Back to basics

September 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

back_to_basics

During these days, when Facebook gets stuffed with rubbish media products and lousy debates that head to nowhere where both sides in such quarrel even do not know exactly what they are debating for , another trend that comes after the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and captures my attention out of these aforementioned rubbish is Book Bucket Challenge. The name is kinda funny as some may associate with the image of ones self-filming themselves standing still and pouring a bucket of books above their heads. Fortunately, all the guys I happen to know are not that mad to take this challenge by doing so or we may read lots of tragedy posted on the tabloid the next days. I came across the news-feed and found myself enthralled at the variety of the books that named. (And I thought what the hell have I read during time at college?) Lots of trendy titles were listed while some titles are completely unfamiliar to me. Some titles were listed along with careful explanation while some makes me feel that they are just casually chosen for presenting on the Facebook.

I do not mean to give further comments about the tastes of Facebook users in reading books or whether these tastes have anything to do with the development of national culture :) I, in fact, was kind of hesitating to press “Like” button at any posts like these for my fear of being tagged and having no idea of the books that come out my mind. This tactic seems to be effective as no one has challenged me so far.

But I really want to read books, to be more exact, good books.

It should be so long time ago when I read books passionately. I remember being overwhelmed with books that presented at the small bookstore near my secondary school and spending time after school being in the bookstore and reading as much as possible. This habit, however, gradually disappeared soon after I got into high school. When your time and effort have to be spared more on learning for university entrance exam, which in turn reduced time for wandering around the book store, you will not have enough time to choose a book of your interest. At the same time, publishing industry bloomed in an unprecedented manner and lots of books have been published out as a result. With your limited time and the huge amount of books coming out, it was nearly an impossible task to select a book that worth reading. Especially when your budget was limited, there was no kind of trial-and-error allowed there. (Well, such a long explanation and I do hope that the whole chain does not have any wrong link supported).

I want to tell about my life these days.

I decided to get back to the basics. I try to revive my old hobbies. Just like finding myself wandering in a bookstore near the Old Quarter, picking some books that I longed for when I was at seventh grade and I have left them somewhere in my mind when I was busy growing up. I spent more time learning Chinese grammar and found myself stunned at the wonder of the language as I was 6 years ago when digging at English grammar.  I spent some evenings watching English movies of these old days (“Old days”, as defined by me, is the time of 10-20 years before:) ). I thought of buying an acoustic guitar to realize my dream of mastering guitar when I was a kid. I just wonder how I could be separated from these old habits for such a long time.

The journey back to these old habits is not always smooth as it seems. I admit that the advent of the Internet is a troublesome for some times (You know). But I will try to make things different in the good way day by day. Let’s see!

Simply Glee

August 29, 2014 § 2 Comments

Glee-12869-1920x1200bb

Of all American TV series  I have ever seen in my recent 3 years (I can easily name some as I have rarely spent time watching a TV series since I started university), Glee should be the one that I like the most for its simplicity (especially for ones who hardly find times following the development of the screen plot) and its comprehensibility (for ones who often find it difficult to make sense of all the lines on screen). After long time at work, the most relaxing activity of mine is to turn on the television and watch Glee. I  love the way they refresh the old songs and make even seemingly disastrous songs (or kind of “too popular”-to-listen songs) become enjoyable. Though sometimes I get fed of the bizarre triangle love stories in the show, it is still okay when the characters start to raise their voices. Though Rachel seems to be a much more important character, who are spared with much more slots in the screenplay, the show is still about a group in which people, possessing divergent characteristics yet, shared the same passion with music. It’s just wonderful to imagine that you can live in such artistic atmosphere where the main language is beautiful verse with pleasant melodies.

About my favorite characters, Rachel and Brittany may be these ones. While  I found myself sharing with Rachel some streaks, Brittany’s unconventional characters is something that interests me.

I will not write about the friendship or kind of messages that conveyed. All of these, while may be mentioned somewhere in the Internet, may trigger criticism from ones who scared about the negative effect of the seemingly dilapidated teenage life that presented on the TV shows. It is the music of the shows that makes sense to me. Here below are some of my favorite songs from Glee:

 

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2014.08.24.Random thoughts

August 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

August may be not a good month for writing. I found it difficult to summon all the ideas and translate the chaos in my mind into a decent writing. I had a nice hangout with my friends two weeks ago, in which we shared a lot about our personal stories after graduating or our upcoming plans. After this peaceful weekend, I suddenly fell into the state of disappointment, which have been written in my latest posts. Suddenly I felt upset about all the things around me. I am not sure about the next steps, about the long days coming without finding efforts paying off.

