paper-writing

A piece of advice: never start a paper 4 days before it is due. Especially when it is 12-15 pages long. hmph.

To take a break from pulling out my hair over how to compare 3 target companies when I’ve only been able to interview 2 of them, I played with some photo effects. Whee!


(me on the left, Carmen on the right)

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chocolate factory

I love when the wind comes from the north, bringing with it the sweet smell of chocolate. There is a chocolate factory just a few miles north of the University, and when the wind is just right I can catch a whiff of it as I walk down the street.

yum.

When I cut open my left index finger years ago, my parents went and bought me chocolate. The one I remember best was the Toblerone bar they handed me…my finger was in stitches and a splint, but man, did that chocolate taste good!

A note for the unaware: Baha’i Distribution. Oh yes, you can buy Baha’i books online in the USA now!


(at a diner after Feast…)

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protest

Today as I walked to the CCC (the union), there was a protest in full swing. On one side were the pro-lifers (Honk Once for Life), and on the other were the pro-choice folks (Honk Twice for Choice). I was on the phone, and had to not only dodge buses, cars, and other pedestrians like I normally do, but also the protestors with their signs. The cops looked bored and so did some of the protestors. I wish I had my camera.

The conference this weekend was a huge success. I want to thank EVERYONE who helped, and especially the other members of the Chicago Baha’i Youth Desk.


(poster design by Andrew. awesome, huh?)

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Not having to cook

Just to illustrate exactly how much I don’t have to cook this week, I took a picture of my fridge. I love it when my mom cooks for me. She is the best cook EVER.

(click on it to make it bigger!)

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Air & Angels

Twice or thrice had I loved thee,
Before I knew thy face or name;
So in a voice, so in a shapeless flame
Angels affect us oft, and worshipp’d be…

-John Donne, 1572-1631

Something about this selection just makes me…I don’t know. Peaceful? Yeah. You can read the whole thing here.

Check out the coolest website in the world. Ok maybe not, but certainly very well done, and definitely needed. The conference is what has been keeping me busy for the last few weeks, and therefore the lack of interesting blog posts. I promise this will change soon. Um…maybe after finals? haha.

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Bounties

“The bounties of the Blessed Perfection are infinite. We must endeavor to increase our capacity daily, to strengthen and enlarge our capabilities for receiving them, to become as perfect mirrors. The more polished and clean the mirror, the more effulgent is its reflection of the lights of the Sun of Truth. Be like a well-cultivated garden wherein the roses and variegated flowers of heaven are growing in fragrance and beauty. It is my hope that your hearts may become as ready ground, carefully tilled and prepared, upon which the divine showers of the bounties of the Blessed Perfection may descend and the zephyrs of this divine springtime may blow with quickening breath. Then will the garden of your hearts bring forth its flowers of delightful fragrance to refresh the nostril of the heavenly Gardener. Let your hearts reflect the glories of the Sun of Truth in their many colors to gladden the eye of the divine Cultivator Who has nourished them. Day by day become more closely attracted in order that the love of God may illumine all those with whom you come in contact. Be as one spirit, one soul, leaves of one tree, flowers of one garden, waves of one ocean.”

Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

It is good to have a reminder that we aren’t alone on this earth, and what we need to do. Thanks to Jason for sending me the quotation.

Already 1:15 pm. I need to get out of the house!

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Finished!

I finished reading the Dawnbreakers last night. 668 pages later, I feel…closer to my heritage and the Faith, but at the same time I know that my knowledge is infinitesimal.

Happy Spring Break, folks. Well, at least for me! Time to start working on my 15 page Marketing paper.

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Naw-Ruz & silence

Please excuse my silence over the last week, it was beyond my control. Server issues of some kind, which Paul kindly fixed. 🙂

There was an interesting article on blogging in the latest issue of Vanity Fair. I don’t normally read magazines that aren’t business related…simply no time. I’m only commenting on the article because I found it quite surreal to be reading about the latest dress fad, turn the page, and find an article on something I do (and have been doing for years).

Storage in the form of a duck. Finally people are doing useful things with this technology. Thanks to Shan for pointing out the link.

At sunset the Baha’i New Year (Naw- Ruz) ends. Eide shoma mobarak! (Happy New Year!)

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surprises

I’m discovering that going into things without expectations tends to work out.
I’m finding that surprises can be really, really good.

And hey, maybe life is complicated. But I’m really enjoying it. And sometimes we create those complications ourselves, anyways.

In other news, I’m trying to cut down on my cell phone use on a general basis. As an experiment, I didn’t use mine pretty much all weekend. I really liked it. I’ve found that talking on the phone too much just makes me…tired. Not that I don’t enjoy hearing from people…I do! Sometimes it just gets to be too much, though.

