0

Updates: Taking FAR, United Airlines

cropped-img_0246.jpg

I just took FAR today, April 10th at noon. Used Becker and Becker covered absolutely everything I saw.

I’m not going to reveal what I saw on the test but I can make some general comments about the level of difficulty that I personally experienced and keep it vague.

Overall, it wasn’t too bad. Not what I expected for sure.

The MCQs were no more than 33 each. The first one was actually pretty straightforward and easy. The second one was a bit more difficult in that it went more towards application and had more calculation problems (which I struggle with). I didn’t have time to doublecheck my answers so that is what I’m worried about.

Then the three testlets were for SIMs. I heard that the exam was harder now and the SIMs were going to be long and complicated with lots of stuff for you to sort through. I kinda pictured sitting in a hot testing room where the computer screen was dim and I was taking the test on Windows 95. But actually, the Prometric I went to had great accommodations and I felt very comfortable. The SIMs were not crushingly difficult, in fact, I got one that shocked me with how simple it was. It was crazy simple and I triple-checked that problem to make sure that I didn’t miss anything.

The second SIMS testlet was harder but it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought. There was only one question that had a bunch of resource documents to sort through and even then they kinda made it obvious what you should look for and what you should not look for. The hardest question was the one where I wasn’t quite sure what they were asking me and by the time I got to the final sims I felt really drained.

Overall, I don’t know how I did but I can tell you that

a.) There are more SIMS but it looks like they have some that seem really simple to kind of even it out (or maybe I just bombed and got easy SIMs haha).

b.) Becker did an excellent job preparing me for the exam because every single thing on there was in the book. SOme of the questions were even similar.

c.) BRING EARPLUGS! When I took them out I could hear a guy coughing and sneezing hahaha.

d.) If I could go back, I’d do more Ninja and Becker MCQs but I already studied the best that I could before the exam….

So I guess we’ll just see what happens in August! (so bummed we don’t find out till August :/)

Also, Roger CPA outlined a time strategy that REALLY helped me! I had 2 and a hours left for the SIMS which were really, really helpful.

Testlet 1 – 45 mins
Testlet 2 – 45 mins
Testlet 3 – 30 mins
Break
Testlet 4 – 60 mins
Testlet 5 – 60 ,mins

I ended the exam three minutes early and had time to double check my SIMs! Before I started, I wrote down the time checkpoints (so the first batch of MCQs was from 4 to 3:15). It helped me not panic as much during the exam XD.

I left feeling exhausted. I’ve been studying like crazy for this exam and I hope it pays off. Those four hours were pretty draining and I kinda wish I hadn’t studied before the exam today because that definitely made me feel a bit more tired going in.

All-in-all though, the events lately have helped me to realize how important it is for me to look to God for things in my life. In this, I mean that before I started getting random health conditions popping up almost sequentially, I lived life with God kind of in the background.

The CPA exam and the events of late have helped me to see how important it is to always keep hoping in Christ. I used to keep a prayer journal and write in it every morning but I realized that by doing so, I would just write one entry and then forget about it the rest of the day. Rather, forget about God (as bad as that sounds). I was in a way compartmentalizing my relationship with Him when I should be aware of His presence much more than that.

And that just brings me to how I was feeling after leaving Prometric. Although I didn’t double-check my answers and felt really worried, I found that I have a steady hope in God. No matter what happens, I truly tried my best and God will come through for me. I have the same feeling that I did after the case competition that I truly thought that I did not do well in or was even going to be selected for. As a flower looks to the sun, I want to keep my face and heart open to God and just wait with hope.

Also, in the car I thought about what my career coach from my internship said. He told me that his mentor said that it didn’t matter how well he did compared to the guy next to him. As long as he tried his best, that’s what mattered. And my career coach is someone extremely driven in his career.

So I tried my best and that is what matters. And if I didn’t pass, what matters is that I don’t give up because at least there’s no limit to how many times we can retake the test (for now). But I feel in my heart that this is something God just might want to give me. Since I won’t find out until August, I’ll simply have to wait.

~

Also, the incident with United Airlines assaulting a passenger and literally DRAGGING him off the plane has disgusted me. Quality-wise, you don’t get much from UA for the price you pay versus just going with a budget airline.