Some beautiful things, however, lightened up the seemingly gloomy month of mine, beside the hangout with my old friends. It was a promise of a friend from Taiwan of a book about Taiwan traveling and lots of Chinese books I have bought recently to serve for my Chinese learning. As I have mentioned many times before, I am kind of fickle people with my mood swinging all the time.  I found the peace filled between these uneasy moments and I am learning to make sure that these uneasy moments, not the peaceful ones, will be the ones that get embedded between the peaceful ones.

Hope that things get better in the last four months of the year.

2014.08.13.Random thoughts

August 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

After the story of the unconventional dots, it takes me another couple of weeks or longer to get inspired again.
And I start myself getting trouble with things that surround.
When you find it difficult to describe your current status, when things on the agenda seem to head for nowhere, when social media gets you bogged down several times for witnessing not-so-desirable stuff…
When you thought that you have already figured our your own life preference, when you thought that you will be ok in the long run and you feel kind of envious when looking at other’s success. You know it is not good but you just can’t resist thinking about it…
When you get mad at starting a debate with someone and finding out that you two even cannot find a common ground for that debate to be kicked off…
When you do not know what to talk during the team lunch…
When someone tries playing down your own efforts…
When you want to start with lots of personal stuff but do not have any clue about the way to get into it…
When your life is filled with fears. You cannot even sleep well at night…

Serendipity or an ordinary story about an unconventionally inspiring dot

July 15, 2014 § 5 Comments

8 serendipity

I received a message from a friend of mine on a random weekend in July 2014. “I am about to take a graduate degree in Finland for the next two years. Let’s have a hang-out!”

I have known her for more than two years since our very first meeting for Ychallenge 2012. (No more to say about Ychallenge. Besides YVS, Ychallenge should be a very important event in my life, during which I have chances to meet lots of surprising people. The appearance of these people in my life has made a certain impact on my own perspective on life, making me believe in the life that made up by the people we met, the stories we shared.) My first impression about her is a small girl coming from the Southern Vietnam, who has just received an offer from McKinsey – my dream at that time (I’m not sure about now).

I have not had lots of chances working with her during 2012 except for couples of time we held conference via Skype. It was not until 2013 when we started kicking off some other projects that I have much more chances interacting with her as well as other team members. Her working style did not leave much impression on me, and sometimes, I really feel kind of awkward when we started conversations as I was not so confident that people paying attention to my own story. Or perhaps it was due to my Northern accent :)), which makes me feel kind of awkward while speaking with the people speaking with Southern accent.

Despite her seemingly disorganized working style, her little bit introvert personality, I find her sharing lots of ideas/ thoughts in common with me, which, of course, are better articulated in her writing/ presenting. I admired the way she wrote about her old schools in her hometown, about the long long ago stories about the little girl discovering the big cities, which made me curious about the sunny Southern land in my country, instilling my desire of living in these faraway lands. I find her ideas of learning for learning’s sake or wisdom itself a form of happiness striking a chord with mine. I have a clearer understanding about the idea of “creating impact” by working with her and other Yplatform members. I used to have vague ideas about this term, and even I can reiterate exactly what I read from books, I know the underlying idea was something that I hardly catch without having time working with her and other members.

Coming back to the Sunday afternoon, where we have a quick meet-up in the favorite coffee shop (the one I have spent lots of time last summer), the conversation, fragmented a lot with few awkward moments or few incomprehensible breaks though, was totally a meaningful one to me. Hardly could I believe that I spent an afternoon to talk about the idea of pure learning or right way of book reading or kind of education or anything related to youth development. The conversation once again persuaded me that she was a very nice person I have ever had the chance to work with for her surprisingly consistent and constant stream of thoughts/ideas that conveyed through disruptive way of talking (as usual). The topics got beyond the ones I have ever had before with my friends, i.e. career, love, or marriage. Or even it is something about career-related, we were forced to perceive it in another way. I was taken aback for sometimes at huge amount of knowledge she acquired. How come does she spare lots of time for reading books besides her busy workloads? How come does she synthesize her findings from books and make the findings her own belongings, building up her own ideologies towards life? I suddenly feel ashamed for my limited knowledge, for my criticism on the uselessness of some seemingly boring course at undergraduate level, i.e. Public Economics or Development Economics when I was still a student (I started regretting about this 1 year ago). If only…if only… these words echoed in my mind yesterday evening and today for many times when I feel helpless when trying to get the subliminal messages conveyed in some articles or writings.

She was also a very nice sister who kept asking us about our next steps, our next plans (she was also among the ones who helped me in finding a job placement after graduating, the effort did not result in a direct job placement but the kindness I received during this hard time would be invaluable) and wondered if my favorite field is research. I remember few times she talked with me about how to have a boyfriend :)) but few few times and maybe the only time I find her a little bit like other people or find our conversation a little bit more like ones shared between ordinary friends.

