September Blog 2020

Hello Everyone!

School is back and in full throttle but in a different way that we all expected. I am currently signed up for Physics, Anatomy and Physiology, Intercultural Film, and Psychology. Two out of the four classes are hybrid and the other two are online. I also arrived to campus a week ago and the campus feels empty. I do not go out much because my housing is further away the main part of campus and also because of the online classes. It really feels different and it sucks because I really enjoyed seeing a bunch of faces everyday on campus. COVID-19 really did get the best of us and it is not a good feeling. Everything to do on campus is very limited to where it feels like I am just in my dorm taking classes and not living the college life that we all dreamed to have. Its the reality of life I guess and its bitter sweet. I do on the other hand enjoy the online classes and how tutoring is also online to where they are easily accessible, instead of actually walking to a specific place on campus to meet them.

I still am planning to volunteer but I do not know how that will work so I have to get in contact of the program that is in charge of community service. I also plan to work again but the work load this semester is a bit tough especially with physics at the moment. I am thinking of applying for Hy-Vee soon if I can get settled down since I worked there over the summer. If I do end up working, I will definitely have less hours than I did in the summer. The only reason I hesitate is that the work environment at Hy-Vee back home was very stressful and I feel unsure if I want to add more onto my plate at this very moment.

College life is definitely different but what can I do right? I just have to suck it up and get through the change. One thing I defiantly miss though are the gatherings with friends. I have met with a few friends at a time but it does not feel the same because of COVID procedures. I really wonder when things will go back to normal. It certainly is not anytime soon.

I hope everyone is hanging in there during the tough time we are in! We must be resilient, we can do it!

April Blog 2020

Hello Everyone!

It has been a very hectic month for all of us and I hope you all are doing well and staying safe, as well as your loved ones! This month has been quite the shift and a new challenge that I had to face. In life there are endless challenges that await, and COVID-19 is just one of the many challenges we must endure. Classes has shifted to online class towards early April, since Gustavus was one of the few colleges to put in the decision to go into online classes late. We also have a later spring break is which gave the college more leeway to come to a decision. Taking online classes is different, and in my opinion puts students and teachers at a disadvantage, especially if we are not trained and well adapted to it. It is harder to interact with professors and classmates. Furthermore, there are many distractions at home, which I think makes it for an unsuitable study place for myself. The positive aspects of online classes I do like is being able to do assignments more on my time. We do not meet as often, or at all which allows me more time to work.

I am still currently working at Hy-Vee, in which I was transferred over spring break. The pandemic has affected the way we work also. We are now required to wear masks. That is mainly about it, but I am way more mindful in my personal hygiene at work. I wash my hands way more often and make sure I keep my distance from people, especially if they seem ill. I try not to keep so far of a distance most of the time because it may seem like I do not want to help the customer and that I am afraid. I am not too afraid of contact, as long as the person seems healthy and I regularly wash my hands and wear proper gear. Quarantine does not seem like quarantine at all. People are still out playing and keeping close contact. I wonder when this stay at home order will end.

All the ruckus on the pandemic has also affected my volunteering hours. I am now at home, so I cannot volunteer even if the students still went to campus. It would be too far and way out of my convenience to drive over an hour to volunteer for a bit. There is nothing new that has been going on, only a change of pace and how things are being done. On the bright side, I am able to reconnect with friends from high school online, since I am no longer in the presence of my college friends.

As stated earlier, I hope all are well as long as your loved ones. Stay safe and be smart in decisions.

Thank you,

Alex

March 2020

The begging of March was easy going, with the same schedule. All of a sudden, a global pandemic happened, COVID19, otherwise known as corona virus. It had impacted the lives of many, including myself. My college was one of the last colleges in Minnesota that I know of that made the later decision in going online with schooling. We were all told not to return from break, while many of our essentials remained at campus. I was granted permission to stay on campus, with limited access to the buildings, only having access to my dorm, and necessary places, like the cafeteria. I was only granted permission because I was working in Mankato, which is about 15 minutes away from Gustavus. The college eventually came to a consensus that the students on campus had to leave by the last Sunday of March. I grabbed all of my belongings and left home, but little did I know that I forgot a small amount of belongings. I had forgot to double check every drawer, which was a mistake. I will plan to go back to campus as soon as they will allow students to return. They have given out emails about scheduling times that students can return to campus and obtain their belongings in acts to reduce the amount of people on campus.

