Crossroads

Edit: I edited this post from May 2018 in May 2019, with a personal graduation picture rather than a random one from my old roommates website. Congratulations to all Class of 2018 and 2019 graduates! 

I know a lot of my friends are graduating college this year. It’s a culmination of  all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. (At least we all know there was tears.) You did it! You made it through college and you’ve earned a degree. It’s worth a lot more than the loads of student debt you might never pay off. You have learned a lot and you will continue learning. I’m here today to congratulate your work, to remember the memories and the friends you’ve made, and encourage you to going on. Continue reading “Crossroads”

The Coffee Stains on My Resume

Note: I have decided to not disclose the company that I was interviewed by and keep it anonymous for legal purposes.  

It started out like any other job interview. I went over to the Engineering Career and Assistance Center interview suite on campus at 10 o’clock on a Monday morning.

He called my name, “Andrew?” When I met the interviewer, I shook his  hand. We went into the interview room. He began by introducing himself and the company he worked with. He said there was potentially one position for an internship for the summer. He then opened a folder containing the resumes of all the candidates. He said, “I’ve been looking at your resume…”Andy3

 

Then I noticed something a little odd: two small coffee stains on the right side of my resume. I remarked, “There’s coffee stains on my resume.” They were small, brown and round spots about 1 centimeter or so each. I had electronically sent in my resume in a email, so it wasn’t my fault.

Continue reading “The Coffee Stains on My Resume”

The Real Meaning of the Mystical Body of Christ

 

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Hello y’all! It’s  been a week since Longhorn Awakening 64. I gave a talk about the Mystical Body of Christ. I also participated in Music Staff this Awakening, helping lead Praise and Worship via singing. It was a fantastic experience, probably the best Awakening I have staffed.  I initially wanted to copy a transcript of my talk, but since I believe that the nature of Awakening talks is more relevant only on retreat, I’m going to share my experiences there instead. Continue reading “The Real Meaning of the Mystical Body of Christ”

Autism “Politics”: Who Speaks For or With Autism?

Happy World Autism Day! As it’s World Autism Day, I want to address how messy autism advocacy can be. There are two sides to what I call “Autism Politics: Neurodiversity, those autistics who advocate for themselves and their supporters, and Autism Parents, those parents who advocate because they have children with autism. Now both sides are not exclusive, as opinion on autism can be as much of a spectrum as autism itself. To be honest, I’m not personally on one side on the other. I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and my older brother has autism as well as being intellectually disabled and bipolar. Here I will present both sides, and then explain my own opinions based on my experiences.

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The Autism Awareness Ribbon

“Autism parents” are those who live with those who have autism and their supporters. This group is commonly allied with Autism Speaks, the most common non-profit organization that advocates for Autism Awareness. This side struggles with adjusting those with autism in order to better adapt them to the world around them and vice versa. This camp believes that autism can be cured, and the source of autism could be vaccines or other unnatural causes. They prefer person-first language, such as a “person having autism.” The primary symbol is the puzzle piece, as autism is a puzzle that needs to be understood. They use the color blue, as in #lightitupblue, or a mix of primary colors.

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Neurodiversity symbol

The “Neurodiversity “camp includes those autistics that can speaking  for themselves and advocate on their own, #actuallyautistics, and their neurotypical supporters. They focus on the positive qualities of autism, and support natural behavior such as stimming, various communicative behaviors, and sensory sensitivity. This camp looks to better accept the various types of brain neurologies and intellectual disabilities as different abilities. They advocate for “Autism Acceptance” rather than “Autism Awareness.” The source of autism is more likely genetics. They prefer identity first language, such as a “autistic person.” The primary symbol is a rainbow infinity sign, and use a rainbow to support the neurodiversity spectrum. They protest #lightitupblue by wearing #redinstead or #toneitdowntaupe.

I stand in the middle, kind of. I am wearing #redinstead, but I’m not fully integrated into the neurodiversity paradigm.  I grew up with my older brother who has autism, and I have Aspergers myself. I prefer that both sides should listen to each other. Some parents sadly suffer by raising those with autism, as I did having a older brother with autism. Autistics suffer only because we are living in a world that’s not made for us. I believe that God made my brother and I  both autistic, and I have learned how my faith helps me identify myself by Christ, rather than just a stigmatized disability. We should help those who suffer by raising autistics and the stigma behind autism so we can better accept each other. Stop, listen, and love. Happy Autism Acceptance Day! For Catholics and Christians as myself, Happy Easter!

Desire: How I Know What God’s Will is for Me

Dear world, it’s 2018. I realize one of my biggest mistakes of my life is that I desire places that God doesn’t want me to go. I desire things that were never meant to be for me. I wanted to be at SLS ’18 in Chicago which is going on as I write, but here I am at home in Texas. I can’t go due to cost, logistics, etc.  I wanted be to part of UT’s marching band, Longhorn Band this past August. I tried out, but I didn’t make it. I wanted to go a summer camp just to visit my friend who worked there. I joked around about it, but it never happened. I wanted to be an architect. I had to change my major when I didn’t have the skills to be what I wanted. These are not inheritably bad things I desire.  I could learn a lot in these experiences that I desire. I could have opportunities to grow in faith through some of these experiences I desire.  Lots of these things are didn’t happen for me. That makes me feel uneasy. Upset. Depressed. Left out. Why do I want to be where God has already decided that I should never be? Continue reading “Desire: How I Know What God’s Will is for Me”

My Year in Review: 2017

Hello world! Merry Christmas! (It’s still Christmas until January 7 this year according to the Catholic Liturgical Calendar.)

I write today about how my 2017 went and what I have planned for 2018. Honestly, 2017 was one of the toughest years I have had in my life. I tried new things, and learned more about myself than ever before in my life. I admit that I was not pleased with who I was at times. I realized how I have been affected by my past and how I can shape my future. I hope to always follow God and do His Will. I hope that I embrace who God calls me to be as part of His plan for me. I want to go over my year to show much I have learned and how I will continue to grow, love and serve others as Jesus did. Continue reading “My Year in Review: 2017”

Ozarkansas

Hello World!

I went on vacation to Arkansas recently and saw many beautiful things, including the Ozarks in Arkansas, hence I call the trip Ozarkansas. I know, I’m punny. I live in Texas, and go to University of Texas at Austin, so I can’t stop repping my horns in Arkansas. Heck, I haven’t been outside of Texas in almost two years. My trip to Arkansas was enchanting.  Arkansas has got some beautiful natural wonders, and I thank God that such beauty exists. I am so glad to take a trip with my family and enjoy the simple things.

 

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Continue reading “Ozarkansas”

My Advice to Staying Christian in College

Hello World!

As many freshman are preparing for new year of college, here I am a senior at University of Texas at Austin, giving my advice on how to continue your faith in a place where being Christian can be challenged.  I consider reading “How to Stay Christian in College” by J. Budziszewski,  as many of my answers come from this book or from my own experiences. Continue reading “My Advice to Staying Christian in College”

Around

*Note: these words are the lyrics of an unfinished song. I will need to record the accompanying music. The song describes of wanting to be there for someone because I see that the other person is going through a hard time. The person I directed this song did not exist initially, but I have situations in my life where I hear this song resonate, ignoring the pretense of a relationship.  I imagine the end chorus of the song being sung as a three part Round. Here is “Around.” 

Continue reading “Around”