Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Check out my law school essay

This is the main essay I would like to use, probably for Georgetown, NYU and Harvard. I think it conveys my interest in the law and what I bring to the school (there is one word that becomes very obvious and repetitive very fast, but I think that is for the best). Alright blog readers, let the comments rain, you hear that? RAINING comments, I want a typhoon. You have about three days, maybe four.

I will post Columbia and Stanford if you guys show me how you do:

Personal Statement for Georgetown Law
When I went to Mexico, I spoke no Spanish; when I went to Taiwan, I spoke no Chinese. After six months in Mexico, I was taking literature and history classes in Spanish. After three months in Taiwan, my Chinese is fine, but I have enrolled in formal courses to improve faster. I do not have a knack for language, but I have a passion for immersion and learning. I hope to bring that passion to Georgetown Law, to immerse myself in the language of the law and leave as a more capable person.
With most challenges, I prefer to make things difficult and rewarding. I studied abroad for three semesters during college, six months in Mexico and a traveling program in Asia. In Mexico, I enjoyed learning not just Spanish, but how to learn a second language. My second study-abroad experience was under the Freeman scholarship, which allowed me to travel to over twelve cities in Thailand, Japan, and China. The program’s speed was challenging, but the experiences have had a profound effect on how I view the world.
I took a similarly immersive approach to my honors thesis. My thesis was on the Pudong New Area of Shanghai in China. Its fantastic skyline caught my eye and held my interest. Until then, my classes had been directed towards Latin America. Thus, I had to begin from nearly square one in gaining an understanding of China and Shanghai’s economic histories. My thesis became very extensive and combined my diverse interests in economics, politics, and sociology. The end result ranged from the broad to the specific and, I feel, conveyed my points well. My passion for understanding gave me the drive to start from little knowledge to disect very specific knowledge.
I am equally passionate with my personal interestes. I love writing and photography, and I got the opportunity to edit The Palimpsest, a publication by CU’s Humanities club. I have taken thousands of photos abroad and was nominated for CU’s 2004 Study Abroad Photo Competition. I have a similar passion for my essays and was nominated for The Harvey Longfellow Essay Competition. Computers have been an important interest of mine; my first job at 15 was designing, managing, and publishing my local newspaper’s website. For seven years, I had different computer jobs, primarily focusing on mixing technology with existing traditional structures, such as bringing CU courses online or putting my newspaper on the Internet. I have eclectic passions, from dancing to chess; and I try to fully explore these interests.
I now live in Southern Taiwan, where I am an English teacher and a student of Chinese. Chinese has been more interesting to me than Spanish, because it is so different and success becomes more rewarding. It is constantly challenging, and there are no shortcuts. I enjoy studying for extended periods and really feeling like I have grown. Teaching is actually strikingly similar. It is often extremely difficult, with varying challenges; it also provides many opportunities to experiment and learn. Suddenly surrounded by five and six year olds was initially terrifying, but I learned quickly. Despite difficulties, I have remained passionate about it and have learned a lot about teaching and about myself. I now feel comfortable teaching, have my own individual style, and know what type of classes I prefer to teach.
I hold a similar passion for the law. I find complex legal problems intriguing. I cannot really know what type of law will attract me because I maintain eclectic interests. However, I hope to be involved in international law, corporate law, and technology law, because I think they are profoundly important. The movements of the legal field directly affect how our society forms, and I would like to be a part of that process. I would like to use my experiences abroad and experience with technology to bolster my understanding of law. In that way, I hope to be especially attuned to modern law, as it faces complex issues involving technology and globalization.
At Georgetown, I will fully immerse myself in the language and culture of the law and combine them with my past experiences to have an understanding of the law and its development. I hope that my passion and enthusiasm will allow me to become adept at the complex and exciting language of the law.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

What up

This is now just a blog. I am going to post how I am doing. My attempt at lIterature is going to be directed to a new blog, http://kmduel.blogspot.com/. Its probably early to post that link, as I don't know how much Kat and I will realistically post, but I hope a lot. Its a blog with my friend Kat, writing back and forth with similar themes, styles, whatever.

My first post is a little silly, parts are good (damn it) parts are terrible, but I did not want to edit it that much.

