Is it weird I’m already sad to be stepping down from VSA as an officer next year? Maybe. For the last two years, most of the things that I ever talk, or even dream about, relate to VSA. There is a certain irony here to be acknowledged. Before VSA, I was never particularly talkative. I’ve never had too many friends either. But things have changed since. Some say that in order to find yourself, you need to find what your passion is and pursue it. On a particular level, I think I’ve found a part of myself through VSA.
My dad left Vietnam with the clothes on his back, his older brother, and his nephew. When he set foot on a tiny boat to leave his childhood behind, he was only two years younger than I am today. After spending months in a refugee camp, the three of them were granted asylum in Canada. They were flown into Toronto and were placed in an ESL program. Not long after, my dad and his brother were transferred to a high school. Not surprisingly, my dad excelled in his physics and math classes, but struggled in his English class. He cites this as his greatest weakness.
While I wouldn’t exactly say I’m articulate, I can’t imagine what it would be like to constantly have people not understand me. My dad always says that I’ll be more successful than he’s been because I grew up here in the States and know English. Reflecting now, this is probably the reason why he pushed me so hard growing up. I know English. To me, my dad is brilliant – he graduated from the University of Toronto without his parents supporting him and does really cool computer engineering stuff in Microsoft I can hardly wrap my head around (so is my mom, but she deserves her own writing piece for another time). I’m not sure about the more successful thing, Dad……but we’ll see.
When I came to UW, I knew that I really wanted to join VSA. I grew up around a lot of non-Vietnamese people and I wanted to find people who had shared the same experience I had growing up - maybe strange dads who shared lots of stories and pushed them super hard too. I also wanted to find friends! College really needs to come up with a disclaimer that making obscure references/being awkward makes it kinda hard to find friends. So I joined it and became an officer too!
If someone were to ask me what my experience in VSA has been like as an officer, I would say that VSA has tested me in more ways than one. I’ve gone from being scared to voice my opinion, finding my voice, and even going back to being scared. In the last few weeks, however, it’s been amazing and humbling to see how much my fellow officers care about what VSA represents and does (even if we don’t agree all the time). It’s made me remember that despite whatever bumps that come along our path as an officer group, I realize that it will always be possible to overcome them, it just takes an extra push. We can get through it :)
— Albert Einstein
— Stardust - Neil Gaiman
— J.D Salinger, Franny and Zooey (via perfect)
Diane Ravitch on The Daily Show.
Ravitch is the queen. If only the government would listen…
We would also address poverty directly. We would increase the minimum wage and make post-secondary education cheap or free, and we’d improve improve unemployment benefits and offer free job-training to the unemployed.
Poverty is one of the few social ills where throwing money at the problem really does seem to work.
These are not radical, liberal ideas. In fact, in Europe most of them are associated with the more conservative parties, and many of them were associated with the American Republican party in the 80s. But the United States’s political climate is so different from anywhere else in the industrialized world that I fear we will just continue to get farther behind in education (and in % of people living in poverty) until we decide to make some big domestic investments.
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
― Mother Teresa
I suppose in the end, the whole life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye
laughed too hard at this
Chino Otsuka : Imagine Finding Me
Chino Otsuka uses photography and video to explore the fluid relationship between the memory, time and photography. At age 10 she moved from Japan to the United Kingdom to attend school. Her experience of becoming familiar with a new place, a different language and new customs while she was developing her adolescent identity has profoundly shaped her work in photography, video and writing. Her series Imagine Finding Me consists of double self-portraits, with images of her present self beside her past self in various places she has visited. As Otsuka says: “The digital process becomes a tool, almost like a time machine, as I’m embarking on the journey to where I once belonged and at the same time becoming a tourist in my own history.” - via AGO