A reading memoir

Photo by Jay Mantri
Reading never really interested me until the summer after sixth grade. But the funny thing is, throughout elementary school, I was always involved in reading, somehow, some way. In first grade, I was part of the AR (Advanced Reading) club that mainly tested my reading comprehension. I would read a variety of books and then take a test about the book. And the only reason why I was in it was because my first-grade teacher, Ms. Howard, oversaw the whole program and, I guess she saw potential in me and asked me to be a part of it. I agreed because it gave me something to do after school. But that was really one of the only times when I actually read. When I got home from school, I would usually watch TV or play.
My older sister also used to take my siblings and me to the library a lot and read to us there, even checking out some books to read to us at home. That was fun, and it piqued up my interest, but I mainly just went because I wanted to check out some of the movies and grab a free cookie on the way home or some ice cream from Arctic Circle if my sister was nice enough to buy some that day.
It wasn’t until the third or fourth grade when I got slightly more interested in reading. My teacher, Ms. Meenen, was reading a fantasy book to the class about dragons. I wanted to read along and better envision the story. So, the next day when the class went to the library, I got the book and read along with her. It was very interesting, and I genuinely enjoyed the story, but that still didn’t really inspire me to want to read on my own.
It wasn’t until sixth grade when my teacher, Ms. Hansen made everyone do reading bingo that I started to read more on my own. Basic gist, as part of our Language Arts grade, we had to independently read five books from different genres and then write a little paper on the book. I learned a lot about FDR, read Marley and Me and cried of course, and in general actually start going to the county library by myself. However, what made me really enjoy reading was the book Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke. It was unlike anything I’ve ever read before, dragons, a journey, and adventure. That made me want to read more books like it and other books in general. And I did, and I haven’t stopped since.
In conclusion, dragons helped me gain a love of reading.

And now the weather:
Rich Love by OneRepublic
~ Stacy N.
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Why I protest

Photo by Alice Donovan Rouse
Protests, fear, curiosity.
Why do I continue to go? Even though I know that it could get violent; even though I'm tired of the fact that we have to continually fight for what seems like the same things over and over again; even though most of the people in charge won't care that much, etc. Why do I continue to go?
Because it would feel wrong of me not to go. Because I find it one of the best proactive methods of showing your displeasure with a system that I realize was built on social injustice. Because it's effective to a certain extent. Because protesting is a privilege and I should use that privilege often and do it for others who can't be able to make it for whatever reason.
Because I want future generations to live in a slightly better world, even though I know everything won't change overnight that it may not change at all, in fact. I still want to fight for a future that is hopefully a bit better than this current state, for a generation that deserves to be treated like a human being, who shouldn't walk around in fear. And I know it's going to take centuries or maybe even a millennium or never for discrimination to go away, but at least fighting is better than being silent. Silence means that you've given up, that you've sided with the oppressors, that you just don't care for a better world. A better world that can't happen if people don't do anything.

And now the weather:
Surefire by John Legend
~ Stacy N.
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College: Level 3

Photo by Brad Stallcup
I'm exhausted. I knew my schedule was going to be pretty busy this semester, but I didn't expect it to be tiring this early on in the year. But at the same time, I prefer this over doing nothing all day.

ENGL 5885 - Adolescent Literature
It's a fun class, but a lot of hard work because you're divided into groups and assigned a book, and then your group has to teach the class said book. My group got The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and we are in the middle of teaching it right now. It's not bad this time around because it's mainly discussion based. And surprisingly, not surprising, it's a lot easier teaching college students than seventh and eighth graders, which is what I had to do last semester. Plus, it helps that the teacher is hilarious, and always has a creative excuse as to why he's late to class.

ECON 2010 - Principle Of Microeconomics
As with all of my business classes that I've taken so far, it's been pretty intuitive. The teacher is interesting, occasionally funny, but he needs to speak louder. It's also pretty nice because he also lets us out early a lot, giving me more free time than I expected. Plus, the TA who holds review sessions on Fridays is also pretty funny. I like how she admits that she's a screw-up sometimes and then proceeds with a funny, awkward story, making Fridays easier to bear.

ENGL 5930 - Theory Race/Ethnicity/Nationality: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
It's a gut-wrenching class as I learn more about the horrors of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and how that plays into the racism that still exists today in America. The teacher is sweet and amazing, and I thoroughly enjoy all the discussions we have in that class. It requires a lot of work though because of the multimedia project and a Wikipedia page that I either have to come up with or modify.
Plus, it's unlike anything I've taken before because this time one of my required texts includes Beyonce's latest album Lemonade. It's a good album to listen to as I'm doing all of my readings for this class.

GNDR 3380 - Social Inequality
It's a useful class that is also helping me in my Theory of Race class a bit. I like how it talks about social class because that is one of the top inequalities that isn't talked about as often. It's also interesting to learn a bit more about racism, sexism, and other isms, even though I already know quite a bit about it. Honestly, the best part about this class is mainly the videos that I get to watch because they give you a lot of insight that is sometimes hard to capture in words.

Extracurricular activities:
I'm the treasurer for the Asian American Student Association (AASA) and the secretary for the Vietnamese American Student Association (VASA) this year. It's a lot of work but a lot of fun. And I admit it is frustrating at times, but that's always going to happen in any situation that I end up in.
One of my professors once said that I have a quiet kind of leadership that isn't loud and steeped in masculinity, and I never really thought about it till I got into these positions. I'm endlessly grateful too that I get to further develop my skills and take up a lot of opportunities that I wouldn't have imagined otherwise.
I'm also involved with the Canticle, my college's undergrad literary magazine, again. And it's going great so far, still just trying to get it a little bit bigger than last year. My other extracurricular activities include napping, but even I'm having trouble napping nowadays.

It sucks, but I'm tolerating it.

And now the weather:
I Dreamed A Dream Les Misérables cover by Darren Criss
~ Stacy N.
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I'm not really back

Photo by Andrew Nolan
The numbers (stats, page views, followers) got to me again, so I decided to take a break and learn how to de-stress and start enjoying various things again. That mainly came from stories. Stories that come in the form of video games (mainly Zelda) and TV shows (mainly The Simpsons, The Bride of HabaekGuardian: The Lonely and Great God, and other Korean dramas.) Even though I prefer reading because of how portable it is and how you don't need to charge it every day, I still like experiencing stories in other formats. Like video games because it's very interactive and there are many side stories that you can explore that sometimes books don't really give you. Or television shows where you wait for them to rip out your heart one week at a time (or, if it gives you the option, just indulge, and binge watch everything, but you're still heartbroken in the end.)
By experiencing different types of stories, I learn how to become a better storyteller. I learn which tropes should be avoided and which are common for so and so type of genre, and which can't be avoided no matter what. It also helps me learn a bit more about humans and how weird we are.

And now the weather:
Sober by Lorde
~ Stacy N.
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Part three.

Photo by Justin Schüler
He laid on his bed wishing for an us. But there never was an us, just a what if.

And now the weather:
~ Stacy N.
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