Sunday, November 21, 2010

Old Busuanga and the Christmas Project

This past summer, a graduate student member of our Cornerstone CRC of Ann Arbor, Jennifer Hong, visited the Philippines. Inspired by her motivation to find out how human trafficking occurs she discovered that it can be combated through its root cause: poverty.

Old Busuanga, located at the top of the Palawan Islands is unpaved with houses made of bamboo trees and palm tree leaves. The residents are subsistent fisherman and they are all family oriented. Despite it being a rather poverty-stricken area, there is a local church and a local pastor and leader, Pastor Albert. The town is filled with bright and family loving people, but there is a false expectation of lucrative pay from human trafficking that stems from the poverty of the community.

Through this opportunity, Jen wanted to empower the local community through Pastor Albert, who can lead the community away from this abhorrent practice and to protect the women and children of the community away from the perils of reality.

This resulted in the Christmas Project. Through this project, tools can be delivered to help Pastor Albert bring the people to church, so that he may share the Gospel and to create an opportunity where human trafficking can be talked about, and hopefully prevented. Despite this
being a small action, it is expected that this project will be the seed that can hopefully grow into a long term partnership that will require the dedication of our members here and the people of Old Busuanga.

Many students and families are participating in the Christmas Project, in which a child from Old Busuanga is “adopted.”  We are providing one child this Christmas with a small gift, worth less than $10 and small enough to fit inside a shoebox, and a $5-$10 shipping cost to deliver the gifts to Old Busuanga.

We are given the opportunity to choose a child and to perhaps even write a little Christmas card, so that they may know that they are not alone. Even though we are halfway across the world, we still care about the children who are affected by human trafficking. Whether it is their mothers, sisters, or friends, children are aware of the happenings of the community. It is important to know that these children do not NEED these gifts. They are happy and bright children, always willing to give. Jen was blessed with the opportunity to interact with the children, and even told us stories about them and the things they did for her.

In a time of remembering what we should be thankful for, we should always remember our brothers and sisters, whether they are in our own communities, or halfway across the globe in Old Busuanga. We are blessed with the opportunities and the things that are provided for us and in the midst of the chaos of our lives, we forget that. Perhaps by sacrificing that extravagant shopping spree or even our daily coffee, we can put a smile upon a child’s face and let them know there is a world out there that knows and wants to help.

If you are interested in participating in future project with Old Busuanga, please contact Jennifer Hong at

By: Amy Park, Guest Blogger

Friday, November 19, 2010

SNSD! 소녀시대! Girl’s Generation! The Sky’s the Limit!

When it comes to KPOP idol girl groups, I’ve been crazayyyyyy about these four letters ever since their debut: SNSD (aka 소녀시대 aka Girl’s Generation)! Since their debut in back 2007, SNSD has been capturing the heart of millions with their angelic voices, charismatic personalities, and breathe taking performances. A group comprising of nine members, Taeyeon (leader), Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun, have had many famous singles like "Into the New World" ("다시 만난 세계"), “Baby Baby”, “Kissing You”, “Gee”, "Tell Me Your Wish (Genie)" ("소원을 말해),  “Run Devil Run”, “Oh!”, and newly released single “Hoot’. For any fan of SNSD, I’m sure every song is a classic. Safe to say, during their short time as a KPOP idol girl group, Girl’s Generation hasn’t been wasting any time getting their music to the corners of the world.
With all the recognition and success they have received as a group, Girl’s Generation is on the verge of checking one more off the list: the achievement of selling 300,000 total album sales in a single year in Korea. According to Hanteo, SNSD sold a total of 283,975 albums from January 1st to November 15th. During this time, SNSD released three different hit singles/albums; 1.  ! / Oh!”, which was released back in January, sold 122,828 copies 2. Mini album “Hoot”, which was released in October, sold 79,858 copies to date 3. Repackaged album “Run Devil Run”, released in March sold 55,897 copies. 16,000 more albums is the number that’s between SNSD and the 300,000 mark. Once they reach this number, SNSD would be the second idol group to accomplish this feat, behind DSBK’s (동방신기) “Mirotic” album.  For a KPOP idol girl group, to sell 300,000 + albums in a single year in South Korea would be an incredible feat. But one to tell you the truth, I’m surprised it took this long.  

