The Curated Collection

I’ve been blogging for about two years now. With 200+ blog posts, I’ve written some pieces I’m especially proud of that I’d like to highlight and share with you – a curated collection. For those of you new to my blog, perusing through these posts would be a good introduction. Enjoy!

Vulnerable to “win” or “lose” (October 2013)
“I can remember multiple instances of the first time I bared my soul to someone, sharing my fears and admitting my weaknesses and struggles. It’s a terrifying and intimate moment as you spill your words, waiting and watching for the other person’s reaction. And how they choose to handle your vulnerability – with honest care and understanding, judgement or rejection – determines whether a bond of friendship can form, or you forever regret that moment and avoid that person.”

A love letter to Ithaca (June 2013)
“My story in Ithaca ends with my four years of undergraduate education at Cornell University. And what an amazing four years it’s been. Not only have I received a first-rate education, but I’ve learned countless life lessons and met countless people who have changed my life – the kind of experiences you can’t pay for.”

How can someone be pro-feminism but not necessarily a feminist? (February 2013)
“I’ve always been personally reluctant to associate myself with the word “feminism” and to label myself as a “feminist” for the same reason that I think many women do. That opponents of feminism have associated the word with “man-hating” and irrational, hormone-fueled aggression. That feminists are trying to turn women into men, or (even worse) men into women.”

I’m okay, you’re okay – in small doses (January 2013)
“I’ve been described many different ways. When I was young, my parents preferred to tell people that I was “shy.” I have also been described as “quiet,” “mysterious,” “distant,” “inscrutable,” “cold,” and once I was described (half-jokingly) by a high school teacher as appearing to have no feelings. One friend explained me by saying that I was a “socially normal” person, but that I just “took a while to warm up to people.””

I’m not overdressed… everyone else is underdressed (November 2012)
“One of the stereotypes about scientists is that they (we) all look like slobs. Think about your stereotypical nerd image (yes, I know not everyone fits a stereotype, but they do exist for a reason): clunky glasses, slacks that seem to defy gravity to be worn miles above the natural waist, tattered tshirt, exposed tube socks rising out of a pair of white comfort sneakers designed for old men with arthritis…”

Why I can’t “give no fucks” (October 2012)
“In some of my darker moments as I sobbed in frustration into a tear and mascara-stained pillow because I felt unappreciated as a friend, daughter, girlfriend – because I put so much work and effort into something only to receive very little reward or gratification – I would craft this twisted idea in my mind that everything I did was to make other people happy.”

Double standards: being a daughter (September 2012)
“At the same time that my mother preached independence and inner strength to me, she scoffed at the idea that I could be strong and independent alone, at the idea that I *might* never want to get married or have kids. “You’ll see,” she’d say, “Every woman eventually needs a family.””

Why your desire for romance might be killing your love (or like) life (July 2012)
“Why does every book, magazine, and TV show character tell us that the key to a successful romantic relationship is not to have sex on the first date (you’ll seem easy). Not to order spaghetti for dinner (no one looks attractive slurping noodles). To wait three days to call or text after the first date (you don’t want too seem to eager). To allow the guy to pay for dinner (it’s supposed to be chivalrous). Are these really rules or guidelines? Do they actually lead to more successful romantic relationships?”

Science for women by women (April 2012)
“I often hear the question of why are there so many science and technology related organizations and events targeted specifically towards women and minorities. Why isn’t there an “Engineering Society for White Males?” Well, the situation is that men still outnumber women in a number of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and the goal is to remedy this problem.”

Generation Q (February 2012)
“I might not be broadcasting my opinion with a catchy slogan on an 8-foot banner, but honestly even if I tried, I probably wouldn’t be very good at it. My advice is, don’t commit to a movement unless you truly believe in its message. There’s nothing more harmful to a social or political movement than tag-alongs who don’t really know why they’re there other than to “have a good time” or to “be part of something.””

Maybe you’re not as special as you think (February 2012)
“The new individual is not only intellectual, but also enlightened and progressive – increasingly more liberated and more progressive than his peers, because who’s going to listen anymore unless you have an original idea? In my opinion, it’s pretty obvious that maintaining this cult of individuality is impossible. No matter how hard each individual may try on his or her own, not everyone can stand out as special an unique.”

You make me feel like I’m living a teenage dream (December 2011)
“But also, never has American society been so obsessed with any other stage of life.  Media loves portraying all the extremes of teenage life: the spoiled princess on her sweet 16th, the dutiful future-Harvard student acing the SATs, the juvenile delinquent selling pot in the school parking lot. You could find a thousand books and a thousand movies glorifying first loves, and the perfect high school prom, or villainizing the bad influence of the slutty best-friend, or a dependence on caffeine and Ritalin.”

Are you premed? – not anymore… (November 2011)
“One thing I noticed my freshman year at Cornell was that EVERYONE was premed. Granted, I was friends with a number of ambitious biology majors, but it wasn’t just them – the engineer across the hall, the math major next door to him taking one science class, the chemistry major in my research lab all called themselves premed (or at least “considering it”). But if I was to ask those same people now, I’m certain that the majority of them would tell me “No, I’m not premed. Not anymore.””

Am I an intellectual snob? (September 2011)
“I judge people who don’t take their education seriously. Very seriously … What bothers me are the people I DO know, who go to college and pick “easy majors.” Those people who seemingly lack common sense and drop out of high school or college without any plans to support themselves. Those people who get C’s and D’s and F’s and then brag about it.”

My name is Eva. That’s “ee-vuh” (August 2011)
“I’ve always secretly been a little relieved that my parents named me Eva and not Jingjing. In grade school, when teachers took attendance I always cringed a bit when they tripped over the unpronounceable ethnic names, provoking giggles and stares. The poor misnamed student would then either attempt – syllable by syllable – to correct the teacher, or instead say “call me Bob” or “call me Jane,” assigning themselves a common and easily pronounceable American nickname.”

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