Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday Madness

          I hope you all made it out of there okay. I feel like Black Friday isn't as big a deal here in California as it is in other states, where reports of tramplings and deaths occurred, so I hope you all stayed safe and scored some really good deals! 
         What really helped me this year was this app I downloaded, called Shopular. I downloaded it a couple days before Black Friday, just because the App Store recommended it, but man it was so nice to have around Black Friday. I'm aware I'm telling you guys too late, but this app is beneficial to your shopping lives even on a daily basis, not just for Black Friday! And yes, it is free!
          So when you first download it, it asks you to choose your favorite stores (mostly retail) and so the next time you open up the app, it'll show you all the deals you can find on your favorite stores. Whatever promotion or coupons the store is currently giving away will be right there on your screen. And they'll all be compiled together so it's literally pages and pages of deals! I don't know about you, but I got really excited about it. They have the coupon right there for you to tap and show up on your screen, no retail store mailing list necessary. Yeah, you know how in order to get coupons and freebies you have to join your favorite retail store's email club but you get a coupon like once every 2 months and flyers promoting themselves every other day in your inbox? Yeah, you can save yourself that problem now. No emails necessary with Shopular, which is such a plus for me because I am literally deleting 20 emails of promotions everyday.
          The reason I say it helped a lot during Black Friday was that I knew the deals before I even reached the stores. Everything would show up! I'd open the app, and it'd show me all the stores nearby me participating in Black Friday, and how. I didn't have to walk to the stores to see how good of a deal it would be, I just opened up the app and it told me everything I needed to know. It takes your location and finds all the stores near you and lets you know all the goodies you can score. 
          At first I thought this app was a blessing, helping me get 50% off sweaters and $10 off boots, but then I realized that every single time they notified me of a new "UP TO 70% AT YOUR H&M FOR BLACK FRIDAY" or "TODAY ONLY: BUY 3 GET 3 FREE AT BATH & BODY WORKS" it just made me want to go buy stuff SO BAD. If I were in blissful ignorance of all the deals happening around me, my wallet and I would probably be a whole lot happier. Then again, I bought a $10 sweater the other day and it was originally $22 so............
          Yeah, definitely a blessing and a curse. Anyways, I hope you all had a safe and successful Black Friday! (Next year download Shopular oh man it'll help you so much)

Joy ☼

Friday, November 29, 2013

Conditions for change

Change requires six conditions. First, the potential for change must exist. Not every individual or collective is capable of change. Second, solutions for current problems must exist. Current problems will block change from happening. Third, an individual or collective entity must experience dissatisfaction with present conditions. If the present conditions are comfortable, change cannot occur. Fourth, the barriers to change must be identified and confronted. Barriers that are unknown cannot be addressed. Fifth, there must be understanding of the old system’s failures, and understanding of the new system’s workings. Sixth, there must be consolidation and support.

There are three kinds of change. Horizontal change is rearranging the elements of current conditions, fine-tuning and adjusting, but not changing the core structure. Oblique change is adopting methods and strategies from beyond one’s present perspective, while not changing the perspective. Vertical change is change that alters the perspective of the individual or collective.

Change is never easy. It takes a great deal of directed energy and focus to change one’s life, applied over a significant amount of time. Expect two years, minimum.

If we work on improving ourselves in our areas of career, health, relationships and self/shadow, the likelier it is that change and growth will happen. If we are in an emotionally stable state, if we have a healthy body, a supportive relationship, and a secure income to pay for our physical needs, change and growth is much likelier to happen. In fact, if one does establish health, security and stability in physical health, career, relationships and self/shadow, growth and change just seem to unfold naturally, effortlessly. Given a sound foundation in body, career, and relationships, self grows like a healthy flower.

Here’s a cartoon.


Dave Roel.
The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.
- Disraeli

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend is finally here and the time has come to start preparing your diner of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other thanksgiving favorites. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I would have to say because it's just before Winter and I find it beautiful during that time of year.

I would assume that most people living in Fullerton will stay with their families in Fullerton over this holiday, but because I moved from Riverside I have to take the train back there in order to spend time with my family. It's not too bad and I think it is worth it to see my family. 