I find it appalling that after the way they assaulted that man that the CEO would paint the passenger out to be an inconvenience, “having to ‘reaccomodate’ the passenger. The only mistake that passenger made was choosing to fly with United.

And although I’m not posting angry comments on their Facebook, this is something I will remember every time I’m choosing an airline ticket.

People say that it’s within the airline’s right to boot passengers from the plane and that overbooking is a standard airline procedure. But the amount of force they used to remove that man from his seat and drag him across the aisle half-naked in front of his own passengers was unwarranted to put it mildly. What if that was your father? What if he was your son? Or your brother?

The follow-up video of seeing him get back onto the plane and standing in the back muttering that he had to get home and that they should just kill him sent chills through me.

There was a lot more they could’ve done. They could’ve upped their offer to passengers who were willing to get off the plane. They could’ve tried to find other volunteers or reperformed the search algorithm. Any rational person would’ve understood that this man was a doctor and seen his determination to stay on that plane and try to find another passenger.

Also, Asians are portrayed a certain way in the media as being submissive and easy to push around and bully. Could that have played a role in this incident? Could they have been this forceful because they believed they could push him around and it wouldn’t have as much of a consequence?

Regardless, whatever his race was, I’d be equally outraged because that could’ve been me or someone in my family.

If he was being belligerent and throwing fists around and splashing water into people’s face, I would understand. But it seems like all he did was just refuse to move. He was probably rude about it but the way he continued to refuse to get out of his seat even with the goons approaching would’ve been an obvious indication that he wasn’t going to leave peacefully. For the sake of the other passengers as well, that’s why they should’ve known when to give up and find someone else or up their offer.

And even if he was rude, it does not ever justify the amount of force they used to remove him and the way they treated him. That’s someone’s son.

Even if this ‘blows over’ for United Airlines in a few days, if I have my way they won’t ever have a cent of my business again. I don’t want to give my business to an airline that treats its passengers like human cattle to be prodded off planes with electric shockers and bodyslammers.

I also find the cavalier response of not just the CEO but certain late night comedians insulting. Conan O’Brien did a segment where they forced an audience member to sit in an empty seat. The actor was wearing the same clothes as the man in the video. And they he talked about the incident was very light-hearted and like he honestly didn’t give a sh*t.

Others are saying that there’s no such thing as a victim or he must’ve done something to deserve it. From a firsthand account of the incident at this video here (Fox News), it seems like all he did was refuse to leave and was rude about it. Anyone who’s worked in customer service knows what to do when you’re dealing with an uncooperative customer, you just have to compromise and try to make the most of the situation and not call the squad.

 

3

Staying Patient

 

img_2495

Ever since December, I’ve had a string of random health incidents. I am trying so hard to stay patient right now but it’s almost uncanny how one health incident follows another. I’ve been praying about it a lot and asking God if I’ve done something wrong and that’s why this is happening. But He’s been putting it on my heart and showing me through that He wants me to mature in my faith. Particularly, He wants me to stay patient.

When did it all start?

cover3

In December, I went to Vegas to watch Michael Jackson One (it was amazing!). Stayed in Nobu and decided to eat at this place called Beijing No. 9 Noodle in Caesars Palace. My mom was in the mood for some Chinese food and the restaurant was just a few minutes from Nobu. As we walked in, I glanced at the floors and saw that the floors were really dirty. There were paper towels on the floor, forks, pens, someone’s missing grandmother from 1996. Albeit, we decided to stay although they were selling noodles at $20 a bowl. For $20 I got a bowl of decent jajiangmien and horrible, ratchet food poisoning.

In the hotel room a few hours later, I was bowled over in pain with a sharp pain in my stomach like an alien was stuck in my uterus and was trying to karate-kick its way out. I was sweating and the pain was so bad I almost fainted a few times.

 

The next morning, I was waiting in the airport lobby looking pale and tired as we waited for our flight home. That’s when I felt a peculiar itch on my face. I shrugged it off and continued to scratch it from time to time, remarking at how weird it was that this spot on my chin kept itching.

Fast forward to a few days later when that itch turned into horrible, crusty blisters. I thought it was a cold sore (although I’ve never had one before) and I usually put off going to the doctor way too much for my own good, so it got really, really bad.

