Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Reformation: Not only Religious

On October 31st, 1517, a Catholic professor of theology, Martin Luther, nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on to a door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany. His theses addressed many problems within the church, as well as calling many reforms in the organization and traditions. Luther's theses challenged the selling of indulgences, as well as reprimanding the church for financial exploitation of Germany. While his theses were only intended to start an intellectual discussion, it ended up starting, what historians call today, the Reformation. However, the Reformation wasn't only a religious reform. The Reformation began as a religious movement, but as the fire grew, it influenced the split between King Henry VIII and the pope. However, it all began with Luther, and many other religious reformers.
There were many religious reformers during the reformation. The most controversial was Luther, who directly challenged the church, John Calvin, who may have been the most influential reformer, and Huldrych Zwingli, a similar reformer to Martin Luther who led a stand in Zurich, Switzerland. All three reformers attempted to make a change in the Roman Catholic Church.
It all began with the Ninety-Five Theses that Luther posted on the door of a church in Wittenberg. Luther only posted the theses as a gateway to an intellectual discussion; however it became the spark for the Reformation fire. His theses were about the selling of indulgences, spiritual obligations of the pope, and how the pope misused indulgences. One of Luther's key points was, "the pope cannot remit any guilt” (Saari, Primary Source 125). The pope cannot cancel the guilt, with or without indulgences. It was said that the Pope used the indulgences to build the great St. Peter’s Basilica that is here today, yet Luther writes, “Why does not the pope, whose wealth today is greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build the basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers” (Hillerbrand, MAS Ultra School Edition) One of Luther's main arguments against the church was that because God and man have one link, there is no need for indulgences or works, and that faith is the key to salvation.
Another reformation leader was, John Calvin, the reformer in France. He wrote the Ecclesiastical Ordinances (, which was a reorganized local church government which was led by a council called the consistory. When he was in Geneva, he attempted to enact the Ecclesiastical Ordinances, however due to the fact that the council in Geneva disagreed with his ideals. He left Geneva in 1538. According to the John Calvin article from Mas-Ultra School Edition: “In September 1541 Calvin was invited back to Geneva, where the Protestant revolution, without strong leadership, had become increasingly insecure” (John Calvin, Mas-Ultra School Edition). He enacted the Ecclesiastical Ordinances which divided church officials into four groups, pastors and teachers to teach and explain scripture, elders who administered the church, and deacons to attend the charitable responsibilities. This way of government was fervently resented by the general population, however by 1555 he prevailed and Geneva became his. His writing later influenced many reformers in France.
Finally, Huldrych Zwingli was also a reformer; he however was similar to Martin Luther, in the fact that he attacked the church for selling indulgences as well as other abuses he listed. He wrote in his Sixty Seven Articles that "God alone forgives sins, only through Christ Jesus his Son, out lord. Therefore, confession to a priest or a neighbor should not be done for the forgiveness of sins, but for the sake of receiving counsel” (Saari, Primary Source 135). God is the only one who can forgive sins, and that by confessing to a priest does not revoke your sin, but instead is just for receiving counsel. Zwingli later turned Zurich into an evangelical city. Later in 1529, Zwingli met Luther in Marburg, Germany where they wrote 15 articles that defined the Protestant faith. Yet, it was King Henry VIII whose actions shocked the Catholic world.
Unlike many other reformations in other parts of Europe, the English Reformation was influenced by personal and political ideals. King Henry the Eighth was the son of King Henry the Seventh, and inherited the throne when his father died in 1509. Because he was well educated, in Latin and theology, and was also a patron of the arts, historians now call him a Renaissance Prince (Saari, Almanac 106) Soon after becoming King, he married Catherine of Aragon, the widow of his brother, Arthur, Prince of Wales. Pope Julius through a special dispensation allowed the marriage, even though it was against canon law (law of the church). At first they were happy; but when she produced Henry VIII a female heir, Mary, King Henry believed that a female heir would not be accepted as the next Queen of England. Henry VIII wanted a son, and sought a younger wife, Ann Boelyn. When he attempted to divorce his wife, the Pope Clement VII refused because a canonical impediment had already been issued once; also, because the pope was afraid of Catherine’s nephew, Charles V, who just recently attacked Rome and took the pope as prisoner. As a result, the King was furious, so he split from the Roman Catholic Church, and went on to form his own, the Anglican Church, or the Church of England (This church would later be responsible for another revolution in about 300 years). However the Church of England was still a part of the Roman Catholic Church, and their religious leader was still the Pope. Later in 1534, the Church of England declared that the monarchy would be recognized as the Royal Supremacy over the Church of England. This became the English Reformation.
At first it began as an intellectual discussion; however that culminated into a religious reformation, which later became the catalyst for the English Reformation. Martin Luther wrote his Ninety-Five¬ Theses in response to the corruption in the church, which later became the spark for the English Reformation. Many others also instigated reforms in their country. John Calvin, and Huldrych Zwingli, both attacked the church for many of their sacraments and traditions. Yet, the English Reformation was fueled by personal and political reasons; the ashes included their split from the Roman Catholic Church. The Reformation was not only a religious reform; it was a reform that was caused by religion, personal and political ideals.


