Recap of the ITASA NorCal mixer at Stanford
Photo Courtesy of Lincy Han
There are a lot of perks to being an ITASA West Coast District Chair. Besides the prestigious title, I get to work with some of the most dedicated people in the Taiwanese American community to plan social events designed to bring the several collegiate TASAs in the Northern California closer as well as to form a community. There are three West Coast District Chairs for Northern California; Jackie Hwang of UC Berkeley, Pearle Lun of Stanford, and me for UC Davis. For those who’ve never been to California or even know much of California’s geography, know this-the golden state is huge. UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and Stanford are all spread out from each other which make personal networking kind of hard. But this is the part where the brilliant idea of mixers comes in. Jackie, Pearle, and I brainstormed together about effective ways in which our individual TASAs could mingle with each other and concluded that one mixer per quarter in each of the school seemed like a great idea to bring everybody together. There would be one Saturday per quarter during which students not only get to spend an entire day running around a new school campus in teams in a bid to win a photo scavenger hunt. Not only that, but we threw in a couple of large group ice-breakers to get everybody acquainted with each other and basically, our main message for all the events was to have fun.
Our last mixer of the 2011-2012 school year took place at Stanford University on April 7th, the same day the ITASA Midwest conference and New York ECC Spring Mixer was taking place. Imagine that-three different ITASA events taking place across the United States all within the same time frame! Pearle and Jackie could not contain their glee and both would often comment “This is so exciting” every so often. It really was exhilarating that day. As with the previous two mixers (the first one at UC Berkeley, and the second one at UC Davis), we started at 1 P.M. It took a bit of time before all three schools congregated at the designated meeting place since between Davis and Berkeley, there was an average of about an hour and half of driving time involved. The weather was picture perfect that day, all sunlight and soft breeze. We had a turnout of about thirty five or so people, which is a pretty good amount. During quick introductions, we discovered that amongst our Stanford peers were a former World Pokemon Champion and the only Asian that one will ever meet from Tennessee. There was a very complicated game of Taiwanese Jeopardy. It was really hard; over half of everybody in attendance was surprised by the lack of knowledge they contained about Taiwan. For example, did you know that the Tropic of Cancer runs through Taiwan and that Jay Chou’s newest album is titled “Exclamation Mark”? If you did, congratulations - because I was desperately trying not to google all the questions displayed on my iTouch.
The scavenger hunt involved us being separated into three groups and then sending us on a wild search throughout the Stanford campus. The scavenger hunt is really a mix of “An Amazing Race” mixed with a bit of sightseeing– in that the non-Stanford students got the chance to explore a different campus rather than the one they’re used to seeing. My group and I chanced upon a webcam in one of the engineering buildings which linked M.I.T. directly to Stanford. Since our time zones are different, all we got to see was the cleaning lady all the way on the other side of the country since it was already night time. We tried waving to her but sadly, she did not wave back. Then, we trekked to the “Gates of Hell” where we took many pictures and ran into multi-colored students who had just finished the “Color Run”. All in all, it was an extremely eventful day especially since my group ended up winning the scavenger hunt.
After an enormously eventful and tiring day of journeying around Stanford’s mammoth grounds, everybody went to dinner at a restaurant 15 minutes away from campus. During our deliciously oily dinner (Mongolian Stir Fry), everybody mingled with each other and got to know each other much better. Later on, we all flocked over to the Boba shop named Tea Era across the street because really, the best way to end the day is with a cup of mouth-satisfying boba. I got the Japanese Green Milk Tea after asking for some recommendations from a Stanford student who blushed when she confessed she had tried everything on the menu at least twice. I have to admit, it was a great recommendation since the milk tea was delicious. All of us spent the next few hours just sitting around outside and hanging out before finally realizing that it’s best not to drive back in the middle of the night. We wished each other a good night as well as assurances of friending each other on Facebook.
I had a twinge of nostalgia that night as the mixer concluded. The feeling I had I can only equate to that moment when you blow out the candles on your birthday cake. Yes, it’s tremendous turning a year older because now there are more opportunities available to make all the wildest dreams come true. But yet, the wistfulness of everything you’ve accomplished envelops you. So, I bid not a good night to these one of a kind mixers but rather a sincere see-you-again, for next year there will once again be the gathering of our respective TASAs with new members all prepared to craft unique memories that will forever be immortalized in our hearts and of course, facebook albums.
Written by Michelle Ruan - West Coast District Chair (UC Davis)
When you think of leadership, what do you think of? Do you think of Martin Luther King, a man whose vision and voice moved the hearts of thousands? Do you think of the late Steve Jobs, the genius who fervently manned the helm of Apple to create a technological titan? Or do you think of Napoleon, a schemer and megalomaniac who would stop at nothing to achieve his dreams? Perhaps you think of none of these things. Perhaps you think of your latest boss, who yelled at you for coming to work five minutes late. Perhaps you think of your favorite professor, the only guy who took you seriously when you asked for a two-week extension on your paper. Whatever it is you think of, I’m sure you have your own ideas of what it means to be a leader.
