Archive for August, 2008

Stereotyping, a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. That’s according to my laptop’s built in dictionary, but if I were to define stereotyping, I would say it the common way, which is nothing but a typical judging the book by it’s cover. When it comes to stereotyping, nothing is left behind; moreover, it doesn’t matter if it’s a good or a bad thing. If Ben and Jerry’s have its crazy assortments of ice cream flavors, by all means, stereotyping has its own variations too. From ethnicity, status quo, practice of faith, and sexuality, stereotyping has been merciless. But of all kinds of stereotyping, the gender issue is the classic. I once read a book written by a famous Indian pandit and it says that “Never trust a woman and a Politician”. After reading it, for sometime, I couldn’t help but hate the author. Since time immemorial, gender stereotyping is the most stagnant and hasn’t moved on.

I had my very first encounter of gender stereotyping when I was in my play group age. Most of my cousins are guys, and we do play together most of the time, but when it comes to physical games like wrestling or choosing the leader of the pact, I was always left out in the corner crying my heart out. My testosterone driven counterparts, always pushed me aside because they said I’m a girl, and that I am weak. Duh, it was so frustrating that I asked my father if I could learn karate, but to my dismayed, father said that I should learn other things that are girl oriented because karate is suitable only for guys. So much for my high hopes and frustrations. In human history, no matter what kind, it is always the men who has the lead role. In fact, most of any written literatures, legends, and even the bible are very much patriarchal. I mean, why can’t they share it to women or to just give credits to them? In the creation story of the bible, Eve was pictured out as the idiotic cause of Adam’s misery, and in modern version, the “dumb blonde” Marilyn Monroe who put a stain on JFK’s clean and sleek image. On the other hand, what about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for the next and first woman president of United States of America? Isn’t America not ready to have a woman president? To have a woman as the head of the country is a big no no because according to most of my male friends, a woman leader is emotionally weak and not ruthless enough in making bloody decisions. Ah, does it always require testosterones to have balls? I don’t think so. Honestly, I don’t like her that much not because she’s a woman, but because she’s so full of dirty tricks under her sleeves.

To make the game fair, I would say something about Adonis’s side also. We women do stereotype the men too. Most of the time we see them as narcissistic, immature, irresponsible, pompous prick. Sounds too much, but trust me, it’s so true sometimes. Although I consider myself guilty, I still find it not right because I don’t want guys to see women as crazy, over emotional, control freak bitches.

In conclusion, gender stereotyping has been habitual and automatic and almost impossible to control it. In order not to rub more salt to an open wound, I strongly recommend to everybody to always tried the best to not look at people in one shade because I believe that we’re not this body, instead we’re way more beautiful than that.

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Why do people cheat? Is it because of instant reward and satisfaction? Is it because it’s thrilling, so people do it just for the heck of it? There could be a variety of colorful answers, and we’re all gonna try to justify it. One of the prominent institution where cheating happens in any creative ways is at school. I had been a student before, and I had first hand experiences about academic dishonesty. But, does cheating really help students or just brings harm?  Of all the complicated calculus and trigonometry formulas, this is the only thing I can vividly remember from what my math teacher taught, “It is not cheating when you’re not caught”. Ironic isn’t it ?

Academic dishonesty or cheating can be harmful to students. Cheating does not give students any motivation at all, for instead of studying, students will rely more on cheating notes during every examination. When students lie, they don’t learn any skills because they always have to depend on something or someone else. As a result, students end up not having a sense of self-reliability, and they miss the opportunity of exploring the outer bounds of their comfort zones. Too much money and time are also wasted due to cheating. Students will need to retake a failed course and repay the fees. Money will need to be reinvested, which could be utilized for other productive activities. The risk of being suspended or terminated because of dishonesty is not worth the chance of having that on one’s academic record. It is not something a future employer would look highly upon, and it could be an obstacle to getting that dream job.

On the other hand, cheating also robs students of their chance to become competent. Students seem to become loose with their academic goals and sometimes have no goals at all. Due to a lack of goals, students will have a difficult time being successful in their chosen fields. This act of deception is also a hindrance in developing a good relationship between a student and a teacher. Once a student is caught cheating, it’s very difficult for the instructor to trust the student again. Furthermore, even if the student doesn’t cheat and still does well in the class, the teacher is still kind of skeptical.

Addictive deception is a lifelong habit that could really lead to serious damage and not just in studies.For example, he or she will not be the best choice when it comes to relationship with the opposite sex, which I doubt if he’ll even get randomly selected for a date.When a student gets used to cheating, he or she will not just cheat in school, but will also cheat in any given circumstances. As a result, people will not develop a bond of trust towards him or her.

Cheating may be a means of instant academic success and can dish out assortment of multipurpose aids, but it will only lead to more serious unfavorable consequences in the future.

