Thursday, May 5, 2011

You are my best friend.

CC Image courtesy of derekkeats on Flickr

Biographical Note:
Hello or hi, I am a Korean girl and I am 14 here but I am 15 in Korea. I want to remind you that my birthday is on January 6th. I have a brother and a sister. My hobby is to play computer, to sing aloud, and dance. I like to chat with others especially. My friends says that I talk too much and too fast but I do not think I am like that. Back to my hobby, I like to go watch scary movies and action movies. I also like to bother people. When I am alone, I think of stories that I can write. Last thing that I want to tell is that I like to eat fried chicken!

You Are My Best Friend

by Ji Eun

All the time, the gorilla sits next to his favorite tree, the pineapple tree. Silently, a pineapple falls on the gorilla's head, making him angry. The gorilla gets angrier, picking pineapples one by one as he climbs up the tree. Other trees look at the pineapple tree, full of sadness, and they cry as hard as they can. The gorilla, who is kind and sweet, stops pulling off pineapples, and slowly walks to the tree and gives it hugs.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Biographical Note:

Olá! Meu nome é Edie. Probably one of my most favoritest things in the world to do is be outside,, drive, and listen to music. I get a kick out of laughing with my my bro and Dad about Far Side jokes. I have a little bit of Hobbes (from Calvin and Hobbes) and Pooh and Piglet in me. I love my family very much. I dream.


by Edie

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
--Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

My mom writes about life. I like to pretend that I’m her editor. I feel important when she asks me to read an entry, pushing back the words to look at its core, or to correct a syntactical error. It’s kind of like when she used to let me dress up in her small-flowered dresses and blue pumps and I would parade around her room, begging her to give me her gold ring, set with the aquamarine stone, that Grandma gave her on her sixteenth birthday.
I was a five-year-old then, extravagant and loud, with even louder dreams. All my life I’ve been telling my mom those dreams. And all my life she has listened.
She has placed some of her memories into me. When we lived in New York, mom would write. “I just felt like [through writing] we could know where we were going, if we knew where we’ve been…I was trying to weave together history,” she later told me. I followed behind her, peering into the computer, gleaning the words that she wrote. I picked them up and put them into myself. I tried to make it a secret: I would read when she took my two little sisters, Sarah and Ruth, out to dance, or sneak and read behind her shoulder. She knew.
“I look out my New York living room window,” mom wrote one day:

“The snow is at least two feet deep. The morning rush of cars is thinning on our thoroughfare street. It is a short cut between to main arteries and so we feel the pulse of the professional workday by the flow of traffic. David’s chubby baby hands are pulling the curtains as he tries to stand up, jabbering at the wall and Sarah is climbing on my back asking about when our next meal is. She picks up a dime she’s found and moves it slowly around the table, guiding it by her dainty little three year old pointer finger.”

The way she wrote about my little brother and sister made me remember a gift of my mom’s. This afternoon I had a talk with my teacher, Mr. Andrews Bashan. He brought up a part of my mother’s heart that I forget too often. “She is a good mother,” he said.
Those words gave me a gift. That gift was more understanding of a part of my mother that I was blind to. I want you to know that my mother has a gift for love that stretches as big the plains and mesas of New Mexico, a place we consider a part of our homeland. Her love is a part of her soul: “There are people I have known in my life that I love. I meet them, and in some cases, instantly, I know them in my soul. My religion makes it easy to explain, there was a pre-earth life. We had associations then that continue here and will continue after. Sometimes we remember.”
My dad knows this love deeply. Even as a child I could feel how my mom understood my dad. She once told me that in some cultures, the way of saying “I love you” is really said as “I see you,” I understand you. My mom sees my dad.
“She is my safe haven,” my dad told me as we sat on the couch talking, my mom bouncing up and down in her chair, cheerfully typing up lesson plans. She was listening to Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way You Are,” laughing.
His words called a swirl of memories into my head. I had talked with many people who know my mother’s compassion. Ms. Sara, my mom’s fellow teacher, spoke of her kindness and tolerance. Our friends know of the love that my mother shows towards them through summer evenings of New Mexican food and stories. I see afternoons when my little brother, David, cuddles up in my mom’s lap to kiss her cheek. They see her kindness. They see her, and they see her love.
I see.
My mother painted her Jamaica in words, that one year in New York. She has lived in Virginia, Egypt, Jamaica, Idaho, Utah, Connecticut, Romania, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and New York. During the spring of 2009 she described her life in Jamaica in her journal, which was now over sixty pages. For several months she labored patiently, painting Jamaica into words and into my mind. Mom moved there when she was fifteen, and lived there for her sophomore year of high school. As I came behind her to peer deeper into her words, she asked why.
I stumbled around a little bit over my thoughts. Why was I drawn to my mother’s memories? What’s more, why did I feel a connection with her experiences in Jamaica? I can still remember the way that she looked at me when she asked if her words would benefit anyone.
That summer, we moved to Guatemala. Later, she wrote about the first night we spent here, feeling a little lost. She wrote:

“At 9:00pm we went to bed. Eden and I shared one room. She climbed into bed and I did as well, exhausted… ‘What in the world are we doing?’ I thought. I went to bed amazed at how history repeats itself. I stared at Eden remembering myself at fifteen on my first night in Kingston, Jamaica. I couldn’t stop the tears on my cheeks as well. It wasn’t about being sad. I also knew she would never be the same after this experience. None of us would be. This will stretch and pull us and possibly bring us closer. Even though we were disoriented now, in the future, this would be defining for us, as a family and individually. “

I read that memory, and I felt that I was looking at life from the other side of the mirror. Change didn’t shatter any part of myself. It unified parts of me. It unified my family. It gave us, especially my parents, seemingly insuperable challenges. Still my mother continued to comfort me. Me, the one blinded by my sadness. Me, the one deafened by my weakness.
“Eden’s asks the same questions I asked in Jamaica. Why? Why the inequity. I still don’t have an easy answer. Sadly, just more time to get used to it,” my mom wondered in her journal. I remember the talk that we had that inspired this. My memories parallel her experiences, two hands pressed together. We had the same questions. We often had the same hurts.
And our joy is the same. I hold my mom’s memories near not only because of their closeness to mine. I hold her memories close to me because when I read them, I see her.

Human Obsession

CC Image courtesy of cliff1066 on Flickr

Biographical Note:

Many people have told me many thing of how I am. They say I have a philosophical mind, that I am caring and helpful, that I can catch certain concepts that others wouldn't bother to consider, and that I complicate myself. Now, all of these is true, but there is more to me than what other people see. At home when there ain't no work to be done I jump on my rolling chair and go into a video game spree. It sounds like a sedentary lifestyle, but fear not, for I do sports as well. I'm swimming almost professionally, play defence during soccer games as best as any teenager can, and used to do karate and dodge ball. But their is always some physical imper that has to hold me back. But trust me I still got the skill so come get your pill.

Human Obsession

by Bryan

Saint James Hampton was night employee at the General Services Administration in Washington D.C., were he created multiple structures for “God.” This man was obsessed with the idea that he was holy and that God sent him to build relics to create the Third Heaven, which for him was a heaven for the sky, the planet, and the Almighty. There are many people obsessed with many diverse objects or activities, but whether that obsession makes a person better depends on the way the individual manages his or her obsession. In the case of David Kim, he is obsessed with weapons. He could tell you the name of most firearms and rate each based on traits. This is type of obsession can be examined by how this specific obsession affects the individual, David, as a whole.

In the article of The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nation’s Millennium General Assembly the author, J. Hunter Barbour, explains how Saint James Hampton, a janitor at the General Services Administration in Washington, became obsessed with the making of “holy” relics to receive the savior. All of this happened due to Saint James belief that he was shown something divine after seeing a vision when he migrated to the District of Columbia at the age nineteen. It was because of these revelations that he never married and why he created all of his holy work. In this same article it explains how this man would spend hours after work, making masterworks out of foil, paper, plastic, strips of metal, jelly jars, and lots of scrap that he picked up from work or secondhand stores. In the majority of his artworks he would inscribe biblical phrases like “Fear Not” on the top of a wooden throne-like chair. Now, if a man believes they have seen God or any divine being, they will likely fall to their knees and do what the Almighty commands. In the case of Hampton, he himself says that God instructed him to work each night on the “Throne of the Third Heaven.” This is why I belief that Saint James was obsessed with creating the “Throne of the Third Heaven”; because he believed to have holy revelation as he it’s describe in the article, “This is true that the great Moses the giver of the 10th commandment appeared in Washington DC, April 11, 1931.”

A person doesn’t need to be shown something divine to be obsessed with an object or activity. David Kim is an example of this. As his friend, I know the many times he has proved me wrong about a firearms weapon. He sometimes can’t stop talking about a specific weapon once he sees a very intriguing weapon. Once he was able to identify the type of revolver just by looking at an image of it. His great knowledge of weapons, however, comes from his other obsession. First-Person-Shooter (FPS) games. Since each weapon is different, players must know the weapon they use well to know how to use it effectively. He began being obsessed with FPS games. He would play eight to ten hours almost on a daily basis and if interrupted, he would go berserk. This, however, lead to an interest in firearms. So one obsession lead to another.

All of this has lead me to believe that an obsession doesn’t spark out of the nowhere. It must be stimulated by either another action or event that in the mind of the person obsessed. It’s something that provides pleasure. To Saint James, the idea that he was doing work for a divine being definitely brought pleasure in the sense that he believed that he was doing something admirable for someone as revered as God. In the case of David, his obsession with weapons all started by the simple need to know how weapons work so that the stimulation of scoring victory in any FPS would stratify his needs. An obsession is not by definition bad, it can lead to positive. Now the needs that an obsession satisfies and what must be pained to achieve define where his or her obsession is a positive, negative, or neutral one. It’s all in the mind.