Women hold up half the sky. – Chinese proverb
I had quite a liberal upbringing, thanks to parents who were more spiritual than religious, who weren’t very interested in politics, and who were less tiger parents and more “as long as you don’t get into trouble, you can do whatever you want.” Yet, as I grow older and know more about the world, there was a huge rift between them and I. They want me to aspire to marriage. Sure, a successful career and financial security are nice too, but they want me to find a nice man to take care of me.
For the longest time, I could not fathom how my well-educated, liberal parents could have such a backward view of women and their potentials. I could be anything, an engineer, a doctor, a writer, a politician, a Fortune 500 CEO, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. But I also had to be a wife and a mother. It wasn’t that I could have it all; it was that I must.
This film has won the following accolades:
– Best Daisy Duke (short shorts – under 3 minutes) at the Traveling Shorts Film Festival 2015, presented at Romantso Cultural Center and Incubator in Athens, Greece.
– Finalist in the Geocaching International Film Festival 2015 in Seattle, WA, USA.
I think I’ve developed a geocaching addiction. I have a constant urge to get out and play (a lot of walking, hiking and scootering involved).
Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt using coordinates to hide and seek containers called “geocaches”. The hunt is happening everywhere around us, so next time you see a hiker looking around bushes, staring at a handheld device, you know what they are doing.
Footage shot in Hokianga, Northland, NZ (October 2014).
12 Tips on Geocaching from Chau Pham on Vimeo.
I had the chance to meet Witi Ihimaera, author of The Whale Rider, in Auckland in October 2014, and also attended a writing workshop led by him. In the workshop, Ihimaera talked about reshaping myths for a contemporary audience, and how that can be used to draw parallels and tell powerful stories like The Whale Rider. The fact that I met the author of one of the pieces I would probably be writing about in my final IB Language & Literature exam is simply mind-blowing, and provided so much more context and insights on this wonderful book.
The video below is based on Chapter One of the novel, about the ancient story of the origin of the Māori people. The text of The Whale Rider is quite rich visually, and I chose specific elements from the chapter that highlight this.
Original art by Chau Pham.
Original text by Witi Ihimaera.
Music recorded during a walk through the Waipoua Forest, Northland, New Zealand. Many thanks to our amazing tour guides who led us through the magnificent giant kāuri trees and shared many aspects of Māori culture with us.
As mentioned in a previous lament, I was walking through the valley of the shadow of the dreaded Extended Essay, chased by the impending deadline, along with every other IB assessments that need to be completed. And I was stuck in a rut about a viable topic to even begin researching and writing my EE on.
But no more! There is a light at the end of the tunnel! I’ve finally finalized my research question, and emailed my online Psychology teacher to ask him to be my supervisor. Yes, I am writing a Psychology Extended Essay.
During my trip to the Bay of Plenty in North Island, New Zealand, one of my ultimate geeky dreams came true when I visited Hobbiton in Matamata. It was as if I got transported straight into Tolkien’s fantasy world. At 1.6 meters tall (5’2” for imperial system barbarians), running around shouting “I’m going on an adventure!”, I felt right at home.
While at Hobbiton, the peacefulness and the hobbit way of life really got me thinking and reevaluating my own lifestyle. So here are six life lessons from Bilbo Baggins, everyone’s beloved hairy feet shorty.
1. Explore the world
“I’m going on an adventure!”
What is an Extended Essay? How do I write one? When is it due again?
An Extended Essay is a 4000-word research paper that every student has to complete if they wish to obtain their IB diploma. It is a chance to flex some academic research and writing muscles, and also for most students to curse the high heavens and have a glimpse into their future as college students plowing away late at night writing papers.
Finding yourself in the beginning of your second year of the IB diploma and not having a research question for your Extended Essay yet is a probably a bad situation. I am in that bad situation.