The Drop Off

One of the most iconic hikes in Zion National Park, Angel’s Landing, is not for the faint of heart (or fear of heights) to navigate the part with narrow paths and sharp drop offs of over 1200 feet on both sides. Regardless, this is my favorite trail of all time. The views at the top are truly stunning!

A Blog Response to Photo Challenge: Danger

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Yarn: A Blog Response from Kids

What if children wrote blogs? 

As a way to spend more time with my siblings, who live 15 hours away, I had come up with an idea to ask them to write the daily post challenge responses with me. They have been very enthusiastic and we had lots of laugh doing this together. It’s also a great opportunity to help them articulate their thoughts and writing better as well as document the process to look back upon in the future. I had so much fun reading their first blog response that I wanted to continue doing it!

Last time we wrote together, I had provided a definition for the word as it was difficult. It wasn’t necessary this time, as “yarn” was something both of them were familiar with. There were no rules given, only to have fun. I wanted to see what the first thing that came to their mind was. I gave them the writing prompt and waited about half a day before I heard back from them.


My brother, 3rd grader, wrote: 

I don’t like yarn. I like the things Chi (big sister) makes with yarn, because they are CUTE!!!! I don’t know why cats love these balls of yarn. Yarn is kind of like some colorful noodles, but you can’t eat it. I want Chi to make more yarn creatures. I forgot how to make yarn things.

My thoughts on his response: It’s hilarious how he started out with “I don’t like yarn.” It was so cute that he mentioned me in his response! I lost it when he compared it to colorful noodles! I have never thought of yarn that way and it’s so cool to see the analogy. Only kids can come up with that. He also drew a picture of a yarn ball, that kind of looked like a ninja- we called it a yarn ninja. His response reminds me that I should make more amigurumi dolls (stuffed crocheted figures) for them.


My sister, 5th grader, wrote:

What yarn means to me.. well, yarn to me is okay. When I think of yarn, I think cats. You know, little furry animals that make me and my brother sick. Well cats play with yarn. “Awww!!!”

The next thing yarn reminds me of is my big sister. My sister likes to crochet (crow-shai) with yarn. You know, crochet is kind of like knitting but different. My sister is really good at crocheting. She can make a cat, catbug, mittens, mouse, octopus (well, you name it, she is really good). It really complicated, she tried to teach me. But it’s really hard. Twist, loop, twist, loop, twist loop, twist, Aahhhhh!!!

My thoughts on her response: I had almost forgotten they were both allergic to cats. How could I not see the connection between yarn and allergies. It’s funny that she wrote out “(crow-shai).” Is that even how you pronounce it? I love how true and how vague the sentence, “crochet is kind of like knitting but different” is. I lost it when she expressed her confusion with an “Aaahhhhh!!!” at the end. 


Again, while reading their responses, I noticed they have distinct writing styles. They have creative associations with yarn that I have never thought about. Something I noticed today was that my brother uses “Chi” when he refers to me, my sister uses “big sister.” They mean the same thing, but funny how they choose to write it out. When they expressed interested in learning, I’ve tried to teach them how to crochet before. It’s so cute that they like my dolls. I did not know that my siblings would write about my amigurumi hobby, but for my readers, here are some of my “yarn” projects over time:

I enjoy creating things. I enjoy drawing, cross-stitching, crocheting, knitting. I was ecstatic when I discovered amigurumi art, because it was something that combined my nerdy interests with my crafting hobby. I’ve made Harry Potter scarves and hats, Pokeballs, Super Mario characters, Totoro characters, and various characters from animes, comics, and shows I’ve seen. I enjoy the satisfaction of making things come to life from the screen.

There is something special about crocheting amis that is different from knitting a scarf or a hat. I spent countless of hours watching my figures grow into a character. I untangled countless of yarn balls. I’ve gotten lost in the pattern, wondering where the pieces fit in. When everything comes together, I feel the deepest joy of creating art. Each of my crochets have a piece of me in it. Thoughts. Effort. Passion. I suppose it is the same with artists, writers, teachers, musicians.

Check out Ami patterns on Amazon here!

Except for a few special amis I keep for myself, I typically make them as gifts to friends, families, and co-workers. I enjoy giving people their favorite character from video games, books, movies, etc. Just a few months ago, my librarian friend from high school told me that she still kept my crocheted heart by her bedside. She told me it had helped her through some tough times with her personal life. It has been over 6 years since I have seen her. I had forgotten that I gave her that heart, but I was so happy to hear that something I created had positively impacted someone’s life.