How do I feel? Right now, at this exact moment, I am so good I am not sure what is going on. In fact, I think it might be the first time I have been this just silly happy for a month. I am not sure why, but I have had low confidense, not sure what I am doing, etc. Not more than twenty minutes I was being self depricating and generally lazy. I don't know what it is, but this city can really get a brother down. i think it is fears about teaching, but I am not sure. Teaching acts like this weird symbiot that is always on the back of my head, so when things are bad, I just feel it constantly.

Nothing has changed that much, but I had a great time hanging out with my friend Teresa the other day, and I met some new friends at my college, and spent the day playing arcade games. I needed to be working that time, but whatever, I will deal, I will figure it out. I have a lot of work, but I just need to take it step by step.

The real inspiration was a moment so good I decided to post - I was watching Monday Night Football on a Tuesday night, waiting for the greatest show on Earth to finish downloading, I spent the day playing videogames, I am about to be in a language exchange I like, I was having a super good cheese cake, I had a great song, and the game went from a boring beating to a real game. So now I am watching the cowboys try to save a game they should have already won by now.

When basketball season starts, this place will be just sick.

Chinese is going fine, I am learning. I did not speak it much today which bothered me. And I have to speak ENglish during the days, which I don't like. But on the whole, I am learning it and enjoying it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Back to where I began

I came here in order to get away from school. But it seems I can't do it. I am going to be a student and the National Chengong university starting Monday. I just want to learn so bad, so I am going to attack Chinese.

I think I will start a second blog soon. This will be for little news like this, but a new one that only has photos and stories, something more literary. I am not sure, but I have two very different audiences, that want different things. Plus, it will organize things better.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Little update

The hardest thing about writing about Tainan is picking a theme for each blog entry. I have written, I estimate, about 12 entries that are half finished and going no where. Partially because they always get on some long winded tangent that could go on forever. The main issue is that it is hard to say where some things start and some things end. Everything blends together so profoundly.
My dating life is obviously connected to my view of the city as a whole. It’s also connected to my growing Chinese. My school life is connected to my view of the county as a whole. It also connects to a personal view of myself. If I quit an aspect of my job, I have free time for Chinese or exploring, which I do not always take.
When I sit down, I have written none of it, so I try to write all of it. I write about a crazy date, which then becomes a discussion of Chinese, which leads to a discussion of English on some larger philosophical level. Everything loses its bounds.
I will try to post something real, about something specific in the next few days, for now, quick snippets. I know people want real entries, with voice and thought. However, some people just want to know what the heck I am doing, this is more for the latter, the former will get there’s some day, I promise:

1) I now have a roommate Ryan. He is a very cool Canadian. He plays good music, and we get along really well. I have so much room here that it is not a problem. However, as anyone knows, I get tragically messier with a roommate, and I think so does he (perhaps not to the same severity). That said a cleaning lady is so cheap here its amazing. It sounds extravagant, but if you could get your house cleaned for $15 US, tell me you would not do it….
2) I was teaching little babies for a week. By the end of the week, I was doing significantly better. However, I was signed up to do it for 22 weeks. Even the idea gave me the shakes. So I ended up dropping that, and I am glad to do it. I will just be teaching an elementary class I like for 12 hours a week. Also I have a few classes on the side which pay better and have less pressure.
3) The extra time is going to Chinese. I am trying to fake formal classes. Their University is actually really nice. It is huge, and beautiful, and just seems like fun. So I plan on taking two classes a day there. My goal is to get all the way up to four hours or more working on Chinese a day.
4) Applying for law school is going pretty well except the LSDAS does not have Mac Support. Also I need to finish my personal statements. Today’s big goal is to finish two personal statements. If I do that, I should be able to be applied to some schools very very early (which was my goal).
5) I am playing an egregious amount of basketball these days. I have a good story about this that will be in here soon (that one should lack the constant tangents, so it should be okay).