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Philosophy

enlighten me
as to the philosophy that drives
your mind,
to this interesting, incompatible edge.
understandably, I’m not impressed
by this thought process.
unnecessarily convoluted
twisting around turns
spiritually,
I’m getting polluted.
this constant scream and shout
I’m feeling drowned out
simply put,
I can’t stand your doubt.
relentlessly pursued
my dreams, illogical as they may seem
are not your enemy.
The white flag was never waved
my brain pathways: never paved.
Give up this useless fight,
deciding on your version
of wrong and right
never leaves me satisfied.
I’m just ready to drop.
find the beauty in life
cut out the fascination with strife
this useless argument
just needs to stop.

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My own words

“Praise be to God,” He said, “that whatever is essential for the believers in this Revelation to be told has been revealed. Their duties have been clearly defined, and the deeds they are expected to perform have been plainly set forth in Our Book. Now is the time for them to arise and fulfil their duty. Let them translate into deeds the exhortations We have given them.”

(Bah’u’llah in The Dawn-Breakers, p. 582)

If I had to choose to speak with my own words or to share the words of Baha’u’llah, what do you think I would choose?
———————————–

8 year old bride. This story is heartbreaking…nothing new in the history of the world, but I wanted to share nonetheless.

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Reading the Dawnbreakers

I have been reading The Dawnbreakers (Nabil’s Narrative) since the fall. It is a book about the early days of the Baha’i Faith. I am currently on page 560 out of 668. My goal is to finish by the end of the Fast.

“One day, seeing that her companions were being suddenly enveloped by the forces of the enemy, Zaynab ran in distress to Hujjat and, flinging herself at his feet, implored him, with tearful eyes, to allow her to rush forth to their aid. ‘My life, I feel, is nearing its end,’ she added. ‘I may myself fall beneath the sword of the assailant. Forgive, I entreat you, my trespasses, and intercede for me with my Master, for whose sake I yearn to lay down my life.’

Hujjat was too much overcome with emotion to reply. Encouraged by his silence, which she interpreted to mean that he consented to grant her appeal, she leaped out of the gate and, raising seven times the cry ‘Ya Sáhibu’z-Zamán!’ rushed to stay the hand that had already slain a number of her companions.”

-The Dawn-Breakers, p. 551

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The Fast

“Praised be Thou, O God, my God! These are the days whereon Thou hast enjoined Thy chosen ones, Thy loved ones and Thy servants to observe the Fast, which Thou hast made a light unto the people of Thy kingdom, even as Thou didst make obligatory prayer a ladder of ascent unto those who acknowledge Thy unity. I beg of Thee, O my God, by these two mighty pillars, which Thou hast ordained as a glory and honour for all mankind, to keep Thy religion safe from the mischief of the ungodly and the plotting of every wicked doer. O Lord, conceal not the light which Thou hast revealed through Thy strength and Thine omnipotence. Assist, then, those who truly believe in Thee with the hosts of the seen and the unseen by Thy command and Thy sovereignty. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, the Most Powerful.”

“The law of the Fast is ordained for those who are sound and healthy; as to those who are ill or debilitated, this law hath never been nor is now applicable.”

-Baha’u’llah

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Finding myself

Mission (Feb 2004)

I lost sight of my mission somewhere along the way.
At my birth I was given an inescapable task.
“Go and teach, spread the Word, be worthy of your heritage.”
Such a noble legacy, stories of heroism, sacrifice, and love.
Somewhere, my ego got in the way.
In my zeal to serve I realized other things.
I became less naïve and more cynical.
My compassion never diminished, but my intentions changed.
When I protest, they say I’m just being humble.
Most of the time, it is true.
But somewhere inside me, my conscience is cringing.

I recognized the need to strive one day,
When I sat in a room full of people and didn’t want to connect with them.
Fellow human beings, and even my social abilities were strained.
(please understand, for me this is very strange!)
It is like a shock to the system.
Surrounded by the things I love most in the world
I wanted to be alone.
It has never occurred to me to be other that who I am
The combination of characteristics that makes me unique.
And my beliefs will never change.

But in myself, I was aware of a call for transformation.
God never leaves us without a solution.
To pray, to seek guidance, to simply serve with all of your heart and soul.
Struggling against the lower nature, the part of you that says:
“But I want to sleep in today.” Or “I want a reward for this job.”
In the process of separation from self,
I found myself, somewhere along the way.

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boxes

When one moves away to college, they pack up the majority of their belongings in boxes to store in the basement. Knicknacks, old books, stuffed animals, high school awards…

Like any other student, I did the same. Over the last 2 1/2 years I have slowly organized these boxes (which at some points have numbered at 10!). I am such a packrat. Now the numbers are dwindling (mostly because I take more stuff with me every time I move in & out).

Tonight I ventured to the basement to find my old journal/sketchbook. I bought it in high school when I started designing clothes and writing poems. I wanted to look at some of my old poetry and maybe even post it here. I did not find it…however, I found my box of Chinese & Japanese knicknacks and DECA awards & pins. My living room is decorated with an Asian theme, so I packed up those things to take. And after 3 years of DECA events and competitions, I have a lot of stuff.