Thanks for reading! What did you think about their responses? Questions and comments are appreciated!! <3

A Response to Daily Prompt: Yarn

I Go Where My Feet Takes Me

New York has been especially beautiful lately. We were biking down Hudson River Greenway when I saw an excellent bench to sit with a great view of the water and the skyline. We brought our books and sandwiches, and have all the time in the world to sit and creepily watch people walk by.

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As I walked through Columbia University, I realized how much I missed college. There’s an energy on campus that is unlike any other.
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I can’t say I’ve ever been to a Flower Carnival before, but Macy’s does it right. How do you fill up an entire floor with flowers and maintain it for 3+ weeks? They worked magic, it smelled amazing inside. <3
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Springtime blossoms on the trees. Typical New York street graffiti.

 

A Response to Photo Challenge: Wunderlust

Not Good Enough

I’m not good enough. 

There are days where negativity bullies its way in to haunt my mind, jabbing at my frustrations of things that I can’t control. It leaves me helpless, my thoughts trapped in a never-ending cycle of discouragement. My inability to do things with my life that I want to because I am restrained by society’s expectations. The incessant need to prove myself. The words that I can’t speak elegantly enough. The constant questioning of whether I’m a productive member of society. Whether I have become lazy. One thought after another, weight added onto my shoulders.

I fight to push these thoughts back. Watch a movie. Read a book. Talk to family. But it’s still there- lurking in the back of my consciousness. It doesn’t work. Gray as a heavy thundercloud right before a storm. The tension builds up so heavy with so many thoughts in my head that I want to explode.

I read somewhere that to be happy, one should write down 10 things they’re grateful for everyday. I’ve been doing that on and off for years. The first time I wrote, I only came up to six. The more I practice, the better I get at remembering the things that I’m thankful for. It’s easy to take for granted the things that you have and should appreciate. So, to cheer myself up today, here are 10 things I’m grateful for:

  1. Loved ones who are always supportive of who I am and what I do. Whether they know it or not, talking to them always makes me feel better. Supported. Loved.
  2. Independence and freedom to do the things I want to. I am not being forced to do anything I don’t want to.
  3. My health. I’m able to get up everyday. I’m healthy. I’m happy with my self image.
  4. Books and online educational resources that allow me to improve every day.
  5. Beautiful weather. I love seeing the flowers blossom in this time of year. I love hearing the rain prattle softly outside.
  6. A roof over my head, a bed to sleep on, and public transportation to get around.
  7. Food. Today, strawberry and rocky road ice cream, topped with a sliced banana.
  8. Music. Lately, it’s been slow jazz and classical.
  9. Coffee. I love drinking coffee on early mornings, with a book in my hand. <3
  10. This Blog gives me a sense of purpose. It gives me room to vent and think things through.

Regardless of how unfair it is, there are people out there having worst. Finally, I hear it. All the negativity… pouring from the sky like a torrent. The sky lightens up. All the pent up anger dissipates. The pouring of rain hides the tears of relief on my face. I’m free. 

So, let me ask you this. Can you come up with 10 things your thankful for in your life? 

Daily Prompt: Gray

Like a Mother

We love her. She is beautiful and full of life. She’s is gentle, yet strong. Her anger inspires the worst of fears, but she forgives easily. Her love is bottomless. She gives and gives and gives. She is protective, giving us all that we need to survive. Our food, our shelter, our history. She nurses us into life, and embraces us when we pass on. 

A Response to Photo Challenge: Earth

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Hanging Lake, Colorado

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Rainbow Falls, Hawaii
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Zion National Park, Utah
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Volcan Acatenango, Guatemala

Avid: A Blog Response from Kids

As I sat, pondering which avid interests I should write about, I was struck with a genius idea: how would children respond to these one-word prompts? I decided to launch my project right away. I called my siblings (they live 15 hours away), and asked if they wanted to write my blog with me. They were really enthusiastic and agreed.