On December 13th, Monday, we drove from Moraga, to Lake Tahoe, where we went to the big ski resort, Northstar, to ski. There we rented skis, and boots and a helmet for my brother. My brother and I had private lessons, my brother wanted his/her teacher to help him get better, while I thought I needed a coach to help me ski again, as I haven't skied for 2-3 years. However, to my surprise, I remember most of it, and enjoyed the whole experience. I skied parallel on the green runs and blue runs, while also attempting at powder and cross country. During those 3 days, I enjoyed the rush and cool temperatures as I floated down the slopes. We left on Wednesday the 15th. On December the 28th, we went back again for one day, and skied some blue and green runs as well. All in all, I enjoyed skiing this christmas.

Now onto a serious note. I enjoy skiing, but I find it a sport that is too time consuming, expensive, and quite stressful. It is time consuming for the drive to Tahoe and back, which is roughly 2 1/2 hours with no traffic, as well as the long lines. It is expensive for the rental costs as well as the tickets, and it is stressful. Each day I ski, I endure a lot of pain in my feet, I have bad feet (minor chronic pain that is increased when I ski), as well as the post-ski sickness, which includes, a cold, bad phlegm and other sores. However, if one or two of these factors were eliminated, then skiing would be bliss for me. Nonetheless, I enjoy the rush, and the adrenaline when I ski, but it is not a necessity in my life.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Frolic 2010

After everyone's final exam, our StuGov hosted a formal dance called Frolic, at Denwell in the wedding house. I went, wearing a black shirt, with black pants, black tie, and a black jacket. Frolic, was quite enjoyable, though not worth the price paid. The food at Frolic was mediocre if not terrible, but the dance itself was quite fun. I enjoyed myself as I danced with my friends, Naomi, Maggie, Kevin Lin, Wesley, Pelix, Max, and finally, Ginnie and Emily. All in all, it was a great experience, and I feel that going with or without a date is fun. (I am terribly sorry, that this was a short post)


Well, to all my non-existent readers out there, I am terribly sorry for the lack of posts. Mostly due to procrastination,and lack of time. I will also be posting my latest essays. Basically, in the last few months, I studied hard for my exams, and scored well in most of them. I went to Frolic subsequently after, and had a blast. That will be a separate post right after this. Currently I am in Moraga, for my Christmas holiday. I went skiing twice, and enjoyed most of it. That will be another post as well. Finally, my Christmas presents. This year, I obtained a lot of great presents. Firstly, a Fujifilm HS10 digital Single-Lens Reflex, basically a digital camera. It came with a bag, and the camera sports a 30X zoom. Also, I received really high quality, noise cancelling headphones. AblePlanet, True Fidelity Headphones. I also got some great books, and other things as well. Well, that's it for my Christmas post, and I will be writing about my ski trip and Frolic right after this.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Animal Farm

The last 3 weeks have been a blur. After Mr. Bishop's tragedy, everything changed. Many of my cues changed, light's cues changed, sound's cues changed. It was quite confusing. Yet, after all those rehearsals, it all seemed to work. As we counted down the days till the shows, I began getting closer to the actors. Alec, Stephen, Kali and Sarah just to name a few. Finally, when the show finally came, I knew that this last show, would have to be our best. Thursday's show wasn't bad, just not alot of people, which was expected. Friday was our best, no mistakes and close to a full house. Saturday, was a disappointment, we had sound problems, which in turn resulted in some missed lines. However, all in all, I think Bishop would have been proud.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I know I promised a review so long ago...but high school is tough and that is the reality. But as these past few weeks have gone by, I need to stop and ask myself....why? My grandmother passed 3 weeks ago, my cousin (premature baby) passed away last week, and yesterday/today, I find out that one of my favorite teachers has been hit by a car and is in a coma. So many questions come out. Why? Why now? Why Mr. Bishop, my grandmother, and my cousin? Why me? These questions are never answered. They say that going through the motions is the best way to cope. Is it really? I feel like a robot, or a ghost, just following routine, as if nothing has changed. Why is it good to go through routine? Why is the question...

P.S, sorry for my rant, but those reviews will come soon.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


During the summer, I have gone a Amazon Kindle Shopping Spree. I have bought many books, and I have read them all. This includes buying the whole Twilight Series (Guys I don't want to hear it),two Nicholas Sparks, The Host (which is a very good book), the latest Artemis Fowl (which is terrible), Charlie St. Cloud (which is alright), Shantaram (brilliant), and the Hunger Games trilogy (which was awesome). Expect a review for: The Host, Artemis Fowl, Shantaram, and the Hunger Games.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Forever Young

Today we had the Welcome Back Dance which was a big hit. I would like to thank Sharon Hsu for giving us the oppurtinity to work. I will elaborate on the dance later. I have created my own website.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

US and UN, Who is in Charge?

This summer I spent a couple of weeks getting some extra classes in Chemistry, Algebra II as well as English.  This is one of my better papers.