Thanksgiving is held at my grandma's house every year. And my family keeps growing larger every year. My relatives keep marrying new people and now there is about 50 to 55 people at our thanksgiving gathering.

Every year there is also a bocce ball ( an Italian sport) tournament played before dinner and I am hoping to win this year on the team made up of my brother and I. I hope you all have a delightful holiday.

Stay fly.

Monday, November 25, 2013


         If you are unfortunate (or fortunate if you've got mad cooking skills) enough to be tasked with the role of providing for your family, fear not! This BuzzFeed article has got you covered. Easiest Thanksgiving Ever
         It's Thanksgiving 101! It's great for people that have never done the main preparations before (like me) with the turkey and stuffing and all that great stuff. This article has step-by-step instructions with really awesome pictures and clear directions starting from thawing your turkey to carving it to perfection . You should really get started though, because it's already Monday and according to BuzzFeed, it'll take four days to thaw!
         This article has got everything from literally every single ingredient you'll need--not just for the turkey, but the whole thanksgiving meal--to how to make the perfect pumpkin pie. 
          I would suggest working on this with a partner or the rest of your family. Delegate! While you're working on the turkey, your cousins or siblings can get the pie covered and someone else can get to mashed potatoes and gravy (yup, it's all in the article!)
          So if it's up to you or your immediate family to make the food this Thanksgiving for your extended family, no need to stress! And whether or not you're having a traditional Thanksgiving with your extended family with a giant ceramic turkey centerpiece or a Friendsgiving with your roommates and some pizza, don't forget to have a great one !

Joy ☼

The Mastermind Group

Find others who will help you in your path. One or more individuals who are as committed to a path of growth and development as you are. Regularly meet with them, online or in person, if possible, to go over your goals, both long- and short-term.

The reason for this is to have others to be accountable to. Alone, it’s too easy to let things slide, to be easy on ourselves. If we know that we are going to be accountable to others, it encourages us to accomplish what we need to.

It can be a group of two, if necessary. It would be great if it were your primary romantic partner — that can be a powerful energy builder.

Everyone in the group must be aligned with these success ideas and committed to encouraging everyone else — just one negative voice can derail the energy.

It’s important to have reliable people to get feedback from, to bounce ideas off of. Working alone, it’s too easy to fool ourselves, to go in bad directions. Having others who are capable and knowledgeable to guide us is invaluable. We can’t see our own blind spots. There’s more truth in a bigger view. Two heads are better than one.

No matter what you intend to accomplish, you must do it with other people. Whether you want to establish a career or business, run for public office, create art, recover from an illness, succeed at a sport, have a happy family, make new discoveries, etc., everything requires the involvement of others somewhere in process. What we accomplish, is always accomplished as a group. The Mastermind group literalizes this.


Dave Roel.
What kind of 70 year old do you want to be? Well, whatever it is, you'd better get started working on it.
- Mushtaq Ali

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The most wonderful time of the year?

It’s legitimately insane how fast this semester has gone. Thanksgiving break is already next week, which, thank god. It’ll be a nice respite before finals. But it’s also frankly terrifying-- UC/CSU applications are due in literally a week, and whatever happens in the next few weeks will essentially determine my grades (and probably yours, unless you’re very lucky). Also-- FINALS.

I’m kind of-- okay, totally-- freaking out, but honestly, it’s such a relief to be back on the semester system. UCSD goes by the quarter system. Meaning, three sets of finals a year, midterms often only two weeks prior to finals, etc. Some people dig it, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

Quarter versus semester system is something I’ve noticed most people don’t give much thought to when they apply to and enroll in different universities, which is unfortunate because it can make such a gigantic difference. Primarily it comes down to stress management-- if you’re easily overwhelmed, plan on taking lots of or very strenuous classes, or will be adjusting to a completely new environment (new state, new city, new country? etc.) on top of everything else, it might be best to stick with what’s familiar and attend a school that goes by semesters.

