I like closure just as much as I like boundaries. I also enjoy order and organization and experience minor bouts of frustration and anxiety when my expectations aren't met.  I hate not finishing anything, but it's been a few weeks - months now? - since I've picked up Yell Less, Love More or How to Deal with Your … Continue reading re-cap

home sweet home

It's the age-old interrogative sentence that haunts all of at some point, no matter how physically far away we are from "home." And where is home exactly? Today in social studies, I warned my students that after the lesson they were going to want to leave America and travel the world for the rest of their … Continue reading home sweet home

When the weekend really does end

I've been meaning to publish this post all week; now it's late Sunday night - so late it's already Monday - and, needless to say, my weekend is coming to an end. Last weekend was different because it was the bookend of Christmas break, the vacation I get here in America as a teacher.  Vacation.  A … Continue reading When the weekend really does end

Christmas: tradition, atmosphere, and the human spirit

You may already be aware that I moved abroad weeks after graduating from college to Taiwan, a country where Chinese New year, not Christmas, is the time of year everyone culturally looks forward to for vacation, travel, and family. As a result, in the last 6 years, being home in America for Christmas has only happened … Continue reading Christmas: tradition, atmosphere, and the human spirit

Into the Wilderness

Into the Wild is one of my favorite movies.  The film's nihilistically artistic feel triggers that human longing of wanderlust, and through McCandless we vicariously experience an escape from the world of disillusionment and materialism. But that's not why I love the film. A lot of us, like McCandless, want something more, something that we can't find at Target or … Continue reading Into the Wilderness


I'm sitting here, on a Friday night, in my 8-ping studio apartment (don't ask me how much that is in square feet cuz I couldn't tell you), free of responsibility yet feeling the weight of yet another month come crashing down on me. Why? Because I'm never free of responsibility; I'm responsible to myself, to … Continue reading Responsibility

Twas the Day After Christmas

   My own studio apartment to decorate, finding real potted Christmas trees at the grocery store, kindergarten Christmas program at school, Christmas pancakes for my small group, a weekend full of Christmas bustle at church, planning Aroma's first "children's Christmas program", a Christmas-themed book club-like gathering, Christmas Eve treats, Christmas movies, Christmas Day, working on … Continue reading Twas the Day After Christmas

A Tribute of Thanks

Thank you, God, for all the big things and the little things, for all the successes and the failures, for the beautiful and the ugly, the frustrating and the fulfilling. Thank you for life and death and for dealing it out justly. Thank you for all the moments of color and the moments of dullness. … Continue reading A Tribute of Thanks

Thank you

Thank you in other words. "I couldn't have done this without you." "You're amazing." "Touche." "You're right, I'm wrong." "I honor you." "You're a good person." "This is great." "Your contribution has made a big difference." "I need you." "I love you." How do the words "thank you" make you feel? How do you think … Continue reading Thank you


The alternative titles for this post were "My Journey to Becoming a Permanent Alien" and "Permanent Alienship." However, I decided to stick with some practical and direct, because I want to save every other American out there time and money in the processing of getting an APRC, or Alien Permanent Resident Certificate. I spent 6 months … Continue reading THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION ON HOW TO GET YOUR APRC AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN