in the news, music

A brief pause

The past few weeks has been a big blur. I went from rushing to get the first draft of my thesis done while studying for midterms (last ones for a while!) to rushing around New York City and having the most amazing time with my friend. Now I’m back to the grind of university and wishing I was still in New York. Look for a recap of my delightful trip later this week.
Today I wanted to express my gratitude for my life. My dad was talking about his upbringing at dinner this weekend. I knew he came from a poor farming family in Vietnam, but he doesn’t talk about it much. He talked about not going to school because he was hungry, not wearing shoes except to go to the market or a celebration because they couldn’t afford it, and taking a chance to leave his country with only the clothes on his back into an unknown destination. It’s inspiring to see how far he’s come and only a little bit of pressure to make my own leaps in life.
This leads me to thoughts of those fighting for their voices in the Middle East and North Africa, and the cruel lessons that even in a wealthy country disaster can strike at any moment.
I’ve also been impressed with all the lovely aesthic projects online whose proceeds go to the Red Cross and other relief organizations. This Colossal has a great archive post of some of them if you want a little something extra to show your support. The poster above is by Linda Yuki Nakaniski.
In this time of job searches between research papers and trying to enjoy the last few weeks with the people I’ve met in the last three years, it’s easy to forget about where I’ve come from and what that means. It’s easy to forget how blesssed a life I lead and it’s important to take a few moments to recognize the sacrifices that created this journey for me to enjoy.
And some gifts for you, highly recommended new music from Seattle-area bands!
The Head and the Heart, “Cats and Dogs” and “Coeur D’Alene”
The Lonely Forest, “Live There” (new album out today!)
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