Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all are having a good time with family and friends. Today, I will be sharing with you 8 things I am thankful for in 2018.

  • God
    • This year, I truly feel that God is doing good work through me and thus, I feel closer and closer to him each day. Slowly, but surely. Throughout the year, God was there. Although there were times when He felt far away, there were plenty of times when He felt close. Also, there are many times when I felt that God was communicating with me through other people.  As always, I am thankful for God.
  • TNTT Family and Extended TNTT Family
    • The years have flown by and it is only when we say “Goodbye” that we realize we built a bond with other HTs. Sometimes, I get so caught up with my responsibilities as a HT in the process that before I know it, I had become closer to my fellow HTs. The HT camaraderie gets stronger each year. I’ve truly felt it with HT in my own Doan and HT in other Doans. In addition, I have felt it with other HT in other Mien. Our HT bonds extend over the great distances.
  • Family
    • We all know we should be grateful for our parents because they sacrificed so much for us, especially if our parents are immigrants. I already know this and I’m usually grateful. However, I don’t think I was ever as grateful to my parents as when I had broken my ankle in late January this year. Through the time period of being bedridden and on crutches (Late January to late March), I was truly able to see my parents, especially my mom, love me and sacrifice time and energy for me.
  • Friends
    • Sometimes I joke I don’t have friends, but I know I do. However, sometimes it’s hard to feel friendship. The experience that made me stop doubting my friendships was breaking my ankle. My friends immediately took me to the hospital when I broke my ankle and continued to go with me to my checkups and surgery day. Honestly, I couldn’t believe they were willing to pick me up from my house and drive me to the hospital for each appointment. After the surgery, other friends visited me, brought me food, took me out of the house to eat a lot of good foods. I appreciate all that they have done for me and am so grateful for them.
  • New job
    • Changing jobs was almost a no-brainer for me. Although I loved what I was doing, my old job was way too stressful for me. I am very content with my current job, though. Because of my old job, I don’t think I can take my current job for granted.
  • Gym
    • I don’t know who came up with the idea of a warehouse-looking place with different weights of iron waiting to be picked up and placed back down again, but it is clearly a good idea. The gym has been a place where I can get my mind off things, get a good sweat going, and connect with friends.
  • Coworkers
    • I am grateful for my old coworkers as well as my new coworkers. In general, all of my coworkers are nice, thankfully! I always heard of those “horrible coworker” stories and feared I may have one in the future, but so far, I have yet to experience one that horrible.
  • iPhone
    • I am thankful for technology, especially my iPhone. Nowadays, phones are basically mini-computers. Through my phone, I have been able to connect to so many people and become closer friends with them. It’s so easy to message someone to hang out during work than to step out of the office and make a phone call to your friend (who may still be working and cannot pick up the phone).

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season? Comment below to share!

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Joshua 2018 – Ban Phim Ảnh

In late July 2018, I attended Joshua in Atlanta, Georgia. It was my first time going to Miền Đông Nam. Once again, I was traveling by myself, except this time, more people from Miền Tây was attending this event.

It’s funny. A month ago during Sinai 24, I told people that I was most likely not attending Joshua 2018. However, I realized that helping out at the event would fulfill a Sinai Post Camp assignment. I decided to attend Joshua 2018 and help out with Ban Phim Ảnh / Photo-Videography Committee.

Although I have owned a camera for years, I have never actually been officially part of Ban Phim Ảnh for any event until now. It has always been unofficial, so this was basically my first time being part of this Ban. Before, I would be more relaxed and capture whatever I wanted. However, since I was officially part of the Ban, I felt an obligation to actually be working. The main thing I took away from this experience was that this job was difficult. I had to constantly be alert, on my feet, and ready to take a photo at any given moment. I had to capture moments that were unexpected and could disappear as soon as they came. It was tiring! I gained so much more respect for my brother during this event. I never realized how exhausting it was to be the camera person.

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A few thoughts that occurred to me during Joshua were the following:

  • Never have I been more proud to be from Miền Tây until now. I’m not sure if it is because of the low number of us attending or because I have recently attended Sinai 24 the month before, but I was proud to say that I was from Miền Tây.

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  • Some people are already committed to misunderstanding you or disliking you. I realized that although this is sad, this does not hurt me as much as I thought it would because I have been through worse.
  • Events like Joshua are basically reunions for older people. Since I felt like this was a reunion, I guess that basically means I’m getting there (old).
  • At the same time, these events are like meeting well-known Huynh Trưởngs you would normally never meet in person, but only see on FaceBook.
  • Wow, although I knew a good majority of the Huynh Trưởngs due to previous training camps, there were still a lot I did not meet yet. I am so thankful for the friends I have made at previous camps.
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Tiberia IX – Đội Anrê: Can Đảm
  • This is definitely not good American food. I want Vietnamese food… NOW.

I made a small Joshua 2018 highlight video to test out my new camera.

I am glad that I attended Joshua 2018. The experience gave me a completely different perspective on TNTT.

