Friday, December 16, 2016

Final Debate Tournament of the Semester

Round 5 Resolution

 Last weekend I had the opportunity to debate at Seattle University’s Seattle IV tournament as a member of the T.O.H. Karl Speech and Debate team (PLU’s debate team). Our team participates in British Parliamentary debate which is popular in the United States, Canada, and most of Europe. In this form, teams of two students are randomly assigned a position in the debate as Open Government, Opening Opposition, Closing Government, or Closing Opposition. If the team is on the government side, they will argue in proposition of the argument, meaning they agree with the resolution. Additionally, the opposition argues against the resolution.
              All teams are given the resolution 15 minutes before the debate will begin. The debaters cannot access any preparation materials except informational briefs that are printed before the round begins. At the end of the 15 minutes, the debate begins in front of three judges that decide 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in the debate between the Open Government, Opening Opposition, Closing Government, or Closing Opposition teams.
One resolution that was given at the Seattle IV was “This House regrets the narrative at United States citizens must ‘support the troops’”. My partner and I were on Opening Opposition for this round and were expected to argue that US citizens should be obligated to ‘support the troops’.
Award for 2nd place in the Novice Finals
Debate is exciting because the resolution can be torn apart and put back together to help your team win. Important words that need to be defined in this resolution are ‘must’, ‘support’ and ‘regrets’. If a citizen ‘must’ do something, what does that look like? Is the ‘support’ monetary? Or just emotional support? And does ‘regretting’ something mean wiping away the history that comes with ‘support for the troops’?
All of these questions were answered and debated within the round. The winning team is expected to be the partnership that best defined these questions, had the most interesting and powerful arguments, and accurately defended the other team’s arguments.
While my partner and I didn’t win this round, we ended up in the Finals Round of the Novice section. Novice means that a team is in their first year of debating in collegiate debate. In that final round we got 2nd place arguing that ‘the European Union was not a failed experiment’.
Receiving 2nd place was a great end to the Fall semester and energized me for a Spring of more debate!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Post Thanksgiving and Finals Week

Hi again,

So the past couple weeks went by as a blur as Thanksgiving and preparation for finals took precedence in my life. For Thanksgiving, myself and a group of international students went to Vancouver, BC in Canada. Harald, my co-worker and good friend was with us as well! Shunying, an ex-worker here at the International Admissions Office (2014) also came up and joined us! 

From L to R: Joakim, Harald, Me, Shunying & Alex!
Vancouver is a really beautiful city. We spent 4 days and 3 nights there and had lots of fun. It has a large Asian population and this can be credited to the University of British Columbia, which attracts many international students who mainly come from Asia. We spent half a day at UBC and actually interacted with some international students there. We met this club on campus that was run by Chinese students, and they focused on video production and photography. Alex had a chance to interview with them about Taiwan! 
Alex conducting his interview about Taiwan.
We also spent another day in downtown Vancouver, and we rented bikes and cycled around Stanley Park. That was amazing as the weather was perfect that day and we just enjoyed the scenery that Vancouver had to offer! 

Fast forward to dead week and finals week, I'm doing pretty well. I had a fitness test and ruck march (6 miles with 35lbs) for ROTC that counted towards my GPA last week and that was fun. 

I also took my ROTC (MSIII Class) final exam last Tuesday and finished my Financial Accounting final today. What's left is a Computer Science final on Wednesday and a paper due for a Conflict class on Wednesday as well. 

My parents will be flying in on Friday, and we will be road-tripping to Idaho, Montana and Spokane, places which we've never visited before! 

Have a great week and good luck on your finals to all students out there! 

Joel Goh

Sunday, December 4, 2016

~Thanksgiving in Oregon~

Hellu~ 珞

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving break ‘cause I did! This year, I was invited to my roomie’s house in Oregon City (her name is Michelle) and we went to IKEA in Portland to shop for our new apartment eyyy 

Anyhow, this post is going to have a bunch of food pictures that we had during Thanksgiving break. I didn’t take any picture so...

Here they are:

Smoked Turkey 旅 - Yes, it actually looks that good,
and tastes amazing too 

Yams with marshmallow and pecans! It didn't look exactly
like this picture but I made it so of course it tastes
good  - People like it, I swear
We also made cranberry sauce  I didn’t know that cranberry pops
while boiling 

Green Bean Casserole - Michelle made this, it was so good 
Stuffing~ Still Michelle, still good Yummy
Okay, there are more but I can’t remember…樂

I miss those dishes so much  After eating them now the food on campus is so insipid…

We had a bunch of cool stuff for the apartment too but can’t take pictures cause they’re still wrapped up. No touching until move-in day - by Michelle's dad 

Alright, now back to study for final week that is coming soon  You can do this, good luckkkk ✨ Van

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

College Leadership and the 3Ws; When, Where and Why?