Indeed, in this day and age, there are few who don’t have an idea what a leader is. Leadership has been mythologized, sought after, and worshipped from the bedroom to the boardroom, becoming our universal answer to complex and extraordinary accomplishments or lack thereof. Every college wants to create “student leaders.” Every job opening asks for leadership skills or experience. Frankly, the word “leadership” has become so diluted in modern culture that people hardly can agree on what it means anymore, let alone how to practice it. For the past two years, I have been trying to define the term for for those I work with and for myself. Though I can’t say I have all the answers, I have learned quite a bit from empirical studies, critically acclaimed books, and personal research. Hopefully, with the knowledge I have accumulated so far, I can help clear some misconceptions for you about what leadership is and what it isn’t.
Disclaimer: For the purposes of this article, I refer to leadership in the organizational sense, not the literal meaning of “being in the lead.”
Date: Saturday, May 5th, 2012
Time: 6PM - 10PM
Location: UCSD Price Center Ballroom East
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
TASA at UCSD wishes to spread awareness of beautiful Formosa by presenting our second annual Mr. and Ms. Formosa Culture Pageant.
The pageant will select talented young men and women to compete for the crown of Mr. & Ms. Formosa. The winners will be determined based on talent, intelligence, and their representation of Taiwanese culture. In addition to contestant performances, we will also feature guest performances such as Taiwanese-American singer/songwriter Cynthia Lin and local San Diego based band, The Randoms. Our mission for this event is to recognize college students who embody Taiwanese American culture while also promoting Taiwanese Americans as a whole. We hope that each participant of this event, whether contestant or audience, walks away with a greater knowledge of Taiwan through a captivating and unforgettable night.
Furthermore, Mr. and Ms. Formosa will be a philanthropic event with all proceeds going to Tzu Chi, a non-profit organization originating in Taiwan with roots in community service and disaster relief. We strongly support Tzu Chi in their goals and hope to assist them in their efforts to help those in need.
Pre-sale tickets will be available for $5, and $10 at the door; please contact us to purchase them at the TASA @ UCSD Facebook group!
and I considered wearing long jeans…like people in Taiwan.
What do you love most about Taiwan?
If you’re in high school, enter our footprints contest!
Southern California— TACL-LID Camp 2012 planning is currently in progress and we are recruiting potential counselors. Please click here for more info, and apply!. Please read all the information carefully on the “counselors” page before applying. You must be 18 or older to apply. Applications are due May 18, 2012 and Interviews will be held shortly after! Thanks and stay tuned for more summer camp updates!
Date of Camp: August 8-12, 2012
Location: Camp Whittier, Santa Barbara.
Time commitment: Saturday afternoon trainings in Southern California from mid-June to camp
Being a counselor at camp is a great opportunity to connect with the Taiwanese American community and give back. Counselors will through 8 weeks of training and have an active part of organizing camp. In addition to leading a group of campers, counselors help create workshops that span a variety of topics, including Taiwanese culture, personal identity, and a lot of team-building activities.
Camp is truly is exactly what you make of it. As the backbone of camp, counselors are responsible for multiple facets of camp. Not only is it a very rewarding experience, it’s excellent leadership building skills. Past counselors have gone on to take leadership roles in the Taiwanese American community, such as being founding members of all the TASAs in California. The counselor/staff team is a unique group of individuals, that I personally love working with. Therefore, I truly believe that camp is something that needs to be shared with everyone.
We encourage you to forward this information to not just the ITASA network, but also any friends you think might be interested in being a counselor.
Questions? Comments? Contact me!
Congratulations, the acceptance letters are in! Now what do you do? How do you pick a university? Here are some tips on choosing a university that fits you the best.
Location Location Location!
When people say that location is everything they aren’t lying: living close to home and living thousands of miles away makes a difference. You need to consider flying back and forth around break time, food choices, and weather. East coast winters might not be as easy as you think, especially for students from socal, be prepared for the brutal winters! If you’re used to being able to drive a couple miles for some Asian breakfast or just walking downstairs, that most likely won’t be an option for you in college if you go anywhere other than California. Cafeterias will be your home and if you move off campus, you’ll be cooking for yourself. However, with all this sad, it’s a great experience to get away from home and travel to another place and live on your own. It might a little tough at first, but the experience is worth it one hundred percent.
This plays in with location, so be sure to research on the area around the campus. Some campuses are split in a way where the east campus is better than the west campus or the same with north and south campuses. Consider if your campus is near a large city like Chicago or New York and how this may affect campus life. At the same time, consider if you want to be close to the bustling city, or live in a college town.