Hello everyone, hope you are well today! Inspired by a post I read on Tony Burgess’s post, “The Thing About: The Virus“, I thought about various efforts to help find a cure and treatment for COVID-19.
IBM’s World Community Grid allows anyone with a computer, smartphone, or tablet to donate their unused processing power to advance scientific research on various topics ranging from health, poverty and sustainability. I’ve been a member for several years. It’s neat when I take a step away to eat lunch or a jog, my computer is playing a part in helping perform calculations for AIDS research.
You can learn more about their current projects here: Active Research You can learn more about their program here: About
Just when I think I’m going to be doing haikus for the rest of the year due to my tight schedule…
Blogger “Normal Happenings” has tagged me in an interesting challenge that seems to coincide with a random daily horoscope I received a few days ago from a free Vedic astrology app called Yodha. (By the way, I like your new branding! It’s bold and glowing like a neon sign. 🙂 )
Happy new year! For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome! Thank you so much for following my blog, and I will be swinging by to read yours as well. I see a lot of new faces out there, and I just want to say hi! This is my fun, personal blog where I typically write about all sorts of subjects in a variety of formats: poetry, story, photo-story, music. I’m about to start another blog for school related stuff, but that’ll be shared on another post!
You may wonder how did I encounter Vedic astrology? Well! One day, I was chatting with a young lady about the staggering synchronicity in both our lives, and she told me about how she regularly talks to her Vedic astrologist for all sorts of decisions. She said that she made some of the best business decisions of her life with his guidance and that it is a lot more accurate than western astrology. I was skeptical because there are a lot of quacks out there as you well know, but intrigued nevertheless.
So, I downloaded the free Yodha Daily Horoscope app where authentic Vedic astrologists from Nepal share with you their insights. I started learning more about it. Apparently there are Indian universities that offer advanced courses in Vedic astrology despite scientists protesting about it being a pseudoscience. Jyotisha is the traditional system of Hindu astrology. Its etymology is from the Sanskrit term, “jyoti” meaning “light heavenly body”. The term Vedic astrology came about later around the 70s.
Below are the sort of messages I get. This is one I received this morning:
“Due to your nature, you are a rather positive person. You are someone who can find a silver lining in most of the situations. Perhaps you are aware of this gift and know how to implement it. At times, you can put a smile on your face even when the circumstances don’t naturally warrant it and in doing so you can spread good vibrations to others. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that not everyone has that gift and you may be dealing with someone who doesn’t. The planets are encouraging you to show how it’s done.”
Astrologer P. Bhattarai
Anyway, back to the horoscope that inspired this post! She mentioned how when time and money permits, I enjoy traveling to an exotic locale and experiencing new things. However, lately, I may be seeking a more spiritual experience which may not be a physical location: a journey to understand myself better, gain a deeper understanding of myself, be more conscious and aware. I thought Daily Inkling’s prompt might help me explore this arena!
“Write 24 talking points between current you and you from seven years ago. Consider teaching yourself something you’ve picked up since then.“
Seven years ago was the year 2013. A pivotal point in my life: the beginning of a lot of new things, drastic changes to my lifestyle. This is a rare occasion when all of my category boxes on my blog have been checked! I’ve chosen 24 random topics to discuss in no particular order: then vs. now!
2013: Grocery store cashier – Served a lot of people from all walks of life! I love to meet new people and listening to their stories.
2020: Technical writer for a cybersecurity firm & vacation business manager – nice balance between the two!
I read a lot of books during both years, but I’ll just mention two for now:
2013:Shantaram, an epic, philosophical tale of an Australian convict opening up clinics in the slums of India
“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. Some things are so sad that only your soul can do the crying for them.”
2020:The Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How to be Happy – People worldwide share unique testimonials of what made them happy
Optimism isn’t frivolous: it’s necessary. If we feel hopeless all the time, if we’re always in crisis, the natural response is to give up and stop trying altogether. But we can’t let snark win. Problems are there to be solved. Challenges, to be met. We can be aware of the bad while also being mindful of how we can make it better. … Empathy is essential, and learning what matters to people on the other side of the world helps us all. Understanding how different nations view happiness can impact how we interact with one another going forward.
