Week 4: Recap
The 5th year anniversary at ROLCCIB was great! But, it was also a great reminder that we can’t take this celebration for granted because if we get too comfortable as a church by looking at our past accomplishments, we will never see what God has in store for us! So, we prayed for challenges :P because challenges cause us to grow, and I think that’s what I look forward to in relationships…which is possibly not the “best” thing… but I know that’s what will lead to healthier, stronger, and deeper relationships. Haha, well I can’t wait for Donna to come back to speak on relationships because she has an uncanny way of really speaking to people’s hearts, and I love it! And, I’m also very excited to hear that possibly youth from other churches will be coming to our retreat :) The only possible bummer is that when I went to my followup for my TB shot, I was slightly positive! O_O But, they told me not to worry as it may have been just previous exposure and such since I was born in the US… oh well. I still had to take a chest x-ray, which was interesting. Made me think about radiation a lot after I read all about it on dentists misusing x-ray machines… Ok, well I’m moving into BC tomorrow, and I can’t believe I have so much stuff!
Quite the adventure in the morning. Got 4 hours of sleep and woke up at 5:30AM to send my mom to the airport. The shower did wonders in waking me up, and thankfully, I had loaded basically all my stuff on the car the night before, so there was no rushing and such. :) The ride to the airport was smooth with no traffic in sight, and after dropping my mom off to her second trip to Cali (haha ridiculous!), my dad helped me unload my stuff in my room and then we headed to star market for some groceries. As we bought ingredients, my dad helped talk me through what dishes I could make, and this helped tremendously… I think I need to start writing down recipes so when I go shopping, I know exactly what I need… Ugh, but I realize that I don’t really work like that…. looks like I have to change a bit! Took a two hour nap after heading back to school, did some unpacking, and then met Steph & her parents to help her move-in :) We ate at El Pelon, and then thankfully, they gave me a ride to Newton so I could drop off Karen’s stuff at her dorm instead of having her come to Main Campus and then going back… Then, I spent basically the rest of the day with Steph…haha, time seems to go by pretty quickly :P Good thing I didn’t have much else to do because I didn’t realize what a month long separation would do to a relationship… actually, strangely enough, I saw her just a week ago at her place, but the week long wait was more difficult than the three weeks prior to that… weird. Gosh school’s tomorrow, but I’m SO glad to have class start at noon! :D
First day of classes was tiring! I think I have to readjust to sitting in class even though I only had two… and I was really hoping there would’ve been a snow day :( In my noon class, the students stayed for 15 minutes before leaving, as stated (somewhere…), but then the professor came in right then, so she caught most of us before we left… Oh well. At least it was interesting, and she’s very passionate about this subject so I think it’ll be an alright class. Intro to Feminisms was quite intriguing, and so far, I’m surprised to say that I’m enjoying the class. It’s definitely the latest class I’ve taken at 5PM… but it kept my attention so I didn’t fall asleep :P Oh, it’s definitely going to be … entertaining having Steph there as well. I really hope I don’t make stupid comments and get owned by all the girls in the class…Thankfully, there are like 5 other guys in the class. After class, Steph and I cooked dinner and then went to ACF! Despite the snow, rain, and icy paths, I’m surprised SO many people turned out :) It was a fun night seeing so many new (abroad people!) and old faces :D
Literary Forms IS AMAZING. Wow, that shocks me how I have been so impressed by just the first day. I think I’ll get a better understanding of the class later on… but it’s made me think about what have been the best classes/professors I’ve taken, so I hope to post that up sometime. I just love how approachable my professor is, and it’s definitely enjoyable being able to take the class with so many friends :D justin, my roommate nick, andrew, and amir! I’m so looking forward to this class, especially since it’s focused on love… gotta keep learning :) Ah, and research class was relaxed, as Young and I just pipetted… I hope we get paired up because I don’t really know anyone else in the class :/ The rest of the night was spent in meetings at the Elections Committee and for Shaw… which I felt like I was just listening. Then, the night ended with Dan and I playing basketball! I hope that I’ll go more often than just the beginning of the semester and somehow keep an exercise schedule…
Classes were fun today. Lots of rhythmic hand clapping during music class, and some discussion in feminisms. Thankfully, nothing much was required of me since it’s still syllabus week :) Steph and I cooked dinner at her place, and I got to figure out how to use oyster sauce… or at least I think I know how to use it :/ And, I regret not being able to make it to prayer meeting for retreat… but it’s no use to dwell on regrets. Retreat is tomorrow! But, it looks like there’s a huge snowstorm coming in and I fear the bus ride could be somewhat treacherous… gotta pray!
