I probably shouldn’t exist…

In some ways tracing my family history is easier than my classmates. That’s because my parents emigrated from Asia to American to pursue an education. However, my parents come from countries “we” (Americans) consider to be polar with each other.

My father’s family hails from China. More specifically, they lived in western China. However, after the communist takeover of China in 1949, my grandparents like other followers of Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan. After fleeing to Taiwan my grandfather served in the military and eventually became a banker. On the other hand, my grandmother stayed at home to raise the children, as most women did in that time period. Even though my grandparents left China, their Chinese identity passed on to their children. However, tracing my family roots past my grandparents is a daunting task. But, I have it on good authority (documents) that my great-grandfather was the governor of the province of western China. Unfortunately, as I explained before, the Communist take over forced my great-grandparents immediate successors (my grandparents) to flee. Moving beyond my great-grandfather and to my great-grandmother, first-person accounts state that she also stayed at home and tended to the children. So not much differed from her and my grandmother. This was a result of the time period that they lived in. Going past this point in my father’s side of family history proves nearly impossible because of the lack of documentation. But, one day I hope to uncover the truth about my Chinese heritage.

My mother’s side of the family originated from Japan. She was born and raised in Tokyo. However, her grandparents and parents lived in the northern island, Hokkaido. I know that many relatives on her side of the family were entrepreneurs. My grandfather owned a pharmaceutical company, and his parents owned restaurants. Although my great-grand parents  were not college educated, it did not hinder their success as entrepreneurs. On the same island of Hokkaido, my grandmother’s family owned shoes stores, hot springs, and hotels. Like my grandfather’s parents, my grandmother’s parents were also not college educated. But, thankfully both my grandparents broke this chain and went to college. My knowledge of my mother’s side limits me to this point because I was not particularly close to them. Like my other side of the family, I hope to understand were exactly my Japanese roots come from.

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Dust to Gold

“Centuries”

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me for centuries
And just one mistake
Is all it will take.
We’ll go down in history
Remember me for centuries
Remember me for centuries

Mummified my teenage dreams
No, it’s nothing wrong with me
The kids are all wrong,
The stories are off
Heavy metal broke my heart

Come on, come on and let me in
The bruises on your thighs like my fingerprints
And this is supposed to match
The darkness that you felt
I never meant for you to fix yourself

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me for centuries
And just one mistake
Is all it will take.
We’ll go down in history
Remember me for centuries
Remember me for centuries

And I can’t stop ’til the whole world knows my name
‘Cause I was only born inside my dreams
Until you die for me, as long as there is a light, my shadow’s over you
‘Cause I am the opposite of amnesia
And you’re a cherry blossom
You’re about to bloom
You look so pretty, but you’re gone so soon

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me for centuries
And just one mistake
Is all it will take.
We’ll go down in history
Remember me for centuries
Remember me for centuries

We’ve been here forever
And here’s the frozen proof
I could scream forever
We are the poisoned youth

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me for centuries
And just one mistake
Is all it will take,
We’ll go down in history
Remember me for centuries

We’ll go down in history
Remember me for centuries

If you already didn’t know this song is “Centuries” by Fall Out Boy. Choosing a song that I found meaningful was such a daunting task. It was probably hard because I don’t really think about the meaning behind the lyrics that often. Music to me is a realm where I can relax and not think about the troubles of my day. Another factor that added a layer of complexity to this assignment was the requirement of relatively “clean” lyrics. In the society that I currently inhabit, curse words in songs is such a common trend. As a result, most, if not all, songs I listen to have relatively large amounts of taboo words.
“Centuries” is an exception to today’s modern trend. It doesn’t utilize extreme language to make itself entertaining or appealing. What makes the lyrics meaningful in this song is the simplicity. The lyrics aren’t some vague euphemism for something relating to something like drugs (This the most common trend in mainstream music nowadays). For the most part, the lyrics in this song are linear. I guess what I appreciate most about the lyrics is the song’s pristine “symmetry”
The lyrics “Some legends are told Some turn to dust or to gold But you will remember me Remember me for centuries And just one mistake Is all it will take We’ll go down in history Remember me for centuries Remember me for centuries” are especially meaningful to me because it concerns a universal fear. These lyrics clearly express the fear of being forgotten. Obviously as it was stated before, this is a universal fear, so I can relate to because I have the same fear myself. You, the reader, probably have the same fear of being forgotten too. Therefore I suggest that you listen to this song @http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCbS-TLEoRA and think about how to be remembered for centuries.

Finally, it’s proven books are bad for you…but not really

The article can be found here: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/park-cities/headlines/20140921-highland-park-isd-suspends-seven-books-after-parents-protest-their-content.ece

In response to Highland Park Independent School district suspending seven “controversial” books, my most straight forward answer is that I agree with their decision. I agree with their decision because it is the most politically correct way to respond to a mass of unsatisfied parents. Suspending the books rather than banning them gives time for the district to recover from the initial shock and gives time for the district to prepare a counterargument. That being said, I can understand both parties logical reasoning for each argument.

Highland Park ISD justifies the selection of books because of the “life experience” readers can obtain by reading this book. Life experience is essentially familiarity with the real “dog-eat-dog” world. To provide further explanation on the topic, most in the district believe students should be aware of the harsh reality that is beyond the scope of their comprehension. Therefore, choosing prose that exposes students to that harsh reality seems only natural. A Highland Park ISD English teacher, Darcy Young, adequately summarizes the viewpoint of the school district when she states that the true success in the course lies in preparing “the child for the path, not” the “path for the child.” Obviously, the district doesn’t want its student to finish their education with unrealistic expectations of the world. This is why I personally agree with the district rather than the parents. In sharp contrast, “Helicopter Parents” mentioned in the article are actually diminishing their children’s’ chances of success by supporting a close-minded view.

Like it was mentioned before, I understand the parents’ argument and reasoning; however, I still cannot conform to their viewpoint. The parents’ worry over the corruption of their children’s morals is a fair one. Nevertheless, the parents inability to expose the younger generation is close-minded and ultimately will end in disaster. I say this because if the younger generation is not aware of  pressing issues such as “rape, murder, and abortion” their transition into accepting the latter will take precious time.

Once again, I must agree with the district’s decision because not only is it the best method to approach this certain type of conflict, but also the district actively tries to prepare students. And I do not accept the opposing argument because of the limitations that will be placed on the students.