Swarthmore’s New “Wow-classes” will literally Wow you

More and more colleges around the nation are bringing “Wow-butter” into their dining halls to accommodate students who are fatality allergic to peanut butter. Not to be outdone by its peers, Swarthmore College (a leader and innovator in the field of social justice), plans to introduce a series of new classes called “Wow-classes” to accommodate students who are fatality allergic to ignorance and human fallibility. These classes, which will run along side current courses, exclude aspects of human behavior that could cause a fatal allergic reaction in some students, such as a penchant to speak without knowing the complete history of everyone in the class, which can  trigger a remote incidence in one’s early childhood and prompting some very harmful allergic reactions.

To ease students into the process, Swarthmore College has begun to run test trials of their “Wow-classes”. So far the responses from the student body has been that of the utmost support and excitement. “The new classes really wowed me, before I had to force myself to learn to deal with people’s ignorance and difference in opinion and it was really getting to my mental health, ” says senior Alice Paul, “I think this is a big step forward for equality in Higher Ed, almost as important as the woman’s suffragist movement.” Some students were so excited about the prospect these classes that they even promised to donate more funding to the college once they matriculate. “These classes are so cool, it’s like everyone just agrees with everything I believe in and have come to hold as true,” says Junior Eugene Lang, “if I ever get rich one day, I am gonna donate not one, not two, not three, but four building back to swat.”

Inside these classes, students actively engage in intellectual group discussions, stating literally the same things in five different languages and citing various sources that seem to be conducted by the same research institute. But some member of the student body are becoming increasingly reminiscent  of past classes, “Is it alright if we go back to the old classes where people say stupid things, and we just tear it apart for being misogynistic and intolerant instead of focusing on the actual argument, it was so fun” said one senior who asked to remain confidential in fear of the possible ransacking of his residence in Phi Psi Lodge.

But no one was more welcoming of the “Wow-classes” then the professors themselves. “I have so much more free time now that that ignorance and human fallibility has been artificially selected out of my classroom, it’s like I don’t even have to teach any thing of substance anymore,” says one rather corpulent professor of the Science Dept. Other professor have taken advantage of the extra time on their for more productive activities. “Now that we have “Wow-classs”, I can spend the whole day pondering my pronoun preference on Facebook, maybe I will even help my father with his,” reported one elderly member of the Philosophy Dept.

Interviewing Wellesley Students About “Love”

So I am currently doing an externship (I don’t even know what that means) at Wellesley College’s Communication and PR Dept., and during my lunch breaks I have decided to be super productive and interview Wellesley students on what they think love looks like today…..in the modern world. However, I am not too sure if these folks are actually students, cause school doesn’t start for another wk, but meanwhile I will keep their identities confidential as they asked. It would appear that a lot of these educated folks here have had the opportunity to see Spike Jonze’s “Her”, as some answers pertains to the rise of technology and its effects on relationships today.

Q: “What do you think love looks like today?”

“Love is the antithesis of fear.”

“It comes down to the individual and their own needs, I guess.”

“Honestly, people today are always talk about ‘oh technology is bad, blah blah’, I think technology might modify how we go about meeting our basic human needs, but they don’t change those needs.”

“I think technology has taken down a lot of barriers, we are all more accessible now, sex can be technological transactioned and it makes it very tricky emotionally.”

Q: “How do you view separations and breakups?”

“Relationships are gonna end dude. If they go great and long, then all that means then is someone is gonna watch their favorite person die. Sorry, I am just bitter. They are the most important thing.”

“I just broke up with my partner, I really don’t wanna talk about this. But these separations is what stops me from wanting to start again.”

“Maybe it’s time, maybe the idea of monogamy is exhausted in this society?”

Q: “What does relationships mean to you?”

“When I feel like I can say anything to someone else.”

“It’s like you are sharing your life with somebody and it is just the best feeling ever.”

“Relationships are weird, how they work, how they function, how they fail, what makes them fail, how they disappear, and change? I don’t really get it, but they are still amazing regardless.”

PS: I decided to do this interview during my work at an all-women college partly due to my bias belief that somehow women are kinda smarter than man, in their attention to detail, their wisdom dealing with the minute interactions of everyday relationships, and their cunning introspection in regards to relationships and people.

 

Spreading the Love <3

In my short lived life of 18 yrs, I have been extremely fortunate to have not only a great foundation of parents and friends to ground me but also the unwarranted gift of being able to accomplish the things I have set out to do. I am grateful for that every single moment of my life. Which is why it is my life goal and daily endeavor to help as many people as I can to touch as many lives as I can before I return to the dirt. Few phenomenal events today further reinforced my believe in “spreading the love” and actively reaching out to other people for no ulterior motives.

