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Daniel Lafrentz

[10 points] it seems like life is a journey but that journey is divided into sub-journies for lack of a better word. they come in succession, they overlap, and they all teach us something. i've been through some so far, i'm on a couple right now, and i'm sure there are a hell of a lot more ahead of me that i have yet to discover.

the journey that i'm still slowly drawing to a close has been one with my dad. i guess you could say the two have been on this one together for the last seven years or so. and it all started with a choice that he made, and then thrust us onto this path together. when my dad came out, things changed between us. as hard as he tried to maintain a facade of normalcy, my newly liberated father's lifestyle just permeated it anyway. and there i am, twelve years old, trying to figure out the best way to deal with this. it's not as though i know anyone in the same position as me that i can talk to about it. after a while i was fed up and cut him out of my life and tried to walk the road on my own. but as alone as i was, he and i were still on this journey together.

looking back i can see dr. noble's stages, of being thrust into a journey, trying to collect friends and allies to stabilize myself, confronting personal demons, confiding in those i trust, living a quasi-life with no father, and finally beign on the road to reconcilliation. and thats a road i'm still travelling right this very moment.

on that journey i'm still on the road home. i've been through every preceding stage, accepted my dad's way of living, and mended ties with him. but mended ties dont equate to having completed this odyssey with him. its like we put a band-aid on a cut, but it still needs time to scab and heal fully. it doesnt hurt as badly anymore, but if you push on it the wrong way it'll still sting.

being on this home stretch is a little strange, because even though the hard part is over there is still a sense of lingering uneasiness and anxiety like things could burst open again at any time shattering all the progress we've made. and being set back that far to where i was when i was TWELVE YEARS OLD is a notion that i can hardly stand. it almost makes me sick with despair.

i just had another analogous thought...the idea of homecoming. i've been on this trek trying to fix my relatoinship with my father and i'm on a trail far away from where i live, and now, i'm turning the corner onto my street. i've done everything there is to do, overcome all the obstacles, but i'm not home yet. i'm everything but home, and every day and every step brings me closer to finally be able to sit in my favorite chair and rest for a while so i can finally catch my breath.

Michelle Grannum

[10 points] The most significant journey in my life has been my quest for continuing my education past high school. My calling can be identified as the time, about 6 months into my stay in California, when I decided I did not want to go home to South Africa. Originally I came to the U.S. as an au pair and was only supposed to stay for one year. Instead I decided that I wanted to stay in California and study.

The allies in my journey are all of the amazing people who have supported me. My mom is my most valuable ally, even though she would rather have me back home she understands why I want to stay and has supported me the whole way. I would not be where I am today without the help of the Williamson family who decided to sponsor my student visa and accept me into their home as a member of their family.

The ogres in my journey have been the government immigrant rules and laws about being able to work and travel freely. I am only allowed to work on campus for no more than 20 hours per week and I have not been able to visit home in the three and a half years I have been here. Another obstacle has been the high tuition rates I have had to pay as an international student and finding the necessary money. Homesickness has been a big obstacle for me, I have lost count of the number of times I have almost packed it all in and just gone home.

My road of trials has been the two and a half years I have been at Foothill and my experiences as a student here. This would include all of the classes I have taken and everything I have learned as well as everybody I have met. Joining the honors institute and being a leader in the “pass the torch” program have been very rewarding parts of the experience.

I am unsure what the difference between “return guardians” and “the homecoming” would be. I think these stages would refer to my graduation from Foothill in June. I will be receiving my associate’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting. I will not be enjoying any homecoming though, as I will not be returning to South Africa yet. Instead I am going to work for one year to gain practical experience and then hopefully find a way to pay for university and transfer to one of the CSU’s in the area. My graduation in June will mark the end of one journey and the beginning of another in my life.

While the 7 stages define parts of our different journey’s in life, I think that there is large amount of overlap between different journeys too. For example, my journey to California as an au pair overlaps with the journey I described above. I am sure we could also look at our lives as a whole so far and see that our journey of life can be broken up into those stages too.

JoyceChengYikTung

[10 points] I think my life experience that feels like a journey would be my educational path. My call is my personality, my aggressiveness and ambition- I like to overcome my limits. In primary school, I cried over 90s and had to get 100, full marks to be satisfied. I don’t know why I am like that, maybe it’s because my parents hold high expectation and gradually trained me into this character and attitude. Going to secondary school( high school), I can decide whether I study Chinese, or French, not both, but either one. Studying French would mean only the most competitive University in Hong Kong will accept me under certain majors. I decide to go for it, feeling an eagerness to push myself to limit. It was when I met my allies- my friends, my classmates in French classes, and whoever I have worked with in my high school. They had been so inspirational and helpful. I wouldn’t have achieved anything if I don’t have them to work towards the same goal and support me. On my tenth grade, I have been the active vice-chair of French Club as well as the secretary for Hong Kong Award for Young People. I petitioned for the Bronze Award. I went to France, representing Hong Kong, to join the 23rd International Film Festival to play drama all over schools in Paris. I won a lot of awards and my writings both in French and in English are published every year in the yearbook. However, staying in Hong Kong failed to satisfy my desire for education. After I finished high school and got a good grade in Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination, I did not hesitate to pursue my studies in the United States. My goal is to experience different kinds of education and learn to be independent and all-rounded. I aim at obtaining a master’s degree and to engage in research on Economics.
I overcome a lot of difficulties studying at Foothill College. There came my ogres. They are people who call you friends and actually are not truthful and honest. They talk behind your back, and say that you are arrogant when you are being serious and nervous about coursework. They always hang out at night and do not study. They have different goals as I do. They want to have fun and relax, I want to grab hold of my dream and pursue my goal- to study here with all the money my parents have worked hard for. My threshold angels are the real rare few truthful friends. They appear when I was mentally breakdown, being attacked by those ogres. They are my roommates and several friends. They have supported me and offered me friendship. They also redirect me to focus back on coursework and pay no attention to people’s rumors and bad words. As long as we do our part of job, we are good enough. People spending time ruining relationships and people’s reputation will finally get their penalty. What goes around comes around. I have to give a million thanks to my dear friends. Friends are not considered in quantity, but quality. The Road of trials is my real journey to a real learning process, I need to be independent. I need to take care of myself, take care of everything, when my family is far away in my home country and I am the only one here to support myself. I need to be strong, and mature. I need to be self-disciplined and never swerve from my ambition and reason to be here. During the trial, I have always had to work while being a student, yet I joined Honors Institute and student government as a Senator. I have gotten along with people from all over the world. To overcome my weakness in speaking in front of people, I took a public speaking course. I have been as efficient as possible to improve myself and not to waste any penny my parents have offered to help me pursue my studies here.
Now, I am at this stage, I hope the return guardians will be the accepting letters from the dream schools that I want to transfer to. Then my final return guardians will be my family, my friends in my home country, and I would return to my home country, fulfill the end of the journey by completion, and contribute to the society.

Katja Broddesson

[10 points] Interesting assignment... I suspect that each life story is a succession of Journeys, sometimes parallel and continuous, and sometimes clearly defined and limited by time and space.

My primary journey is motherhood. If you start down that path, you have either definitely heard the Call or you have gotten yourself into trouble. To go, you need an Ally. I found mine at college in Sweden fourteen years ago, and we have journeyed together ever since.