English class was great today though I’m starting to realize and dislike the gap between seniors and freshmen… The comments made and questions asked are on such different levels, but I know I have to be more accepting and patient. I can’t believe the professor does it so well…After class, I prepared for retreat, whether it was making encouragement bags (not a good idea for an artistically challenged person…), packing up worship equipment, or packing my own stuff. The bus ride was enjoyable despite sitting on the wheel and radiator. Diane kept watching Steph and me, haha. As we arrived, I quickly began practicing with the group and while we didn’t feel completely ready, prayer really prepared our hearts, and the night of worship went great! I liked Young’s quote: “When we practice, we practice, but when it’s time to worship, we worship!” I think that took care of everything else… The message focused on race, and I think the discussion group went really well. Everyone was willing to share, and I’m surprised at how engaging it is! I can’t wait for tomorrow, and I’m so blessed to have such a good group :) Let’s see, the leaders are Grace Lee and Eugene Choi. And the group consists of Dora, Ji, Esther (Dan’s sister!), Justin Feng, and Jae Maeng. I think the other thing on my heart is reaching out to new people and breaking out of the comforts of friendships at this retreat… It’s already become apparent, as certain groups of friendships are in place… :/ Thankfully, I’ve been able to have a great conversation with Jacob!
The morning worship set went smoothly, and the message was engaging in that we filled out a chart that focused on intentional vs. unintentional as well as relational vs. systemic oppression/racism. The end results were surprising, as relational and intentional racism is obvious and has been kept to a minimum in society, though the unintentional and systemic problems of racism were intimidating and complex! This sense of hopelessness that individuals could solve such problems in society was connected with the hope in Christ, and this helped renew a deeper understanding of how Jesus is desiring to change the world through us. Also, I liked Mako’s talk about Zaccheus because it gave a new perspective about social justice and a transformed heart, though I guess the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that… Zaccheus was naked when he climbed the tree because they didn’t wear pants back then… hahaha.
Anyways, practice in the afternoon was a bit difficult since our energy was wearing down though singing Disney songs did help later on :P Nick and Ji seem to know most of the songs, if not all! However, the afternoon workshop and games were so difficult to sit through because I felt drained, and I realized how my mood is dictated by my energy level… and I wish it weren’t so much :( I get more irritable than I care to admit, and I didn’t really get to take a nap. Oh well, dinner did help, and Saturday night worship was our last set as ACF praise team! I can’t believe it’s over already…and I’ve enjoyed the moments of setting up/tearing down, saturday morning practices, tuesday large groups, and of course, the energy-draining yet so worth the time and effort acf retreats!
The night concluded with prayer and worship, though I decided to do my own thing and read a bit because something just bothered my heart… Honestly, I’m not sure what, but I was hoping that this year would be different. Yet, in my four years at ACF retreat, this time has always been a struggle to pay attention because it feels uncomfortable… Weirdly enough, I want to say it’s not as spiritual as I hope it would be, instead with it just being emotions and all… because I’m used to more intense things at church and conferences. So, I think my mind keeps telling me, “What gives?”