Of course, there are LOTS of other considerations that go into choice of college, and there could very well be benefits that outweigh incompatibilities like systems, but it’s a good thing to think about! I personally haven’t ruled out the quarter system entirely, but I can’t say I miss it.

Stay classy,


Friday, November 22, 2013

Choir Concert

I am in men's chorale here at Fullerton College and our concert date of December 6th is creeping up on us fast. We started learning our music after veterans day and we only have 4 rehearsals left. It can be stressful at times. In the music we have to do everything from singing in latin, to following complex time signatures.

On the day of the concert we will be singing with all the choirs of Fullerton College which include, Women's Chorale and Chamber Singers. One of the biggest challenges of the upcoming concert will be singing with them. We don't get to rehearse with them until the day of the concert, so we have to have our own parts perfect in order to line up with the rest of the vocalists.

We are performing Christmas music because it is our winter concert. We have a lot of interesting arrangements of holiday songs. We're doing all styles of music ranging from a Dave Brubeck influenced rendition of "We Three Kings", to a slow and beautiful arrangement of "O Come, All Ye Faithful".

Preparing for a concert can be stressful, but in the end after you put on a great show and please your audience it is a rewarding feeling. I encourage you to come support the Choirs of Fullerton College on December 6th in the Fullerton college campus theater. Tickets are ten dollars for adults, five for kids, and seven for students and seniors. For more information on buying tickets you can click here here. I hope to see you there.

Enjoy the Weather



A friend asked me if I have met my soulmate. That’s not a term I use. It’s really one of those goofy new age mystical terms people throw around with minimal thought behind it. My girlfriend and I have a working relationship. It works. It works for me, it works for her. It works. And it will continue to work until it stops working. When it stops working, we will acknowledge that, and decide on an appropriate move. I think when people use a term like soulmate, one of the things they mean by it is a relationship that will last until death. I think that’s reasonable to expect if someone doesn’t anticipate changing very much over the course of one’s life. True, most people don’t change very much after age 21 or so. If someone doesn’t anticipate changing very much, predicting that a relationship will work for a large stretch of one’s lifespan is reasonable. But if one is changing, growing, expanding, developing, becoming… gaining and losing attitudes, interests, energies… well, then predicting long-term attachments gets a bit dicier. There’s no guarantees for anything in life, of course. I have no expectation that our relationship will last the rest of our lives. Perhaps it will. Perhaps it will end next week. Who knows what the future holds. I guess we’ll see. I like being with her. She likes being with me. It’s a working relationship. If someone wants to apply the term soulmate to that, well, I won’t stop them.



Dave Roel.
Before you speak, stop, breathe, and consider if what you are about to say will improve upon the silence.
- Allan Lokos

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's that time again.

It's midway through November, which means, if you're like me, you've only recently given thought to starting your CSU/UC applications. This the third year in a row I've applied, so much of it is familiar to me, but for someone who's never done it before, it can certainly be confusing.

Mainly, you'll need your transcripts and tax information (yours, if you're considered independent, or your parents if they claim you as a dependent), plus two personal statements if you're applying to UCs. Though I wouldn't call the applications straight-forward, there are readily accessible help screens that deal with common questions that arise while filling out all your information. Still, there are areas of confusion that aren't addressed, but what I've gathered from doing this so many times is that you can either do your best and trust that the advisors will figure it out, or you're completely entitled in most cases to call either a counselor at FC or an admissions counselor at the school in question to get your question addressed properly.

As for the personal statement, FC actually frequently offers workshops to aid in the process. For those who are unable to attend them, here are the highlights:
  • The personal statement IS NOT a dealbreaker/deal-maker in terms of your admissions decisions-- the other aspects of your application are given much heavier consideration, to which the personal statements are like a supplement, as they provide insight into who you are as a person. So of course, do put effort into them, but don’t feel too pressured.
  • Make sure you address all parts of the prompt! Generally, this is a good idea regardless of what the purpose of the essay is. The minimum expectation of a passable essay is that it addresses the prompt, and showing the college admissions advisors that you’re capable of doing so is likely in your favor.
  • Tragic personal statements aren’t necessarily better. If you do choose to write a personal essay centering around a negative event, the admissions advisors will want to see that you’ve overcome difficult circumstances, not that you’ve experienced hardship.
  • Make sure the two personal statements deal with different subjects. This demonstrates well-roundedness and gives admissions advisors a broader sense of your personality and interests.
  • Have somebody else-- or several somebody elses-- read your essays. Ideally, they will edit them and make sure that they’re coherent and understandable.