2013: Friends were there to lift my spirits, give me warm cup of tea when going through a new challenge, have fun in the cosplay contests at school. Really enjoyed checking out the Ghostbusters!
2020: All of the above still applies, but my friendships seem to have more depth and honesty. Also, true friendship has a way of helping me see things in myself that I didn’t think was capable.
2013: I took my family and friends to check out the Arboretum gardens in Dallas, TX during special holidays like Mother’s Day
2020: I hope to visit Vanderpool, TX sometime and bask in the warm glow of the “lost maple trees” during autumn
2013: Infatuated by a gentle young man I met one beautiful autumn day while feeding the birds at the pier down by the lake. A rather electrifying meeting, though the relationship never developed due to my fear of commitment.
2020: Enjoying a long term relationship of 4 years. Its been a dream come true filled fun adventures, humor, and passion with the normal ups and downs of life.
2013: Attended community college on a digital forensics academic track. The most memorable project was where I developed a website for a hypothetical geologist living in Colorado. He was studying various types of gemstones he found during his excavations. I researched stories of legends surrounding their origin.
2020: Currently working on an online masters program for technology and innovation management track. The most memorable project so far involved a hypothetical four million dollars granted to me to develop a civil engineering software application from start to finish.
7) Volunteer Cause
2013: I worked with a group of friends with Habitat for Humanity. Learned a lot about house building and painting!
2020: Currently helping a school teacher collect cans and plastics with the Rotary Club for a contest with Pepsi Co.
2013: Had a thing for barre workouts!
2020: About to do Hot Yoga with my cowokers!
2013: Back when Google+ was around, I heavily got involved with a sustainability discussion group for many hours. The discussions intrigued me. I wanted to learn how to be eco-friendly and be up to date with all of it.
2020: I’m itching to get plugged into community initiatives regarding sustainability issues. They’re looking for ideas, and I hope to contribute in someway!
2013: I fancied the idea of being a student blogger on campus. I applied, but was turned down for the position. It may have been because the writing sample I sent was about the sound of a lovely bell ringing off in the distance as I was walking around the campus lake to class. Maybe they want more samples about student life? 🙂
Below is the walkway of the lovely campus I used to walk by often.
2020: Didn’t matter! Here I am blogging my heart out on my own without anyone else’s approval! I don’t know why I thought of it sooner! 😉
Blogging my thoughts has been a freeing, exciting experience. Thank you to my readers for making the experience so worthwhile!
12) Fashion Interests
2013: Bold floral-print Sunday dresses
2020: Bandage skirts, Currently love them! Sorry no picture of me in them, but I love to wear them with leggings
2013: 30 Rock, CSI Miami, Supernatural, Glee
2020: Meteor Garden, Witcher, Miraculous Lady Bug
2013: Frozen, Iron Man III, Man of Steel, The Croods, Monsters University
2020: Star Wars (2019), want to see Mulan, Artemis Fowl, Sonic
There were a lot of news stories that deeply affected me and my path trajectory.
2013: Nelson Mandela’s death, Boston Marathon bombing, Edward Snowden
Nelson Mandela was a leader whom I was captivated by. Boston Marathon and Edward Snowden prompted my interests in security.
The news story above impacts me because it deals with one of my favorite childhood pastimes. My first major Lego project was a pirate ship. Always fascinated by adventure even then! Will be going to a Lego Brick Fiesta event with some friends this year to indulge in this interest!
2013: Followed Maria Sharapova tennis matches quite a bit since I practiced developing my forearm swing at the tennis courts!
2020: I might go check out some Spurs basketball players play! Matt Bonner signed my basketball. He was so down-to-earth and friendly!
2013: I was really curious about consumer drones. Always felt tempted to buy one to take awesome aerial photos and videos from the sky!
2020: Right now, I’m super curious about the Click and Grow smart garden!
18) Favorite Hang-out spots
2013: White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX
I enjoyed walking sections around this park almost every day. Seeing the scenery change with the seasons is a great beauty. I once walked around the whole park which took four hours! There are some incredibly beautiful views, expansive hiking trails, fishing spots. There’s also a well known ghost story as well about the Lady of White Rock Lake! One of my favorite memories is sitting on a wooden bench on top of a hill and seeing the sunset as the breeze is blowing the tall grasses.
