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Earthquake in California/2nd Blog Post

Who knew a vacation could turn out unbearable so quickly? No one in my family would think of experiencing such a thing, especially on our vacation.

My family and I were excited to visit California, especially my sister. She and I wanted to try so many foods before going back to Colorado, most notably snail(lololol. We can stomach a lot of things). There was this Asian garden mall that we would always go to whenever we visited California. As expected, we went there again. My sister got an adorable bunny hat, and the ears could move! A certain amount of people would comment about the hat and ask where we got it haha. My family and I went to so many places there. San Diego was perfect to go around and eat food. There was this particular restaurant I was fond of, Bonchon. They served the most heavenly fried chicken I had ever tasted in my ENTIRE life. It was so delightful to eat! The crunchiness was so exquisite, I could not fathom how they were able to maintain that level of crispness and also preserve the flavor inside it as well. I would recommend that place to anyone who loves to eat chicken(side note: I finally found out that Colorado also has this restaurant! I’m so excited!)! The food was not the only thing that made that vacation memorable. Los Angeles was a city full of wonders. First off, the Huntington Library was just phenomenal. The gardens and inside there were so beautiful and so well-kept. Now, the library was full of artifacts that were worth more than my life. The paintings inside there… they were so alluring and so astonishing to look at. As for LACMA, I could not believe how creative people could be. There was an artist who used only cigarettes to create an entire tiger mat. My experience in both the library and LACMA were some of the best memorable memories during my trip. Speaking of memorable, no other memory was as memorable as the very day I experienced an earthquake.

It was unnerving. Before that day, there was another earthquake, but I could barely feel it. This time, it was more major. It was a 7.1 earthquake. It happened at around 8:10 PM. I was at the Asian garden mall again because there was a night market there. My family and I wanted to try some of the food there. There was delicious squid and banh khot(a Vietnamese dish). Everyone was rather calm at first. But then, someone kept on shouting to move. There were a lot of concerned murmurs around me. Then it hit me. For some reason, the surroundings around me seemed to look strange. I felt myself rock around, as if I was on a cruise ship. Many people were pointing at something. Then I looked up and witnessed what they saw. There were two very tall pillars by the entrance that was holding up a Chinese-styled roof, and it was swaying. I felt the earth rumble again, and everyone around me said to get out of the way. No one knew whether or not the the two pillars would give way and plummet, either towards the people outside, or towards the building right behind it. My family and I only stared at it while holding our ground, waiting to see what would happen next. Thankfully, the earthquake subsided and no one was hurt. I couldn’t believe it. Two earthquakes in a row and the aftershock of yesterday’s earthquake was even worse. I was scared. I didn’t know what would happen tomorrow. There could’ve been a third one. I was conflicted. I didn’t know if I would make it back to Colorado safely. I desperately wanted to go back because I knew that if something even more terrible would happen, I was not in control.

Well, my trip to California was definitely something to remember. I am just thankful that my family and I weren’t at the heart of the earthquake and we were safe. It was a lesson to remember. If I was to take away something from that day, I had to remember something. I had to remember that my life could be stripped away from me just as quickly as I was given it.

An Extremely Condensed Analysis of BTS’ ‘ON’ Music Video

*This will all make sense eventually!*

In the beginning, Jin (the guy reaching out to the dove) is surrounded by a hoard of chaos as he stares at the scenery (dead bodies, a person moving like a zombie, etc). Doves represent guidance and without guidance, chaos ensues. You can see that the dove is shot by an arrow, revealing that there is no peace and harmony in the world. Jin proceeds to place the dove inside a cage and brings the cage back to his home, where we find him storing a ton of other cages. It seems that he has been finding doves and trying to nurture them back to life but has failed countless times. He uses a blanket to cover the cage. The covering of the cage symbolizes the blindness people have of their faith. It is not something you can see, you just trust in it. He covers the cage in hopes of the dove resurrecting (and it eventually does) so that they can lead humanity on a better path.

In the next part, you see Jungkook running away from a walled place. This walled place is barren wasteland with a large rock. All of the trees are dead. The inside of the walled place represents a former haven. The outside of the walls show the cruel reality of the world where disorder reigns(shown by the first picture).