In 1992, the United Nations created the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) to resolve problems in Somalia.  It was meant to create a safe and secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid in Somalia. They were authorized to use "any necessary means" in Chapter VII of the Charter.  The United States created the idea of UNITAF, by offering their military support to lead a “multinational force”.  In the end, the United States sent 28,000 troops, while other countries in total presented 17,000.  United States had central command for all the troops during the Somalia conflicts, including UNITAF, UNOSOMI and UNOSOMII.   Later in 1993, after many violent skirmishes, UNOSOMII initiated military operations both in land and air.  On October 3, 1993 two US helicopters were shot down, and a huge firefight ensued.  In the end, 18 US personnel died and 75 were wounded.  After the event, President Clinton announced that the US would withdraw its troops in March 31 1994.  Thus officially ending the US part of UNOSOMII.  The US losses during the conflict were insignificant; the attack itself was surprising due to the military strength of the United States.   In this and other events in history, when the US takes full control of an operation, it appears there will be failure and bloodshed.  With the US making decisions about the UN in its forming, as well as in other military campaigns and providing financial support, can the UN really say they are in charge, or are they the puppet in the grand scheme of things?  
While the United Nations was founded in 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the term in 1942, as 26 nations who were united against the Axis Powers.  In 1945, 50 representatives met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organizations to draw up the United Nations Charter.  Finally, the United Nations decided that their permanent home would be in New York City.  Since the US's first use of veto power in 1970, they have been the most frequent user of it. They have vetoed 13 resolutions to date. Eleven of these were regarding the Middle East, one for Bosnia, and one in 1989, following the invasion of Panama.  With their large direct and indirect contributions, influence on the decision making, and even housing the headquarters, the United States has grown to be less a member and more of a master to the United Nations. 
In 2002, the United Nations was voting on Security Council Resolution 1441, regarding the situation in Iraq.  President George W. Bush personally stated that Iraq had committed many violations of previous Gulf War resolutions, such as harboring terrorists and the production and use of weapons of mass destruction.  In the meantime, Iraq denied all charges and even announced that they would permit re-entry of United Nations arm inspectors to search.  The US insisted that this was a ploy and continued to call for a Security Council resolution that would authorize the use of military force.  Thus, legalizing the invasion of Iraq.  This shows that the US can bully its way through UN resolutions and have their way in the end. 
The US also controls the UN in the financial sector.  As of 2010, the United States is the leading financial contributor for UN peacekeeping operations at 27.1%.  Another report shows the breakdown of the United States’ direct and indirect financial contributions during 1996 to 2001.  The US Department of State and Defense directly contributed on average about $3.45 billion during those years.   However, the United States indirectly contributed about $24.2 billion during those years.  The indirect contributions were mainly military support, which is more important due to the fact that they are provided security to the UN.    A member that controls 25% of the UN budget would be hard to ignore, especially if they contributed consistently.
When Americans were asked in 1995 about the US involvement in UN peacekeeping, a majority said that the US was spending too much money and that they were sending more than the fair share of troops.  Another poll shows in July 2006, a large majority stated that the US was playing the role as “world policeman” more than it should be.  Finally another survey showed that 75% of the participants believed that the US should do an equal share as opposed to doing more or less.  This goes to show that the Americans themselves believe that they are doing too much.  Every time America gets into some other countries business, Americans will be lost. 
I personally believe that the United States has control of the UN, and that it would be better for both parties if the United States reduced their involvement.   The United Nations was formed to be a global organization that is in charge of worldwide peacekeeping operations, among other things.      However, I think that with all their recent failures, they can't afford to be the global police.  It is time the Americans step back and let the UN do the job they were formed to do. 

Moraga (formely known as the Stead) Open

This past week, I have been voluenteering my services to help a the Moraga Open, a local tennis tournament, that is sponsored by the Alta Bates Hospital.  I am part of a group of 6 kids working, clearing courts, stowing chairs and doing miscellaneous jobs.  While the other kids are getting paid 120USD for the week, I signed up too late resulting in no pay.  However, seeing as I enjoy helping, I came anyways.  It has been fun working, as I get to watch alot of great tennis.  Some of the highlights include watching the Brogan and Hirshman match.  That match was full of taunts and mind games.  Others include watching Tyler Browne play, as well as Chris Wettengael, Adrian Bohane, Marie Zalameda, Ivana Lisjak, Bjorn Monroe and Brad Weston.  Tomorrow will be the finals, and will be the hardest day, due to the fact that I will be ballboying as well as getting ready to leave California and head back to school.  This year's Open has been fun, and I can't wait for next years to happen. 


Its kinda sad that I didn't get to finish my Washington DC posts, and that is all due to my fault.  I procrastinated for a long time, and soon began to forget the details.  So here is my dad's post:

We had wanted to visit the Washington DC area for a long time. For one reason or another, we have not done so until this summer. We visited DC between 9-13 June. Of the four of us, only Felicia has had previous visits, but her last visit to the area was probably close to 18 or 19 years ago.

After some research, we decided to stay in the DC suburb of Bethesda, which is a quaint little town around 10 miles (or 20 minutes on the subway) north of the City. Howard suggested the website,, which provided lots of information, reviews on hotels and good deals. We settled on the Hilton Garden Inn which is about three blocks from the subway stop and included free breakfast and Internet. We had invited the Ho's, Chiang's and Chin's to join us in DC and everyone had declined until Hong contacted us in early June told us that he and his family will meet us in DC. That turned out to be the great as we really enjoyed our time with the Chins. The adults caught up on old times and the kids clicked right away and spent the entire time together, including a sleepover with Nick, Matt, Connor and Emma (who we re-named Emmalina for the trip) all squeezed into one room.

After taking the Supershuttle from the Airport to our hotel, we went to the nearby Bethesda Crab House for some Maryland Crabs. We ordered a dozen extra-large crabs, a pound of jumbo prawns, corn on the cobb and coleslaw. The crabs were big, meaty and sweet. The prawns, despite of their size were tender and juicy. Matt didn't want any crabs but did managed to have four claws. Nick and I each had five crabs (I gave my claws to Matt) and Felicia had two. It was a great experience and we had a great time.
With jetleg, Felicia was up at 3am and went to the exercise room on our floor and worked out for an hour. We finally all got up at 6am and went downstairs for breakfast. It was a full spread with eggs (any style), bacon, sausages, home fries, pancakes, waffles, cereals, fruits,,...etc. The quality of the food was surprisingly good and we packed it down well.

