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An Uncomfortable Situation… (aesthetic) November 14, 2011

Filed under: aesthetic — gloriaayoon @ 1:46 am

My family is all about doing everything together as a family. If they find an activity that we’ve never done together, we go and do it right away. One day, my good-two-shoes brother realized that we’ve never gone on the KCR together as a whole family. He suggested that we travel on it together. I thought it was a stupid idea, but my dad loved it. In fact, he suggested we go out for dinner just so that we can use that metro system.

I ride the train two times a day, 365 days a year—in total, 730 times a year. My dad never rides the train. He had no idea what went on inside these trains. I didn’t either, because I was so used to everything. This is why I wasn’t able to feel that something was about to happen.

When we got on that train compartment, everything was fine. We were making small talk about school and weather. It was all good until, at the next station, a small crowd filed in, bringing with them the fumes of perspiration and a very passionate young couple. This couple was practically glued on to each other. From the moment I saw them step into the train with their lips locked, I immediately felt uncomfortable.

My dad is a pastor, and a very conservative one. He believes in doing everything the traditional way, and this everything includes relationships. He is very strongly against the idea of sex before marriage and any other sort of physical sign of affection. Since I was able to walk, he’s been reading me Scripture about this issue every night before bed time—even to this day. He also likes to talk about how rude and sick the people are that showcase their affection for each other to the public. I know that if I ever get caught even holding hands with a person of the opposite gender, it would mean days of grief for me.

Knowing how strongly my dad felt about this issue, and how awkward the situation would become if he saw this couple, I tried to cover them from his view. It didn’t really work. He spotted them right away like a how shark smells blood from miles away. My dad’s eyes narrowed and our already awkward family conversation became even more awkward. Every comment my dad made seemed to be indirectly pointing towards the matter of keeping affections for someone in private areas. I thanked God that we lived in Hong Kong and that no one understood Korean.

As more people got on the train, the lovey-dovey couple got closer and closer to us. The whole time, they had not separated not even once. Now that they were closer to us, I saw that their hands were also in places where they shouldn’t be. I gulped and squirmed at this extremely uncomfortable situation we were in. We had three more stations to go and the couple didn’t look like they were getting off anytime soon either. My family’s attempt at normal conversation died and so we just stood in silence, feeling as uncomfortable as uncomfortable can get.

If I were on that train alone, I wouldn’t have minded at all. It was like how I could watch an inappropriate movie by myself and enjoy it, but feel all self-conscious and nervous even at the slightest things when watching with my parents.

It was the longest ten minutes of my life. I didn’t know where to look—looking even at my brother was awkward, and there was no way I was going to look at my dad who was probably fuming with his fists clenched, fighting back the urge to go preach to those lost souls. For that seemingly never ending train ride, I just stared at my shoes and hated my brother for suggesting this stupid idea.


Restaurant Review: BLT Burgers (aesthetic)

Filed under: aesthetic — gloriaayoon @ 1:44 am

the presentation


Book Review: The War of the Worlds (aesthetic)

Filed under: aesthetic — gloriaayoon @ 1:43 am

Title: The War of the Worlds

Author: H.G Wells

First Copyright Date: 1989

Price: $4.99 US

Genre: Science Fiction

Like nearly every person who’s ever taken up residence on planet Earth, I’ve wondered about life outside our blue sphere.  The War of the Worlds, an intriguing novel written by H.G Wells in 1989 presents a daunting hypothesis where Martians thirty-five million miles into space, sets eyes on Earth. With their own planet doomed for destruction, the Martians invade to make themselves a new home.

Set in Woking, England, the author’s hometown, this story of the Martian invasion is told through the first person accounts of the narrator of the novel who is not specifically described. As the story progressed, I could feel and see with the narrator, the horror, chaos, and the growing desire for survival which could be felt through his actions, thoughts, and descriptions of the dying world.

Because of the descriptive nature of this book, the pace and flow of the story was a bit too slow for my liking. However, I must still praise all the accurate details that contributed in making this whole science fiction situation disturbingly realistic.

This novel made me to question the significance and value of us humans; we think we are the sole rulers of the world and even the universe, but are we really? Wells has this theme running through the whole story as Martians annihilated humans like they were cockroaches, locked them up in cages like what happens to rodents in a science lab, and ate them like humans ate beef. In this theme arises another theme about the Darwinian idea of natural selection and the human greed for survival, as the human population does whatever mad, crazy things they can to save themselves.

Martians may never ever come in contact with our world, and the chances of a Martian invasion ever happening are extremely slim to none. Still, this thought provoking novel that perfectly portrays and allows us to rethink the greedy, domineering nature of humans is indeed praiseworthy and worth a read.


The Mentors: Bruce vs Yoda (historical)

Filed under: historical — gloriaayoon @ 1:37 am

Josh Waitzkin’s success and achievements wouldn’t have been possible without his mentor, Bruce Pandolfini. Mentorship, as we know it today, is based on the historical craftsman-to-apprentice relationship, where young people learned the arts by following the master artist. Having this sort of mentor to guide, teach, and influence, is important for a student to progress. In this way, Luke Skywalker’s achievements wouldn’t have been possible with his mentor, Yoda. Both Yoda and Bruce played extremely influential roles in the lives of their apprentices. Although they have drastically different material written in each of their biographies, they were both excellent mentors who understood their students and stayed by their side till the end.

