Bed Bugs

The story I chose for this assignment show case one of the most creative way to tell a story. In this story, the protagonist compared bed bugs to her current life crisis. To her, having bed bugs isn’t just a pest problem. Instead it signifies all of her worst fear in life. To her, spending time getting rid of bed bugs is just like spending time worrying about her problem. There are thousands and thousands of them, both bed bugs and problems, and there is no way one person could solve every single one of them. However, at the end of the story, she realized that it’s much more comfortable for her to learn to live with theses beg bugs, rather then spending her time trying to get rid of every single one of them. Some time in life, there are problems that just could not be solve. Instead of losing sleep over it, just accept it with an open arm. Accept that it’s there, and accept that you have done your best to prevent it. Sometime, that’s the better option.

The haunts of Home

By: Amelia Wong

 

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Living Words

Based on the assignment “Living Newspaper”

Not only did I get to enjoy a beautiful sunny day outside, I was also very glad that I got to work with my classmates and discover new perspectives from all of them. I also learned to see all sides of a problem that’s currently very controversial. We wrote our script about an article called “Fat Talk”  to acknowledge how damaging it is to the receiver. Our goal was to stop this “Phat Talk” from the source.

I had my own idea in the matter. To me, “Phat Talk” is just words, and we can take it how we want. If we decide to let it hurt us, then it’s the end for us. We are human, and we get to decide what’s important to us. Everywhere you go, you will see people who say things that you disagree with about every single problem. You can’t just tell them to stop saying these things, but you can choose to not let it bother you. After all, everyone has different perspectives, ideas, and beliefs. They have the right to speak their mind, and so do you. As long as their words doesn’t stop you from doing what you love or hurt you physically in any way, I don’t see a problem with it.

I know this feeling because I was bullied when I first stepped foot in America for not knowing how to properly speak English. I went through 4 years of being constantly teased about how dumb I was. My stuff was hidden, and my cup was spat in. My clothes were torn and cut out of spite. I was constantly getting blamed for the things I didn’t do. I was excluded, and my email account was hacked by one of the bullies. My parents fully knew about the problem, however, they couldn’t do or try to do anything because they were the new kid themselves. I went through this with no help and no one to tell these bullies to stop. Through this, I learned how to speak out, how to stand up for myself, and how to ignore the white noises. In a way, it made me stronger. I stood up for myself and decided that it’s fine to have them talk about me. As long as I don’t let it bother me, I was happy. If they hated me, that was their problem. However, I made sure that they never touched my me or my stuff again. I also made sure that I spoke out and made myself clear on things that I didn’t do. In my opinion, it’s better to teach a person to stand up for themselves than to tell the world to stop bullying them. Then they can really grow as a person.

However, through this activity, I have learned that to some, it’s not as easy to ignore the power of the media. Thus, I can see from both sides of the story.

Blogfolio

This blog was created with hope that through writing, I may find my voice. It was made so that I can develop awareness both of myself and of my community. Through these blogs, I was able to find what I truly care about and how I might go about expressing these worries in a way that would also make others care.

What motivates me as a reader?

In this post, I reflected on how political correctness influenced the way we approach our problems. I also described my respect for those who can make satire out of depressing issues.

https://minhtypie.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/71/

What pattern do I see in my writing?

In this post, I contemplate about the way that I write, and how indirect I am with the topics I truly care about.

https://minhtypie.wordpress.com/2015/03/05/haft-baked-cake/

Motivate the reader to take action.

In this post, I explained the real meaning of changing your last name upon getting married and urged women to at least think about the consequences of it.

https://minhtypie.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/74/

The Wedding Cake

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Flickr / Jon Collier / Wedding Cake / Taken on June 23, 2012

So you are thinking about marrying your significant other? There are many steps that follow this decision. You must make a decision about who to invite, what church to have the ceremony at, when to have the wedding, how much food to get, and whether to change your last name. Hold on a second, shouldn’t the bride always take their husband’s family name? That would be the normal thing to do, right?