Conception is the first Ogre (of thousands) on the Journey of motherhood. A feasible option is to refuse to believe Ogres at all; that option becomes more attractive the further you travel.

What are the Threshold Guardians? I am picturing my mother-in-law for some reason.

Currently I find myself on the Road of Trials. My children are older and need less constant and direct supervision, which can occasionally seem like bliss. However, relationships, feelings and the psychological impact of the media now complicate their once simple lives and demands somehow more of my focused attention. Every day brings a detour to the primary Journey: direction, paving material and destination unknown. The Road is a lifetime long and generations deep, and as with any Road, it will invariably lead to some cross roads. This is the Road of Trials². The options double, presenting twice the potential problems or rewards. If you have two or more children those issues increase exponentially. Such is the Road that it can be hard to see the outcome of a particular choice of direction, and when that happens I, the mother, must have the confidence to stand by my choice. History plays into the decisions I make, as does culture, past and present. The additional dilemma is that when it comes to motherhood, one needs to make judgments now based on educated guesses as to what will happen in the future. One becomes a dealer in future culture as one actually creates a history for the child.

Some challenging aspect of the Road of Trials depends on my personal life and identity. To add objectives of my own volition is not as easy as it once was. As I construct an academic future for myself, other family members need to observe my preferences in order to see if my personal decisions hold up under their scrutiny. The Road of Trials may not be broad enough to accommodate everything I want to do or at least not all at once. Compromise is the currency of the Road.

Raising humans is not child’s play, yet it is very rewarding, as is overcoming any other trial. To subject your self to motherhood is the ultimate self-test.

The next phase of the Journey is the Return Guardians. I will assume that these Guardians will be my children returning to defend me from myself when I am old and frail and should not be driving anymore.

Completion equals success. This could have many prospective meanings, death being the most obvious one. Or maybe it refers to the day when the little ankle-biters finally move out and leave me in peace. But, as a full-fledged mother, I would prefer it to signify a continuation of my family’s heritage: the birth of successive generations.

Meera Parbhakar

[10 points] The most significant journey of my life thus far has probably been the process of trying to define myself. It was around the time I was about to graduate from high school that I started to feel the need to figure out who exactly I was, where I was going and what I wanted to achieve. Specifically, I really felt I needed to figure out what career I wanted to pursue. I suppose the whole thing was brought on by the fact that graduating from high school was a definite cue that my childhood was over, and that I was being thrown out into the real world.

I am not really sure who have my allies have been, as my journey has been sort of a quiet one, if you will. I have not discussed the urgency I feel to figure myself and my life out with anyone as such. I know that there are people I can talk to, but I really don’t think that there is anyone who can help me complete my journey. It is one I have to go at alone.

I think that my only ogre has been myself. The scary thing about making a decision is that it effectively closes the door on all other options. Once I decided on my major, I knew it meant walking away from all other majors. There have been so many times when I have felt too young and/or inexperienced to be making such huge decisions. I still feel like a kid a lot of the time, and its scary that I suddenly have so much responsibility and that I have to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life.

I feel the road of trials will be a long one, as my journey has many different components to it. I have completed one part of my journey, as I know what I want to do my life career-wise. I am confident in the decision that I have made and very excited to go forth with my plans. However, I am still trying to figure out many other things. I still have trouble explaining myself to people, and I think that is largely because I’m not sure exactly what type of person I am. I suppose what I am trying to say is that I hope to achieve a stronger sense of self sometime in the future. I find I am still occasionally swayed by what others are doing or what others think about why I am doing, and I would like to be able to trust myself more and be confident in the decisions I make and in the type of person that I am.



Toni Murphy

[10 points] My journey is a career change. My former career of clinical social work, though rewarding in many ways, left me burned out. Prior to having children I experimented with employment in the corporate world, which certainly expanded my view of the working world. But, it didn’t satisfy my need to be of service to people in a meaningful way. Although, this stint in corporate employment was something distinctly different than what I had done previously, it was not a true career change, complete with additional education, etc. At one point after having my first child and adapting to life as a stay-at-home mom, I believed this new phase of my life to a career change of sorts, and in a way, it was. But, now I find myself on a path to a new professional career, distinct from my former professional career, and additioanl to my current job as a stay-at-home mom. Obviously, I’ll still retain the “mom” part of the title, but the “stay-at-home” piece will transform into “working part-time” (mom). It’s almost as if I’m making a double career change, which will somewhat complicate the process, or likely add a few extra obstacles to my journey.

Perhaps I’m still in the “call” stage, since I haven’t been accepted into a specific program yet. Nor have I identified a strong preference. I know I want to go into an allied healthcare field, and have narrowed it down to two, which are quite similar. I'm still evaluating which one would best meet my overall goals. A few of these include: 1) working with people in what I interpret is a meaningful way, 2) working part-time in order to achieve an acceptable balance between my work and family life, and 3) to choose a career that will provide enough supplementary income to make the effort now (and the time on the job later) worthwhile.

I should back up for a moment and recap what I did last year, when I initially “heard the call” to go back to school and embark on a career change. With previous experience in a pediatric rehabilitation setting, I had always been intrigued with speech therapy. So, when thinking about a career change, I thought this was the path I wanted to take. But, after applying to a graduate program, being accepted, and taking my first class, the amount of work involved in earning another Master’s degree (now with a family) loomed on my horizon like one hundred Mount Everests I needed to climb with no gear and one good leg. (That’s a bit extreme, I guess)! The bottom line was that traveling this road part-time would take 6 years before I reached the end. Upon further reflection, I took a leave of absence from that program (just in case I changed my mind- again . . .), and began thinking about an allied healthcare career. An Associate’s Degree earned in only 2 years suddenly looked very attractive!

In terms of accessing resources, I investigated what additional education I would need to reach my career change destination. I’m not even sure I remember how the options I'm considering initially came about- they are so firmly planted in my mind and plans now. If I remember correctly, I casually starting asking people about various careers, and was fortunate enough to get a little advice from family members who currently work in the healthcare field. Upon further exploration, I identified Foothill as a convenient and affordable school that offered the programs in which I was interested.
Now I’m working on the prerequisites necessary to apply to these programs, and will submit my applications to both programs this Spring. I guess in many ways, I’ve already taken the first steps down the path of my journey to a new career . . . .
Toni Murphy

Valentino Lin

[10 points] The most significant journey of my life is to find the purpose of me being alive on this planet and the goal I am seeking for. Before I came to pursue my education, the call of a midlife question “what is my purpose in life” kept daunting me. It took me months to figure out. During this time, I constantly asked people around me this question too. One of the answers provoked me the most. My friend, who is a Buddhist, said that we are waiting for death, but it is the things that we do while we are alive and how it affects those around us that matters the most. I kept questioning myself how this would make sense to me. After some time, I came to a conclusion. I want those around me to be happier, help them when they are in need and affect them with positivity. To this world, I maybe just one person, but to those around me if I am able to affect their lives in a positive way, it may be everything to them. Thus, with this mindset in place, I began to work with those close to me. In one incident, I have this friend who was plague with negativity. Every thought of his was negative and I could feel a depressing aura when I hang out with him. There were times when I felt to stay away from him as his depression affected my mood too. But as he was my friend, I knew I couldn’t. I could not leave a friend in lurch. If helping him to change his negative mindset was what that would make his life better, that was what I am willing to do. I spent almost two years of my time before coming to the United States trying to help him. During this period, I constantly met up with him to talk about his attitude towards life. There were so many conversations and ideologies that it would take days of writing to complete the whole chapter. Thus, I am not going into the details. In conclusion, I knew that all these efforts were worthwhile as he is leading a more fulfilling life now than what he used to live and that he is much more of a happier person.

