Your Journey Will Be Worth It

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Life is like a journey. You have to work towards your dreams and aspirations. You have to persevere, no matter who tough it gets. There will be bumps along the way, but once you reach what you that goal, all your hard work pays off because quite frankly, you have made it. You have completed yet another journey in your life.

I think that is what kept Tom Joad, from The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, going. After being released on parole from prison, Tom embarks on this journey to find his way home. It’s a tough and long voyage- filled with hitch- hiking and strange conversations with a pastor he used to know- but nothing stops him as he strives to get home to his family. Things don’t go according to plan when he finally arrives home, to find his house empty and broken down. A familiar local tells Tom and the pastor, Jim Casey, about how his family had moved to his Uncle John’s house- which was eight miles away- because they had been chased off their land by money hungry banks. Now if you think that another eight miles will stop Tom from reuniting with his parents, than you are dead wrong. He spends the next day continuing his journey home until he finally saw the “house, a square box, unpainted and bare, and the barn, low-roofed, and huddled” from afar. The looks on his parents faces was the moment his hard work to get home paid off, I’m sure.

As I read through the chapters of Tom’s expedition and reunion, I couldn’t help but think about Finding Nemo and how the moment that Nemo’s father found him was probably a lot like Tom’s reunion with his family: emotional and filled with joy. It didn’t matter that he had to encounter sharks, or that he almost died in the process the only thing that matters was the Nemo was back in his arms. Of course this example may be a bit cheesy, but think about it.

How many times in your life has your end result justified what you had to go through? My guess would be many times. Giving up may seem like such a good option at times, but trust me, if you keep trying and work through your battles, you will make it and your journey will be worth it.

You don’t even have to be working towards something, but merely working to survive and make it through. Living another day is an accomplishment to me. I guarantee you that your journey will be worth it because you are worth it.

-Kim

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Know Your Roots

Weekly, our class writes morphemes;  which are basically Latin root verbs.  They are the smallest units in language that are the foundation of certain words.  For example, “lig” means to “to choose, to collect,” or “to gather.”  Just the other night I thought to myself that without morphemes, there would be no basis in language.  There would not be any foundation and the language that we know now would be very different.  Consequently, this idea is relatable to family.

Very much like morphemes, I would be torn without my base, my foundation that I look towards for help.  Family, is the foundation to our lives.  Our grandparents, and our grandparents’ grandparents, and our ancestors after that, all make up our family roots.  They all makeup and help create who we are, as individuals, today.

Roots 2

My family, for example, is very tight-knit and we are all independent in our own lives but we are still bound together by blood.  We still care for each other very much and we love one another no matter what.  Being the youngest of my family, I have 3 older siblings who have helped shape and influence me to be the teen I am today.  Since my parents were absorbed with work and tending to things around the house when I was a child, my 3 brothers and sisters were the ones who acted as my second set of parents.  The reason why I try to be hard-working, social, and active in the community is because of them.  I strive each day, to be more and more like them and to be, in a sense, honorable and to be a mature and respectful member of society as well as school.  But I know and hope, that my direct as well as extended family will have my back and be with me through thick and thin.

But, some bases may not be as strong.  Some roots may be parched and have been dehydrated for a very long time.  I don’t know personally, but I understand that many families around the world are torn, or are not as close as they could be.  Sometimes it may be because of bitter hate, members have no time for each other, a traumatic event has occurred between members, or simply because they fell out of touch.  No matter the case, these family members should know that family is valuable.  They may not know it now, but family is a strong bond that can’t ever be harmed or broken by any outside forces.

Roots 3

What should these people do to revive these family roots?  Water these roots.  Do whatever you can to revive your bonds with lost siblings or parents.  What if you or your sibling were to suddenly die tomorrow?  Would you want your bond to be weak by the time you’re gone?  Or do you want it to be the strongest as possible to know that at all costs, in the real life, or the next, that you are BOUND to family wherever and whenever.

So friends and family, the point that I really want to emphasize is that love one another with all your heart.  Family is a strong element in everyday life that is an extremely hard thing to be taken away.  If your bonds with family can never be repaired or patched up, create a new base.  Have friends that are as thick as thieves and can be considered your family be in your foundation.  Know your roots.  But above all, know yourself.