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37th Lễ Bổn Mạng – “After Party”

You see, the thing is… I don’t drink (alcohol). Okay, I do, but probably like 5 times a year. (5 very low alcohol content drinks)

Instead, I enjoy being sober – talking and laughing with friends. This is what I consider a “good time.”

As I sat with fellow Huynh Trưởngs from other Đoàns, playing card games while sipping on my milk tea, I thank God for this simple and wonderful moment.

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37th Lễ Bổn Mạng – Invitation Design

This year, I was in charge of Ban Linh Tinh for Lễ Bổn Mạng. One of the responsibilities of this Ban is to make invitations, which were to be printed and handed out to the different communities at our parish.

The criteria for the invitations were as follows:

  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • “37th Anniversary”
  • Both Vietnamese and English
  • Simple, but not plain design

I have been out of practice in terms of designing flyers, so I used Canva to aide in my design of this invitation. Creative people don’t always need to reinvent the wheel; we use our resources!

My initial design started out very much like the template flyer. Although I did alter some fonts, it remained mostly unchanged from the original template. I stuck with the color red or pinkish red to represent the blood of the Vietnamese Martyrs, the theme for this year’s Lễ Bổn Mạng.

Red White Brush Strokes Blood Donation Poster
Original Template

 

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Initial Design

I received feedback and was told to make changes.

The designs were plain. Improve the design. Change “37th Le Bon Mang” to “Mừng Lễ Bổn Mạng – Kỷ Niệm 37 Năm Thành Lập”
Change  “Văn Nghệ – Sau Khi Thánh Lễ” to “Văn Nghệ – Sau Thánh Lễ trong Sullivan Hall”

Per the comments, I made the revisions.

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I Googled search and found a very famous picture of the Vietnamese Martyrs. I’ve seen this picture multiple times as I was growing up so I felt like this one spoke out to me the most. Thus, the flyer received a pixelated Vietnamese Martyrs background and alternating red & white background for the text. It may not be very noticeable but, I also made the Doan name a brighter red.

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Revisions

I received the second round of feedback and was reminded to have both English & Vietnamese. The flyer just received more text.

I received the third round of feedback. I needed to get rid of the awkward bright red stroke in the middle of the flyer as well as make the bottom seem messier with more brush strokes to match the top.

Finally, we came to this final version of the flyer. This flyer was to print on cardstock paper and sealed in an envelope to be the invitations to be handed out to the different communities in our parish. In addition, the flyer was used to promote our LBM on Facebook.

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Final Design

I am very happy with how the flyers turned out. It’s simple and yet displays the theme very well. I’ve received many compliments on the design, so there’s reassurance that this design is decent.

This is a good start for getting back into designing again!

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First Blog Post!

Hello and welcome to Path to Purple!

For the very first blog post, it is apparently customary to somehow get the readers to learn more about me. I guess the ABOUT ME page is not enough information. Therefore, for the very first blog post, I will be telling you 10 Random Facts you may not know about me.

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  • I am left-handed. This is a very common fact I like to say whenever I am part of an ice-breaker.
  • I am the oldest child in my family. Basically, I am the “Chi Hai” of my younger sister and younger brother.
  • I joined TNTT when I was 8 years old as a 3rd grader. Somehow, I’ve stayed in TNTT ever since!
  • I love food. Some of my favorite foods are sushi, ice-cream, cơm tấm thịt nướng, and cheeseburgers. Okay, honestly, the list can go on.
  • I am a scaredy-cat. I cannot watch horror movies because if I do, I would not be able to go to sleep at night.
  • My unofficial English name is Theresa. When I was younger, I would ask my mom why didn’t I have an English name and asked her to give me an unofficial one. She told me it would be my saint name.
  • In the 5th grade, I taught myself how to use Adobe Photoshop. I learned how to graphic design and ran an anime graphics website with my sister from 2005 until around junior year of high school when we became busy with AP classes.
  • I love nature and being outside in the woods. There is some kind of peaceful feeling when trees surround me and hear the wind brush against the leaves.
  • In high school, I competed in the Track & Field as well as the Girls Tennis team. In the spring, I ran sprints and hurdles for Track & Field. In the fall, I played Doubles #1 as the main net player.
  • I was an active lion dancer in a professional lion dance team for 7 years. Lion dancing has been a big part of my life while I was in school. It gave me the opportunity to embrace my culture as well as learn more about life in general.

And there you have it! Ten random facts about me!

Did you already know some of these facts before reading this list? Which ones did you not know? Let me know by commenting down below!

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Beg

As I sat in the Mission Church, a place where I would go to pray before and after classes, I looked up at the intricate design on the walls and ceilings. Then, I looked up in the front, at where I would always look at.

My heart felt heavy. The gravity pulled my head down. As I cried and prayed and begged God to take away the pain and to not put me through this again, I was reminded of the last time I begged God this whole-heartedly. There is nothing more to say about this.

 

Advice

Today at sinh hoạt, I asked if he had any advice for me since I was going to attend Sinai 24 within a month. He thought for a short while and said, “Have fun.”

I was expecting something like, “Make sure to study this” or “Review that.” But maybe this is what I actually need. Maybe this is what TNTT is really about.

“Have fun.”