My plans were to come home, spend time and hang out with friends, go to Christmas service at a new church my friend had told me about, and continue to volunteer.

NOPE. I stayed indoors for several weeks as the impetigo colonized my face. At one point, my mom looked at me and whimpered and said, “I don’t want to look!” I don’t blame her. I felt like the hunchback of Notre Dame and as much as I enjoy League of Legends, I’d rather be outside than stay home all day with a skin infection on my face playing ARAM.

Thankfully, some topical antibiotics coupled with some oral antibiotics settled that issue.

After coming back from China, my wisdom tooth got infected. When it got infected in 2015, I planned on removing it then but put it off. So then I had to get two of my wisdom teeth removed and the recovery was not pretty.

I spent a few days in bed and at one point projectile-vomited because the pain meds were making me queasy. However, my dentist said I was healing at record speed. Cause I stopped taking the pain meds, there was this constant throb where my wisdom teeth had been and I so missed eating solid food.

(The plus side was that my dentist gave me some free movie tickets! Can’t wait to go see the Boss Baby!)

A guy sent me a rejection text cancelling a date (car trouble, he said. The oldest excuse in the book!) and I remember reading it with half my face swollen like a balloon and thinking, “Meh.”

Just as my wisdom teeth were healing, one day I woke up in the middle of the night with an unbearable itchiness. The itching got worse and that’s when I realized I aggravated a skin condition I had with all the antibiotics I’ve been taking. It took about a few week for me to feel back to normal and when my skin didn’t itch every five minutes.

Then, right as my seb derm was getting better, I felt this sharp pain in my gums. I realized that I had gingivitis and it was really painful. I’m really particular about brushing my teeth but I always miss that spot for some reason so I’m not surprised it’s acting up. But the timing!

Now that my gum is healing, I feel somewhat normal but the tooth next to my sore gums is now starting to hurt.

So… this is where I’m at. It just seems so UNCANNY, doesn’t it? :/

I hope I didn’t sound whiny during this post but it’s just a lot of vent-up frustration. The good thing is that I haven’t started work yet and I’ve had the luxury of studying full-time for my CPA exams. The downside is that I’m taking FAR on Monday and don’t want to take it with a toothache, hahaha.

As I’ve been praying, I feel like this verse relates most to what I’m going through. I was sitting in bed feeling really ew about everything that’s happening and this verse came up on my random Bible verse app:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 

Then I received this verse in my email:

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12 

It was easy to trust God when life was going well and everything was sunshine and rainbows. Even with the health things, I have a really simple life filled with an awesome family, great friends and a stable future job waiting for me. But it was easy to feel angry with Him and withdraw when things didn’t get so pretty (literally).

And this is really personal to share (duh), but I feel like God is challenging me to grow up and mature in my faith to the point where I trust in Him even when I don’t feel so great. Right now, I don’t know if I can really say I love Him without being able to come to Him even when random health things are happening.

Even though skin infections and gum disease are not pretty or fun, my dad told me that everyone gets these things. They just don’t talk about it. Seb derm, gingivitis, wisdom teeth infections and even impetigo are things that a lot of people have had before and they’re minor infections. I felt like an outcast for having these things but that was when it really clicked to me that everyone goes through things like this.

This experience helped me realize how human I really am and it disturbed me a little. But it also made other people feel more real to me if that makes sense. I’ve realized that people around me go through all sorts of things and they just don’t talk about it.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a pretty sheltered person and have had a pretty unconventional life so far. So it was easy for me to see the world in a certain way and to put it bluntly I didn’t have much empathy for people around me. Getting these random health things has created a new dimension in the way that I look at others in that the world isn’t so black-and-white anymore.

The biggest lesson now is learning that life might get interesting at times for me and I need to trust in God when trials happen. And the trials I face in the future just might be far bigger than random health things.

 

0

Chado Tea Room (Los Angeles) Review

I visited Chado Tea Room with my mom in late March to celebrate her birthday. We used a Groupon for a tea tasting for 2 which can be purchased for $30 at Groupon. All-in-all, it’s a pretty great deal. (The usual price would have been $60 for two but I really don’t feel that would be worth it considering the actual quality and amount of food you get and the tea tasting itself.)