I called Hong, shortly after breakfast and he came down to our room for a chat. As we were told (by Bev Gams) that certain exhibits required us to go early in the morning to get the free tickets that are handed out starting from 8:30am each day, we left for DC shortly after 8am. We took the Metro from the Bethesda Station which is about three blocks away from our hotel. Our first stop was the Bureau of Engraving and Printing which is the place where the US dollar bills are printed. It was a relatively slow day and we were able to get tickets to the 9:45am tour. Since we still have some time to kill, we went over to the Washington Monument and waited in line (for about 15 minutes) and got tickets for the 12pm tour.

The Bureau of Engraving turned out to be a bit boring. While it was impressive to see actual USD100 bills being printed and learning about all of the elaborate process of money printing, we would not have rated this tour to be a "must-see" in DC. The tour lasted about 30 minutes before we spent the required time in the Gift shop which the boys promptly exchange some real money for some "fake" souvenir money.

The Chins, after their long drive from NYC arrived in Bethesda at 1am. They got up around 8am, had breakfast and drove into town. We met them in front of the Washington Monument lawn after our tour to the Bureau of Engraving at around 10:30am. We sat around and chatted while the kids fooled around without fuss. Hong and Lilar has lovely kids. They are happy, easygoing and fun to be with. The youngest one, Maxi (short for Maxine), who is two and half, is a real cutie and a lot of fun.

After our long wait, which passed quickly, our turn finally came. The ride up, 70 seconds, was uneventful but the view from top was spectacular!! The views from the four corners of the Monument gave instant overview of the Mall and many of the major sights in DC. We spent about 20 minutes on top, before coming down and headed for lunch. Hong packed all nine of us into his Honda Odyssey and drove to Ben's Chili Bowls on U Street and 8th. We heard about this place from the Travel Channel and magazines. Furthermore, Ben's Chile Bowl, after extensive research done by Nick, was on the top of his list of "restaurants to try."

Ben's Chili Bowl is probably not in the best part of DC. But, during the day, it was fine. It has been open for over fifty years (since 1958) and it has been a favorite of Bill Cosby and other celebrates, including President Obama. As we have a large group, we were led passed the counters and small tables in the front and went straight to the back room where there are large tables. Most of us ordered the "Half smoked with Chili's" which is a sausage in a bun, topped with Ben's Chili. We also ordered Chili, Cheese and regular fries to share. Matt also ordered one of their famous milkshakes which was really thick. Overall, I thought the atmosphere was better than the food. The "Half Smoked with Chili" was overwhelm by the Chili which tasted a little blend. It was difficult to taste the sausage itself. Other than the fries which were big, the serving size was modest at best. But the kids had a great time and are still raving about the experience even today.
By this time, it was after 2pm and the kids wanted to do one more sight -- the International Spy Museum!! The Spy Museum is not too far from Ben's Chili Bowl and we were there in no time. The visit to the Museum also gave little Maxi some time to rest after a long morning. So, Hong and I took Emma, Connor and the boys into the Museum. The Chins have visited the Spy Museum on their previous visit to DC but were happy to accommodate our boys for a repeat visit. The kids spent about an hour in the museum, exploring various interactive exhibits and quite a bit of time in the gift shop. We were exhausted by the end of the museum and returned to the Hotel for a quick swim in the 10 meter pool before heading out to dinner at the Barking Dog, a nearby burgers and sandwiches place. We walked around downtown Bethesda after dinner, getting ice cream and visited the Apple Store before returning to the Hotel to sleep. The kids had such a great time together, they decided to all sleep in Nick and Matt's room. Since the Chins only booked one room for the five of them, having Connor and Emma sharing Nick and Matt's room gave Hong a Lilar a long deserving break.

We started Day 3 on a slower pace. While Felicia still got up at 3am and did her 30 minutes on the cross-trainer and we had our huge breakfast at 6:30am (with Emma and Connor), we rested and waited until Hong and Lilar woke up and got ready. We all went to Town together, stuffed in the Chin's Honda Odyssey. Our destination in the morning was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the Mall. We thought we would've been done in about an hour, but we spent almost three hours inside. Apart from all of the exhibits, the kids especially enjoyed the flight simulator. Connor went with Matt while Emma stuck with Nick. We saw them pitched and rolled and SCREAMED!!! None of them could walk in a straight line after the flight, but they all wanted to go AGAIN.
For lunch, some had McDonald's which was located next to the Smithsonian Museum. Others had more chili dogs which Peter bought from a street vendor around the back of the museum. Gray Gams, Matthew's best friend from 3rd through 5th grade at TAS, who had moved back to the Baltimore area a couple of years ago, met us by the Washington Monument shortly after lunch. He traveled with his Mom, Bev, all the way from a Baltimore suburb to meet Matthew and us. Together we strolled from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, then to the White House, before taking the subway back to Bethesda. We had dinner at a little Vietnamese restaurant in Bethesda before the Gams head-off back home. After a short stroll in Bethesda downtown where Felicia enjoyed a piece of a great cupcake from "Georgetown Cupcakes", the Chins embarked on their return journey to NYC.

