Friday, August 16, 2013

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Helen Keller

Thursday, August 1, 2013

summer

It has truly been a remarkable summer. Institute was a special, special time to lay down all misgivings and work for the beauty of work. Below, a copy of the write-up I shared to close out the summer with over 100 of my high school colleagues:

===================================================

If there is one word I would chose to describe my Institute experience, it would be: renew. 

STUDENTS

“RENEW: a) To make new or as if new again; restore”

From Day 1 at HS, I discovered my role as a teacher did NOT depend on how much my students learned from me; but rather, on how much I learned from my students. In my Algebra class, each child had their own story to tell; some drew shapes, a few used patterns; others……wrote about Republicans. These past four weeks, I realized it was my job to DIRECT these thoughts in a productive way. I am not a magician, here to conjure up new genius; but rather a pace setter, here to RENEW each student’s intellect and work ethic they already have.

COMMUNITY 

“RENEW: b) Re-establish (a relationship)”

There was a rich heritage in North Philadelphia before we arrived. And there will be a rich heritage after we depart. Yet despite being an outsider, parents and leadership at HS  don’t seem to mind where I was before, but rather where I am now: a teacher here to lead students to success. It was my duty this summer, both to listen and to share. To listen to each parent’s aspirations, but also to share my own history and endeavours.

As 2013 corps members, I know we will each strive to bring renewal to our regions. We will bring a sense of renewal to DC. Philadelphia. Massachussetts. Baltimore. For me, this fall I will embrace Greater Newark’s strengths as my own, but also conquer Newark’s weaknesses alongside my community.

CORP MEMBERS

“RENEW: c) To restore the physical or mental vigor of; revive” 

One thing I have also learned this summer: teachers face a lot of fire alarms. In a building where I am often sleepless and pushed to the limit, I’ve constantly drawn on my CMA group, my hallmates, the Resource Room and 9:00PM Greater Newark dance parties to renew myself and stay sane.

If “it takes a village to raise a child”, over these next two years we as Corp Members need to create, and strengthen those villages. Whether school nicknames like “Insta-HS ” or “GREATER NEWARK CORP” rallying cries, we could not have have made it this summer without constant renewal from our institute village.

SELF

“RENEW: d) To make new spiritually: regenerate”

There is one thing I can say for sure about Institute: This is the first time in a very long time that I’ve worked with my heart, and not my head. Gone are those social and institutional pressures best represented by acronyms: GPAs, M&As, GMATS, MCATS, LSATS. 

What remains is a simple mission,….. summed up by a simple word: Renew. 

So, fellow corp members, I challenge you to renew our student’s intellect. To renew our community’s strengths, and perhaps most importantly, to renew ourselves.”

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Invigorated

impart vigor, strength, or vitality to; animate

Saturday, July 13, 2013

James 2:1

My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal FAVORTISM. 2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3and you pay special ATTENTION to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,”4have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become A JUDGE with evil motives?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

HUMBLE

the best word to describe my first two weeks in the education-universe is humbled. 16 years of supportive GT education and 5 years of finance/consulting are no match for managing and leading the instruction of young minds. I am constantly being humbled by how unorganized i am, how often my mind and thoughts are in disarray, and how easily i can get discouraged by the smallest of disappointments.

With all that being said, there is only one adult in the room, and only one advocate. A definition to set the tone for week 3:

cham·pi·on  (chmp-n)

n.
1. To fight for, defend, or support as a champion: championed the cause of civil rights. See Synonyms at support.
2. One that is clearly superior or has the attributes of a winner: a champion at teaching.
3. An ardent defender or supporter of a cause or another person: a champion of the homeless.
4. One who fights; a warrior.
4. a person who fights for or defends any person or cause: a champion of the oppressed.
6. to act as champion of; defend; support.
7. Obs. to defy.
Monday, June 24, 2013

“Love is our most unifying and empowering common spiritual denominator. The more we ignore its potential to bring greater balance and deeper meaning to human existence, the more likely we are to continue to define history as one long inglorious record of man’s inhumanity to man.” 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Re·new

/riˈn(y)o͞o/ Verb

1) Resume (an activity) after an interruption.

2) Re-establish (a relationship)

3) Give fresh life or strength to; revive

4) To make new spiritually : regenerate

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.



Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

Walt Whitman, Songs of the Open Road
Monday, February 25, 2013

Relocate

An inspiring, yet daunting question to answer I had to recently answer:

"Where do you most want to relocate to?"