If “normal” is mindlessly making a life decision purely based on traditional values that you neither know the root of or reasoning for, then you go girl, change that last name. However, if you like to think about your decisions before making them, then take a second to think about it. You might get a different idea by the end of this blog. Let me explain myself. Most people believe that sharing a last name symbolizes a romantic unification and commitment between the “two” people in a marriage. However, if you think about it, are the “two” of you the only people with the same last name? The last name that you took is actually your husband’s entire extensive family name. Therefore, it actually signifies that you are submitting yourself to your husband’s family. Not so romantic huh?

Let’s say you are less of a romantic and more of a logical individual. From that perspective, you might ask, “Isn’t changing your last name the easier choice? I mean that way everyone is happy, right?” No ma’am, that is completely wrong. When you change your last name, you have to change the name of everything that you have ever signed up for including your driver’s license, your diploma, your bank account, your home security provider, your internet provider, etc. It truly is a marathon. Plus, you will also lose your professional identity. This might harshly affect your career. However, you are a woman, you don’t need a career. Your husband will take care of you and occasionally take you out shopping for pretty dresses, isn’t that the good life?

Before taking your soul mate’s last name, think about what it really means. Does it really mean unity between two people? Or are you doing it because everyone else does it? Or because of the stigma that follows not taking the husband’s last name? Or are you doing it because of family pressure? None of that matters. This is your marriage, so think about yourself, and make your own decision.

If you were moved by my amazing blog and have decided to keep your last name upon marriage. This truly is extremely easy to do, believe me, I did it myself. When you go get your marriage license, the lady or gentleman at the counter will give you a piece of paper to fill out. At the blank space for your desired name, just write your original name. Finally, show your support to this post by taking a picture of your marriage license and post it in the comments.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/07/women-stop-changing-your-name-when-married

Candy, Cakes, and Everything Sweet

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Flickr / Moyan Brenn / Candies / October 25, 2010

“…agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”

-Merriam-Webster’s definition of “politically correct.”

The number one thing that makes my blood boil is how important being politically correct is in both political and social life. To me, it’s just a way to avoid facing issues head on. It’s the catalyst and the foundation of so many issues in the United States. Issues such as global warming and obesity are the two biggest dependents on the need to be politically correct. For example, The Global-Warming Deception: How a Secret Elite Plans to Bankrupt America and Steal Your Freedom is a book that’s currently on sale on Christianbook.com for the limited time price of $2.99.

http://www.christianbook.com/warming-deception-secret-bankrupt-america-freedom/grant-jeffrey/9781400074433/pd/074433?dv=c&en=google-pla&event=SHOP&kw=books-0-20&p=1179710&gclid=Cj0KEQjwifWnBRCB5PT57KSVw-kBEiQASV7aRLzCdZY-1kPfVP5lQIyALdb07guUtSHt8d9aA0one1MaAtjN8P8HAQ

This book is basically about how “The religion of eco-fundamentalism denies the existence of God and substitutes in His place the worship of the earth.” and “The coming economic collapse, hastened by global-warming laws, will lead to international chaos. A one-world government will be presented as the solution, followed by the arrival of the Antichrist.” I suggest you go to the website and read more of the publisher’s description; it’s absolutely hilarious.  Because of this, would it be impossible to discuss global warming with the Christians who believe in this book? That would be discouraging and offensive to their religious belief, right?  Thus, politically, it’s incorrect because by bringing the issue up, you “behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people.”

This is why I envy John Stewart. Not only does he express his unpopular opinions, but he does it in such a way that most people can’t disagree with him. His knack for satire and witty style could make most people explode with laughter. Even when presenting fake news, he was deemed more credible than most news channels. Thus, he was declared “the most trusted name in fake news.” In the Daily Show episode called the Burn Notice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPgZfhnCAdI), I am most impressed with the way he simplified everything to its core essence. His arguments were built on mountains upon mountains of concrete details and research. Most people can’t bring themselves to disagree because what he said is purely factual.