Day 4 was a Saturday, so breakfast wasn't served until 7:30am. For once, Felicia finally slept pass 3am and we woke up at a more decent hour. After breakfast, we took the subway into town and went to the Smithsonian American History Museum. Again, the Museum was surprisingly interesting. With an blink of an eye, we had already spent three hours in the museum and it was lunch time!! After some indecision, we finally decided to go to the food court below the Ronald Reagen Center. Like most food courts, this was no exception. The food was expensive and rather disappointing. Since we had planned to visit Felicia's childhood family friends for dinner, we decided to go back to the Hotel for a rest before heading out towards Annapolis on the Metro. We took the train from Bethesda, changed and Metro Center to the Orange Line and rode all the way to the last stop, "New Carrollton" where we were picked up by Marie. As there was some constructions in the subway line along the way, the ride took about an hour and 20 minutes in total.

Marie's parents where good friends of Felicia's parents and have known each other for the past 40-50 years. Felicia had spent many summers in Marie's home, attending summer school and getting to know the American culture. After we were picked up, we went and visited Marie's parents, Frank and Roslyn Chih, in their home. We chit-chatted for about 30 minutes before heading out for dinner, at a seafood place called, Timbuktu. This was a huge restaurant, probably with seating capacity of more than 150-200 people. Fortunately, we had a reservation as the line was long. Most of us have the famous Maryland Crabcakes which were enormous!! Marie also ordered some calamaris which was delicious, to share. Darryl, Marie's husband, drove us back to Bethesda after dinner. As Timbuktu is actually about halfway between Marie's house and Bethesda, the ride back was quick, about 25-30 minutes.

We began our last day with a little dispute with the Hotel. But, all was resolved in no time and we had our "normal" breakfast at the little cafe downstairs. While the weather was surprisingly cool during the first few days of our visit, it had turned warm and muggy on our last day. Any plans of additional visits were quickly scrapped as we sat in the nicely air-conditioned rooms awaiting for our ride to the airport. We did make a short trip to the nearby Safeway to pick-up lunch as our economy flight was "foodless."

Our return trip was good and the flight departed and arrived on-time. As we had parked our Camry at the Skypark near the SFO Airport, we were back home before 7pm.

Overall, the DC trip was a lot of fun. We think the must-sees in DC were the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and maybe the White House. The Smithsonians were awesome but requires at least a week and a lot of physical stamina to see them all. But the key ingredient which made this trip so great was the visit from our friends, the Chins and the Gams. The Chins, especially, drove all the way from NYC to be with us and was tremendously accommodating in all of our visits. It was so much fun, Felicia is already planning our next trip together!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Washington DC Part 3: Day 2

After starting our day with breakfast the Hilton, we all jammed into Uncle Hong's car and drove to the Air and Space Museum on the mall.  Instead of spending an hour in the museum, we spent three, because there were so many thinks to do. Apart from the exhibits, I especially enjoyed the flight simulators.  Emily and I, took a simulator that would do 360s.  It was quite exhilarating.  After, we had lunch right by the museum, we walked to the Washington Monument area where we met Matt's old friend Gray.  After catching up we walked some more towards the WWII Memorial, where we took a rest and dipped our feet in the pool.  Finally, we got up and walked some more, towards the Lincoln Memorial.  Finally we finished our walk at the White House where we took pictures and then left back to the hotel.  We went to dinner at a Thai place near the hotel.  After which we said good bye to the Uncle Hong and his family as well as the Gams.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Washington DC Part 2: Day 1

On Day 2, we began with breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn, having the usual American Style breakfast, eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and toast.  After we took the metro to the Washington Mall, we lined up to get the free tickets for the Washington Monument.  It is imperative that people go early to grab the tickets or else they may run out.  After grabbing the tickets, we went to go see the Department of Printing and Engraving.  Basically the US bills factory. After the long, yet interesting tour, we went to meet our friends near the monument.  Then at about 12:00 AM, we went to the Washington Monument tour,  The Washington Monument is a must do when going to DC.  It is informative and very good for kids.  After the tour, we went to Ben's Chili Bowl for lunch.  Ben's Chili Bowl is a very famous restaurant in DC.  It is located on U St.  This restaurant is so famous, that President Obama visited as well as Bill Cosby.  After lunch, we visited the famous Spy Museum; that museum is good for teens and is as well very informative.  The Spy Museum is a huge collection of everything that has to do with spies.  Also in the museum there is a separate part that is mainly for teens.  After that we went to a sports bar for dinner called the Barking Dog.  Finally, after a long day, we headed back to the hotel.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Washington DC Part 1: Trip/Arrival

We left San Francisco at 10 in the morning, taking a 4 hour plane ride and arrived in DC at about 5.  We boarded a super shuttle, to Bethesda, however because of rush hour, our journey took 1-1 1/2 hours.  Finally, we arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn, in Bethesda.  After spending an hour or so, unpacking, we decided to go out and have dinner. We went to a famous crab house, The Bethesda Crab House.  Their specialty dish, was 12 crabs any size steamed with cajun spice. We ordered the Xtra-Large crabs, which we went though happily.  They also served, shrimp, and sides such as Corn, and coleslaw.  After dinner, we went for a walk and headed back to the hotel.  That concludes our 1st day in DC.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Washington DC

Washington DC, a beautiful city, filled with parks, museums, and a diversity of restaurants.  This is the beginning of a 5-part post that I will be posting soon.  Part 1 is the Trip/arrival, Part 2 is Day 1, Part 3 is Day 2, Part 4 is Day 3. Part 5, is the conclusion. Anyways, see you soon.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Time of Your Life

