Thursday, March 31, 2011

Turning Brown

This week I haven't been getting tan, but I'm becoming more brown. I watched my first Bollywood movie, ate Indian food for dinner twice, and learned how to twirl my own Raas sticks! It's been a lot of fun being immersed in another country's culture and learning of their traditions.

Things I've been learning from the Bollywood movies:
  • Indians are similar to the Chinese in that we both value family and respecting elders, and saving face.
  • Indians LOVE dancing. I want to learn a Bollywood dance before I die.
  • A difference between our cultures is that Indians are very outwardly proud people, whereas Chinese people are self-depricating and have false humility, but are inwardly proud.
Cultural immersion is great because you get a glimpse of where people are coming from and why they think and act the way they do. That's why I love traveling. On our road trip to Texas, I got to meet my friend's families and learn about their past, which really revealed more of why they are the way they are. AND I now understand why Texans say everything is bigger in Texas :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Random Camel

Random guy + random camel = how WashU spends my tuition

I have to admit though, the camel hair was rather soft. Random fact: camel meat is tough and chewy. Would not recommend it.

Mark 10:25 - It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Post Secret

For this month's Assembly Series, WashU brought in Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret. PostSecret is where people send in postcards with their secrets written on it.

#1 secret that he gets: I pee in the shower.
#2 secret: My deepest desire and fear is to find someone that I can share these secrets with.

Highlight of the event: The first open mic guy shared, "I have a secret. The woman that I'm currently in a relationship with is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Will you marry me?" PROPOSAL!!! Ahhhhh what a great way to propose! xD

Monday, March 28, 2011


And... the sun is back out. St. Louis weather, you perplex me.

I think I'm having PTSD... post-trip starving disorder. After being fed like royalty during Spring Break, I seem to always be hungry in St. Louis. Right now I'm having a massive craving for some Red Robin gourmet burgers, which I had for the first time two weeks ago. In addition, last night I had a dream that my brother and mom visited me in Houston, so I took them out to get bubble tea from Tapioca House.

Speaking of my mother and brother, they are coming at the end of April! My brother's high school robotics club made it to nationals, which will take place in St. Louis. They haven't been here since my freshman year! I can't wait for them to see the improvements on the 40 and for them to meet my friends :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Surprise Success

For one of the first times in ACF history, we managed to surprise the birthday girl! It is tradition for us to gather in someone's suite at midnight or so while the suite mates try to distract the birthday girl for a while. This has become expected, so it is difficult to make it a surprise. But this time, we gathered at 8pm and the birthday girl, Yang, was genuinely surprised! Hooray :)

Happy 21st Yang!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

AAA/KSA/KISS Formal 2011

This year has been quite the year for banquets for me! CSA/TSO formal, RA prom, ACF bro-sis, AAA/KSA/KISS formal, and DSP banquet, and Chancellor's Dinner coming up.

This year's banquet was held at the Hilton in St. Louis-Ballpark right next to the courthouse and arch. It was an extravagant venue with a great view, the food was decent (especially dessert), and the DJ was rockin'.

My original date for Relay, Kakes, unfortunately couldn't make it. But don't worry, we're going to have a make up date. Instead, I got to go with these two lovely people!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Business Traveler

Today was a coming of age of sorts. Today, I flew from St. Louis to Cincinnati and back on the same day. It was strange wearing the same outfit there and back, and skipping checking in any bags and baggage claim. I think this officially marks the start of my professional career, well, almost. (I need a job first).

This was my first on-site interview, and it is with a company that I love and highly respect. After leaving Cincinnati, I actually felt a tinge of pain leaving behind the people I had just met today. Everyone was so hospitable and friendly, which made me fall even more in love with the company. I hear back in a couple of weeks, so please pray for me!

The picture is from dinner at Nada, a Mexican restaurant that I went to eat at with Kirk Lin and his boss, who is also a WashU alum. I ordered the vegetarian tacos with portabella mushrooms, which were SO GOOD. Afterwards, we went to Graeter's and I got the oh-so-delicious black raspberry chip ice cream :) Great food, great company, and overall great (day) trip.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another year

Happy 21st birthday Kevin!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Can't put me in a box

Once a month, our RA staff devotes a night for staff development, and tonight was one of them. Taking some magazines, scissors and glue, we cut and pasted words and images from magazines that we thought described ourselves.