2020: Riverwalk & Pearsall Park in San Antonio, TX
I enjoy walking downtown and checking out the riverboats with curious spectators gliding by in this river. At night, it’s bustling with tourist activity. Families and couples are dining in the restaurants. Some of my favorite memories here was when my brother visited me and we got to listen to a beautiful mariachi band singing a lovely serenade and when my boyfriend and I celebrated Christmas slow dancing in the island platform.
I love to go jogging here with my exercise buddy early mornings! The fields and the hills are incredible. Breathing in the fresh cold air is refreshing.
2013: I was trying to continue my Spanish studies on Babbel
2020: Duolingo’s mascot, a little owl, has been guiding me in learning Spanish and Vietnamese basics. It’s been fun learning from their podcasts too!
2013: For an English literature assignment, I had the opportunity to watch a live Shakespearean comedic play, Taming of the Shrew.
2020: Curious about the Miss Saigon musical in town!
2013: Fascinated by Google’s chart that compiled deforestation rates by country
2020: Currently checking out Mongobay’s environmental snippet summary
2013: Learned about Healthcare.gov’s crashing website as millions of Americans tried to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Stress is relative though!
2020: Everyone around me is getting the flu! Got my flu shot. Learning about personalized AI medical care innovations
2013: Played Juice Cubes a bit!
2020: Curious about Smash Hit and Megaman Zero!
24) Quote I lived by
2013: Eleanor Roosevelt impacted me from an early age.
“Do the thing you think you cannot do. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”
2020: Right now, these below! More to come later!
Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
That was fun! See you soon everyone! Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂
Hello everyone! I first saw this challenge on Winnie’s blog in which I enjoyed the beauty she explores. Sadje at Keep it Alive has found this scavenger hunt, and she invited her followers along. So, I decided to tag along as well!
Find something that makes you happy
Currently I’m feeling good as I am building a website for a church while listening to an enjoyable tropical deep house playlist. I’m learning so many concepts! I love coding with a programming language and creating something beautiful out of the lines of characters.
Something to give someone else to make them smile
I recently helped fund raise to help a friend build his own computer by selling books. It was a lot of fun to help him build it from scratch and a fantastic learning experience! It’s a tight squeeze, but slowly getting there. Once the zip ties are in place, we’ll wrap it up. 😉
Find one thing that you love to smell
I enjoy visiting the Pier 1 Import store. Colorful, bright, with a peaceful ambiance. I came across a lovely scent “Pink Champagne” as I stopped by the candle section.
Find one thing you enjoy looking at
I enjoyed viewing this fun pillow with flamingos. 🙂
Find something that’s your favorite color
Stopped by this dream of a store called Sam Moon’s! I was “window shopping” as I enjoyed checking out these fun, unique accessories. Tassels and pineapples are trending!
Find something that you are thankful for in nature
I bought two bonsai plants at a nursery for my brother’s college graduation and mom’s mother’s day gift. They both really enjoy plants.
Find something that you can use to make a gift for someone
It’s teacher’s appreciation week and my last day volunteering with the youth literacy group this year. I made gifts for the teacher and the two boys. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it!
Find something that is useful for you
This book caught my attention while hanging out at a friend’s place. The title stood out to me on the shelf, and my friend let me borrow it. According to Amazon, Mr. Kahneman’s book explores how we think and our cognitive biases in a nutshell. Something I will skim to explore why I make the choices I do! 🙂
Well that wraps it up! Much gratitude to all of you for stopping by! Hope you find pockets of gratitude in your lives! See you in a bit! 😉
“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”
Fueling the Desire to Rise Up to the Challenge
This past school year I have been volunteering with a local youth literacy group helping improve the reading levels of two second graders. It all started when I was listening to a young girl I encountered while helping sell books and other types of media at a local flea market with my friends. She told me she hated reading and as a teacher’s pet, she only reads during school.
I have to admit that her statement stung a bit. The love of reading has been instilled in me ever since I was a young girl. The library is my second home and it was where I felt the mental freedom to explore. Even if it wasn’t hers, there are so many stories out there that I think she would enjoy!
