My Favorite Oil Pastels

When I was little, my youngest uncle had given me a set of oil pastels to draw with. They quickly became my favorite. I even brought it with me when I moved to America. I had it for a bit until they were practically taken from me. We had a family friend come over to our house and they had a daughter who was like three at the time. I was six. Unfortunately, she eyed my favorite oil pastels and wouldn’t leave without it. I was reluctant to give it to her and looked over to my parents. They understood my feelings but didn’t say anything to her parents. What could they say when her parents themselves weren’t saying anything to their daughter? In the end, baba told me to give it to her. I was appalled and angry at the baby’s parents that they could have let something like this happen. Yeah, sure the baby might not be able to help it, but isn’t it their duty to teach her what’s right and what’s wrong. The mother was apologetic that her daughter took the crayons but to me it didn’t matter how apologetic she was. She didn’t stop her daughter from taking it. She didn’t take the time to realize how special those crayons were to me. I cried that day, after they left. I cried and I moved on.

And you know what happened to my crayons?

A few months later when we went to visit their house, the aunty was telling my parents and I that she is often times saddened to see the broken pieces of my crayons lying around when cleaning the floor. I wish she would have seen my fists clench at that moment or see how hurt I felt. ໒( ᓀ ‸ ᓂ )७ She actually had the gall to mention that in front of me when it was she who did nothing to stop her daughter in both cases. Ugh, people I tell you ໒( ⇀ ‸ ↼ )७. Gets on my nerves.

On the bright side… this time I bought a set of oil pastels when I visited Bangladesh           °˖ ✧◝(○ ヮ ○)◜✧˖ °

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Oil Pastels ❤ ❤

I was so happy to buy this. I felt I had found something I lost years ago. So many beautiful memories are attached with this little thing.           (︶▽︶)

A Trouvaille

Look what I found whilst cleaning out my room…

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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I read this book along with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for my capstone course, Studies in Romanticism, in my senior year of college. Using these two books for my thesis, I argued that subjectivity is rooted in knowledge in both Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and that both authors depict knowledge differently. I successfully argued that Shelley depicts knowledge negatively by showing how Victor Frankenstein’s pursuit of power leads to his tragedy. While, on the other hand, Austen depicts knowledge positively by showing that Elizabeth Bennett’s self-awareness leads to felicity.

At that time, we were required to write at least 15 pages for which I was a tad bit worried. I did not know if my topic would be able to span that long. So when I started to formulate how I was going to about it, I started making an outline. I love outlines! They help me focus. They don’t only help me focus, they help students focus. I used outlines to help 5th grade students collect their thoughts as they started to write 4-5 paragraph essays. And they loved it because now they knew where they were going with their topic. Anyways, I started to make an outline and I worked on it, added to it, and perfected it for about a month and a half. See, for me, I don’t start to put anything on paper until I have some sort of content going for me. If you give me a blank piece of paper, I won’t even touch it until I am sure of what I am going to put on that paper. I may write over, scratch, and tear my outline paper to shreds, but I will never touch that blank piece of paper until I have something solid. And you better believe that I made use of that outline. Lines and arrows filled the entire page as sentences climbed up the sides. For each new point I made, I assigned it a number which represented a page. When I was satisfied with what I had, I started writing. For me, writing is an active process. When I started writing, I knew that from my outline I would not be able to come up with 15 pages of solid writing alone. But I knew that along the way, I would be able to come up with content that is relevant to my topic. And boy! was I on fire! I had submerged myself deep into my writing. From arguments that I had previously made, new arguments arose. And just as I had done with my outline, I was working my way through my paper. This was my canvas at that moment and I was working my way towards perfecting it. I wrote 16 pages in three days. All that work payed off because I received an A+ on that paper 🙂 .

February 15- A Funny/Embarrassing Story

I was working at my part-time job that I am currently still working at now. So the main manager at that time was praising about me to one of the other managers. And this guy was nice, probably in his 50’s, with a rugged personality. I liked talking to him (hi/hello/how are you?); but it wasn’t like I was smitten by him. Just someone I saw almost every weekend that I worked there. Even though I did not work under him, he still looked out for me and my colleagues, or at least the ones he was familiar with anyway. Like that one time, when one of my colleagues was just hanging out near my station while this manager was talking to me. When my colleague left to start his work, this manager came up to me and asked me if I knew the man. I was like… “Yes? He works here.” Then he just laughed it off saying, “No wonder he looked so familiar.” In reality, he forgot about him(^▽^). He was just concerned because unlike a regular customer, my colleague seemed to have been loitering around my station for far too long.

Anyways, back to the story. So this manager was praising about me to another manager….. and as he was praising me…. I blushed!   ⁄(⁄ ⁄ˊૢ⁄ ⌑ ⁄ˋૢ⁄ ⁄)⁄   Before I could figure out what the heck was going on with my face, he noticed it! Why did he have to notice it?! (个_个) Why did I have to blush?? (个_个) To be honest that was the first time ever that I had blushed in front of anybody. I felt my face and ears flush hot red. Smiling, the two managers looked at each other. He said, “Well, will you look at that? She blushed. You don’t get that everyday.”, and walked off. Yeah! Super embarrassing!