Side 1: We're on a mission, salt, Joy to your own little world, fun, hope, energy

Side 2: Out of the Box, Snapping a good camera, sneaky

Side 3: Tough, challenge, excellence, achieve, odd, image of a dragon (my chinese zodiac)

Side 4: Discover, love, give thanks, we grow joy, image of gifts

Lid: Real Simple, joy peace love, party, food 4 thought, proud supporter of recess, let's eat, learn to love, makes celebrations sweeter

After I had used up all the space on my box, I realized that I still had many words that I didn't use up, and even then, I had so many more words that I didn't find from the magazines. Then I thought, "Ha. You can't put me on a box, nor in a box!" :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


We've discovered that most of our trip revolves around food. At one point, Connie exclaimed, "I wish I could be not full." This morning, we woke up to Belgium waffles with strawberries, bananas, and powdered sugar. YUM.

We then departed for Galveston, which is the beach along the Gulf. Finally, I got some oysters on the half shell at Black Pearl along with some fish tacos. Afterwards, we headed to a friend's beach house and played ultimate frisbee on the beach before driving back to Houston.
We've been so spoiled this trip. Our other friend's parents treat us out for Peking duck and shrimp wraps for dinner!

My taste buds and stomach are completely and utterly satisfied. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Houston Chinatown

Breakfast was amazing! We went to Classic Kitchen in Chinatown, which serves Taiwanese style breakfast foods. We ordered you tiao (fried dough), sweet soy milk, scallion pancakes, duck egg congee, pot stickers, and a rice wrap. All of this was just $6/person! Life is good.

Then we wandered around Chinatown while the boys got their hair cuts, and we stumbled across some Asian bakeries. Connie would see a bun and say, "This was the food of my childhood." She'd see another bread and say, "This was the food of my middle school years.... okay, so I basically just eat a lot." Haha, so cute.
We spent the rest of the afternoon back at the house resting, doing homework, playing games, and napping. After that, we were spoiled rotten by our hosts who cooked a BBQ dinner for us. We had strawberry salad, pasta salad, lasagna, sweet glazed ribs, and smoked beef brisket. For desert, we had strawberry and red velvet cupcakes, Boston cream pie, and Asian fruit cake. Life is so good!

After that, we were planning on getting bubble tea from Tapioca House, but it turned out to be closed, so a few of us decided to check out the Mexican grocery store called Fiesta. We found interesting produce and really awesome hats.

Today was a very restful day, which I am thankful for. All of ya'll who said you couldn't come on the road trip because you need to rest, you're missing out! You would've enjoyed today :) On another note, beach tomorrow!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Little Rock, AR>Houston, TX

First thing in the morning, we head over to Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas, where we had the priviledge of supporting WashU's all-male a capella group the Stereotypes. They're also touring Texas, but they're going on the reverse route that we are, so we can only see them in Little Rock. It was fun because one of the soloists is from Little Rock and attends Mosaic. As always, the Stypes were amazing!

Afterwards, we checked out of the hotel and headed to River Market for lunch and ate at the Flying Fish. SO MUCH SEAFOOD! We ordered fried calamari, four catfish filets, and a basket of oysters and shrimp, which came with fries and hush puppies. All of this was just for $10/person. Very solid restaurant, I highly recommend it.

Then came the longest leg of the drive: an 8 hour drive from Little Rock to Houston. We shared our life stories and pondered the meaning of "Why did the chicken cross the road?" and figured there was a deeper meaning of the chicken crossing over into the afterlife. Little did we know, it would foreshadow our drive later, when our car saw a small curly haired dog run across the highway into our lane. We were in the fast lane with the wall on our left and another car on our right, so we couldn't do anything about it and ran over the dog. It was slightly traumatic, but now we ask, "Why did the dog cross the road?"

Finally after arriving in Houston, we grabbed pho for dinner at Tau Bay. The meatballs were very tendon-y, and the soup base was very different than that of Mai Lee's. It was pretty good, but I think I still prefer Mai Lee's.

Overall, it was a pretty exciting day, and I'm learning more about the people I'm road tripping with :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

STL>Memphis, TN>Little Rock, AR

First stop! We ate lunch at the world renown Lambert's Cafe, home of the thrown rolls. This restaurant was PACKED and there were crowds of people (including us) waiting outside for our number to be called. Inside, the servers bring around fried okra, mac n cheese, and potatoes. Another server will come out and throw rolls to anybody who raises their hands for it. SO FUN! It is a must-go if you're driving down to Memphis from St. Louis.

Then we spent the afternoon in Memphis, TN watching the St. Patrick's Day parade on Beale Street. There was this really crazy old grandma who was unreserved in fighting the crowd to get beads. I really hope I don't turn out to be like her when I'm older. We also walked down to the river front and found a rail road track and took boy band pictures. Memphis is definitely very fun and lively, and I wish we had more time to explore the city.