The thorns on Jungkook’s wrists represent the crown of thorns, foreshadowing that he must sacrifice himself in order to save others. This is elucidated when he falls to the ground and dies. Shortly afterword, his body is being pecked by what seems to be a raven. This can solidify that he did die but is eventually risen from the dead after the bird leaves his body. Right after Jungkook opens his eyes, the walls separate, creating an opening into the Heaven. The bird cage that Jin had also shook, showing the resurrection of the dove as well.

It has been suspected that Taehyung represents a Christ figure. He is seen with his arms perpendicular to his body and is resting next to a log. His position is similar to that of Jesus’ when he died on the cross. He is also seen to remove the blindfold of a little girl standing in front of the walled place, seemingly curing her of her blindness just like what Jesus did with the blind man. The girl’s blindfold can also mean ignorance and fear of the world. She is facing towards the walled place, showing that the girl is too afraid to look behind her and witness the calamity. Taehyung removes the blindfold after Jungkook has been resurrected, signifying that hope has came back into the world. In a way, Taehyung is also the protector of the little girl, holding her hand as the walls part in front of them.

Moving on, the boat and the animals behind RM alludes to Noah’s Ark. The ark is dilapidated due to the reason that sin has re-entered the world, so the world has forgotten about the significance and reason why Noah’s Ark happened in the first place. RM is then standing with his hands together, as if he is in a praying position. The significance of the doves are that they are the animals that helped guide the people to a better place. In Noah’s Ark, Noah sent out a dove to find land. In the video, there is a parallel to this as Jin releases the dove into the haven. The death of the dove at the beginning affirms the lingering chaos that is happening around Jin and the loss of guidance, which caused the people to be killed. The dove takes on the role as a messenger, because when it stirred inside the cage, Jin immediately knew that a revelation was about to occur. Jin collects the cages and the doves in order to help him find the land that is different from where he is right now. He needs the doves’ guidance in order for him to find the haven, which is how he ended up finding the walled place.

After Jungkook opens his eyes, he finds a body of water and goes in it. He dips the thorns into the water, representing the rebirth of purity and innocence(baptism as well). The dipping of the thorns is symbolic because through his sacrifice, a new world has bloomed (shown through the growth of the barren trees inside the walled area).

The thorns are replaced by a conch shell. The symbolism of Jungkook blowing the conch shell is that the sound is the representation of a new civilization, a new beginning, and an end.

A volcano erupts after the conch shell scene, and we see all of the people in the mv band together close to the vicinity of the eruption. Jungkook is carrying the conch shell, which symbolizes civilization. Fireballs shoot forth up towards the sky and collides with the earth, bringing forth destruction. The scene of the fireballs hitting the earth alludes to the second coming, where the world will end in a ring of fire. The present civilization must be destroyed so that a new one will be born. That is why the blowing of the conch shell signifies the beginning and end of civilization.

After the destruction of the world, the trees inside the walled area grow abundantly. This scene represents a new beginning, free from the destruction and chaos that ended the previous civilization. This time, everyone in the mv has united in front of the opened doors of the wall. The dead bodies at the beginning of the video are now standing alone with the BTS members. They may still be dead and their souls are the ones there, which is why only the 7 members of BTS climb up the rock. The rock is pointed sharply towards the sky, seemingly going up towards Heaven. This is their redemption. 7 doves fly up towards the sky with them. They have restored order in the world and chaos has faded away. Guided by a new light, this new world will be better than the previous. Jungkook leads the members as they run up the rock. The clouds are parted, the light shines on them, welcoming them into paradise. Through all the pain and suffering, Jungkook has led the people, both the dead and the living, into the gates of Heaven, where they are able to fly and be free from pain.

I wish I could talk about other stuff as well, like how Jungkook is the dove, the scene regarding the drums alluding to the drummer boys during the war, the reference to Maze Runner due to the walls, the theory of some of the members representing prophets in the Bible, RM being Noah, the mark on Taehyung’s neck, the meaning of the lyrics and the extremely difficult choreography of the dance, ahhhhhhhh! So many theories and references it’s insane!

Blog Post: Lockwood’s Letter to Heathcliff

Dear Heathcliff,

This letter is of utmost importance as it requires me to sacrifice my own time. I would like to mention politely that your dogs are a complete and utter disgrace. They stain your image and it shows that you really do not take the time to have your dogs disciplined. Since I clearly do not wish to be mauled over again, I am warning you that your dogs must be kept in check the next time I enter your… den.