So what’s the moral of the story? Show your love for SNSD/Girl’s Generation/소녀시대! How do you not fall for Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun? Until SNSD reaches 300,000, they aren’t stopping, and even once they get to that number, the possibilities are endless for this group. 소녀시대 HWAITING! <3

By: Jihoon Min

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Advice for Freshmen

To the Freshmen:
You’re almost done with your first semester of college. How do you feel? It probably went by really fast, and I’m here to tell you that before you know it, you’re going to be an upperclassman freaking out about being thrown into the real world too fast, too soon. Over the course of your undergraduate career, you’ll have three full summers before you graduate. What you should be doing the summer after freshman year? There is no absolute correct answer to this question, but this in itself might prove to be frustrating for some. Don’t worry – you still have time to decide, and you have a ton of options as to what you can do this summer.
1.     Find an internship. This is pretty rare for students just completing their first year of college, but it does happen to a lucky few. You can find internships by going to career fairs or if you have personal connections, but most of the time, freshmen aren’t the ones interning over the summer. But if you’re really ambitious, go for it – it’ll give you some good experience and something noteworthy to put on your resume, even if it’s an unpaid internship. It doesn’t even have to be related to your major if you can’t find one that is.
2.     Get a job or volunteer. Many freshmen go home for the summer, and that’s fine. You could pick up an old high school job, or get a new job – a little extra money to spend for sophomore year won’t hurt, especially when the new freshmen come in and you start to feel ignored when the upperclassmen start treating them instead of you. Or, you can volunteer at home too. Some possible volunteer positions could be working in a hospital, being a counselor at a camp, or tutoring.
3.     Study abroad. I personally have not studied abroad, but I hear that it’s an amazing experience, no matter where you go. If you want to go and just chill in a foreign country, learn a different language, or just get some credits out of the way somewhere more exciting that Ann Arbor, you should definitely study abroad. If you’re worried about paying for a trip like this, don’t worry – the university has plenty of financial aid options for those who’d like to study abroad. If you’d like to go abroad anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months, Michigan has a myriad of opportunities for everyone. Please visit for more information.
4.     Take classes. This isn’t a super appealing option, especially when you’ll have already been through two semesters of class, but it can be really helpful in the long run. If you feel like you’re a little behind on credits, or if you really don’t know what you want to study yet, this could be a good option for you. Keep in mind that you can do this at Michigan (make sure you look into off-campus housing, since dorms aren’t available over spring/summer term for students) OR you can do it at an easier, less stressful school or community college. If you take classes elsewhere, keep in mind that the grade you receive won’t transfer, but the credit will (i.e., the grade you get at a different school won’t be counted in your GPA; you’ll only receive credit for the class). Another reason why this could be an appealing option is that certain classes here at Michigan are infamous for destroying GPAs. I strongly recommend for anyone who needs to take Math 215 (Calc 3), Physics 140, or Physics 240 to take it off campus, or at least not during the regular school year. Even Math 116 (Calc 2), if taken at a different college, could take some weight off your back. These classes require a lot of work and the majority of students go through excruciating pain to even pull off a B. If you want to take it at Michigan, I would recommend taking just one of those classes at a time during a spring or summer term. That being said, if you take classes during spring/summer term (here or at a different school), beware that the terms are half as short as a regular semester, so a 4 credit-hour class might meet 8 hours per week and you will learn the material twice as quickly.
5.     Play. Honestly, since it’s your freshman summer, and you feel good about classes and all that, just go play. Catch up on sleep. Do nothing. This is probably the last summer of your life where you aren’t going to feel the pressures of society and work coming down on you. You’re probably going to want to be productive during your sophomore and junior summers, but you can get away with chilling after freshman year. But since it will be probably get really boring really fast, you might want to think about something you could do to pass time, like taking a road trip, learning how to cook, or working on losing that Freshman 15.
My friend, who studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain, on a weekend trip to Lagos, Portugal.