Anyways, because I did my own thing, and then found Justin Oh and went to do encouragement cards… I didn’t realize that I was needed to play later. Oops! I guess some people worried because I just seemed to have left… but I think I like praying alone. I know people aren’t looking at me when I pray, but it’s so much more relieving to have nobody else there. The rest of the night went pretty well, as I finally got to finishing the encouragement letters, and Dave and I played some guitar and sang :)
One last thing, it definitely was interesting being at the retreat for the first time as a couple… Oh boy, Steph and I got a lot of “attention” for that… and it sure was funny. I can’t wait for the commotion to die down :P because I doubt we’re all that interesting. I think it’s more because we’re one of the new couples this semester. I think we played off the awkwardness of being called cute by not responding. We’re pretty good at that… :)
Week 3: Recap
Worship this morning went really well! I’m just really glad that despite being in a new place with the set up a bit different, as the piano and drums are on opposite sides, which makes signaling a bit difficult…the set was great! Also, Matt played bass, and I like his style of playing though I can’t seem to put it into words…I definitely enjoyed how the music felt and mixed together, and I hope we can jam sometime :) It was a fun yet tiring day, and I’m glad I could just spend the rest of the day at home relaxing.
It’s the last week of break, but I feel as though I’ve finally caught onto what it means to be productive, haha. I finally sent emails out for Shaw, which I’ve been putting off… for like a month or so. Things just always felt so far off, but with school starting in just a week (no way!), pressure pushes me. Also, I went to the doctor’s today for a physical, found out that I’m 5’5” and 127 lbs, and got one shot. Surprisingly, it did not hurt nearly as much as I anticipated…though that’s probably because I can’t remember the last time I got one. I kept asking about immunizations because I needed a form to be filled out for Tufts, but neither of us had an idea about when I had this or that shot… Thankfully, I got a sheet of the shots I’ve taken, and hopefully, I won’t need any more, though the Tufts form may indicate otherwise :/ There was definitely a lot of waiting, but that gave me some downtime to actually read! And, dinner was great as my dad, Tiffany, and I went to H-Mart, and then we did some shopping there as well as at the supermarket. Finally, to end the night, my dad really wanted to watch Robin Hood, and giving redbox a try for just $1, I’m surprised that I really enjoyed the movie :) Yay, talk about being productive!
Well, talk about a complete turnaround… I got nothing done today! Haha. Since I got some chores done early in the morning, I spent practically the rest of the day playing video games, with a little eating and napping slipped in between that. I also got to see my sister play basketball, which was quite amusing and somewhat frustrating… but it was an enjoyable hour :) And, after slaving away at this game, Glory of Heracles, for 34 hours, I am done! At first, it was an interesting plot, but that was soon lost as things got repetitive. I will admit that I liked the story and the quirks, but it was definitely a hassle to go through all of that. And, sadly, the last epic battle was not epic at all. I think somehow I managed to be too strong, and there was no struggle to overcome, haha. At least now, I can say I’m done with a game and feel somewhat accomplished. I think I got my money’s worth as this was on sale for $12… but I realize that I fell into the trap of having to play and finish a game because I bought it. And I know I REALLY shouldn’t start another game… but I sure do love puzzles! Sadly, I know that I should avoid video games, or at least those that are single player, because I really don’t need the time suck at BC. I’ve got one last semester, and I don’t want to waste it like that… Now, all night gaming sessions with the roomies is a different matter ;)
Being snowed in felt great :) though I guess I’m used to it considering I don’t do much outside anyways… I think most people had plans and such so they were bummed… It was fun since both my dad and Tiffany stayed home too! This is the first time I’ve shoveled this year, and I actually enjoy it because the snowplow does most of the work :P It’s not as time-consuming, chilling, and strength-draining. Sadly, the snow was not very packable, so I couldn’t make a snowman. I also got to cook a bit today and learn a couple new dishes from my dad :) let’s see, an egg & tomato dish and tofu, pork, and some sort of greens…. and finally, I practiced some piano and guitar! I like it when I actually get stuff done, though I realize that only happens once I get enough sleep… I definitely need to sleep earlier/more.
