Archive for November, 2008

The West Wing

November 24, 2008

I am so excited! I finally had the opportunity to see the West Wing of the White House this semester. Many thanks go to my friend for making it happen!

The first time I went at the beginning of this semester, it turned out to be the epitome of a perfect day. It was slightly cool, the sun was shining brightly, and the sky was a cloudless, gentle blue. I went with several friends from home who were here visiting DC. We got a tour of the East Wing first and then we got a tour of the West Wing.

I have been on the East Wing tour several times already, but it never gets old seeing the bold elegance displayed in the architecture and interior decorating that permeate every detail of the East Wing.

This was my first time, however, to see the West Wing–the Oval Office, Rose Garden, Press Briefing Room, South Lawn (from the inside), and so many other neat things.

So here, I will share some pictures from that first time in the West Wing. The second time I saw the West Wing, I chose not to take pictures because I was completely drenched from head to toe. I am not kidding. My clothes were dripping and my feet were practically swimming in my dress shoes. Oh well, it was quite nice getting a better view of the Oval Office the second time around and getting to see my friend’s family again, making the trek through the pouring rain from the Metro stop to the White House well worth it.

Me in front of the White House
Me in front of the White House
The West Wing (Front Entrance)

The West Wing (Front Entrance)

Me in the Rose Garden

Me in the Rose Garden

The Rose Garden was much smaller than I expected, but it was beautiful nonetheless.
The Outside of the West Wing, looking from the Rose Garden

The Outside of the West Wing, looking from the Rose Garden

The Press Briefing Room

The Press Briefing Room

 After the White House tours, my friend took us to see his old office where he worked last year and to look around in the Eisenhower Office Building next door to the White House. Here are a few pictures from there:

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This was President Nixon’s office during his Presidency. He did not like working out of the Oval Office, so he moved his office here. This is also where the Watergate scandal took place.

Alice in Wonderland Staircase
Alice in Wonderland Staircase

I thought these stairs were interesting. They reminded me of something you would see in “Alice in Wonderland.” These were also in the EOB.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the mini tour! I wish I could post pictures of the Oval Office, but cameras are not allowed in that part of the West Wing. You can see photos of it on the White House website though. I think Mrs. Laura Bush did a great job decorating and picking out colors 🙂

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fall semester of 2008 has flown by!

November 23, 2008

Wow! Can you believe that the fall semester has been flying by so fast? It is almost December and I am about to be done with the fall semester. While I was in high school, I used to think time went really slowly, but here in college, time flies. This semester has had its ups and downs with my school life, sports life, and social life.

            When I first came to Gallaudet University, I didn’t know anyone except one childhood friend. I went to New Student Orientation (NSO) week with my mom. It was pretty hard to leave my mom because I knew it would not be the same and I was pretty close to my mom. I didn’t say the final “good-bye” to my mom and my family back in California but I said “see you later” because I knew I will see them again when I get back to California for the winter break.

            The first month was pretty tough because I was trying to get used to being on my own without my mom being there. I still keep in contact with my mom and some of my family members. It is really nice to see my mom through videophone (VP) but it is still not the same because I can’t give a physical hug to her or my family. Like other people said, the first semester of the freshmen year in college is always hard.

            While the first month passed, I kept myself busy with sports. I decided to join the Gallaudet University Women’s Soccer Team this fall because it would keep me busy and keep me motivated in school. I never had any experience with organized soccer, but I did play soccer for fun. Initially, I was a forward on the soccer team, but I didn’t like it because it doesn’t keep me busy and the only thing I can do is to make some goals and try not to pass the defenders or it will be called for off sides. I only played two or three games as a forward then after that, I changed to a defender. I like to play as a defender because it takes a lot of sprints to prevent the opponents from shooting the ball to the goal line. I realized how much fun soccer is and how much I love to play even though it’s my first year. I am planning to play soccer for the next three years.

            After soccer season was over, I transferred to the women’s basketball team. I was not able to play for a while because of my injuries from soccer. I started later than my other teammates and I started on bad terms with them. But after a week, I started to bond with everyone on the team. One day, I was not able to practice with the team because of the injuries leftover from soccer. I am no longer on the women’s basketball team because of length of time it will take to heal my injuries. I have a sore Achilles tendon, shin splints, and arch pain. So it is not worth being on the team this year. It was my dream being on the Gallaudet University team since I was 12 years old. I am planning to play basketball next year with the skills and the talent that I have and I’ll be able to prove to the basketball coaches that I can play and be 100% healthy.

