan, the baths are separated by gender but there's only one bath for each gender. American bath houses also separate baths by gender, but each person has their own private bath tub to enjoy the hot spring's water!

I tried the hot spring water. It wasn't anything special; tasted like normal water to me! Haha!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Road trip with my Roommate!!

Dear America,

Happy Birthday!!!!

Heh heh heh ^_^

This weekend I'm driving to San Antonio Texas with me roommate! It'll be out last time hanging out together so I hope we can have a lot of fun!

Yesterday, we went to see Nashville's Parthenon. It was really big and pretty!

Next stop: Little Rock Arkansas!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

New York

I just came back from Middletown, New York!

It was so much fun! I spent a lot time with my boyfriend "studying", eating out and takin walks!

We also went out to an all vegetarian Chinese restaurant with his friends. It was hands down the best vegetarian meal I ever had!

I had their homemade tofu cheesecake. It was really good!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I just finished sightseeing in Philadelphia!!

It's a wonderful city. There's so much to see and explore! Plus there are a lot of caf├ęs, restaurants. And the pace in the city is great - not too busy or too slow. It's truly a great city to visit!!

I also did a school visit to Thomas Jefferson University. The school's located in the middle of downtown. When I sat down outside during lunch, I saw many doctors and nurses walking here and there. A really different feeling than at the Ohio State University's med center. The occupational therapy program sounds great too!

Philly is definitely somewhere I can see myself living at. I loved it!

My next stop is Middletown New York for the 2nd time! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Fortune Cookie's Message

Next week I'll be going to Philadelphia to visit a graduate school!
I'll be visiting Thomas Jefferson University. I'll be also sightseeing by myself. It's my first time doing this, so I'm really excited for this trip!

I started to pack tonight, and when I emptied out my backpack I found a fortune cookie message! Here's the message:

I think it means that when you're loved by others, you learn how to love. At the same time, when you love others, you begin to understand how much you're loved. What a great saying!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Us the Duo

Have you heard of this music duo?

US the Duo
(Michael & Carissa Alvarado)
"Missin' You Like Crazy"

This was the first video I saw of them. I started listening to them when I began my long-distance relationship.

I love this couple! They mostly do covers of songs, but they also write their own songs. Their voices complement each other - it's so nice to listen to!

They're also happily married! According to their official website, they're musicians who lived on different sides of the country but fell in love. On YouTube, the proposal and their wedding videos have been posted. They also wrote their vows as a song, and it's featured in the animated film The Book of Life

"No Matter Where You Are"

I think anyone can see how much they love each other. Their love travels far into listeners' hearts, which is why I wanted to share their music with you!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Is "Follow Your Passion" Bad Advice?

Are you following your passion?  Where did it take you?

Ever since I was little my passion was to help people.  If I ever see someone who needs help, my heart goes out to them and I do my best to assist them.

I thought that was fine until I realized it wasn't helpful during my job search.  I was confused about what kind of job I could do with my passion and became discouraged.  "Helping people" as a passion is very broad, and it didn't help me decide on what kind of career I wanted.  

I worried a lot about my future.  I worried and stressed over questions like "What do I want to do in the future" or "What kind of company or field did I want to work in?".

One night, I watched a video on LinkedIn that changed me.  It was Cal Newport giving a lecture about why "Follow You Passion" is bad advice.  His reasoning was that it's not useful if you don't know your passion.  Even if you do know it that doesn't mean you'll ending up liking what you're doing.

He pointed out three steps that'll help people love what they do:

1) Don't follow your passion.

2) Develop and work on a skill that'll be valuable

3) Do Deep Work

Deep Work is a task that is cognitively challenging but rewarding.  If you do Deep Work, it'll improve the skill you've decided to work on and may even help you find your passion.  Most often than not, passion is found accidentally.

After watching that video, my eyes were opened.  Having a successful career isn't reliant on passion.  Concentrating on your skill helps you find your passion, and you work because you want to nurture your passion.  That's different from what most of society thinks.

Did you find this post interesting?  I think Cal Newport's video is really good so here's the link:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My boyfriend's present

Hey everyone!

Valentine's Day has past last week!!  Sorry I didn't post this sooner (it's been a busy week).  I spent my V-day visiting my boyfriend in New York!  He's studying at a DO school in Middletown, NY.  We had a lot of fun studying/hanging out together!

Here's what he got me for Valentine's Day!

My boyfriend's gift

What do you think about homemade gifts from a guy?  My boyfriend likes to draw (and he's pretty good at it!) so he sometimes gives me drawings.  He even wrote in Japanese even though he hasn't formally studied the language!  It looks great, even if there's one small mistake in it (for Japanese learners, can you find it?).  Still, it's great!

Coffee + Kisses at a NY Starbucks

The Hershey chocolates are also special, though the actual chocolate is not special at all.  He wrote little instructions at the bottom of each Hershey Kiss.  They say things like, "Get a Kiss", "Massage...mmm..." and "Why I love you".  Basically it's a V-day game: when you eat one Kiss the other person has to follow the instructions written underneath it.  We played the whole time we were together, and it was really sweet.  <3

So all in all my NY trip was romantic and sweet!  Hope your holiday was great too!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

"That Summer Day"

Recently, I found a Japanese picture book at the library's small bookstand.  I was surprised to see it on the shelf since the library doesn't typically sell foreign books.  However, this book has beautiful pictures and is also translated in English.  I don't really need the English translation (the Japanese isn't too difficult to understand), but it did help with some of the vocabulary.