In order of preference:

-San Francisco
-Sacramento
-Los Angeles
-Hawaii
-Philadelphia
-New York
-Newark
-Boston
-Chicago
-Dallas
-New Orleans
-Colorado
-Baltimore
-Washington


Internationally, at this moment I would probably say:

- Hong Kong

- Singapore

- Tokyo

- London

Monday, February 4, 2013

Beyonce Power Rankings

Wow, Super Bowl Destiny’s Child!!! Feels like the late 90s all over again. To celebrate, my Beyonce power rankings. if you tag facebook photos with a beyonce lyric, you know it’s a hit:

1) IRREPLACABLE
2) SINGLE LADIES PUT A RING ON IT
3) IF I WERE A BOY
4) HALO
5) 03 BONNIE AND CLYDE
6) LOVE ON TOP
7) BEST THING I NEVER HAD
8) BABY BOY FT SEAN PAUL
9) SWEET DREAMS
10)CRAZY IN LOVE
11) CHECK ON IT

Saturday, February 2, 2013

"Croquembouche", a French Wedding Cake for my buddy Bex!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Resolutions

Short and Simple:

- Maganimity

- Conviction

- Community

And finally learn how to start cooking!

image

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Run

Lessons learned from running useful for other parts of life:

Preparation: Given how strenuous a long run can be, it’s absolutely critical to always be well prepared. I always need to bring water, calories, sleep early, avoid alcohol, and eat immediately after.

The Mind is the weakest part of my body: okay it’s not a muscle. But wow, I used to think 3 miles was impossible with my flat feet. But after breaking 10K, then 13.1, then a full, it really wasn’t a big deal. Clearly my mind is the biggest roadblock.

Setting a course is the hardest part: Figuring out a 13 mile route and getting off the couch and on the track is the hardest part. There are days I feel lost at work, and I’ve learned to remind myself that I’ve accomplished a lot in my life. The issue is setting a path, not my own ability, effort, or intelligence.

Run your Own Race: I am not Mo Farah, or 110 pounds, or from Kenya.  I’ve learned to go at my own speed, regardless of surroundings. Understanding my own physical limitations has helped me become more aware of how to push myself as hard as possible withing causing injury or running out of steam. The same can be said about my life too.

Best in a Pack: With that being said, it’s easiest to run when you are in a crowd. Even Olympians need training partners and run faster when chasing a pacer. Watch any Olympic 10K when the leader suddenly gets mowed down by a challenger.

Things you love are never repetitive. Running is such a joy. I am so thankful I discovered the Montgomery County Road Runners group. Our 10 mile runs never felt repetitive or that I ran too much. The same can be said of spending time with my family, or Japanese food, or Grantland. I wish I could say the same about my career and profession, but I am not there yet. Hopefully one day, other parts of my life will be as seamless and innately enjoyable and satisfying as running.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

neglected

Dear Tumblr and my 2 readers,

I’m sorry I’ve neglected you. Usually, things are too straightforward for there to be much to write about. Surprisingly, in the last few months, I’ve been overburdened by things going on and haven’t found the heart to sit down and write.

For today, a list of people that have left my day to day life, and what I most deeply miss about them. This will help drive future posts and provide us a framework about future posts about time, change, home, and belonging:

Friends:

- Kevin. Kevin has moved to baltimore to attend dental school. I will miss our conversations about the journey of life, tennis, and friendships, and fooling him to board a plane to orlando which was actually France

- Jen. Jen has moved to the great European wilderness. I will miss eating. lots and lots of eating. frozen yogurt, taiwanese food, cupcakes, just cake. Clearly, I’ve had a personal and caloric void without her on this side of the pond

- Ji. Ji is an excellent weekday eating partner and shooting partner. He has an amazing metabolism, it makes sense, his sister is a olympic level swimmer. Since he moved to Chicago, I’ve played a lot less basketball, and eaten a lot less mexican.

- Richard. Richard has moved to the middle east to promote peace and fuel efficiency. It is hard to realize he has moved that far away, we’ve been best buds since the first day we met in 1997.

- Freddy. I didn’t see freddy much, but he’s one of the more insightful, genuine guys I know. I tried to tell him there are tsunamis in san francisco, to no avail.

- Grace. Grace went to college with me and just moved after her wedding to manhattan. We’ve been close friends since freshman year, and I admire grace’s consistency and steadfastedness. It will be difficult in Washington now that she is so far away.

