Circle K International at Cal State Fullerton

SEVENTEEN: A Kim Nguyen Dissertation

OKAY LISTEN UP HERE YALL every since November in 2018 i FELL in love with the group called SEVENTEEN (all caps cause you gotta scream their name out because they deserve your love and attention). Okay so i honestly first got to know them through a dance group called ECLIPSE (honestly you should check them out they’re really great) and the song they covered was “Oh my!” and it is quite frankly, one of the best songs in existence. It is truly what you would call a “summer-bop”. However, i’m not here to educate y’all on their supreme songs but on the members themselves. A little background on SEVENTEEN is that they are not, in fact, made of 17 members but 13 members. SEVENTEEN stems from their formula that they consist of 13 members + 3 units + 1 team. It is really a well thought out idea and quite unique. Their fanbase name is called CARATS so it is as if they are saying seventeen carat diamond. Below i will include detailed descriptions on each member. I hope that after reading this, you will feel more enlightened about the group called SEVENTEEN and maybe become a part of their fanbase to help lead them to SEVENTEEN WORLD DOMINATION.

Choi Seung cheol (Stage name; SCOUPS)

He is the leader of the group and honestly cares so much for all the members. Once, in an interview he told the staff interviewing him that he actually cares more about the members than the company itself and if that doesn’t speak volumes about his love for them i don’t know what does. He also always mentions that he wants the group to continue to do what they love. He is aware that he actually acts kind of immature at times; during an episode of Going SVT he had to dress up as a prince and high five the actors in a haunted house. It was quite silly because he’d get scared so easily but would immediately do a 180 and ask for a high five so cutely. Despite his cuteness, do not underestimate his powerful charisma when he is on stage; as a rapper her certainly has a voice that is unique amongst rappers (please check out his part in Un Haeng il Chi). Additionally, as a leader he looks out for the members by taking up their opinions to the company and making sure that their voices are heard. This is one of the reasons the members see him as a leader figure not just because he’s the oldest. Recently he was having very hard times dealing with mental issues but has recently come back to support the team as a full 13 member group again; please support him!

Yoon Jeong han (Stage name: Jeonghan)

Jeonghan is one of the vocal singers in the group and is known for looking like an angel. HIs visuals are no joke but do not let that deceive you because he is a troublemaker in disguise. He pranks all the members; he once convinced Minghao that clams and oysters were used as currency in a small village. Despite that he really cares for and supports his members by always lending a listening ear. Some members see him as the mom of the group and always go to him when they’re troubled. He also is the member with the least amount of stamina but he works extremely hard to keep up with choreographies and i’m so proud of him.

Joshua Hong (Stage name: Joshua)

Joshua is actually a member from LA. He speaks fluently in english and is usually one of their translators during their US tours. He’s also a part of the vocal unit and has a sort of raw voice when he sings. It’s very natural and pleasant to listen to especially in the song “Home”. He can be a little of a bully towards the members along with Jeonghan. One time Dino, the maknae of the group, said that he never felt Joshua’s love because he never showed it in the first place and secretly Joshua pinched him to change his words. Really though, he is such a kind older brother and even peeled DIno’s shrimps for him during the world tour. Joshua also has his really funny moments like when he raps on the spot it is truly crackhead moments for him. He’s also skilled in playing the guitar and an iconic moment of his was during his trainee days when he was listening to “Give me Everything” by Pitbull and said everyone should drink more water not alcohol. 

Wen Junhui (Stage name: Jun)

Jun is kind of an outlier in the group because sometimes he can be insanely crackhead but also really quiet. Sometimes he updates his fans about the randomest things like buying a grill specifically for sausages. He’s a part of the performance unit but when he sings his voice is so smooth and his chinese songs don’t get enough love. He is actually a really skilled dancer because he’s so fluid in his movements. Jun adds so much character to the group with his loud voice and childlike nature; Jeonghand described a moment when Jun refused to stop stomping around the apartment because he felt like it. Wen Junhui is also plagued by the curse of the logo because whenever he’s in a group interview with his members, the logo always covers his face without fail.

Lee Ji hoon (Stage name: Woozi)

Woozi is the cutest little bub in  EXISTENCE his voice is ethereal and you will not regret listening to Bye Bye. He literally looks the face of a stingray SEARCH IT UP. He’s the vocal team’s leader and he heckin well deserves that title. He’s also the mini producer and lyricist for most of the group’s songs and has over 60+ songs under his name. He truly is a master at what he does and he loves/hates his members so much. This is because he’s the cutest one in the group and he knows it so everyone dotes on him. However he really does have a love/hate relationship with Hoshi because he’s always rejecting his affection but sometimes he can be soft to him. He’s also famous for flipping his rice and eating a bunch but the one thing he’s most known for in the group is how tiny he is. He really is a smol boi. Please look out for him.

Kwon Soon young (Stage name: Hoshi)

This man is the epitome of crackhead culture. Hoshi is the life of the group and ⅓ of the gag trio he’s a part of.He’s one of the funniest members and one of his most hilarious moments is when he tried to sing “All of my life” by Park Won karaoke version and i kid you not i died laughing and came back to life. He’s completely whipped for Woozi but Woozi only wants to stay away from this fool. He’s a little bit of an attention seeker and he heckin deserves all the attention he wants. He also has a penchant for asking for a bite of food from all the members. He’s the leader of the performance unit and his dancing is so good it gives you goosebumps. Please check out his choreo for “Bad” by Christopher. He also has a slogan called 10:10 because his eyes look like the hands of a clock when they point to 10:10. He is super obsessed with tigers and thinks he is a tiger but he is really a hamster;please support the word Horanghae (tiger and love mashed together) because he loves to use it.

Jeon Won woo (Stage name: Wonwoo)

Wonwoo is really a soft boy. He’s part of the Hip Hop unit and even though he’s a rapper, he’s so quiet and shy. He loves using sweater paws and wears glasses because he can’t see to save his life seriously. He says he can see you but he probably won’t even make out your facial features. He read a lot and loves to learn about everything. He’s such a bookworm and an introvert but all the members remember to include him in everything they do. He’s super smart and witty and you would really love him once you get to know him. His rapping can be so soft because of his low voice but his singing is also to die for as well.

Xiu Minghao (Stage name: THE8)

Now this MAN is THE man. He’s actually a baby. His cuteness stemmed from the day he said “dirty dirty jam jam” and it’s so cute I swear, search it up. He has so many charms and so many things he’s passionate about. For example, he loves dancing (which is why he is an important part of the performance unit), painting (truly an abstract genius), fashion (AA FREAKING FASHION ICON), and drinking wine (we love an alcoholic boy). Anyway, there’s so much to love about him, I assure you there’s not a single part about him you won’t love. However sometimes he can act too mature and cry to himself so please take care of this boy. He’s also known for this iconic moment when he called Hoshi out for not taking his idea and only agreed when the choreographer suggested it. He always gives love to DK and is best friends with Mingyu. His giggle is also the cutest thing about him; watch the compilations I swear it’s adorable.

Kim Mingyu (Stage name: Mingyu)

Mingyu is the tallest boy of the group and he is basically a big giant overgrown puppy. He’s always so happy and joyful and full of laughter. He’s also like a child still growing up because he’s so intrigued about many things and loves to learn about new things. He’s recently into photography and production and just released a special video for “Snapshoot”, please watch it!! He’s also part of the hip hip unit and his duality between his puppy mode and sexy mode is insane. He’s such a big part of the group’s energy and once when his hair was dyed red, he sweat so much from his excitement and performance that the dye was dripping down his head as if he was bleeding. His iconic moment was when he dyed his hair orange and everyone mentioned that he looked like a cheeto. Iconic. Mingyu is also so perfect for modeling because of his body proportions and is also one heck of a visual. However, this tiny boy is so insecure about how tan his skin is because koreans usually have pale skin but he looks so beautiful with lightly tanned skin so please support him.

Lee Seok Min (Stage name: DK/Dokyeom)

DK is literally the sunshine and there can only be one sun so that planet has to go. Sorry, I don’t make the rules here. Ok but seriously, DK is always happy and full of life. The members describe him as one of the kindest beings in the world because of how much he cares. He’s a part of the vocal team and is one of the main singers of the group because his voice is just heavenly. Just listen to “Fallin Flower” YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. He’s also so so emotional and you can tell just from his singing because his eyebrows are always showing how much effort and soul he puts into his singing. I swear he’s so pure and loveable that you can’t help but smile at him. His laugh is also so loud but adorable and he’s such a gullible little boy that Jeonghan and Joshua can’t help but prank him. He’s also part of the gag trio and is so hilarious from his dolphin noises to his pigeon imitations. All the members want to protect him because he can be so fragile. During his trainee days he was crying because he thought his singing wasn’t good enough and he still thinks like that to this day but we all know it’s not true. Please look out for him.

Boo Seung Kwan (Stage name: Seungkwan)

Seungkwan is the last of the gag trio and honestly deserves the title variety king. As you may know, Korea is known for holding variety shows such as Knowing bros, King of masked singer, Unexpected Q, and many more. Well, Seungkwan has been on 90% of them and always gets popular for it because he’s so funny and witty. He’s so knowledgeable about the trends and pop culture so it’s easy for him to get along with a lot of celebrities. He always makes the members laugh with his jokes but sometimes his jokes can be so bad that none of the members react and it’s so funny when he’s embarrassed about it. He’s also a main vocalist in the vocal team and his voice is so powerful. He’s known for doing a lot of the high notes in the group’s songs and he is a vocal king seriously. When he gets upset, it’s really funny because he always looks like he wants someone to hold him back. He’s such a diva and a sassy boy and isn’t afraid to put himself in the spotlight. However, he can be a little insecure about his looks because people think he’s chubby but honestly he’s just average and still looks amazingly good. Please continue to watch over him as he gets even more viral around the world.

Hansol Chwe  (Stage name: Vernon)

OK this dude is whack. He is like the unknown being in the world because he can be so weird sometimes. He’s just being his own person and living life the way he heckin wants and no one can stop him. One time he came in a completely colorful tie-dye outfit and with red-tinted glasses and said he couldn’t see what the members were writing because they were using red marker. I swear he’s so weird but it’s so funny. He’s known for looking like a miniature Leonardo Dicaprio but he doesn’t like being compared to him. Honestly, he looks like a prince when he dresses up and you should search up masked vernon because he’s so hot. I also love his rapping; his voice is so unique and makes everything flow so smoothly like his rap is very different from people who just spit words because he has this tone about it where it’s almost like his talking/singing. He’s also one of the babies of the group that needs to be taken care of because he can space out so easily and forget everything he needs to do so the members have to watch out for him.

Lee Chan (Stage name: Dino)

This baby is known as the FUTURE OF KPOP AND DON’T YOU DARE FORGET IT. He truly is such a soft boy and deserves so much attention. Hist most iconic moments are with Jeonghan when Jeonghan used to always ask him “who’s baby are you” and he would reply with “jeonghan’s baby” and it’s honestly so cute and pure. He can also be a bit of an attention seeker because he’s always self promoting himself. As the maknae of the group, all the members really dote on him and take care of him. He truly looked so fetus back in the day, especially his hairstyle in “Mansae”. He’s also a dancer in the performance unit and recently started the serious Danceology where he produces his own choreography for songs and i love all of them. He has such a cute smile with his small dimples and he really tries his best in everything he does. Sometimes he hates all the attention he gets from his members but they really can’t take their eyes off him because who knows what he might do on his own. 

