I am hopeful for the future. We all have memories. Good ones, bad ones. We have memories we want to forget, and memories we want to cherish and lock in our noggin bank for all of eternity.
And always the inevitable, we simply just forget the details.
Yet we must not forget —— every inhale, a new step, a new moment, a new memory
My project for this week has consisted of doing a great deal of research on grant opportunities for LEAP. Sounds mundane? maybe. But, for an eager individual like myself who doesn’t necessarily have the experience or the knowledge about anything foundation related——it was a project that I was very excited about. And you know you are getting something out of it when you continually click on link after link finding out about what this foundation has to offer, what sort of programs they have, and what opportunities do they provide for the community (and maybe for someone like me…an enthusiastic, eager individual who doesn’t have much direction in life) , outside of grantmaking. You witness the diversity and depth of services that all of these foundations provide. One word phrase: rewarding. Because every single project I’ve been working on, every person I’ve met thus far has exposed me to a world of interesting, thought provoking, and exciting opportunities —— that at least in my mind a liberal arts student can handle and excel at. Right?
So I am hopeful. What lies ahead for me? I don’t know. I have some general goals. I have ambition. I have enthusiasm and a good attitude (at least I think so, Nancy?). There are things that I need to flush out, but for the most part I am “skipping”, enjoying and ecstatic for what lies ahead. Now on to building networks? :) I’m working on it. And to whoever is reading this and looking to hire someone, I am just a few digits away.
I grew up in the Los Angeles area my whole entire life. In the suburbs, yes. And some may consider that not really Los Angeles, but hey, we all dream. Going to school in Colorado has afforded me many opportunities to explore…metaphorically, metaphysically, but also just simply around my physical environment. I’ve always come home to “Los Angeles” every summer, but this particular summer…I’ve been exploring the many great treasures that life here has to really offer. I could of been in Colorado right now, starting my new job that I will start in the fall as an admission fellow. I almost went through a mental breakdown deciding on whether to stay in Colorado or to take the “LEAP”. The 8-week mark is rapidly approaching. The internship is coming to the end, and for that sake, I am going to try to be as self-reflective as possible.
The lesson for today: There is a class outside of the classroom. At least for me, this internship has shown me that there is still that space outside of the classroom to grow, learn, and flourish. It might be obvious to some, but it is actually one of the most encouraging lessons I’ve learned thus far. Because as an explorer who relishes the chase to find those life-longing “nuggets”, the real world doesn’t seem so bad after all.
And as a result, I’ve learned so much about a community that at first seemed so familiar to me, but in reality so foreign. I needed to come back home to discover more about myself. It’s ironic because the main reason I left was in order to discover myself. I think it goes to show, you never know where life may take you. And as an academic/student explorer right now to a professional/”real world” explorer in the coming years, godspeed to our life compass.
All I ever wanted was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
For all the other children, lunchtime in the school cafeteria was always an occasion for ostentation, transactions, and sheer excitement. For me, it was a demonstration of how different I was from everyone else.
I haven’t been posting a while. I will be better at that.
It has been a whirlwind of a time…but in a good way, at least as good as it can be.
This past week we just completed our Annual LEAP dinner. I just want to take the time to give some kudos to the staff and volunteers at LEAP. It was also a busy week in terms of meeting new folks, learning from them, and contemplating future aspirations, goals, and dreams.
I just want to say that I’ve been very fortunate of this opportunity. In many ways being in an environment can teach you as much as a teacher or professor can. It gives me great honor to be surrounded by individuals and a community who have dedicated themselves to activism to bringing issues that the API community faces to the forefront.
An intern, Ethan, told me about this comic strip, Secret Asian Man. I’ve been browsing around and I came across this particular comic strip, which caught my attention.
I basically idolize Bruce Lee, just because of how he was able to empower a community through the advent of film and his ability to captivate audiences throughout all groups. Not to mention, he has the deep sagacious words as well.
There are many times when I dream about kicking Chuck Norris’ butt. Just saying, why aren’t there “Bruce Lee” jokes going around…we all know that Chuck Norris got his ass handed to him.
