Weirdos and Psychos

June 11, 2008

“Who knows, you might be talking to weirdos and psychos?”

My Mom raised a concern of networking learning during the interview. She’s very fond of the idea of sharing and exchanging thoughts with other people in the world, but she’s worried about that unknown person’s identity.

Listen to our talk here

Interviewing someone who doesn’t know a lot about network was interesting to hear in comparison to someone who does know a lot about it. My Mom tended to show worries about this topic whereas the “pros” talked about what a good system this is.

I thought that it’d be important to find out the two opposite sides of this topic. Getting in touch with others around the world wasn’t as hard as I thought. But when in desperate needs, someone near you may be the one you need.


Hi, Nice to Meet You

June 9, 2008

Listen to our talk here.

I’ve done it. I’ve accomplished my goal. But this is just a start.

Just a couple days ago, I recorded my first interview with Diane Cordell, a librarian from New York. It made me realize that organizing interviews weren’t as hard as I thought. All it took was confidence, but I guess it took me a while to find it.

The conversation flowed very smoothly and everything went great. Diane answered my questions with gentle and kind tone which got rid of my nervousness at once. Since I met her through Twitter, I asked her opinions of network learning opposed to the old-fashioned learning method of listening to teachers the whole time. Her replies showed positiveness towards that idea. Learning and interacting through different people from different backgrounds sounded very educational to Diane.

education.jpgThen I raised up a concern about encountering unknown people through online. One of my biggest fears was to contact people without knowing what kind of people they were. Diane suggested that the environment that I’m involved in – with a teacher’s supervision – should be pretty safe. The project that I’m working on deals with education which means that I’m mostly interacting with people who are willing to learn. Learners love new ideas.

Through this interview, I learned that Diane is not only a learner, but also a learner who loves to share her knowledge. It was a great start of interacting with more people in the future.

On My Way Out

May 27, 2008

Some of us have got it, but some of us are still wandering in the never-ending maze.

It’s been a while since second semester has started, which means that I’ve been in this class for about 5 months. Although the initial goal of this class was to connect with the world and to share variety of ideas, the plan did not quite work out. For the most part, it could have been due to all the new stuff that we encountered with as well as the confusion that came along with it.

maze.jpgI think I’m at a point where I see the way out, but not exactly there yet. Lately, I’ve been trying to write blogs frequently and make connections with others. Fortunately, I have been getting some feedbacks based on my posts on this blog as well as my other blog. I’ve contacted them as well and was able to hear more of what they thought of my writings.

Through the long journey, I wondered at times if I would be able to do something meaningful like others in this class. I began to think whether it was a mistake to break off with the group that I was in, in the beginning because figuring out the way out of the maze alone was too difficult for me. But, these are the times when one can feel motivated and think that he/she CAN do this alone with a little help from others.

What I’ve learned from making connections with the rest of the world is that I shouldn’t wait for them to find me and reach me. I have to be the one to step up and approach them first. It’s surprising how I haven’t thought of this earlier. It’s nice to hear from unknown people who visit my blogs of their own interests, but that doesn’t happen very often unless I yell it out to the world. Being active within this online network community is necessary and beneficial not only for the sake of grades, but also to improve my writing skills.

Even though I didn’t get as far with the project as much as I would have liked to, I think I’ll be able to accomplish something that I haven’t done yet: the interview. This is what really shows that I’m on my way out of this maze. I’m starting to get the hang of this whole project. The time is set up for Wednesday morning during class. I’m going to be interviewing Diane Cordell from New York. Her and I have been in contact for a couple days and she seems to have lots of interesting things in her minds.

Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to escape this maze and look back and say, “I’ve done it.”

Invisible Food

May 22, 2008

No!! I gained 10 pounds only within a month. What am I going to do to lose all the fat? You know what, I’m not going to eat until I go back to my initial weight.”

url.jpegIt’s a pretty common statement spoken whenever one goes on a scale, seeing the needle point higher numbers can often freak people out. I guess I’m one of those ‘self-conscious’ people when it comes to weight. Although I try to maintain my physique, the thought of not eating have never crossed my head. Why starve when there’s a better alternative?

