Where am I from? Where do I belong?

I am an international student who has learned the ways of three different cultures. The country where I born doesn’t match my passport. My ancestors came from China, but World War II tore them away from their homeland and brought them to the island of Taiwan. The culture there changed as time went on, and Chinese and Taiwanese people have grown more and more different. Some may say that the Taiwanese and Chinese cultures have no difference, but that isn’t true to me.

When I was little I was taught two languages and was told that I was Taiwanese, and then in school I spoke English. And everyone in my family holds a Canadian passport.

People often ask me if I know where I am from, and I normally tell them that I am Taiwanese but hold a Canadian passport. The truth is that I have no idea where I am from or where I belong, or which country I should love and call home.

Photo Credit: http://www.i2.cdn.turner.com

So cheap!

So I went to Santa Barbara on Saturday, and I was wondering why Marshalls has such cheap things.

Marshalls is owned by TJX companies. It is the second largest off-price fashion store in the United States and has more than 750 conventional stores including Marshalls Mega store. They also expanded into Canada and Puerto Rico.

They sell shoes, clothes and hardware with very low prices. I got a few Nike running shorts. One of them originally costs 40 dollars but I got them for 15 dollars. When I go into a Nike store, I always hesitate to buy things because they are very expensive; but at Marshalls, they are more than 50% off and I just want to spend all my money because I don’t feel like I’m wasting my money. Also, I got a pair of GUESS sandals for 30 dollars, which probably costs more than 50 dollars if I get them at an actual GUESS store.

Also, Marshalls helps American charitable organization for helping children, families; Domestic Violence Prevention, United Way, National Youth Anti-Drug Campaign, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Saint Jude’s Children’s hospital.

Environmental Policies

I often question others sanity. Chances are it is me who is insane, but on occasion it seems that others are far off their rocker.

It was proposed, years ago, to build an oil pipeline from the oil sands in Canada, all the way down to the refineries in Texas. Luckily Obama delayed the building of it, but it is still being pushed for.

The reason for the proposed pipeline is far from surprising: money. And money in all sense. It increases the price that the oil sands companies get paid, it increases the refinery work in Texas and on top of it all, with all the transport, the overall price goes up.

But it is not the bogus price hike that will come from the ludicrous transportation; it is the environmental cost.

The whole process is full of pollution and dirty business. Tons of tar and other unhealthy things are pumped into the atmosphere as well as polluting water.

Oil is great, don’t get me wrong. I wish we could just keep using oil and not worry about it. But two things make that not possible. The first is that we are quickly running out and the second is that we are destroying the planet we live on.

And yet, we have no clear cut solution. Ethanol and biodiesel have to potential to replace gasoline usage for the most part. But that requires a lot of investing in switchgrass and distilleries.

There are other potential ways around oil but they all require us to change how we live everyday. With ethanol and biodiesel, we can keep our cars the same and we would not need to come up with a whole lot of new technology.

By doing these simple things, we can work to cut our dependence on oil as well as working to make the world cleaner.

But the key thing is that we need to wake up. It is not fun to admit but we are almost out of oil. We can choose to deny the facts and face a very harsh future or we can prepare and make the transition easier.

My Passion for Volleyball

Volleyball has always been a passion of mine. I love the sound of tennis shoes scuffing against the waxed gym floor, the feeling you get when you celebrate a victory with your teammates, coming into the center of the court to cheer each other on, the release you feel when you snap that ball down onto the other side of the net, and then quickly prepare for it to come right back. I love that in volleyball, you have to always be on your toes, low and ready to play every ball. The trust and relationships that develop between you and your teammates is something truly beyond words. I cannot express the love that I have for each and every girl on my team. Volleyball is all about team work and always trusting your team mates to do their best with every ball that comes their way, but, if they make a mistake, you are right there to tell them “shake it off, we got this, good try.” I know that this sport will always be a big part of my life and i am happy to share my experience with other girls at OVS.