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February 14- My Travel Bucket List

  1. The Kaaba, Mecca, Saudia Arabia 

    The Kabba

    Masjid Al Haram(Holy Mosque) The largest mosque in the world and surrounds the holiest site of Islam. This is every muslim’s dream.

  2. Machu Picchu, Peru 

    Machu Picchu

    An Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba River valley

  3. Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats), Bolivia

    Salar de Uyuni

    The world’s largest salt flats

  4. Lofoten Islands, Norway 

    Lofoten Islands

    A great place to observe the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

  5. Chefchaouen, Morocco

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    The majestic blue city of Morocco. It was painted blue by Jewish refugees in the 1930s and has stayed that way ever since.

  6. Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, JapanThe Bamboo Forest and some great Twitter Lists to follow

Valentine’s Day Around The World

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Valentine’s Day 

Denmark

Although relatively new, the Danish have embraced Valentine’s Day their own by exchanging pressed white flowers called Snowdrops. Men also give women  gaekkebrev, a joking letter, which consist of a funny poem or rhyme on intricately cut paper and signed with anonymous dots. If the woman who receives the letter can guess who the sender is, she is awarded with an Easter egg later in the year.

South Korea

Valentine’s Day is a very popular holiday in South Korea, especially with young couples, Variations of this holiday run each month on the 14th from February to April. On February 14th, it is up to women to woo their loved ones with chocolates and flowers. March 14 is known as White Day and this time it is up to the men to not only shower their sweethearts with chocolates and flowers but to step up the game with a gift.  And for those who are unable to celebrate either holiday, there is a third holiday on April 14th called Black Day. It’s a day when all singles will mourn their solitary status by eating dark bowls of jajangmyeon, or black bean-paste noodles. Well I’ve heard that jajangmyeon tastes really good, so something good is at least coming out it :).

Philippines

While the celebrations are similar to that of Western countries, one thing sets Phillipine’s Valentine’s Day apart from the rest of the world. And that is mass wedding ceremonies. On February 14th, thousands of couples gather around public areas to get married or renew their wedding vows.

Qixi Festival, China

4 The Qixi Festival (Seventh Night Festival), also known as the Qiqiao Festival, is a festival that celebrates the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl (Niulang and Zhinü) in Chinese mythology. It falls on the seventh day on the seventh month on the Chinese Calendar.  This celebration has been celebrates since the Hans Dynasty (206 BC- 220 AD).

According to Chinese Folklore, Niuland was a kind-hearted Cowherd and Zhinü was a fairy and the seventh daughter of a goddess and the Jade Emperor.  Niulang with the help of his ox (the demoted cattle god) married a  Zhinü, who became a weaver girl. They had two children, one boy and one girl. Zhinü’s mother, a goddess, returned Zhinü to heaven. Niulang pursued using the ox’s hide. The goddess separated them by a river of stars (the Milky Way), but magpies were allowed to form a bridge for them to meet once a year (Qixi).

Traditional Customs: Although dying out, they are still practiced in rural areas

  • 1. Showing skills (demonstrating dexterity) was the most popular custom for women in the evening of Qixi. The longest standing way to “plead skills” was to speedily thread a needle under moonlight. Young women also carved exotic flowers, animals, and unusual birds, usually on a melon skin.
  • 2. Worshiping the weaver fairy (the star Vega), Zhinü (/jrr-nyoo/) involved a table of offerings: tea, wine, fruits, longans, red dates, hazelnuts, peanuts, and melon seeds. In the evening young women sat around the table, displaying their needlework, gazing at Vega, and praying for a good husband and a happy life. Then they’d play games or read poems until midnight.
  • 3. Honoring oxen: Children picked bunches of wild flowers and hung them on the horns of oxen in honor of the legendary ox. See below.
  • 4. People made and ate ‘Skill Fruit’ (巧果 qiǎo guǒ /chyaoww-gwor/ ‘skill fruit’): fried, thin pastries of different shapes.

Present Customs: They are much like the Valentine’s Day celebrated in the Western world like exchanging flowers, chocolates, and gifts.

Dragobete, Romania

Dragobete is a traditional Romanian holiday with Pagan roots. It is also called Cap de primavară (Beginning of Spring), Santion de primavara (Saint John of the Spring), Ioan Dragobete (John the Dragobete) or Logodnicul Pasarilor (Fiancé of Birds). This day is known as the day when the birds are betrothed as it is around this time that the birds begin to build their nests and mate.   Those that take part in the Dragobete are said to not fall sick for the rest of the year. If the weather is good, boys and girls will look for snowdrops or other plants that give meaning to love incantations for their significant other.