We left Memphis and arrived at our hotel in Little Rock, AR, and went to check out the Big Dam Bridge, a pedestrian/bicycle bridge across a large dam that is illuminated by LED lights. The bridge was pretty, but was surrounded by dark, creepy large houses. Also, while driving there, Martin pointed out, "I've seen three churches in the last 10 seconds!" There seriously were so many churches in Arkansas.

Overall, great first day of the road trip. Now I'm exhausted, and so excited to sleep on the down pillows at our hotel. Good night!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Relay Challenge

As you know from my Relay post, if I raised more than $150, then I would ask a guy out on a date. Jerelaiah was the highest donor, so he got to choose who and how I asked.

The plan: Ask Kakes to formal, but pretend to ask his suite mate instead. Kakes was in on the whole thing, but thinking that I would ask his suite mate the whole time. I walked in with a yellow rose, handed it to his suite mate, and said, "Will you... hold this flower for me?" Then I turn to Kakes and bust out the cake and ask, "Kakes, will you go to formal with me?" It was great! After much shock, Kakes said yes! :)

Thank you all for joining the fight against cancer with me in this manner!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Lord, thank you so much for providing me with a few open doors for post-graduation. Though I know which door I want to go through, help me to trust you that you'll lead me down the right path by opening and closing these doors.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Relay for Life

After walking around the track for 12 hours, we were able to witness the fruit of our efforts at Relay for Life - we raised $259,823.10! That's more than a quarter million for cancer research :)

Relay was such a success this year in my eyes.

1) Our ACF team raised $5500 total! THAT'S AMAZING! Especially taking into consideration the nature of our Asian culture, that asking others for money is looked down upon.

2) A good amount of our team stayed for the whole 12 hours!

3) The event was very symbolic. It was freaking cold with some rain and a little snow. Because of the weather and lack of sleep, we were better able to sympathize with the struggles of the cancer patients as we huddled for warmth and leaned on each other for support.

4) Great fellowship with friends :)

Thanks to all those who supported me!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mardi Gras in Soulard

Success! I can now check off going to the nation's #2 Mardi Gras celebration here in St. Louis's Soulard.

The streets were packed with people wearing purple, green and yellow beads and getting drunk. What a spectacle! After watching the parade and fighting the crowd for flying bead necklaces, we wandered the food booths to find good eats. I successfully got a $10 gyro wrap for $5, and an amazing BBQ beef brisket sandwich for $6. Twas a great morning.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


This picture makes me so incredibly happy. On the right is my brother from last year's Bro-sis, and on the left is my bro from this year's Bro-sis.

This picture is the epitome of what God is doing through bro-sis. Last year when Pham was my bro, he was a seeker who was shown the love in our ACF community and said yes to following Jesus. Fast forward a year, and he is now co-leading a Bible study for non-Christians with me! How mind blowing is that? Tonight, my super amazing bro, Phil, joined our GIG and asked great questions. During our discussions, he made very keen observations about the passage, and this was his first time doing a Bible study! Ah, I'm so happy right now. Praise God for being with us in this GIG :)

After reading Luke 7: 36-50 with the sinful woman anointing Jesus, the challenge for this week was to identify someone who is a social outcast and to ask Jesus for strength to reach out and love this person. Holy Spirit, please give us the strength to love these people!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why I Relay

Relay for Life held a final team meeting tonight and gave away these beautiful water bottles :) At the end of the meeting, they concluded with a movie of why different students, faculty and community members participate in Relay for Life. It sent shivers through my body hearing how cancer has impacted so many friends and family members of WashU students.

Here's why I relay.

I relay because my grandpa died from lung cancer when I was in the 2nd grade. Our family went back to Taiwan because grandpa was on his death bed from putting holes in his lungs from smoking. As he lay there unresponsive, my dad and nurses would try to get him to open his eyes or speak back. Nothing. Finally, my dad brings me next to his bed and says in Chinese, "Grandpa, your precious grand daughter is here to see you." Slowly, my grandpa opens his eyes and turns his head towards me, showing that he loves me. A few days after, he passed away. I relay because I want other grandchildren to be able to see their grandparents longer than I did.

Please, help me reach my goal of fundraising $150 for this year's Relay for Life. Donate here

As an incentive, if I reach $150, I will do something I've never done before: ask a guy out on a date. The highest donor can choose who I ask and how I ask. Don't worry, after he says yes/no, I will explain that it is for Relay for Life, then go on the date :) As of now, I am halfway there!