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Here’s one of the informal essays I wrote in my writting class, and it’s about some events in my life, which made me me, hehehe. It’s a little bit long, but I hope I can share something sensible, if not, then what to do, I’ll try again next time :o)

The first time I went to college was against my will, but it was so convenient since I don’t have to worry for anything. I don’t have to work my butt off in order to support myself, I don’t need to worry about rent and monthly bills, and best of, all I don’t need to worry about my costly tuition fee because everything was provided for by my parents. So, why I said it was against my will? Because my parents especially my mother wanted me to take a course that I didn’t like! Being the eldest and always obedient to them, I said yes without even expressing how I really feel, and six years after, I regretted it.

When I was a kid my mother would always tell me that a good daughter always does what her parents asked her to do. As for my Asian culture, it maybe stereotypical to obey the parents orders no matter what, but actually it’s always like that even now a days. My parents are not the ideal parents we see in movies or television, instead they’re the complete opposite. I’m not saying that they’re bad. Of course, they’re good.It’s just that they’re both in the military, and I ended up leaving in a Marshall Law way of life. What I’m trying to say is that, I grew up so restricted, I have to obey first before I complain, or better, just obey and shut up. For twenty years of my life, it was always like that.

I was 16 when I started college, and from that moment, I knew that I started for all the wrong reasons. Instead of confronting it, I ended up in denial that everything will work out. At the beginning, I was somehow enthusiastic and forced myself to study, but as the years passed by, I slowly drifted away and eventually failed. After that, I shifted to another course, the one that my mother didn’t like, and I didn’t it like either.I took it just to provoked my parents and to commenced my so called rebellion. The funny thing about this event is that, I never felt disappointed and sad, instead I felt relieved, and at last I’m free! I was 21 then, and after this incident, I decided to live my life the way I wanted. So, I finished college realizing that I actually didn’t learn anything, and that I missed a lot of my teenage days. I packed my stuff and moved to the capital city and started looking for a job. After a couple of odd jobs,I found one that I really liked. As I lived in the city, I slowly come out from my shell. I started having confidence to myself, believing in my decisions, and trusting my abilities. I started going out with friends, meeting new people, joining some youth oriented clubs that really helps me out to overcome my shyness, and lastly, I met guy whom is now my husband. After three years of living my life and rediscovering myself, an opportunity came for me to move to the USA. At fist I was hesitant to leaved, for the fear that I have to start from the scratch again ,and it may not work out. An unexpected source of support came to me and said, “ You are like a grass, No matter where God put you even in the driest desert you will survive.” It was my mother, whom for 3 years I didn’t have a good relationship because I disobeyed her. So, we patched up and that was the go signal that I needed. I packed my stuff again and traveled for the first time in my life, which I predicted I’d get lost in the airport, and holy cow, what an experienced not to mention scary.

October of 2005 when I moved here to Gainesville, Florida, and it was full of anxiety and anticipation. This is the first time in my life that I am really away from my family and common grounds, but it didn’t stop me, for what I have now is a firm conviction that I’ll prosper and grow just like a grass. Ever since I arrived, I’d been working with Krishna Lunch and until now. What we usually do is that we cater vegetarian food to students at the University of Florida. For two years of working at Krishna Lunch, I encountered different kinds of people and students, and eventually some of them become a good friend.  As I mingled with students everyday, slowly I become envious of them. Envy in the sense that, how I wish I could go back to school again and take the course that I really like, which is Occupational Therapy. Everyday I’m daydreaming that I’m a university student again, like seriously, and that I’m going to graduate soon! I guess this is due to my excessive supply of enthusiasm and optimism, which I’m really proud of, he he he! You may wonder why occupational therapy? It’s simple. As an unfortunate victim of severe vehicular accident, I’d experienced how painful it was to struggle to function again normally. It would have been easier if I had an occupational therapist. Because of this, I would love to help out and to make sure that occupational therapist assistance is accessible. So, in order for me to fulfill one of my dreams, I have to worked my ass off and saved money as possible as I can. At 7 a.m. I’m getting ready for school because my classes are from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Of course, my day is still not over because after this, I have to go to my other job that is at Krishna Lunch running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and when I’m done, I need to do my assignments, and finished it as early as I can. Whew!

So, as you can see, my second chance in college is not as convenient as the previous one, instead I need to work hard, support myself, worrying on how to pay my bills, and lastly worrying on how to pay my costly tuition fee, but only this time, it’s according to my will. But you know what, even with all of this I’m still happy. I don’t exactly know why, or maybe I’m just crazy, but I guess it’s the feeling of you think that you can’t do it but amazingly, you’ve managed it well. Just like a grass, I will prosper and grow and soon be a successful Occupational Therapist.