My brother and I visiting Taipei, Taiwan over the summer. We took language classes there.
      By: Jasmine Huang

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Going to College With Your Sibling

(Writing in first person is something my grammar teacher told me to never do cause it’s unprofessional)
Probably a very rare experience, but not unheard of. Going to college with a sibling has its gifts and curses, although the curses are very negligible in my experience. So I guess all in all, the perks of this so called situation are very positive. These positive perks are numerous, and very enthralling. Whether it be small minor things or memorable moments, I cherish the opportunity of having family here while the other members rot away at home.
In my “the situation” (jersey shore.. puahahah thursdays seem empty), I have an older sister, Senior. With me being a freshman, she is basically my guidebook to succeeding in college for she has already been through the mumbo jumbo struggle that college induces. So yeah, helping me choose the right classes and teaching me the basic get-up is a given. But other than the academic perks, which college should be all about, there are also the… everything else.
She buys me food, she asks me about my classes, she even permits me to sleepover her abode when I’m too tired to go back to the north pole. Categorizing all the fine details into something more broad is quite difficult, however I intend to summarize as much as I can into this KSA blog entry. 
Having an older sibling, marks you as their younger sibling. I find it weird when people say, “he’s grace’s brother,” but it’s not unexpected. Walking into college with a predetermined label isn’t the greatest thing and deprives me of the “fresh new start” that college gives. I had already met a handful of seniors from the previous years from which my sister attended freshman-junior year, for i had the unnecessary tendency to attend every party she attended though I was still in highschool. So already having established my set 형’s and 누나’s (너무 예뻐, 미쳐~), a sense of familiarity had already been etched into me before I took my first steps in ann arbor as a freshman. Having an older sibling, she knows where all the hangouts are. She knows what's fun and what's not. She knows who’s good and who’s bad. Stale guidelines enforced by hints of life. If you did something wrong, she’ll hear about it. If you did something good, she’ll hear about it. If you’re in a pickle, she’ll stand by your side. There is so much more I wish I could write, but its just the small things that overall add up to something much greater. The greater thing being, me who had grown to hate my sister from age 7-17, had finally begun to appreciate the privilege of having a sibling who’ll always be down to help you.. occasionally. Kidding. Always*
and college helped me realize that! :3

By: Raymond Hong, Guest Blogger

Monday, November 15, 2010

When Disaster Opens Our Eyes

I picked up a movie during the summer at a local Blockbuster with my sister. I remember looking at the “Top 20 Most Recent and Viewed Rentals.” Normally, I hate chick flicks, but I was drawn to “Remember Me.” It wasn’t to drool over Robert Pattison like most girls do when watching “Twilight,” but instead, to see him act as someone other than a pasty, white, sparkling vampire. My sister and I usually don’t agree on the movies we want to watch, but I knew she liked chick flicks, so she hurriedly agreed. 
 I read the synopsis on the back, which described the movie as:
“A romantic drama set in New York City during the summer of 2001, where Tyler, a rebellious young man, meets Ally through a twist of fate. Her spirit helps him heal after a family tragedy, though soon the circumstances that brought them together threaten to tear them apart.”

I remember wondering why this movie was set so long ago, but I just shrugged it off thinking it was to give the movie a different scene from the new releases.

In the movie, Tyler as Robert Pattison, has a bad relationship with his successful father, who seemed only interested in his business. With the help of Ally, Tyler comes to realize that his anger was a result of blindness. Blindness to the fact of how much his father really cared for his kids, but was just too stubborn to show it.

Near the end of the movie, Tyler decides to visit his father at work and apologize for his own ignorance that caused the family divide. Tyler’s dad isn’t in his office at the time, so Tyler decides to wait until his father comes. The camera shows Tyler standing near the windows of his office and zooms out to show the towering building of where Tyler’s father works, with Tyler on the highest floor, looking down into the city streets.

The scene changes to a different setting with Tyler’s younger sister sitting in a classroom. The camera changes to the teacher slowly writing the date on the blackboard: September 11th, 2001.
My heart became heavy, my head was pounding, and in that moment, it all hit me: It’s 9/11…this is New York…this is the day terrorists hijacked planes and crashed them into OUR Twin Towers and Pentagon and killed many…Tyler’s dad works in the Twin Towers…Tyler’s going to die. I don’t know how to describe the feeling I had, but it wasn’t a good one. I felt ashamed, maybe even embarrassed, for having forgotten such a devastating and life-changing event. I was asking myself, “How could I be so stupid…so ignorant. Why didn’t I realize when reading the synopsis that “New York City” and “2001” should instantly remind me of 9/11.” My eyes were opened.

