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

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Another New Beginning? (April Blog)

April has been lively with spring coming, bringing along the warmth of the sun and also its April rains. With the sun being out more, my subjective well-being has also increased. I am sure it is the same for everyone else. When I wake up, I feel more alive and ready to attack the day, whatever it may be, well usually. Classes has mostly been well this semester, besides Psychology. I will be trying a new approach in studying for the upcoming exam, because the other techniques did not seem to work well. Biology this semester has been way better than last semester though. I feel like I am actually learning more, especially in lab. I have learned that I am more of a hands on learner, talking through and seeing actual example. Most of what I learn for Biology comes from my labs. My other classes has been great though! Japanese is still smooth, and I still contain a passion for it, though I am unsure if I will minor in Japanese anymore, because I am not sure if it will be as beneficial. I am still debating that decision though. There is a coaching minor that Gustavus has that I am really interested in though. I always thought coaching would be fun, and being a team captain, I sort of had that small feeling of leadership in sports.

Another thing to note is that I also started student coaching! It is interesting, but definitely feels different than playing, especially that I played alongside every single one of them. A part of me misses it of course, but getting a start on coaching, I think is a great opportunity for myself. A big goal of mine is to coach a team in my Hmong community. I feel like there are many talented and misguided young people in my Hmong community. In general, there are many misguided children in the world. Some children never had the right guidance. Some people did not have parent figures. I feel like being a coach can really help fill this gap, not just in my Hmong community, but for all the children out there. I truly, and genuinely respect all of my past coaches. They have taught me many life lessons that I needed to be where I am at today. Even though I was not the All-Star on my teams, they took time to know me a bit also. I feel like being a coach will allow me to help guide the youth in the right direction. I mentioned coaching for my Hmong community, but I also would like to coach elsewhere also. Coaching for my Hmong community will be completely voluntary.

I am also still volunteering for North Elementary, which is nearby. I enjoy helping the kids in their studies. I am aiding with second graders, which are cute, but boy, they do not have a filter. They speak almost anything that comes to their mind. Thinking about this, I think to myself, “What if I become a teacher and a coach?” I also realized that most of my coaches have also taught. I feel like I am getting closer to my “why”; “Why am I here, what’s my purpose?” Is it maybe about guiding youth towards the right direction? I really want to just understand what my “why” is. A little shoutout to the Coach Haugen, aka godfather for introducing me to what “why” means. He’s given inspirational and also motivational words of wisdom when I needed them most. Without these words, I would probably still be juggling around many more ideas on what I want to do in life. No wonder why he’s called the “godfather”. I forgot what was the reason why Concord gave him this name, but all I remember was that it was from a movie. This word hit me a little deeper tonight, 4/28/19. Getting closer to understanding my “why” also aids me in life also, whether I’m feeling down or pursing my dream. This is just one example of how great coaches can be, and how they can affect the children around them, even adults perhaps.

I hope everyone has been well, now that spring has returned.

– Alex signing off

March Blog

Hello All,

Spring has just recently begun, but it appeared to have snowed today, which was quite odd and disappointing in my opinion. I also began spring break recently, which has been going great. I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying spring. Everything feels more lively now that the sun stays around much longer, and the weather has became much better.

Certainly, with the new weather, I have been feeling much better, especially walking to and from class. The sun really changes the mood, not just for me, but I feel like for everyone. Once the sun started staying out longer, I began to see much more people walk around campus, which made it feel more lively. This sure boosted how well I felt on the daily basis. No more classes that barely had any light and were always dark and gloomy.

Class has been going great also. My favorite classes would have to be badminton and Japanese. I am sure I have mentioned Japanese before, but badminton is a new class, which is only worth .25 of a credit. I am currently enrolled in 5 classes, which add up to 3.75 credits. Another class that does not count for a whole credit is Kinesiology, which is worth half a credit. I think it should be worth a full credit though, in my opinion. There is much more work in there that you’d expect a half credit course would do. The other classes are General Phycology and Organismal Biology.

I am also volunteering again at North Elementary again. I wanted to volunteer for the same class and teacher, but I guess there was not any sort of open slot that fit into my schedule. I am now instead helping second graders. They are way much more intimidating in my opinion. I feel like this class is more wild. I also feel like it is more difficult to control the situation, keeping them on task, and behaving. Of course one would figure that they are two years apart; second and fourth grade, one would imagine there would not be too much of a difference in behavior. I enjoy it still though, but I have not been able to have a close conversation with any of them, because I am always doing group work, which is fine, but it is more difficult to get to know each individual.

I hope everyone reading this is doing well, and also would like to encourage you all to keep fighting any adversity you all come across. Sometimes I need reassurance to help me get through adversity, and I hope I can help with a tiny bit of encouragement. Even if you are not going through adversity at the moment, keep fighting and achieve greatness in life.

Stay well, and stay happy

Alexander

 

 

February Blog

Academic

Hello all, I hope that whomever reading this has been well. I too, have been well. I am able to now study a bit more and try not cram everything in with always over thinking. As of now, I am taking Bio 102, the continuation of Bio 101, which is interesting but contains much context. We are learning about protists, which are tiny organisms that eat bacteria. Ever since I have left football, I am able to allot more of my time to study and get a little more sleep, which is much needed. Sad to say, it was fun while it lasted, but I have greater priorities which is my grades, and if I want to go into PT school, I will have to endure college just a little more. Also, now that I think of it, school is flying by fairly fast, for it felt like I had just recently started college and left high school, yet I am already more than half way through my freshmen year at Gustavus Adolphus College. Time really does fly by fast, I wonder just how fast it will fly when I am out of school and into the workforce with my career. I fear what the old timers say, “time really does fly by fast.” There is so much to do in life, college, family, and friends that just cannot be accomplished so easily with the amount of time given. Heck, I remember when I was a child, aspiring to go to college and get a good paying job, yet here I am already. Time is the most precious thing one has, and nothing can be traded for that.