Deal Here 

IMG_1761

We visited Chado Tea Room with a reservation for 11am, right at opening time. At 11:15, we knocked on the glass door as they were still closed and that’s when one of the servers came out to get us. On a Thursday afternoon, the restaurant was basically empty.

I called the day before to confirm our reservation only to find that whoever took the reservation hadn’t written it down. That’s more than an annoyance when it says on Groupon that you can’t use the promotion without making a reservation. Whoever answered the phone was also rushed and a little impolite. When I thanked him for his help and was about to hang up, I heard him let out a sarcastic laugh right before he hung up.

That experience put a bad taste in my mouth but maybe the food and the tea would sweeten it up a little.

IMG_1743

The decor, they said that the tables by the windows were reserved… nobody came in the entire hour my mother and I were there. 

IMG_1746

IMG_1744

IMG_1741

The tea menu 

IMG_1745

Once we sat down, we had our choice of most of the tea menu at Chado. Two teapots for two people. I love strong teas and the teas were not very strong (the tea at the dim sum place near my house is actually stronger and better-tasting imo). We selected an Oolong blend and a Green tea blend.

IMG_1753

The tea pot arrived with a cute kitty on top. The downside? The tea pot had brown stains on it. I get that white tea pots are hard to not get stained because tea is very staining but if Chado brands itself as a fancy tea room, stained diningware is not the best look.

The upside is that they have soups and salads for $2 and my mom really liked her tomato basil soup!

When we received our snacks, we got one tier tray of desserts and sandwiches. The amount of food is good enough for brunch for two but maybe not for breakfast or lunch.

IMG_1755

Tray of sandwiches, scones and desserts (one of each for two people) 

IMG_1757

My mom really enjoyed the scones! They were warm and fluffy.

IMG_1758

The dessert was tasty as well! The chocolate glazing was a nice touch. 

IMG_1759

The assortment of sandwiches were delish! I also really liked the smoked salmon on toast they had. 

The actual tea tasting:

The server came out with some teas for us to try. All these teas are made of the same plant that’s been brewed in different ways from different countries around the world. The teas tasted unique and were exceptional. The server also told us the story of how each of the teas were made and did a good job answering our questions. Although, it seemed at one point like he was talking really fast just so he could get this whole message over with (I hope he gets paid enough to do this for every tea tasting. We did leave him a nice tip for his time).

IMG_1760

The last cup of tea on the far left is my favorite!

IMG_1763

After our brunch at Chado, my mom and I then went shopping in Little Tokyo! It was a very nice day :).

0

How I Deal with Sebhorreic Dermatitis: Seb Derm Survival Guide

sunblock-skincare-healthy-skin-heart-161608.jpeg

I’ve had seb derm almost my entire life. Only, it got worse over time and I never really noticed it until it got really bad. I would have the occasional flaking on my face and sometimes my skin would look dry, but that was the worst of it – before. This time though, I had trouble sleeping because my face was just so unbearably itchy.

I’ve been dealing with random things healthwise and it led to a much greater use of antibiotics. I caught impetigo while traveling in Vegas in December and my doctor prescribed me both topical and oral antibiotics. (I still have the scars from my impetigo and they’re barely healing, even three months later. I pray every day that the impetigo won’t return.)

When I came back from China, I had this pesky wisdom tooth that kept bothering me so I had both my wisdom teeth removed and my dentist also gave me a boat-load of stronger antibiotics.

Long story short, I’ve been taking a lot of antibiotics and the more I took, the more I saw that these white flakes were appearing on my face particularly my cheeks and nose. I feel that the seb derm I have was aggravated in part by how many antibiotics I was using, which were messing up my immune system.

According to SebDermInfo.com, increasing your consumption of antibiotics can aggravate your seb derm.

While antibiotics have saved an incredible amount of lives, they have also come with some drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is killing the good bacteria in your gut and disrupting the balance of stomach flora. Your gut normally has a balance of good and bad bacteria. If the bad bacteria start to overpopulate your gut and digestive system, digestive issues will inevitably follow. Moreover, there is very strong evidence that the over growth of bad bacteria can cause the body to develop a myriad of different diseases and ailments. So if you happen to have digestive issues, there is a strong possibility that it is negatively effecting your immune system as a result. Moreover, there is a possibility that a compromised immune system could cause the development of new allergies or sensitivities.

