Tweeter: jonizzle


Sunday, July 30, 2006 by Jon

Someone once said,

"When I first came to TAF in August of 2001, I was a pessimistic, shy child. Just a few months before, my parents told me I should go to TAF to learn about my Taiwanese heritage. By these words, I hated the camp even before I got there, since I did not think that it was important to learn about Taiwan, when I lived in America. Besides, I always had the same overnight camp experience. People would already know each other, and exclude me out of everything. But something different happened when I stepped inside the doors of Oakwood Hall that first day. I actually felt welcome. When I got to my room, and found out that I actually had a letter already waiting for me inside my mailbox. It really made me feel good to know that someone was there to help me through the week.

That week, not only did I learn about my culture, I also learned how to be more outgoing and optimistic. At first, I thought that the only time we were really learning anything of importance was during speaker sessions, but I soon learned that everything I did in TAF tied together. Having a big sib to look up to, working together to do swing choir, doing different types of things in cultural workshops…they all helped me apply the lessons that I learned from the speaker sessions to real activities. Follow the good examples of elders, work together, appreciate your culture…all were things that I’d heard from my parents before, but they did not really make sense to me until I came to TAF.
It was a cram-packed week; so crammed that I forgot all about missing my parents. When they came on Friday to visit, all I could do was act cheery on the outside, but on the inside, I knew their visit meant that I would soon have to leave my beloved TAF behind.

My counselor that year was terrific. She was always happy, and always smiling. Late on the night that my parents came, she came into my room and asked me if I wanted a slice of pizza. I said no, I wasn’t hungry, and she left for what I thought would be the rest of the night. But instead, she came back a couple minutes later and asked me what was wrong, as if she could sense my feelings just by the way I was acting. I told her that I did not want to go home, and leave everyone at TAF. What she said next stayed with me throughout the years, and really helped shape up my life. Her words were such:
All this week, you’ve been learning about where you came from. About how to avoid fights, look on the brighter side, and just be an all around better person. When you get back home, try to use this new knowledge and really apply it to your every day life. Remember, it’s what’s on the inside that really matters. It’s better to be ugly but nice, than pretty but scornful.

After she said this, she noticed I was crying, and leaned over and hugged me. I was shocked. I had never in my life been given a hug before, not even by my parents. It was then that I learned yet another lesson. That even a simple gesture like a hug can leave you with a lasting impression for years to come. I loved my counselor unconditionally. She let me know that there would always be someone by my side, and she really cared about how I felt. Even though that was a long time ago, my love for her still lingers. It is unconditional.

I love being at TAF. You don’t feel like a little kid, or like you’re being treated like a kid you’re not ready to be. Everyone is accepted here. From the counselors to the campers to the activities, everything is just perfect. And I hope you think that your TAF experience has been perfect too."

In a week.

Filed under having 0 comments  
Friday, July 28, 2006 by Jon

Thanks for the birthday wishes, text messages, calls, emails, etc! And...this.

facebook. the newest expression of love.

Filed under having 0 comments  
Thursday, July 27, 2006 by Jon

My room looks sad. All of the pictures are taken down and moved out. I have 56 picture frames by the way. That's a lot of money. I haven't purchased anything other than food and gas in awhile though. Yea! And I don't plan on it cuz you know, I have too much crap.

Augustana and The Fray on Friday. Hoorah.

Lots of packing and cleaning and planning for TAF. Im excurted! IMMA GET TO PLAN SMALL GROUPS AND ROOM ASSIGNMENTS WITH ALEX TONIGHT!!! (thats no sarcasm, it really is quite a thrill to do)

Aww schucks, youre making me blush!
"Happy Birthday from the Facebook team!"


Filed under having 0 comments  
Tuesday, July 18, 2006 by Jon

Too much. Almost. But what else can ya do? So I smile.

Filed under having 0 comments  
by Jon

hahaha. fun with little people!

Filed under having 0 comments  
Monday, July 17, 2006 by Jon

After arriving at O'Hare, one of the first things Roger told me was that there was a massive heat wave in Chicago. It was on the front page of the newspaper and people were encouraged to stay hydrated and watch the elderly.

Now, it was 93 degrees yesterday in Chicago, 100 with the heat index. Last week in Taiwan, it had been up to 115 degrees. And of course, it was just normal, no massive heat index and the Taiwanese were still wearing long sleeves. Furthermore, when it dipped down to 100 degrees, I too honored the cooler temperature by wearing jeans instead of shorts.

Funny, isn't it?

Taipei: 1
Chicago: 0

Filed under having 0 comments  
Thursday, July 13, 2006 by Jon

flying through a typhoon. oohh boy...

Filed under having 0 comments  
Saturday, July 08, 2006 by Jon

On a flight from Shanghai to Beijing last week:

my dad: Oh! Hey Yao!
Yao Ming: Hello.
my dad: (pats Yao on back)

end of story.

Filed under having 0 comments  
by Jon

Today I went to lunch with some family. I got to meet my cousin's son (nephew then? or anything?) Darren. He's 2.5 years old and like most kids, loads of fun. He's bilingual! But still a kid, so random words sometimes, but he really is quite smart for his age.

My cousin, his dad, was asking him if he rememembered the time he was goofing around at the dinner table and rocked back and forth so hard that he flew forward and banged his forehead on the table. He did and he re-enacted the scene for the family. He rocked forward, banged his head on the table lightly, said "and then I cried", and started fake crying, and then said "I was stupid!". Oh man, he should go into acting if he can do it already at 2 years old.

One time, we asked him if he knew my name, and even though we had told him it was Jonathan earlier, he kept calling me Alex over and over again.

"You is Alex, me is zebra! YOU ALEX, ME ZEBRA!" "Alex?" "Alex! Lion! ROOOOOOAAARRR!" We then realized he was saying I am Alex the Lion from the movie Madagascar and he is the Eddie Murphy Zebra.

Ok enough talking about cute baby cousin.

I've decided I'm going to try to be uber-Taiwanese and wear my jeans outside before I leave, regardless of how hot it is. This is part of my trifecta of being like a "real" native to the TW, the criterium being:

1) Developing a liking for stinky tofu (check).
2) Having soup instead of some other drink to quench your thirst during a meal (check).
3) Wearing long clothing in the summer (still to do).

Filed under having 0 comments  
Wednesday, July 05, 2006 by Jon

the trip so far:

Berkeley dinner.

People on the OCAC trip.

Hooters Taipei for the novelty of it all.

Fun with e-cards at a museum.

Mom's side except for an aunt and a few cousins.

Very pretty cousins! Second from left looks like Emily Huang. I deduced the one on the right is an example of what I would look like if I was a girl. Like how I just called myself pretty? She also looks like Nancy Chen. I think that's why I love Nancy so much.

Batting cages with Joyce.

And finally, I was taking this picture of a guy on the MRT who looked ridiculously metro, and I thought it was funny. The hat, the doorag, the khaki overalls with one pantleg rolled up and one shoulder undone. And of course, the huge purse to top it all off. He had the stereotypical gay lisp too though. It applies across races! But then, the girl to the left in the picture asked him for his number as I was taking the photo. You can see her getting her address book out.

Other highlights include hanging out with my dad's side, a Taiwan league baseball game, and a foot massage.

Filed under having 0 comments  
Saturday, July 01, 2006 by Jon

ill post some pictures up soon.

Filed under having 0 comments