Not eating will make one lose weight for sure, but honestly, starving is one of the hardest things to do. Would you want to risk going through the silent pain just to lose a couple pounds? It may make you feel good for a couple of days thinking that you’re losing weight, but what’s next?

Just a little more. Weighing a little less than now isn’t going to make much of a difference,”

is the phrase that leads to the entrance of ‘good-bye food’. Once you reach the goal weight, stop and try to maintain it from there. The photos of stick-figured models in magazines are just fantasies, but the society has somehow brainwashed the world to believe that that’s the stereotypical look of a person. Believe it or not, this has caused a great damage to young teenage girls thinking that they must look like those models. This led to the issue of anorexia and bulimia, bringing up major concerns for the girls.

Influential people like Tyra Banks and Oprah Winfrey have done shows based on this topic and told the girls how to improve their self-esteem based on their appearances. Those two women have played major roles in helping the girls and have made a big difference towards the matter as well.

healthy-foods.jpgThe conclusion is to eat healthy by making smart choices. Starving is too much of a suffering for food lovers like me. I rather eat vegetables and low calorie food than quit eating. Although eating vegetables, fruits, and grains are very beneficial for health, that’s not the solution that common people turn to when trying to lose weight. Healthy foods simply don’t taste good. But, there are many cookbooks (recipes) and TV shows today that show examples of living a lean and healthy life by turning the tasteless foods into delicious and low fat meals. You’ll be surprised by how good vegetables can taste.

The Pink Swirl

May 15, 2008

Smoothies.. the perfect chill on a hot Summer day. The best part of smoothies have got to be the fruits that you put in it.


Here’s a hardy and refreshing recipe for Banana and Strawberry Smoothie, the “Pink Swirl“.


Yield: 2~3


2 ripe bananas

12 fresh strawberries

1/4 cup of apple juice

How to make it:

1. Chop up the bananas and 10 strawberries as if you’re chopping away the brutal heat on a blazing hot summer day

2. Freeze them overnight

3. Put the other 2 strawberries in a blender until it’s completely puréed (if you’re using a juicer, skip #4)

4. Place the puréed strawberries on a strainer and strain out the juice only, pressing down the purée with a spoon

5. Spoon the strawberry syrup and pour it into 2 empty glasses (about a tbsp each)

6. Take out the frozen fruits and blend them together in a blender (it’ll end up having a sorbet-like texture)

7. Drop 2 scoops or more of the mixture as if you’re scooping cold vanilla ice-cream into the prepared glasses with the strawberry syrup in it

8. As you drop the scoops into the glasses, you’ll notice that the strawberry syrup splashes in the glass and creates beautiful pink swirls

9. Put a straw into the glasses (or teaspoons) and enjoy!


May 15, 2008

2008031861827_2008031875621.jpg“Ahh! There’s a mouse head in my shrimp chips!” a girl yells aloud.

“Yeah, right. Shrimp chips always come with a couple pieces of mice in them,” laughs the listener.

Occurrences like these would have been unimaginable back when I used to eat shrimp chips as a child. Unfortunately, today, that’s not necessarily the case. Numerous “unidentified” items are being found in foods that customers consume often. Is it simply a mistake or has our society become careless about the cleanliness of the foods?

Back in the 1990’s when lots of new snacks were being made for kids to enjoy, the sanitization was one of the major aspects to take care of since these were mostly consumed by the children. Regular inspections and maintaining the clean environment in factories were common sense.

mr-clean.jpgWhat kind of dramatic things could have happened in the last decade that changed around the conception of the seriousness of sanitization? It wasn’t only the “shrimp chips” case that shocked the consumers, but there were other cases where a piece of metal came out of sweet crackers, needle stuck in sandwich breads, and even a block of rubber dunked in orange juice. How can customers feel comfortable feeding their children or their families if so many risks are involved in buying convenient snacks? Another thing that concerns the moms especially is the fact that these “unidentified” objects are found in kids’ snack packages for the most part.

There have been many complaint-calls to the corporates that wrapped the unsanitized edible products, yet the actions that they take are just as careless as the products they bring out to the public. The corporate heads order their employees to politely apologize to the customers and collect the evidence, and as a bonus, hand out free boxes of the product the victims (customers) have consumed.

