Tag Archives: Philippines

So What’s on your Bucket List? — My 2014 Bucket List

shirt seattle cropped

As a person I like to live life to its fullest… like running my first marathon in 2013. As a college student my resources are limited. However I do not let my financial limitations limit my life dreams… it just means I cannot do everything that I want to do this month.With that said I have been able to accomplish quite a lot since I first constructed my 2012 Bucket List.

I have completed six of the fourteen items I had on my 2012 Bucket List, including:

Although I feel like I need to redo the Washington D.C. trip because I was there on a weekend when the government was shutdown.

Following is the 2014 version of my bucket list

  • Start a family: My wife and I have had challenges to getting pregnant. We thought it would be fun to have gotten pregnant in the Philippines. We joked about naming our kid Manny or maybe Philip. Although we did not get pregnant in the Philippines, we hope to be pregnant before the end of the year. Adoption is something we have talked about before. It is something we want to do even if we have biological kids. So if we are unable to get pregnant, adoption is something we are cool with.
  • Washington D.C.: This remains on my Bucket List even though I was in D.C. in 2013. The city was closed because of the shutdown which impacted the enjoyment. So… to clarify: I want to visit Washington D.C. and its museums/monuments during a time when access is available to the general public.
  • Start a free college: I began thinking about this a because of the wild tuition increases at colleges. I don’t want an internet college. I want a college with live professors and buildings and classrooms. It would be small (2000 or less), and probably use the Socratic teaching style. I think I need to finish my certificate in nonprofit management along with my PhD before I tackle this idea though. Originally I envisioned this college existing in America. But after visiting the Philippines and seeing so many high school graduates who could not afford college, maybe I will try to do something like that in the Philippines… and make it open to more than 2000 students. I do not have a name for the college yet… although I know it will NOT be named after me.
  • Finish my PhD in sociology: My dissertation will focus on poverty, healthcare, and food.
  • I want to write a fiction novel that gets published.
  • Have a decent size farm so that I can raise a lot of my own food… a couple cows, large gardens, chickens, a few pigs, etc. Yeah, I know that means I probably won’t be teaching at NYU or UCLA… but I’m cool with that.
  • Attend the Olympic Games… summer and winter. The 2016 summer Olympics will be right in the middle or end of my PhD process… but 2020 is a real possibility. The 2018 Winter Games are in South Korea, and that is a goal I think I could hit. It is hard to know what my work schedule will be like 6 years from now.
  • Have some grandkids.
  • Be an extra in a cheap monster movie (science-fiction/fantasy). I would prefer to be an alien or a zombie chasing people… and I don’t think I would want any lines. Maybe I could say ARRRRGGGHHHH!! There was a student film last year that I considered being an extra in… but grad school keeps me really busy. However, I am keeping my eye out for student filmmakers who are looking for extras 😉
  • Go to Italy. Why? Because I love Italian food… and I have always wanted to go to Italy.  But will “Italian” Italian food be better than “American” Italian food? We’ll see. In addition I want to ride in a Gondola and see the art! Do I need to write a 1000 words to explain why I would want to visit Italy? Nope.
  • Visit Angkor Wat, Cambodia:
  • ankgor wat, cambodia tourism travel guide
    BBC: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/cambodia/10552839/Angkor-Wat-Cambodia-a-guide-to-avoiding-the-crowds.html
  • Snowboard. I was in Colorado for four years but I was BROKE broke when I lived in Colorado. So there was no snowboarding for me then. I’m fine being on the practically flat bunny slopes for my snowboarding. I don’t need to do anything crazy (like a 16-year-old).
  • Visit New York City again. I love New York. I don’t think I could live there. But I would love to take an extended vacation there. I think three weeks would be long enough. Broadway, museums, the Yankees. Yeah… New York is pretty cool.
  • Go watch the Super Bowl Live. I don’t need tickets on the 50-yard-line. But I want really good seats. I wish the bad seats weren’t ridiculously expensive.
  • Have a script I write made into a movie. For this I want either a good science fiction/fantasy movie, or a good romantic comedy. I write both of these screenplays. I can be an extra in a cheap sci-fi film but I don’t want to have MY screenplay turned into a cheap movie. At least not my bucket list film. Maybe I could write a cheapo sci-fi script for fun.