At my school, there was a research symposium at my school where I read the poster about literacy research. According to its community profile, San Antonio has the 2nd highest illiteracy rate in Texas. According to the US Census 2005, even though it ranks 7th among US cities in population, it is 60th in literacy. (Source: City of San Antonio Planning and Development Services Department. Statistics and Map Book. Rev. February, 2010. )
After catching up with a former colleague who is now the youngest state representative in our state legislature and listening to his teaching experiences, I felt inspired and decided to sign up to be a volunteer to understand the common problems that these kids were facing.
Reading Buddy Experience
“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”
I was pretty excited to learn more about the two students I was assigned to. I enjoyed learning about the boys’ families and friends, what they love, and what they want to be when they grow up. It was difficult at first because they didn’t like the books that the program had selected. So I invited the boys to browse the shelves for a book they would like. They introduced me to the world of Mo Willems. Apparently, they already treasured the adventures in any book written by Mo Willems.
“If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.”
I showed them an atlas, and they seemed really excited to learn that there was a world outside their bubble. They enjoyed following along the words of my origami book. I read them stories from RL Stine and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I really enjoyed this experience, and come to deeply care about these kids.
“Fairy tales in childhood are stepping stones throughout life, leading the way through trouble and trial. The value of fairy tales lies not in a brief literary escape from reality, but in the gift of hope that goodness truly is more powerful than evil and that even the darkest reality can lead to a Happily Ever After. Do not take that gift of hope lightly. It has the power to conquer despair in the midst of sorrow, to light the darkness in the valleys of life, to whisper “One more time” in the face of failure. Hope is what gives life to dreams, making the fairy tale the reality.”
“Life’s a dance, you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. Don’t worry ’bout what you don’t know, life’s a dance, you learn as you go.” – John Michael Montgomery’s Lyrics to “Life is a Dance”
*Note: This post is longer than usual only because there’s a lot of heart-to-heart moments and history of the origins of my blog here! If you don’t like the warm, fuzzy feelings, you have been forewarned! 😀
Hello! This morning I really wanted to hit the snooze button on my alarm clock, but stopped myself. I am helping the owners of a local book shop called Dead Tree Books install some wood carving business signs I help them create. In this digital age, I thought this couple took a leap of faith opening a book store. Most people I know use their Kindle app as Fandango mentioned in his Stream of Consciousness post. Yet, in this area of town, Dead Tree Books has steady sales.
Anyway, I received a pleasant surprise in my inbox several days ago! I’ve been nominated for the Liebester Award from Keep It Alive! I’m feeling like I’m burgeoning with gratitude. Thank you, Sadje! I like her blog for a variety of reasons:
Encourages you to mentally explore new things
Shares beautiful perspectives on life via poems and articles
Wonderful sense of humor expressed through funny stories
Lives life to the fullest even if there are physical limitations
I feel humbled and honored for this nomination which is a first for me! Don’t know too much about it, so I copied and pasted the rules below. I created a Word Press account five years ago to start a travel log to document my adventures, but it was distracting for me to blog and enjoy my travels at the same time! I tend to deeply immerse myself in the experience.
What is Liebester Award?
“It is said that this award is created to discover and encourage new bloggers to the blogosphere. Liebester is a word of German language, meaning Beloved, Dear, Sweet etc. In short, a term of endearment. Showing love and kindness to the newcomers. So in a way , it’s a welcome gesture for the people new to the blogging world. Such a kind thought and gesture.”
What are the rules of Liebester Award:
1. Acknowledge the blogger that gave it to you and display the award.
2. Give 11 random thoughts about yourself.
3. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
4. Nominate 5-11 blogs and notify them of their nomination.
5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer
How I got Started
After graduation, I was a bit scattered. I decided to act on a suggestion from my boyfriend to start a blog. Originally, I thought it was going to be an instrument to build my professional portfolio. I reopened my inactive account that sat there collecting dust and revamped my About Me page. I’ve only started blogging actively for the past few months, and it was a little difficult at first.