It seems hard now, but finishing up applications provides major relief once it’s done with. Good luck to all who are hoping to transfer!

Stay classy,


Monday, November 18, 2013

Role models

Find a role model for each area. Choose someone, famous or not, who can serve as a guiding star for you, in your efforts to improve in each of our areas of health, career, and relationships. Perhaps for the relationship area, you might choose a well-known relationship coach or an author who writes insightfully about relationships. (There are many great ones, and reading relationship books or relationship advice columns is a good habit to get into, generally, one I recommend.) Perhaps for the career area, you might choose someone highly-accomplished in your chosen field, whose success you'd like to emulate. Perhaps for the health area, you might select a famous athlete you admire. Of course, they don't have to be famous — you might know individuals in your own life who have accomplished what you would like to in these areas. You can certainly choose them. (You can also choose one for our fourth category of self-work / shadow work, if you wish, but that can be a bit trickier — positive examples in that area are less obvious; tread carefully, when choosing there, but definitely have ones for our main three areas.)

Learn everything you can about your choices. Read biographies of them, if available, talk with them, if possible, study them. Learn how they think, how they move, how they talk, what their attitudes, beliefs, philosophies are, what books they read, who they admire, how they approach things, what they learned and what they did to accomplish what they have. Begin to adopt those elements that you can see will lead you to similar accomplishments. Be sure to distinguish the attitudes and approaches that are healthy from the ones that are non-optimal; you don’t have to adopt destructive patterns. But adopt the healthy ways that they have implemented in their lives, and you’ll be on a path to a successful, healthy accomplishing of your desired goals.


Dave Roel.
You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
- James Lane Allen

Friday, November 15, 2013

Change rates

Everything changes, but not everything changes at the same rate. The natural world changes slowly. Culture changes quicker than the natural world. Infrastructure changes quicker than culture. Governance changes quicker than infrastructure. Business changes quicker than governance. Fashion changes quicker than business. It's good to see the macro-structures of systems; it shows us that we don't have to change everything all at once. The most significant and longest-lasting change on a level is when change is coming from one level down. For instance, if there's a change in governmental policy, new business opportunities open up almost immediately. If there's a change in business, changes in fashion will come from that. If the infrastructure changes, governments can become unstable (e.g. Arab Spring). Looking at the macro-structures of systems, both individual systems and collective systems, allows us to perceive patterns and flows of energies, and allows us to make smart determinations about what’s likely to have a large impact on the world. For example, Miley Cyrus doing something outrageous is not likely going to change things for more than a few weeks. Building the Panama Canal, however, does have an enormous impact on things. If we're interested in changing something, the best way to do that is to change things at the level under the one you want to change. If you want to change fashion, work on changing businesses; if you want to change businesses, work on changing governance; if you want to change governance, work on changing infrastructure, etc.

Here’s a cartoon.


Dave Roel.
If our goals are too low, we get bored. But if they are too high, we get frustrated.
- Richard Layard

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

21 Days

          Sorry for not posting recently, FCers! But I finally have time to settle down and update you guys! Unfortunately, still no word on Chloe, from , but it's okay. I'm confident she'll be adopted soon!