            It is almost Thanksgiving break and almost everyone is gone for the holidays. I wish I could go home and stay with my parents for the holidays but I can’t because it is expensive to buy the tickets from Washington DC to California. I am planning to stay here on campus and go to one of my family relative’s house in Maryland for thanksgiving. It won’t be the same without my family because I am used to my family’s tradition. Anyway, I will be back in California in 23 days to be with my family and my friends. I can’t wait for that day to come because I deeply miss them.  I love them so much and nothing else can replace my family and my friends. J

 

 

 

 

 

Draconian IT Policies

November 19, 2008

The IT department can kiss my butt. Since I last brought my laptop to school, they’ve started requiring XP Service Pack 3 to be installed in order to use the wifi network. It took a trip to IT services to figure out that’s what they wanted me to install in order to connect, and I promptly rejected the idea. I told them I would either dual-boot with Linux or just not use the network. And I will probably do the latter, although not having Zotero at school will be a pain.

But see, I’m a nerd. I’m a geek. Expecting a geek to follow your ridiculous IT policy is like expecting a model to eat a hamburger. It just isn’t going to happen. If you read blogs about Cisco Clean Access, you’ll see people decrying its ability to let IT administrators control and monitor your system. That’s exactly my problem. I used to be an IT professional myself. I am not about to let somebody else mess with my stuff. I’ve bowed to the CCA demons long enough…no more!

On the bright side, I did see a sign indicating that the bookstore has Office 2007 for $15 (I paid $60 online last year) and Vista for $25.

Student Pricing

November 19, 2008

I am a certified interpreter as well as being a Gallaudet student. In 2009, the RID conference will be in Philadelphia, which is inexpensive for me to visit, so I figured I’d go. There were two registration levels – member ($350) and student ($200). Now, RID has a membership level called student; the dues are less and you must prove you’re currently enrolled in an interpreter training program. But student members at still members, so I thought maybe, just maybe, the student rate for the conference might apply to non-student members of RID. After all, I only work during breaks, so my budget is really tight. I emailed them to ask and I was told that only student members get to pay the student rate for the conference. I wrote back and said thanks, guess I won’t be coming to the conference then.

I guess I see it as kind of unfair. A student rate is discounted because students don’t have as much money, not because students derive less benefit from whatever they’re buying with the discount. It’s dumb to insist someone pay more in this situation. But what can I do? Nothing really. I’ll miss the conference and the opportunity to network with other interpreters. Life goes on, I guess…I’ll just try to forget that it’s so close to home. Pretend it’s in Hawaii or something.

Best movie trailer ever!

November 16, 2008

Wow, I’m at loss for words. First off I want to mention that I got back in my dorm hours ago from the end of the year soccer party with my teammates and coaches. I had so much fun, they’re like a family to me. Well our coach handed out awards for each of us. I love what I got, BEST WIZARDY. I got back to my dorm, and I was pretty bored because I didn’t want to leave. So I decided to surf the net and got on Muggletnet.com (best website in my opinion) I saw that they released another new trailer for The Half Blood Prince (HBP) I knew I had to check it out. I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. I was so excited I wanted to cry. this is the comment I wrote…

WOW! OMFG! I cannot believe how good this trailer is. I almost cry, especially after seeing Hermione crying,  Snape casting the Avada Kedavra curse, and harry yelling, “FIGHT BACK YOU COWARD!”. Ron is so HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I cannot wait, damn WB, making us wait this long. When is July going to be here? Tmr? Imagine if the movie were to actually come out on the 21st instead of in July? I’m so excited about this movie, and this is all I want to talk about. And the funny thing is, my soccer coach awarded me for BEST WIZARDY. And I thought this was perfect because I came back to my dorm and I came across the new trailer!  IT’S SO PERFECT! I’m Deaf too, and I wish I could understand everything they said in the trailer. Big thanks to G_Wizzle for the words, you’re not only helping one person, you’re helping loads of people!

 

 I’m such a hardcore Harry Potter fan. I remember when Harry Potter was everywhere, school supplies, backpack, lunchboxes, and all those things. I would be like, “I’m sick of Harry Potter. ” Til one day my friend begged me to try reading the first book, I finally gave it. So I gave it a try, read the Socerer’s Stone, and I fell in love with it since then. I continued to read book after book after book until the 5th one, The Goblet of Fire because the other books weren’t published yet. I started going to the midnight release parties at nearby bookstores for the last two books, I even wore my Harry Potter costume; the robe, Gryffindor tie, white top, black skirt, black tights, black shoes, and last, the most important thing for a wizard, a wand. All my friends know how addicted I am to Harry Potter. I went to all the midnight screenings, even without closed captions. Harry Potter is the only movie(s) I will watch without closed captions. And I know the stories because I read the books. I’m actually looking forward to The Beedle of the Bard by J.K. Rowling, and I will of course go to the midnight release party, but this time in D.C. I’m just sad that it’s going to be a long wait until the movie which is coming out in July. At least if gives us something to look forward to for a while, but it’s trying me MAD! Barbarous isn’t it?  I read loads of comments on mugglenet about their reactions on the trailer, wow, none of them were bad, not ONE.