My first post was about bubble sorting algorithms which aside from the computer science community, most people could care less about. It was that fateful day when I learned that WordPress is very different than StackOverflow. 😉 There is a time and place for everything! Staring at my stack of journals, I knew I loved to write, but how in the world do I begin to blog?
Daunting task! Talk about gaining self-confidence! I learned a lot about editing and formatting. I followed Sheryl like a baby duck following mama duck on her Daily Word Prompts, and I felt encouraged from Dr.Perry‘s articles. DirtySciFiBuddha oddly made me feel at home with his eye catching, hilarious dystopian posts, one of my favorite genres. What was I worried about? Gradually, I began to find my voice and started to participate in a variety of fun challenges.
I have 115 followers from all over the world and 100 posts! Knowing me, that’s beyond my wildest dreams in such a short time span. I’ve come to love the community here! Allof you have impacted my life! I’ve grown so much from your support, your stories, and your thought-provoking and fun prompts. You’ve certainly helped me step outside my comfort zone, that’s for sure!
I hope my blog will inspire you and develop into a safe place where we can share our insights on a myriad of interests. In my free time, I hope I can share book reviews, snippets of my research, photos, and other experiences from my hobbies. I love writing stories as well! I have many ideas for content stored! As I’m exploring various mediums, I find new, exciting ways to express myself! Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤
So, let’s get this shindig on the road and learn more about me, shall we? 🙂
11 Random Facts about Me
I once drew a huge Christmas tree on my parents’ living room wall with a green crayon. I explained to them that I saw a blank canvas! If mom and dad didn’t discipline me right then and there and teach me the concept of boundaries, I could have been a graffiti artist!
I auditioned for several theatrical plays such as Shakespeare and Greek tragedies to help me with shyness and public speaking. Although I was pleasant and sunny, I did not like to talk at all as a young girl. My yearbook tagline was “Most Mysterious” for a reason. I love memorizing lines and being on stage acting as someone else. It was easier to step into someone else’s shoes. Other thespians understood where I was coming from.
When I was about 7 years old, I wrote my first “serious” story about a jelly monster that lived in the sewer who ate peanut butter sandwiches. My 9 year old friend who lived down the street severely edited it with her famous red pen! 😀 It was inspired by an episode of the TV show Ghost Writer about a slime monster.
As a teenage girl, I really looked up toFrance A. Cordovaas a role model, who is an internationally recognized astrophysicist and former chief NASA scientist. I consider her to be extraordinarymentor I follow from afar. Here’s a 2 minute video clip of how her career was inspired by watching a moon landing and a marshmallow.
Most unusual item on my desk drawer is a Russian nesting doll. I love it because it reminds me of the many layers that people have! I’m always encouraged to look beyond the surface and dig deeper.
I once had a pet chicken until mom cooked it in a delicious soup. Sad day! Dad got me some gold fish to make up for my sense of loss. I also played with the crickets, grasshoppers, and rollie-polies while playing in the yard.
Dream job always changes the more I learn! Right now it would probably be to a photo journalist for National Geographic.
The library has been my second home since I was five years old. I am an avid reader and the librarians probably see me as one of their family members since I spend so much time there.
I memorized the first twenty lines from The Canterbury Tales in Middle English with gusto if I may add. I attribute it to my affinity for foreign languages and linguistics!
In college, I spent a lot of time hanging out in architecture libraries checking out the students’ 3-D models and reading Architectural Digest and Interiors magazine. I loved learning about material sciences and catching up on latest design concepts. It seemed like there were a lot of creative possibilities. I loved how spaces can evoke certain emotions.
I’m a recent college graduate who majored in information technology and minored in English. WOOT! I am now pursuing a masters program. Long story behind this!
11 Questions that Keep it Alive Asked Me
1. What is your biggest pet peeve? I’m generally a patient person, but it bothers me when a family member has asked for help to organize their clutter and next time I visit them, it’s a mess. Why did they ask me in the first place? I spend some time knowing what style may work for them. I’ve come to accept that some people just get caught up with life, and being a minimalist might be the way for them. 🙂
2. Where did you get your name?
At the time of creating this blog, I was experiencing the effects of extreme culture shock. I moved to a new town and a new school. I encountered people with different mannerisms and approaches to life. I was emotionally haywire! I read so many books that broadened my horizons. I found it all so fascinating and wanted to document my experiences and reactions. Lots of gong moments!