– Nick

Appreciate What You Have

Last night during dinner, I asked my mom about what her relationship with my paternal grandma was like. I was curious because movies and T.V. show often depict relationships with in-laws as bad ones, so I wanted to know what her’s was like.  Growing up my mom didn’t have a mother; my maternal grandma passed away after giving birth to my mom. My mom only met my grandma a couple of times because she and my dad lived here in the US and my grandma lived in Vietnam. She told me that she was fairly certain that my grandma liked her because one day during her first trip to see my grandma, my mom was upstairs laying down and my grandma had gone upstairs to ask if she could lay with my mom. And my mom told me that she started to cry and replied “Yes of course mom” in Vietnamese. That was the first time my mom has called someone mom in Vietnamese. After hearing that story, I started to tear up because in that moment I realized how lucky I am. Of course, I frequently remember to be grateful for all I have, but if I am being completely honest, it’s the type of gratefulness that has no depth. I don’t really realize how privileged I am; sure I say thank you a lot, but I don’t stop to think about other people and how they would love to have opportunities like mine. This story really helped me to realize how important it is to be thankful for all the blessings that have graced my life. Not everyone gets chances to learn new things or to have all their family members around them, so take time and appreciate all the good things in your life.

-Kim

Give Life a Chance

Recently, a member in my family had got very sick. He was my uncle and my great uncle. (inter-family marriages were popular back in the day) He practically raised my mom and he told her to come visit him. My mom left to visit him on Friday. She left with a big smile.Three hours later, we got a call that he had passed away. My mom was on a plane to see him and she couldn’t. I was his favorite kid. Whenever, we visited in summer,he would buy me anything I wanted and he’d convince me every time to stay with him and not go back to California.

In the past 4 months, I’ve experienced the death of two people who I loved very much. I feel like I should be depressed or something, but I’m not. I’m sad they’re both gone, but it just motivates me more to live and b

e happy. My uncle wanted me to go to a great college and study hard, and that’s exactly what I’ll do. There comes a point where you can’t cry anymore, and you just have to live.
I’ve been lost all this time, not knowing what I wanted to major in or what I wanted to do in life. I had no clue what I was doing, I was getting bad grades in school, I was moving to a different city and school which threw me off, and then my best friend and uncle passed away.

It’s been a horrible year for me and usually I would just sit in my room and be sad about it, but what’s the point in that? I have a chance for new beginning. I can start over and focus at my new school. I know what I’m majoring in, where I want to go, and where I want to work. I’m gonna work hard for that, and hopefully I can reach my goal.
Basically, I just told part of my life story for one purpose:

Life may look hard at one point. Everything might be going down under and it may look like you’re life is falling apart, but life gives you opportunities. You may not be willing to work hard ( I wasn’t at all) but once you find that inspiration, you’ll do anything for what you want. You just need a little patience and hope. Yes, this sounds cheesy, but life works in weird ways. I mean I decided to be computer science major based on a website and movie.

-Zara

The Little Things In Life

A video my best friend’s sister made for her English project.
This video could not have sent out the message any better.

Live life to the fullest, but appreciate what you have because you never know what life will take from you the next day.

-Zara

Family Gave Them Strenth

In the book Night by Ellie Wieser, there were many instances that advocated the importance of family. In one of my very early posts I talked about how family was an ohana and how it was important to have one.  The same idea shows up in this book. In one of the scenes, Ellie and his dad were separated from his mother and sister and they really showed a lot of concern. Many of the other prisoners in these concentration camps were always worried about whether their families were being burnt or whether they were safe. The situation at the time was horrible, but knowing that their family is safe would help reassure them a bit. I found an article (http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/education/newsletter/19/main_article.asp) that gave many examples of how family was important to them. Since the Jews living in Germany were stripped of all their possessions, the only things they ad were themselves. Holding on to their family gave them a sense of security and once they were separated, the times would get worse.
Being thankful for a family of any sort is always a major priority of mine. Many people in this world aren’t blessed with having a loving family so take whatever chance you have to thank them.

-Zara