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China Through My Eyes

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Marwa Doost

If there is one thing I excel in, it’s probably the ability to stress over everything. Even during the summer, where you would think it wasn’t humanly possible to stress over anything, I was. Summer classes, the ACT’s, college applications, volunteering, and my resume were just some of the things running through my mind. When I wasn’t stressing, I usually spent my time envying my little brothers who spent their evenings tackling Naruto into the ground repeatedly on their PS3.

So when my father mentioned his upcoming business trip to China, I let myself fantasize about traveling overseas and escaping the pool of stress I created for myself. “Dad, can’t I come with you too?” I asked as I imagined speeding through the sky with a bowel of ramen before me.

My little dream bubble was popped not a minute later when I got a call from CT2 Prep, an ACT tutoring company, who reminded me of my interest in receiving tutoring. And like that, my little China dream was forgotten. What I didn’t expect was for my dad to take my request into consideration and buy me a ticket. Luckily though, that feeling didn’t stay for long after being on the receiving end of an hour-long lecture from my older sister who told me to “stop stressing because it was summer for god’s sake and to start living!”

Thanks to her, I was sitting in the window seat of ChinaAir two weeks later with a bowl of ramen in front of me as I bounced onto my seat excitedly.

Cupping and Turtles

Michael Phelps made Cupping famous when he appeared in the Olympics with dark bruised circles on his back. Well, the process of getting those marks is scary creepy. During our stay in China, my dad’s friend managed to convince my dad of getting cupping done at massage place near our hotel. You see, after lying down and getting all comfy (with your shirt off of course), a professional comes in with a bucket of twelve cups and matches. He lit up the match, placed it in the cup, and took the fire out after it blared to life inside of it.

He then stuck the cup onto your back. It hurts and right after it’s done, your skin starts turning red and swelling inside the cup. This method is repeated eleven more times until your back is covered completely to the point where you look like a turtle. After a couple of moments, the cups are taken away with a forceful grab and you are free to go. The marks will stay there for at least a week and will help heal any sore muscles you have and help your blood flow more. Props to Phelps for doing it though! The process is very freaky… I was about to get it done too, but after I saw the process I was like “Heck No! I’ll just start working out again!”

Business Etiquette

Tagging along with my Dad on his business trip was definitely an educational experience. Not only did I meet a lot of his clients and co-workers, but I also got to learn a lot about business etiquette. To my surprise, I learned that offering water to a client or co-worker was the best way to show them respect when they make the time to visit your office.

Moreover, I learned how important it is to plan ahead. I often questioned my dad why he would often meet up with new clients when he already had clients, and he would always reply by saying that “Clients will often agree to what you say, but when it comes down to it, will follow their own choices.” As a result, we had to meet up with new clients to prepare materials that we needed and might not have gotten our hands on from the previous client.

Fish and Lots of It

When my dad first told me that his friend would be taking us out to dinner, I was worried. I mean I’m not a fish fan, and this guy loved that stuff. We then ordered straw mushrooms, tree mushrooms, Chinese cabbage called Bok Choy, Cauliflower, Chinese beans, and varieties of fish and noodles in different shapes. Although there were tons of different types of fishes added into the broth, I was able to avoid eating too much fish by getting myself the soup from corners of the bowl.

Personally, my favorite part was trying all the different types of noodles. Some were thick and long and others were round and thin, and the best part was that they all had a different taste to them!

Tuk Tuk

I love motorcycles, much to my dad’s distaste, and China was full of them. The streets were always full of motorcycles and get this, there were even motorcycle taxis! This was basically a dream come true for me and a nightmare for my dad who always worried about finding excuses to keep me from getting on one. Luckily for him, I didn’t get to ride on one but I was able to ride the Tuk Tuk.

The name of the motorcycle is just as unique as the motorcycle itself. It is a big three wheeled motorcycle that looks like a regular motorcycle in the front but like the back seat of  a windowless car in the back.  It was definitely a lot less dangerous than normal motorcycles, but it still felt pretty cool to be riding in.

Being able to visit another country, especially China, was an amazing experience for me. I got to meet different people, see the culture, and try out amazing foods! Doing well in school and caring about our college applications is definitely important, but I think that being able to experience a lot of different situations is also something that will help you grow as a person. I would recommend the trip to anyone, as it is one that would be forever unforgettable!

Image Courtesy: http://global-goose.com/tuk-tuk-tips/


Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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Maluck Nawabi

It is no easy task trying to decide what you want to be when you ‘grow up.’ This becomes even more complicated when you have to write a ten-page research paper on said area of interest. For my sophomore English class, I had to research a career that I wanted to pursue, which could be fun for some people who have known since they were nine years old exactly what they wanted to do with their lives. Unfortunately, I was never that person. It is safe to say that I was dreading this assignment from the moment my English teacher brought it up.

She tried her best to ease us into it by saying that we would take things step by step and work on finding people in certain jobs to interview. The following week we had to come up with our top three career choices and write them down on these posters that would be displayed in class for everyone to see. I watched as my classmates wrote down occupations such as physical therapist, non-invasive cardiologist, police officer, etc. All the while I was struggling to brainstorm two possible careers. I felt like there was something wrong with me. Why was it difficult for me to find something I was even remotely interested in while those around me clearly had it all together? I knew I had to take this assignment seriously, so I started researching careers.

To play it safe I search online for high paying stable jobs. I thought it was best to be practical and stay true to that anecdote that we have all heard: go to school, get a good job, make money, and be happy (in no particular order of course). As I was looking up careers, I stumbled upon one that caught my attention- Chief Executive Officer (CEO). I was relieved, I had finally found a job that was stable, paid well, and that I could see myself doing. Going forward with the assignment, I interviewed two amazing women in this position who gave me great advice. For a while, I thought that this was what I wanted. I had convinced myself that being a CEO or at least working in business was perfect for me.

However, the world of business was far from ideal for me because I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I was being safe instead of being ambitious and going after something else that would make me happier. What this something else was I did not know exactly, yet I knew that I would be miserable if I just decided on a field of study based on the potential salary. I know how the world works, and you so have to factor in money at some point when it comes to deciding on a career. On the other hand, it is equally important to do what makes you happy so one must take the time to know themselves and find out what sparks their interest.

Currently, I am working on a  degree in Health Science, and I have a mild amount of interest in the subject. I am not entirely sure if I can see myself working in this area, but I know that I can always make a change. Sometimes I feel lost like I do not know what I want to do, and that is all right. There is nothing wrong with feeling confused and unsure of where you are heading. Explore all of your options, take risks when necessary because eighty percent of life is just showing up.

Author Bio: Maluck Nawabi has been an SAC member since my sophomore year of high school. Currently she is a health science major at CSUEB. When Maluck is not busy training for her dream career, she enjoys reading, swimming, and watching classic films.

Photo credit: www.pexels.com


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