- Jenny. Now, Jenny is part II of the greatest korean friends from college list. She is getting married this saturday and I am also excited to be part of that ceremony. Though she’s staying in the DC area, she’s moving to the far southern post of Alexandria. Given that i’ve been to alexandria 1 time in my entire 13 years of living in MD, it will be tough to see her on a consistent basis.

Work:

- Swathi. Swathi was my colleague at the office, and since the day we met last november we’ve had nonstop conversations for 8 hours a day, twice a week. Topics range from hyperdriven college memories, wild, emotionally unstable younger sisters, successful friends, friends breaking up, friends having babies, crazy asian parents, weird nutritional facts that aren’t really true, weird eating habits, how Washington DC is the best city on earth, how new york city is slighter better at everything, and meatless diets. We are incredibly alike in some ways, like work and attitudes about city life, but also incredibly different, as she is an expert chef and i couldn’t cook a poptart. Since the day Swathi left my feelings at work have dropped off a cliff. At work now I eat my feelings, and talk to myself, instead of Swathi. She has sailed off to conquer big holes in the ground in West Philadelphia and I expect her to construct a building by 2016.

- Nick. Nick was the head of my team. He was very sharp, trusting, and supportive overall. hands off, but accessible. though i spoke to him rarely, having the figurehead of my team depart was difficult to swallow.

- jonathan. Jon was a fellow colleague at the firm. He was a east coast boy like myself. Jon was quite the math geek, which I secretly am as well. We’ve had many talks about rockville, and how town square was the center of the universe. Bright, driven, Jonathan has moved to Baltimore as well and i am sure he will make it rain in fells point.

Church:

- Sam. Sam is the head of my small group at church. He is getting married in february and headed off to a new church I think. Sam is an extremely likeable, peaceful, aimiable guy. He has a great laugh, and a very tranquil, enjoyable personality. I’m a bit attached and upset that he is leaving me, but I am wishing him the best.

Community:

- Matt: Matt was the head of Ward 8, the center I volunteered at for two years. I decided to not return as I heard he was leaving for graduate school. I loved my two years of Thursdays with him, as he had a tremendous voice and ability to handle 60 crazy middle school kids at once. I’ve felt a tremendous lack on Thursdays and think I need to get back involved with Higher Achievement.

Home:

- Why, Georgia, Why!! My sister is getting married. The change in family structure has definitely impacted my outlook. She will be in a new household, a new last name, a new home address. While I’m incredibly excited, it’s a lot to take in for such a short turnaround after college. at least, she’ll have cute half asian kids. If they aren’t cute, then we are hopeless.

==============================================================

So Tumblr, it has been a year of change and transition. And while I’m happy that my friends are moving on to great places, weddings, jobs, and schools, I’ve been lost in the tailwind of these tremendous departures and trying to keep things together.

I think it’s natural to feel a void in my day to day life, to treasure the many memories I’ve had in Washington, considering how important these people are to me. at the same time, I am praying hard to be willing to let them go and embrace the present. That there are times God will place blessings in your life, and times when he will take them away, hopefully to remind us of who put them there in the first place.

So, to end, a short, beautiful verse:

Ecclesiastes 6:12

"For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?"

Friday, June 29, 2012

Top Point Guards

The NBA has never seen so many brilliant young point guards in the league as today. A list of the Top 15:

1) Chris Paul

    Undisputed?

2) Derrick Rose

    Bulls Top Team in the East with him, can’t beat the 8th seed without him :(

3) Rajon Rondo

    Seeing him play in person was poetry in motion!

4) Russell Westbrook

     He came to play, he came to play. Grantland.

5) Deron Williams

     Has been quiet the last few years, but will he put Brooklyn back on the NBA map?

6) Steve Nash

    11 assists a game, 50%/40%/90%!

7) Tony Parker

     3 Rings, still under 30. Superbly unique finisher, despite size and infidelity

8) Jason Kidd

     One of the greatest. Balling since 1995!

9) Kyrie Irving

    Even dressed as a 55 year old uncle, still ballin

10) Ricky Rubio

    Stats don’t tell the story behind the spanish wunderkind

11) Tyreke Evans

    Tremendous talent, not really a PG, Wade-lite?

12) Stephen Curry

    Incredible shooter, will flourish without Monta

13) John Wall

    One man fast break! Dougie me!

14) Brandon Jennings
   
    55 points as a rookie will earn you a spot on this list!

15) Jeremy Lin
    
    Linsane!

Honorable Mention:

Mike Conley
Ty Lason
Kyle Lowry
Lou Williams