And so despite what Bruce Lee represented and how he has influenced me as an individual to be more empowered. I find myself very similar to the boy who reminds me of Rock Lee in Naruto. "I pick my own fights. I am better than that. I know when I need to stand up for myself. There will be a time when karma bites them in the butt." At times, I catch myself saying that, but many times I realize it is just an excuse to avoid confrontation.
And so, a simple comic strip like this can be an avenue for change, at least changing a mentality, a means of engaging others in a deep self-reflective discussion of what it means to be Asian American and how we are perceived by otheres. or it can just be damn funny…and leave it as it is.
Either way, there is something about being at LEAP, in the API community that acts as a propellant to be more involved. It instills a basic principle that you make up who you are…and that no one else can tell you who you are. I am who I am. They call me E-man and I am a leader!
So however you may take it… here is some insight into me.
I just finished officially my third week at LEAP. :) I like it.
I am starting to get into the swing of things. I mean I’m sure my supervisor is reading this ( Hi Nancy!), so I oughta say something nice like: I really love what I’m doing right now! YES!
But honestly, I wouldn’t be saying that if I didn’t mean it.
This past week:
I sat in/participated in LEAP’s / APAHE’s annual Leadership Development Program in Higher Education. It was an amazing experience. I met people, I talked to them (which is somewhat for a big step), contemplated what it means to network, and just had a ball of a time. It was just a good time, meeting folks who are in their careers, but still have the zeal to learn, progress and continue to hone what they are good at.
I got some business cards, which is new and exciting. I got some great advice, and it gave me a better sense as to what the Higher Education sector entails. It was the first for me to attend a program that revolves around leadership development in a professional setting, and I was encouraged. That there is that avenue to learn outside of your immediate work experience, that there are others out there who truly want to help and see you go to the next level. It is about taking the LEAP, right?
It is just hard to fathom…I am a student, I am going to be a senior…but what next? Where am I going next? What am I doing? It encourages me to know that there are folks who really want to help and be a resource.
Harry Potter 7 Pt.2 is coming out this Friday…I just gonna wait. Nancy is making it a habit to tease me… she just called wizard? All i needed was a thunderbolt on my forehead? What was it Nancy? O I forgot because I brush off my shoulders like it nothing.
I am not really sure about this whole blogging thing:
Do I approach it like a diary where I share my deep and darkest secrets? or do I just tell you about my day and leave out all of the existential hoopla? Because I can get out of this world or at least out of this…which represents me…which means out of me? existential?
Anyways, I guess this is more of a space to jot down some feelings, thoughts, comments about this summer and my internship with LEAP (Leadership Education Asian Pacific Inc.). It can either be very therapeutic to just unload my experience and share what is in mi noggin, darn stressful because i don’t even know what the heck I am thinking sometimes or inspiring, to one day look back on what I wrote and see how much I’ve grown.
I write this first post after just finishing my first week, and I’ve already felt different, more grown up, if you will. I like comma splices.
I am taking a 30 minute commute to work, typing away on my own computer in my own cubicle, taking lunch breaks, and doing reports. I like it so far.
I think for me and what I would like to get most out of this 8 week internship is to:
keep and maintain what I know about myself, explore what is out in this nonprofit world, learn new skills and capitalize on the opportunities, and just apply this experience and continue my pursuit to develop who I am.
I just got existential.
I had a great week. I went on a retreat with the other interns. I said I liked all of them, but I only like most of them. jk. I had a bunch of fun bonding with them. I get kind of nervous when I meet new people. If you know of any full proof empirically proven calculus to ensure that every interaction between one person with another is fruitful, engaged, sincere, and life changing….please let me know :) I am excited. I readily enjoyed the retreat, my first day of work, and my first leadership skills training. Within the first week, I was challenged to reassess what I wanted out of life and how I envision where life is taking me. It is scary, most definitely big adult decisions, but I don’t feel intimidated…because I am sure this internship will teach me skills that I would have never ever imagined…things that will prepare me for the future and to answer those questions without doubts and second guesses.
Now…I just have to take a LEAP. figuratively….speaking. and literally in the sense that i am interning with LEAP.