To a deeper level, I wish I could write and think the way John Stewart does. Maybe it’s because I have so much anger for these topics that I find it hard for me to channel it into writing in a funny way. It’s as if I want to tell things the way that they are instead of sugar coating it. Secretly, I want to offend people. I want to enforce change by bringing out the cold hard truth and helping people approach a harsh realization. Ironically, I don’t have the nerve for it.

Haft-baked Cake

As I read through my blogs, I couldn’t help but feel like even though I am writing, I don’t have a voice. My blogs are only a shell of the entirety of my ideas and beliefs. It’s a simplification, an inoffensive version, a slump of what I truly want to express.

Perhaps the reason that my blogs sound so half-assed is because I feel like I can’t fully express my opinion. This problem derives from the fact that most of the things I want to say can be perceived as offensive by others. Therefore, I struggle with finding a roundabout and far-fetched comparison to other issues that are more socially acceptable. Here is my first attempt to stage myself for future reprisal:

https://minhtypie.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/please-digest-a-below-average-temperature-capsule-of-medicine/

For example, when I said “Even when voicing an opinion, we can’t show opposition to any party”, I truly meant this at a personal level. Over the years of being called an odd ball, I have learned to keep my real viewpoint to myself to avoid conflicts.

This brings me to my next point.  I reach so far out of the way to make a connection between my controversial point of view and the social norm that my writing had become extremely diluted and confusing for others to follow. I need to stop self-editing and learn to be more steadfast with what I am trying to say and worry less about being politically correct.

The Cookie in the Rough

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Flickr / Rick Hebenstreit / Roadside Chocolate Chip / April 23, 2014

“I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I’m standing here,” he said. “I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message along.”

-Graham Moore (2015 Oscar speech)

Over the course of history, world-changing ideas have usually been controversial. The people behind these ideas were sometimes seen as lunatics and were usually looked down upon in a normal social setting. They were harassed, isolated, and oppressed for their individuality.  Nowadays, this is known as bullying. The main idea of bullying is to either mentally or physically harm an individual. I know that bullying is usually thought of as a grade school issue, however, it never stops–we  just found ways for bullying to look more subtle and be more justified.

The targets for bullying are usually isolated people; the ones that don’t fit in; the ones that say weird things that no one understands. Often times, these victims will try to shed their individually so that they may eventually fit in with a social group. In more extreme cases, victims will attempt to end their life in order to escape the constant harrassment. However, there are sometimes wonderful qualities about these victims. If we have learned anything from history, these victims were often the “weird ones”, the ones that were different, the ones that most people thought were crazy, that make history.

Over the weekend, I wrote encouraging messages on sticky notes and stuck them in random spots like cars, trees, even random chairs and tables. The messages said,  “Be Brave”, “Believe in yourself”, “Believe in your dreams”, “Don’t give up”, and “You are special the way you are.” At the end of every message, I wrote, “Pass it on.” These messages were for anyone who has ever felt different, who has ever felt like they don’t fit in, and for the ones that never got chosen as a “goose” in “Duck Duck Goose”. I don’t know who most of you are. I don’t even know what the problem is. I just hope that my messages will be passed on to you either from a stranger or a friend. Just know this:

“When 99% of people doubt your idea, you’re either gravely wrong or about to make history.”

-Scott Belsky (founder and CEO of Behance)

If a cookie is filled with raisins, is that cookie just a raisin?

War on labels.

Alright, this analogy might be a bit of a stretch, but hear me out, ok? If a person believes in Christian teachings, we label them as a Christian. We say, “He or she is a Christian.”  If a person supports the Republican party, we say, “She or he is a Republican.” If a person is born with a vagina, we label them a woman. Again we say, “She’s a woman.” Don’t get me wrong, labeling is a great way to identify the objectives. It’s when we associate everything that these labels stand for to a specific person that the fact may become construed. It’s like we deny that a person could be more than just a label. We deny them the right to be more complex. We deny them the ability to believe more than one thing.