I do apologize for my brash assumptions when I came over to Wuthering Heights. I had no idea that this household of yours is that complex and I will take note of my mistakes next time.

Nelly is such a dear! I am loving the stories she tells me. Please give her my regards. You are very lucky to have such a hardworking person with you. She made my stay at Wuthering Heights more enjoyable, as I was about to bang my head on the wall due to the horrific winds and the brewing storm. Truth be told, I wonder how you are able to live in such a restless place.

I must also apologize for nearly burning your precious books when I placed my lit candle on them. I do hope that no one has told you about this incident. No human is absolutely perfect, after all. I must say that I am way smarter than that and I only placed the candle there because I was distracted by the harsh winds outside. It definitely was NOT because of my negligence.

I will be coming back to Wuthering Heights to hear more stories from Nelly. She is a dear and I sympathize with her. Please make sure that the dogs are in tight control before I step into your dusty place!

Lockwood

Weather in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights

The change of the weather in Bronte’s book reveals a lot about the emotional situation during the scenes. Usually, after a character has acted fiercely, or has displayed intense emotion, or is gloomy in general, the weather darkens and the wind rises. Wuthering Heights is always melancholic because wuthering is a “significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather” (Bronte 4). The people who live in Wuthering Heights are not happy, which further explains the constant windy weather. The weather can also describe the unrest each of the people living at Wuthering Height have. There is no peace in their hearts and that is why the weather there is so chaotic at times.

The weather is used to emphasize a character’s emotions by altering the setting. After Catherine finds out that Heathcliff is missing, she leaves the house, looking for him despite the weather conditions. There was a “violent wind, as well as thunder, and either one or the other split a tree off at the corner of the building: a huge bough fell across the roof, and knocked down a portion of the east chimney-stack, sending a clatter of stones and soot into the kitchen-fire” (Bronte 84-85). The weather was so chaotic that Joseph “swung on to his knees, beseeching the Lord to remember the patriarchs Noah and Lot, and, as in former times, spare the righteous” (Bronte 85). The weather in a way appears to be crying along with Catherine, which expresses her determination to find him no matter how deadly the storm was.

The weather is seen to be describing how each of the characters feel. In a way, the weather is the action to their feelings. When the characters are happy, the atmosphere is lighter and more peaceful. When the characters experience intensely negative emotions, their feelings are portrayed through the restlessness of the wind and chaos of the storm.

Thesis and Literary Analysis

Thesis: Even though the African tribesmen allow the white missionaries to freely express their beliefs, their excessive tactics not only lead to their alienation but also to the rise of conflict between morals and religion in an attempt to protect their culture, causing the downfall of African tradition.

The alienation of the white missionaries depicts the distinct differences between the customs and religions of the Umuofia tribe compared to the white missionaries’. Since both sides contrast each other in terms of their morals and lifestyle, a tribesman directs Mr. Smith, urging that “he does not understand our customs, just as we do not understand his. We say he is foolish because he does not know our ways, and perhaps he says we are foolish because we do not know his” (Achebe 164). The alienation of the two sides portrays the difference in morals and customs between them. The stark rejection shows the determination of the African tribesmen to protect their autonomy and their values by denying another culture’s customs and beliefs. Furthermore, the negative reaction of the African tribesmen asserts that the merging of the two cultures causes conflict. After Mr. Brown finally wins some converts from the tribe, the “clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” (Achebe 152). The dark tone that is created ominously explains that the two cultures are unable to unite because one of them will be destroyed. Thus, the alienation is seen as a necessity to defend each of the culture’s identity, since neither are capable of coalescing.

I think my paragraph is able to answer my thesis because it addresses the opinions of each of the sides. Based on those opinions, you can infer that the reputation between each side is negative. Because of that, conflict can occur because of their differences. I explained that in my paragraph. Through my commentary, I elaborated more on the alienation of the white missionaries and why it is necessary. The alienation is seen as a mechanism to fight back whatever is trying to stain their existence, their identity, and their beliefs.

