Who said we can’t learn from Rocks?

Who needs college? That’s the title of the NPR talk that featured a young entrepreneur who dropped out of Princeton to pursue an idea through Peter Thiel’s fellowship and gained an experience that would not have been provided in college. During the time away from college, she found her inner calling of what she wanted to do and decides to go back to college.  Now she can take advantage of the opportunities and reap the true benefit of college.

How many of us know what we really, really want to do entering college? At first, I thought that’s why we go to college—to find our true calling of what we wanted to do. But aren’t kids in college much more confused on what to do after college? In this case, would it be wise to consider delaying college plans and venture in real-life experiences? Or maybe this is why those who pursue graduate degrees took time away to learn what they are really passionate about so by the time they enter their graduate studies–they can truly enjoy and take advantage of the resources that are readily available.

A philosophy that have always stuck with me is that resources and opportunities are not limited in the academic setting. Anybody, anywhere can learn from anybody, anywhere and anything. Everybody or even any animal or anything has their strengths and weakness so if we look around us–we are surrounded by gems and pearls that can enlighten us. The world is fascinating!  Now, I spy a gem, do you?

Thanks NPR for inspiring this reflection on my personal philosophy. Now back to the game-face–bring it on Finals!


Waking up to the Right Music

The moment that sets the mood for the day– waking up. I love it when my body wakes me up before my alarms. Unfortunately, like many others, I rely on my alarm clock to snap me back into life so I am ready for work and school. My music selection varies between jazzy tunes to some karaoke able songs. I feel like there’s a science behind waking up the right way with the right music. The music can be dissected into speed, quality, variety, mood and volume. The music quality cannot be too abrupt that shocks me to life but needs to gradually lift me up. Volume that is loud enough to wake me up but does not leave my ears ringing. It also has to be an upbeat song with or without lyrics. Once my mood and body is bouncing into rhythm then it sets the tone for the rest of the day–until 2PM…

Sleep is such an essential part of life. Though we do not know why we must sleep– it does help our body restore itself. Being asleep is when body is allowed to recharge without the interruptions from our emotional and conscious state. Those who have problem with sleeping—is it because their overactive thoughts? is it their biological rhythm? is it their imbalances within the body? I would assume all of them. As I’m trying to grasp a better understanding of sleep in both the West and East–it makes me realize that sleep disorder deals with much more than just the brain.. it’s the body physiology and how the systems are interacting. This is why the simple question of “how are you sleeping?” would reveal a lot about a person’s health condition. This is such a fascinating field to look into..

I know sometimes we feel like there’s not enough time in our hands thus we sacrifice sleep to do more important tasks. But it is as important to eat is to sleep–it’s part of refueling the body for the great tasks that lies ahead.

Learning from Kids.

Learning is quite a phenomenal process.  As I browse through the artwork and assignments of a kindergartener, it made me realize how much every stroke and word can reveal about a kid’s personality. No wonder pediatric psychologists uses drawings to decipher a child’s psyche. This is probably why I really appreciate artwork and design from anybody. The process of constructing a masterpiece takes brain power and thought. How can a psychobiology major not love something that have so much innate mind and brain connection, thought, and creativity. It’s hard to describe the joy I get when I look at the one-of-a-kind coloring and drawings my little cousins hung on my wall. While studying for finals, those mini breaks observing those drawings makes me smile. 

Children and their sincerity and innocence are so adorable. I am learning so much from them. 



Anger Food

It’s a funny thing how human have a sixth sense to automatically detect the sight, sound and smell of anger. I walked into a room today and immediately picked up the smell of stress wrapped with pissed-off sauce.  It’s an awkward feeling, it’s like recognizing the problem and not doing anything about it. Am I suppose to fuel this anger with inflammables and try to break into the emotions? Or should have I attempt to find some tasty “ice candy” and try to lighten the mood with some sweets? This is when I wish I was a natural impromptu comedian. I could easily share a few lines and sprinkle some humor to dissolve the stress-caused anger. This actually makes me appreciate mediators and those who are in customer service. It’s not easy to deal with agitated individuals and it probably takes a lot of patients to deal with them.