Volunteer

Though Study Buddies has ended, they are starting again for spring semester soon. I hope they assign me to the same teacher I had last semester. I enjoyed working with the children and getting to know them. I still have not been able to get to know each and every one of them, but they seemed like the enjoyed my company and my help. They all had different personalities, and getting to meet new people and learn about them, even if they are only children is interesting. They are so young yet already have dreams, goals, and been through so much in their lifetime already. The teacher I was assigned to said to the class that I probably was not going back due to how tired I was of them, but I do not know if she was being honest in her thinking or not, because that was not the case. I wonder if she was only joking around. I would love to volunteer there again though.

 

Hope you all stay well… Endure the long monotonous work and look forward to the fun times everyone!

January Blog

After coming back from winter break, I started my J-Term class. I am currently taking “Contemporary Chinese Film”. I am glad that it is not a pass or fail class, and is graded, for I can help push my GPA up. In class, I analyze Chinese film and write reviews. Towards the end of the class, we give a presentation on a film we decided to analyze, either being one we covered or another Chinese film. I was put into a group of three, and we decided to analyze and present on a movie made in the 90’s called, “Comrades: Almost a Love Story”. Throughout the class, I have learned a lot about Chinese culture, for we watch diverse films. We went from watching martial arts movies, to melodramas. We also read readings that related to movies we watched, further enhancing our knowledge on Chinese culture. Also during J-Term, I have been working more hours than I did fall semester, for I had more free time. I did not volunteer though during J-Term, but plan to fit it in Spring semester. I truly enjoyed helping fourth graders at North Elementary. I am nervous, yet anxious for Spring semester to start, for I want to get it over with. I also want to do well, which I am most defiantly determined to do better. I hope anyone reading this has had a great holiday, and a great start to the new year of 2019. I am never ready for anything, but there was a quote from Jackie Chan I believe, but it went something like this, “You do not go when you are ready, you go when you are ready enough.” Despite the nervousness and anxiousness for this upcoming semester, I feel like I am ready enough to tackle it.

Best, Alexander Vang

December Blog

A Wrap, and a Fresh Start

After midterms, I was eager to do better, especially in biology. I have developed better study skills, those that suit me. I also decided to stop playing football, for I felt that I had a higher priority in school, especially if I am to pursue Physical Therapy. Preparing for finals was more easy going since football had came to an end. I was able to use more spare time to study and rest a bit more. Though I left football, I am still involved with HACO. I might consider running for board member. It will in total be much less of a time commitment than football. Leaving football was a bitter sweet moment. I truly miss it, but I feel like I made the best decision for myself. I also feel comfortable with my performance during my exams, though I have yet to see my final semester grades, because the website I use to check my grades stated that grades were due on the 7th of January. I am not able to see my grades, but I am anxious to see if I improved on my exam scores. December did not have much, for winter break took up about a third of it. I definitely felt less stressed in studying for finals though. I am really looking forward to J-Term (January Term), for I am taking a Chinese Film class. I also know a few people who are taking it. That is the only class I will be taking for J-Term. It will definitely be a smooth month, even though the class is everyday. Following my J-Term class, I plan to work more to achieve my maximum amount of money I can make from student employment. I am excited that I will be able to work more and stress less about class. I plan to have a way better semester during the second semester, for I am always looking to improve. I am also shocked, for I am already done with one eighth of my college career. It has flown by fast. Winter break was a real stress reliver for myself, which I believe was much needed.

Happy New Years – Alex

 

November Blog

School

With the end of November coming near, I finally feel like I am getting used to college life, being able to handle to workload better. I have came to a decision to pursue Exercise Physiology as a major, and also complete prerequisites for Physical Therapy. I have also decided to minor in Japanese. I also made the tough decision to not participate in football anymore, for it was tough for me to balance school with it. I am still volunteering, and also plan to pick up more hours for my work study so I can get the entire amount I was given. I also plan to participate in Club Tennis more, for it requires less time commitment than football. I truly will miss football, but I feel like this is the best choice for my personal well-being. As always, it is still Biology which is the most challenging class. All of the other classes has been smooth for me. Next semester, I will be taking the next semester of Japanese and Biology. I will also be taking a class called Kinesiology, and General Phycology. All of these courses are required for my Exercise Physiology Major, excluding Japanese, which is a requirement credit for graduation; I must complete an intermediate level of any language to be able to graduate. With all of the days off for the holidays, school has also been way more easygoing and relaxing.

Volunteering

I have came to enjoy spending time with the children at North Elementary, aiding them with their studies. Even though I did it for the Page Scholarship, I plan to participate in the volunteering program (Study Buddies) even if I do not receive the scholarship next year. The students I study with have came to enjoy my company as well, always wanting to read to me. They race to see who can get to me first, and this motivates me to aid them even more. Every student is different, and I learn to aid them in different ways, trying to make learning more fun and engaging for them.