Category: college

Lessons from a stranded bus and late night microscope work

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Back in November, the week of Thanksgiving break (actually, the night before Thanksgiving day), I found myself stranded at 12:35am with fifty other people and steady rain in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles. Usually, I fly back to the Bay Area from my school in San Diego– if I book my tickets sufficiently in advance, the costs are worth the visit back home; however, this time, I didn’t book my flight tickets early enough. Seat availability plummeted, prices skyrocketed, and I decided that taking the budget-friendly bus would be a good alternative.

I didn’t sleep more than an hour that night. We ended up left in that parking lot for reasons I’m to this day unsure of– the bus driver had stopped, told us all to vacate the bus because we were supposed to transfer, and promptly drove off as soon as the last person had removed their bag from the under-bus storage. Needless to say, there was no transfer.

We were in that parking lot for about an hour and a half until the company sent a replacement bus to pick us up. I tried to doze off again on this bus, but the frigid air blowing through the vents kept my mind active even though my body was craving rest. We made it to San Francisco by seven thirty in the morning, and I reached my home by eight. Continue reading

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onward, 2018

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A couple days late on this tangible reflection, but that’s okay. New Year’s posts are some of my favorites to write just because they give me a great excuse to go down the nostalgia rabbit-hole that is this blog.

Following up on last year, here’s what I did and what I’ll do (+ some bonus 2018 pictures). Continue reading

Visiting Taiwan // Pt. 2: Taipei

Visiting Taiwan // Pt. 1: Tainan

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My friend Stephanie is currently across the ocean. Since August, she’s been living in Tainan, Taiwan and taking classes at a university there. A couple months ago, my other friend Isha and I made the snap decision to buy the cheapest round trip plane tickets we could find to Taiwan and back.

Stephanie, Isha, and I have been an inseparable bunch since our senior year of high school; last summer, when Isha started classes, Steph and I paid her a visit at her school across the bridge from us right after she moved in. Since my quarter system school starts later than semester schools, I also adventured up to Portland to visit Steph, where she attends college. This past spring, the two of them stayed with me for a few days down in San Diego. We went from train rides across the Bay Area to flights across the Pacific Ocean, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Here are some snapshots from the first part of the visit, when we stayed in Tainan. Stay tuned for more coming from our time in Taipei. Continue reading

A Conversation with The Marías

The Marias

The Creative Process

Josh: We record everything right in our living room. Booking a studio, paying by the hour… that type of deal can sometimes be stressful and halt creativity.

María: It’s just like a camera– it doesn’t matter as much what type you have, it matters more who’s behind the camera and what’s done with it.  Continue reading

Soup, Sweets, and Phone Lines

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One of my apartment mates walked in today, talking in a mix of English and Cantonese about herbal soup. Her mom was on the other end of the line, directing her towards the freezer and then the sink: “Wait, let me video call you…I defrost the chicken like this? Like, just put it under hot water? Okay, now what else do I add to the pot? How long will it take?” My roommate emerged from our double, joining my apartment mate in the kitchen. “Oh, my mom’s made this before, too. Looks good.”

I continued clicking through my chemistry homework with a smile. Many of my evenings hold similar conversations with my own mom: “How much jeera powder should I use in this? Will my khichdi last another couple days? Do I really need rasam powder to make rasam?” Every time, she laughs at how much I overthink my food. “It’s easy, Arya. Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.”

Continue reading at Lithium Magazine →

Contemplating the inherent morality of novels

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One of my best friends hates reading.

“It’s not that I don’t appreciate a good analysis of a book,” he said, “I just feel like I don’t get anything out of reading the novels they forced on us in high school English class. Like, it makes me feel like it’s a waste, because just the fact that I had to read it on a certain timeline and do a certain thing with it ruined the book for me. I feel like that sucked out the chance to really get anything out of the book.”

At first, I was appalled.

Continue reading