Wow....its been a fun few days.
When we were supposed to celebrate the end of exams, by going to paintball at 147.  However, due to the bad weather, it was postponed to Sunday, meanwhile Young, Alex, Paulina, Daniel, Emily, Pelix, and I met at Ginnie's house.  There we spent the whole afternoon, gaming and watching movies.  We played Brawl, and then tried to watch John Tucker Must Die, however the PS3 sound wouldn't work.  Alex and I spent a whole hour just trying to get it work. Finally, Alex and I gave up, and we watched the movie with subtitles.
On Friday, I celebrated my 15th birthday, by going to the waterpark.  I invited 20 people this year, and all of them came.  People that came include: Me, Kendra, Young, Paulina, Alex, Ginnie, Jinnie, Sarah W, Sarah K, Sarah Y, Tasha, Pelix, Kevin, Lydia, Ann, Hannah, Iris, Emily, David, Sydney, and Yuka.  We went by 3 taxis, and one car.  There, we spent half the day having a blast.  I tried to hang out with everyone, but I mainly stuck with Ginnie and Emily, towards the end.  We three went on the UFO many times, while also testing other guys to see if we could get a faster ride.  We were the best combo ever, and I became a pimp. LOL.  In the end, Pelix was one of the better ones.  We did the lazy river, which involved Pelix and I, massaging Emily and Ginnie. Finally, when we were all tired and cold, we split  up, with most of the girls going to Tasha's house, while some of us went to Young's.  We had dinner, and went home.
On Sunday...We finally went paintballing....while it wasn't as awesome as the last few days, it was very exhilarating.  I got shot a couple times, and nearly got pegged by my own teammates too. was very fun...and it was very awesome.  I wish that these few days would have continued....SIGH..well leaving for Cali tomorrow, so should be fun.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Grey's Anatomy Season 6 Finale


Its always hard to write a review without spoiling the ending, but it is always fun.  This is my first TV show review.  Sanctuary, part 1 of the finale, and Death and All his Friends, part 2.  This epic final was the best I ever seen. While Season 5 was extremely devastating with Izzy nearly dead and George actually dead, Season 6 was by far, the better one.  With a shooter in the hospital and multiple GSWs (gun shot wounds), and pregnant doctors, the final couldn't have been more scary.  With many resolutions to crazy relationships, and the great ending to the Gary Clark legacy, this episode couldn't have been written better.  The heroes in this were: Mark Sloan, Terry Altman, Callie Torres, Jackson Avery, Mary (patient), Miranda Bailey, Richard Webber, and Christina Yang. 

I give this Episode a 10/10 for its great writing, conclusion, and for helping bring back the Anatomy we love.
Provided by TV @spreadit.orgd

Thursday, April 22, 2010

TAIMUN - Delegate of India

My first TAIMUN was quite interesting, because of the people I met, and the variety of atmosphere you could step into.  As I was the Delegate of India, and being part of the Human Rights Committee, my country was going to be attacked.  This year, we debated on 2 issues, Honor Crimes, and Human Trafficking.  I sent in 2 amendments that were both passed.  I think that TAIMUN was a great experience, and that I hope I can go next year. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Cambodia, a trial that tests your mental and physical capabilities.  A test to see if you can survive grueling temperatures, and hard work.  During Spring Break, I was one of the 27 people that volunteered their services to be apart of the 2010 TIC Cambodia Mission Team.  Our mission trip directly works with the New Hope NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) in Cambodia.  Personally, I was on the Playground and Beds team for my trip.  My team spent 3 days and 3 nights in Rong Kor Orphanage and 2 days and 2 nights at the Kampong Chnnang Orphanage.  During the day and night, temperatures would be 30-35 degrees C, yet we still had to work. I believe that one of the most rewarding things about this trip, was the joy that I got to see and hear from the orphans.  Even though they may not be as well of as we are, they seem to find joy in their everyday life through games, and just sitting around.  After this trip, I feel grateful that I have basic amenities and more.  Running water, electricity, a nice bed, food, all the things that seem ordinary, are comforts to any one of those orphans.  I think that I might go next year, as a reminder that I should be grateful.  This was a test, and I feel that I have passed barely.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

When I first purchased this book, I honestly thought that the setting was going to be set in Asia. The title, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larsson,  seemed like an Asian book, because of the word Dragon in the title, only, later did I realize that this book was an intricate puzzle and that "dragon" was just something to catch the reader's eye.  The book is set in Sweden, is about Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist, Henrik Vanger, a rich industrialist, Lisbeth Salandar, a hacker, and a 40-year old unsolved crime.  This book is a complicated story with Henrik searching for a long lost relative, a corrupt businessman, and a several incidents of domestic violence.  This book was a bit complicated with all the names and places, but after reading a couple of chapters, it begins to flow more easily.  Its about 480 pages, but a worthwhile read.  I highly recommend this to adults and highschoolers who are tired of school reading.  Stieg Larsson is a wonderful author, even though he passed away in 2004.  This book is part of a trilogy, and I will be reviewing the next book soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

MY Research Paper

I remember saying that I would post some of my here is my latest one.