Knowing that I have helped one person in this world enlightened me of my purpose of living and I am delighted to continue this journey. Simultaneously, I wondered what could I gain for myself? I am not a saint. I could not always be helping others to have a more fulfilling life but without getting one for myself too. I brainstormed of the things that I want in my lifetime that would enrich my life in my own perspective. I want to have luxury lifestyle and to be in the comfort of family warmth. To achieve all these, however, I acknowledge the need for superior education. I persuade my parents to allow me further my education; an overseas education would widen my perception of the world. And I decided to come to America to seek my goal. At present, my motivation of seeking higher education is fueled not only by myself, but also fellow student leaders in the Associated Student of Foothill College, whom I title them as my allies in my education battle. Besides serving the student community, we study together and tutor each other. We are enthusiastic about helping each other.

Creating a better life among others and seeking education for my final goal will be an enriching journey of my life that I am experiencing now. To see the smiles on faces around me and the A’s on my transcript are the fruit of my labor. There is nothing happier for me than to pick up these fruits as I continue the journey of my life.

Andrew Tan

[10 points] Although it’s not particularly original or exciting, the most pertinent journey in my life right now is simply my education. Growing up in a family where education is by far the foremost concern of my parents, there’s a lot of pressure to perform well academically. Specifically, my current journey is one of salvation. Just a few years ago, I was in an extremely bad spot. Almost completely estranged and black balled from my family at 16, I spiraled out of control into failure. I was getting in fights. I was abusing drugs. I was living day to day, sleeping in cars and friends’ houses. The call came late into my Junior year. A good friend of mine had died the previous summer, my godfather (who lived with us) had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and my mom was admitted to a hospital for stress related amnesia. My family blamed me entirely, and the accusation wasn’t unfounded. I’m not sure what clicked, but I had a call to pull myself out of the hellhole I had gotten myself into. I just didn’t know where to start. The allies came in the form of my school counselor. I was called into her office for college counseling, it was application time for students who had a future. She called me in, and was clearly really disappointed. With a determined sigh, she told me that, to be honest, I was going nowhere if I continued down the path I was on. She told me that my friends were most definitely going nowhere, she saw in me so much more potential, and I needed to get out of this. I left, feeling dejected but inspired. After a few minutes, I returned to her office and asked her what I could do. She saw that I was completely sincere. I left high school that year, but faced many ogres. My friends were content to wallow where we had always been. We lost touch for a year, but the following year they all came to Foothill. I saw them struggling with putting together a schedule, with getting test dates right, and buying books. I attempted to help them as much as I could, but the more and more I tried, the more I realized that I couldn’t lift someone out of the hole I had strenuously clawed my way out of, without being dragged back into it myself. During the time of the ogres, I teetered on the edge of my new resolve and the comfort of the misguided who had supported me before. At this point, my threshold guardians became my family. Once they saw I was completely serious about where I was trying to go and I had a somewhat clear plan of how to get there, they offered their full support. They are rarely in the country, but they’ve left me a house with internet and heat.
I’m definitely still on the Road of Trials. Although I’ve already overcome many ogres in my journey, all of that was just to get where I am now, starting out in Foothill College. Compared to what I’ve been through, I suppose studying for grades is probably not that hard, but the pressure is immense. Everything I’ve worked for, the modest salvation that I’ve scraped from certain and ultimate failure, is unsteadily balanced on my educational performance. Everyday I’m contending with trials, from my work, personal matters, and obviously school. In another year, this journey will end, and I’ll reap whatever rewards I’ve deserved along the way. Then a new journey will begin, and I'll be able to look back at the bumps and ditches in my life and smile at how significant they seemed at the time. Until then, I'll have to continue down my road, one trial at a time.

Avinash Nayak

[10 points] The Ogres (the challenges)

I have met with many challenges thought my college life at foothill. I love that I can make new friends and try new things but at the same time I am afraid that I might not be able to overcome some of the challenges that I might face! I have always wanted to know – “what’s next? What does it take for me to reach my full potential?” While asking these questions to myself, I am confronted with obstacles. I should always seek out the positive and block out the negative. I think that I am focusing more on the negative aspects right now. I say to myself sometimes – “all this math, all this physics! Why am I doing this?” I think that these are the challenges that I face right now – my studies, personal life and holding my head high. I know this is easier said than done but the fact remains that I have to get these things done in order for me to succeed in life. My ideology has always been – “something worth getting is always going to be hard to get!” I chant these words every time I find a difficulty or face challenges in my life. I think that this is a very important aspect of “the journey.” I have to admit. I really do like the challenges because without them I don’t feel like I have really accomplished anything. It’s true in so many ways because overcoming challenges is what life is really about! It’s not as if I wake up and tell myself – “ok, I’m ready for my next challenge. HIT ME life!” it’s more complicated than that which makes it even more of a challenge for me to overcome!

All of them are important aspects to the “journey” but I think that a major part of our lives is surrounded by challenges. Overcoming these problems is going to be a challenge and the reward is what we get after we have accomplished our goals! I think that at this stage of my life I HAVE to focus on my education more than anything else because I know that this is what promises me a better and brighter future. If I choose to while away my time and not study, I know I will be missing out on those “rewards” that I could be getting if I was to overcome those obstacles. I also think that to overcome these obstacles we have to motive ourselves to do our best everyday and give it our 100%! I have to overcome these obstacles constantly so that I can insure a better life for myself in the future. This is where I am at, this is the stage of my life were the “most important” thing in my life is studies. I should keep reminding myself NOT to sway away for something that is very important and necessary!

To overcome something that is unknown is hard but I have to be prepared! It’s with this determination I got face my next challenge – my Physics mid-term that I have on Thursday!!

stephanie wijaya

[10 points] The ultimate journey that I’m going through right now is none other than my education. I’m glad that I have come to take pride in my school works. When I was young, I hated school a lot. I thought that schooling is just another duty that I have as a kid. I studied in the very last minute for exams, and I blindly memorized stuff and threw it all on the exam paper. Previously, I kept on getting Cs for my subjects and Fs for my mandarin. And I thought that was the maximum I can do. Moreover, my parents were not college graduates and they never have set any higher expectations than for me to move on to the next grade. So, I didn’t see the need to spend so much time studying. It was a life of much play and little work for me. Not until I was in sixth grade when it was time for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) that I begin to realize the significance of education. I guess that was the call for me to change my learning attitude. My friends were busy preparing for the exams because our grades on the PSLE would decide the secondary schools we’ll end up in. obviously, a good secondary school will of course offer a higher standard of education. Because I wasn’t doing very well in school, my Chinese teacher expressed his concern over my grades. And he was my ally. He was this old wise man already in his early sixties back then. He came to talk to me and commented that I haven’t been putting in my best and that it was time for me to work hard so that I won’t have any regrets later on. He made me aware of the importance of the upcoming PSLE on my future education later on. “When the results are released, there would be two groups of people,” he said. “You can choose to be those who are jumping for joy, or those who keep their heads down in shame”. I was touched to know that there is this someone who cares about my grades and my future. I went home, and I promised to myself that I would have to change. I want to be part of those who’ll be jumping for joy, and so, I started doing my homework diligently. My playmates were the ogres. It was hard to resist the temptations of playing video games and ignore my friends’ urge to play. I didn’t want my friends to think that I’m avoiding them, yet I knew I needed time to study. My Chinese teacher was like my guardian that moment; he guided me to the point that I came to be able to manage my time more effectively and set clearer goals. The pressure was on when it came to preliminary exams and I discovered that my grades have not improved that much. I was rather disappointed. But it was again my Chinese teacher who gave me the strength to move on. He told me this one Chinese proverb that I can never forget. It says something like, “there is nothing difficult in this world, it’s only fear that’s holding us back.” And that gave me more motivation to success because fear indeed is imaginary – it’s not real. I continue believing that I could do it. And I did it.

