I chose to sit in on the talk about the Fulbright discussion this year for Global Engagement Day. If you do not know what the Fulbright Scholarship is, it is a scholarship that fully funds a year aboard with either research or an English teaching assistantship. I was really interesting to hear all their stories aboard about either their research or teaching experience. I didn’t know that most of the research done through Fulbright were research that was done before the program started. One of the students conducted research in Beijing about the housing problem. I thought it was interesting because I wouldn’t think about to do research on a subject like that. If I ever got the Fulbright scholarship, I would want to pursue it for the English Teaching Assistantship. It would an amazing experience to do!
Latino Flavor was really great this year. As always, they had a bunch of different Hispanic foods to try. My favorite was probably the ceviche. Being a sweet tooth, I love the variety of desserts they had to offer. While people were enjoying their lunch, Latino Flavor had live performances. When I was there, there was a live band with a wonderful lead singer. Wow, I wish I had a voice like her! After their performance, there was a group of dancers. I am not sure what nationality they were, but they were performing a traditional folk dance. I loved their dresses because they were so vibrant and they moved so beautifully as the girls danced. Can’t wait for Latino Flavor next year!
I am so excited to announce that I am going to spend next Fall in Madrid at La Universidad de Alcala to finish up my Spanish minor! I’ve booked my plane tickets, bought my suitcase, and ready for an adventure of a lifetime. I thought about other Spanish speaking countries to study aboard, but I really wanted to travel around, experiencing everything that I can as time permits me. So I chose to study in Spain. I chose this program especially for their class that allows students to follow and shadow doctors at a local hospital. It is an amazing experience because I heard that student get to see a lot of interesting things around the hospital. One of the students that took that class told me that on her first week shadowing that she got to scrub in and watch a C-section. That’s pretty cool!
I know it is going to be hard, but I am ready to experience a whole four month aboard. What is even better is that my best friend is going to join me and we are going to experience this together! I can’t wait to see what Spain holds for me!
This semester I got to attend KSA Night. KSA night celebrate Korean culture with a variety of K-pop dances and singing performances. This was my second time attending KSA night and it was just as fun as the first time I went. This year was special as my friend this year was performing and it was pretty funny to watch. My friend is not the best dancer, but she gave it all she had and danced the best she could, even if she messed up at one part! (She’s still the best in my eyes)
My favorite part was probably the MCs. They were hilarious with their jokes and parodies of famous Korean drama scene. My favorite performance was Phi Delta Alpha because they were sharp with their moves and pretty much in sync. I thought they were pretty good at executing difficult dance moves K-Pop is known for. It was a great and fun night to get away from studying!
In October, I attended the panel discussion with Dr. Landis and Dr. Mahdi. The discussion was about the civil war in Yemen and the events that led up to the war. I thought this was interesting because I was not aware that there was even a war happening in Yemen. We hear about the Syrian Civil war with the rebel groups, ISIS, and the Assad Regime from mainstream media, but barely a single thing about Yemen. Dr. Mahdi mentioned was that 80% of Yemenis need humanitarian aid with basic needs of water and food and there are 3.5 million internally displaced people in Yemen.
For the last thirty years, there has been many conflicts occurring in Yemen. One of them is the North and the South have been fighting for power and influence. The socialist party controlled the South, while the GPC control the North. Both had difference agendas and interests culturally, tribally, and politically. The GPC eventually obtained power and Ali Saleh became the first president. When the ruling party collapsed in 2011 during the Arab Spring, Saleh stepped down with the agreement with the UN. Then, the Houthi slowly gained more and more power, spreading across the North and took control of Sanaa, the capital city.
I think it was interesting when Dr. Mahdi said that John Kerry’s tactic would not work any longer in Middle Eastern conflict. Many of the Yemenis believe that the United States has a big part of the conflict between Saudi Arabia. There were many groups and tribes that were ready to fight against the terrorist groups, but the U.S. did not reach out to them for help or alliances. Instead, the U.S. supported Saudi Arabia to take down the Houthi rebels. Dr. Mahdi wants a more sustainable way for peace, than the United States being involved with the fight against the terrorist groups and then leaving the situation when the threat is gone. I agree with Dr. Mahdi we need to have a better solution towards theses conflicts because when we pull out of countries, we are leaving a country in pieces and it becomes a power struggle between conflicting parties.
This year I chose to be a part of the Asian American Student Association again. Later year, I was a Freshmen Rep for AASA and this year I was luckily chosen to be the Homecoming Chair.