1. Everyone is just as anxious as I am,

2. even lots of them wanted to cry,

3.will even see Twlight just to see the trailer on the screen,

4.show up to Twlight in Harry Potter outfit,

5. watch the trailer over and over,

6.felt really emotional to it,

7. is more than happy that the movie is really following and being faithful to the book this time,

8.reckon it’s the best trailer for a movie EVER,

9. wish that they didn’t have to wait until July and that the movie was still coming out on Nov 21st instead.

To be frank, I have been having a hard time getting myself to read other books that’s not written by J.K. Rowling. I even tried to read a few pages of Twlight at the bookstore. I couldn’t really get into it, I know the book is really good, I will read it eventually, just that even after a year I’m still going through a Harry Potter withdrawal. Okay, enough ramblings on Harry Potter.

Get your copies of THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD Dec 4th, look for midnight release parties at bookstore near you.

Here’s the link to watch the HALF BLOOD PRINCE trailer… http://www.mugglenet.com/app/news/show/1973/page/3

ASL Music Videos

November 15, 2008

I thought I’d dedicate this post to a few ASL videos I found on youtube.com which I absolutely love. 

The first batch are done by an ASL interpreter named Bjorn Storm, his youtube username is st0rmfx, and he is a breath of fresh air compared to the rookie ASL students butchering your favorite songs. I especially love how he puts everything into it, with his costumes, editing, and makeup. My personal favorite? His interpretation of “This is the New S__t” by Marilyn Manson.

By the way, here is the link to his channel on youtube, you can find lyrics to some of his songs: http://www.youtube.com/user/st0rmfx

Here are the three he’s done:

 “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley 

 

“Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas (featuring Keith Wann-ASL comedian, and Nyke Prince)

 

“This is the New S__t” by Marylin Manson (explicit)

 

This next batch is also done by an ASL interpreter named Michael, his youtube username is Captainl0ver. I personally don’t think he’s as good as the one above, but this guy is still awesome! My favorite is “Break Ya Neck” by Busta Rhymes, I can’t believe an interpreter can sign this fast! No offense to any interpreters out there.

Channel at youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Captainl0ver

Rihanna’s “Disturbia”

 

“Break Ya Neck” by Busta Rhymes

 

 

Hope you enjoyed the videos!

Cheers,

Heather

is it going to end the world?

November 14, 2008

Have you wondered if a sport’s teammates will stay together as friends after the season ends?

I have been wondering about that a thousand times since our soccer season ended on October 30, 2008. We ended our season with 18 losses. We did not win any games this season, but there were two close games that we should have won. The women’s soccer team has not won a soccer game since October 4, 2006.

I have been thinking about my team staying together and keeping our trust levels up until next fall 2008 because i think it would be easier for us to keep our bond strong if we stay in contact with each other. I hope we can still have an end of the season party with our team even though our last game was October 30, 2008. After that party, I still  hope that we can go out to have fun as a team once a week for the rest of semester and when we get back from Christmas break.

Here are few pictures of my team at our last game which was the coldest night we have played this season:

Freedom and the Law

November 14, 2008

I do not want you to misunderstand me. I love my country. I love America. I love the idea that the United States of America represents freedom and the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

America was founded on the principles of freedom at its best. Freedom of speech; freedom of the press; freedom to bear arms; freedom to congregate; freedom of religion; freedom from the government establishing a national church and religion; freedom from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Are these freedoms honored now as much as they were then? Do we still even have all these freedoms? If so, does everyone have these freedoms or only a select group of people?

Consider.

Freedom of speech: kids may not pray or mention God in public schools. College students may not write papers that refer to the Bible and God as the ultimate source of truth and may not use the Bible as a credible source to support their ideas (I, personally, have experienced this on many occasions). Teachers may not mention God or discuss creationism or Intelligent Design (or any other theory for that matter other than Evolution) in the public classroom without facing serious consequences. Students may not question their professors or what they are being taught (for an example, read my two “Expelled” blogs).