We come together during disaster to help each other out, and we become a “community” of people working together because these events “undo the loneliness of everyday life.” However, after some time, we go back to the daily ritual of this lonely life, and we become the same private, selfish individual as before.

“We will never forget” was so powerful and strong before…but what happens when we do? I was reminded from watching a movie that I thought would be a usual, boring chick flick. This movie instantly became one of my favorites because of its powerful impact on making me realize how easily we forget until something’s there to remind us.

By: Sarina Lee, Guest Blogger

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Curious Case of Josiah Viera

It’s near the time where everyone is getting stressed out and sick of school; we feel like we are completely overwhelmed with school, extracurricular and social life— but we have to remember that we have it much better than many out there.

I recently found an article that was based on six-yr-old Josiah Viera, he stands at 27 inches tall and weighs only 15 pounds—definitely not the physique of an average 1st grader. Josiah suffers from Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome—a rare genetic disease that causes accelerated aging in children. (The movie ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ is based on this disease) The chances of a child being born with Progeria are about one in 4 million—roughly about 50 kids worldwide have this disease. The life expectancy of these children is between 8 and 13 years

Josiah has numerous health problems and experiences seizures and ministrokes. His dream has always been to play baseball like any other child his age; and despite all that he has to endure, he began fulfilling his wish and began playing baseball—first starting in his backyard with the neighborhood boys, then playing for a little league team, and finally meeting his favorite MLB player, Ryan Howard, and suiting up with the Phillies. Even through his sickness, Josiah gave it his all at his final game—which nearly 1,000 people attended to show their support.

So as we feel stressed out about school and other frustrations in life, I hope we’re reminded to try and walk in others’ shoes for a day. We have been given so much to be thankful for and a life with good health, so make the most of it!

By: Irene Ko, Guest Blogger

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jay Park cast for new movie, ‘Happy Together’

Following the completion of his first movie project, ‘Hype Nation’, it has been confirmed by his agency, Sidus HQ, that singer Jay Park will take on another movie project, called ‘Happy Together’. ‘Happy Together’ will be a story about an idol group who was at the peak of their career when the leader unfortunately had to withdraw and be replaced by a former indie band member. Jay’s character will be a group member who goes through conflicts with the new member, but later resolve their problems to unite as one group.

Sidus HQ stated, “The contract has not yet been finalized, however it has been decided that he will be part of the cast. He will need to put in a lot of effort because of the Korean dialogues.”

Jay, who is currently in America, will soon come back to Korea to finalize contract details. Meanwhile, the former indie band member will be played by Ji Hyun Woo. Ra Hee Chan will take hold of the megaphone as the director, while the movie will be produced by Daisy Entertainment.
The fact that Jay Park, otherwise known as former 2PM group member Jaebeom, is to star in a movie about a popular group whose leader had to leave, is a plot that is interestingly ironic to his own situation that happened back in September 2009. To clarify, the controversy back in September 2009 dealt with his misunderstood comments, about his dislike for life in Korea, posted on his Myspace during 2005, as a young trainee living in  a foreign country for JYP Entertainment. Although the details of the movie and his own life are not identical and the fact that Jay is to star as a group member rather than the leader himself, it's interesting to think that he
was chosen for this particular role. Personally, I'm glad to see that the unfortunate events of the end of 2009 and early 2010 has not dampened his career much. Although he may not be the leader of the popular boy group
anymore, his popularity and fan base is still ridiculously large, both among Koreans in the states and Korea, and his talents are carrying him far beyond what an average Korean pop star would be able to achieve. 

By: Michelle Park

Friday, November 12, 2010

Red Robin

Even though Red Robin is a good 10 minutes from campus, I would definitely say it is worth the drive. There are actually two near campus, one near Briarwood Mall and another near Meijers and Target. With locations all over the country, Red Robin is widely known for its gourmet burgers and bottomless steak fries, and rightly so. Their burgers are simply delicious—the tomatoes and lettuce are fresh and crisp, the cheese is tasty, and the burger is cooked to order. With so many kinds of hamburgers, there will surely be one to fit everyone’s tastes. My personal favorite is the Red Robin Sautéed ‘Shroom Burger—it is loaded with fresh sautéed mushrooms and topped with Swiss cheese—paired with bottomless garlic parmesan steak fries. (Make sure to ask specifically for the garlic parmesan steak fries when you order!!) Red Robin also has wide range of sandwiches and entrees that are equally great, including the onion ring tower and the freckled lemonade, both of which are customer favorites.
Besides the food, Red Robin’s atmosphere is colorful and fun and the inside is decorated with horse carousels, lots of colored lights, and movie posters all over the walls. The kitchen is open so you can even see the burgers being made. The staff is also extremely friendly and attentive, refilling drinks and fries so you’re never out. 