The morning after that night of unbearable itchiness, I went researched my symptoms and found that I most likely had seb derm. A visit to my doctor a few days later confirmed my suspicion. By the time I saw her, however, I was already feeling much better. And here’s how!

DermaDoctor: Calm, Cool and Corrected (Pyrithione Zinc) 

s1792787-main-Lhero

By the time I went to Ulta, I was already itchy and irritated. At $30, this cleanser by DermaDoctor is made specifically for those who have seb derm and I honestly need to go buy a second bottle because this product has really helped. Its primary ingredient is Pyrithione Zinc 2%, an ingredient that’s supposed to help kill the fungus responsible for seb derm.

I put it on while I’m in the shower which is when I find it’s easiest to apply it well. As I’m showering, I first wet my face and then I put the cleanser in my hands and lather it up all nice before rubbing it in gentle circles on my face.

The alternative to this was using salt water on my face and while that was cheaper and did help me feel somewhat better, this cleanser gave me SO much more relief!

After using the cleanser, I follow it up with this lotion I bought from CVS specifically meant for sensitive and dry skin called Exederm. It doesn’t aggravate my seb derm and actually alleviates some of my itching. But because there’s a certain ingredient present in many moisturizers that actually feeds the fungus contributing to the seb derm, I take it easy on the moisturizer.

Using Coal Tar Shampoo 

I used coal tar shampoo from CVS to kill off the fungus in my hair (which was also itchy and had dandruff). I made sure to rub some on my eyebrows and sideburns (don’t tell me sideburns aren’t cool) as well. This gave me a lot of relief as well.

However, my mistake was putting the shampoo on my face. I woke up a few hours later and my skin felt swollen, red and hot. So I wouldn’t recommend putting it on your skin, haha.

Getting Lots of Vitamin D and Probiotics 

Finally, sunlight can actually kill off the fungus that’s causing seb derm as well. I started taking more walks with my mom early on in the park or playing tennis outside and felt better. I’ve also been taking more vitamin D3 supplements as well. I’ve also been taking Probiotics to build up my immune system.

So far, my skin is far less itchy, irritated and unbearably flaky than it was before I took these steps.

Anyway, I wanted to write this post for the same reason I wrote the impetigo one. Itchy and irritated skin SUCKS! And I really hope this helps you out and gives you some good ideas. Seb derm doesn’t currently have a cure but it’s definitely a manageable and common condition.

Here’s to healthy skin for all of us! 

clip1-convert-video-online-com

Uncharted: Golden Abyss Review

A few months ago, I decided to purchase the Uncharted 4 Bundle for Playstation 4. I received a custom-skinned limited edition PS4 skinned with Uncharted graphics. I also received a copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. It’s my very first Uncharted game and I’ve enjoyed it a lot so far.

Which brings me to the first Uncharted game I actually have completed which is Uncharted: Golden Abyss available on the PS Vita for $14.99.

Uncharted_Golden_Abyss.png

Uncharted: Golden Abyss brings us onto another Nathan Drake adventure. Nathan is helping his friend Dante explore the ruins of an ancient city filled with gold (The Golden Abyss) to find treasure. He ends up meeting Chase, a girl who inherited her grandfather’s love of history.

Nathan and Chase develop a friendly romance. I find Nathan and Chase to be pretty likeable characters – likeable enough that I actually care about helping Chase carry on her grandfather’s legacy or help Nathan help Chase (which he does – a lot). Chase initially refuses to engage in combat or arm herself in the beginning of the game. Thus, there’s a lot of saving Chase that goes on which was a bit annoying.

For most of the game, Chase will only hide behind rocks during combat so you’ll have to fend off most of the enemies yourself. You also can’t let her die. This is in contrast to Elena in Uncharted 4, who’s a complete – I’ll just say it – badass. Chase is charming in her own way however, but that also brings me to how no one really knows how she or Dante fit into the Nathan Drake story. The whole plot of Golden Abyss seems to be just a random episode of Nathan Drake’s life.