Moving to online classes has its pros and cons. I dislike the decision of doing online classes. I am not able to meet my professors, especially the ones that require meetings, like my condition and golf class. I do not have any golf clubs, so I have to compromise with a stick to try and practice for our lessons. As of conditioning, most of it can be done at home. There is at least one time in the week we are required to do a run and jog exercise which makes it challenging. In all honesty, with what has been going on in the United States, especially discrimination against Asian people, it makes me feel unsafe to run and jog in my neighborhood. I already did not feel safe running and jogging around my neighborhood before the pandemic. I have seen many people become victims of discrimination and hate crimes which makes me furious.

Not to talk politics, but another point which made me feel like the Asian community was belittled was from what Andrew Yang, former presidential candidate said. He explained that we as Asians should act more “American”. We should neglect our Asianness and focus on Americanness. That triggered me, because we are all Americans. What is he trying to say when we should express more Americanness? He explained that we should wear more red, white, and blue. I do not think that solves the problem of discrimination and hate crimes. I feel like he is trying to tell us to step down and neglect our true identity. The real question is, what does it mean to be American? Andrew Yang is trying to help solve the problem, but I do not think he is taking the right approach. For a long time, Asians traditionally have been conservative, trying to maintain peace without conflict, which is why I understand where Andrew Yang is coming from, and that also shows his Asianness. I am not sure if he is aware of it, but no matter how far you run from your roots, it will follow you some how. Besides Andrew Yang, I think the Asian community should fight back. It is really getting out of control, and many places in which are diverse with Asian people are getting targeted. Bowing down and letting people who discriminate will just enhance their thoughts that they have even more power than we do. Being a minority is hard when your community is being attacked by many people and fighting back in my opinion would make it look like we have as much power as they do, which we do, since its supposed to be America right?

This was a little different from a normal blog you all are used to reading, but I honestly think this is an important issue that I needed to address, as it affects how I live my life and how others live their lives, not just Asians. Issues like these happens to groups of people all over the country, and still, nothing changes. From the begging of minorities in the United States, there has been discrimination, and even now, history repeats itself. I only have one big question for you all, what do yo think it means to be American? 

Best wishes to you all and stay healthy,

Alex

February Blog 2020

Hello everyone!

I hope your month has been great! the first month of the semester was a little hectic, as in figuring out how to schedule school, volunteering, and working. I am learning many new things this semester and am interested in the topics we are learning in class so far. At the moment, I am taking anatomy and physiology, sociology, Japanese literature, conditioning, and golf. two of these five classes are my prerequisites for Occupational Therapy, one of them for my major, and the other two for general education. All that is left is to schedule an appointment with our Center of Career Development so I can find out what I need to do in order to obtain a mentor/advisor for the pre-OT program I want to go into. Furthermore, I have to also decide in who I want to have as an advisor for my major. I will be doing all of this hopefully by the end of March. Taking various and diverse classes has truly aided me in developing who I am. It enhances my ability to understand many perspectives about a certain subject, in which is the reason why I enjoy the liberal arts perspective of education.

Work had been all over the place for me. I tell them the times I am available, and they schedule me however they like based off of my schedule. One week can be busier than the other, which is why I somewhat dislike the system. I also work many weekends, so the chances of going home and spending time with family is little to none. I will also most likely be working during spring break, unless I request it off soon. I am not sure if I have mentioned it before, but I am working at Hy-Vee. The first couple of months has been very fast paced, learning many things on-the-fly, which I am perfectly fine with. I have adapted to learn and do things on the fly from student coaching, and through maturing into a young adult. Though I have been working here for a short amount of time, there is also another opportunity for employment that seems more promising for my future, which is working in a nursing home near campus. If some point in time I decide to apply and get the job, it will look great on my resume when I apply to graduate school, since it is in the medical field.

Volunteering has been slow. Study buddies has just kick started the semester and this past week was their first week. I went in on a Friday, and the children and teacher were glad to see my return.

