One quality that I really appreciate in a person is the ability to unapolagetically be yourself. And that is exactly what and who Andranik is. I first met Andranik four months ago when I moved to Shanghai and he is a colleague and someone I am happy to now call a friend. Besides fully and always being himself, he is a great conversationalist, gym enthusiast and can give the blue steel look just as good as any model. We love exchanging stories about our very fabulous and hilarious students throughout the day and searching for the best salad places in Shanghai in our off time. I asked if he would want me to take some professional and fun photos for him and we turned it into a morning of laughs, lunch and of course good lighting. After our photo shoot around Shanghai, we sat down over salads and rice bowls and talked life and all things Andranik.
Sonia is pure sunshine. There is no other way to put it as she radiates joy that pours out of her gentle nature, kindness and adorable dimples. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and is emotionally intelligent beyond belief. Her empathy and commitment to learn from everyone she meets is so admirable and I know she is one of those people here on earth that quite possibly is an angel.
“It gets better, just keep going and don’t give up.”
When Jenna and I first met almost three years ago in a drug anthropology class, we could have never anticipated how things would unfold. These past few weeks have brought the past full circle and I couldn’t be more grateful that this human is part of my life. Jenna is a gentle pixie with the heart of a lion and soul of someone who has lived far more than twenty-one years. I was so fortunate to spend these past three weeks in Bolivia with her on a course about democracy and development with an extraordinary professor. It is this professor that started our friendship three years ago in her classroom. One class and one person transformed both of our lives on levels that have impacted us both forever.
I dare you not to love Ron and want to be him when you grow up. It’s not possible because he is one of the greatest humans ever. I met Ron while in Bolivia as he is a dear friend of my professor and has been living in Bolivia since the 70’s. When you meet Ron, you may think he is soft spoken but but his mind anything but. He is one of those people who has truly lived; in every essence of the world and is still going. His style is something to aspire too, always with a hat on top and smile hiding underneath. He is forever a student, fascinated with the happenings of every day, from the mundane to the complex questions he continues to inquire about. If there is one thing I can say about him it’s that he is one of kind.
I think back to how I met this amazing human and it comes down to that we were both adopted from China and our paths happened to merge here at CU Boulder. Bailee is an amazing, exuberant lady who has endless passion and is the human version of the energizer bunny. She casually drops that she ran nine miles in the morning before class frequently. Don’t we all. Born in China and raised in Boulder, Bailee is a self proclaimed “boulderite” who is currently training to be a yoga instructor, making her own kombucha and planning a running road trip around the USA this summer. I honestly don’t know how she does it all! One thing I love about Bailee is her spirit of adventure that even comes down to her hair which is currently dyed a vibrant pink. After our physical anthropology class one day, we sat down on a beautiful day outside a talked life, cute running boys and plans for the future. (Ps. She is single).
They say that college students are getting younger and younger these days. Apparently they really are, to the point where humans who have only been on planet earth for three years are now attending astronomy lectures. I met Duncan, age three, when I went into my astronomy professors office hours to discuss an exam when he dropped by with his mom and proceeded to give me two cookies and a kiss before he left. Already such a lady-killer! The next day to my surprise, little Duncan and his massive personality showed up in my classroom where he proceeded to sit next to me the whole lecture. To be fair, I had fresh-baked cookies with me; turns out that friendship can indeed be bought. He was the epitome of a good student during class. He raised his and asked his papa (the professor) for more goldfish, told everyone his favorite planet was mars and shared with the whole class that he thought we got the answer wrong. This kid is going places. Before class, I asked Duncan if I could interview him and he said yes, if I gave him another cookie.
“I bet my life on it. I’ll do it again.”
I decided to start reviewing movies and documentaries I have watched as a good space to personally reflect on the art of cinema and share with you all my thoughts on film. I love cinema. I will always love books the most, but cinema has a different kind of power in bringing the human experience together in a way that a book can not. It is no better or worse, but different with both books and film being equally important and impactful.
It has been a fairly wonderful past week that was filled with learning to ride a scooter…on a roof, biking up to the Boulder Falls (painful incline), some amazing rooftop dinners with friends, sunsets and sunrises and overall beautiful times with great people. Oh and then I got sick and went into full blown hibernation mode and also realised that I had two exams this week. Classic.
My favourite part of the past week was yesterday where I listened to a beautiful message about learning to
Feel, Trust and Love
especially when the world feels broken. In honour of September 11th, we will all never forget.
There is nothing like having good friends over for some delicious food and great conversation. Life often gets super chaotic, with everyone going a million miles an hour that its easy to forget to take time for yourself and those you love the most. My family, especially my grandma installed a love for baking in me from a very young age. One of my fondest memories is making biscotti at my grandmas house. The tradition of making many different types of cookies for the holidays and giving them to friends and family in cute christmas tins has been passed onto me and my aunt has assigned me the official role of holiday cookie baker.
Family, Food and Friends. Doesn’t get much better than that.