3. If you could change your name, what would it be? When a friend first shared this quote with me, it stuck with me for the rest of my life. I probably call this blog in an alternative universe “Evanescent Moments“. 🙂
4. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
I really enjoyed Card Captors after school. A 10 year old girl, Sakura, has been granted magical abilities after she accidentally released all the cards from the Book of Clow from her dad’s study room. She’s in charge of capturing them before the images in the cards come to life and wreak havoc in her town. Her friends step in to help as well.
5. Do you have any weird habits? I tend to think backward. Like I visualize what I’d like to accomplish, then work on the steps to make it happen. Generally the final product is better than what I initially envisioned. I also catch myself walking on the curb like a balance beam!
6. Do you like fall scents /Tastes? YES! I love the smell of cinnamon pine cone. I also regular stop by the BHG scented wax cubes section to get a sniff of Winter Berry Zest, Chilled Pomegranate Wine, Woodland Forest Floor, Mahogany & Sandalwood, Spiced Vanilla Embers!
7. What is your favorite holiday and why? While stressful for most people, I love Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Vietnamese New Year mainly because I love the spirit of gratitude and giving surrounding those holidays. I love that I get to spend more time with my family. I love cooking for these holidays and bringing desserts to parties.
8. Do you prefer writing it down or typing it up?
I love writing in journals which helps with the flow of my thoughts. Typing is easier on my hands though. I tend to write with heavy impressions on the paper. It’s getting better though… Light as a feather! Reminds me of a feather quill… Nah, I like my ball point pen gel rollers! I digress…
9. Netflix or cable? Netflix has been a great source of entertainment for me! Although some commercials can be interesting, I love that the shows are uninterrupted!
10. If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life? I probably need to add if I also had unlimited time and energy, I’d…
Volunteer More. I learn towards a lot of environmental causes, but there are others near and dear to my heart. Election seasons are tugging at me.
Travel the World. Not just as a tourist, but be an ambassador/diplomat on an important mission.
Invent and Build. Produce innovative things
Act in more theatrical shows. Spend time building sets, designing costumes
Create fun multi-media content. Work with boyfriend to make movies, comics, stories, video games.
Raise a big family. Enjoy the craziness and beauty of life together.
11. What is your favorite thing about yourself? I love that I care about issues that people struggle with everyday. All the time, many fall into apathy and I’m glad that my pulse is still beating there. I love that I can share joy with others. I love that I can be resourceful and creative! 🙂
I’m pulling a Sadje, and I’m choosing to make this simple for myself! You can answer a few or all of same questions as above: 🙂
1. What is your biggest pet peeve?
2. Where did you get your name?
3. If you could change your name, what would it be? 4. What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
5. Do you have any weird habits?
6. Do you like fall scents /Tastes?
7. What is your favorite holiday and why?
8. Do you prefer writing it down or typing it up?
9. Netflix or Cable?
10. If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life?
11. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Have a wonderful day everyone! Here’s to a creative week! 🙂
Thankfully, I had a relaxing week. Enjoyed a fun date with my boyfriend! We sat on top of the wooden platform playground waiting for the restaurant, Sea Island, to open. The above shot was taken from my seat. Even though the paint is chipping, the place has a lot of character. I had some delicious shrimp linguine.
We chatted about our weight loss and fitness accomplishments, anime, literary analysis, our adventures with school, software engineering, and various other topics underneath the sun. We went for a walk in the park afterwards and enjoyed the clouds as we laid down on the grass. I loved talking with him. His sense of humor makes me cry from laughter. I miss him already…
While volunteering at the school, the kids excitedly described their costumes to me in great detail. Ninja turtles are still popular! Getting them to focus on reading was difficult, so we chatted about their Halloween plans.
I later checked out some offrendas that were exhibited at the Missions for Dia de Los Muertos. Families placed pictures of loved ones who passed away.
I checked out one wicked episode of the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and was surprised to learn that some of the characters names were similar to “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch”. It’s definitely not a remake though. This British version is fairly dark and chilling as the title suggests.
I think if I would continue this series, I am fairly certain that I would let out a few bloodcurdling screams that could disturb my next door neighbors. I was on the edge of my seat watching a scarecrow chase her in a labyrinthmade of hay. Goodbye October! I had a great time participating in OctPoWriMo2018 where I learned a lot of poetry forms. I read some beautiful, funny, scary, brilliant, and profound poems out in the WP world. You guys inspired me this month!
This summer I volunteered at the Catholic Worker House in San Antonio with Texas A&M University San Antonio’s Catholic Student Association (TAMUSA CSA). I first heard about the Catholic Worker Houses when I read a book about Dorothy Day in the summer of 2009. I wanted to learn more about various aspects of Catholic traditions and beliefs that summer. I was curious about Dorothy: her activism, journalism, and her conversion. I found it fascinating that she read Russian literature such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Gorky. She also read the works of Peter Kropotkin who promoted a belief in cooperation.
My father once told me this line of ministry isn’t for everyone. Sometimes working with particular individuals can be uncomfortable and difficult. The cynicism of some of my friends told me that much. Initially interested in quenching the thirst of my ideals, I began to see what he meant. I arrive the worker house downtown early one afternoon. I am concerned as I see a elderly woman who is getting into an argument with a homeless individual. I find out she and another man are in charge of the center. I walk inside to find homeless men and women sitting on couches watching TV and hanging out on the back patio and picnic benches. One of the most difficult things to get used to is the smell. A dedicated team of volunteers are busy preparing meals for them in the kitchen. The supervisor tells me she needs some help surveying the homeless which will be used in court. So, I began asking for willing volunteers if they could answer some questions related to the challenges they faced and stories of how others have treated them.
I feel some sympathy as I learn about their lives. Some of them were in college pursuing certain goals and fell between the cracks when life became difficult. They tell me how difficult it is to find restrooms, discrimination they faced from officers, business owners, medical representatives. They shared stories of how their belongings are easily stolen. They were hardened from life’s difficulties. I was concerned when a woman started to get really suspicious of me and threatened to go to the police. I find out from one of the case workers that she suffers from paranoia. She tells me not to worry about it, however I was a little shaken from her reaction. I began to stay away for a certain time, so this woman I interviewed with would forget about me even though I don’t think I will ever forget her.
I realized all the difficulties that mental health professionals face that day. I’m thinking of donating some books and clothing to the center in the future. After these encounters with the homeless, I have a renewed appreciation for the many good things and people in my life. I think I underestimate how difficult it is to rise from these sort of circumstances. One of my coworkers who is now a manager once shared with me when he and his mother used to be in a homeless shelter trying to move forward with their lives. It is incredibly hard to do without resources and support. The cycle of poverty continues. I once read an article of how difficult it is to make coherent decisions when you’re not adequately nourished. The university’s Alumni Book Club is currently exploring themes for discussion from the book “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by Matthew Desmond. From the first couple of chapters I realize how easily tenants can be out in the streets.
I also volunteered for the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center downtown as well. I first learned about the center from the Justice Society club on campus. I volunteered for the Paseo Por El West Side event. I enjoyed myself as I surveyed people in the audience. There was live music and other panels. I’ve been contemplating going for an internship with them for their stance on environmental rights and social rights.
I folded some newsletters that they distribute called La Voz one afternoon. There was some upbeat Mexican music to motivate the volunteers. I enjoyed the bright settings. I sat next to an outgoing woman in her 70’s named Mary and she shared with me fun stories of working with USAA as a data processing professional for twenty years, then afterward as a secretary in the school. She told me about how women worked in the technology industry back then. It sounded like something from the movie Hidden Figures. The way they troubleshooted code back then. They had to process a “dump” in which they thumbed through hundreds of pages of code before they can figure what was wrong with it.
Her husband also shared with me fun stories of working as an accountant for a difficult female boss who he describes as Mrs. Priestly (Meryl Streep) in The Devil Wears Prada. I laughed so hard and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I got to try out some an interesting dish for lunch called molle. I was told that they sometimes have it for weddings.