But who plays a video game for the story, huh? :o)

What I Liked:

Fun Mechanics: There’s still the trademark shimmying and climbing that comes with the Uncharted series. On the PS vita, you can actually trace your finger across a series of ledges so you don’t have to press X each time to jump.

PS Vita Interactions: There are parts where you have to interact with the rear touch pad of your PS Vita to uncover clues or you’ll use the touchscreen to wipe dirt off a dusty artifact. There was one part where I had to hold up the PS Vita to my phone’s flashlight because of ‘invisible ink’. Although other reviewers found these features to be inconvenient or cheesy, I really enjoyed it. I play video games for the experience and to become immersed in another world, and these interactions helped me feel like I was in an actual adventure.

psv-un-g-abyss-ss7.jpg

The Graphics: The graphics in this game do not disappoint with Uncharted’s trademark breathtaking and lush landscapes filled with waterfalls and greenery. It almost compared to the PS4 graphics which is saying a lot for a handheld console that’s meant to be a companion to the PS3.

Also, the graphics on the PS Vita are beautiful. I used Remote Play for Uncharted 4 to my PS Vita and it almost took my breath away how clear the graphics looked on my PS Vita.

What I Didn’t Like: 

However, out of all the games I’ve played on the PS Vita, Uncharted has the most bugs and glitches which are enough to lower the replay value for me. I experienced a game-breaking bug that you can see in this video here:

Basically, if you retreat from combat in this stage, the enemies stop appearing and you can’t progress. I spent about fifteen minutes trying to figure out what was wrong before looking up a walkthrough and realizing. Then I had to restart the checkpoint.

There were also glitches with climbing too, where Nathan refuses to grab a certain ledge and you just have to press X repeatedly or wait a few minutes for him to grab it.

There were multiple glitches too with poor Sully (po’ thang). For instance, there’s a part where Sully has to help you climb up a building but he was stuck behind a rock and you had to restart the checkpoint. There’s also another part where Sully is supposed to run after and follow you but he also gets stuck behind another piece of debris.

Although the bugs somewhat hindered my enjoyment of the game, it’s not surprising because the PS Vita tends to not receive as much support from game developers as other consoles.

I also didn’t like Dante’s character. He’s your first sidekick in the game and in the first stages he makes the most snide comments.

In Conclusion:

All-in-all, Uncharted is fun and well worth the cost. Even though there are bugs, it’s still worth at least one play throughout. With a good storyline, likeable characters, fun gameplay and crisp graphics, this would be a great pick for your library.

Candy: A Story About Character

0005rt.jpg

“You can judge a person’s true character by the way they treat those who can’t help them.”

In Fall 2014, I joined the accounting club on campus. With over 300 members at the time, the organization had the aim of connecting students with professional firms. I went to a speaker meeting for a Big 4 firm and that was the beginning of a small – but important – lesson. With my little grey blazer and my black jeans, I came early to the meeting. I remember the feeling of excitement and curiosity tinged with nervousness. Looking around, I noticed the ‘board members’  – students walking around with name tags on their jackets.

There was one board member. She had on thick makeup and looked bored. Dressed in a blazer and trousers, the glint of her name tag under the lights caught my attention. I don’t remember her name though, but it was either Chloe or Candy. Every time I tell this story, I call her Candy.

Back then, I didn’t really know what board members did exactly. I knew that they had committees but that was about it. I walked up to her and introduced myself. “Hi!” I said brightly. “I’m Ophelia, that’s a really cool badge you have. Are you a board member?”

“Yup,” she said, looking like she’d rather be anywhere else from here.

“Oh okay, how do you like being a board member?” I asked her, genuinely curious.

Zero eye contact. “It’s ok.”

“Oh… great.”

She eventually faded away into the crowd and I took a seat in an audience filled with faces that I didn’t recognize.

Later on, we ended up being in the same team for a team-building exercise the firm wanted us to participate in. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Candy for those twenty minutes. We sat in the same row in front of other students with shiny badges on their lapels. When she was introducing herself to the group and talking about her interests, she seemed very excited and shared about how she enjoyed salsa and dancing.