“We don’t want more products that we feel uncomfortable with,” is what the buyers’ claim. “We want a guarantee or the fullest effort of not making these types of mistakes again, but the corporate workers always tend to go around the subject and never confront it properly.”

Who knows when the battle between the consumers and the corporates will end? The only solution for now is to watch out for whatever it is that you’re eating.

Sweet Confusion

May 1, 2008

pho_ice_cream_sundae.jpgBaskin Robbins, Ben & Jerry, Coldstone, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf… The list can go on an on about my favourite dessert/cold drink stores. Writing about these stores is pretty fun and cool, but what point can I make out of it?

I want to write about something that carries a significant purpose and be effective at the same time. Saying that ‘I like this store because of this and I like this kind the most because of this’ sounds pointless. It does show my interest for food and sweets, but the writing itself doesn’t seem to have a clear voice.

ideas.jpgWhich new direction can I take to turn this around? I want to write about something that’s interesting enough that won’t lose the audience’s attention, something that will make them want to read more. In order to do that, I know I need to find a topic that I know a lot about and that I’m passionate about so that I can do whatever I want with it.

I’m interested in food, that’s for sure. Coming up with new recipes or making my own variation of an original recipe is what I enjoy doing. I always take photos of the finished products as well to look back at them any time I want. It’s also a pretty nice way to look at my progress and creativity. I once thought about making a cook book of my own, too. Filling in all the pages with my creations of food, photos, and funky decoration that makes everything ‘pop’ out of the page.

Food is often portrayed negatively since food is one of the biggest problems that people have in life. Food can lead to death and serious disease or illness. It’s pretty surprising how food – a ‘must-have’ in our lives – to be so threatening and harmful to human beings. But food to me means all the positive things I can think of.

I often think that I was born to be around food forever because in Korea, there’s a special ceremony when a child has to pick an object out of a bunch when he/she turns one. Each object means different things. Parents prepare pencils (symbolizes intelligence), money (wealth), strings (long life), paint brush (wisdom), and finally traditional Korean rice cake that symbolizes abundance in food. Yes, I chose the rice cake. Although the meanings are just simple sayings, my case may be true. Since I was little, I grew up watching my grandma cook traditional Korean foods which not a lot of people bother doing in the modern days. Those are all available in supermarkets. But I really am lucky to have grown in this type of culture where food was always near me.

In fifth grade, when I moved to Canada, after experiencing more varieties of food and being exposed to the western culture of “baking”, my interest in food just bloomed like a big lotus. My favourite channel was the “Foodnetwork Channel”. I could literally spend all day watching it. A couple of my favourite shows included Barefood Contessa, Everyday Italian, Sugar, Party Dish, Surreal Gourmet, Hell’s Kitchen, Paula’s Home Cooking, and 30-minute Meals. After watching the show, I would pretend that I’m a host of my own show and would narrate through the cooking process.

reading.jpgBack to my confusion about my writing, I might like writing about my recipes, but the question is “will it be interesting?”. In addition, I want to find a topic within the category of food that can be expanded in many different ways. What I’ve realized by writing posts based on my favourite comfort foods of my childhood is that I can’t really play around with that topic a lot. I want to be able to go into different directions within the same topic. I don’t want to be jumping over several topics, but maybe one broad topic that’s versatile in many ways. But I don’t know what could be the perfect topic for all this. Or maybe I might just have to change my perspective and find a way to jump between other topics and still make it neat. The reason why I don’t want to go back and forth about different topics is that it confuses me and it looks really messy, and things don’t really flow well.

I also kind of thought about making an online cook book of my own, but the biggest problem with me is that i don’t know how to make recipes interesting and distinguishable from other ones. I think I have enough photos and information to make this happen, but again, it has to be different from others.

istockphoto_4573254_choices.jpgSo what are my options? Select a broad topic that’s versatile enough for me to write about numerous matters, if so, what would be the ideal topic? Or, should I go with my own cook book? That does sound interesting and fun since i’ll be using my own recipes and my creations, but it should be somewhat entertaining, too.