More Than Community Service

A few months ago, if you asked me what Circle K International was, I would have just told you it’s a community service club. But now, after getting to know all the wonderful people who make up this community, I can tell you that Circle K is much more than a community service club. They not only provide opportunities for service, leadership, and fellowship, but also provide many opportunities to get to know people who have similar values and beliefs. There are many people who can be of a support system and be there for you in times of need and this group of people can inspire you to become a better version of yourself.

In the past few months in the club, I have met a wide range of people who all held different positions in the club and they have all taught me something new. From the dedication of yourself to provide for the community around you to being a listening ear for those who just need to talk. I learned how to understand and empathize with others more. I learned that there is always something you can do to help others and no matter how small your contribution, it will have large impact on the world later.

There are so many people who have motivated me to do more with my life, to go out and participate in community service, (or during quarantine) spend a few hours of my day answering questions on quizzes for rice donations to the United Nations. They inspire me so much with their dedication and passion towards helping the community. Their belief that they can make an impact on the world inspires me to believe the same and want to work harder and contribute more to the world around me. 

Another life lesson that I have learned from Circle K is even a small act of kindness can go a long way. Being in a supportive community for someone and providing them with emotional support whenever needed can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Being there to listen to someone who is having a rough day can make them feel more welcome and understood and can foster a better environment where they feel safe to talk about something that is bothering them. In a few short months, I have learned a lot from Circle K International and I hope that everyone else has gained a lot of knowledge from this community as well.

I know this isn’t like the best article with relevant evidence to support my topic, but if you actually read it, wow thank you for your time.

Ducks

Hello. Kelly Quach here. The club knows me as the duck as my spirit animal because how close my last name resembles “quack.” So, I am here to tell you all about them. Ducks are aquatic birds found on every continent except for Antarctica. They can live in both fresh and sea water. Being aquatic creatures, they feed on small fish, insects, worms, grubs, etc making them omnivores. Ducks actually do eat rocks as well. These rocks are stored in their gizzards providing rough textures to help break down food. Drake is the name for a male duck, and hen is the name for a female duck. A baby duck is known as a duckling. Ducks have webbed feet to help for swimming acting as paddles. Fun fact! Ducks do not have any nerves or blood vessels in their feet which allows them to tolerate cold water. In addition, their feathers are waterproof to keep them dry. A weird thing about them is that they have three eyelids. Their sight is amazing with a field of vision of about 340 degrees. A shocking fact is that ducks can fly as high as airplanes, but usually they do not migrate in that height. Ducks can sleep with one eye open. During their sleep, they turn off half of their brain and keeping the other half to stay alert for predators. Like humans, ducks turn white with age. Meaning, with our very popular well-known cartoon duck, Donald Duck from Disney, does that mean he is really old or just a white duck? There is even a song for ducks called “The Duck Song” by Charles Bryant Oden. This song was released in 2009 with an audience for children. 

A preview of the lyrics can be seen below:

A duck walked up to a lemonade stand

And he said to the man, running the stand

“Hey! (Bum bum bum) Got any grapes?”

The man said

“No we just sell lemonade. But it’s cold

And it’s fresh

And it’s all home-made. Can I get you

Glass?”

The duck said,

“I’ll pass”.

Then he waddled away.

(Waddle waddle)

‘Til the very next day.

(Bum bum bum bum ba-bada-dum)

History of One Direction

In 2010, five individuals: Louis Tomlinson; Zayn Malik; Liam Payne; Niall Horan; and Harry Styles, entered independently as singing contestants in season seven of the U.K. television show X-Factor.  The judges included: Simon Cowell; Cheryl Cole; Dannii Minogue; and Louis Walsh.  The judges soon determined the boys had a greater chance at success as a quintet.  Despite the disheartening loss as individual singers, the boys were called back on stage and were given a second chance, however this time they would be a quintet.  On July 23rd, 2010 at 8:22 pm, London time, the band One Direction was formed.

No one could have predicted the international musical juggernaut One Direction would become.  Despite not winning X-factor, in fact only securing a fourth-place finish, One Direction’s X-factor career was only the beginning of it all.  These five boys were a hit in the UK. Upon the release of their first single, “What Makes You Beautiful” the female teenage population of the world collectively swooned while male fans were desperate to capture their boyish look and charisma.  As a fellow Directioner once told me: “One Direction has ruined my life … but in the best way possible.”  The world seemingly had been exposed to a virus.  The One Direction infection. 

To Directioners, it appeared as if One Direction would last forever.  Nothing could tear the boys apart.  However, on March 25th, 2015, the One Direction twitter account broke the news that Zayn Malik was leaving the group.  It was a shock to Directioners worldwide.  Social media was filled with countless images of distraught, disbelieving Directioners.  Some of the upset turned to anger due to Zayn departing just as the On The Road Again tour was starting.  The now quartet soldiered on and finished the tour without Zayn.  After the tour One Direction returned to the studio to produce one more album entitled Made In the A.M.  

As of today, One Direction is no longer together. After the end of their On the Road Again tour in 2015, the boys decided to take a hard earned 18-month long respite to recuperate and spend time at home with their families and friends.  Directioners were welcoming of the hiatus as the band had completed four nearly consecutive world tours with virtually no down time.  Unfortunately, the 18-month hiatus devolved into the band’s dissolution.  Louis Tomlinson broke the news to Directioners on Twitter.  In the intervening five years all of the boys have launched successful solo careers. Despite their breakup, I will forever consider myself a Directioner. 

The Path to Leadership

I was not the most active member of Circle K when I first joined in Fall 2019. I was a little worried after moving from high school to college, especially since most of my friends were going to different schools. Even though we were all staying in the state of California, there was more distance between us than ever before. This big transition without my best friends by my side made it hard for me to adjust to my new college life.

Cut to Discoverfest during the Fall 2019 semester and I saw Circle K. I was already in Key Club during my past 4 years in high school so I was already intent on joining Circle K International at CSUF once I became a first year. I joined the club without any hesitation and was excited to take the next step in my Kiwanis journey, but something changed when I got to the first general meeting.

I walked into the general meeting excited for what I was about to encounter, but all of a sudden, I was overwhelmed. I was not sure what happened, but I had no idea what to do. As the term continued, I was still a little afraid to go to club events, but I volunteered occasionally to do my part in the community. It was only after Snowcial that I opened up more and started to become more active in the club. I started talking to more people and really made an effort to go to as many events as I could (even though it wasn’t a lot).

Fast forward to elections and I witnessed some of the most dedicated members of Circle K International at CSUF. I watched everyone give their speech and talk about why they wanted to become more active in the club and that inspired me to run for Appointed Board. Taking after my big, Lay Hak, I decided to apply for the position of Historian. I somehow managed to get the position and honestly, I couldn’t be happier. Being on board was the best decision I could’ve made because I get to do more for the club and really get to know our members on a deeper level. The main point I want anyone reading this to understand is that it doesn’t matter how active you are in the club. As long as you believe in yourself, you will accomplish anything you set your mind to.

How I Prioritize CKI

A lot of people like to tell me I am very well-rounded, and I extremely humble myself, saying “jack of all trades but master of none.” I feel like I have dabbled in various skills but I don’t necessarily feel like I’ve excelled in any of them: from school to music, and personality traits that make me seem adventurous and outstanding. Everyone also asks how I balance these responsibilities and priorities. As most of my friends and acquaintances know, I am a biology major, en route to medical school, and am also in the University Honors program. “Hey Restie, how do you balance everything so well? You’re so good at everything.” Well, to truly answer that question, I have to say:

I don’t balance them.

Also, how you balance your priorities is solely up to you and how you rate the importance of your duties.

That is the advice I always give. 

This entire school year was an emotional rollercoaster for me, full of really bad lows that saturated the few wonderful, happy highs. I met my limit, I finally found the limit of priorities and obligations I could balance on my shoulders. There were many times where I wanted to run away and just not come back, to avoid the responsibilities that awaited. 

What I see as important may not be very significant to another person. A person’s responsibilities are subjective, and I just want to remind people that I am not a naturally a “star” student nor am I a “CKI til I die” type member. 

Even as a family head, throughout this term, I knew I had to set aside CKI multiple times. I am always reevaluating what is more important to me than everything else. School is the most important thing to me, and my thought process always revolved around school. “What assignments are due tomorrow or at the end of this week?” “What can I get done quickly and easily?” “Should I really go to service this weekend?” “I think I need time away from ____.” 

If you are anything like me, I am always thinking ahead, thinking of the future, thinking of the consequences. I am scared of the future because I pretty much live day by day with a long-term plan, especially when it comes to my education. So that’s where my priorities are set in stone.

I guess, from this, maybe you will all realize everything that is important for you, your growth, and your future. Take time to reflect on your priorities, what you need to do more of, and what you need to do less. I am saying this as a sort of advice, but also to humble myself because as I reflect this school year, things did not go as planned, even if I had my priorities set straight. But still, stick to everything that you believe is important for you, and you will find a way to balance your life. You are, by all means, allowed to stray from it to enjoy and take a break, to care for yourself, and relax. 

The Importance of Handwashing!!: A Scientific Analysis

Although people constantly hear about the importance of washing hands, they may not understand how crucial this action is in controlling the spread of microorganisms. This emphasis on hand sanitation can be traced back to 1847 when Semmelweis noticed the higher death rate of women from puerperal fever following labor on the ward handled by the medical students when compared to the significantly lower death rates on the ward run by midwifery students and a similar maternity hospital in Dublin, Ireland (Pommerville, 2014, p. 13). This lead Semmelweis to the suggestion that medical students must be transmitting the disease and the source of the harmful microorganisms was from the cadavers the students were handling before coming to the ward. As a result, Semmelweis made his staff wash their hands in chlorine water before entering the maternity ward, thereby cleansing their hands of harmful microorganisms and the deaths from puerperal fever immediately dropped on the ward. This first case demonstrates how the washing of hands helps control diseases through the scrubbing of harmful microorganisms off of the hands as well as the use of chemicals (in this case chlorine) to kill the microorganisms. However, because this process is done on a daily basis in our present time, it has become more automatic, resulting in people putting less thought into how well they wash their hands. This is the problem that is discussed in Gawande’s article, On Washing Hands. This reading highlighted Gawande’s experience of touring his hospital from the perspective of the infection-control unit. During this experience, Gawande focused on one of the infection control unit’s greatest difficulties: getting employees to wash their hands. By walking with people who are constantly trying to stop the spread of infection in the hospital, Gawande was able to gain a better understanding of how significant hand washing is in controlling the spread of infection as well as become aware of how little emphasis most employees have on the subject (Gawande, 2007). However, even if everyone regularly cleansed their hands, there are still several other challenges that the infection control unit faces on a daily basis. Some of these difficulties include how all parts of the human skin are contaminated with bacteria and how difficult bacteria are to remove even with scrubbing. Thus, sterilization is impossible and there is no way for the infection control unit to completely control the spread of infection in the hospital. Furthermore, proper hand washing regimens are strict and time consuming. According to the reading, proper hand washing includes: using the right antibacterial soap, removing any jewelry, wetting the hands in warm water, lathering the soap over all surfaces, including the lower one third of the arms, for fifteen to thirty seconds, rinsing off for thirty seconds, completely drying with a clean, towel, and using the towel to turn the tap off (Gawande, 2007, p. 1284). These strict procedures led to the other challenges the control unit faced, including complaints from staff, inefficient use of time, and inability to check that all staff is properly washing their hands on all floors of the hospital. Even after incorporating the use of the gel and increasing sanitation compliance, the infection rates in the hospital did not decreased at all (Gawande, 2007, p. 1285). This emphasizes why good hand washing is as important today as it was in Semmelweis’s day. The statistics presented of how the use of gel did not decrease the infection rates supports how even though we do have alternatives, nothing is as effective in preventing the spread of microorganisms as the hand washing first emphasized in Semmelweis’s days.