This list was inspired by Bucket List Publications. Do you have a Bucket List?

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Quiet, Masters Thesis in Progress

I am diligently working on my masters paper on a Friday night. I have been transcribing interviews from my research today and making notes about themes that are starting to come up. There is certainly nothing glamorous or sexy about this kind of work.

It is very similar to the kind of mindset one needs to finish a marathon. Sure, people may see you cross the finish line in a marathon… but it is hard to appreciate all the work that went into training before the marathon. Sure, someone may see my final masters paper… but it will be hard for them to appreciate everything that went into its creation. Traveling to the Philippines, doing interviews, transcribing the interviews, analyzing the interviews, reading lots of literature, and writing the paper. Friday nights sacrificed… many nights sacrificed… in the hopes of finding something to improve healthcare.

I have been transcribing for approximately 5 hours, with a bathroom break and a pizza break. And now a blog break. But now, back to transcribing for at least another hour.

If people ask you if they should go to grad school, tell them NOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Did I do Something Wrong?

Today I met with my adviser for a little over an hour. I am always a little intimidated when I need to speak in depth with someone about my research on poverty and healthcare. It is not that I am afraid of my adviser, but I want to be a rock star when it comes to doing really good research.

After talking to my adviser, I felt like I did good research… but I need to focus on what does it mean? I did several interviews and observed a lot of things during my time in the Philippines. But … so what? Why does my research matter? What is my big discovery (or my small detail) that I can add to the piles of research that already exist?

I don’t know. And that is scary. I feel like I asked good questions… but did I ask enough in-depth questions? Did I ask enough any great questions? I am still in the process of transcribing my interviews… but I feel uncomfortable. Did I really spend five weeks in the Philippines during the controversial passage of a health bill and the country switching to Universal Healthcare, but not find something important?

Where is the big “research” question that my research will answer? My adviser did not appear worried (a good sign), but my adviser also did not summon a marching band to celebrate my triumphant success.  Hopefully something emerges in my data analysis.This feeling sucks.

How to eat Rambutan?

How to eat Rambutan, www.ishism.com
Rambutan in the Philippines

Rambutan is one of the fruits I ate while traveling in the Philippines. The spikes of the reddish fruit peel are fairly soft, almost rubbery. I was disappointed by Rambutan I found in the U.S. after returning from the Philippines. The ones I found in asian markets were red and brown… the kind of brown which indicates overly dry.

How to eat Rambutan?

  • Pull the fruit open with your fingers
  • Then pull the fruit out of the peel. In the Philippines I was taught to pop the fruit into your mouth.
  • You chew it, but chew around the seed. Don’t chew or eat the seed.
  • When you are done chewing around the seed, spit the seed out.

It tasted similar to grapes to me. My favorite food in the Philippines was the fresh mangoes. In the United States mangoes taste horrible to me, but in the Philippines I loved them. Tasting new food is one of the best parts of traveling because I discover new things.

The interesting part is that rambutan and mangoes were new experiences for me. But rambutan is something I had never heard of before… and mangoes I knew existed. I had tasted mangoes and hated them. Just looking at the rambutan I would not have guessed it was something edible. But it tastes really good. And I would not have known mangoes existed that I enjoy eating if I did not travel abroad.

But because of my willingness to try foods in the Philippines I had two NEW experiences with food. So what are some of your good surprises with new foods?

The Culture Shock of Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken: Philippine Style, IshIsm.com
Kentucky Fried Chicken: Philippine Style. Chicken, mushroom soup, mashed potatoes with gravy, rice, served on a ceramic plate with metal fork and spoon.

Is this a Pulitzer Prize Winning photo? Continue reading The Culture Shock of Kentucky Fried Chicken