I gave them the prompt and the definition:

Avid:
1:  characterized by enthusiasm and vigorous pursuit :  very eager and enthusiastic avid readers/avid movie-watcher/avid gamer

I waited anxiously, curious to see what they came up with. Because I don’t see them every day anymore, this was a great time for us to bond, have fun, and improve their writing skills. I received their response in a few hours, and typed them up below. I included my comments on their responses.


My brother, 3rd grade, wrote: 

I experienced Avid when I was downloading Minecraft Story Mode. Even if Chi (big sister) is in New York right now, I didn’t give up, cool. 

But the game in the first episode was hard. Also, I could only play one episode, not cool. 

I experienced both avid and not avid of when I go on a roller coaster. Sometimes, I have my hands in the air like I just don’t care. Others I hold on the seat only for safety. I mostly hold on for safety. 

My thoughts on his response: I thought it was adorable. I laughed when I saw he ended his sentences with “cool” and “not cool.” I thought it was cool that he mentioned me in his response ^_^. His story about the roller coaster was adorable. It laughed hard when he said, “Put my hands in the air like I just don’t care.” It’s true, he sometimes loves coasters, and sometimes is terrified of it. I guess it really would be phrased “avid gamer” and “avid roller-coaster rider”? Overall, not the most grammatically correct way of using “avid,” but his heart is in the right place.


My sister, 5th grade, wrote:

Avid: The Day at the Dog Park

One day, I am very avid (very excited about something) about going to the dog park with two of my funny and amazing sisters, my big sister’s boyfriend Magic, and my little brother. My parents were working. We always ask for their permission when we are going somewhere. We bought some water bottles when we got thirsty. We said “bye” then we left.  

The ride didn’t take long. After we got off, my older sister told us about us going to a human park before going to the dog park. Everyone was okay, but I was a little disappointed. But it was fun, I was doing parkour with my brother. After that, I went on the seesaw with both my sisters. My brother when on, too. Then Magic came on too. We all stood in the middle of the seesaw, then we took a selfie. It looked so cool.

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When I read my sister’s response, I went back to find the selfie she was talking about. Here’s us at the park!
Anyway after the picture, my big sister let us go to the dog park. “Yay!” So off we went. We went past the gate and went through the big dog section. There was a couple we didn’t there. We asked them if we could play with their dogs. They said yes. Then we saw one of the dogs digging, so one of my sisters started digging with the dog. But the dog walked away. So me and my brother started playing fetch with the dogs. Then I notice there was another dog. coming in. The dog looked lazy and it had black fur. I looked at the dog playing on their own. The dog just chilled next to my big sister and Magic. I told my brother I would go chill. My brother said he’ll come later. So I chilled my other sister was done digging my brother was done to. The two white dogs left and more lazy dog come in. So we all just chilled. Slowly, the dogs left so we went into the car and left. 

“One the road again,  can’t wait to be on the road again, can’t wait to be on the road again. Oh, sorry I just can’t help it.” Anyway, I was tired so I slept on the car. When we got home, we didn’t do anything. We ate and watch a movie then slept. Really fun day! Bye! 

My thoughts on her response: I thought it was hilarious and adorable! The first thing I noticed was that it was long. I asked to make sure she knew it could have just been 1-2 paragraphs, she said yes- she just wanted to keep writing. Looks like she would be an excellent blogger. I loved that she included the definition of avid in parentheses in her intro. She also is very detailed about that day. Funny, the things that children remember. When she wrote, “I was doing parkour with my brother,” I called her to make sure she knew what she was writing- she did. I was surprised that she knew what something like that means, and found it incredibly amusing that my two younger siblings were “parkour-ing” in the playground. In this case, I guess her phrase should have been, “avid dog enthusiast?”


Finally, I had an excellent time reading their responses today. It’s hilarious because neither of the responses made sense grammatically. However, I loved that they tried to write with it regardless of knowing exactly how to use the word. In the process, I’ve learned a lot about each of them. I realized their writing techniques are really different. My brother uses prompt examples that backs up his writing. My sister weaves a detailed story, highlighting everything she remembers. She writes as if she was telling a friend about her day. They both write about the things they’re passionate about. My brother loves video games and hates roller coasters. My sister loves playing with dogs-and it’s true- she really is enthusiastic about everything. Perhaps living far away has made me miss parts of their lives as they grow up, but doing something like this makes me feel like I’m there.

What do you think of the responses? Are you wondering what your young friends would write? Let’s connect!

via Daily Prompt: Avid