Freedom of the press: while I do have the freedom to blog and publish whatever my heart desires, I have on multiple occasions been insulted and demeaned for writing from my point of view and for mentioning my beliefs. “You poor uneducated person! You should go to college and learn something,” they say. It is always a battle of intelligence. If you believe in God, you are automatically labeled and stereotyped as uneducated. Who cares if you have an AA, BA, MA, or PhD? However, if you do not believe in God, you are credited as educated no matter if you have a degree or not.

For another example, I was once asked to write a memoir for a college English class. I mentioned God two or three times in my over-thirty-page-long autobiography. During peer review, one student commented, “I see that you are a follower of Jesus Christ.” On the other hand, another said, “Leave God out of it. God should be reserved for jokes, not to be given credit for events in your life.” My professor then said, “See? You say you want to witness to these people but what do you have to say to that?” My only response was that I am simply a messenger. That is all that God has called me to be. It is up to the receiver of the message as to whether or not they accept it. I cannot be held responsible for someone’s personal decisions.

While I had been given permission, and even encouraged, to write this memoir from my perspective, my perspective was unacceptable to both this one student and my professor, who I must graciously credit though for humbly apologizing later after my response. But why? Why am I not allowed to give credit to Whom I believe credit is due? Why am I not allowed to believe that there is only One Way to heaven and that Way being Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection? The other students expressed their atheistic or other religious beliefs and it was perfectly acceptable and even commended. But mine were not.

So, I must ask again. Do we still have the freedoms mentioned in the Constitution and Bill of Rights? If so, does everyone have these freedoms or only a select group of people?

I would like to propose an answer to these questions: no.

While we do still (thankfully) have many of these freedoms, some of them are slowly being taken away. And who are they being taken away from? Bible-believing, followers of Jesus Christ.

Why? Why do people have such a hatred for God, the Bible, and Christians? People speak of equality, of acceptance, of tolerance. Why aren’t Christians tolerated? Why isn’t the Bible accepted? Why doesn’t God get at least as much honor and respect as Buddha, Muhammad, or Gandhi?

I have only one answer.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me [Jesus] first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.” John 15:18-19, NIV

“I [Jesus] have given them your [God’s] word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:14-15, NIV

“Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.” 1 John 3:13, NIV

First Year Student Trip

November 12, 2008

Well, Gallaudet has unleashed its newest marketing tool on an unsuspecting student body. Free international travel for first-year students…and first-years ONLY. I had seen the promo about this over the summer, and I was hoping that I could get in on it somehow. But no, it is only for new students. Doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or a transfer student, but this has to be your first year at Gallaudet. They’re going to Costa Rica for a week! I’m sure space is limited…Gallaudet is paying for almost everything. The student only has to cover some meals, souvenirs, etc. I am so disappointed that they didn’t start this program a year ago.

Obama and My Christmas Obsession

November 10, 2008

Before I get into my blog I have to, of course, acknowledge Obama’s inspiring win (of course I voted for him) last Tuesday. I especially loved his speech and also admired McCain’s graceful sportsmanship. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all be like this? And now, after all the election ads on TV have gone, I’m realizing I miss them, it required me to use my brain more than a stereotypical, mindless ad of a gorgeous housewife looking for a better way to clean her bathroom.

And now… onto a subject which I have been obsessed with since birth… CHRISTMAS!!

*Before I start, I just wanted to say that I do not mean to make it seem that I think Christmas is superior to all winter holidays, I respect all holidays and only mean to explain my obsession of the holiday I have been raised with*

So… in my house, we have this little closet under the stairs that is chock-full of Christmas stuff. When I’m home, I can barely resist opening the door and taking a big whiff of that Christmassy smell, you know, the one that’s kind of apple-ish, cinnamon-ish, pine tree-ish. All year I gaze at that closet, anticipating the day when I can finally break out the numerous tupperware boxes and go crazy with decorations. 

I was home for Halloween for an 80th birthday party/family reunion for my Grandmother, which I really enjoyed, by the way. And since I wasn’t going home for Thanksgiving, I wanted to use the weekend to decorate the house with all our Christmas stuff which I otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to do. But alas.. my mother and father looked at me with wide eyes and mouthed “NO” in such a way that I knew better than to pester them.

Now there’s Christmas decorations in stores, Christmas ads on TV, and I’m going nuts. I need to open a tupperware box, gaze at the decorations my family has had since 1989, and place them strategically around the house while listening to the Pointer Sisters singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. 

I guess I’ll just have to be satisfied with my weekly trip to the Christmas section at Target.

Cheers,

Heather