Found out from the doctor’s that I need to take a couple more tests/shots tomorrow… yay… Haha. Then, I hurried over to the Burlington Mall to meet Young Park! We decided to meet basically halfway, and it was a good couple hours of strolling through the place for our man date. :) And no, we were not holding hands… And no, Steph is not jealous…. Haha. Anyways, this was the first time Young tried Chik-Fil-A and he loved it! Of course, who can resist the tenderness and goodness, especially someone like Young! :) And then, we just went into almost every store to look at what was fun. We played some Playstation Move at the Sony Store, sat in the massage chairs at Brookstone, and smelled lots of lotions at Bath & Body Works… Oh, and we got ice cream too! It was a lot of browsing and talking and just realizing, “School is almost over…” This was really fun just catching up and reflecting since break is now basically over, and we want to make this last semester count! Lastly, I got to cook again with my dad, and we made corn soup, bulgogi (pre-marinated from Hmart :P), and tofu, celery, and pork dish. I feel like I’m keeping a log so I’ll remember what I’ve learned! Now I just have to actually incorporate them into my cooking routine…wow, I just realized what a pain buying ingredients can be…
Wow, the shots were quite fun and quick today… I decided to look at the needles as they went into my skin and it was so interesting because I realized it didn’t hurt much! Haha, what a weird feeling to see the needle go into my vein and then see blood fill the container…. After the shots, I headed home to clean up the place because we were having a speaker come this weekend for our church’s 5th year anniversary! And so, I went to Logan with my mom to pick up the speaker, then waited 2 hours in traffic before we got home…. Lots of patience. I’m surprised I wasn’t upset at all! It was enjoyable for some reason, and then church at night was great because I just felt very happy despite also feeling tired. It was just a good night seeing everyone at ROFL…
Spent the day at church listening to the speaker, Donna Parachin, from Unstoppable Ministries. She used to work at Singing Waters in Canada, which is a place for that I guess many pastors go to “recharge” Haha. I guess perhaps a retreat center for pastors? :D Anyways, she has a very contagious spirit, in the sense that I know I’m not very positive all the time, but every time I have talked with her, I just feel incredibly enlivened! It’s incredible… part of me wants to just be like, I’m not as happy as you and try to dampen her spirit (funny how it seems like that’s always the case… bringing people DOWN to your level… not good.) but then, I guess I catch the disease and am happier as I talk with her :) So, I think that made listening to her talk much easier because just from my several interactions with her, I really enjoy her presence and how she is able to encourage and love and embody the love of Christ. Well, tomorrow is the 5th anniversary for the church, and it’s incredible how in just five years, we’ve gone from renting a building to buying one! (and a large one indeed…7.3 acres?! O_O)
wow, what a fun packed day!
i am surprised i went to sleep at 1am, but it was so necessary for the day ahead… i awoke at 8am to start getting ready for the day, i.e. making my secret santa card, because i forgot the night before :P we arrived at church early around 9:45 to set up and get things ready for worship. and i cannot believe the songs went without a hitch! well, perhaps my overcriticalness would point out that joy to the world didn’t start off as well as we hoped, but we recovered pretty quick, and i’m just SO glad that the changing between english and mandarin for songs was very smooth and easy to follow. we began with our favorite song: feliz navidad =) and proceeded onwards through 5 more songs, and while this year we only had violins playing, it was great to have them because we had 7th graders participate as well =) i’m just so glad it went so well with just practice the day before.