I guess my educational path is the repetitions of that past journey of mine. The Call presents itself often as awareness of new positive learning attitudes, and then the allies are my circle friends whom I study with, and my guardian is none other than my family, particularly my father, and as for now, although often we think that we’re on the road of trials, I believe that we have indeed gone through the other stages beyond our own conscience for every time we have achieved something, i.e good grades, then isn’t it like the completion of the journey to achieving that particular task? But of course, the big journey is not yet completed. So again, maybe our life is a big journey of journeys.

Cassie D-A

[10 points] I’ve decided to focus on my journey to accomplishing and completing my Girl Scout Gold Award project.

Just as a little background, the Girl Scout Gold Award project is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn (like the Eagle Scout Award in Boy Scouts). The Girl Scout has to spend at least 60 hours on the project and only Senior Girl Scouts can do the Gold Award. I’ve also completed the Silver Award (for Cadettes, the second to last level by age in Girl Scouting) and there is also the Bronze Award for Junior Girl Scouts (third to last level for Girl Scouting), which I didn’t do. For my Gold Award project, I’m creating a documentary about connecting youth to youth. I spent a week in South Africa filming a drama group who creates and performs skits, dances, and songs with the idea of raising awareness of AIDS in an engaging and inspiring way. This group is amazing and they are such great actors, dancers, and singers. I also spent a week in Luebeck, Germany filming a German friend of mine and her friends. I got to know my friend better, go to school with her, and I got to know lots of her friends very well. In the spring, I will be going to Chicago to film my German friend again since she will be staying there for a student exchange program. Additionally, I will film one or two groups in California. And eventually when I’m finished with the filming, editing, and getting every single permission form I can think of, I will distribute my documentary to youth organizations, schools, and the Girl Scouts. When I am awarded my Gold Award I want to have in some way successfully connected all of the groups I filmed with each other as well as the viewers of my documentary with the groups in the documentary. The main reason for my interest in this project is that I want youth my age to be more aware of other youth in other countries. I think youth and people in general would enjoy finding the many similarities they have with others in other countries and cultures and would be able to connect through their similarities. At the same time, youth need to be aware of the differences between everyone. These differences shouldn’t divide and separate people but create awareness of everyone’s uniqueness.

The Call for this journey happened when I completed my Silver Award. I had a really great time doing my Silver Award project and I knew that I wanted to do a Gold Award project as well. I had no idea what I would do for my project, but I knew that it would end up being something I really enjoy doing.

I think the seven stages to a journey Dr. Noble stated are more intertwined than ‘stages’ are usually thought to be. The Call, The Return Guardians, and The Homecoming or Completion are most often first (The Call) and last (Return Guardians and The Completion), but all the others in between are all going on at the same time. I’m going to be forming alliances throughout my whole journey to completing this project as well as stumbling into many ogres and threshold guardians on the way. But I also believe that I and anyone else on a journey need to start forming many alliances with others right at the beginning to help me or anyone else on a journey get started and keep going. The Road of Trials is probably going to be happening throughout my whole journey from writing my project proposal to filling out my completion form and finally to The Completion when I go to the Girl Scout awards ceremony.

At the moment, I’m forming alliances with people as well as running into ogres and threshold guardians. I have always had my family as allies and I have started forming alliances with my digital video teacher, digital video students, Girl Scouts, activist youth organizations, and friends. Everyone has been very interested in my project and happy to help me in any way they can.

I’m also having to deal with running and stumbling into random, annoying, and frightening ogres, threshold guardians, and many huge tree roots in the ground. When I started this journey I could already foresee some ogres and threshold guardians like having to deal with traveling, packing so much camera equipment, and being searched so many times in airports. And I knew I would have difficulties with the digital video part of the project with trying to learn as much as I am able to edit, film, and produce my first own documentary.

What makes this journey so exciting and absorbing for me is that I truly want to accomplish it and reach The Completion but at the same time I am really enjoying the journey itself. Having more allies and more engaging parts of a journey than ogres and difficult parts to have to go through makes this journey so enjoyable. This kind of journey could feel like the complete opposite if I had approached it in a different way. If my parents or Girl Scout leader had forced me into doing this project to be able to put it on college applications I wouldn’t have the endurance to push past the ogres and I wouldn’t have enough urge to reach The Completion because I wouldn’t really want to make the effort to do the project! But fortunately, that’s not the case and I am having many great experiences and eye opening ‘mini-journeys’ while I travel and explore through this journey.


--
(I finally got the internet to fully work so if you see a post on my personal blog about this then you'll know I figured it out.)

Andry Jong

[10 points] It was supported by my decision to be a successful person (definition was unspecified) in order to pay back my debt. To whom? My parents, siblings, relatives and friends. That, somehow, is the final destination of my life; and I have decided this, believe it or not, since I was just a sixth grader. Then, I got this calling that I should go to the United States in order to pursue my degrees in Computer Science. The reason for my decision is because the United States is the country with the most advance technology of computer programming. Hence, by getting my degrees in the United States, it will increase my chance of getting a job. And hence, the journey began when I left my home country.

Finding one calling was not enough for me. When I got here, I got a lot of information of the universities that I can get into: the UC’s, the CSU’s, the private universities. Having that information, I want to get to the best university I can possibly get into in order to increase my chance of getting not just a job, but a good, high-class job. Building my strategy, I also recruited some allies. They are my siblings, "in-laws", and my new friends. Being away from home, my siblings and my "in-laws" are the ones who always make me feel like I am at home, which consequently give me the strength to keep focus on my final destination. I was lucky enough to find good new friends, most of whom are in the honors program; most of whom have more than 3.5 GPA; most of whom would spend times together studying or having fun. Having them as my allies is a very great asset in my journey, because then I will not have to worry that I will lose my social life while I am busy with my studies.

Having my strategy ready and my allies with me, I have to face the reality that there are ogres in my journey: me, money, and time. Unlike most of the international students, I am not as prosperous as they are. My parents, and my brother, are giving their all in order to provide my study here. Hence, I do not have much time for wasting their money. I have to accomplish my goal as quickly as possible. Otherwise, I will only build up my debt to them. The last ogre I have to beat is me, myself. As some people might have had this exact same enemy, I, too, have to beat the negativities in me. There are times when I feel like I cannot possibly accomplish what I want to get, and want to give up all of my hopes. Time when I think that I put my expectations too high, that I should go back to earth. Also, there are times when I envied people for having more time for leisure than I do. I know I have to fight them, but sometimes, they just keep on coming back, those negativities in me.

