Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Over the past few days I have been working, exploring, and relaxing. On Saturday, we went to the downtown Sunnyvale farmers market and I was so excited by the fresh, beautiful rows and rows of fruit. From avocado hummus to durian (a stinky fruit from South East Asia) ice cream, I enjoyed wonderful new tastes. The trip brought back memories of the markets in Europe bustling and alive. Today we went to a Mediterranean restaurant called DishDash in downtown. Although it is a Wednesday night, there were hundreds of people of all ages dancing and listening to music in the street. We discovered a little bookstore with carefully collected and some eclectic books. I definitely plan to spend more time there in the coming weeks. It was fascinating watching so many people relaxing in their own ways freely and harmoniously. There was one man chatting with a friend with a huge snake sitting around his neck casually while elderly women danced unrestrainedly in the middle of the street. Both the people watching and the food were enjoyable. On Monday we walked around Santana Row in San Jose and the brightly colored flowers complemented the rose colored sky. It is so beautiful here, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to enjoy and spend time with family. My work is going along well. I have been learning and I met with my mentor yesterday and I am diving into some of the calculations and modeling tools. On the side, I have been brushing up on my calculus and expanding my knowledge on my own. I am thankful for new people and places.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day 5

Today I woke up gently in our new apartment. It was beautiful seeing the green leaves and redwood trees. Everything is different in the new apartment, but more than ever it is evident that it is the people that make a house a home. I am grateful to spend time with the family. I spent some time reviewing some math for a few hours. It feels like reading a language I learned several years ago. I am a little rusty which was frustrating initially, but it is coming back, and I will keep a positive mind about learning and apply an efficient approach to problem solving. It was nice having a chance to catch up with some of my Breakthrough colleagues. The continue to inspire me and I am grateful for our friendship. I am excited to go to Stanford tomorrow and hopefully make some more progress on the project.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 4

Today I received Amma, Baba, and Ollie in the airport, and we moved some stuff into the new apartment. It feels like a vacation with a lot of luggage. Ollie was such a good boy and slept so well in his bag and behaved so well in the new apartment. He got very excited when he saw himself in the mirror and kept on wagging his tail at his reflection. I am so glad that he is here, and it is nice to have the opportunity to spend some time with Amma and Baba. It was interesting seeing all of the families around the apartment today. I hope that we will make some new friends soon, and I wonder if there is anyone else that is my age in the complex. It will still take some time before this small apartment begins to feel like home, but for now, I am grateful for the time together and the friends and family we have.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 3

Today I got to spend time with family and learn. I read several hundred pages of a textbook on exposure analysis, and I enjoyed wrapping my head around new concepts, experiments, and ideas. I also learned about a variety of professors and fields of research that relate to solar energy through my internship with the Energy and Environment Affiliates Program. It was interesting hearing about the research of some of my professors and people that I have met. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to have learned while I got to spend time with family. I got a pedicure from the kids and got to learn from and listen to the stories of everyone. I am looking forward to another day of learning, working, talking, and enjoying tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 2

Today I got a glimpse into adult life by commuting on the train and bus. In the last two days I have boarded a train, plane, bus, car, and bike without getting lost or confusing the time table. I had a busy day meeting with my professor and while I have a steep learning curve, I am looking forward to getting to know her better this summer. She took the time to listen to my interests and thoughts and even introduced me to new majors I should consider. Between reading several papers and trying to wrap my mind around differential equations, I researched a summer course I want to take and filled out an application to take it. I walked back and forth running errands and by the end of the day, I am tired. The campus is more crowded than I have ever seen it before with hundreds and hundreds of kids of all ages in brightly colored t-shirts for many camps. While I had to wait for a long time at the Student Services Center to get some paperwork done, it was interesting to see their excitement and reminded me of how much I have learned in the last year. I also ran into my admission counselor and she is so caring and wonderful. Even when I get stressed or tired at Stanford, I am always thankful for how many genuinely caring people that I have got to meet. I am thankful for my new opportunities and I am looking forward to the summer.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Today is officially my first day as a Californian. Like with all major transitions, today was bittersweet. I am excited, nervous, nostalgic, and uncertain. While I will undoubtedly miss Texas and Coppell, I know that the move to California is what makes the most sense for our family right now, and it will be a new adventure. My goal for the summer is to discover how to be a better symbiont: to give and take in harmony with the universe. By further probing what matters to me and what makes me happy, I will open myself up to new opportunities and perspectives. In my summer internships, I hope to continue to learn with an open mind and heart. By meeting with passionate people, I can learn how to think, act, serve, and create in a new way. I hope to use my time at Stanford to get to know the university in a more intimate and personalized way by taking time for important conversations and discovering new trees and spots for peace. I will challenge my mind to think analytically and push myself to relearn what I have .learned with a keener sense of solving problems. I will continue on my quest to discover connections in the way that we live as well as how I relate with the people, animals, environment, and society that surrounds me.

This is also a summer of healing. With time, support, and care, I will recover my strength and energy and become 100% pain free again. These past 17 weeks of illness have taken their toll, but I know I have the will to overcome and conquer them. As I discover who I am intellectually, I will also become more confident by facing my fears, trusting more, and connecting to my roots. I am blessed to have so much love from my family. Although my best friend and twin is so far away physically, I hope we can continue to stay even more connected than we did in Stanford this year. By practicing my language and learning from my family, I can think explore another side of my identity.

I am thankful for my friends and family who inspire me to be who I am meant to be. I am thankful for the growth that comes from being uncomfortable. I am thankful for the countless blessings I have as well as the ability to appreciate them.