Archive for May, 2011

March and April

May 9, 2011 - 5:14 pm 1 Comment

A friend reminded me to post in my journal – it’s certainly been a long while since my last update. Admittedly, compared to my frenzied student life over the last couple of years, professional working life seems rather halcyon. Monday through Friday settles into an unremarkable routine while the weekends offer a short reprieve in the form of a mild adventure in Manhattan (ie: museums, music shows, and walking in unfamiliar boroughs). As a matter of principle, I dislike routine greatly – each day, I long for a catalyst of change, and each day, I end disappointed. Sometimes I feel like the hapless farmer who waits for the rabbit to charge into a tree. I suspect that one day I’ll get sick of waiting.

Next weekend, my little sister is graduating from college, a gentle reminder that “we’re growing up” (surprisingly, my own graduation never struck the chord of moving on as much as hers)! Alas, I cherish my fond memories of visiting her at Virginia Tech, lounging around lazily all day, wandering the quaint town of Blacksburg, and eating surprisingly tasty food at the dining hall. As Grace is now on the cusp of PhD graduate studies in biomedical engineering, a new chapter of her life opens. I’m really proud – she’ll be the first Dr. Meng of the family.

I’m going to highlight some major events over the last two months:

Givology $10,000 for 10 Schools Event: Our NYC chapter really out-did all expectations in a terrific event at the Hudson Hotel. Hundreds of people attended, and we ended up exceeding our fundraising goals. Given the swanky contemporary venue, the event attracted a lot of new attendees!  Not only did we have press and media coverage of the event, but we also had many of our partners send their representatives, which made for interesting conversation.

Givology 60 Second Video Campaign: “How can one person change the world?”, “Why does education matter?” We asked six different thought-provoking questions to leaders in academia, business, and philanthropy.  For the last three weeks, we’ve been releasing a new 60 second video each day featuring inspiring changemakers in Philadelphia, New York, and Washington DC. As I’ve only recently discovered how powerful YouTube is as a medium, we’ve aggregated all the videos that we filmed here at the campaign headquarters:

Visit to Boston: I finally had a chance to visit my best friend in Boston! Not only did we tour the natural history museum at Harvard and visit her astoundingly souped-up chemistry lab (perfect for a sci fi movie!), I just had a terrific time hanging out with my dear friend from both high school and college. We even painted a cute squirrel with a fluorescent skeleton that shows under UV light…right up Lauren’s alley.

Mom’s Spring Break Visit: A perk of working for the school system is that my mom gets to take a week off for spring break to come and visit me! With my dad in Taiwan (see below), her visit to New York came at a very opportune time. We went to see an incredible Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Museum, enjoyed the cityscape of New York, and shared lots of tasty food together – a perfect mother-daughter weekend. I can’t wait for my mom’s summer break to start – then, she’ll be able to come and visit me more!

Cousin Freddy Gets Married in Taipei: My dad flew back to Taiwan for Freddy’s wedding – the first among my generation. From the e-mails that he sent us each day, my dad truly had a terrific time (almost made me anxious as I worried my dad would want to permanently stay!). Even though he’s not the “eldest” uncle, my dad still got his speech…figures :). 

Grandparents Visiting in Virginia: My mom has wanted her parents to come visit us for ages! With my dad flying back from Taiwan, it was a perfect time for him to help our grandparents make the wearisome 18-hour flight. As I’ll be taking Friday off from work to go Grace’s graduation at Virginia Tech, I’m really excited that our extended family will be reunited! Lots of Americans take for granted that they have extended family within reasonable travel distance – for me, having my grandparents visit is a truly special occasion – only happens at most once ever decade, if even that. We’re going to do lots of fun things together!