Dia dos Namorado, Brazil

Brazilians skip Valentines Day on February 14th and head straight to June 12th which is Dia de Namorado (Lover’s Day). Besides exchanging chocolates, glowers, and gifts; music festivals are held throughout the country. The next day June 13th is Saint Anthony’s Day. Single women observe rituals called simpatis in hope that Saint Anthony will bring them a husband or boyfriend.

 

Sources:

https://www.chinahighlights.com/festivals/double-seventh-festival.htm

https://travelguideromania.com/dragobete-day-romanian-equivalent-valentines-day/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/viator/10-valentines-day-traditi_b_9190888.html

 

February 12- About My Hometown

Well… I have 3. The place I was born, the place I moved to and partially grew up, and then the place I moved to again and currently reside in. All three places played a great role in my life.

  1. Dhaka, Bangladesh – born and raised there until I reached 1st grade. Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh.
  2. Moved to New York City, New York, USA and lived there until I entered 8th grade. Because we started from the bottom again after moving from Bangladesh, there was a lot of aspirations we had. A lot of things we wished for and dreamed of as children and as a family: a yard to play around in, a room all to myself, maybe even a house one day. All these wishes came true when we bought a house and moved to Pennsylvania 🙂 . Although I did have to leave all my friends behind 😦 .
  3. Moved to Lansdale, PA– nice little town just north of Philadelphia, PA. I started 8th grade here. I was quite disappointed when I learned that high school here starts from 10th grade whereas in NYC, it starts from 9th grade. In NYC, I had just one more year of middle school left but here, another year got added :(. And there is only one high school here, North Penn High School. Students from three middle schools come together at the high school. My graduating class included approximately 1000 students 😮. So just imagine the time it took to read everyone’s names during graduation!
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February 10- Things I Collect

  1. Coins/money of different countries of the world
  2. Shells
  3. Rocks/pebbles (I really like the smooth ones. If it feels nice, I’ll often times keep it in my pocket to calm my nerves whenever I need it.)
  4. Marbles ( I don’t really collect them as mush anymore, but I do still have a collection.
  5. Stickers, of course!
  6. Washi Tape (my new favorite)
  7. Pens (I recently received some new ones from my cousin in Bangladesh. They are Matador’s i-teen ballpoint water/oil gel pens. And they are superb! I fell in love with them when I visited Bangladesh last summer.)
  8. Pencils (Also a favorite. Plus did you know that there is a pencil haven in Manhattan, NYC? OMG, I can’t wait to visit that place. It’s called CW Enterprise and founded by Caroline Weaver. I was really excited before when I found out about it, but now I am even more excited because they have a special type of pencil that I have been looking for for a long time. It’s the HB Noris Un-Tipped Pencil –Staedtler. This pencil brings back many beautiful memories from my childhood in Bangladesh. Every time I visit Bangladesh, I always look for them. This past summer when I went, I was looking for a lot of stationary items such as oil pastels [which has another story of its own], pencils, pens, erasers, etc. My husband looked at me in awe when he saw how giddy I was just buying them. Unfortunately, in the past few years, the people of Bangladesh have started to use pens more than pencils 😦 ; so I was unable to find this specific type of pencil as well as the metal sharpeners.)
  9. Planners (Not really collect… but keep. I like to keep planners/journals because they showcase what I’ve done or what I’ve been through at any given time/moment. And sometimes it feels really nice to flip through them 🙂 ).
  10. Yu-Gi-OH cards (My brother’s going to hate me for this (^ワ^=). I still have the cards we collected as kids. I never played with mine, I just liked collecting. But he was furious, and still is furious that a) I keep them despite not playing with them and b) I don’t give it back to him. In truth they were initially his cards, but after he received a new deck, I got his previous deck which contains Dark Magician, Summoned Skull, Mystical Elf, Mammoth Graveyard, and Kuriboh, just to name a few. )

February 9- My First Job Was

My first job was as a pharmacy technician at Rite Aid. Initially, I was told I would only have to manage the till, but as soon as I started I was shown how to manage customers at pick-up, drop-off, and drive-thru. I was also shown how to manage the prescription queue, whether they came in physically or electronically. Sometimes, it would get really hectic with the orders. The customers were either + or -, depending on their mood. When I first started, I was kind of anxious about the job that during the state of Hypnagogia, I would attempt to file my blanket as I would file Monaco bags (´つヮ⊂).  The best part of this job was counting the tablets when filling the prescriptions (Trust me! It was so satisfying to count them out by 5’s) and stocking up the ScriptPro on truck day. I don’t know why but the pharmacist would always leave the stocking part for me to do. Out of everything I dealt with during the day, that was the one thing I could go back to and just be in my own world… It acted as a bit of therapy I guess. The second to last worst part was measuring the amount to input when measuring liquid medications (I hated that part). The worst part was managing the drive-thru. My stuttering made it worse to communicate with them. There were times when I really just wanted to run out there and give them the medication instead of dealing with them through the little screen (T_T).