Homecoming was honestly a whirlwind from planning out everything that we were going to do to coordinating people, practices, and teams. We worked hours and hours pomping, painting, and planning. I never knew how much I would learn to dislike making small wads of fabric and placing it in chicken wire.
It was all worth because we place first as Yellow Submarine with Pi Phi, Sig Ep, and SGA! When I saw the awards announcements at the Homecoming game, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders because I did my job as AASA’s Homecoming Chair and we won first place again!
Back in September, I attended the Vietnamese Student Association’s Lunar Moon Festival. They had multiple booths from different organizations before the main program started. It ranged from food stalls to games to arts and crafts. One of the booths that I went to was one that was making Chinese lucky charms. It was kind of hard to make a first, but I eventually got the hang of it!
After going around a couple of booths, the main program started. There were an assortment of types of performances that groups performed. There were traditional dances to hip-hop routine to pop Vietnamese music. My favorite performance was not even Vietnamese. It was the OU Arashi Taiko performance. If you don’t know what OU Arashi Taiko is, it is a club that is based on Japanese drumming. It was pretty cool because it was a lot different from the other performances through the night. Their routine was upbeat and had a lot of energy to it.
I actually accidently bumped into the International Bazaar. I was walking by the Bizz when I saw that there were a bunch of booths and people getting food! So I decided to go over and check it out. It was pretty cool because there were booths of all different countries represented there. My friend, Heidi, was running the South Korean booth. At the South Korean booth, they were writing people’s names in Korean characters. Mine was pretty cool! I just wish I could read it! A couple of other booths I liked were the Middle Eastern ones. Especially the one that had the food! They were giving out samples of bakalva and hot tea. The both were very delicious as the tea and the bakalava complimented each other.
If you don’t know, I am currently studying Spanish as my minor. And a challenge of studying a foreign language is actually understanding what a native speaker is saying. What I do personally is listen to Spanish music and watch Spanish-speaking movies on Netflix. Here are some of my current favorite songs and movies I recommend! Enjoy!
- J Balvin – You might have heard him sing the Spanish remix of Justin Bieber’s Sorry. J Balvin, to me, kind of mixes reggaeton and R&B beats together.
- Primera Cita
- Shakira – She’s a classic if you don’t know this lady! I honestly like listening to her sing in Spanish than in English. I just like her energy and vibe a lot more when she is singing Spanish!
- Chantaje ft. Maluma
- Nunca Me Acuerdo de Olvidate
- Prince Royce- Prince Royce is a great Bachata singer. He just has a sweet voice that will make you feel better any day. He has a great mixture of songs from ballads to upbeat songs, so you have a variety to listen to!
- Me Encanta
- Darte Un Beso
- Te Robaré
- Jesse and Joy- If you like ballad and acoustics, this duo is for you! I love Jesses’s voice with the combination of the instrumentals in the background. They are great to listen to if you need to calm down or study.
- Llegaste Tú
- Me Soltaste
- Becky G – If you love Pop, Becky G is for you. She just started recently singing in Spanish, but her songs are pretty darn good! They have a good beat to them and are pretty easy to understand.
Movies/ TV Shows
- Instructions Not Included
- Pulling Strings
- It’s Now Or Never
- No Filter
- Grand Hotel
Today was the last day that we were going to be in Rome. We started the day with a meeting with the International Organization of Migrants. This was the most interesting by far. We learned that this week at least 3000 migrants had come to Italian shores and about 800-900 had died. All the facts and information that he gave was so interesting. I didn’t know that there was a higher person involved moving the migrants across the Mediterranean. They don’t really care whether or not of the well-beings of the migrants. The smugglers in fact will only put enough gas to get the boat half way or give the migrants life jackets that the stuffing has been replaced. The meeting was very eye open to me about all the immigration issues that are occurring right before my eyes. It’s pretty cool to be in Italy as it one of the main countries that migrants are coming to from Africa, the Middle East, and other areas.
Later in the day, we had our last class with Dr. Cruise. She asked us if we were changed from our experience on this trip. Personally, this trip has been so eye opening to not only the Italian and European culture, but also of the American culture. This trip was very introspective as I learned that the United States is more influential than I had thought. Every Italian and meeting that we went mentioned the election and Donald Trump. One in particular struck me the most. I was getting a sandwich at this small place when this Italian man began to talk to me. In our discussion, he asked me about if I was going to vote for Hilary or Trump. He then even mentioned that he was scared of the things that can occurred if Trump is elected president. It is kind of sad to me that us, Americans, do not pay attention to world politics and are ignorant about other countries, when probably know our own country better than us.