The White Blood Cell’s Burden

Take up White Blood Cell’s Burden

Send forth the best immunity

Go send your defenders to exile

To serve your master’s needs

*

To wait in a heavy battle filled with blood

Antibodies left and right

Your newly caught organisms

Half died, half lived

*

Take up the White Blood Cell’s Burden

In patience to protect

To prepare for a short life

and check the health status of your master

*

By open wounds and spilled comrades

A million times they die

To seek the ultimate victory

And continuously persevere until the 20th day

*

Take up the White Blood Cell’s Burden

And succumb to a life of chaos

The never-ending conflict of those you could care less

The bitter death of those you forget about

The cry of those you don’t hear

*

Take up the White Blood Cell’s Burden

Blog Post: Things Fall Apart Analysis using a Post-Colonialism Lense

Chinua Achebe’s book goes in depth with the topic of post-colonialism from the second part towards the end. Okonkwo has been heavily impacted by the entry of white missionaries into Africa. His son accepted their religion and Okonkwo abandoned him, his mother’s motherland was influenced by them, and Umoufia crumbled right before his eyes. Chinua Achebe goes through the negative impact the white missionaries had on Okonkwo specifically. In the beginning, Okonkwo was a strong-willed person. He was mighty and he showed no sign of fear. He was “well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond… he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat” (Achebe 1). From what the beginning states about Okonkwo, his characteristic seems like he is unlikely to cower down to anything. This statement turns out to be true for the most part after the white missionaries came. He was against them coming to his homeland and he was against his son being influenced by them. However, his continuity has stopped after his final decision at the end of the book. After Okonkwo killed one of the messengers, the District Commissioner and his people came looking for him when “they came to the tree from which Okonkwo’s body was dangling, and they stopped dead” (Achebe 178). Okonkwo is seen as the pinnacle of African culture and African values. He catered deeply to his tribe’s customs, he was stern with his sons, he was strict with gender roles, and he was devoted to his tribe’s religion. Since his character has these traits, his death is significant. His death is the death of African traditions and customs after the white missionaries stepped foot onto his land. He was once a high and mighty person, but his position was taken away, his religion was fading, and his purpose was gone.

In the end, even Okonkwo was influenced by the whites. At first, he was strongly against the majority of everything the white missionaries came to Africa for. Slowly, Okonkwo witnesses the people of his mother’s motherland succumb to the whites’ influence, his son following Mr. Brown, and Umoufia eventually crumbling. The world that he once knew has become foreign to him. That is why his last decision was unmanly and cowardly for him. Okonkwo committing suicide is something that is extremely unexpected of him because the book portrays him as a powerful and determined being. Even his masculinity had crumbled after the white missionaries came

Post-Colonialism in Things Fall Apart shows the consequences the white missionaries have on the Africans. Through this lense, Okonkwo’s world has turned upside down, leading to his death.

Why Does Day and Night Exist?

Long ago, there was no such thing as darkness. The sky was always sky blue. No human felt the need to sleep because it was always so bright out. There were also two dragons that conquered the sky. One was flame and the other was ice. The Flame Dragon was called Amon and was headstrong and proud. The Ice Dragon, who was known as Kai, was not so different from him. Both of them clashed frequently because both wanted to be better than the other. One day, their quarrels turned into something more. Enraged, both dragons spilled blood upon the sky. Blood was spilled so much that the sky turned as black as a crow’s feathers.

Once their battle ended, both dragons were so injured that none could call upon victory. The Celestial Dragon heard of this fight and he was enraged. He used his ability to control thunder in order to summon Amon and Kai. He scolded them for acting rashly. The Celestial Dragon was so disappointed in them that he cursed them. He gave them the curse of rebirth. The Celestial Dragon stripped the dragons of their position in the Celestial Kingdom. Once he was done scolding them, they fly away from the kingdom, leaving trails of blood behind.

Amon and Kai recovered their injuries quickly and the sky became sky blue once more. But their hatred for each other grew even more and they clashed once more. Again, the sky turned obsidian and the Celestial Dragon became even angrier. He summoned them again and cursed them. He bellowed,

“Since you two love fighting each other, once you begin injuring each other, you cannot stop until both of you are dead.” He kicked them out and they recovered swiftly.

The dragons never learned their lesson, and before they knew it, the dragons were caught in bloodshed. Before long, both of them killed each other. Out of their bodies, orbs of light formed, illuminating the bloodied sky. The humans called this event stars. The light orbs eventually clustered together, giving birth to Amon and Kai. The cycle continued over and over again. The humans called their fight day and their deaths night.