after worship, we had children’s choir, and they were undeniably cute :) our worship team can’t really match that :P and then we had a video about retooning the nativity, which i think everyone enjoyed. i wish i was more detailed about writing this out… but right now it’s 5:00AM…. so i’m just being very general :/ then we continued with our regular service, and ended around noon. after that, it was time for secret santa! we managed to get everyone in the youth room and began with alexandra, who got a cactus! haha. at least that’s what she wanted…. interesting. anyways, we continued through the group, though some people didn’t get gifts because their secret santas weren’t there… matt’s in michigan, and julia’s in arizona :P but they’ll be getting their gifts next week! anyways, we withheld josh’s gift because he was SO worried that he’d get a bad gift since it was in a box. and he didn’t know that I had him… =) so, he built up a lot of suspense, and when it was finally his turn, everyone crowded around to see whether he’d get pwned! but he didn’t, because i got him spirit tracks & an hdmi cable! stuff he actually wanted =) and he was SO relieved, and i was happy that he actually got a good gift this time! my secret santa was deborah, and i got samurai chopsticks and another rob bell book: jesus wants to save the christians! YAY =)
after secret santa, i talked with paul and john, as paul showed me his new dog, and we spent a good amount of time just catching up since we hadn’t really seen each other since the summer… i really enjoyed our conversation because so much stuff has happened this past semester, and well now, our church is moving! next week is our last week of service in the building, and paul and john will be back to help us move too =) and it’s going to be so weird to not have to go back to this building anymore…
after our talk, i headed back to church to see everyone pack up stuff, and i’m not gonna lie, even though just a couple tables were moved to the new church, the sanctuary felt empty…. man, i really can’t believe this is happening! then, i brought my sisters, friends, and grandma home. then, karen and i headed back to BC. on our way, i filled up on gas at cumby’s, and got some peppermint hot chocolate! SO good =) and SO worth the $1, haha.
back at BC, i dropped off my stuff and then headed over to steph’s place. we decided to go watch black swan at 7 at coolidge corner, and esther decided to come with us too! however, she was unable to solve the third-wheeledness :P because she couldn’t convince nick tsaur to come along… steph and i tried too, haha. anyways, we had a light dinner, and then headed out to coolidge corner for the movie!
i braced myself for this movie, and i STILL felt so drawn into this movie… and so many parts made me cringe because it was just such a good psychological thriller. a well done movie, but it felt SO draining at the end. initially, i thought i wouldn’t want to see it again, but now i do because there’s a lot of stuff i would catch the second time around without being surprised at the major points… ugh, it still brings back chills recalling some of the scenes, but both natalie portman and mila kunis KILLED it. amazing acting and spectacular movie…. i just wish it wasn’t so dark… :/
after the movie, we headed back to 90 first to see people, and then we headed back to steph and esther’s place to clean since everyone in the house is leaving tomorrow. we cleaned the kitchen, mopped the floors, vacuumed the rug… a fun night :P then steph & i had our own little gift exchange! ah yes, during our conversation, i came to the realization that there are such things as women’s boxers…crud. i may have to re-evaluate what i wear… wow that sounds like i cross dress or something… but these boxers i got from taiwan don’t have peeholes. GREAT.
i’m done with finals! and yet, i still have things to do… and do i really have just one semester left??
well, this morning was a sight to behold… i fumbled around trying to set up three alarms, dropping my cell phone in the process and scavenging around in the dark to find it. when i managed to settle down to sleep, i was awake… probably because i realized what was ahead of me. but eventually i awoke 2.5 hours later, i felt disoriented being awoken by two alarms following after one another… haha, that did the trick because it forced me to wake up :P i do feel bad in waking up my roommate though… but these were dire circumstances!
got ready in time to go down to breakfast, and felt surprisingly calm as i sat with friends and talked, though i did feel like i was zoning out most of the time… and then, some other dev bio came to eat/study and it was fun talking to them because it distracted me from my calc final. but, i realized i was going to be late, so i headed off and made it there composed. my GOODNESS, the final took 3 hours! i did not expect that and fatigue started to kick in halfway through the test but i managed to gather up my strength, power through it, and answer the rest of the questions… surprisingly, half the class was still there i think, but it was almost noon, and i had to eat lunch and get ready for my dev bio final!
