Tag Archives: tradition

The Mom Figure(s) in my life

By Leah King

[3 minute read]

The first time I went to Taiwan was during the summer of 2017. My mother is originally from Taiwan and is quite an interesting character. She is selfless and loyal, but growing up she would work late hours, go on work trips, or go back home to take care of her mom. Because of this, I didn’t really see her that much when I was younger. In Asian culture, supporting family comes first even if that means not seeing them for a while. My dad and my aunt became the “mom” figures in my life. They would always take me to school, take care of me, and play with me. I was never mad that she wasn’t there, but I was often sad and a little confused when she would leave. She would miss every holiday and family trip. I remember one time my mom left for a modeling trip in Asia (she was a successful Asian model back then). The night before she was supposed to leave I asked her to stay, but she couldn’t and she also had to make money to support us. And in the morning when I woke she had left. She would always call and cry saying that she missed me.

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash
Continue reading The Mom Figure(s) in my life

It’s Fall Y’all!

By Brianna Ma

‘Tis the season of pumpkin spice lattes, snuggling up on your couch, and holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Fall is a time to breathe in the crisp cool weather, break out your sweaters and scarves, and of course eat everything pumpkin. Here are some of my favorite fall traditions.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch 

Photo is author’s own

One of my favorite traditions is going to local pumpkin patches with my family or friends and picking out pumpkins to bring home and decorate. Most pumpkin patches sell things like hot apple cider and some even have small rides!

Carve a Pumpkin

Photo is author’s own

Once you’ve selected your pumpkin, you get to carve it up and decorate it! You can find simple ideas online and most stores sell relatively inexpensive pumpkin carving tools! Here’s an example of the pumpkin that I carved last year!

Indulge in Pumpkin Spice Latte Everything 

Photo from Pixabay

When I was younger, the most memorable food of the season was pumpkin pie and candy corn but now that PSL (pumpkin spice lattes) have taken over, there is a whole world of pumpkin spice flavored things that are full of festive flavor.

Enjoy the Warmth of Bonfires 

Photo from Unsplash

The best part of any bonfire is S’MORES!! It you’re like me and love late night sweets then this is the fall tradition for you. A s’more is a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between Graham crackers and chocolate. This sugary concoction is best served over an open flame but if you live in an apartment there are also microwave and oven safe variations.

Binge with Movie Marathons 

Photo by Marian Ladiona on Flickr

“Halloween Town”, “Hocus Pocus”, and “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” are my absolute favorite fall movies and I definitely recommend watching them to get into the Halloween spirit. Fall weather tends to be chilly so a great way to embrace the season is to cuddle up on the sofa with a mug of hot apple cider and marathon a bunch of feel good movies. A popular alternative movie night is to binge watch horror movies (but I am a scaredy cat and I do not enjoy scary movies!)

Go Fake Camping 

Photo by Paul on Flickr

This is one of my favorite childhood memories. My friends and I always loved the idea of camping but didn’t love the idea of bugs, a lack of restrooms, and long drives so we would set up a tent in the living room or backyard. We would bring in snacks and sleeping bags and pretend that we were in the mountains exploring the great outdoors.

Bake Cookie and other Fall Treats

Photo by Kurman Communications, Inc. on Flickr

There’s nothing more cozy than a warm oven wafting the smell of fresh baked goods. The oven warms a chilly house and the baked goods make the room smell amazing. PLUS, you get fun treats to share (or you can eat them all yourself!)

Soak in the Season at Disneyland 

Photo by Loren Javier on Flickr

As an avid Disney fan, one of my favorite things is watching the park transform each season. The fall season brings out pumpkin desserts and spooky decorations!

I hope you have an amazing fall season and that you get to make memories that turn into traditions!

Featured image by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Brianna is a first year graduate student at the Keck School of Medicine studying Global Medicine. She is Chinese, British and Irish and currently lives and studies at the HSC (health science campus). Born and raised in Southern California, Brianna received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and medical anthropology. Brianna is passionate about research and volunteering and loves trying new things. In her free time she enjoys reading, dancing, trying new foods, and traveling! Brianna was a resident adviser in a community that had international housing and her family hosts international high school students!

How Are You? Does it Matter?

By Samantha Wong

It’s always fascinating—illuminating even—to take a step back from the comfort of our daily interactions and to ask, why? Why do we do some of the things we do? 

During one of my first sessions leading as a Conversation Partner, an international student asked me, “How do you respond to how are you?” Immediately, I reacted with the oh-so-familiar reply, “Good; how are you?” Unconvinced, the student questioned why people respond that way even when they are not good. Like an automatic reflex, it seemed to her as though people ask and return this ostensibly benevolent greeting without any genuine interest at all. 

This inquiry into the utmost timeless greeting focused my attention on to the standard of politeness that Americans have become accustomed to. Why do we continue to blindly ask each other “how are you” when we simply expect a moderate variation of the same answer 99% of the time?

In America, I believe we come to ask each other “how are you” because, frankly, we are afraid to come across as impolite otherwise. It is due to our crippling fear of appearing “rude” or “crass” that we ask a question that does not seem to bear much weight anymore. Indeed, when we ask this question, we more often than not are returned by a one-word response and a dreadfully long, awkward pause… Consequently, we need to move beyond these greetings that yield one-word answers to unlock opportunities to stimulate dialogue we are sincerely interested in. It is only then may we bridge meaningful relationships.

Across all cultures, we hope to reciprocate both courtesy and respect during our interactions with new people. For, every day, we inevitably cross paths with dozens of new faces under distinct circumstances. Particularly as USC students, we have the unique ability to meet and learn from hundreds of different perspectives through a simple “hello” and informal introduction. With one of the largest international populations on campus, we truly are a melting pot of diverse and similar stories waiting to be told. Thus, why should we waste our perfect opportunities to engage in thought-provoking conversations by asking a question that leads to nowhere?

In reference to a Forbes article, there are countless questions to ask that can prompt dynamic and distinctive conversations. What has been the best part of your day so far? What are you looking forward to this week? What has inspired you recently? Truly, the possibilities for good questions are endless. 

With this untapped reserve of productive conversation starters, we can (and should) begin exchanges with positivity, purpose, and ultimately, genuine interest! After all, who wouldn’t want to make a great first impression?

Let’s do ourselves a favor and ask better questions. Who knows, perhaps we can gain something more valuable during our conversations!

Featured image by Sawyer Bengston on Unsplash

Sam is an undergrad business student at Marshall School of Business. While raised in a small town in New Jersey, she loves to explore diverse cultures through travel and unique eats (particularly, desserts). Since flying 3,000 miles across the country, Sam has continued her passions for consulting, interacting with students across cultures, and helping others! Sam is greatly involved in the Marshall community (AIM Marketing Consulting, Marshall Business Network), and is an enthusiastic American pop culture follower.