Risk-Taking!

The year 2020, also the year that changed my life. I joined a service club without any expectations, but soon I met the most amazing people, and I looked forward to spending the last few months of my undergraduate with them and creating unforgettable memories. But all this time was cut short by the current pandemic that has affected the world around us. The expectations of my last year of college were all let down, but the experiences were all so great nonetheless. I learned to appreciate the little things that I often overlooked. The daily snaps from friends and daily Instagram story updates were small windows into understanding what my friends’ daily lives were like. I was able to see that they were doing well despite the circumstances that we are all enduring. The online world of social media and video chats have allowed me to check up with my friends and spend quality time with them through zoom video chats.

           What I had learned from this year is to take risks and don’t wait until the last minute to do something. The one thing that everyone should take away from this experience is that even things that seem so concrete can change in an instant. The day I found that I would not be going back to school, seeing all my classmates, I was devastated, but there was nothing that I could do to change that. I wished I had participated more and took more opportunities, but alas, I could only live with the poor choices of letting those opportunities pass me by. So yeah, do things when you can, take the risk, do the thing! Don’t wait for the right time because that “right time” may never come. You may feel like you aren’t ready for something, but you will never truly know if you’re ready until you do it. This is the most repetitive three sentences, but I can’t emphasize it enough, you miss 100% of the chances that you don’t take. Whatever it is, you can do it, I believe in you. It may be hard at first, but once it happens, you will be so proud of your achievement. So yes, good luck and you’ll do fantastic!

Your Name Review

Your Name. The animated film by renowned animation film director Makoto Shinkai reached theatres in 2016 and became a monument to the anime community. What made this movie such an influential film? A film that would go on to be one of the highest grossing films in Japan, setting new box office records for anime in Japan. Was it the breathtaking scenery found in shots? Was it the beautiful direction of Makoto Shinkai? Was it the plotline that set a new standard in originality as it involved a twist that was so unlike any other movie? Well okay, actually it’s a twist of basically all of those things.

But I’m not a metacritic and I really don’t know what to say about most of those. OKAY JK, LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW BEAUTIFUL the movie is. By texturing the soft vocals and instrumentals of RADWIMPS and the bright colors of a comet, the film was able to make **spoiler alert** a sequence where a town gets obliterated by a comet into something absolutely mesmerizing. The boring countryside life that our female lead Mitsuha was so tired of was still able to shine with the subtle breeze blowing through the town, how light is caught off and reflected from the slightest blade of grass. This was all captured through animation and art style at its absolute peak. And that’s not even mentioning the scenery that can be captured from a city already so well renowned for its beauty in the real world – Tokyo. Kimi no Nawa was able to bring the buildings and bustling life of Japan as well as the drops of culture melded into the town and ANIMATE it. Animate it not as in move frame to frame (okay yes that), but I mean animate as in grab these unmoving buildings and images and give them LIFE. 

But but what I actually wanted to talk about was the romance the movie was able to capture.  We’ve seen movies of love time and time again. Some of us have experienced it in real life before. We all know (well if you don’t know, you should know) it’s nothing like the movies, but Kimi no na Wa is able to dance around that feeling so well and utilize that idealism that has been implanted in our heads about love throughout the course of the film. Throughout the film we never see our two main characters properly go through the motions of love that other movies might suggest. They were never able to kiss, spend time with each other through dates, all their interaction with each other was limited to written journals of what happened when they switched their bodies. But how did they capture that feeling of love so well? Because they harped in on one essential component that we’re raised to believe is a part of love. The feeling of longing for something.

Though the sense of longing is so vague and ambiguous for the main characters, it’s that longing that raises a sense of unease. Like there’s a missing piece of you somewhere out there in the world. Like finally finding it will align your life and make you complete. In the end we all want to be complete, and the movie portrayed the relationship in a way that wasn’t “falling in love”, it was more like finding the missing piece. And though cliche as it may sound, it was also a relationship that was about destiny, two lovers that were destined to be together, that worked hard to make it work even though at the same time destined to be kept apart as they were literal timelines apart. 

There’s only one point in the movie that you could truly 100% define as a romantic scene, and it’s when Mitsuha realizes that instead of writing his name down, Taki wrote “I Love You.” Unsure of whether he would ever be able to see her again,  if he would be able to recall any of the past events that led him to that point, he decided to write down “I Love You.” He wrote down “I Love You” knowing that it might jeopardize his chances of ever seeing her again. Because that was the only one thing he was sure about. At that time, at that moment, even if they would later go on to have completely forgotten each other, the only thing that mattered was that he loved her, and he wanted her to know no matter the cost. 

Idk how to end this blog, but GOD I LOVE ThIS MOVIE.

To My Breathtaking Board

  1. Sandra Cheng: Annyeong grandyma! An icon of many talents that has set so many trends for the club such as the famous line “the audacity”, or a wild love for raccoons and crocs. She really do be wild and crackhead but also grounded and level headed, sis really gets the best of both worlds. Thank you for pushing me – and CKI as a whole- to be the very best, like no one ever was.
  1. Kevin Lee: As our VPA, you’ve always been someone I can Lee(n) on. As treasurer, you were always back at it again, and now in this back to back term, you’re back at it again, having our backs, back to back, carrying the team on your back. Cheers!
  1. Garrett Moore: You are my uncle, and not only that you are an absolute C H A D. Every girl in CKI has had a crush on you at some point, and I am one of them. You are the one that made “breathtaking” my trademark™ and I’m grateful for that, it defines who I am.  Just like the egg that was once your head, you always encourage others to hatch out of their shell by acting as a leading figure to the club even before you became VPS. Cheers!
  1. Adolfo Alan Garduno: High key one of the funniest people in CKI, your memes are like a shot of serotonin into my system every time I see them. Thank you for going above and beyond in meeting themes (i.e. the time you had your mask during spy theme). I aspire for your assassin energy next year, killing people with your camera and killing people with your looks <333.
  1. Amy Pham: Hello, hello my board buddy :33. One of the wildest people I know, not afraid to start a fight (and that energy is passed on in your littles too). Sis makes the best spotify playlists, and IS NOT a weeb but you have great taste in 2D men. Thank you for being probably the first board member that reached out to me when I started CKI. Cheers!
  1. Daniela Mena: My bitter rival > : ) and also one of my closest friends in CKI. Life has done you dirty time and time again, but it’s amazing how you have such a strong capacity to still share love in the world. You see and appreciate the good in people that they didn’t even know was there.  I’m sorry that when I played a dealbreaker on you, and you played just say no, I just say no’d your just say no. I’m sorry that I’m so good at monopoly deal :3 . Ty for being one of my best friends and for keeping it a secret. 
  1. Brandon Tran: A TRUE Pokemon master. Thank you for being one of the only other people I know that has watched the new Pokemon anime (it slaps btw). Philosophy became 100x more exciting when I found out you were in my class behind me and we both tried to assassinate each other before signing a truce. You have the heart of a pure boy, and you bring that pureness into all you do for CKI. Cheers!
  1. Caden Tran: Hi welcome to ding tea – I mean – Hi welcome to 7 leaves. A boy that worked for two boba places so you know he knows how to mix it up. Your work ethic in the classes we took was an oof (but you too big brained to have to work), but your work ethic in CKI is the definition of B R E A T H T A K I N G.  It’s never a boring time whenever I’m around you. Cheers!
  1. Eric Chiu: It’s chiu chiu because whenever you’re around it’s all aboard the hype train. Awwwww yeeeeeeeeeee. You looked the best out of everyone else that one time you wore a dress. Thank you for hyping up the rest of board in all that we do. Cheers!
  1. Britney Chow: Brinayyyy CHowwwww. My recruiter, and also my #1 passenger for service. I didn’t realize when I joined the club that the one talking to me was our idol, our legend, our goddess. Hep hep Brinay’s and Bota Britney cheers could never equate to. I will forever be at your service, your majesty Brinay!
  1. Jason Nguyen: Swole boi, you alongside Garrett are one of the definitive chads of the club. It’s amazing how someone can radiate a lot of confidence, but it never comes off as arrogant because instead I feel like your confidence acts as an agent that inspires us all. I will never forget for the rest of my days the iconic “blog blog blog type type”. Can’t wait to see you in a boyband some time in the near future. 
  1. Jaslynn Diep: One of the highest displays of wholesome in CKI, it’s amazing how someone could ALWAYS be smiling, but you keep that energy up and you share it with the whole club. 
  1. Loren Padolina: Loren you are the definition of “glad to be along for the ride”, whether it is the insane amount of service hours you’ve clocked in, or unexpectedly being dragged out to seaside when everyone’s already tired. You’re also my #1 service passenger, and you make driving to service a lot more fun. Also just like Amy you’re taste in music is bopping. Everytime I see the slides before a meeting I’m just like “DAMN, they’re SO good!”
  1. Joshua De Leon: uwu that’s me. You’re breathtaking.

Audio Production 101

In the past, people had to record music or audio at a professional recording studio, which can be very expensive. With what we have now, recording has become affordable and can be done in the comfort of your own home, regardless of what space you have. Most modern computers can handle audio recording just fine. I was able to record a full album and an EP in a garage. I am also able to do editing, mixing, and mastering in the comfort of my own home, which is nice since we are in a middle of a global pandemic during this time of this article being posted. I will be giving you a guide on how to go about it in this most affordable way possible.

  1. Audio Interface

When you are starting, the most you need are one or two inputs to record and just layer over those tracks if needed. Unfortunately for me, since I play drums, I would need more inputs and microphones, so I would need at least six or more. A budget interface you guys can get would be the Audient EVO 4. It is a two-channel interface with a Direct-In (DI) input. It is a USB Interface, so it will work for most computers. It cost $129. If you own a keyboard, you may also plug into your computer via USB, find an interface that supports MIDI, order a MIDI to USB dongle. 

  1. Headphones

The headphones you currently own may work if you have a ¼ inch cord or adapter to plug into the audio interface. If you do not own headphones, I suggest the Sennheiser HD 280. These headphones will get you by when you start off as they are $79.95. When you do start mixing your material, I suggest referencing songs that are similar to what the final mix you want to sound like. 

  1. Microphones

For microphones, there are two great budget microphones that you can use, whether you are singing, doing a podcast, recording a guitar, or just to have a better microphone for your Zoom calls. The two microphones are the Shure SM57 and the Rode PodMic. They are both priced at $99. The Shure SM57 is used in almost every recording studio out there since the 1960s. I happen to own three of them as they are affordable and do the job. The Rode PodMic is new to the game and has a lot of positive reviews. For microphone stands and cables, those will range from $20 to $200 depending on quality, length, and warranty policy, as some may have a lifetime warranty.

  1. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)

Since we are students of CSUF, we get Adobe Audition for free. If you own a Mac, you most likely have GarageBand. Let’s say you don’t have either of those. Take advantage of student/education discounts. Most recording studios will have Pro Tools as it is the industry standard. As a student, you can get Pro Tools for $74.25 for a year subscription or $299.99 to own with a year update. You may also get a DAW called REAPER. It cost $60 to own a license currently. There are several DAWs out there, such as Cubase, Logic, PreSonus Studio One, Ableton, FL Studios, and more. 

  1. Plugins

The plugins that come along with your DAW will do the job, whether you are using a virtual instrument, guitar/bass amp simulators, equalizers, compression, effects, and more. I suggest learning how to use those before paying for better ones. You may even find free plugins online also. If it sounds good to you, download it and test it out. In this day and age, we do not need the fancy hardware that recording studios use as most of them are now emulated into a plugin. There are subscription-based plugins and some that may also require a dongle, such as the iLok, which is $45.95. It is used for security purposes. Plugin prices can range from being free to $500. Plugin companies may have an education discount, so take advantage of that when you can. 

Total: $350-$700+

  1. Recording

When recording your own material, you want to make sure that you are recording at an appropriate level. For me, I record at around -12 dB for music and -6 dB for dialogue/Podcast. You do not want to record it too low due to the noise floor that you bring up in post and you do not want to record it too loud to where it is clipping or distorted as it will bring unwanted artifacts into the signal. Along with that, you want to try to get the best source tone possible, so test out different microphone positions, put new strings on your guitar, and practice how to properly sing into a microphone. Experiment with different layerings. The only limit you have is your imagination. There is no such thing as too many tracks in a session as long as you feel if the song needs it.

  1. Mixing

Mixing music is very subjective. As I stated earlier, I suggested that you should reference songs that you want the final mix to sound like. There are several free and paid mixing tutorials out there. Check out Recording Revolution or Produce Like a Pro for free mixing content. You can find mixing tutorials for specific genres on YouTube also. I suggest learning how to balance the tracks without any plugins running, aside from guitar/bass amp simulators. After that, learn how an equalizer (EQ) works because frequencies will clash with each other. Think of it as a smart volume fader. Compression will be tricky to figure out. Start with a slow attack and fast release and adjust the threshold to taste, then adjust the attack and release from there. 

  1. Mastering

Mastering is a topic that most people will get confused about so I will not go indepth with this topic. Consider it as a finishing touch to your music. It is best to have someone else master your material since it will be a different set of ears that can help correct problems, but do not rely on mastering to correct everything. Mix your material to the best of your ability before getting it mastered. Export the track as a .wav file at the samplerate you are recording at, which is usually either 44.1khz or 48khz. There is only a subtle quality difference between the two samplerates. For a final test, hear it in your car. Those speakers will never lie to you. Once you feel that it it is ready to go, you may try to master your own material or send it to someone else. 

I hope you guys liked this blog article as audio production is a job I love doing. If you do end up deciding to record your material or start a Podcast, feel free to contact me if you need any assistance. Here are some stuff that I have done.

212,000 Flowers

Eighteen hours. From about 7:00am to 3:00am the next morning. That is how long myself along with most of the Fullerton people who attended Go West stayed and worked on the rose floats. (Shoutout to Doug & James for staying even longer). Before I go any further, a definition: Go West is an annual event hosted by the CKI @ Pasadena City College (PCC) in which CKI members from the CNH district are invited to help the Phoenix Decorating Company in Irwindale bring the Rose Floats to life. The event spans three days: the first day dedicated to fellowship activities & DCMs, second day entirely for working on the Rose Floats, and lastly the third day for an optional morning shift then adjournment. Housing is provided, since it spans two nights, but you are not required to sleep at the YMCA that’s provided as our base of operation; if you happen to live relatively nearby, I personally suggest you sleep at home but stay until the doors are locked for the night. Since this was my second-year attending Go West, and so I pretty much knew what to expect in terms of activities, scheduling, what mementos we would receive to keep (this year it was only a T-Shirt) and what jobs we might be able to do once on site. On the first day/night, most of the time was dedicated to each division’s DCMs, dodgeball, basketball, settling in, and prepping for the next day. There was also a mini photo booth in one of the DCM rooms, and ultimately it was your choice on how to spend the first night, as long as you are present during the Go West shift briefing and before the doors are locked for the night. 

After a good night’s rest (realistically, not really ‘good,’ as the floors were hard and the gym in general cold, but I encourage you to sleep as early as you can), people in shift one will wake up around 5:45am to get ready, eat breakfast, then depart by 7:00am to decorate; those who chose the 2nd shift can sleep in and chill in the YCMA gym until around 3:00pm. Once you arrive on site, regardless of the shift, you’ll be briefed on expectations and general safety, then divided into large groups to decide what you want to work on. For my group, we got to work on the Trader’s Joe float, specifically helping install all 212,000 flowers, one by one. The process was relatively simple: the float’s “skin” was a paper mache-esque material layered on a honeycomb wire skeleton, and all we had to do was 1. Apply a layer of what they call Oasis glue on the part we will be working one, 2. Punch a hole in the “skin” using a scissor, then finally 3. Insert a pre-glued flower into the hole. Pretty straight-forward, and overall it did not begin to feel boring/tedious until near the end of the first shift. By that point, my hands and parts of my arm were caked and spotted in oasis glue, on top of dust and other float materials beginning to cling to my clothes and face. As the day wore on, the number of volunteers slowly began to trickle down, increasing the amount of work needed to be done by those who were planning to stay through all the shifts and those who just arrived. By the time the 2nd shift ended, our club was really the only ones left working on the floats aside from people directly under Phoenix Decorating, and yet we kept working, determined to finish as much as we can before we reached our limit. Now, during my previous and 1st Go West, myself and a couple of the boys were unlucky to be placed on trash duty for the whole time, and we all vowed to never let that happen again, which was working all the way until near the end, when a Kiwanian just so happened to see us all hanging about since we had little left to do and placed on trash duty. Wrong place at the wrong time, I would say.

In total, from start to finish, excluding the lunch and dinner breaks, most of us clocked in around 17-18 hours of service, ending at around 3:00am in the morning. We only got around 2-3 hours of sleep that night, and it even rained just as we arrived back. The next morning, we all simply left for home, far too tired to attend the closing session and remarks. 

Saying I was tired after the 18 or so hours was an understatement, but I felt proud of what I did, helping bring to life a float that’ll be seen by thousands and thousands of people. It’s knowing that your hard work is part of the many reasons why something so grand was able to materialize and be enjoyed by many is what puts a smile on my face. I will definitely attend the next Go West that comes to town, and I hope this overview of my experience has given you a better understanding of the event and inspired you to attend next year.

KACHOW-ing w/ B.Chow #1

Hello and welcome to a small and short segment I’d like to call Kachow-ing with B.Chow! With each segment, we’ll be analyzing and discussing cars. But I know what you’re thinking, “B.Chow, I thought you said you didn’t know anything about cars?” And I’m here to tell you, you are correct, I don’t know anything about cars. So, one question remains, why would I write about two things I’d rather not address or be addressed in public? The answer to that is simple. Someone told me I should and it would be interesting to see how I describe them without knowing anything about it because hey perspective, anyways let’s get right to it!

So, how this will work is that I will be giving my initial impressions about a car, then later reveal what car I was talking about. On first observations, the car appears to be a singular color of solid light blue, you know, not typically the color you would see often when driving around. I heard from somewhere that this model is a sports car, more specifically I believe that it’s a Porsche, but I can’t be sure as the emblem is too small for me to see correctly. Other things I’ve noticed is it only has two doors, I’m assuming that it’s four seated, but it’s kinda hard to tell because the windows are tinted and the inside is too dark to see into. Based on the scenery the car’s picture is in, it seems to kinda handle dirt roads well, but I’m pretty sure it’s advised that it should only be driven on paved roads. The owner of this car seems to have done some body work or placed a sticker on the back of their car. The sticker looks quite like a tattoo, but let’s be real, how can a car get a tattoo. But anyways, this looks kind of like an older model because I never really see these too often and the body looks bulky as well. That pretty much ends my commentary session, and now for the big reveal. I don’t know if some of you have caught on already with the segment name, but the car I was analyzing was Sally from the Disney movie franchise Cars. Hope you all enjoyed this light hearted analysis and I’ll see you next. Ka-Chow for now!

Fire, Ice, and Everything Nice – My First Snowcial

Hola, this is my first blog post ever so I will take the creative freedom to inform you of this information. Please bear with me XD. Now back to your ‘somewhat’ regularly scheduled blog post. Blog blog blog <3

I am lying in bed. It is 2:30AM. And I’m passing the time looking at my alarm clock as it tick-tocks away to my 6:00AM alarm. By some stroke of luck, I was moved from the waitlist to the official Snowcial list and was brimming (under the covers) with excitement. “Will it be like Science Camp in Fifth Grade? How many snow Angeles could I make before I freeze to death? Will there be bears? Lack of bear?” These questions and more kept me from a restful slumber, but I didn’t care. All I wanted was to start the retreat everyone kept mentioning after Fall Training Conference. And so sleep I did not… 

The Chiu Chiu Train was a nonstop fun time. From racing the Kevin mobile to watching the roads turn white, and all the Filthy Frank songs in between, Co-Piloting with Eric Chiu was a great way to start the getaway! It was nice to know Hannah, Eric, and I had all pretty similar tastes in music, but what I really wanted to hear was the angelic voice of our very own Britney “Beyonce” Chow. I guess watching Alexis sleep with his mouth open is a pretty good substitute. Once our “Chiu Chiu train” made its final stop to the Snowcial House, the cold crisp air that surrounded us made quick work for our collective lack of sleep and rushed us inside. Leading up to Snowcial, I was feeling intensely remote for a while after I ended up missing the majority of my sunnyside family Christmas party and almost the entire CSUF CKI Holiday party. So the second I walked into the house, I knew I wanted to make the most of my Snowcial experience.

As soon as the sunset faded, I got straight into the kitchen and began the lengthy process of making Guacamole dip for the club. Moving around, cutting, smashing, and giving directions to Sandra, Kelly, Daniela, and all my other helpers, was amazing. But what was more amazing was having all the Hispanics in the club come around to roast my lime dip XD. ((Solo que yo creo que ustedes latinos son un poquito tontos para comer 😛 )) It sucked not having enough ingredients to feed everyone a bigger amount, but I am glad (mostly) everyone liked it! After cleaning up, participating in the activities, and playing board games all night, any sleeping would only stop the fun.

The next entire day was unforgettable. My new favorite CKI moment. From breakfast to the zipline swing, to the seemingly never-ending lip-sync rehearsals, and finally to the darkroom filled with whispers and tears. That night was equal parts cathartic and humbling, with a strong hint of the human experience. The MD’s, the activity hosts, and everyone else involved and participating knocked this whole event outta the park. I’m certain the rest of us who were along for the ride agree and are still sad it had to end.  

Snowcial to me is impossible to put into words, but I am writing this blog anyway for those who had unfortunately missed out. I unabashedly urge you to consider going, whether to District Convention, or to the Summer Retreat, or to the next year’s Snowcial! I am sure you will get more than what you signed up for.  🙂

As for me, looking back over recent months, I am grateful I made the right choice. Not necessarily signing up for Snowcial, but signing and submitting my application to transfer to Cal State Fullerton. I didn’t pick a school, I ended up picking a second home, and this family picked me. 

