This essay is about those from a poor country who get scholarships to attend university in the US. I was inspired by the transition theme of NoViolet Bulawayo’s “We need new names”. The style of “How they arrived” mirrors the style of three short stories in the book: “How they appeared”, “How they left” and “How they lived”. I love the way NoViolet used the third person voice in those short stories. Her “they” sounded impersonal yet emerged to be oddly personal, with a face, a voice, even a personality I can sympathize with. Continue reading “[Day 33] How they arrived”→
As a tourist in London, of course, I went to see some of its hundreds of museums. They taught me a lot about the arts, nature, and human history, but they also made me really sad. We all try to create happy memories, but have you ever thought about how our history is made up almost entirely of sad ones? When we learn about history, we learn about wars, crusades, holocausts, slavery, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, epidemics, sultans murdering their younger siblings to consolidate power, powerful nations imposing their rules on the less powerful.
Changes are not driven by happy people dancing in the village squares. They are driven by people in chains, in pain, in famine. Revolutions are not driven by people who still have a lot to lose. They are driven by people who have lost everything.
Mom, Dad, before you read this, I just want you to know that Tinder is a nice, award-winning, exclusive app that brings together people of mutual interests to work on something meaningful and change the world. Only straight A students get invited. Continue reading “[Day 26] Chip in Tinderland”→
It’s the end of another academic year so I thought I should reflect on the kind of person I have become through the year. Going through my notes, emails and online conversations, I realized several alarming patterns. I have become a person of excuses. I need to stop using them.
For those of you who don’t already know, recently there has been some social unrest in Vietnam. A lot of people went out on the street to protest over the mass fish death and the way the government has been handling the situation. As is the case with unrest, there are a lot of people spreading rumors and causing even more unrest. I think it might be helpful to just look at the facts. Below is a complete timeline of all those events: from when the fish started dying on April 6 to today. I only quoted accredited newspapers, and I don’t include rumors spread on social media. Please let me know if there is something I’m missing.
Recently, I have been thinking about death. How can we understand life if we don’t know about death? I try to understand what is going on in the mind of people who know that they will be dying soon? So I looked up stories about death-row inmates. Below are some of what I found. Warning: this is morbid and somewhat creepy. Proceed at your own risk. Continue reading “[Day 7] What to say on the death row”→