For example, Serrin M. Foster, the president of Feminists for Life is a feminist, yet she believes in pro-life. What does that make her? On another note, I am a Catholic, and I believe in pro-choice. What does that make me?

If you know me, you would know that I always do the sign of the cross before I consume anything. It’s simply a sign of me being thankful for the food. However, my colleagues see this as me being a hard headed Christian that can not be reasoned with. Therefore, whenever they talk about controversial topics, I always hear, “Sorry Minh. I know you are a Catholic, but…” When I have never even expressed my view on those specific topics before. It’s like they just assume they know my social and political standpoint because they know I am a Catholic. It made me so uncomfortable to the point that I felt like I should stop doing the sign of the cross before I eat.

  the managing editor in the AAUW Art, Editorial, and Media Department said, “A “stereotype” is a cognitive shortcut — that is, it allows your brain to make a snap judgment based on immediately visible characteristics such as gender, race, or age.” Therefore, I suggest that we should limit ourselves on assuming things base on stereotypes. Also just for fun, try taking a quiz at implicit.harvard.edu. Maybe you’ll find out some biases about yourself you didn’t even know you had. 

Just like I said earlier, if a cookie is filled with raisins, we don’t necessarily say “ That is a raisin.” A cookie is so much more than that. A cookie is flour, baking soda, sugar, butter, eggs, and maybe raisins. However, raisins themselves do not make the cookie a cookie, but it’s everything else that does.

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 Sharon Drummond/Cookies/January 17, 2014

http://www.aauw.org/2014/08/13/why-stereotypes-are-bad/

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

http://www.feministsforlife.org/2013/07/smf/

Great cakes taste alike

Upon graduation of the world religions class at OCU, I had learned many things about Islam and their beliefs and how similar Islam is to Christianity. To my surprise, when I tried to communicate these similarities to others, I was put down in an incredibly angry way. Maybe it’s due to my origin, Vietnam, that I lack the sensitivity for the American culture and way of thinking. Because of that, I had always been a spectator, or to some a “troll”. A troll’s official definition is “One who posts a deliberately provocative message with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”. I had no such intention, but my ideas angered many in a way that I had not intended.

However, upon reading Amr Salah’s posting on Ted, I finally felt like I wasn’t alone. In his posting, he claimed that archaeological evidences showed that Christianity is not that different from Judaism and Islam. Many of the replies agreed with his view on Judaism’s similarity to Christianity but rejected Islam’s. To my amusement, most of these rejections had no concrete evidence. Some just commented, “Jews & Christians have the same God, but the Muslim God is another thing entirely.” How different? He couldn’t say.

mkwjustdance, however, finally presented us with the ultimate similarity that no one can deny.” Blaming Islam for terrorism is like blaming Christianity for colonialism.” This shows that Christianity is more similar to Islam then we think. If Archaeological evidences can’t prove that, then let our actions be the proof. The comments in this blog are not only understanding but are also very supportive and, thus, gave the speaker the confidence to speak more proudly and more often.

Therefore, in order to provoke interesting conversations, everyone speaking must have a level of respect and a level of curiosity to at least try to understand the others’ opinions. No, arguments are not discouraged, but always be respectful.

http://www.ted.com/conversations/13303/aren_t_christianity_judaism_a.html

https://nutellarina.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/end-islamophobia/

Not All Cookies Are Raisin Filled

Ignorance is the mother of suspicion, fear, and hatred. Many find that it’s easier  to stereotype than to actually learn about another’s religion and culture.  Because of the lack of  motivation to learn, we tend to form an impression about an entire group of people and their religious beliefs  by the actions of one individual or a small group of people. To us, the actions of those individuals are all we know.

islamophobia-11
In regard to this picture, no one can learn about a religion in a day. Even with Christianity, many spent their entire lives studying the Bible, so why do people think that they know all about Islam in one day? How is it right that we can judge a religion that has been present for hundreds of years within a few hours and by the actions of a few individuals?