Martial Law in Taiwan; Was it worth it?
While it may not have been a shot heard around the world, it was a shot heard around Taiwan. Hatred between the Formosans and the KMT government erupted on February 27th, 1947, which then escalated into a widespread rebellion. On February 27th, 1947, an elderly cigarette vendor was assaulted by Taiwan Monopoly agents. After being beaten multiple times, the elderly vendor was killed. Soon, a massive crowd appeared, then, the shot was fired. (Memorandum on Taiwan Situation, Stuart) The panicked agents fired into the crowd. This began the rebellion. While the KMT government began negotiating with the Formosans; they began building a huge army to assault Formosans. Dead men, women and children, became the usual panorama, because they were everywhere, however, it was March 8th when it became massacre. On March 8th, 21st Division under the command of General Liu Yu-ching landed in Keelung. (28 February, 1947, Ilha Taiwan) Finally, on March 10th, martial law was declared. This was the official beginning of Taiwan’s “White Terror”, as well as Taiwan’s modernization. Martial law in Taiwan was positive for Taiwan even though there was much widespread killing. There were improvements in economy, infrastructure and allowed democracy to develop. Martial law helped provide unity in a chaotic country.
Martial law in Taiwan was labeled as “the Holocaust to the Taiwanese”, because of the killing, and wrongful persecution. (28, February 1947, Ilha Taiwan) Martial law was declared through the passing of the “Temporary Provisions” bill. This allowed President, Chiang Kai Shek and his Vice President, to be exempted from the 2-year limit, as well as granting him emergency powers in case the communists attack; however he used the bill to force Taiwan into martial law. (Temporary Provisions, In the beginning of martial law in Taiwan, there was chaos everywhere. Formosans were bayoneted, many were robbed, and soldiers, like mosquitoes, are everywhere, except unlike mosquitoes, they did more than sting, they killed. Then, on March 8th, 1947, it became a massacre. Once the first troops landing in Keelung, they began shooting civilians on the street. (Massacre Victims remembered in Keeling Taipei, Taipei Times) This was one of the many atrocities committed by the KMT army, however, there was more to come. According to a study done by, former DPP legislator and political prisoner, Hsieh Tsun-ming, there were at least 29,000 political persecutions involving 140,000 people with 2,000 to 3,000 being executed. (White Terror exhibit unveils part of the truth, Taipei Times) Many of the political prisoners were sent to Green Island to undergo torture and work camps. (Green Island Taiwan, Spirit Survivors such as Chen Meng-ho, have a hard time adapting back into society because of the fact that he was imprisoned. “After [I] was released, relatives and former classmates avoided him when they saw him on the street, Chen recalled.” (Documentary about White Terror features interviews with victims, Taiwan Journal) Because of the taboo, many families don’t know about their loved ones, whether they are dead, or alive. Many families were separated because of the actions of the KMT army; however, it’s because of the martial law, which created an over-reaching unity of the country. It’s the unity, which helped them develop a stable economy.
In the midst of all the killing, Taiwan’s economy flourished during this period. When the KMT government fled China, they brought an entire gold reserve as well as foreign currency reserve. More importantly, Chiang brought over elite businessmen and intellectuals. The unexpected “influx of monetary and human capital laid the foundation for Taiwan's later dramatic economic development”, which is later known as the “Taiwan Miracle”. (The Story of Taiwan-Economy, Once Taiwan’s economy began to rise, many of its companies also started to expand and establish international branches in China and USA. During the 1950s, the JCRR, or Sino-American Joint Commission of Rural Reconstruction, issued a land reform which allowed farmers to own the land they farm. Since the late 1800s, when the Japanese had control of Taiwan, farmers didn’t have control of the land they farmed. With the land reform, farmers not only can farm on their own land, they can sell their own crops with their own prices. Because the farmers can control their own land, they are now properly motivated into helping the agricultural sector of the economy. (ROC on Taiwan- Economy, Culture, Education and Society, Much of the current Taiwan economy was and is still based on the fact that Taiwan is a large exporting country; however this began with the help of US Aid. (Taiwan, Gale Cengage Learning) Following the American experts’ advice, the KMT government created an ambitious program to restructure the whole Taiwan economy, by making it export orientated. With Taiwan’s export orientated economy, in the 80s, Taiwan has risen to a status of being part of the Four Tigers. Yet, Taiwan couldn’t have become a trade oriented economy without the help of the developing infrastructure.
When the US sent money over to Taiwan, Chiang spent a good deal, in bettering the infrastructure. Because of the forced unity, many of the construction projects that were ordered were quickly completed. After WWII, one of the ports that were heavily attacked by the allies was the Kaohsiung Harbor. During WWII, the Japanese use the harbor as a supply point for their campaign in the south east. After, the Japanese surrendered, Taiwan was in the midst of restoring itself, from the war, however the Kaohsiung Harbor became a ghost harbor. In December of 1945, the KHB, or Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau, was established to restore the harbor. Finally 10 years after it began, the restoration was finished. (History of Kaohsiung Harbor) A second harbor was later constructed under the orders of late President Chiang. The Kaohsiung harbor now is the largest harbor in Taiwan. In 1978, Taiwan had its first national freeway completed. The number 1 highway, or Sun Yat-sen Freeway, was the first North to South highway constructed, and is still today one of the busiest highways in Taiwan. (Highways and Freeways, With this highway, goods that landed in Kaohsiung Harbor can now be transported throughout Taiwan. Once this highway was constructed, many other were built to relieve traffic flowing, such as the Second Highway. After the Taiwan Railway Administration was developed after WWII, many of Taiwan’s longest railways were completed with double tracks and electricity. With these railways in place, commuters and cargo could easily travel across Taiwan. Lines like the North Link line were completed as part of the Ten Major Construction Projects. (Taiwan Railway History, Taiwan Railway Administration) With the new developed infrastructure, the economy intact, the only thing left was the restoration of the government.
The final step into modernizing Taiwan was the change of government; from authoritarian to democracy. Once Chiang Kai-shek died, his son took over Chiang Ching-kuo and ruled Taiwan with more leeway. After many weeks into his presidency, he soon realized that if Taiwan pursued democracy, Taiwan’s international status could rise. In 1986, CCK called for major reforms in the government, some including, restructuring parliament, creating multi-party elections, and abolishing martial law. Finally, with these reforms, the Democratic Progressive Party arose and became one of the two major parties. In 1987, CCK abolished martial law which acted as the final step to political modernization. When CCK died, Lee Teng-hui, his VP, became what the Taiwan Panorama calls, “Mr. Democracy”. (Mr. Democracy, Taiwan Panorama) Lee began this by allowing full elections for legislate and introducing multi-party presidential elections. Also, he gave the people basic freedoms such as freedom of press and speech. All these changes freed the people from the “white terror”, and removed them from the authoritarian government. On September 28, 1986, the Democratic Progressive Party was established as an opposing party against the KMT. (DPP History, While forming political parties was illegal at the time, the DPP rose as a result of the people’s craving for change. A year after its establishment, martial law was abolished, and the DPP quickly rose to legalize elections and winning their first election in 1996. With the DPP and the KMT, Taiwan was finally a democratic republic with multi-party elections.
Martial law in Taiwan was a dark hole in its history, and because of the crackdown, many historical documents and papers were lost, however even though the crimes that were committed were terrible, martial law still created a unified country which helped Taiwan modernize. In the beginning, there was much killing, all around, but because of the forced unity, the economy came back, infrastructure was improved, and it allowed democracy to sprout. The atrocities that were done against the Taiwanese, was horrifying, yet the growth of the country itself, is scary as it is. This shows that countries, who have suffered similar atrocities, if not worse, can come back and become a great nation as well. If Taiwan can become a better country, then countries, who have suffered such as Cambodia and Darfur, can return as well.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sink or Swim...