"On That Summer Day"

The book is called Ano Natsu no Hi, translated as "On That Summer Day".  It's about the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, one of the two towns that has ever experienced the nuclear power of an atomic bomb.  After flipping through some of the pages, I became interested in the book but I didn't have enough money or time to think about seriously buying it.  Instead, I thought, "If I see it again I'll buy it" as I walked out.  The next time I went to the library though, it was there!  In less than a second I bought it without thinking . . .

But it's a great book.  It really moves readers' hearts.  The story is written in third person, but it also talks about the everyday lives of the people who lived in Nagasaki at that time.  The pictures helps move readers to understand the atrocity and the serious consequences of what nuclear weapons can do.

A page from "On That Summer Day"

My favorite passage from the book is this:

War springs from a spirit of hatred and conflict.
Atomic bombs were born from a spirit of fear and doubt.
But human beings are also capable of love, trust,
understanding and tolerance.
It is this spirit of love will bring world peace

and that will make atomic bombs unnecessary.

The author's wish is for nuclear weapons to go away one day, but I'm not sure if that's possible.  It's a nice dream, but I don't think countries with nuclear weapons will ever give them up.  It wouldn't be like them and no country wants to be vulnerable to attacks like that (or at least give up their power to retaliate in case there's a nuclear risk).  But it's a nice dream, isn't it?

Valentine Chocolate!

I received Valentine chocolate from my parents!
It was a box of chocolate covered strawberries and they were de-li-cious!!!

Although the box said the strawberries had different flavors, I really couldn't tell (haha!).

But to my mom and dad, thanks!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Outstanding Mentor-Mentee Award

(Jackie, Pring and me)

Tonight I accepted the Outstanding Mentor-Mentee Award from the Mentoring Center of Columbus! 

I was nominated through Healthy Asian Youth.  What is that, you say?  Healthy Asian Youth (HAY) is a program created to help kids from the Columbus West Side.  It focuses on education and good mentorship, which is why they are always looking for more volunteers to help with math, English and just being there for the kids.  I've been volunteering with this NPO for over 3 years now and I've love the kids there.

I have to be honest though.  Lately, I haven't been going to HAY so it felt wrong to accept an award like this.  But Jackie and Pring always tell me "You're the best volunteer ever!".  So I'm very thankful for them and to have this award now.  But seriously, they are some of the greatest teens I've ever met.  I'm lucky to have met them and get to hang out with such awesome guys.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Columbus State Community College (CSCC)

Winter semester has begun!  This semester, my classes are at CSCC's main campus.  When I went to campus for my first class, this was my first view of the college:

Isn't it amazing?  This bridge connects the parking garage and the student center.  I was blown away by the design and just the whole look of it!

This was the view from the bridge (I was walking from the parking garage).  Have to say, not sure if there's any other place I could take such a beautiful picture.

Despite being a community college, CSCC is surprisingly a very good place to get a good education!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Meeting my friend Mr. Gohan

Today will be a memorable day.

I had my last lunch and conversation with my long time friend, Gohan-san.  (Gohan is rice in japanese.  Gohan-san is the nickname I came up with for my friend a long time ago, and so for his privacy I'm using it for this post . . . though anyone who knows him will know exactly who I'm talking about).

We had a blast talking about the past!  He revealed to me that we've known each other for more than 9 years.  I couldn't believe it - but it's true!  We first met 9 years ago freshman year in our first Japanese class.  Since then we've shared a number of experiences: going on a class trip to Japan, participating in theater club together and, of course, being in the same Japanese class for 4 years in a row.  ^__^  Yes, good times...

Tomorrow, Gohan-san will be moving to California to work at Intel.  Since his new job won't use his Japanese skills, he believes his Japanese skills will decline.  Unfortunately, that's the sad reality for us if we don't practice our language abilities.

In fact, that is my fear for my own language ability.  Especially now that I've embarked on a new career path into occupational therapy.  When I write my Japanese posts now, I have to constantly use various resources to write a short, simple paragraph!  T__T

But I can't give up.  Just because I've started studying to become an OT doesn't mean I have to stop my Japanese studies!  If I keep practicing, I know I definitely won't forget what I've learn!

Because I only have myself to blame if I forget my Japanese.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hello There!

Hi everyone!  Let me introduce myself!

I began studying Japanese when I was a freshman in high school.  The biggest reason why I chose that language was because of anime and manga (like most American high school students who choose Japanese).  I quickly learned to love more than just that though.  I grew to love the complexity of the Japanese society, the subtle beauty and tranquility in its art and the Japanese people I came to know.

I am now a recent graduate with a BA degree in Japanese and Comparative Folklore.  After college, I quickly became stagnant in my Japanese studies.  Even though I could use Japanese at my first professional job, after a year the company began to fall into serious disarray and I quit.  I then embarked on a new career path (which I'll share in future posts).

Unfortunately, since then I haven't had many opportunities to use my Japanese skills I've been improving on since high school.  I started this blog primarily to help me maintain my Japanese writing skills.  My goal is to share with you what I'm doing post-college with a humanity degree, as well as share how I am doing now.  However, I felt it was unfair for me to only share my thoughts and my life in Japanese, so I am also starting an English version of this blog.

More to come later!  I'm not sure if I'll be able to post every week but I will try!