Ophelia’s Song Analysis

To think that the Ophelia who sings a song is the same person before her father’s death… it’s truly ominous how a death can completely change a person’s mentality and sanity. In one moment, Ophelia is completely fine, and in the next moment, it seems as if Hamlet had transferred his insanity to her. In the beginning of the play, Ophelia is shown to be calm and collected, but after Polonius died, her attitude completely turned around and headed for the worst, ultimately drowning herself. Deep down, it makes me wonder what is truly genuine with her. Is her calm and collected attitude really that true to her character?

Anyway, that is where the song comes in. The song reveals who she really is and what she really is thinking. It gives her the opportunity to express her raw emotions. It’s unfortunate that Ophelia does not have a mother to watch over her at her age. Perhaps that is why Polonius is to precious to her, because that is one of her main sources of love. Ophelia cries out, “He is dead and gone, lady, / He is dead and gone” (IV. V. 34-35). She is referring to herself as lady, as if she is imitating what other people have told her. She is reliving the moment when they told her what had happened to her father. It is engraved in her memory and the way she chose to release her emotions is reliving that moment again. Then, she talks about Hamlet, and how she is “a maid at your window, / To be your Valentine” (IV. V. 55-56). She reveals how she thought Hamlet and her were destined to be together. It is said in the past that the first woman a man sees on Valentine’s Days is his true love. She alludes to this saying, enforcing her feelings of disbelief towards Hamlet.

Filled with grief and loss, Ophelia uses repetition once more to emphasize her despair. She asks, “And will he not come again? / And will he not come again? / No, no, he is dead. / Go to thy deathbed. / He never will come again” (IV. V. 213 – 217). In the beginning, she is still in denial that her father is gone. But as she realizes, she tells him to go to his deathbed. However, she might be telling that to herself as well, for she died right after. Perhaps she was telling herself to go to her deathbed as well. This part of the song can also mean two other things: she is referring to true love and Hamlet. First off, her true love will never come again, as Hamlet has killed it off. She may be telling true love to go to his deathbed because she too no longer wants it to live as well. Secondly, she can also be referring to Hamlet. The Hamlet she knows now has completely changed from the first time she knew him. The Hamlet she once loved will never come back to her. The Hamlet she once knew has died. Her eventual realization that all three of those have died away, leaving her alone to suffer.

To Cry or Not to Cry

To cry or not to cry

to let go or not to let go –

That is the question.

Whether It hurts more to let go

or whether it hurts more to hold on

*

To be silent, with each departure presenting a step

to loneliness.

Saying “goodbye”

knowing you will never come back

*

Staying together

knowing that we won’t last long

*

I want to erase every memory with you

I won’t have to suffer like this if I do

But can I really forget you?

I can’t let you go, but I have to

*

Forgive me

for loving you too much.

I’m afraid you’ll disappear

even though this life was not meant for us

*

It hurts the most,

choosing a decision

that will make me suffer for a lifetime

in exchange for the happiness

of many

*

Today, tomorrow, until the day I die

I hope I don’t forget.

In this life, and in the next one,

I’m waiting for you, always

I was watching this sad, depressing, but beautifully written korean drama, Hotel del Luna, and I just had to write this lol. I needed to vent my sadness for the characters SOMEWHERE.

Not: The soliloquy’s speaker is a character in the drama 😦 I’m sorry, but it’s just so sad.

Advice on Taking AP Classes

It’s kind of like an eye for an eye, except that the end of the bargain is always worse for you. It’s more like a soul for insanity. Definitely the best bargain out there… It will tear slowly but surely at your life. You will become a machine knowing nothing except suffering, not even the information needed for the AP exam. You will exchange your free time for a crying session as you attempt to consume the vast knowledge in your puny brain, but to no avail. Tears are a luxury to you now. You will buy other expensive textbooks, hoping that it will increase your score. You will go to class, but because you are expected to know everything already, you are put at a level foreign to you. You try to grasp the material, but you are already too far behind and you have no choice but to cram the night away. Your grade is drastically going down and now all you can think about is increasing it. You’re now no longer doing it for the exam, you’re doing it for the weighted grade. You brought too many things on your plate. You won’t be able to finish it without sacrificing one of them. This three-course meal fills you up, claiming your time, claiming your money. You see no light at the end of the tunnel, but you see your inevitable failure. You will no longer know the meaning of life anymore as you mindlessly finish your busy work one by one. This is but another check mark.

So my advice to you is, don’t put too many things on your plate. You will left some unfinished and it will rot in your mind, engulfing you from life.

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