When we said goodbye to each other, I wanted to give her a hug for being an unconventionally inspiring dot of mine during the last 2 years and wished her all the best for her journey ahead to Finland (But it did not happen :))). I have jotted down with “source” in the first place but it sounds a little bit pompous so I decided to move on with “dot” for its better description of her appearance. A chain of strange happenstances results from a moment of impulsiveness in March 2012.A line of surprising “dots” has been drawn since that point of time. And I know people called it “Serendipity”.

 

To the guy who dropped by the town this afternoon!!!

July 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

late-summer-rain-from-the-forest-floor-bob-orsillo

A guy came back to the town from which he left few years ago. He walked around, looking concerned about everyone else, shaking hands with some and asking some about what is going on in their life. After such formal etiquette, on his way leaving the town, he happened to meet some younger guys, who have just been to the town for some couples of month and already demotivated recently for realizing the fact that the town they are living is not as dazzling as they expected. They have heard from the old men in the town about the fabulous cities in the faraway land this guy is about to head for in few days, asking him about tips on getting to these cities as he is about to do. When you expect the guy to make some pieces of advice like “there is a will, there is a way”, you are struck by his short answers: “Don’t care about the stuff you are doing day by day at this town. You may get scolded for neglecting the job, however, it is your personal goal that counts.”

This piece of advice turned me down immediately.

As a young guy in this town, who has long dreamed about the cities that guy is about to head for, I was totally disappointed.

You know what I hate the most when some people left the town. They left a message that sounds glorious, expressing their regrets for being unable to live in this wonderful town (as worded by them) in such a long time, the happy memories they had while in town. Such message, sounding sentimental though, was actually an announcement bragging that ” Hey guys, look at what I’m going to do next, which I am sure is far better than the stuff you are facing on a daily basis. I’m going to run the world, leaving all of you stuck with all the bullshit.” (*) (This idea was borrowed from an answer on Quora. Click here for more details.) To make it more glorious, they “throw hefty name-dropping to associate their names with important guys in the town” (Thanks Quora again for it)

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I come from a town, where many young people (at a younger age than mine) are dreaming about getting in. Lots of them succeeded. They proudly wrote on their outbound walls of their houses to have their acquaintances informed about the green card for entry into the town. They expected a lot from the tinseling name of the town and then got demotivated soon when things turn out not be as imagined in the first place. They looked at their friends, seeming to enjoy their lives at another town in the city while paying a lower price. They then keep complaining about the nuisances they have while in the town without finding the roots of all the troubles.

Sometimes when hearing such complaints, I just want to shout at people: “What’s the point of complaining? If you cannot accept it, change it! If you cannot change, so accept! If you can neither change nor accept , quit it! If you find the town uncomfortable, try changing. When changing is impossible, leaving. The choice is totally yours, why do you have to be that demotivated and take other people’s moods down with you?” They admire the ones escaping and perceived that the ones who stay are losers. To make it worse, they refuse to accomplish the tasks and try burdening others with their supposed-to-be tasks. They may succeed in landing somewhere after leaving the town, eventually, and feeling sorry for the ones living in the town.

To the guy who dropped by the town this afternoon.

Personally, I appreciate that people having a lifelong goal to head for. Instead of earning the instant gratification by trying to accomplish all the minimal tasks, it is important to balance with your own lifelong or ultimate goals that you want to reach for your life. Easier said than done. There is always a fine line existing here and sometimes keeping things at a balanced state is a task that beyond possibilities. Though it is hard in the first place to living your own life without badly affecting the others’ ones, it is not of that difficulty in the long run when you think about ways of aligning your own life with the stream you are walking with.

To the younger guys who keep complaining.

Simply, one sentence: When the town do not suit you, it doesn’t mean the town sucks. It is still your choice. Take it or leave it. Think of  the ultimate goals you are seeking for in the whole life. Even the town or the big cities in the faraway land are only the stops in the journey to your ultimate goals. Expect nothing and appreciate everything, you soon find your answer.

 

Dear Julie

July 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

fragriver:

Not so long ago…

Originally posted on thaoha:

Dear Julie

Dear Julie I just don’t know how to start

We met each other when we studied at FTU

My first impression about you was your high heels

Which did not perfectly go with the childish clothes you dressed

We spent time together and things went on like this

I don’t know from which moment you became one of my best friends

We could talk with each other about topics that seem to never end

We ignore other girls’ rambling on about hairstyles and lipstick

But sometimes we fight because of something really stupid

Do you still remember the washing-dishes case?

Honestly I was so mean back to those days

Just because, well, I was envious of you, what a shame to accept

I didn’t understand why your study results were so good

Why you were also easy-going and all our classmates loved you

But the more I know…

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