Anime with Adame

Hello y’all! I am Adam, but my friends gave me the nickname of Adame (Adam-A)! I would like to impart some of my Anime knowledge upon y’all. Anime is at its essence just Japanese animation. I started my anime journey back in senior year of high school. It spawned from my interest in a show I watched back in middle school. It was the one and only Naruto! I remember watching a few episodes back in the day; however, I never continued it until my rediscovery of Naruto my senior year. I got hooked FAST! From then I would watch an exorbitant amount of episodes a day. It became to the point where on school days I would watch a season per day (12 episodes). I was indeed obsessed. In about 3 months time, I caught up with over 600 episodes of Naruto. I was binging so much when I caught up to the latest episode. I was unsettled that it was not completed. At the rate it was going, it would have taken 2 years for Naruto to end. Yet, I did not have that patience and found out there was a source material for the show. It was something called a manga which was basically a Japanese comic. Luckily, the manga just ended its last chapter. So, I googled “Free Naruto Manga” and went to search for the chapter equivalent of the part I was on. It didn’t take that much time until I would read the rest of the chapters. After that experience with finishing the story of Naruto, I felt a void inside. It was hard to locate what it was. I wanted to watch something in a similar vain. At this point, I searched up shows related to Naruto. It led me to a page that talked about anime. I did not know what that was. However, that was the moment I went down the rabbit hole. From there, I found out about other shows like Attack on Titan and Akame Ga Kill. It would take me down the path of getting consumed by the medium. The rest is history. 

Why Anime? It is a medium that I have enjoyed for years and along the way has taught me valuable lessons with engaging stories. Besides that, it serves as a way to relax and disconnect from the real world. Anime creates a unique way to portray a story through animation. Western culture has deemed animation as something “childish” and for kids. However, that thought process is being counteracted by the stories and content of anime. I would like y’alls to join in on my segment “Anime with Adame”. All are welcome, from people who never watched an episode of anime in their lives, to the most dedicated of viewers. Stay tuned for reviews and discussions of anime on this segment! 

Thank you for reading! Until next time!

-Adame

“Glory lies beyond the horizon. Challenge it because it is unreachable. Speak of conquest and demonstrate it.” – Rider from Fate/Zero

Gyming with Jason #2 – Why I Love Cardio

(Pictured above: Jason Nguyen addicted to cardio)

Cardio is awful and having to do it disgusts me. So why do we still do cardio? Just to suffer? Nope, just like paying your taxes so you don’t get arrested, cardio is a necessary evil. Doing cardio is insanely good for your heart and lungs, as well as being a great way to burn off calories. I think everybody should include some type of exercise in their daily routine and cardio is probably the most conducive towards long term health. So, with all the benefits in mind, why is cardio still the absolute worst?

The first time I started experimenting with cardio was in freshman year of high school, when I joined my school’s cross-country team. I dabbled in recreational sports like soccer before high school, but cross-country was a whole different beast. From the very first day I joined the team, I had to run miles over and over again. For what seemed as if an endless number of weeks, I was keeled over on the track after practice, in a pile of my own sweat, wallowing in self-pity. It felt like my internal organs were attacking me after every run, like my lung and heart were in their own little race to see which one of them could kill me the fastest. Regardless, I soldiered through and didn’t quit the team, mostly because I didn’t want my teammates to think that I was some type of schlub. 

Miraculously, through constant trial and error of trying not to perish at practice, I found myself steadily improving at running. Although I was still wallowing in piles of my own sweat, those piles of sweat were getting ever so slightly smaller. I think whatever self-improvement I was experiencing could have been what was pushing me to keep moving forward through all of the suffering. Or maybe it was because I was always experiencing a “runner’s high?” Or maybe I’m just a masochist that likes getting punished? Regardless of whatever reason I had to keep going, I was pushed to a place where I could I look at myself and my newfound resilience and feel pride. And for that, I blame cardio. 

My experience with cardio solely being through running doesn’t mean that your experience in cardio has to be contained to only running as well. There are so many different ways to train cardio that could be more to your preference, like kickboxing or Zumba or jazzercise or anything of that ilk. Although with any type of cardio, it’s going to have to feel horrible before it starts feeling slightly less horrible. It gets a little easier every day. As long as you keep moving forward through the pain and anguish, it gets easier and easier. And honestly that’s the only hard part, dragging yourself out of bed to continue that everyday struggle, even when your lungs don’t have the strength to keep you going, so you just have to rely on your heart instead. But it does get easier.

LOVE vs LUST

Anecdotally, in being a hopeless romantic, I’m personally inclined to choose love over lust – but, in espousing a more objective reality for all of society, it’s best to look at the benefits and downsides of each. 

Temporary Happiness 

Chasing after lust is often at times, more likely to result in a temporary few seconds of happiness. Love is an enduring process that takes anywhere between months and years to ultimately achieve. In a fast-driven society like today, it’s no wonder people have less and less time to commit to the idea of love, and more and more time chasing the temporary happiness that comes with the achievement of a lustful relationship. With movies like No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits helping to demonstrate this said chase, the younger generations are more weary towards commitment than the older generations. Subsequently, lust is less time-consuming to pursue, while at the same time resulting in more instant gratification than the pillars of love. 

Lust: +1 

Love: 0 

Chances of Getting Hurt 

In pursuing a male/female benefactor solely for purposes of sex or physical benefits, the chances of one getting hurt are much more reduced. If you go to a party and happened to get rejected, the player mentality of life carries on as you lust after you next target. In chasing after the girl/boy of your said dreams, or pursuing whom you may consider to be “the one”, the chances of rejection are likely to sting you far longer than one night. The ability to get heartbroken, the ability for unrequited love to happen, and the ability to get friend-zoned are dramatically reduced if you are pursuing someone solely for the purposes of a physical relationship. Therefore, lust is much less consequential to your mental health in the long run (minus the physical STD’s that might manifest if you choose not to use protection). 

Lust: +2 

Love: 0 

Permanent Happiness 

If you are like me, the attainment of permanent happiness strikes as more important than temporary. If you truly meet someone you enjoy the company of, you will be happy every second you’re around them (minus the perpetual fights that can happen in an unhealthy relationship). To prevent the loneliness that can result in not having someone to marry, not having someone to grow old with, and not having someone to constantly enjoy the company of would be saddening, in my personal opinion. In the long run, the ability of you to chase after lust will wear away, as you become forced to settle down and commit to whomever it is you may end up loving. 

Lust: 2 

Love: +1 

Family 

If you look at the happiness (or perhaps unhappiness contingent on various factors) that a family brings, you will begin to realize the benefits of a permanent love. If your family provides for you the same benefits needed in any given society, that kind of love can only be duplicated in a significant other (or perhaps even enhanced). The greatest amount of happiness stems from somebody committed to you in the same manner you are to them. If there’s any room for flakiness that can be seen in various friendships that drift apart, that happiness will no longer be enduring. The potential of achieving the same amount of happiness you can obtain from your family is a special thing – that you can perhaps pass on to your future kids (if you choose to pursue said route). 

Lust: 2 

Love: +2

 Personal Preferences 

Ignoring the moral repercussions of said argument, it all comes down to your world view and how you wish to live your life. If you are under the impression that “you only live once”, you are much more likely to want to get the maximum potential out of life possible. And in the end, if your maximum potential happens to come out of having one-night stands and crazy adventures with various men/women, then so be it. If your maximum potential stems from the systematic process of loving a significant other, that is also your prerogative. It is not in my place to judge how people live their lives, but instead offer my personal insights. In the end, I would always choose love over lust because I see it as an enduring process. But I will respect people who don’t agree with this – i.e. Barney on How I Met Your Mother. 

Lust: 2 

Love: +3

Pen Refill Guide

Whether it’s Celsius versus Fahrenheit or a kilometer versus a mile, there are divisive ways for unit of measurements. Even something as simple as a pen can have specific sizes and profiles to fit their pens while some brands even do refills designed for other brands. Fortunately, pen refills typically abide by ISO 12757-1:2017 to reduce confusion (https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso:12757:-1:ed-3:v1:en). While this standard is not required by law -custom and exclusive pen refills aren’t forbidden- it typically helps for practical purposes if you’re making a certain type of refill to ensure your refill dimensions are the same as other makers. 

The ISO 12757 standard has two components: 12757-1 and 12757-2. The former is intended for pen refills for “general use” such as taking school notes. The latter is intended for pen refills for “documentary use” as it covers the legibility of letters/characters and use on archival documents. 

Pen Refills at a Glance 

Below is an image of many ISO pen refill types. These refills typically contain ballpoint ink, but gel and hybrid inks also take these refill profiles as well.

The measurement furthest to the left is the diameter in millimeters. The article in circles is the refill name. Next to the refill name is the length in millimeters. Lastly is an image of the pen to show the overall silhouette. This should provide a handy-dandy visual chart to a pen refill if you happen to have a pen refill you couldn’t identify

ISO Standard Pen Refill Types


D1 Refill

The D, or more commonly known as D1 is a refill typically seen in multifunction and mini pocket pens due to their slim nature. 

D1 refill 
D1 Dimensions: 67mm (length), 2.1 or 2.3mm (diameter)
D1 refill examples: Schmidt EasyFlow 6000, Lamy M55

G2 Refill

The G2, also known as the Parker-style G2 is one of the most ubiquitous pen refills sold on the market. A de-facto choice for many pen manufacturers on the market. This refill often goes by “Standard International Ballpoint”. G2 refills are characterized by their sculpted plastic end cap for pen retracting mechanisms. 

G2 refill 
G2 Dimensions: 98mm (length), 6mm (diameter)
G2 refill examples: Schmidt P900M, Pelikan Giant, Monteverde P42 

A2 Refill

The A2 refill has an incredibly thin writing tip and was popular prior to the 1990s for retractable pens. The A2 is designed for the ISO 12757-2 standard and has been superseded by cheaper proprietary plastic refills. 

A2 refill 
A2 Dimensions: 106.8mm (length), 3.2mm (diameter), 33.4mm (spring shoulder to the tip of the refill)
A2 refill examples: Schneider Express 75, Schneider Express 575

B3 Refill 

While the B3 is an ISO standard, it is no longer common. Nonetheless, you may know it as it is the exact refill used in a Bic Cristal 

Ever had to sign a receipt after using a card? You’ve probably used this pen to do so

B3 refill B3 Dimensions: 128mm (length)

C1 Refill

A C1 refill is also known as a Cross-style refill. This refill has a plastic screw housing to be used with twist retractable pens. Additionally, this screw housing allows the user to replace the refill without an internal spring so there are no concerns about losing parts of your pen when changing refills.

C1 Refill 
C1 Dimensions: 117mm (length), 3mm (diameter)
C1 Refill examples: Cross Ballpoint, Fischer Space Cross refill

X20 Refill

The X20 looks a lot like the A2 refill, they are not interchangeable. The X20 have thicker tips when compared to the A2 refill. The X20 is a unique refill standard as it does come in two different shapes: one with a long skinny cylinder with a wide notch in the middle section and a wide cylinder with a plastic endcap. 