There are also thresholds in my journey, which are mostly the hard subjects that I have to take in order to get degrees in Computer Science. However, with a good strategy, and perfect allies, I am very sure that I will be able to surpass all of the thresholds in this journey. Hence, here I am… in the road of trial of my journey. Wish me luck!
-Loire-

Robin Angell

[10 points] My goal, or journey destination, is completing my Girl Scout Gold Award. I’m doing a reading group/club for first and second grade boys at Nixon Elementary School. All of the boys are from East Palo Alto and all of them are struggling readers.

My call came when I was a little Brownie Girl Scout and first heard that the highest award a Girl Scout can earn is the Gold Award. I decided at that moment that I would definitely earn that award. At the time it seemed like a cinch, but as the years left for earning the award started dwindling away the task started seeming much more difficult.

One of the most important allies on my journey is my Girl Scout troop. They have been very helpful in giving me ideas for a project that suits my needs. They have also provided snacks for my children. My Girl Scout leaders have been wonderful allies too. They have helped me fill out all the complicated Gold Award paperwork and are always giving me ideas for raising money. My last ally is the principal at Nixon school. Without her support and help I wouldn’t have the school facility, the needed materials, or the access to the students.

Unfortunately, even though there are allies on my journey there are also ogres. Sometimes I have trouble picking activities and books that appeal to the boys. I had a really awful time once when I tried a monster/scary creature theme. When the reading group doesn’t like the activity we’re doing they get very vocal about it. They say things like “Monsters are boring!” and “I hate this.” Obviously, I don’t like hearing these things. Another ogre that I was facing was the fact that one little boy started going to the playground instead of reading group. While I’ve had several good days where the boys are happy to be there and excited about reading, the days were the boys aren’t happy can be really hard.

The Gold Award Committee was the guardian of the threshold. They got to decide whether or not my project was good enough for a Girl Scout Gold Award. I couldn’t begin my journey without their approval.

Right now I’m on the Road of Trials section of my journey. I’m deep in the middle of my project. I still have to keep planning reading projects for the boys for every Friday until June and then I have to write up the final paperwork.

My return guardians are all of my allies. They’re helping me to complete my project and return to a life where I’m not working on a Gold Award.

I haven’t yet reached the Homecoming or Completion stage of my journey. When I finally reach the point were I can fix a little gold pin onto my Girl Scout vest then I will have completed my journey and reached my destination.

Judy Chen

[10 points] Learning to become more independent, after my grandmother’s death, seems to be the one aspect of my life that identifies my overall journey. Her loss was a ripple effect that changed the lives of my family and me. My grandmother had always been the one to brighten up my days. She treated me like a queen, and made sure everything I wanted would fall directly into my hands. My grandma was just the sweetest and most considerate person alive. However, most importantly, she helped out my family financially as well. When she passed away, my heart just crumbled. I never realized how much she brought to my life.

Money had never been a problem for her; therefore, it had never been a problem for us. However, after she had passed away, I began to realize how much I took for granted. Bills were being overloaded and my family just didn’t know what to do. I’ve gotten a call to wise up and do something to help out my family. I couldn’t just sit on my butt and watch television all day. I’m needed in this time of crisis. That was when I decided to get a job and help out my family financially. I ended up getting a job, which does a significant amount of help. I took that money and supported myself also. I paid for school and my daily expenses, instead of asking my parents for them. It was much easier to spend the money I earned on my own. Come to think of it, I didn’t really have allies that helped me along the way. I was my own ally because I depended on myself to get everything settled. But besides myself, my parents had also always been there for me. They still provided the comfort and love they did before.

I was so determined to bring a change in my family that I was working almost full time and going to school at the same time. I definitely bumped into many ogres within my journey. I had to give up many extra curricular activities such as piano, violin, etc. which I no longer had the extra money for. From being so busy with work and school, I had no time to hang out with friends and lounge around like I use to. I was so tied up with schoolwork, I felt like I have no life. I didn’t complain because I knew my family needed me. When my friends would ask me to go hang out, I just had to nicely decline. They even called me a “workaholic” because that’s what I did all the time. I was extremely tired. There was just so much to do. I felt as if there weren’t enough hours in the day! My parents were both struggling, yet working hard. I felt that they had given me so much, which I took all for granted; this was the least I could do to repay them.

As of right now I’m still working part time at the same job and helping out at another. My life’s still packed with school and work. It’s like a daily routine that repeats itself. I believe that this journey will never end. I think this chapter in my life will continue, even if another chapter begins. This quest really opened my eyes to the real world. To me, it was the transition from my childhood to adulthood. Even though I’m not an adult yet, I feel as if I have the responsibility of one. Nonetheless, I’m still grateful for all that has happened and I am a believer that everything happens for a reason.

William Simiadi

[10 points] There are always different stage of passages that we have to undergo to achieve and reach our destination. Although it is a series of steps,
it doesn't necessarily come successively one after another, the order of each upcoming events are unpredictable, they can overlap each other,
can come between each ones of them and might even be a cycle. To start with, When you are making your decisions up for something there are
reasons for that - ambitions, decisions, expectations - these are our calls to reach Rome. However, no matter how much of yourself you are willing
to sacrifice, its almost always lacking.. For that reason, you need your allies and these are your friends. Your real friends who are willing to
help in any way they can. But then, the Ogre has always been one of the main paths with obstacles that we have to forcefully thrust through to
get THERE. At the instance you are able to tore up your way of the ogre, this is when your Threshold of Guardians could be opened up for you
to be in a state of Completion.

The most important part of my journey is my call. My call to be the man I have always wanted and not the man the society expects me to be. To make my
own decision and lead my own path of the future. But the scariest part is whether your choice will lead you to better future or to a bad one. I've just
watched the movie called "The Butterfly Effect" and "Final Destination", and I do think that those 2 movies rock!! Not only that, it really popped my
eyes out when I realized that every little thing that you choose to do will greatly affect your later life. For instance, your choice to drink coke
instead of drinking mineral water. This simple matter might cause a big impact for your future like your possibility to be obese for taking in high
amount of sugar in your everyday life and can potentially lead to other serious illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. What I'm trying to say
is that your decision, even how small or insignificant you think it is, it will lead your way up or down to your goal.

Several other stages I have experienced - the ogres, the allies - comes now and then in a totally different form. But unlike any other, the call has
always cycles in the very same form - making up decisions. Sounds like a simple matter eh!? But it is not. Its one of the toughest obligation that we
have to face, as for the reasons I explained previously. And now, I am in the verge of making a very tough decision that will definitely affect my
life 10-20 years from now. I have to make my mind up on what course to take in the university.

As of now, I am taking Industrial Engineering for my studies and what I've heard is that when our time to look for job comes, its really hard to compete for
places due to the stupendous number of people interested in taking the job in ratio to the limited employment seats available. Industrial Engineering is one
of the most proffered subjects for University Students. As such, the number of graduates are also high in number compared to many other subjects.
Leading to the decrease in the rate of employment for us – Industrial Engineering students. Moreover, this is not only a matter of 'if you like it or if its your
hobby then take it' or vice versa, but its actually a matter of 'your ability to make yourself be better than the rest to be at the peak'. Everything
in the TV or what you heard about 'as long as you enjoy what you do, regardless of how small you made out of it, its worth it' is all nonsense.
If you are unable to cope with this advancing society although you enjoy what you do you will always lose to your competitors. Therefore, although
I enjoy what I am doing right now, this risky reasons that I have to face have always arose in my thoughts on whether or not I am making the right
choice for myself in the future. Once you deal with it there's no turning back.

