Saturday, April 30, 2005

Too young to choose

So, in our country, a 13 year old girl is apparently too young to learn about sex (thanks to President Bush's abstinence only plan) and too young to make decisions on the consequences of her having sex. This is downright appalling. Really. So, we're not going to teach young people how to protect themselves and how to have healthy sexual lives when they are ready to do so yet we expect them to have to deal with all the consequences of having sex (which we did not warn them about because we righteous Americans think that no one is having sex).

I just don't know what to say in response to this. There are so many things wrong with this. The 13-year old girl had sex. She made the decision to have sex (hopefully it was her choice) and yet she can't make the decision on whether to have an abortion. In both instances, it is her body.

What happens if she does have a baby? Can she make the decision on whether to bottle or breast feed? Can she make the decision on whether it's time to potty train? What will this mean for the thousands of 13 year old girls? I mean, either we have to teach them about sex and how to say no until they decide that are ready for its consequences (and to make decisions about those consequences) or we're just going to have to put chastity belts on every kid until they turn 18.

The Rise and Fall of Saigon

It has been 30 years since the fall of Saigon. The images of the last helicopter leaving the roof of the American Embassy in 1975 has always been in my mind, especially after watching the embassy torn down brick by brick during my visit in 1998.

In a wave of celebrations, Vietnam has decided to celebrate the liberation of its country (the day is known as Liberation Day in Vietnam). During this time, I have tried to think of what I would have done in the face of the Vietnam War, if I had been a young student at the time of the war just as I am at the time of the Iraqi War. Would I oppose it as much? Would I think of it as modern imperialism? Would I believe that the Americans (including myself) are just a colonial power in disguise? I really can't say.

However, what I have seen with my eyes is how the Vietnamese people are resilient. They have turned a country that was devastated by an infamous war into one filled with hope. The youth of the country have little connection to the war itself other than through stories from parents and grandparents, much like the youth of our country and their connection to World War I or II. However, the youth have a strong connection to those abroad - which I think will turn out to be the good for the country but bad for the government. The government cannot control everything as easily anymore and the people will no longer allow it.

So, what I see happening is the eventual awakening, of the people and of the government, in Vietnam. I think that it will take another few years and even decades, but there is a slow realization that the Vietnam cannot live in the shadows of the war any longer. The question is whether America can also stop living in the shadows of the war.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

99-cent store galore!

So, a 99-cent store opened up a block from my apartment. How excited am I?! Really, I've stepped into a 99-cent store about 3 times in my life, but I'm amazingly excited about this.

Will update when I visit it.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Perpetual singlehood versus marriage

So, I've had to confront my views on relationships and marriage lately because of several things. First, I run into several friends of my ex who insist on speaking about him to me. Does no one know anything? Isn't there an unspoken rule that if you are a friend of someone and you run into their ex, you don't mention that someone? If there isn't one, I feel like there should be.
Secondly, I had to confront the possibility that maybe marriage wouldn't be so bad. No, not marriage to the ex and no, I'm not thinking of getting married anytime in the near future. And yes, I am still enjoying being single. Rather, I met a patient in the hospital who had the most caring and wonderful husband by her side through her whole ordeal in the hospital and with health problems. Their interaction and their adoration of one another made me jealous. I don't care for marriage when I see weddings or when I see people holding hands. It's the real stuff that matters. When you are down, who is there to pick you up?
So, I guess I had to confront my past, in a way, and realize that my future can hold anything. Even marriage.

Saturday, April 2, 2005

Long time, no see

I have no idea why I haven't been posting lately. Really, I've been bored out of my mind. I haven't really done anything all exciting yet there's been a lot to comment on in the world. Terri Schiavo died. The Pope has passed. Wolfowitz is head of the World Bank.

And I am home on a Saturday night two weekends in a row.