tasting 2015 twice

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So I have this blog, right, and when I so craftily titled it, I found the name “Tasting Life Twice,” which comes from French-Cuban literatus Anais Nin in the quote as follows:

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

It’s a beautiful, romantic concept — perfect for the blog of a conceptual romantic. Perfect for someone who still thinks studying abroad is about scurrying after professors in robes at architecturally aged institutions with notebook in hand, not a frat boy’s international clubbing dream. Perfect for someone who excitedly signs up for everything that can be signed up for because they believe in the mission or some vague idea of mentorship, leadership, and servitude — not someone who decidedly utilizes the word “no” both to others and to themselves.

Perfect — in an imperfect world.

With respect to the above, I find it oddly fitting — dare I say even romantic — that my annual resolution check-in blog post be titled in reflection of the blog’s original intentions. Perhaps the better word is “ironic,” not romantic, seeing as the number of times I blogged in 2015 can be counted on one hand.

Still, there is some merit in sitting back and analyzing the past 12 months as I prepare for another year of who-knows-what. This is my 2015 reflection. Continue Reading…

The ‘Cult of Busy’ and its Consequences

In my social circles, I am notoriously known for being “busy,” overbooked, and largely unavailable. This is not a bragging point — this is fact — and I’m not proud of it at all.

There is one point I’d like to address in what will be one of the most poorly organized blog posts I will ever write: the ‘Cult of Busy.” I know I can’t play the victim card —  I am the author of my own destiny and I made poor choices.

Continue Reading…

Open, Close: Doors as a Binary of Opportunity

Something I’d never considered about that adage that goes “when one door closes, another door opens” — that if doors are opening, you must close some of the old ones by yourself.

A door serves two purposes: the first to gain entry, the second to deny it when necessary. Too many open doors makes for a very weak home — too few, a very strong prison.

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There and Back Again: A JASC 67 Reflection (Abridged)

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(This version is abridged from a nearly 3000-word edition; please visit this link to have a more complete context of JASC 67).

My blog posts always have cheesy but personally relevant titles. Here’s an explanation: There and Back Again is an alternate title for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, which is one of my favorite books. As a phrase, though, it carries (for me) not only highly nerdy resonance, but also personal relevance in regards to my academic and internal interest in Japan as a nation, people, and culture.

I’m using this theme to reflect on my experience as a delegate in the 67th Japan America Student Conference, held in Hiroshima, Shimane, Kyoto, and Tokyo this summer. It, I think, best captures my feelings towards the place JASC has in my academic journey — past, present, and future.

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There and Back Again; A Reflection on JASC 67

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For those who may know me well, my blog titles are either chosen with extreme consideration OR (if I’m too tired) with none at all. Today’s title is of the former sort — and for those who know me even better, it’s quite obvious that the first half of the title is Tolkien-inspired and likely carries some internal existential weight.

Let me explain.

There and Back Again is an alternate title for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, which is one of my favorite books based in one of my favorite fictional worlds. As a phrase, though, it carries (for me) not only highly nerdy resonance, but also personal relevance in regards to my travels, my academic/professional life, and my learning as a fellow human on this planet. Continue Reading…