I highly recommend Red Robin if you’re looking for burgers! 

By: Jisun Kim

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Opinion About Korean Netizens

Recently, Tablo, the member of Epik High, and one of my favorite artists faced a slew of criticism from the Netizens regarding the legitimacy of his college degree.  As of right now, the case has closed and the government has verified his college degree as legitimate to calm the Netizens.  It all began as a harmless statement from a single blog stating that one should question the validity of Tablo's college degree, because it sounds extremely hard for him to have graduated in 3years. This simple statement brought in tremendous amount of negative attention on to not only the validity of Tablo's college degree, but also his personal life.  I am writing to criticize the current state of the Netizens and its social ideology.

Netizens are interNET citIZENS, in which they form a single community on the internet without any identity.  In USA, most clashes between Netizens are simply confined to blog entries or comments on Youtube.  However, in
Korea, Netizen clashes can cause the outcome of a success of a celebrity's album or a movie.  In some cases it has had impact on the political arena as well. During the 2007 presidential election, one of the bloggers created a propaganda poster of one of the candidates (Park geun Hye), and the poster spread with the help of Netizens.  This event had a pretty significant impact on her candidacy and she was not elected as a president
along with various other reasons.  In Tablo's case, one of the blogger managed to not only destroy his credentials, but also convince the nation to believe that he was a fraud.

What I personally dislike about Netizen trend is the idea of jumping on band wagons.  During Tablo's case, the majority of the Netizens verbally attacked him stating that he is a fraud with vicious words.  When he was
cleared of these allegations, the very Netizens, who criticized him with lethal words, simply changed their words and started the attack on the people who first initiated these allegations. I know it is easy to anger
people on the internet because you're identity can remain anonymous, however, when it goes too far to destroy a career and a life of a person, where is the line drawn? Internet is a truly amazing technology with tremendous powers with more potentials to be discovered.  I know Koreans have implemented their Netizen idea very well, and works to help many people.  However, they have also managed to find a way to use that idea to change an outcome of various events.  Through this blog entry, I just wanted to bring awareness about the current state of Netizens in Korea and I realize that while it was biased against the system, I really hope that Korean netizens change their way of criticizing other persons through online.        

Picture credits to kpoplive

By: Austin Yi 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Psyched Out

"What's the easiest four credit class that I can take next semester?" "Oh, take Psych 111 with Schreier, it's easy." 

This is the most commonly heard answer when I asked around to all of the uppers on what class was the easiest. So I went ahead and backpacked Schreier's Psych 111 class for this semester but soon realized how it didn't fit my schedule and coincided with the classes that were mandatory. So, I researched some on and decided on Dr. Perlmutter's Psych 111, who I heard was really easy. I mean how much harder could one person be from each other teaching the same exact course. 

I was so wrong. 

1. Perlmutter has a no laptop policy, which means you have to hand write notes or print out the lectures or concentrate on every word she's saying 
2. This class has no attendance required including discussion, that rule makes more the half of my class NEVER want to show up for class
3. Her lectures are purely graphs and what sounds like a summary of the chapter from the back of our text book so they are COMPLETELY pointless for the exams which means ... going to lecture is completely pointless 
4. Her tests are based completely on the textbook and the Wiley website quizzes. Formatted just like the online quizzes which are extremely detail oriented, unnecessarily
5. Her class gives 1195 points. sounds good, especially because exams are from 150 points to 200 points, huh? WRONG. Each question on our online quizzes count as one point and you only get on try. If you don't get the answer right thats one point down the drain. That doesn't sound like much? Do the math of two 15 question quizzes easy optimistically getting 10/15 everyweek.. oh those points add up not to mentions the exams are hard too

So conclusion: Don't take Perlmutter's class EVER! 

By: Rebecca Yi