So we have to take a risk whenever we make some decisions and I’m willing to take that risk. I am also taking a risk when I decided to take this class as I know there will be plenty of work in this class and my other classes are tough too. I will try my best to manage my time and so far I’ve done alright. I will also do my best to fulfill my call and I hope this decision is the right one to reach the completion.

Ronald Tan Kiem Seng

[10 points] I think the most important journey that I have in my life is the journey through education. Right now, I’m on the road of trials, still continuing with my journey. I think the actual journey started after I finished primary school education. The “Calling” for the journey was when I was given the choice to continue studying in Singapore by my parents. Well, I didn’t know what got into me at that time but I decided that it would be quite exciting to study abroad and indeed it was exciting. I met many allies during my stay in Singapore, my friends who were studying with me. I stayed in a boarding school during my stay there and it was a very memorable experience for me. I met a lot of students who were under scholarship from all over South East Asia and China and their motivation for study was contagious. I get motivated because of them and we helped each other when we have difficulties on our study. The experiences that I had there make me crave for more “magic” throughout my journey so I decided that I wanted to go to US to continue my study.
I faced one of the “ogres” before I went to U.S. and avoid the confrontation for later. Male Singapore citizens are supposed to go for a compulsory military service for 2 years and I am one of them. Most male Singaporeans who study abroad go after they have finished their military service. I thought that while my passion for learning is still burning, I want to complete my education first. The Singapore government seems to be paranoid about people running away from the compulsory military service. So people who want to get a degree first before going for the military service has to deal with a lot of paperworks and have to make a bond with the government promising to return after completing the study. The procedure held me back for half a year before I could finally continue my journey here in U.S.

I meet many friends who are goal-oriented and purposeful in their journey for education and we become allies. We face ogres together such as hard classes that we have to take, going through the application process of transferring to 4-year universities. We also stray from the path of education sometimes to have fun and go together for a vacation but we get back on track. I think the times when we play and have vacation are not one of the ogres but the scenery along the journey. The scenery is an important part of the journey itself because without them, the journey would be boring and we might get tired easier during the journey.

My guardians through the journey are my parents. They support my decision of continuing my study in U.S., provide the ration for the journey (paid for education expense). The journey is not complete yet and I’m sure I will face more ogres along the journey but with allies by my side and my guardians watching over me, I’m sure I will be able to complete the journey. And after that, I will be entering different journey in my life.

Benedicte

[10 points] I can surely identify with the life quest theory and I like the idea of using that concept to structure the e-portfolio. It surely appeals to my sense of myth. I am my own mythological hero(ine). I will talk just about the current quest I am on, the one about schooling.

The Quest

I got the inspiration when I was on a pilgrimage to sacred sites in Europe. I did not quite know it at the time, but there was something brewing when visiting the cathedral in Barcelona(Sagrada Familia), and something was developing while climbing the last holdout of the Cathars in Montsegur. Some inspiration happened in the cold bath water in Lourdes and some while having lunch with 5000 others, provided by the Sikhs during the Parliament of World Religions.
Not until I was home again in California did it all come together. I had been stuck in a place of not feeling particularly useful, not living up to my full potential and more of that vaguely negative stuff. The whole unrest all of a sudden started to focus, like a laser building up power and all of a sudden focusing the energy to a faraway point.

Why not do what I like to do and what I have been doing for a while. Why not work on the credentials to do this officially. I like to talk to people. I like to counsel. As pastor in my church I do it all the time. I like to help people to see their potential where they themselves are quite often blind to it. And I am good at seeing it.
Apart from that I like horses. I have been teaching horsemanship to children (and adults) with special needs for awhile. The two are very compatible. It even has a name: Equine facilitated psychotherapy. For that I will need to study psychology. So I started on my quest for knowledge and credentials.

Allies

The allies fell into place at once. The first school I ever looked at was JFK University who happened to have a Holistic Masters in Psychology program. That is just up my alley. I want to be able to use my own spirituality as well as all the other skills I have acquired over time to integrate with the new knowledge. Okay, they are a private school and therefore expensive, but I know from experience that whenever the need is there, the money will follow. In my life it always has.
I had a talk and it was very positive. Now all I needed to do was start on the Prerequisites. It would take me about two years to complete that, then two or three years BA. Then two or three years Masters. All in all a long quest, I would be over 50 till graduation, but If I don't do anything, I will over over fifty in so many years as well, without the progress. So I started with Eng 1A and Soc 1 and took two classes per quarter, besides working full time, being a mom, pastor and horse trainer for some odd horses(that last one is my extra coffee, movie, school books etc., money). If anything, I took time management 101 between the lines.
My allies in person were my teachers, validating me along the way, my kids for cheering me on, my colleagues, for jumping in when I needed time of for a midterm or an final. And financial aid, so that I can eat and go to school and feed my kid.

The Ogres

In my case it is the ogres job to try to distract the traveler. I am my own worst ogre. The trap I am constantly falling in, is in wanting to be further along than I am. I want to already be transferred. I want to be at my goal already. I cannot be successful until I reach my goal. It is not true. I am now in the last part of the Foothill stage. Next fall I will transfer. This is an exercise in patience and staying in the very present. I am now taking geography, so pay attention to learning about the weather and tectonic plates and ENJOY what you are learning. When I pay attention I find inspiration in all the classes I take. (See my blog this week)
The only way to not be affected by any ogres is to keep your eyes on the road and enjoy what I am doing, be it geography, e-portfolio's or math.

Michelle Ho Pui Man

[10 points] I have been a good student throughout my life. I was told by my parents that I had to get perform good academically in order to secure a promising future in such a competitive society. Therefore, I studied hard and achieved academic excellence. However, in the past, I sometimes had questions like “Why did I have to pay so much effort in my study?”, “Does academic excellence really guarantee amore prospective future?”. However, I realized in my religious education that everyone has certain responsibilities and duties during every stage of life. And as a student, it is my duty and responsibility to study well. I think this is the call for me. Knowing that life has a purpose, I know that I need to study in order to equip myself so that I can achieve my goal in the future and make contributions for the society.
Talking about the ogres, I think the greatest obstacle ever met in my life was my homesickness when I was came to the US. The education in America is thought to be the most prestigious in the world and so my parents sent me here to pursue my degree. However, I had been well taken care of as if I were a little fragile flower in the greenhouse before so I could not take well care of myself after leaving my family. I used to live with my family and had my life taken care by my mother and grandmother. I used to be surrounded by my younger brother and sister. Nevertheless, when I first came here, everything was so unfamiliar for me. My family and friends were so far away from me. I felt like I had no connection here. I was so overwhelmed by loneliness that I could not concentrate on my study. Besides, at exactly that time, I found out that I had no interest in the major that I had chosen previously so my goal became very unclear. I was so lost at that time. It took me quite a while to overcome this problem. As I got to know more friends, I began to adapt to my life here and my homesickness was eased. I also managed to refocus my target when I decided to major in Math which I found really interesting. I also found my allies in my math class. I got to know several friends who major in actuarial Mathematics. We share with each other what we think is the best pathway to attain our common goal. I think I have started my journey and on the road of trials. I am now working hard towards my goal. I will get my associate degree in Mathematics in June. I think this is the
I have to pass seven examinations in order to get a fellowship in the actuarial society and I haven’t completed any one of them. Hence, I think I am still a long way from homecoming. However, I am positive towards my future and I believe I can eventually reach my destination as long as I keep trying.

