OCT 5-13


It’s core course week! At DIS, students have 2 free weeks set aside for traveling. One week is called a core course travel week where (pretty self explanatory) students travel with their core class to go to another country for different workshops. It’s basically a ~ groovier ~, longer, and more exciting version of the study tour at another country.

Our destination was FLORENCE ! ITALY ! It was such a vibrant, hustlin’ and bustlin’ city with so much history. We had good food, good CHEESE, good freaking wine (every single night with dinner), amazing gelato, street music, and sun. I also enjoyed the workshops a lot more than the short study tour because they felt more relevant to the class.

One workshop I really enjoyed was meditation based on the practice of Buddhism. At first, I was very unsettled by all the Buddha statues and red paint given the history of Buddhism in Korea. On top of that, a white man casually came in and sat in front of a Buddha statue and this whole picture was just very strange to me.

We meditated for 10 minutes. Not going to lie, I might have fallen asleep a few times here and there. After the meditation, he said something that really stood out to me. He talked about the notion of two arrows in Buddhism. Whenever we are suffering from some sort of misfortune, Buddhists believe two arrows fly our away. The first arrow is the bad event that causes pain and the misfortune. The second arrow is the actual suffering. However, the second arrow only flies our way if we choose to weigh our emotional response on the situation, thus causing emotional suffering on ourselves.

Then Claudia, my professor, mentioned how we often represent the self according to the second arrow. When we dwell so much on the lasting emotions, we sometimes allow that strong emotion to dominate us and therefore identify ourself as is. This is something I noticed I do a lot. I am easily swayed and have very visceral responses to situations that sometimes don’t even apply to me. I empathize too much and I tend to dwell on my emotions too much.

Of course, I am not saying that reflecting on your emotions is something that causes harm. However, my reaction to the first arrow always yields such a strong second arrow that it often ruins my entire day. This is something that intensified especially more during my stay at Italy. I came across so many entitled men acting and speaking to me and my group of friends inappropriately to satisfy their own sexual pleasure. Every time I came across men probably 20 years older than us glancing at my friend’s breasts, making sexual expressions, or edging close towards us, I was infuriated, frustrated, and overall very upset that they ruined our experience and happened so frequently (every 3 hours or so). These feelings would linger for the whole day.

And this really sucks! This is how I feel! It’s like carrying around this terrible emotional baggage stemmed from insensible men who made me feel disgusting in my own body. And I should acknowledge these feelings and let it out. I don’t believe in swallowing my frustration and moving on like a good natured person. Still, I learned that I don’t need to let the second arrow fly for that long.

You are probably noticing a very prominent theme here on my blog: men are trash and they love reminding me that I am a woman of color. Indeed, that is who I am, but I won’t be trampled šŸ˜‰


context wise: my labmates and I took a detour to Athens, Greece for 4 days because our core course week ended early.

While touring the Acropolis in Athens, I saw a man misstepping and falling straight down to hit his face on a rock. It wasn’t a surprise because the temples were erected on slippery limestones that barely provided any sort of grip. Still, he was an elderly man and there was a big thud that reflected my heart dropping with his fall. The crowd cornered him, trying to help, and I saw his bleeding forehead, crooked nose with blood dripping all the way down to his chin. When the Red Cross volunteers rushed up to help him, the crowd dissipated. Everything was normal again: people posing in front of old rocks, zig zagging through a mass of bodies, and snapping photos of the same temple over and over again.

But I couldn’t move. I saw the fall, I saw the blood, and I couldn’t understand how quickly people became desensitized to the situation. We witnessed an injury, perhaps a near death experience for the man given his age and the loss of blood. Yet, there was this heavy air of indifference because we were all strangers to each other, and we didn’t care. I heard people murmuring, be careful, you don’t want to end up like him. Did we sign up for that travel insurance? But that could have been anyone.

I am still shaken up thinking about that moment. I spiraled thinking about the fall: everything from my parents, my friends, and just how fragile and vulnerable we are. This sounds grim, but there are so many different threats (and ways we could die?) and it’s impressive and hard to believe that I haven’t come across any severe injuries.

It also made me think about how fleeting these emotions are when they aren’t directly related to us or to those we love dearly, yet they leave such lasting impacts when it applies to us personally. I am having trouble compromising what should be considered an appropriate response. I am not passing judgment on others for going about their days to enjoy Athens because of a single injury. But how long should we linger? How do we exactly reflect and do we allow these moments to affect us as much (or less) as they should?


I really like asking my friends what they are looking forward to/what they are excited for because I think it gives a little bit of badum! to go through the day whether it be something happening in a few hours, in a few days, or years. Here is my list:

  • I am slowly crossing off people from my long list of gifts and I love the joy of gift giving + excited for their reactions
  • I finally bought a ring (in Greece!) and I am excited to go back home and wear all my rings
  • I have been taking A LOT of film and I am excited to get them developed
  • I am excited to go back to Copenhagen and be in the comfort of my suite mates + my bed
  • I got a new piercing and I am excited to sleep normally once it heals + switch it out into a ring
  • I am looking forward to catching up with all my friends back home and at Cope after being away for a week
  • Finally, I am excited to go home to sunny California

And much, much more to come, I am sure! Apologies for my absence the last few weeks. I will be posting weekly blogs like normal when I am not traveling!

Until next time,


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