When starting at college, leadership seems like a far distant universe that is solely reserved for upperclassmen with extensive knowledge and experience. "I cannot be a leader because" is a phrase I often encounter when speaking to fellow students. The narrative that college leadership is reserved for a specific group of people is not only wrong, but it leads to a belief that you cannot by your presence influence people and your surroundings.
I want to write this to state that no matter who you engage with during your studies, you are a leader. You are a leader to your fellow students, to siblings, family and others. You are a leader to youth wanting to take a college education, to people who look at your example and want to follow. Leadership is not a hierarchical being that is only obtained if you have a certain amount of knowledge or experience, it is the act of wanting others to succeed and providing people with the resources to do so. You are a leader right here on your campus, from helping your friends with homework to have them join a club meeting.
How do you get out of this narrative that leadership is something reserved for others? You start by seeing the small things you do for others and recognize these acts when others are doing them as well. By acknowledging the good acts of others, you are working towards an environment of togetherness where you can express opinions and help others succeed. By your efforts, you are creating a better college environment and can continue making others` college experiences memorable. No matter your class standing, your grades or your background, you can make a difference. Why is leadership during your college years useful? If you develop as a leader and practically contribute the growth in others, you will also experience self-growth in terms of leadership, academics, personality and ability to cooperate with others.
These are the skills that employers are looking for, ability to work in teams, be successful academically and help others succeed in terms of organizational goals. You can be a leader wherever you put your thoughts and efforts to be. When others see your genuine want for them to succeed, they will do the same for you and you will experience opportunities of growth all around you. By doing these steps, you can see that leadership is within everyone, it is for everyone and by engaging with fellow students, you are simultaneously enhancing your own self-growth and development during college.


Monday, November 7, 2016

How to do this Holiday thing Washington Style

Hello to all and to all a good semester!

We are now officially in November and many of you might be asking yourselves "why are they playing Christmas music when we haven't even celebrated Thanksgiving?"  Yeah, I have no answer for you on that one.

But for those of you who are ready for the holiday shenanigans here is a short list of fun activities and events in and around Tacoma.

 Winter Things to do in Tacoma/Seattle

Winterfest at Seattle Center

     -This fun event provides many fun and inexpensive attractions like ice skating, ice sculptures, a visit with Santa Clause and lots of music and food.
*More info here Winterfest Seattle Center 



Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo

I have personally been to this even and it is beyond beautiful.  The sprawling landscape of the zoo is transformed into a land of sparkle, color and shine.  The even runs from the 25th of November to the 1st of January and the Tickets are cheap.  Please don't miss out on this one!
*More info here Zoolights


Festival of Trees

Located on the 5th floor of the Tacoma Convention Center this event features over 65 decorated Christmas trees.  Enjoy a leisurely stroll through this festive tour and support the work done at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Health Center.
*More info here Festival of Trees


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Joel's Back!

Hey everyone!

Some of you reading this might remember me, I worked as an International Admission Intern from Oct 2014 until about January 2015! Prior to that, I enlisted in the US Army in June 2015 and then shipped off to basic training in February 2016 so that's when I stopped working here. However, I'm back now with ISS (YAY!) and you can read more about what's going on in my life ever since I left WA for half a year:

Today's blog post will concern my time with the Army ROTC at PLU. ROTC is the Reserve Officer Training Corps and in a nutshell, participants in the PLU Army ROTC are called cadets and cadets will commission in their graduation year as 2nd Lieutenants in the US Army. Before I joined ROTC, I was a PFC (Private First Class) with the Army and my job title was a Unit Supply Specialist. Now, I'm a cadet and when I attend my monthly drills/training with my Reserve unit, I shadow other officers and essentially act as a platoon leader.

I personally think that ROTC is a great program. I took the GRFD scholarship, which meant that my tuition and fees were paid for by the Army. PLU also offers free room and board to scholarship cadets so that's another benefit. I was also promoted from PFC (E-3) to Cadet (E-5) and being able to commission in 2018 is the icing on the cake. 

So, what do we do in ROTC? Well, since the goal is to commission as a 2LT (usually a platoon leader position) in the Army, we're training and learning necessary skills and tools that will help us succeed as future 2LTs. We've done Land Navigation, Operation Order briefs and write-ups, Basic Rifle Marksmanship, Field Exercises and almost daily physical training. 

Here are some pictures of things I've done at ROTC so far for the past 2 months. I'm enjoying myself back working with ISS, and also with ROTC and I hope you're doing great yourself! 

A glimpse into our PT(physical training) sessions! I'm the one directly in front in the black uniform and shoes.

My MSIII Class Photo for Halloween 2016! I was dressed up as The Scream.

We were fortunate enough to visit an Aviation National Guard unit on Fort Lewis and took this picture in front of a Chinook.

Obstacle Course Challenge at Fort Lewis on Oct 15th for Operation Lute Forge!

Marking our Shot Groups after firing 5 rounds from our M4s during a rifle qualification session!

Joel Goh