          Anyways, did you guys know that 21 days is all it takes to form a habit? That's 3 straight weeks of repeating the same thing, and it gets turned into a habit. Like say, if waking up early is extremely hard for you and you decide to start sleeping before midnight, try doing that for three weeks straight! Come fourth week, it won't be a hardship anymore, it'll come naturally. You won't even really have to think about it. 
          So a couple weeks ago, my church decided to start the Love 21 Project, a consecutive three week long project where we participated in at least one random act of kindness every day. It could range from a tiny little thing to complimenting a stranger's choice of clothing to donating time and energy to help feed the homeless in Downtown LA. The goal was that once we began our random acts of kindness, they'd stick and we'd all become much more compassionate people and wouldn't have to think twice about helping out a person out or picking up litter on the quad on the way to class. We just finished up the project, but campuses all over the US are still participating!!love21/c247o It's pretty cool, and it comes with a suggestive guide if you don't know what act of kindness to do for the day. Feel free to check it out! (= 


Failure equals feedback

Failure is a concept that is added to the results of our actions. There are actions and results of those actions. Whether we think of the results as failure or success is not inherent in the actions or results — that is our interpretation, and that reflects our values and biases and unconscious drives.

Fear of failure will keep us from trying new things, from taking chances. That will keep us from reaching our highest potential. Failure is part of the process of learning and growing. Failure is feedback.

When we learn anything, we fail, repeatedly. We take it as feedback, adjust our methods and techniques, and get better. Fail upwards.

Thomas Edison went through thousands of iterations of the light bulb before he found the one that worked — he literally ran out of ways to fail.

In order to master a skill, ten thousand hours of practice is required. Each practice session has something to teach, some new aspect of the process is revealed. Be open to the feedback, and make adjustments.

Being too anxious about success is deadly. It can lock us up, preventing us from learning and improving. Our skill may be important, but anxiety about success can sabotage our efforts. Relaxation is important in any endeavor. An approach of gentle playfulness is best. It is good to care deeply about our projects, but holding them lightly, being slightly detached from the results, is important to learning. As a baby falls down repeatedly when learning to walk, we need to laugh, and get up, and do it again.


Dave Roel.
It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.
- Ralph Ellison

Monday, November 11, 2013

A quick way to view things

I've been talking about how health, career and relationships are important areas to pay attention to in life. I'm going to give a useful model to visualize these areas.

First, what is there in the universe? What do we know exists? How might we make a simple breakdown of existence?

Well, we can start with what we identify as ourself. There's me. I know I exist. At least, there's something that I am identifying as myself. There's definitely a division of existence that I am identifying as me.

So is that it? Am I the only thing in existence? No, there's other things in existence besides me. There's... everything else. Everything not me. So, we'll just throw everything that I am not identifying as myself into a broad "everything else / not me" division.

So now we've broken down all of existence into two handy divisions. Did we miss anything? No, that's really about it. There's me, and there's everything that's not me. That seems to cover it all.

Okay, now let's see if we can break these divisions down further. If we think about it, we'll realize that everything has an external and an internal. Everything has an objective and a subjective. Let's apply this to our two divisions.

It is easy to see what the exterior / objective of myself is. The exterior / objective of myself is everything about me that is physically manifest and real. That includes every atom of my self, and my molecules, cells, tissues, organs, hair, skin, bones, blood, etc. Everything that is physically, objectively real about my individual self.

This upper right quadrant of our map covers the body category, the area of our physical health and fitness.

What would be the external / objective of the "everything else", the collective (as opposed to the individual) division? Anything that is a physical, objectively real external system, i.e. political systems or economic systems or cultural systems or ecological systems.

The mind category, the area of career and finances, fits into this lower right quadrant.

As we live and exist in a collective group, there is an internal, subjective experience of interrelational reality. All internal, subjective experience of interrelationship - friends, families, romantic relationships, workplaces, communities, neighborhoods, nations, etc.

The spirit category, the area of relationships, falls into this lower left quadrant.

As we experience existence, we have an experience of an internal, subjective reality. Everything from our thoughts to our feelings to our unconscious drives are part of our internal, subjective reality.

It is recommended that we process our internal experiences through various means, including journaling, meditating, therapy, etc. An attempt at changing one's life will inevitably stir up unconscious resistances that may derail our efforts. Without some means to combat these shadows, our efforts toward self-development and personal growth may not be as successful as they might be. Methods for working with one's shadows are an important part of our system, and are placed in the upper left quadrant.

So our important areas of mind / career and finances, body / health and fitness, spirit / personal relationships, and shadow / emotional processing are neatly mapped onto a handy four quadrant model.