Yoda and Bruce had their apparent differences. Besides the obvious like looking drastically different, talking in syntaxes, and being from planets light years away from each other, they had differences in life stories. Yoda was a little green man from another planet in some other galaxy out there. Weakened in a fight against the Sith Lord, he had retreated and gone into hiding into a swampy planet. Bruce, however, was just an average human being from planet Earth. He was defeated in a game of chess, and as a result, had removed himself from competitive chess, in tattered self esteem and courage. Although these two men were in two incredibly different settings and situations, they were both sought out by their student-to-be’s and were lifted out from their hiding places by them. Both were hesitant about becoming an influential figure to somebody again, but they later accepted the challenge, marking the start of the relationships.

Different people (and aliens) prefer different types of learning depending on their different cognitive skills. Therefore, teaching methods and philosophies differed in both Yoda and Bruce. Yoda used the physically demanding ways to teach values like patience and perseverance. In that famous scene in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, he had Luke piggy-back him and run around the swamps. He had Luke perform many physically demanding, but seemingly useless activities, like moving stones with the Force, over and over again. He believed that “Do or do not, there is not try”. Yoda was training faith in Luke to believe in whatever outcome he expected to make it happen. Bruce, on the other hand, had Josh solving problems mentally. In one scene, Bruce clears the chess board of all the pieces and has Josh visualizing the solution that way. Bruce added a twist to these exercises: Josh had to solve the problems just like Bobby Fischer would; there was no freedom or creativity allowed. Bruce was training Josh to depend on the methods that were already known to be successful and never on what his guts told him. Despite their differences in philosophy and methods, Yoda and Bruce were both ultimately aiming for their student to reach the highest level. This is why, at one point, both Yoda and Bruce had a time to reflect on their teachings and decide that maybe their teachings weren’t the best for Luke and Josh after all. They both cared for their apprentices enough that they changed their own teaching methods and philosophy. Although these two mentors seem to have totally different ways of teaching, in the long run, they are the same in their motives and reasons.

One responsibility that mentors have is to not abandon their students to be left alone, lost and confused about how to go on. Bruce did a fine job of keeping this responsibility. Even when he was asked to end the relationship with Josh, he returns later to check on him to make sure that Josh was still playing chess like he was taught. Unfortunately for Luke, Yoda dies of old age after a long 900 years of life, leaving Luke to fight Lord Sidius and the Sith Lord by himself, without anyone’s support. However, the truth is, Yoda was with Luke all along. When Yoda died, he disappeared and became one with the Force. When Luke was using the Force, Yoda’s presence was all around him, and in the last scene of the movie, Luke sees Yoda’s spirit looking down at him in a sign of approval. It may have seemed like one mentor just left his apprentice to cope on his own, but actually, both mentors were there till the very end.

Mentors are very important figures in people’s lives. They are the ones that help you believe in yourself by telling you the things you need to hear. Yoda and Bruce were key figures in the lives of Luke Skywalker and Josh Waitzkin. They wouldn’t have been able to get to where they were without these mentors guiding them. Living in entirely different situations, there were dissimilarities in the two mentors’ background, beliefs, and roles. However, at the end of it all, they were both the same great teacher that loved and cared immensely for their student.


Jellyfish Invasion (political)

Filed under: political — gloriaayoon @ 1:30 am

Behind that lone, tranquilly drifting jellyfish costume is a monstrous predator. There is an unstoppable jellyfish invasion in the horizon, and even now, they are changing ecosystems, stinging thousands of people, killing every other organism in the seas, and causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage.

Jellyfish swarms devastated the salmon population In Ireland with their toxins, where 120,000 fish were reduced to floating mass overnight. They clogged a nuclear power plant in the Philippines, plunging 40 million people into darkness and brought on the fall of the human population by slaying thousands innocent souls each year, earning themselves a nickname—the gelatinous assassins.

The “jellyfish stable state” phenomenon is approaching, and jellyfish will rule the oceans. This matter is not to be taken lightly, and immediate action should be taken against these bulbous organisms. Otherwise, the only thing we will be eating in for seafood might be jellyfish.


This is Who I Am (egotistical)

Filed under: egotistical — gloriaayoon @ 1:18 am

I am just another girl among millions and millions of others. Many times, I doubt my purpose of being here and feel utterly insignificant and unneeded. However, there are still other times when I realize that there is no single person in this vast, immeasurable universe who is just like me. There are small, little things put together to make me who I am.

One important thing that shapes me is my nationality. Influenced by my patriotic parents, I am a proud citizen of Korea. I grew up listening to my dad tell me about our proud history and achievements. Even as a child, my ears perked up at the sound of my country’s name and felt comfort at the melody of our anthem. This part of me that loves my country influences my actions so that they reflect my pride for my land.

Next to my pride is just uncertainty and anxiety. I worry plenty about what others think of me and what impressions I leave on them. Many choices I make aren’t made because they are what I want. They are done to ensure that I won’t make a negative impression of myself to anyone. There are many things I dream of doing but I am held back by my lack of confidence. Who I am is parts of what others expect me to be.

All at the same time, I am a very lighthearted, carefree character. Nothing really bothers me. When there are problems, I don’t worry because I know that they will be solved one way or another. I don’t like to think about things too much. Thinking and debating brings a migraine. As a result I make many premature decisions which often times put me in trouble.

The three adjectives mentioned above seem to be contradictory and disagreeing. However, it’s the unique jumble of things thrown in and blended together that makes me the one and only Gloria Sok Young Yoon that’s ever existed in the history of the universe.