HOKIANU

[10 points] This is an interesting topic to me. I have never tried to examine which stage I am in now and this is a good chance for me to think about it. I guess my journey is almost the same as the other students who are at my age. My journey is my educational path. I always ask myself the same question. “Why am I here in the United States, why not other countries?”

I guess the “call” in my journey is when I first decided to come to the United Sates alone to continue my educational path. I dreamed about United Kingdom since I was in junior high; I was so sure and assisted to continue my studies in United Kingdom. However, my family suggested and persuaded me to come to America instead of the U.K.; I insisted at first but finally followed their wish and listened to them. At that time, I thought that this would be my journey so I decided to go for it.

I think my family and friends I had in my high school are my allies. My family is always here for me whenever I need them. They give me support when I am upset and do not know which way to go. My friends are the important allies I have in my journey. They study with me, share opinions with me, care me when I am depressed. They are like my family. Even I am not going to the same school or in the same place with them now, we still keep contact. Even I am in trouble with my studies now, I can always get help from them. They always help and never get annoyed with my questions. I really appreciate the love my family and friends give me. I can never thank them until I complete my journey.

There are several “ogres” in my life. I used to be dependent child in my parents’ eyes. I encountered tons of difficulties when I first come to America. Since I was so dependent on my parents, I found it difficult to live on my own here alone in America. However, it is impossible to complete my journey if I am not able to be independent. Even there were many obstacles in front of me, I did not hesitate to overcome them. Right now, I am proud to say that I am not a dependent child anymore; and I can live on my own.

My Daddy is my Threshold Guardians. I remember what he told me when he was sick when he was unable to move and staying on the bed. He told me that I should always fight brave and stay strong, and life success often comes in small increments. His words become my motto and the angel in my journey. Without his words, I guess I might not be able to begin my journey. I guess I am in the Roads of Trail; I am merely beginning my journey at all. There are roads which are waiting ahead in front of me to discover. In order to complete my journey and to return guardians, I have to stay strong and keep the motto always in my mind. In this way, I can go home and tell my parents proudly how successful I am.

Ping Tong Lo

[10 points] In the life journey which I am experiencing, the most important stages I am getting through are the call, the allies and the ogres. I had been thinking about my life journey and my destination for a while, however, it was really hard for me to perceive who I am for the next 10 or 30 years.
My educational path is an interesting journey that I am going through. I started my education in Hong Kong, a place where academic results define every youngster’s success, and I had failed to succeed in the system. Starting from the primary school, students in Hong Kong need to spend over 3 to 4 extra hours to study after school and television and other sports are typically rejected by the parents. However, I am a crazy soccer lover. I owed to spend my extra hours on soccer or hiking, something I really like, after school hours. Therefore, I did never went to the top places in classes and even I did well in the interschool soccer matches, I couldn’t feel any sense of achievement.
Continuing my boring education in the secondary school, I kept on being the odds in this education system. When every schoolmate spends a lot of time on revising the lecture stuffs, I had become an activist on campus. I always got a lot of calling to do something whenever I saw the injustice in school. I was urged to organize campaign to fight for students’ right or some other important things by my calling, unfortunately, my odd behavior did hardly find me any allies. This situation defines my life long struggle between fulfilling my calling and inviting allies.
After many hard fighting and trails in high school, I felt something larger to study from education. During the years fighting for fairness and righteousness in school, I got chances to see the whole picture in the society. I realized there are much more important missions for education to achieve than simply seeing it as a path for successful career and money”. I went to the inland China during a summer to visit an orphanage there. The trip forever inspired me and my educational goal. I witnessed a lot of social problems during the trip and these problems inspired me to study harder and to be an economist to draft solutions for the situation, especially the big income gap between many small cities and the large cities in China.
Eventually, I saw my goal to study and the meaning of education. We, the luckiest people in the world, who could receive higher education, should devote our knowledge on bettering the worlds’ unfortunates. I had a strong calling from my heart to serve the community and bring differences to China. Therefore, I had strived had to realize the calling. Luckily, I was not alone and I had found some allies to work together. We started the Microcredit Club in Foothill College and started our work on poverty reduction. On the other hand, I spend many extra hours to study hard and wish to be a PhD in Economics and to spread my ideas in universities. I sincerely hope that, my dream in fighting against poverty will have a favorable homecoming result.

Anna Flink

[10 points] My life can be divided in to so many different phases and journeys so that when I think about it, it makes me think of myself as a crazy person. And maybe I am… On the other hand I’ve learnt a lot from “travelling” through all these phases, so I think I’d rather be crazy if it means getting all these experiences.

My main journey at the moment has been going on for a while; I’d say I got the call about 12 years ago. I was about ten years old and became deaf on my right ear. The doctors told us there was nothing that they could do, and that no hearing aids would work for me since there was a problem with a nerve. I remember sitting in the examination room and as I looked around and listened to what he had to say I was amazed by all the knowledge he had. That’s when I thought for myself that I wanted to have that much knowledge, so that maybe I could help myself one day—I decided I was going to become a doctor one day.

I’m a very independent person, something of a lone wolf, and I don’t think I’ve ever thought that I need Allies for this journey. After I got the call it took me several years before I even told anyone about my goal. I was scared that they wouldn’t understand and get in the way of me doing what I wanted. And once I did tell them my mind was set and I did run my own race. Off course I’ve had friends and family there for me, but I’d rather say they’ve been Allies in my “sub-journeys”. I’ve had plenty of Ogres on my way so far, and these have divided my journey into “sub-journeys”. Thanks to my team mates during these small journeys I’ve been able to work through my problems and move on. It’s not like I forget about my Allies once one obstacle is taken care of, but I find that different Allies work best getting through different Ogres…

I would say just got passed the Threshold Guardians, being the acceptance committee at the University I applied to, and I’m finally moving in to the Road of Trials. It feels as if I will finally be on my way as from August when I’ll start at my new school. Once I’ve started there, I will still have obstacles to overcome, but they will be minor, or at least it will feel that way since I’ve already gone so far and my motivation only gets greater as time I get further. I can imagine being in this phase of my journey for several years while going through several more “sub-journeys”. Then when it’s time I have to get passed the Return Guardians, I imagine them being the last exams to test all the knowledge. Only when I’ve passed those exams and I’m standing there with my diploma I can say that I’ve completed my journey. I don’t know when it will be, but I know I’ve been on the road for a long time already and I know I’m ready to keep going for a long time in the future, because I know it’s all going to be worth it once I’m ready for the Homecoming.