Dave Roel.
Everything is perfect in the universe - even your desire to improve it.
- Wayne Dyer

Friday, November 8, 2013

GUEST POST: Meet Student Ambassador James

My position as a student ambassador grants me the task to counsel, educate, and assist in persuading the next generation scholars whom decided to embark onto the next level of higher education. I am the embodiment of wisdom bestowed upon by exactly two years of excruciating college level curriculum and experiences provided by the most prestigious and pristine community college in the Orange County region. I am delighted to say that my position as a student ambassador has been by far the most enjoyable experience I’ve had during my stay at Fullerton College. Fellow Hornets if by any chance you stumble upon the opportunity to take part in this honorable position, regardless of your position or circumstance, I suggest you take it. Although I have vaguely elaborated on all the little nooks and crannies of a student ambassador position, I hope courtesy of my fellow ambassador that she has provided some in-depth details of all the daily shenanigans student ambassadors go through. But for now much love to you fellow Hornets. 


GUEST POST: Meet Student Ambassador Suman

            Hello everyone!! My name is Suman Khadka and I am one of the student ambassadors at Fullerton college. I applied to become a student ambassador because I was keen to get involved with the Fullerton college, meet new people, and work with fellow ambassadors. The flexibility of the work available allows me to do as much or as little as it suits me and my timetable during the semester. The work is really enjoyable and rewarding, and it gives an insight to how each and every department at Fullerton college functions. So if you are NOT planning to transfer next Fall, make sure you all apply for the Student Ambassador position when the application opens for next term. I am sure you will enjoy it!
            We are already more than halfway through the semester and it is kind-of shocking to be honest. If you are a FALL 2014 transferring student like me, I bet you will agree with me that the second half is going to be even more frantic because of the CSU's and UC's transfer applications. Therefore time management is crucial. No matter how long you want to cuddle in the bed during the chilly mornings or no matter how much you want to watch each and every innings of the World Series, the point is that time management is the key to success during this semester. In the light of this, I have drastically cut down my "sports time" during this semester. Instead I have been focusing on college applications and transfer-center workshops organized by the Cadena Transfer Center. Furthermore I have already contacted my professors' for letters for recommendations for some private colleges and scholarships. Hopefully you all are doing the same as well... Ta-da. 

GUEST POST: Meet Student Ambassador Christine

            Hello! My name is Christine Lu. I am currently working as a Student Ambassador at Fullerton College. I have been studying here at Fullerton College since Spring 2012. I am majoring in English and is planning to transfer to either UCLA or UCI next year fall.
            I can certainly say that this semester is the busiest semester I have ever had. I am mostly taking courses that apply to my major this fall and am working inside and outside of school. I want to share briefly about my experience as a Student Ambassador here. I feel this responsibility that wasn't there before. Before, this responsibility was merely for my own good. For instance, taking many classes as I can, in order to get out of here as soon as possible and transfer. Yet, ever since I came here, my view towards community college changed dramatically. I was exposed to variety of programs, like Honors Program, that revealed hidden potentials inside of me. I also received my first scholarship from the Fullerton College Foundation during my first semester.  As a receiver of such great benefits, I have been looking forward to share these good news to others. Thankfully, through one of the students who graduated from Fullerton College, I had gotten to know about and apply for Student Ambassador position.
            One of the major requirements for this position is a satisfactory public speaking skill. As a former ESL student, speaking in English in front of people somehow plummeted my confidence, ever since I came to the United States. Moreover, since English is my fourth language, I had to work extra harder in English classes throughout my years in middle and high school. I believe that through this opportunity, I will be able to break out of this shell and escape from the comfort zone. Hence, I am currently taking Speech class here, to become the best representative that I can possibly become for Fullerton College.
            Next semester is going to be the last semester I will be spending at Fullerton College. I want my last semester here to be the most memorable and productive one. Since I have completed majority of the courses I need to take, I want to explore some elective classes, such as classes that do not necessarily apply to my major, in Spring 2014. There is a famous saying that goes "All is well that ends well". I want to leave a lasting impact and footprint here as I leave, as a Student Ambassador and a fan of Fullerton College.