i met justin for lunch and we reviewed as we snacked. i anticipated in reviewing all the notes prior to the exam but i didn’t think my math final would take that long! i managed to finish this exam in just an hour, but there were a lot of iffy answers that i knew if i had studied more, i would have felt more confident… oh well. at least after both of my exams, i was able to talk to my professors and that was nice =) sadly, i wish i could’ve spent more time at their office hours but i just didn’t have time :/
i did some wandering around trying to see if the pre-med office was open, but i didn’t realize it was saturday… so i headed back to my room and unwinded… the fatigue didn’t set in too badly, and i did a little packing before my dad picked me up. we went to chinatown to pick up a cake for the christmas service at church tomorrow, and then we headed to church for practice! except we were a bit late because of all the traffic! i was SO surprised that malls (my mom and sisters were there so we had to pick them up…) were unbelievably packed as well as chinatown… and i remember passing out on the car and waking up a lot of times…
practice went very smoothly to my surprise because i just didn’t know how i was going to respond being so tired. but it was really fun =) and i’m really happy that this year we’re able to incorporate both mandarin and english into all the songs for the set list. that’s never been done in that way, and i hope the congregation doesn’t get lost. =)
finally arriving home, i ate dinner and then proceeded to play tetris with my sisters… haha. and then do some work for the christmas service tomorrow. and prepare my secret santa gift :) whew, i need to get some rest, but things are looking good tomorrow! best of all, it looks like it’s not gonna snow this sunday, as it has for the past two years, when we’ve had to cancel service… yay!
i’m definitely feeling the tiredness from the weekend… despite 7 hours of sleep, i awoke wanting much more. part of me feared that i was getting sick as well. but today was fine… except that the weather was deceptively cold, and while it was raining outside, there was a thin layer of ice on the ground! sadly, my dad slipped outside while getting the car :( but thankfully, nothing major happened. it does make me wonder why when such things happen, we get frustrated and upset. i totally understand emotionally why i feel embarrassed and angry when i trip and stuff, but it doesn’t make sense to me… especially if nobody saw. perhaps it’s because it’s something i don’t expect, or because it’s regrettable and i wish i could’ve avoided tripping up if i was just a bit more careful… a good reminder about what moves me from having peace.
sunday was great, though there’s TONS of stuff happening so soon… with christmas service & secret santa coming up… the church move… gosh and i have to deal with finals… but since i won’t be there again this friday, the youth are going to be in charge this time =) and i think karen will help too! whew, at least i don’t have to worry about that. and, most people seem to know who they have for secret santa and what they’ll get! i just hope everything works out…
an encouraging thing this morning was that a grandma came to me and told me how her granddaughter enjoys it when i lead worship…even though she doesn’t understand what i’m singing… haha. i loved hearing that, because it’s stuff like that, so out of the blue, that just uplifts my spirit, and it helps refocus me on another reason why i lead worship. it’s so interesting because at times, you can totally forget about the possible impact you can have on others.
after church, my sisters and i went to walmart to do some christmas shopping. i kinda got distracted because a tv was showing toy story 3 =P we found some gifts for our parents, but we realized that other things would have to be bought from amazon… oh well. then, i did laundry at home and then passed out for a solid 3 hours! that was totally unexpected, but needed… and then we had hot pot for dinner =)
finally, karen and i returned back to BC, and i expected to go to study at the library around 10, but that definitely did not happen. i began cleaning my room because i hadn’t organized my place for some time, and i knew i could not study in a messy place (well at least my own side… i dont mind my roommate’s messiness). then after that, i worked on other side projects, i.e. emails for the christmas set and such, and that took SO much longer than i thought. probably because i let myself get distracted by my roommates =) but it was a good night, and i began studying by eating a HUGE bowl of cereal of special k fruit & yogurt that i bought from walmart =) i think i ate half the box, haha. oops. but yeah, i didn’t start till 3AM, and sadly, it hasn’t been as productive as i hoped. perhaps tomorrow will be a different story? :/