I wish resolving anger is as easy as asking a child to eat vegetables. Perhaps, there are foods that might do the magic–will definitely do more research on this!

Nostalgic Weekend

After a 90s blast to the past housewarming party, the music reminded me of my childhood and teeny days. Overwhelmed with a nostalgic moment, I reflected and web-surfed youtube on all the oldies. I’ll have find some time to trace back more memories but here are a few key memories I still recall…

  • My only music CDs on a 15 hour flight was BSB’s Millenium and Backstreet’s Back and I’m pretty sure I looped it for every second I was on that plane. I sleep, ate, drank BSB at that time. I was such a fan that I remember my mini-crew and I would imitated dance sequences of BSB music performances. [the ultimate B-crew game: hide-in-the-dark while the adults MJed]
  • Major Power Ranger fans. I remember my cousins and I were all a “ranger” and whenever we meet up after Chinese School, we would morph into our Power Ranger Phase… good times
I never knew how proud I am to live through the 90s. I wonder what would the 2000s generation remember about their childhood days? Whatever it is, I doubt it’s half as good as the 90s, we got the Disney Classics, the Boy and Girl Bands and Sailor Moon. 🙂

Coffee & Tea Shop Hopping

To make studying an adventure, I embarked on a mission to explore different coffee and tea cafes in the neighborhood. Although I might be bound to one or another because of cost, friends and/or food for a while, there are days where I try new places. Recently, I was inspired by a mentor to live life and go on adventures. No doubt that life is an adventure itself but hearing stories about how she explore with National Geographic experts, travelled to the North and South poles with close encounters with animals I’ve only seen in pictures and meet amazing people around the world makes me question how much am I doing to my life to enhance my experiences. I can choose to live on the edge. I can choose to live a simple life. So at this stage of life, what do I want to experience? As I ask myself this question, I remembered my friend and I made a list of the things we want to experience within the next 10 years. I vaguely remember what I listed but to remind myself I will list them again so I can keep a record.

  • Travel: Visit the natural and man-made wonders of the world (this is a life-time goal)
  • Create a product
  • Acquire an expertise
  • Be involved with a non-profit organization
  • Learn to love someone? (or be willing to love…)
  • Be fluent in Chinese (read, speak, write) and speak conversational Japanese, Korean, Spanish
I dont’ remember what else I said but I shall remind myself to “Live all you can; its a mistake not to” (Henry James) . For some reason when I think of LIVING LIFE, this idea rarely involves electronics or watching drama but enjoying my time with friends and family, nature, and food. :). Life is what you make of it….(time to venture off!)

An Interest in Ergonomics

One of the reason I am studying Chinese Medicine is because it’s health oriented and not disease oriented. My main interest is prevention and how to optimize a person’s health. There are many contributing factors that lead to illness and one inevitable cause is Stress.  After we identify one topic, we can subdivide stress into the different types and the goods and bads (distress and eutress) but I will stop there and focus on environmental stress on the body, especially posture and our surroundings. In Chinese medicine, we understand the human body as an interconnected network between the mind-environment-body; it’s like a mini eco-system or universe of its own! Anyways, back to the topic of Ergonomics, I stumble upon a furniture site and saw these ridiculously expensive office chairs and I thought to myself:

Why the F8&^*& are these chairs so expensive? So only rich people can afford ergonomic furniture while poor people will have to suck-it-up and deal with the “regular” furniture? Is this why our lower class population have more health problem? (i wonder if there are any statistics about this). All these ads makes it seem like ergonomic items are for the rich but we can always makeshift simple things to achieve something close to “ergonomic-al certified”. As long as we have a basic idea of what the optimal posture and position is, I am pretty certain that with a dash of creativity..any work station can be ergonomic friendly. I guess this will be a topic I should research on. Perhaps, I should consider getting certify as a professional ergonomic designer…