More than finding mere decorating items, however, I found things that reminded me of high school, of my room, my friends, and my family. I found things that reminded me how much I enjoyed fantasy books, candles, and clutter. I even found all four of my old High School IDs.

Memory lane for me is segmented, disjointed. There are so many things to remember, and something different triggers those memories every time.

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New Cds

I just got The Tea Party’s cd Transmission from Amazon last week. This cd is…powerful. I’ve liked their music for a few years now but have been unable to buy their cds here in the USA…they are from Canada, and very popular there. You can listen to some samples at Amazon.

I also acquired the newest Live cd, Birds of Pray. Very good, doesn’t have as much electronic crazyness as the album before it (V). I now own all 6 Live cds! One of my favorite songs on this album is “The Sanctity of Dreams”.

Another recommendation is Ours. I have both of their cds (Distorted Lullabies and Precious), but have listened to the first one more. Personally I feel it shows the lead singer’s vocal range more accurately, and has catchy songs. Perhaps I just need time to get used to the new one. Click here for a good review. Their website seems to have disappeared.

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fixed and Kabob

Ta Da! I have internet access on my computer after 1 month without it. I was going crazy.

If you click on the link below, you will be able to see the recipe for Kabob and Persian rice that I adapted from the Food of Life cookbook. Enjoy!

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Blog-cleaning

Since I had time to kill before work, I fixed the links on my sidebar over to the right (I know some browsers have trouble seeing my sidebar, try scrolling down to the bottom of the page).

I reinstated my “People” links, with some new names (Jessica & Mahsa, welcome to this blogiverse!). Some more links, some taken out…

And guess what, y’all? BAHAIYOUTH.COM IS BACK!!! Starting Wednesday. So you have to wait a few more days…I assure you, it is going to be great. 🙂

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Education

Things I have learned this weekend:

*When your friends play the guitar, goof off, and make drums out of tupperware, you know you’ve got cool friends…even if they like to play a game involving a Dictionary. *grin*

*When you are planning a huge conference and people offer to help, things seem a lot less hard.

*College is the perfect time to fit more people in a car than you thought you could. It is like a rite of passage…that you do over and over again.

*The weekend isn’t long enough, dang it!

*And sometimes, things happen that make you realize how awful it would be if something bad happened to any of the people in your life.

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Try not to bother me too much this week, I have a lot of studying to do.

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Ethernet card?

I have an Emachine (don’t say bad things about my computer!) with Windows XP. My ethernet network card that I installed 2 years ago seems to have completely died, and no one knows how to fix it.

What kind is good? This is the one I have in my computer right now, should I just order another one?

There are bets going around on how long my computer will last, but I’m hoping another year at least. I need my internet NOW.

EDIT: Ordered the card. Should be here in the next few days!

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Computer update

I unplugged the computer, took off the case, cleaned out the dust, replugged it, and voila! It turned on!

Maybe it was having an allergy attack?

Now I just need to get the internet working…

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Majorly

If ever I should wonder whether I picked the right majors (Marketing & Management), all I have to do is remember how I ace the exams in these classes without even trying.

It is still snowing.

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broken computer

My trusty computer has gotten very ill. It won’t turn on completely, the little cheerful green light in front is dark, and all I can hear is a sad little hum from the machine. The screen is black, nothing registers.

I hope it is the monitor…doubt it though. In any case, if anyone wants to fix it for me, I’d be quite happy. *looks around hopefully*

*sigh*

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fluffy stuff

I’m completely bundled up today
from the knee-high boots on my feet
to the coat I have named “Bear”
to the scarf that wraps twice around my neck
to the hood pulled up on my head.

Even though Bear nearly reaches the ground
the wind still manages to snuggle up next to me
sneaking into the openings I’ve carelessly left
like arm and neck holes, and by my feet.

Black leather gloves with a brown coat
The fashionistas would swoon in anguish
Such a ghastly combination of colors
But everything goes with white, I say.

When the fluffy stuff piles up
concealing all of winter’s gray
everything is muted: sound, light, touch
cotton candy marshmallows to the eye.

So I slog through the impertinent slush
my head down, it looks like cookie dough
look up, and I’ve got flurries in my face
I don’t recommend breathing them in
through your nose.

Some of the snowflakes were
as big as chocolate chips
I nearly choked on the water on the breeze
while my skin cracked in the dry air.

I love Chicago. I also love that I don’t have to drive.

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Timely utterance

“How great the multitude of truths which the garment of words can never contain! How vast the number of such verities as no expression can adequately describe, whose significance can never be unfolded, and to which not even the remotest allusions can be made! How manifold are the truths which must remain unuttered until the appointed time is come! Even as it hath been said: ‘Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.’
-Baha’u’llah, Gleanings

That is often the trickiest thing, isn’t it?

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