After everyone introduced themselves in the group and there was a lull in the activity that provided for small-talk, I decided to give it another shot and ask her about her hobbies. “So!” I said. “Salsa! That’s a really cool hobby.”

She was staring off into the distance like a dead fish. Eventually, I realized she just didn’t want to talk to me. Her answers got shorter and shorter, and she never once asked me anything about myself. She turned her back to me altogether and spoke to other people in the row behind us who did not seem interested in the least in getting to know who I was. And they’re not obligated to, obviously, but imagine sitting by yourself in a group of people who all know each other and no one even looks your way. She remained like that for the rest of the entire session.

 

About a year and a half later, she was a mentee in our mentoring program. The same one that I chaired last year. The same one I’ve participated as a mentor in ever since. I received an offer from the same firm that presented during the meeting in my sophomore year and graduated with a full-time offer in hand.

It took me a while to recognize her at first because she wore glasses and minimal makeup. But I did recognize her.

Since our last face-to-face meeting, I not only became a board member myself but I became an officer when the club had over 600 members. I created programs and guides and systems that helped people.

Now, I was a mentor and the tables were turned. She was waiting for me to help her this time.

I don’t harbor any anger or bitterness towards her, but I just think that it was a funny experience that taught me two very interesting lessons. The first, I learned one of the most important ways that you can tell the true quality of a person’s character. You look at the way they treat their peers or people who are ‘beneath’ them.

When I got more involved and became both a board member and an ambassador (which means I had a lot of influence in the organization), I did my best to make everyone feel welcome. If there was anyone ever sitting by him or herself, I would introduce myself to that person and try to establish a relationship. The experience with Candy, among others, inspired me to create the Buddy System so people wouldn’t feel left out or like they weren’t wanted – especially by the organization’s board members.

And also, I learned that you never know where someone is going to end up in the future. That’s a hard lesson I had to learn for myself.

So.

Wherever I go, I do my best to treat each person I meet the way that I would want to be treated. After all, each of us are only trying to survive in this world – whether it’s you, me or Candy.

 

A Little Lesson

pexels-photo-239853.jpeg

It started at the beginning of February. My dad’s vision has been progressively worse since 2015 and he’s been pushing it off due to lack of time. To get him the help he needed because he could no longer drive at night, I played a lot of telephone tag with the insurance company and the doctor’s office.

However, the first surgeon couldn’t finish his surgery. She did it halfway and then realized that it was too complicated of a case for her.

When the nurse called me to pick him up, I went to pick him up and he was waiting for me with a wrap on his eye. He looked out of it and confused. For the next few days, my dad was just waiting to get a second surgery with a more skilled surgeon. It was uncomfortable seeing my dad looking so vulnerable. His eye got infected too because of what the first surgeon did.

Thanks to the Lord, though, we were able to get the second surgery for my dad right away with a much more skilled surgeon.

My dad’s second surgery was a pretty weird experience too. The surgeon told my dad that the surgery would take about an hour at most. As the nurse guided us towards the same-day surgery room, she said that after the surgery, my dad would be taken to a recovery room for one or two hours. If the main building was closed, we could head to the emergency room.

When it was much past four hours after the start of his surgery, I called for a status update. I frowned when the operator told me, “No one is picking up their phones. All the surgery and recovery rooms are locked with the lights off. Are you sure your dad didn’t go home?”

I told her that I was the one picking up my dad. He wouldn’t just leave. I asked her to check the ER. After a hold, she said the ER did not have my father. It felt like a movie. Where else would he be but the hospital? But why would he be there this much longer? If he was still being operated on, wouldn’t they be able to find out?

I went to the hospital a big crying mess to try to get more answers. I sat in the lobby and tried not to cry while people watched me curiously. At that moment, half past 12am, I got an email and it was a Bible verse:

It turned out that my dad’s surgery was very complicated and took three hours instead of one. This was a very humbling experience. I guess sometimes I have a very active imagination and I get carried away, hahaa.

Then, at 2am at night when we were still in the hospital,  there was an aggressive patient storming and yelling around the halls right outside my dad’s recovery room so we had to barricade the door with the nurse.

It was a strange night, but I’m just glad my father is recovering. He’s been healing and getting better, and I’m so grateful for that.

(My uncle is also getting surgery so please pray for him!)