X20 Refill
X20 Refill alternative 
X20 Dimensions: 107mm (length), 27mm (middle of spring stop to pen tip), 3mm (diameter)
X20 Refill examples: Schneider Office 765, Schneider Express 775

X10 Refill

The X10 is often regarded as the little brother to the X20 refill. It features a narrower tip but with the same spring stops. This refill has limited exclusivity

X10 Refill
X10 Dimensions: 107mm (length), 3mm (diameter)
X10 Pen examples: Aurora Thesi

Popular Pen Refills (Non-ISO standard)

Pilot G2

With its smooth and vibrant ink, the Pilot G2 is the best-selling pen in North America. The introduction of the Pilot G2 has caused mass confusion throughout pen refill buyers as it shares the same nomenclature with the G2 ISO standard. 

Pilot G2 Refill
Pilot G2 Dimensions: 98mm (length), 5.8mm (diameter)

Euro-format Refill

The Euro-format refills are peculiar. Euro-styled refills aren’t as universal as other pen refill standards although there will be some reciprocity amongst most brands. This is due to some having a stepped shoulder towards the pen tip or/and tip thickness. If you’re risk adverse, stick to your pen’s brand for refills. Otherwise if you’re a thrill-seeking hooligan, there are plethora of refill options that might fit your pen. 

Various Euro-styled refills (Note that some have step sections where the tip section meets the barrel while other do not)Euro-format Dimensions: 110.6mm (length, typically), 6.3mm (diameter, typically)
Euro-format examples: Schmidt 888, Montverde W22

Fisher Space Pen Refill

The Fisher Space Pen Refill is designed for use in outer space due to their sealed and pressurized construction. Be that is it may, due to its patented construction, it is also capable of writing in adverse condition and on many surfaces (e.g. over grease, extreme temperatures, underwater). While the Fisher PR refill itself is not ISO compliant, it does come with a plastic adaptor that allows it to work in pens that use Parker-style G2 refills. 

Fisher PR Refill with plastic adapter below
Fisher Dimensions: 88.9mm (length), 4.2mm (diameter)

Chronicles of Leadership (Pt. 1)

Hello, my name is Henry Pham and I am currently serving as the club’s 2019 – 2020 Club President. Spring semester is approaching and this is a very exciting time because you will see many opportunities pop up for you to grow and develop yourselves. This season is the time for elections, appointed board applications, divisional, AND district committee applications. I wanted to spend some time this week to give everyone the run down on all levels of Circle K, the different kinds of impact you can make, and the scale of your impact. I was very lucky to be able to serve on leadership positions on the club, division, and district level, so I’m going to be talking about each individual level.

Starting with the district level, this is the largest scale of impact you can make on a very large group of individuals. Many of you have attended big events such as Fall Training Conference (FTC) or District Convention (DCON). Our district board as well as district committees work very hard every year to put on these amazing events for the entire district to enjoy. If you wanted to get involved on this level, the very first step most people do is the same, apply for a district committee! There are currently 11 different district committees that you can apply for, I won’t go into any details about them for the sake of length but the 11 include the following committees: 

1. Club Building and Revitalization
2. Communications & Marketing
3. District Convention
4. Fall Training Conference
5. Finance & Fundraising
6. Kiwanis Family & Foundation
7. Laws & Regulations
8. Membership Development & Education
9. Member Recognition
10. Service
11. Technology

I was able to serve on the District Service Committee two years ago, and had an amazing experience with meeting people all over the district and planning our District Large Scale Service Projects. You will actually find a lot of our club members belong to any of these committees!  You are always free to contact them and ask about their experience. I am sure they would love to tell you about what it was like. From then on, if you wanted to do MORE you could go even further, and either run or apply for District Board. This is a very intense process, and if you have any questions about that, I highly encourage you to message me personally, and I’d love to help.

Up next after the district, is of course, divisional level! If going to the district is a little too much for you, and you’d like to stick a little closer to home, then I would encourage you to get involved with your division. The number one way you can do this is through applying to be on a divisional leadership team. Last year I was able to be a part of our divisional leadership team and serve as the Special Programs Assistant. It is a very enlightening experience because most of the time when you are involved with just you home club, you can become blind to the struggles and successes of other schools. Being on a divisional leadership team helps put things into perspective for you and allow you to get involved with many more schools. In addition to this, the Lieutenant Governor (LTG), may open up more opportunities throughout the year based on the team. Last year we were able to open up positions for the Divisional Media Team where members were able to help produce content for the division. This year our LTG, Katherine Hoang was able to open up positions for Divisional Clan Chiefs, which essentially served as Divisional Family Heads. So if you would like to help out the schools in our surrounding areas, applications will usually release for Divisional Leadership Team in Spring sometime after our new LTG is elected.


(Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for the second part of this informative blog post by our Circle K president, coming out soon!)

Movement and Growth

When I hear someone say, “I’ve lived here my whole life,” I temporarily dissociate from reality because I cannot comprehend such phrase or concept. 

I have lived in 4 different states and 5 different cities in the 19 years I have been alive. I’ve lived in 6 different houses, attended 4 different elementary schools, and 2 high schools that were all completely different from each other. I’ve called people best friends and then never saw them again. The amount of times I had to pack up a house, shoving clothes, furniture, and home decor into hundreds and hundreds of boxes. I’ve acclimated to several different climates. Each city I’ve inhabited had a different demographic from the previous. And my oh my, the culture shock. 

When people ask where I’m from, it’s a little hard to answer. Because really… where am I from?

I have miniscule recollection of my own birthplace, Sacramento, California (just the hospital). From birth until age 5, I lived in Elk Grove, California and I barely hold any emotional attachment to that place. I lived in a community with a pool. I remember trees and parks, I flew kites with my parents. I went to a preschool called “Tiny Tot Preschool.” And that’s all I can recall. But don’t get me wrong, it’s still a special place to me. 

Not as special as other places. Like how I deeply miss this small town called Pahoa, in the Big Island of Hawaii. I can remember the 4 years of my childhood spent there. 

Unlike Oahu and urbanized city of Honolulu – what literally everyone envisions when they think of Hawaii – the Big Island is very rural and underdeveloped. I lived about 30 minutes from the nearest Walmart and the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo. There was so much empty lots and land, they’re used for chicken farms. It rains. A LOT. Nearly every day for maybe an hour or two, at different times. Monday, it would rain in the morning. Tuesday, it would rain during lunch time. Wednesday, it’d rain at night. It was green. So green. All green, green, green. Driving, the trees on each side of the roads rose up and towered over our cars like gigantic waves. The scene looked as if Moses had parted a sea of vibrant green trees. There’s also no daylight saving time: for 12 months of the year, the sun rises at 7 am and sets by 5:30 pm. It’s horribly humid and there’s only one season throughout the whole year. Every first Monday of the month, they’d set off the Tsunami siren. Yes. Tsunami sirens. It would always scare me, and I’d cry my eyes out thinking we were all doomed. I ate lots of spam and I used to hate poke. I took maybe one hula class, and yes, I did go to the beach occasionally. My family and family-friends frequently drove to Kona, a city on the other side of the island, to camp and go to the beaches there. My dad worked for the macadamia nut company Mauna Loa and brought home lots of assorted macadamia snacks. I went to Keaau Elementary School, a public school. All I remember is that I actually did a little Hawaiian vocabulary, like how to say the colors (but that’s long forgotten). 

The school would host a school-wide performance where we’d dress up in Hawaiian dresses and performance hula dances for the PTA. It was chill. People were nice. There was diversity. 

But from warm weather all year and the “Aloha” lifestyle to icy winters and becoming the minority, I jumped from Hawaii to lovely Cordova, Tennessee. Cordova is a suburb right outside the City of Memphis. It sounds weird, but that is the city I have the biggest attachment to. 

When in Tennessee, everyone rides horses and learns how to ride tractors. I lived on a ranch and owned a bunch of pigs and cows. Just kidding. 

You learn how to thrive in cold weather. Winter comes with lots of snow days. Scratch that. More like ice days. Yes, it would snow, but only 1 or 2 inches, and sometimes, it wouldn’t stick. The real deal that closed down schools and workplaces was ICE. It would rain throughout the night, and the temperature would drop freeze over the roads. 

Also, the education system was definitely more advanced than Hawaii’s system. I was behind in all subjects. 4th grade was the first time I received a B, and my young Asian-self bawled my eyes out over a 91. The grading system in Tennessee was 100-93 for an A, 92-85 for a B, 84-75 for a C, 74-70 for a D, and 69-below for an F. Throughout the years, I’ve grown to hate 92s, 91s, and 90s because it just wasn’t good enough. This, y’all, is what kickstarted my overachieving study habits and perfectionist student mindset that followed me all the way to high school and even now. 

I became the minority in the classroom, and well, the minority in general. The demographics in schools were majority Caucasian and African Americans. In middle school, I was like one of the 3 Asians in my grade. But, people would ask what I was and I’d tell them I’m Filipino and they’d say: “Oh, I thought you were Asian.” And that was the start of my racial identity crisis. Even the Asians in my school said I “was not a real Asian” and called me Mexican-Asian. Whenever I brought Filipino food to school, the kids at the lunch table would plug their noses and scrunch their face in disgust. I lost touch of the Asian lifestyle. I guess I became, the term, “white-washed” for a period of time. Because, well, in Memphis, there were no flea markets or 99 Ranch Market chains, no Seafood City’s or bokchoy, durian, etc sold at the local Kroger store down the street. People did not know about boba or “bubble tea”; neither did they know about dimsum or pho. I tried to act and relate like my Caucasian friends or my African-American friends and I didn’t even like expressing myself for the sake of being judged any further or ethnically mis-identified. My racial identity was partially erased. I didn’t care about Asian things, I didn’t flaunt my views or customs, I didn’t express it. Because no one would even understand. But in the end, I don’t blame the people there. It’s just ignorance, lack of knowledge, and the lack of a prominent Asian population: people didn’t even know the difference between Taiwan and Thailand (dead serious, someone tried to debate with me that Thai and Taiwanese were the same language) and there was no use arguing about cultures that they didn’t know anything about. And it was like that for 6 years. 

At 15 years old, I moved back to California to the city of Victorville. It was worse enough moving in the middle of high school: that’s the prime time for great teenage friendships and high social expectations. But to a place that I never felt comfortable to call home? It was definitely the most emotional taxing move and took me over 3 years to be happy with my life. 

Victorville was an hour up a mountain, in a high-elevated DESERT. The demographic was nearly the same, but honestly a lot more Caucasians. It was the same thing: a lot of people were just ignorant and in their own bubble. To go somewhere cool, you had to drive an hour down a barren mountain. Locals referred to any city along the 1-15 south freeway “down the hill.” Actual tumbleweeds roll around on the streets and sidewalks. It gets super windy, dust and sand dirty your cars (if you park outside) and get into your eyes. Winters actually get fairly cold, most of the time because of the really strong winds. Seldomly, (but the fact that it even does) it hails. In school, we’d hear pellets hitting the windows. It’d also seldom snowed as well, but not as much as Tennessee. People actually do own farms and horses there; they raise horses and what not, horseback riding. No good boba shops or Seafood cities, barely any authentic ethnic places. Everybody was… just the same to me. I couldn’t relate to anyone, and for 3 years, I just never settled down or felt comfortable. It was like I never found a home there. In the entire city, it felt like everyone knew everyone except me. And I loathed it because I could never rid myself of that feeling. I went to a small charter school, called the Academy of Academic Excellence. But let’s not delve into the sad high school experience. 