Finally, Wednesday is nearly here.  I always find Swim Zone, the most relaxing part of my week, even though I have to take care of screaming little kids.   Swimming, and teaching my two favorite things put into one....SIGH!...Anywayz...i can't believe I have to fill out the stupid booklet.  I mean, teacher shouldn't have to stick to a study plan, or lesson plan.  Teachers should have a goal in mind, but an open mind to create activities.  Each class has different strengths and weaknesses, by planning ahead, this restricts the freedom of the students.  For example, teachers may need to change their lessons, because of one student.

Well that's about it for today...and i really need to finish that review.... 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

House Rules Review

Fans and I raved when Picoult's Handle With Care was released and now, about one year later, fans cry again.  This time however, fans not only cried, they were forced to think.  House Rules, is about Jacob Hunt, an 18 year old boy, suffering from Asperger Syndrome, on the more severe spectrum of Autism.  Like all Asperger kids who have "special talents", some are good at math, while others good at art.  However, Jacob's "special talent" is forensic science.  His passion for it, has caused him to watch "Crimebusters" (basically CSI), every day at 4:30.  Yet, when his tutor is found dead, all the symptoms for Asperger, such as not looking at the cop in the eye or random fidgeting also seem like guilt.  All in all, mothers, and young teens like me who read this book, have to wonder, could their own child be capable of murder?  Who can you believe in times of great distress?  Your kid, or the painted hero?  This book, forces you to think about your own child.  House Rules, a new book from Jodi Picoult, and as thought provoking as ever.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ain't No Mountain High Enough...

Today....2 quizzes, crazy kids x 2 and cool people. Anywaiz...quizzes were fine, I talked in front of gold house 8th grade...and I TAUGHT! Swim if i haven't told you yet....Swim Zone is everything I like doing, teaching and swimming at the same time.  I always feel relaxed when I work with the kids.  Finally, I met really cool people from the other school for IASAS Cultural Convention...XD!!! I GET TOMOLO OFF!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to save a life....

Soooo Cultural Convention official started 7 min ago...lolz

1. Get to get out of math early cause speaking to 8th graders about community service.
2. SWIM ZONE! MY KIDDIES!!!! XD (speaks for it's self)
3. CC !!! (also speaks fo its self)

Finally, I am thankful that someone else is reading my pathetic little blog....KANAKO!...ok....enough with the caps...I',m thinkin i do another book review about House Rules and send it to blue and gold....XD

Currently its an awesome book.

Monday, March 1, 2010


YESH!!!! I am in the IASAS Cultural Convention Tech Team, which means I get Thursday off....YEAH!!!! Also, I like be in Tech Team because I feel in control when I am in the control room.  This week is gonna be a blast!!!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Notebook

I know I haven't been on this blog for a looooong time, but after I read The Notebook, I felt the need to rediscover my blog. (Even though no one reads this.) SO I first heard of Nicholas Sparks, after I was searching for Jodi Picoult on Amazon. After further exploration I decided to tryout one of his books. Thus I started, "The Holy Grail of Romance Novels". While it was quite slow in the beginning, it easily became interesting. The book, hit a nerve that changed my personality, while I am normally a cynic, this book changed my views, and allowed me to become what I call, "Romantic Cynic". All in all, this book indeed is "The Holy Grail of Romance Novels". Read it and weep.