I was  heading out to Philly tonight with my hometown homie “Mase-on” to watch the Philly screening of the movie Linsanity at Ritz 5 on Walnut and 2nd street. We get to the theater about 6:50 PM and the movie begins at 7:30PM. So we tots have the option of  40mins of free “freezing” time outside or find something else to do.  So being the lazy person I am, I decided to tackle the closest restaurant for warmth and security, which turned out to be this place called Zahav about 50 yrds away.  The Place had the look of a place that was way beyond our budget (“Do you have a reservation?” being the 1st question asked kinda gave it away), so instead of saying “hey we are broke-college students, whatcha got there for us?”, I simply told them we had some time to burn before a movie and would like a drink and some laffa bread to fill-up. The bartender gave us this look as if we were robbing their “potential income” by occupying two bar seats with our “$4 laffa orders and ginger ale”.

15mins in, I get kinda anxious when our laffas haven’t shown up, maybe they be secretly hating on us? Turns out it was on the side of a couple sitting right next to us, they not only return us the warm and fresh laffa, but also gives us all of their leftovers (which was plenty), including their “fried goat cheese thingies” which tasted like heaven (if one so do exists) and a bunch of other condiments for our laffa. We devour the laffa. Then order another one. This one takes 1min to arrive. We devour the laffa, again. The girl in the couple asks us if we are Chinese. We say “Made in China”. She says she is half, and her father is a man from southern China who wears cowboy boots and has a southern accent (b/c he lived in Texas). I check the watch. It’s time to go.

Just when I turned to ask for the check, the bartender says “no, it’s on me”. We were so surprised, and thanked them (couple and bartender) profusely for the next 3 minutes until we remember we had a movie to catch. Our initial reactions was “wow, we don’t deserve this, better do something good for other people starting now”. We march on to Ritz 5, and walks in right in time for screen to say “please wait 10more mins, but we have free posters and drinks.” What a night.

PS: So as my way of giving back, “Mase-on” and me will be at the SCI center the rest of this wk (until Fri) during lunch time to pay for random people who we don’t know and have no connections to as they hurry there for that “Asian cuisine”, you know just cause. 🙂

Stuff I Hear @College…

As you all know, I am not much of a talker. I don’t really like to talk nor do I do it too often, a benefit of that is that I get to hear a lot of things, very interesting things.  Here is a list of the some of the things I hear at Swarthmore, that I just haven’t had the privilege of hearing in my high schools in Walnut.

1.) “OMG, its 60 degrees out! It’s so warm today.”

2.) “Look! it’s the sun.” (And I came here with the thought that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”)

3.) “I totally just failed that!” (ok tbh, I hear that at Walnut all the time, nothing has changed)

4.) “Wow, everyone on this campus is so attractive, I don’t know if I belong here or not” (ok, no one says that)

5.) “Do you wanna come over and study with me?” (like what does that even mean, never heard it before)

6.) “A: I haven’t slept in 4 days! B: I haven’t slept this whole semester!”

7.) “I was in Sharples the whole day” (like why?)

8.) “I have no friends!” (yeah, not with that attitude)

9.) “Sharples dining is just too good, I am really gonna miss it when I eventually graduate.”

10.) “DU parties are so sick, I am gonna go work at BlackWater and come back to party here when I am in my 30s.” (and it won’t be awkward at all)

11.) “Let’s get fuck’d up!!” (definitely have never heard that before, what does it even mean?)

12.) “Solid night, bro” (is there like a liquid or gas night?)

13.) “I am from Jersey, not the shore”

14.) “What’s your gender pronoun preference?” (definitely a new one but I like it, FYI you can just call me Jerry or Gerbear)

15.) “Do you identify as Asian?” (I really don’t have a lot of choices, do I ?)

16.) “Do you like this college?” (I mean I have only been to one college, and this is that one)

17.) “How did you get into Swarthmore?” (idk, I asked politely)

18.) “Where are you from? Where are your parents from?” (are we arranging marriages here?)

19.) “Oh sorry I can’t go, I have office hrs” (1st time I heard that term)

20.) “You are not bisexual, I think you are pansexual.” (what does that even mean?)
21.)” Yo, that shit Heteronormative bro”

To be cont’d

There Will Always Be Problems

Recently, I have come to realize that there will always be problems in the world. No matter how hard we try to prevent them or solve the present issues, there will always be new challenges and dilemmas. We live in a world of constant change, and constantly changing problems, that is a fact.

But that is what makes life itself worth it, if it was all dandy all the time, it would be like those movies that no one would want to watch. Living itself is difficult, and that’s the beauty of life. Because there will always be problems, we should focus on the present, the today, the now and solve what problems we already have in hand, instead of bitching about the past or worrying about the future. We should view the problems we face as a necessity to life, an ingredient to living, and the muscle-milk for personal growth.

Too many people today make the conscious choice to use their time to find excuses or look for “legit reasons” to shy away from confronting the reality (which is a world filled with problems), instead of thinking about how to “make the time” for something, why not just do it, then you will have made the time for it.

Problems will continue to exist, whether we deal with them or not will determine how long we will continue to exist.