My busiest days are Thursdays and Fridays. Thursday I wake up at 5:00 AM and get ready to help set up and coach our weekly speed and agility session for football. I then have class, a small break, class, and a high likelihood of working on a Thursday, which I close at work. This is probably not too bad as it seems, but for me, it is not as enjoyable as other days because I dread waking up early. I am one of the many non-morning people out there. As of Fridays, I have three classes and volunteer between them, then usually go straight to work. This leaves no time for me to get in a lunch, which can be draining on me. I haven’t yet had that type of day yet, but this week on Friday would be its first, and I can only imagine how hard it is going to be to not eat for a while. I will probably plan to change my availability on Fridays for work to not available, because fasting for that long is not healthy at all, and I want to be in the best position to do all the activities I can to my fullest potential.

I feel like this semester is going to be a grind, but every semester has been a grind for me. So I know I can do this. I just have to keep fighting and stay strong, especially mentally. I hope you all have enjoyed this blog, which was probably part rant also and I apologize, but lets have a great March everyone!

}!Alexander!{

January Blog

Hello everyone,

This J-Term has been very eventful for myself. I finally am declaring a major soon and will also be pursing a Occupational Therapy. I will be majoring in Japanese Studies while doing my pre-requisites to get into graduate school. I am very excited to see that I was able to make things work out with the fields I am more interested in. After countless meetings and countless contemplation, I am able to say that I am confident in my major selection, even though I have stated other areas of studies many times in my previous blogs.

My J-Term class was also quite interesting and fun. I was able to learn about how Asian/Americans are portrayed in American media. We studied the different groups within the Asian/American community, like the queer community. We also learned about the values that are different between the ‘east’ and the ‘west’. Furthermore, we were able to look in depth in what it meant to be Asian/American, understanding the difficulty it takes to adapt to Asian and American culture. I can also now apply my learning to not just Asian/Americans, but people of all races and ethnicity. This was a gateway in how to study and what to look for when studying about media representation.

I also recently started working at HyVee. I am working there part-time, trying to accumulate a small amount of income so I can use it when need be. At the moment, everything seems to be going fine, but I have to take note that the semester has just begun for me.

Volunteering will also continue once I make sure my schedule is set for the rest of the semester. Football has also been slower since it is the off season.

I am looking forward to an exciting spring semester and hope I can obtain an academic adviser for the pre-OT program I want to pursue.

December Blog

Hello Everyone!

Though this is a tad bit late, I hope the that the holidays has treated you all well! After the semester has ended, there was so much time to relax and put my feet up, socializing with family. I had the opportunity to do many leisure activities like ice fish a lot!

The end of the semester has been well, and I am more satisfied with my grades than I am before. I would say I did well in all of my classes. Being able to finish strong, I was able to relax with a bit more ease while waiting to see my end of semester grades. I was pleased that my hard work has paid off. I want to enter next semester stronger and better than before. I am currently enrolled in a J-Term class which talks about how Asian media representation. We will touch subjects like stereotypes and racism shown in media, whether it be movies, pictures, and much more.

I also plan to start working a part-time job soon, and hope it goes well. I am looking forward to my interview soon. If I do land this job, I think it will be new and cool experience. I hope they are flexible when spring semester comes around. Other than that, I hope all goes well!

Coaching has died down a bit now that the season has ended, so there is so much time I have during J-Term. I am excited to see what this January holds for me, and hope January goes well for all of you as well!

Peace, Alex

November Blog 2k19

I hope everyone had a great November, especially Thanksgiving!

November has been eventful yet tedious. There was many events that were held at Gustavus, like one called the ICC festival (International Cultures Club) where everyone of non-American decent are showcased. There were performances, a fashion show, and cultural foods! It was a great experience, and I really enjoyed all the minorities coming together and performing, embracing their cultures.

The tedious part was the schoolwork. November is right after midterms and just before finals, where a lot of the core learning happens. Academically, this is one of the least eventful times of the years. From here on out, there will be longer study days for myself, looking over the topics learned from class and further understanding them better for the finals that will be coming up.

I also have been all over the place for my career options, and it felt like my world was crumbling, but talking with my academic advisor and parents had helped me get back on track onto what I want to do. There are many obstacles that hold me back from pursuing Physical Therapy, like the grades and competitiveness to get into graduate school. All I needed though was some support to help me believe I can do it. Many of these negative thoughts had reared me away from pursuing it, which is why I chose to explore computer science. The positive aspect of this though was that I was able to understand that computer science was not for me. I love helping others, and I feel like computer science would not fulfill that role as much. I also wanted to do it because I loved the atmosphere of Concord, along with the experience with my high school internships. Now that I have figured that computer science is not for me, I now have a clear vision to pursue Physical Therapy. Even though there are people out there who are smarter, and more proficient in school, I have learned that I should not be discouraged from this and to not let it stop me from pursing a career that suits me. Even though it may take a little longer to complete school than others, I am willing to accept the challenge that life will throw at me and not run away from it. I also believe I have other traits to offer also in the future for my career. I believe I have great people skills, being able to listen and help guide people when they are in mentally challenging situations. I think this will apply great to Physical Therapy, because rehabilitation comes a lot from mentality. It is difficult to rehabilitate when something dramatic happens. I think this is what I can bring to the table, pursuing Physical Therapy.