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Raw poltiical anger

I still think about politics. I want to support the things I love in a vast and usually amazing country. But I wonder if I have the emotional capability for it. Bush has left the kind of distaste in my mouth that makes me question eating in its entirety.
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/09/03/national/03bush.4.jpg
That photo did it for me. I was already reading articles and getting more and more angry. But something about the photo makes me feel terribly upset. It just seems like he does not get it.
I know it is likely just me. I perceive something that is generated from my political bias. Still, it really makes me very ill.
I have loved ones who voted for him, and that makes it harder. I realize there must be something to him that someone must like. However, I can’t envision it. I have never seen him that conservative, I have never seen him that compassionate. Perhaps he is some incredible genius and I don’t see it, but I can’t honestly believe that.
It just seems to me that the country has given the most powerful job in the country to a frat-boy-spoiled-brat.
Being here has made me think about November 2nd a lot. That was a beautiful day, being my mom’s fiftieth birthday, and such a terrible day for my nation.
I often wonder which is more important. I mean that metaphorically, but the question is whether American politics equates to American life. After the election, I just went on with my life. I realized I had friends and things I loved about America that were so distant from the worst political mistake in my lifetime (albeit a short life time).

The thing that bothers me so much is how did this even come up for debate? Clinton had an affair in office. That’s terrible! Yet I think he is infinitely better than what we have now. How did Watergate happen? How in the world can a country so blessed have people running it that think George Lucas style power-mongering is okay? Why is this a debate?
The more I think about it, the more I am disgusted with American politics. How did they sink so low?
I refuse to believe that humanity cannot find more capable leaders. I don’t ask every politician to be MLK, but at least be a nice person. Blunt statement: I and at least 70% of all my friends and family are BETTER PEOPLE than the last three presidents, chief of staffs, and senate majority leaders. I am just a dude, a normal person, but I am confident in that statement.
I have a lot of answers to these questions. I specifically don’t want answers I guess, because I have them and they make me more upset. The real question is whether or not to play a sport that you love when the game has gotten so dirty.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Crazy father


This guy really helped me when I first came. His English is not great, but my Chinese is TERRIBLE. So when I first came he helped me out a lot. Now that I "get" their system (their rules are very specific and involve terrible Chingrish) it is okay.

They call him the crazy father because he plays like Shaq out there. Actually, they all call one of the smallest kids Shaqu (who can make some amazing things), but I think that is for the irony.

Crazy father goes for rebounds with flying elbows and incredible verocity. He is the only one I am afraid to play. The really great kid and I play at a new level against each other. Crazy father is amazing, but sometimes he just scares me (he plays fair, but he occasionally just humiliates you).

He makes this shot


I took a lot of photos at basketball today. I only had an hour or a half because of the sun, but this is my favorite of what I took.

The best part was he actually made this shot, which was rather impressive.

I am limiting my photos to five today, but I have some great ones with this kid and the great kid from before (since they covered each other).

Time for Asian basketball


Some of the kids can really ball out. The one who is scratching himself is okay, he will be very good.

The one shooting is just plain good. He is my favorite to play because we go for the throat against each other.

Not posed


I am not sure why she is giving her son the smack down (she is not actually hitting him), but I did not pose this photo. I was just taking a photo of her when she had her hand on her shoulder. In the process of taking the photo, she put her hand on his face, and looked at me. I actually did not realize that she put her hand directly on his face when I took it, which explains why she sort of laughed and acted funny after I took it (she clearly did not mind, and was not hiding him, but it turned out funny).

Where I live


So I now have the new camera. I know I promised more written stuff, but, well I just got a new camera!

So I am going to post some photos and then I will try to write this weekend. I will try to focus on quality over quantity with the photos. This one is a picture from the center of my building looking at one of the towers.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Rant about an email

I was going to post a normal post on here some time today, and I will, but I got this email forward and it ticked me off so much I had to write about it:

> IT HAS BEEN CALCULATED THAT IF EVERYONE IN THE
> UNITED STATES AND CANADA DID NOT PURCHASE A DROP OF
> GASOLINE FOR ONE DAY AND ALL AT THE SAME TIME, THE
> OIL COMPANIES WOULD CHOKE ON THEIR STOCKPILES.
>
> AT THE SAME TIME IT WOULD HIT THE ENTIRE INDUSTRY
> WITH A NET LOSS OF OVER 4.6 BILLION DOLLARS WHICH
> AFFECTS THE BOTTOM LINES OF THE OIL COMPANIES.
>
> THEREFORE SEPTEMBER 1st HAS BEEN FORMALLY DECLARED
> "STICK IT UP THEIR BEHIND" DAY AND THE PEOPLE OF
> THESE TWO NATIONS SHOULD NOT BUY A SINGLE DROP OF
> GASOLINE THAT DAY.
>
> THE ONLY WAY THIS CAN BE DONE IS IF YOU FORWARD THIS
> E-MAIL TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN AND AS QUICKLY
> AS YOU CAN TO GET THE WORD OUT.
>
> WAITING ON THE GOVERNMENT TO STEP IN AND CONTROL THE
> PRICES IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE
> REDUCTION AND CONTROL IN PRICES THAT THE ARAB
> NATIONS PROMISED TWO WEEKS AGO?
>
> REMEMBER ONE THING, NOT ONLY IS THE PRICE OF
> GASOLINE GOING UP BUT AT THE SAME TIME AIRLINES ARE
> FORCED TO RAISE THEIR PRICES, TRUCKING COMPANIES ARE
> FORCED TO RAISE THEIR PRICES WHICH EFFECTS PRICES ON
> EVERYTHING THAT IS SHIPPED. THINGS LIKE FOOD,
> CLOTHING, BUILDING MATERIALS, MEDICAL SUPPLIES ETC.
> WHO PAYS IN THE END? WE DO!
>
> WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. IF THEY DON'T GET THE
> MESSAGE AFTER ONE DAY, WE WILL DO IT AGAIN AND
> AGAIN.
>
> SO DO YOUR PART AND SPREAD THE WORD. FORWARD THIS
> EMAIL TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW. MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND
> MAKE SEPTEMBER 1ST A DAY THAT THE CITIZENS OF THE
> UNITED STATES AND CANADA SAY "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"

First of all, it would not work, it does not say don't drive on September first, it says don't buy gas. So if everyone still drives, but does so on fumes for a day, September first would suck for gas companies, but man will the second rock.

Say however it worked, and the government had to do an about face. Then the price for running a Ford Explorer stays at the price that it is now. No one has to switch to hybrids, and the world just gets more polluted and gas consumption remains high. We don't develop and then will need the government to force change again.

Or equally good, in order to lower prices, we could guarantee more oil reserves. How about invading another country, or getting even more oil from the beacon of human rights in Saudi Arabia. Or Pat Robertson might sponsor a drilling exhibition in Venezuela.

The fact that we don't have hybrids pouring down our streets is why I stopped thinking about politics. Because politicians are so enwrapped in their daily bull that they can't make a change that we so desperately need. Sometimes there is a genuine urgency to politics, like in the case of New Orleans now. That said, what is with Nero here (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050830/480/capm10208301856)? Seriously, did Bush just fire all of his political handlers when he got into office? Did he say "Well boys, you bought me a second term, and now the country can go..."

I know people like to point out that he was working very hard at Crawford. I am sure he is strumming that guitar filled with the sorrow of massive devastation occurring in his country, but seriously man, now is not the time for photos with guitars and racing Lance Armstrong in poppy fields!

My only bet is he is trying to give Harding a run for his money.

To quickly return to oil. Ultimately, we want the price of oil to go up, at least from an economics point of view, or what I think to be a rather sane point of view. Price of oil goes up - cost of driving an SUV becomes unrealistic - demand for SUVs goes down - demand for hybrids and other sane cars goes up - the cost of hybrids and such cars goes down, as will the technology. This is Macroeconomics 101, the end result, the world is a better place.

The only reason I think we don't have hybrids all over the place is the greediest whitest people in the world. I am not a big conspiracy theory fan. I don't believe in cigar smoke filled rooms as obscenely rich white people discuss how they will continue world domination. That said, the case of hybrids is just ugly. Its clear the demand is there and people want them. But politicians who are invested in oil companies block such efforts. Although many car companies are invested in oil country, they know as well as a ECON101 that the first company to make cheap non-shitty hybrids will make boat loads and boat loads of cash.

However the politicians need help to retain such terrible policies, and ignorance like that email forward is great help in that regard.