About Time

2014 has been such an eventful year. I made many international friends, graduated from college, moved to San Francisco, and started my first real job. To start off 2015 in hope of another great year, I want to write a post on one of my favorite movies.

“I just try to live every day as if I have to deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”

Not going to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but the gist is that the ability of time traveling gives Tim, the awkward ginger guy, a lot of hope in life. He was able to go back and forth and make situations “better.” After a few years of practicing his talent, Tim started to see that things actually aren’t that easy.

I love the final recipe of happiness that Tim’s father gives him: stop time traveling and live life like a normal person. Life is made of everything that happens in it–all the emotions, happy or sad; moments, picture-worthy or seemingly trivial; and the people you encounter, friends or strangers. It’s always a trade-off when you go back to “fix” things. As you change the course of life, you are always giving something else up. So don’t look back and savor every moment as it is.

The second piece of the advice from Tim’s father was to “live everyday again, almost exactly the same, the first time with all the tensions and worries that stop us from noticing how sweet the world can be; but the second time, noticing.” The gorgeous train station, the friendly smile of the cashier, poking fun at the angry boss–he saw everything with a bright heart and at the end of the day he was able to call it “a very good day actually.” That was also my favorite scene in the movie.

The final scene reminds me of how Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie describes his day if he were given one more healthy 24-hour day. It’s ordinary and peaceful, doing everyday things with people but appreciating them. When people say, “well I can’t live every day as if it was my last day cause I can’t just ditch everything and go crazy today”, I think they are getting the wrong idea.

Ever since I studied abroad in England, I started to really realize how crucial and great it is to live the moment and notice the small beauties in life. Even though it’s sometimes easy to forget that as the busy city life drags me right into the whirlpool. I try my best to be like the new Tim.

To end this post on a lighter note, here is my 2nd favorite scene. A bit stereotypical and exaggerated, but it’s hilarious!

 

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Awesome MySQL Tutorial Series!

 

I have gone through Caleb’s MySQL tutorial series back in June. It’s a wonderful series. He’s very good at explaining the concepts and making them easily understandable. Caleb is also super funny; never a dull moment in his videos! Of course I’m not yet an SQL master, but I really learned a lot from these tutorials. They definitely set a solid foundation for me to continue my learning.

Technology is becoming more and more prevalent and I want to have a good understanding of the knowledge behind it. Back in college, I’ve taken courses in Matlab which I enjoyed.I wish I did a minor in Computer Science, I think I would’ve liked it. But my double major didn’t allow me the space. On the bright side, there are tons of great resources online nowadays! I did some research and stumbled upon Caleb’s channel on YouTube. And I’m very happy that I did.

I encourage everyone who’s interested in learning SQL to check out Caleb’s videos! He also has tons of tutorials on other programming-related topics. I’m planning on checking out his Python series as well. It really is free education! Thanks Caleb (:

Last Lecture with Robert Reich

The Senior Council at UC Berkeley chooses a well-received professor every year to give the graduating class a send-off lecture. This year, the professor for my senior class is Robert Reich, a renowned professor at UC Berkeley and Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton.

Humility

Professor Reich told us a story from when he interned at Governor John F. Kennedy’s office. One day, he saw Governor Kennedy walk out of his office with a bunch of important political figures. To his surprise, Governor Kennedy said to him “How are you doing, Bob?” as he walked past him. Prof. Reich could not believe that Governor Kennedy remembered his name and greeted him! This small gesture from Kennedy became such a fond memory of him that he proceeded to work for him for the next 6 months.

He advised us to always pay attention to the people around you, no matter what position they are in. Be humble, attentive, and kind.

Failures

“The test is resilience, not success of failure.”

Prof. Reich called us all “good hoop jumpers.” We had to jump through all the hoops that our teachers, parents, and the society have set in front of us in order to sit here as a graduating senior from UC Berkeley, one of the best universities in the world.

But sooner or later, we will either fail to jump through a hoop or jump through it and fall on our nose. It’s foolish to think that we won’t fail. But the key is to remember that successes and failures do not necessarily define you; resilience does. Continue reading