The Child’s Advocate- Lessons from Queen of Katwe

Two weeks ago, I went to see the Queen of Katwe at the movies and if you haven’t seen it, you should plan to. Surprisingly for a Disney production, it sheds light on the stark realities children in a Ugandan slum face and the immense potential of coaches. There’s also a book for Queen of Katwe. Click here for the link.

The movie reminded me of a question one of my work colleagues posed during a meeting- “Who is the child’s advocate?”

When you’re in an environment where parents are too busy or lack the cultural capital to  advocate for their child(ren), is the teacher then to champion the child’s case? In a classroom of 30+ students where a teacher has no assistant, do you think the first thing on their mind will be to be each individual child’s advocate? Or will they naturally lean towards the “good” students?Read More »

Life Lessons I’ve Picked up from Cooking

I’ve found cooking to be therapeutic and life changing and today I’ll be sharing some of the lessons I’ve garnered in my cooking adventures- perseverance, creativity, organization, curiosity. I believe cooking is a wonderful way to teach children excellent life skills. Enjoy!

1. PERSEVERANCE- I’ve learned to be persistent and comfortable in trying new recipes multiple times before I finally get it right. After trying that recipe once and ending up with a total kitchen disaster, do you just prematurely end your cooking adventures? Or do you reflect on what you did wrong and course correct the next time? I tried this really moist and flavorful poultry meatballs recipe about twice before I got it right. Now, I have it down to a skill and I’ve added my own twist to it. Instead of using only ground turkey, I combine 1/2 part of ground turkey and 1/2 part of ground chicken when I’m replicating the recipe. Check it out here.

2. CREATIVITY– When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! What happens when you  have baking powder instead of baking soda to make that mouthwatering cherry scones you saw on Pinterest?

cherry-scones
Cherry Scones. Source: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/130293/Cherry-scones

You learn how to make the baking powder work for you. Just so you know, you can add some lemon juice to the baking powder as a substitute for baking soda. For more info, check here. Read More »

3 Energizing Quotes for Job Seekers

henry-ford-quote-whether-you-think-you-can-or-think-you-can_t-you_re-right1-934x1024

Just take a few minutes to process the above quote. Your mind is powerful. Use it to your advantage. During my long job search period, I’ve found Bible verses and quotes to be helpful. In this post, I share some of these quotes in bite-size portions. I pray and hope that they speak to you and encourage you to put your best foot forward and not to settle for less.

 

  1. Don’t put a limit where God hasn’t put one. – Kent Munsey, City Church Chicago

My pastor said this once as he preached at church. This quote reminds me to dream big and take off my self-imposed limits in my job search.

10817693_983382175030247_249021126_n
Source: Pinterest

Always remember that the only thing standing between you and that opportunity is YOU! Ask yourself,

  • “In what areas am I putting a limit where there shouldn’t be one?”
  • Am I second-guessing myself?

I know most job descriptions have giant wish lists of the ideal candidate. If you believe you can do the job and don’t have all of the listed qualifications, I say apply. Great things happen when we take the limits off ourselves.

2. We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. -Albert EinsteinRead More »

What My Big Chop Taught Me About Beauty

To all young women or girls reading this, I want you to know these 2 things:

beautiful-love-pretty-quotes-quote-favim-com-591678
Source: s6.favim.com
  1. You are beautiful, no matter whether you have short hair, long hair or anything in between. Don’t wait for anyone to tell you this before you believe it.
  2. Spend time building your inward beauty because that is long lasting.

This post is a brief reflection on my thoughts on beauty and my transition from relaxed hair to natural hair.

On opening the door to his room, he saw me and immediately stopped in his tracks. “What happened to you? You just gave me a shock. You cut your hair?” my brother asked with surprise. Anyway, your new look suits you.” A few hours before, I told him I was off to the salon to figure out a plan for my hair. After some initial consultations with the barber and Google Images, I decided on the spur of the moment to cut off my permed/relaxed hair, to reveal my natural hair undergrowth. For about 5 months, I had refused to introduce chemicals into my hair, by way of perming. My hair had become impossible to manage with 2 different textures.

I felt a cocktail of emotions – excited yet nervous and also uncertain as to whether I would like my new look, as the barber cut off my relaxed hair which I had carefully guided to grow for about 7 years. As I cut my hair, I muttered Psalm 139:16 to myself, “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” to encourage myself.  It’s been 2 days since my big chop and I’ve used the time to reflect on what beauty has come to mean for today’s young woman.

Read More »

Staying Positive while Job Searching

A beautiful quote I came across which really encouraged me as I thought about rejection and failures.

 “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”—Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The job search process may seem long and dreary but there are useful lessons to be learnt from it, only if you allow yourself. I’ve personally learned the importance of waiting patiently and preparing yourself for the next opportunity.

I’ve received some rejections but the question is should you take it personally? We need to view our rejections as separate from our core. It shouldn’t define us. Read More »

Musings on the development and nonprofit world

changeI’ve been so busy with school and life in general that I’ve failed to update you on what’s been happening with me these past months. I must say that my International Education Program here at Penn is intellectually stimulating and the other electives I’m taking always challenge me and moves me out of my comfort zone. This week has been crazy with three presentations and a paper due but God has seen me through and I’m extremely grateful. Here are a few things that have come up for me from discussions with friends, classes etc which I would like to share.

I went to a talk today where Dan Pallotta spoke and asked the question: What is wrong with doing good and doing well in your business? Most of the time people think that if you work for a non-profit and are trying to improve people’s lives, you should not receive a decent salary, even equivalent to that which a for-profit employee receives. Why is this the case? Read More »

Be Content

It’s 11:02 pm at night and I just finished watching the 2014 movie, Mom’s Night Out. After a long day at school, I watched the movie just so I could unwind and relax. Little did I know that I was going to leave with a profound message. A group of moms are so burnt out with their motherly duties such that they decide to go out one night to have a good time. The night turns out to be full of adventure and lessons too. My main takeaway was that you can’t stop being a mom. It’s a 24hr job. But, you do need to carve out time to take care of YOURSELF. Read More »

In reminiscence…. a better perspective of the world and myself?

I feel great to be back to blogging regularly (I hope). Once you stop writing, it takes a lot of effort to get back into the act. Since my return to the US from Hong Kong, I have had several moments of reflection about my study abroad experience which I hope to share with you in this blog post. As expected, I’ll reminisce a bit and then get to business.

I miss HK in many ways- food, atmosphere, Cantonese (main language in HK), the high rise buildings etc. To think about my favorite HK dessert and remind myself that the dessert place where I bought it is not close by, makes me sad. Read More »

Le Chinois et moi: Notre voyage ensemble

English version of title: Chinese and I: Our journey together

“Oh no! I don’t think I can live with you. You’re just too hard to get along with. I really want to stop spending time with you.” These were my sentiments just about two days into my Introduction to Mandarin class. After my first class, I just couldn’t imagine myself being able to distinguish between the 4 tones in Mandarin. It wasn’t like I was required to take Chinese while abroad for my class requirements. I really felt like giving up and dropping the class but something just kept me going. God gave me a pep talk and reminded me that I could do it.

I put in a lot of effort into studying Chinese. For me, the hardest part was remembering the Chinese characters for different words. Read More »