The Road to Loving Yourself

Helping others is a very intrinsic satisfying part of life, but it is not the end all to loving yourself. To love oneself is most important in life, being selfish is not a sin, but rather is a sign of self-confidence in my opinion. It means you are comfortable in your own skin. Being selfish does not mean you are narcissistic necessarily, but rather, you are comfortable in your own skin, and you take care of yourself.

As I look around the halls, and classrooms, and departments of colleges, I see alot of burned out and tired people, whose bodies and minds are crying out for a break. Now while it’s important to work hard to support yourself, and accomplish your goals, isn’t there more to life than work? I certaintly think so. Don’t be a college burn out. Take rests, nothing is more important than your health. Believe me people, you don’t know it until you lose it, but your health and family is what counts most.

So in the long run, at the end of the day, at the end of your run, at the end of your career, and well into retirement. By not working too hard early on I believe you will accomplish more in the long run.

Season’s Greetings: Autumn in Kyoto

Fall has been a wonderful season in Kyoto. The mushi atsui (sticky hot) of summer disappeared literally over night on the equinox, the start of fall (September 23). Warm days and gradually cooler nights persisted through October, with Kyoto’s ‘fish-scale clouds’ overhead (uroko gumo Photo 1). As temperatures dropped in November, the leaves began to change (Photo 2). While I was often away from Kyoto in the summer, I was more ‘at home’ this fall in Kyoto. Marina and Ami were back in school (Photo 3) and I took the opportunity to enjoy some of Kyoto’s culture.

Fish Scale Clouds

Photo 1: Uroko Gumo (fish-scale clouds) over Sanjusangen-do (33-beam Temple), October.

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The Final Stretch

We’re in the final stretch this semester guys and I hope it has been great for all of you. Some of you will be moving on, some of have just started. But for most of you, like me, this semester has been a continuation of our time at GCC.

For me the semester always ends very different from the way I planned it, and that’s a good thing. I believe that speaks to flexibility, there are many opportunities here. I had a very tough start to my semester, and had to drop a couple classes, for me this was very tough. But you know, making changes is ok, I was able to re-group and get involved in internships, and get a lot of new experience and leadership skills. By the end of this semester I will have completed 15 credit hours, including an Internship, Communication Volunteerism, and a spot on the Forensics Speech and Debate Team. I went in a completely different direction, and it couldn’t have turned out better. I have met some incredible new people, and have put in almost 200 hours of volunteer work, which has helped boost my credibility. I would recommend using these resources at GCC, go to Counseling and Career Services and find your direction, meet with an Academic Advisor and set your plan, you will be glad you did.

Ama Dive for Namako: Sea Cucumber

Ama (women of the sea) dive for a variety of game: awabi (abalone), sazae (top snails), ise-ebi (spiny lobster) and namako (sea cucumbers). Each of these prey items have specific seasons that regulate their take to sustain their populations for future harvest. Other animals may be taken as available (e.g. tako – octopus, finfish). Seaweeds are taken in late winter. In Goza Town, Shima City, namako season begins November 20 and extends to the end of the year. Once again, Machiyo Yamashita-san, a top Ama diver, invited us to observe her at work. A previous blog post about an Ama Festival introduced Yamashita-san.

Yamashita-san was also featured in the blog diving for ise-ebi (lobster). Continue reading

The Intraverted Ramblings of a Socially Challenged, Mathematical, Logical Genius

Do we examine our explanations? Do you ever take a look around and think to yourself, why are things the way they are? In other words, do you examine your worldviews? In simple language, worldviews are just the way you look at life, and view people and society. But individually, do you ever challenge the status quo? Just because things are the way they are, certainty doesn’t mean they’re perfect. I am not claiming all of the problems of the world can be solved. But surely, if we challenge the current status quo, we can begin to filter out some of the fallacies in the societal structure. Continue reading