Other extracurricular activities has been great as always. Nothing too different from what I have been doing.

Enjoy your December and stay safe! The roads are slippery, so drive with caution no matter the circumstance. Safety comes first.

Peace, Alex

October Blog 2k19

Hi everyone, I hope this month has been treating you well! This month has been full of exciting events! I would like those of you reading to feel free to tell me about how your month has been!

This month has for sure been busy. I have been doing a lot of coaching, studying, socializing, and participating in Tennis Club and HACO Club. It has been treating me quite well, for I have been able to find a good balance between everything so far. It most certainly is way easier than my Freshman year. I am not sure if it was because of me being physically and mentally drained some days due to practice or what, but it does feel more manageable.

Classes has been great. I am learning a lot, and my favorite two classes are Lifespan Development and Computer Science. In Lifespan Development, I have been learning child development. The learning material has been chronological as in the age of children, birth to late childhood. This is all I have been learning so far, and I will be learning more, like adolescent teens, young adults, and much more. For child development, the material covered explains how relationships affect the development for children, and which methods of parenting are best to get the most positive outcome in child development.

Computer Science on the other hand is different. I have been programming and learning python which is quite interesting. The methods of python has similarities and differences to other programs, but that’s how it always is. My class has already finished five projects and are currently working on the sixth. This challenges my thinking at times, but I have resources to aid me if I am stuck, which makes it helpful. Being able to program something and see it actually work is satisfying, but to get to the outcome, there is a lot of thinking behind the structure of the functions and how they work together to make something work.

My other classes are fun and interesting too, but not as much as these Computer Science and Lifespan Development. My other classes are Buddhist Philosophy and Japanese Film. Learning about philosophy can be challenging at times, for it challenges every perspective I take, and making sense of certain topics can be difficult to understand. Japanese film on the other hand is more straight-forward. We watch Japanese films, analyze them, and discuss them.

Clubs has also been entertaining. We have our annual Hmong New Year for HACO in the beginning of November, and everyone, especially the board members has been working hard on making sure everything goes smoothly and according to plan. We will be having traditional Hmong food, performances, and singing in Hmong! I am excited to watch all the hard work put into one big night. Though I am not performing or doing anything much, I am involved in the fashion show we have organized, showcasing Hmong clothing.

Tennis Club has been something I always enjoyed last year, but never had the time to participate in because of how physically tired I would be, and how busy I was. This year though, I have been making a stronger effort in participating in Club Tennis, for I need my exercise now also. They go to tournaments and recently hosted one, but coaching has conflicted with it, but that is totally fine, as long as I get to play tennis during club ‘meetings’ I am fine.

Coaching has also been a success so far. I have learned a lot, and the expectations are always high no matter the circumstance. I am learning a lot from observing how the different coaches here coach and day by day I try to understand their philosophy in coaching. Everyone has different philosophies in coaching here, yet they are similar, in which brings them together and ultimately, the team. I do a lot of the grunt work, like setting up equipment, but when I get the chance, I love participating in drills. I think that’s the most enjoyable time in coaching by far at this time. I also enjoy the JV games, where I get to try and be an actual coach because not all the coaches attend those.

At the end of the day, I still make time to study and socialize a bit. I am proud of how much I have grown with a year of college. Of course there is much more room to grown, and I am looking forward to it.

I hope you all have found this blog somewhat enjoyable to read, and hope to hear about how your month has been for you.

Peace, Alex

 

September Blog 2k19

Hello and Welcome Back Everyone!

I hope you all had a great summer! It went by so fast for me. My summer was a blast, a highlight of mine was hands down a family trip to a cabin where my entire family went! Feel free to comment if there’s anything exciting you wish to share with me and the Concord family, because I would love to hear about it!