Ka Ho Lee

[10 points] The most important aspect of my life which has the characteristics of a Journey would be my education, especially when the time after I have graduated from my high school I keep asking a question to myself how my educational path should be after I have graduated from my high school. I notice that in order to be success in my life so I must make up a decision that where should I go to study, stay in Hong Kong or go to U.S.A. On one hand it would be awesome if I could keep studying in Hong Kong since I don’t want to leave my family and my friends, but there is a chance that I couldn’t get into university in Hong Kong, even I could get in, it would not be in a good major or in a high reputation university. On the other hand, if I come to U.S.A. to study, there is a better chance for me to get in to a good university since there is a lot more university in U.S.A. then in Hong Kong but I need to take a risk that I could not face the culture shock and also the different of the educational style between Hong Kong and U.S.A. I would say making this decision is really like a journey.
In that moment I think I am trying to from an alliance. First of all, when I am trying to make that decision lots of my friends and especially my family were trying to help me, although they knew that they could not help me to make my decision since that’s my own life, but still they try to give me a lot of information and comment. For example my friends would try to gather the information of each college that I am planning to go to for me or they would try to ask their relative or friends that was there anyone already studying in there so they could help me to make a better decision. Besides that, my families had tried to give all kind of support to me, for example they told me that I do not need to worry about any financial problem, just do the thing I want to do. As I know that the tuition fee of the university in U.S.A. and Hong Kong has a huge different. In that moment I just feel like I am forming a team in order to equipped myself to keep walk though this journey.
Right now, I have made the decision and that was studying in U.S.A. but the journey has not finish yet. And I think the journey would never come to an end since I believe that knowledge is power. In order to be success I need to equip myself all the time, and the only way to equipped myself is to learn and get more education. I know I would face a lot of ogres in this journey but still as a hero in this journey I would tried to overcome every ogres and end the journey by completion.

Shawn Saxena

[10 points] It seems that the journey I am on is a subtle one. That being said, my journey is one of education. Most people have to follow this similar quest; some have harder times than others. The calling is somewhat inevitable. We all have to go to school. But different people choose to take its seriousness in different degrees. The allies in ogres in this journey can often overlap depending on the circumstances. Good teachers for instance, can help facilitate and encourage learning and participation. Bad teachers, however, can often become barriers that obstruct those goals. Depending on one’s social circumstances, the position of family in the quest for education can often vary. Some parents are supportive and accommodating; others can be overbearing; some lack concern; some can even become a distraction. Friends can often become useful allies when you surround yourself with people who share similar goals and aspirations. They help motivate you, keep you on track when you become distracted, and hopefully help you get over problems easier. But they are just can just as easily become ogres. Friends and relationships can become extremely distracting, which often makes getting through school much harder. The road of trials is school itself. High school seems to epitomize this. Everything becomes magnified; our grades, our friends, and what we do. And then we get into college, but the road still continues. The possibility for the same characters to change roles or even assume two at once puts in interesting twist on the myth.
The ogres can obviously present themselves in the form of distractions. Going out with friends, TV., movies, anything really. Stress (whether from homework, tests, or other sources) also becomes another challenge to surmount. Our allies can also take less tangible forms. Determination and motivation for instance (if you have it), can become a driving force to help get you through the daily and long-term challenges. But they can be hard allies to make sometimes, almost elusive. What makes the journey easier, is to find and make these allies early on because the longer you go without them, the harder they are to befriend. The homecoming or completion can be whatever you choose, depending on how far you want to pursue your education. Each level of education (although connected) becomes its own journey. Highschool is different from college, and college is different from obtaining a graduate degree. But the allies and ogres you have to face will in a sense remain similar. The more allies you make earlier on, the easier each road of trials will be.

Christine Ferry

[5 points. Home remodeling is a quest indeed. Or an invitation to therapy and psych counseling!]
My life seems to have several “journeys” going on right now. So after some thinking and reading of previous postings like education, motherhood, and the meaning of life, I think I’ll keep this one fairly light hearted.
One part of my life journey at the moment is my home re-model. This is indeed a learning quest at which I am presently at “The Road of Trials” stage. Home remodeling does have many trials some amusing and some extremely frustrating. Did I hear a “Call” to take on this project? No, nothing that deep but after moving here from the East Coast and seeing the types of homes that were affordable in our price range made me come up with the idea of buying a “fixer upper”. This seemed like a huge project to take and I had no experience in the building industry.
After months of searching, I found the right place. A small neglected house on a quiet street in need of some attention. Now after finding the house, it was time to assemble a team and call in the “Allies”. The group included a contractor, draftsperson and myself. The contractor runs the whole building process, the draftsperson draws the plans and I am doing most everything else. Including design, decorating, and budgets. The group now has to learn to communicate and work together.
The “Ogres” could be many things in this project but mostly they are the neighbors that love to tell you their remodeling horror stories. When I visit the site at least one neighbor will appear to ask you “what has gone wrong” so far in the building process. This re-modeling is a big undertaking but so far everything is going well, is on time and on budget. But misery loves company and people can’t wait to tell you how horrible their experience was and they want to hear what a rotten time you might be having with the many things that can go wrong.
With every stage of this process come the inspectors from San Mateo County. They could easily take the role of the “Threshold Guardians” and the “Return Guardians”. They guard each step as we wait for their approval and without it we will not be able to move onto the next stage. They also guard our return to home.
Last but not least will be the “Homecoming”. The completion of my project will most likely be mid April although the “Ogres” all have something to say about that date!
I learn something everyday in this crazy process. Not just about the building process but also about putting together a good team. Taking on something that I didn't have any expirence with was somewhat frightening at first but now I can see the end in sight and I am really proud that I undertook this project. I am really looking forward to the “Homecoming”

Diana Wong

[5 points. You certainly have the talent and self-discipline to sustain a double-major -- which might help slay a few of your ogres!]
“Life is one big journey” seems to be the appropriate metaphor for my life. I too am on one bumpy unpaved road of life. I am trekking through unmarked territories encountering demons along the way. Some of these demons are flaws found in myself, while others are academic related. Right now I feel as if I’m in the beginning stages of my lifelong journey. The path I am currently taking is finishing my “educational journey.” I am a freshman in college, and am planning to transfer to Santa Clara University to study business. It sounds like a sure plan, but in reality I am very confused on what I really want to do. I feel as if the only reason I reassure myself so much is because I’m scared by the idea of not following the norm. They say people who don’t know what to do major in business. This is true, I am somewhat lost. I feel that being a business major is very flexible major that will open many opportunities. However, many of my allies have said that I should do what I want. Fortunately, with each passing day I feel as if my calling to complete this trail grows stronger. In the future I might minor in art or graphic design, and major in marketing. My calling is to apply to a business college and get accepted. What I do in this new college seems to be another journey, but rest assured, I will be closer to my destiny (whatever it will be) as each day passes. On this treacherous path to college, I have attempted to gather allies, making friends at Foothill has been somewhat challenging due to the lack of dorms and limited human interactions. I have gathered a few motivated allies who might be aiming for the same goal. We help each other defeat the ogres and whatever else might cross our path. Thanks to my allies I feel more prepared to jump into a new college. Strangely enough, the process of finding allies can be ogres themselves. Deep down I know I should reach out to people and not be limited to one group of friends. The obstacle is finding allies to accompany me on my quest. It is difficult to leave my comfort zone, but soon enough I will be able to, because allies are able to help one another with school work, college applications and overall problems related to stress and deadlines. Safety in numbers is what I say. In this stage of my calling, I think the ogres have been pretty mild, but at times I feel very stressed and cornered. The workload is intense, along with juggling other social aspects of my life. My laziness and schoolwork have been major ogres in my life. Lately, I have been procrastinating a lot, and working has tired me out greatly. Defeating these ogres (following through and doing my work) hopefully will make me stronger. So far, my path has been clear and I hope to accomplish my quest soon.

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