The one thing that makes up for all of that horrid experience: the Hi Desert has the best skies. The sunrises and sunsets are beautiful. The sky would be splattered with hues of pink, orange, purple. It’d be seeing a different painting every day. During the day, the sky would be the clearest blue, and barely any clouds. If there were any, it was just a thin, transparent film of fluffy white. But you could drown in the blue. The prettiest skies. And one of the only things that soothed me while I lived there. Oh and of course, the few friends that made me feel like I wasn’t an outsider. 

Now, I live in Rowland Heights. It’s Asian infested but has wonderful food places. Reckless drivers. Boba places every block. I’m finally around 168 and 99 ranch markets. People know the difference between Thai and Taiwanese. They know what dimsum is, and now I’m the one that doesn’t know how to order. But people never question or single me out for my ethnicity because they at least know and acknowledge that I am Asian. I don’t have to hide my culture or my views. I still feel out of place at times, but very seldom. And most importantly, I’m slowly learning how to embrace myself. 

So where am I from? I’m just… from a lot of places. 

I wouldn’t say I’m privileged to live in such places or lucky to move a lot, because the reason why my family moved was primarily financial reasons. Sure, I lived in Hawaii, or I was born here in the Golden State, but it was genuinely a struggle to assimilate to every culture and lifestyle. I still remember all the things I left behind. With every move, I lost parts of myself. I felt lost and alone. There were times that I cried nearly every night wishing I was back to where I was. 

Because change is hard. Moving on is hard. So incredibly hard. We want to stay and bask in places where we are most comfortably, most happy. A lot of us don’t want to be thrown into the unknown. We’re just left with a broken compass. We won’t know where to run, who we’ll meet, who will go, who will stay, what we’ll do, what will happen. 

But, that builds character.

What I’m trying to get at is, if there’s no movement, there’s no growth. No sacrifice, no gain. If I stayed in one place, I can’t even begin to imagine how my life would be. I wouldn’t have learned how to deal with all the giant and little things: weather, fashion, culture, racism, oppression, loneliness, sacrifice, education. The list goes on and on. I wouldn’t have gotten to this point in life if my family hadn’t made those jumps. For my emotional state (excluding school), I can proudly I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve learned a lot from these different places, different people. With every move, I gained new parts of myself. I finally found my passion and the best people. All the racial, ethnic, geographic, cultural, and worldly differences have shaped me to be who I am today. 

Here I am at the beginning of another decade. I don’t cry anymore at the past because what I left behind doesn’t amount to the life I have now. 

And may the new year and the new (roaring) 20s era bring you growth.

BOBA with LUV: A Day at a K-POP Cupsleeve Event!

The aroma of sweet milk tea enveloped me as I entered the bustling boba shop, filled with socializing fans and busy vendors. An ordinary boba shop by day has been transformed into a homage for two members of the South Korean pop group, BTS, with photos stuck onto the walls and life-size cutouts for pictures. Their biggest hits filled the room, and the positive energy permeating from the room was contagious, since all of us were here with the same purpose: our love for BTS.

From December 7th to the 8th, BOBA WITH LUV, run by Twitter fan @eccentaecity, hosted a two-day cupsleeve event for the birthdays of members Kim Taehyung and Kim Seokjin (or Tae and Jin, respectfully). Cupsleeve events are fan-run projects held at cafes to celebrate an idol’s birthday, anniversary, or achievement. These events are a great way to collect merchandise, socialize with other fans, and celebrate the idol.

On a whim, my friend and I decided to stop by Heeretea near Cal State Fullerton, curious to see how the day would unfold. It was my first cupsleeve event, and although I had seen advertisements for similar events before, I never got up and went. In line, we received a purple heart with a number and were free to wander off until they called our range of numbers on the official Twitter account, similar to Yelp reservations at restaurants. After exploring the rest of downtown Fullerton, our number was finally called, and my friend and I came back to the boba shop to see exactly what it had to offer.

I found the themed drinks amusing, with creative puns and inside jokes such as “Singulari-TEA” and “World Handsome.” After purchasing our drinks, we received our goodie bags filled with cute photocards and stickers of Tae and Jin. The merchandise sold at the event was high quality, compared to other non-official products, and the vendors were kind and energetic, always ready to express their undying love for the group.  I was impressed by the entrepreneurship involved in independently creating merchandise, with many vendors displaying business cards and social media platforms next to their products. 

Throughout the event, I met other BTS fans, known as ARMY, within a wide range of ages, from fourteen to forty, but the gap hardly felt influential in my conversations with them as we discussed our top tracks. Fans came from every direction, such as a group of loyal fans I met who attend Cal State University, San Bernardino. Sparking a conversation with anyone was simple, since we immediately connect over the same passion. I felt close to fans so fast, I considered inviting them to my wedding! Well, my wedding to Kim Seokjin, of course.

Events such as cupsleeve projects demonstrate the great potential that comes from collaborations between fanbases and businesses. The line for the event stretched way out the door (I was number 323!) and each customer has to purchase a drink for the goodie bag. Not to mention, independent vendors, selling everything from pins to scarves, also participate in the event. Cupsleeve events demonstrate a positive, symbiotic relationship for both fanbases and businesses, offering a safe place to meet other fans and generating massive sales.

Cupsleeve events are an amazing feat, exemplifying the potential of a fanbase to create successful and far-reaching opportunities for fans to connect in real life. Although BTS fans have been perceived negatively due to extreme fans and hostility towards other groups, this project and so many others demonstrate how the most hardworking and dedicated fans can make it right and produce amazing and quality events. 

Once, at a fanclub event, Tae told fans “I purple you.” He explained that purple is the last color of the rainbow, meaning that his love for ARMY will last a long time. With the successful cupsleeve event bringing loyal fans from every corner of Southern California together to celebrate Tae and Jin’s birthdays, fans have truly shown that they purple BTS back.

Running & Applying for Positions

You there! I see you reading this post! So you’re interested in running/applying for a position, huh? Well, look no further because I’m here: your Kiwanis queen Christina Lam! For those of you who don’t know me or may not know, I served as CSUF’s 2018-2019 Kiwanis Family Chair and currently serve as both Citrus’s 2019-2020 Kiwanis Family Relations Director and the 2019-2020 Citrus Liaison on the CNH District Kiwanis Family and Foundations Committee. Some of you reading this may have experienced this before (or may even be experiencing this now), but it’s currently what a lot of us returning members like to call “seed-planting season,” the time when everyone calls out who’s going to run or apply for a position. A lot of times, it’ll sound like a joke, but that’s usually how it starts.

Using myself as an example, I didn’t consider applying for Kiwanis Family Chair until someone mentioned it to me *cough* Henry Pham *cough* Honestly though, if it weren’t for that push, I wouldn’t be where I am today, so thank you Herny. That being said, keep in mind your capabilities. Yes, it’s good to push yourself in order to grow, but don’t take on too much at once! It’s okay to take small steps to reach your goals! If you’re ever having any concerns or thoughts on a certain position, consult those who currently hold that position and even their predecessors! They would have the insight and advice you may need as well as the knowledge of that position so you know what you’d be getting into. This is very important because you want to know if you’re capable of juggling Circle K along with all your other responsibilities. While Circle K should not be your first priority, you are still reliable for the work you are expected to fulfill in that position, and you don’t want to be so burnt out from Circle K that you lose your passion for the organization!

Now, as for actually running or applying for positions, keep an open mind. You may not get a position you wanted the first time, but remember that leaves you with other opportunities! I wasn’t able to get on the District KFF Committee last year, but I’m on it this year, and I’m glad it worked out that way because now I have more experience! For those of you who may not have as much experience, don’t worry because experience is only one aspect out of many. For many people, myself included, the majority of the experience you need is built up while holding a position, rather than before. You can learn everything you need to know while in position; you just need to make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing so you don’t lose all motivation. 

To summarize it all, here’s a list of some general tips to keep in mind about positions!

General Tips:
1. Don’t take on a position you’re not all that interested in.
You’re going to hate it, and your work will reflect that.
2. Don’t take on a position you’re absolutely not ready for.
You can lack experience and still get a position, but if you’re not ready to take on all the responsibilities that come with having that position just yet, then maybe start smaller.
3. If you have a position, you will feel burnt out at least once during your term.
It’s normal. Circle K can drain your time, money, and energy, so take a well-deserved break when you need it. The important thing is to be able to bounce back after!
4. Don’t feel pressured to take on a position because others are expecting you to.
It’s okay to admit you don’t want to run or apply for a position yet. At the end of the day, it is your decision to make, not anyone else’s.
5. Talk to others.
Consult with those around you! You have so many people in this organization who probably have gone through the same thing as you, and they may not even have had the position you’re interested in!

Thank you for reading this long post, and perhaps one of you reading this may hold a position in the future!

P.S. Feel free to talk to me if you’re thinking about positions, especially KFAM wink!

Transitioning from Key Club to Circle K

I’m sure all of us love our Kiwanis family. Maybe you love it because of the people you met in Circle K. Or maybe it’s because you admire and adore those Kiwanians and alumni who laid the groundwork that our club is built upon today. If you’re like me, and I’m sure a lot of you are, you love Kiwanis for all of those reasons plus one more: your journey within this wonderful family began in Key Club.

To me, Key Club was everything in high school. It gave me a place where I could give back to the community. It gave me a place where I could be myself free of outside judgment. When I started my senior year of high school, I was worried because I didn’t know what my life would be like after Key Club. I was scared of the next step and I’m sure many of you were as well, whether you were in Key Club or not. Going from a general member to an executive officer in four years was scary enough, but now I had to do it all over again as I entered college. I was completely lost.

When I got to Cal State Fullerton, I was sure I would join Circle K because my roots traced back to the Kiwanis family. I was so certain that I would go to every service event, every meeting, and every social, but then the fear came back. I realized that Circle K was completely different from Key Club. Unlike Key Club, everyone in Circle K welcomes each other no matter where you’re from or what you’ve done, and for some reason that scared me. A part of me felt undeserving of that welcome because I hadn’t done anything in the club yet. It was because of this that I held myself back in the club. I thought I had to do something great in order to feel deserving of being welcomed.

It was only recently that I came to the realization that I don’t have to start from complete scratch within Circle K. From my perspective, it seemed like Circle K would sometimes criticize Key Club, so when I joined, I tried letting go of my Key Club past, not realizing that was my biggest mistake. Maybe some of you went through something similar or maybe you didn’t, but if you did or still are, I want to say this: you shouldn’t be ashamed or afraid of your past. You should embrace it as a tool to create your future and maybe even go further within the Kiwanis family. Key Club and Circle K may be different in a lot of ways, but we can use those differences to strengthen our club, bringing what we’ve learned from Key Club to Circle K. Who knows, maybe high schoolers can teach college kids something for once.

Happy National Day: Eggnog (12/24)

Eggnog is also known as egg milk punch and is a popular drink throughout the US during the holidays! Even though the origin of the eggnog drink is debated, many believe that eggnog was developed first in East Anglia, England. Others may say that it originated as a medieval European beverage made with hot milk.