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Pineapple Diva

Pineapple has been one of my favorite fruits, and I’ll never get tired eating it :o) Back home, we have a variety of pineapple. We have different sizes and kinds, like pineapple with seeds, and tiny orange colored pineapple but succulently sweet. I and my siblings used to eat like 2 to 3 medium sized pineapples in a day especially on summer, and the weird thing we do is that, we dipped it on salt to make it sweeter. I don’t really know why it’s like that, but trust me, just give it a try and you’ll see what I’m talking about :o) But the most unforgettable experienced I have with this juicy tropical fruit, is the way my father peeled it. I was in grade school when my father showed me on how to “properly” peeled a pineapple, and my oh my, I was so amazed. Here’s a before and after photo of a pineapple, which I peeled by myself according to my father’s way of doing it. Enjoy :o)

Before                                                         After

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I would like to share this beautiful vyasa puja offering of my guru maharaja for his beloved guru, Srila Prabhupada. This is such a heart warming offering that is full of love and inspirations, and I hope and pray that one day I’ll be able to do something like this for my guru as well. I hope that that this will give happiness to everybody, Hare Krishna!

Precious Moments

My dear Srila Prabhupada,

Please accept my most humble obeisances in the dust of your lotus feet.
All glories to Your Divine Grace.

As I meditate upon Your Divine Grace, I recall seven precious moments that led to my taking shelter of your lotus feet. Each of these precious moments connected to the next in clear succession, arranged by you and the Divine Couple.

The first precious moment was when I cried out to the Lord for guidance. I knew that God existed, but I wasn’t sure who He was. I prayed with as much sincerity as I could gather, and asked for God to reveal Himself to me. At the same time, I doubted my qualification to ask such a question of the Supreme Lord. Why should God reveal Himself to such an insignificant soul as me? But considering that God must have a compassionate nature, I pondered He could reveal Himself to anyone He wished.

The second precious moment was when the Lord answered my prayers. That day, I purchased an old, weather-beaten, copy of your Bhagavad-gita As It Is from a second hand book store. The shelves were filled with hundreds of books on spirituality, but I had magnet like attraction to the cover painting of Parthasarathi. I read the book cover to cover, without hardly putting it down, and realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that Krishna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead and you were His pure devotee.

The third precious moment was when I started corresponding with Svarupa Dasa in Los Angeles. He was the corresponding secretary for interested readers at the time. In our exchanges, he preached to me and sent a catalog of spiritual items that could be purchased. I purchased more of your books, your recorded lectures, kirtans and bhajans, and japa beads. It was then that I started to chant sixteen rounds a day.

The fourth precious moment was when I started to listen to your recorded lectures, kirtans and bhajans for hours each day. That spiritual sound vibration was so powerful that it pierced my heart. I felt that you were speaking directly to me and freeing me from millions of lifetimes of sinful reactions. It was a very purifying experience.

The fifth precious moment was when I first saw film footage of you. Seeing you speak and act for Krishna and His devotees was overwhelming. It brought tears to my eyes. This was the first time I saw you and it kindled a blazing fire within me to become your disciple.

The sixth precious moment was when I greeted you during one of your Los Angeles airport arrivals. When you walked out from the arrival gate, you appeared goldenly effulgent. Hundreds of devotees were loudly chanting and running to keep up on either side of the moving walkway on which you stood. It appeared as though you were floating through the airport. Your presence commanded respect and even non-devotees stood transfixed by your gaze.

The seventh precious moment was when you were leaving for your walk the next morning. You had just gotten into the car and it was backing up onto Watseka Avenue. I was standing some distance behind the car, looking into the rear window. All of a sudden, you turned around and looked out the window at the devotees. As you were scanning the crowd, our eyes met and locked for a brief moment. There was great compassion in your eyes, and you seemed to be saying,”where have you been all these lifetimes? Now you have the shelter of guru and Krishna.”

These seven precious moments brought me in touch with you. I still can’t call myself a disciple of your’s. But I am trying to learn from my senior godbothers and godsisters what it means to become a genuine disciple. By their mercy, perhaps one day I will actually become your true disciple and take advantage of what your eyes said to me 35 years ago. “Now you have the shelter of guru and Krishna.”

Aspiring to become your true disciple,
Giridhari Swami

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“This is just a re-posting of my previous disclaimer post. I feel the need to re-post this before I start blogging again :o)”


Hare Krishna! Lately, I have been really busy with work and school, so I didn’t have the time to update my blog site. Now that fall semester just started, I’m gonna start blogging again. But before that, I would like to post this disclaimer first. Last month, as I was reading my good friend’s blog, Mandakini, I came across with her disclaimer notice, and I realized that I had been somehow irresponsible  with my postings since some of it are not Krishna Conscious. This blog is all about anything what goes around and comes around in my life, and for that, I like to fully express myself without any hesitations. Just like Mandakini, I don’t want to censor my blog either, otherwise, it would sounds like someone else’s thoughts, so you’ve been warned: Surf at your own risk :o)

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