China’s Adjustment Period

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PREFACE: This article is me trying to stand up and speak out for the “unpopular, uncool” kid in HS who suddenly becomes extremely popular and “cool”, much to the despise of the current establishment, the “rich, cool, popular” kids. In this case, the kid who all of a sudden becomes popular is China.

I have met many individuals both living in and outside of China, both Chinese and foreign, who when speaking upon the subject of China, would often incessantly indulge upon its lack of political transparency, plethora of social injustice, and the ever-mounting environmental and judicial issues. Yes. These problems do exist and sometimes are far worse and widespread than they are advertised. And No. One shouldn’t use the standard of a developed nation who has had 230+ yrs of history, no warfare on its mainland in the past 150 yrs, with a population of 300 million to judge a developing country with 60+ yrs of history, 4 major warfare on its mainland in the past century, with a population of 1.4 billion. Individuals who move into a new environment (college, new city, college to pro sports, etc.) would often need some time to get acquainted to the new settings, let alone an entire society of 1.4 billion.

And this society hasn’t really been raised under the “best situation” since Mao won the civil war and establish the People’s Republic in 1949, Chinese society has been put through a roller-coaster ride filled with ups and downs of hunger, poverty, nature disaster, and political turbulence. Soon after 1949, Mao started the 5-yr Plan followed by the Great Leap Forward, which turned out to be absolutely failures sending the already backwards China even more back in time. After that, natural disasters hit China severely for several yrs, then followed by the “Red Flood” of Mao’s own personal vendetta rampages aka the “Cultural Revolution” in the 1966-76 that literally wasted a generation’s youth while sending China back another 30 yrs in economic and agriculture development as a nation. Only after 1978 did they abandon the crazy-ass Maoist reforms under Deng Xiaoping, and thus resume the now crumbling education system with only a few universities to serve as centers of higher education. It was only since the middle 80s, when Deng’s policies of “gai ge kai fang” (economic change and openness), did China really open its doors to Capitalism and began to expand and grow as a nation, now known for its cheap labor and hard-work instead of famines and poverty (though both still pervades some areas).

It seems obvious, but look at all the bullshit that the new China has been through in the since it’s inception 60 yrs ago. Sure they are but history now, but they impacted generations before they came and went, and those scars can never be undone. It has been only 30 yrs since China has actually had a relatively stable environment to grow and prosper and look at how much has changed in such as short amount of time. When I was born, the train stations in most cities rivaled that of refugee-camps in third world countries (minus the Red cross tents), now there is an airport in every major city and most are far more extravagant  and lavish than its American counterparts.

I know what I’m saying might not be entirely accurate, but I am trying to be a nice guy, trying to speak up for the “new kid” as he adjust to his new life. All I’m saying is “give him a lil more time” and everything will get better.

Same-sex Closeness in China

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No, this is not an article about homosexuality in China.

This is a story about bros and sis, you know, those people who didn’t come from the mother as you, but somehow they just understand you so well and love you so much, that if they were to be gone you won’t want to be alive in a world without them. This is an article about those people.

After spending most of my free time observing and being a part of different schools in China, I have come to meet an interesting observation. In China, kids from the ages of elementary to high school often hangout and associate the most with kids of the same gender, this doesn’t mean that boys don’t play with girls or vise versa. It’s more that when they are free from the confines of class (when they have their own free will of choice), that these kids tend to play with kids of their same gender. You will see groups of boys all with their hands around each other walking down the street and you can see large groups of girls all holding hands walking around town as if they were like the cheetah-girls reincarnate, and this occurs very often in age groups that go up as high as 19. It is definitely not a common sight to see a young boy and a girl holding hands in public or walking together after school, the ones you do see are probably 20 or older (they just look young). It is only when one goes to college, do one observe more co-ed associations outside of class and required activities. As if all the influence of the parent’s nagging of “focus on school” and “study more” all go deaf to  these Chinese kids when they attend college at the age of 19 (national avg.), unless you are a momma’s boy, which is a popular choice among the current generation.

Contrast this to western kids, I do see more co-ed involvement starting as early as elementary school activities and developing into more social interactions between kids of different genders in middle school aka those “first crushes” or promotional dances, then materializing into actual relationships with events like prom and other little things in high school. The same cannot be said of Chinese student, where small tests in elementary schools develop same-gender study group, and bigger tests in middle school creates even stronger bonds with the same kids you studied with in elementary school, eventually materializing in huge tests in high school(where the scores will determine where you go in life) ,  this is also when students just get so into studying that they ignore human interactions in general. Ok, that might be slightly exaggerated.

But the point is the cultural difference between the seemingly more “free” and “open” West and the supposedly more “strict” and “controlled” East can be observed in the frequency of same-sex closeness and the age groups in which they occur. It’s much more interesting to see the phenomenal in person than to read about it from my choppy non-edited writing. So next time, instead of people watching in Starbucks, you should go people watching at schools, in China, and look at the same-sex closeness that would probably not occur in the US or other western societies.

But as usual, I might be wrong, about this whole thing.