Now that school has begun, It has gotten busy like usual. I am still undeclared for my major, but will decide sometime in the middle of the semester hopefully! I also arrived to campus earlier too because of football. Student coaching has been great. At first, I had to get used to the not playing aspect. After that portion was done, the coaching part came in. I help do various things and help quite a few of the coaches. The first thing I do is participate in meetings. Secondly, I  grab a big boombox like speaker and grab tennis balls and take it outside. The tennis balls are used for rolling out the athletes feet, reducing tension. I then help get the field set up and ready for practice, bringing out bags, cones, and many other equipment used for practice. Once all this is completed, practice commences, and I help with whatever the coaches need help on. I mostly help with a specific position group. There are a total of nine position groups. I also attend the games.

I have started off on a strong start for school. I am being more proactive and outgoing than I was last year, seeking more help if I need it. Currently, I am taking a Computer Science 1, Japanese Film, Buddhist Philosophy, and Lifespan Development. The classes ranges, because I plan to most likely minor or major in Japanese film, along with possibly majoring in Computer Science too if all goes well. I have changed my mind many times up to now. Even though Lifespan Development doesn’t fit the class requirements, my academic advisor recommended me to keep the class for an elective, and she explained how her previous students enjoyed it, and here I am, finding an interest in it. We are currently talking about the development of fetus’ and babies. The content consists of how to properly take care of a child and how certain care affects the health of the babies and fetus’s.

I am also volunteering again at North Elementary! The organization I am in, called “Study Buddies” just started last week! I have already got so many enthusiastic children asking me all sorts of questions. I currently volunteer on Mondays at 8:45am – 10:00am.

Lastly, I still participate in HACO (Hmong American Cultural Outreach). It has been fun so far! we just had our welcome back bash, and ate delicious food and played fun activities! We are currently prepping for our biggest event of the year, the Hmong New Year. It will be in the very beginning of November.

I am already enjoying Sophomore year at GAC! Hope you all enjoyed my first blog of the year! Alex signing off!

SUMMER!!! (May Blog)

Hello Everyone!

Finally, summer break! I’ve been looking forward to this so much. I feel like I finished well on my exams. It honestly was a great feeling after Monday, which was my last final, which was Psychology. I also signed up for classes a while back for fall semester. I signed up for physics, anatomy, lifespan development, and research stats. I don’t even want to think about school for at least a good month, but of course that isn’t going to happen. The school year was like a roller coaster for me. It went up and down so frequently, and I enjoyed the ups of course. Reflecting on this year, so much as happened, academically and socially. It felt so long, yet the first year of college has already ended. I am actually shocked to the fact that I survived my first year of college (to an extent). I am still working on becoming an adult though, and this adult life is not as easy as I guessed. I thought it was just going to work, coming back to relax, and repeat. I found out that there is way more to it than just that. College showed me that of course, being able to manage time, work, and do extra curricular activities. All of the activities listed would be considered ‘physical’ activities to me before, but now, they also increment emotional activities. Every time I am doing something I am always thinking about something, whether it be about the task at hand or something else, which makes being an adult difficult. I have to worry about whats coming up next, whats due first, should I do this, or should I do that. The first year of college as truly opened my eyes to this, but I still have much more to learn. I wonder if any one of you reading experienced growing this way, if not in a similar way. I would like to ask how you all came to this realization, and how you all dealt with it.

During this last push from freshmen year, I was still volunteering until the last two weeks of finals. It was great aiding second graders, and for some reason, they seem to show more emotion than fourth graders. I thought having less of a filter from the second graders were a bad trait, like pointing out specific things and saying them without as much thinking as that of a ‘typical’ a fourth grader, but it turned out that it can also be a positive trait. Let me elaborate more on what I mean. When it was my last day volunteering, I felt like I received a much more emotional farewell, and less of a filter. A few of them came to give goodbye hugs, and it felt heartwarming. I guess there are pros and cons for every grade level of students, especially in elementary, where children learn so fast. I plan to help next year also, because it gives me a small sense of purpose; feeling that I can help children learn, and try to direct them down a ‘good’ path. It also makes me feel warm, though there are tough situations at times, but hey, that’s just the part of life, there’s ups and downs, just like a roller coaster. I want to know what you all do if you all do some sort of thing like this. I am interested about your lives as well! Thanks to everyone whos read or is reading my blogs!

Thank you,

Alex