Source: National Day Calendar

Why I drive for Uber

If you were to tell me at the beginning of the decade that I would have a job picking up strangers in my own vehicle and drove em’ places, I would have called you crazy, but here we are. This is the core of being an Uber driver, or as I like to call the position, “Rideshare Entrepreneur.” You receive a notification from the driving app, pick up a complete stranger, drive them to their end destination, and any stops along the way. From here you can continue driving for the day or stop and get off work. So why do drivers keep getting on the road? For some drivers, it’s a part time gig, some do it to make some extra cash on the side, but for me and many other drivers, our reason for doing it is something more personal. For me, while the money you make with uber is great, it’s not the main reason why I continue doing it. It’s not about the money, but instead the people you meet along the ride. I’ve been a firm believer in meeting new people and traveling to get a better world view and uber is a way to do that. Through Uber I’ve traveled to many places I never thought I would have gone or seen around Southern California. I’ve also had the privilege to meet a variety of people from my rides. From the Senior VP of Western Digital to International Saxophone Superstar Sergio Flores, from the mom who got her license and custody of her kid taken away and is trying to get her life back on track, to the mom who takes her kids with her along her travels around the world. I’ve met a great deal of people, those down on their luck and those who seem to be on the up and up. However, I never would have met these people without a simple, “Hello, how’s your day going?” or a “Where are ya’ heading?” Just a simple greeting and a willingness to connect with someone you don’t know and will probably never see again. I’ve had many memorable conversations on topics ranging from our favorite video games, music genres and sports teams to mental health, personal venting and dealing with death. It’s in these “seaside” moments and conversations where I am reminded of why I continue to drive, despite these riders coming few and far between rides. The hope of finding another rider willing to go to these places and create a deeper connection, even if just for a moment, makes this job with all the highs and lows worth it.

CNH Circle K District Convention

Hello everyone, it’s your one and only reigning Kiwanis Queen, Christina Lam. Today, I will be (not so subtly) plugging District Convention (DCON), so that you all are more motivated to go! First off, DCON is a district wide convention which will be held on March 27-29, 2020 at the Marriott Riverside by the Convention Center. For those of you who have attended Fall Training Conference (FTC), DCON is similar in that there are talent acts/skits, awards, workshops, and so on. However, DCON is a more formal and professional event, particularly on the second day when district executive board members and division lieutenant governors will be elected and when award ceremonies take place. Attendees will have to wear business professional and formal night attire during these events.

Even though DCON does cost more than FTC, the price you pay is still worth it! During my first year of Circle K, I didn’t attend FTC, but I went to DCON and it easily become one of my favorite district events! At the time, DCON was held at the Mariott by LAX which had small balconies oriented towards the pool. During the first night, Bob (John Avelino) and his friend from Goldenwest College were on the balcony next to my room, so we stayed up to nearly four in the morning just talking about random things even though Caucus (when members who are running for positions give their speeches) started in about four hours. Then the second night, I was locked out of my room because Angela (I was rooming with her) couldn’t find her hotel card so I lent it to her, and it was probably past midnight, so my other roommates were asleep while Angela was still busy. I went to the lobby and saw my big (Carl Hernandez aka CJ) doing homework, so I just stayed with him until he finished. When he did, we went back up to his room (which was next to mine) and it turns out he got locked out too LOL (he had his card but the door had a latch lock so he couldn’t open it all the way). In the end, we just returned to the lobby and stayed up all night watching Pacific Rim. 

Like FTC, DCON provides lots of opportunities for you to bond with members from all over the district during sessions, but it also gives you plenty of downtime afterwards to connect with others, whether they be from our home club or not. If any of you are old Key Club or KIWIN’S members who have attended DCON back in the day, regulations aren’t as strict with Circle K. You are free to leave the hotel after sessions are over to grab a late-night dinner or just hang out (BUT DON’T BREAK CODE OF CONDUCT PLEASE). Overall, I think DCON is a great event, so if you’re able to go and pay for it, please consider attending!

Happy National Day: Pretend to be a Time Traveler (12/8)

In a general sense, most of us do that every day without pretending – we travel from one second to another. But time travelers are special – they have the ability to move from one point in time to another faster or slower than what us normal humans can do. They can travel in the past or travel in the future.

Did you know that one of the most popular paradox associated with time travel is the Grandfather Paradox? According to this paradox, if a person goes back into time to kill her/his grandfather before he has biological children and succeeds, then one of the person’s parents would never be born, and therefore, the person in question would not exist.

Source: timeanddate.com

Journeys with Jo #1 – Power in Silence

This is going to be a segment where I take you on my quest to expand new horizons of personal development by trying new things. For my first challenge I really wanted to try to quit a bad habit of mine for 5 days to see the significant changes it would have on my mindset and my daily routine. I chose to quit listening to music and podcasts and watching YouTube videos and TV shows. 

Especially in my busy college lifestyle, I feel like I am constantly surrounded by noise and distractions. For the past few years, I would begin my morning by waking up to an annoying alarm, jam out to loud music to get ready, and continue the rest of the day with my earphones in so I wouldn’t have to go about my day silence. Wherever I went and whatever I did, I was always listening to something. I wanted to gain a greater appreciation for silence and solitude, and I was eager to discover what other unexpected insights I would gain from this challenge. 

The first few days without music I felt really uncomfortable. It was unusual to go about the day without being energized by music, or listen to an episode of Parks and Recreation in the background while I worked on my homework. Of course, it was still difficult to go about my life without hearing music in the background of the gym or watch a video from a class lecture, but the difference was that I did not actively choose to listen to things on my own. 

At the end of the 5 days, I realized one reason why I always felt like I had to be surrounded by music or dialogue. It was because I do not like the feeling of being alone. A large number of people love music is because it serves so many purposes. It can amplify your mood, boost your confidence, comfort you when your feeling down, and the list goes on. I relied on music and podcasts to make myself feel like someone was always there to validate my feelings and understand me. Podcasts were also nice to listen to because it feels like you are a part of a greater conversation. 

I’m definitely not trying to say music and podcasts are terrible forms, because they are not. They are wonderful art forms that make life beautiful. You can learn a lot about your emotions, social problems, news, and anything in between from music, podcasts, and random TV shows. I am never going to cut them out from my life but after doing this experiment, but I believe I am going to be more mindful of what I listen to and think about why I would choose to listen to something. 

I expected to gain a greater appreciation for silence but I also didn’t realize that I also need to develop a greater sense of appreciation for myself. In silence is when you are truly with just yourself and your own thoughts. In this fast paced world, it is easy to be distracted by all the noise around you. I hope that you are able to find power in stillness and in silence. 

Until next time, have a sooo fine day!

Happy National Day: Buy Nothing (11/29)

Buy Nothing Day is observed annually on the day after Thanksgiving. It’s part of a movement against consumerism, urging the world to change their purchasing habits, to produce less and ultimately consume less.

Fun Fact: Buy Nothing Day originated in Canada on September of 1992 as a way to protest Black Friday shopping. In 1997, the day’s founder moved the day to the Friday after Thanksgiving to correspond with one of the most popular shopping days in the United States.

7/10 Split: Happily Ever After

7/10 Split is Cal State Fullerton Circle K’s bi-annual fundraiser in which guests are able to play bowling, billiards, ping pong, and more. Not only did we have attendees from our home division, Citrus, but we were able to invite our fellow Metro and Foothill members to join the fun. As we played under the stars in a majestic wonderland, we raised funds for one of our District Fundraising Initiatives, Pediatric Trauma Program. The event was hosted by our  hard working Fundraising Chair, Alayna Lieu, alongside her Fundraising Committee and Creative Committee led by Christine Nguyen. 

This is my third year in Circle K and my 5th time attending 7/10 Split, and this hands down has to be my favorite time. Not only did I have fun schooling people while playing pool and bowling, but it was heartwarming seeing everyone enjoying their “Happily Ever After” at the event. We even got to witness our very own member Adam Djabra, all dressed up in a suit, sweetly ask Teresa Nguyen to UCSD’s Masquerade Ball with a sign and flowers! 

It such a bittersweet moment as the year is ending, and the term is coming to an end. I remember at the Spring 7/10 Split, all the board members were running around making sure the event was going well. But this time around, we were all able to relax and enjoy the event with all of our friends from around the district. This very event goes down in history as our biggest one yet! 

A huge shoutout to Alayna, Christine, and both the Fundraising and Creative Committee members for putting on a magical Fall 7/10 Split. Another shoutout to all of the Alumni who attended, always supporting our CSUF family. I can’t wait to finally become a general member again and see the next generation of board members host the next Spring 7/10 Split!

Gyming with Jason #1 – How I got into gyming

I used to be a skinny kid. I still am, but slightly less so now. I was on the varsity cross country team for my high school, running 12 miles a day just to stay in shape. By the time I finished up with cross-country, I was exactly 100 pounds and stick-thin. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being skinnier than most (all body types are great, body positivity y’all!), I had aspirations of being absolutely yoked. I always dreamt of being ripped and massive like the movie stars and athletes I watched on T.V. With no more commitments to being a part of my high school running team, I got a membership to 24-hour fitness and it was the most terrifying experience of my life. 

Entering a gym for the first time, you’re immediately greeted by an array of equipment you have no idea how to use and a brigade of bodybuilders that are shredded to the gills. To tiny small boy Jason, I was scared out of my mind and wanted my momma to pick me up. While the physical aspects of working out is obviously important, the mental aspect of it is completely understated. How are you supposed to get a good workout in when you feel like you don’t belong? How am I supposed to get the body that I want when I’m so far behind everybody else? The struggle I had in my mind was so much stronger than the struggle I had against any of the weights in the gym. 

What helped me to get out of that mindset was realizing that every single person in the gym is there because they don’t have the body that they want. People go to the gym so they can self-improve, it’s not like people buy a gym membership just to throw peanuts at you for not being buff enough. Nobody is in the gym to judge you, no matter how big or small they are. In fact, I found out that most shredded dudes in the gym are usually the kindest and happiest to help you out and give you advice (they’re like big, jacked teddy bears). While I still have a long way to go on my personal fitness journey, I’m just glad I can walk into the gym confidently even as a puny little man. I hope more people in Circle K are willing to take that leap to start their own fitness journey and get big and buff too.

The Cymbalism of Drumming

I started off playing drums when I was 12-years-old. Like most people around that age, I started playing in the middle school band with many different drummers. From there, I was apart of a music program from 7th grade to Sophomore year of high school called the Music Factor. I learned various styles of drumming from Rock, Jazz, and even some Latin. I got put into the rock group in that program for a few years that was full of different drummers, guitarists, and a bassist. I joined my first actual band during my Sophomore year, playing my first show at Chain Reaction sometime in 2009 or 2010, along with being apart of the jazz band at my high school for a semester. During my high school years, I’ve worked with a few different groups, and I even worked with a chick band. During my Junior and Senior year of high school, I took music a little more seriously by learning music theory at school and learning other instruments. From there, I auditioned for Berklee College of Music out in Boston, Massachusetts, and got accepted, but I decided not to go as it cost an arm and a leg for tuition and moving over there. My music career never stopped as I continue to pursue music today. I have been playing with Gearheart for about five years, two albums out, three singles, an EP, and a third album on the way. We were signed to a local label back in 2015 but left in 2017 due to personal reasons. I was able to get endorsed by SJC Custom Drums in late 2017. I went on tour this past Summer, performing out in Seattle, Oregon, and NorCal. I have performed all around Orange County and Los Angeles, playing at the House of Blues in Anaheim, Glass House in Pomona, Whiskey a Go-Go in Hollywood, the Spring Concert in 2018, and more. There is still a lot more to do and cross off my bucket list.