Auditioning for the role of an adult


I’ve been working with college students and young adults for the past six years. Every year i get to work with new students who are incredibly creative, intelligent, compassionate, and the list goes on. It is a privilege to walk with these young students at such a pivotal and transitory time in their lives. One concept that i’ve been sharing with my students is, whether they know it or not, they are auditioning for the role of an adult.

Take for an example this upcoming winter break, i’ve been telling some of my students that when you go back home you have another chance to show/prove to your parents that you’re maturing, that you’ve grown up.

Many of my students have complained that when they do go home, especially for an extended time, they don’t like how they are treated like they are 16 years old all over again. My follow up question is always, But do you give them reason to treat you like a 16 year old? They usually respond with what do you mean? I ask again, when you go back home for break, do usually come home with a bag of laundry, throw it to your mom like she’s your maid, drop on the couch and take a nap, and when your mom has kindly made you dinner to eat with the family, you run off to go hang out with old high school friends instead. And on top of that you come home real late, way past 2 or 3 am. What are your poor parents suppose to do? You may have been studying and sleeping early every night in college, but they don’t know that, they just see your behavior when you are home, what are they to think? And how are they suppose to treat you when you show irresponsible teenage activities? Like poor communication (saying you’ll be home before midnight but coming home way later or not really pitching in around the house at all, just sleeping in until 1pm)

Going home should feel like home. After battling finals, sleeping 6 hours all week, one only has fumes left. We are grouchy, difficult to be with, and on top of that we probably smell pretty bad. What if we studied earlier, what if we slept a little more during finals week, what if when we got back home we’re not a hot pile of mess. But we’re ready to connect with our family members. Albeit for many college students, home is a difficult place, filled with broken promises, misunderstandings, unfair expectations, etc. But regardless you have grown, physically, academically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually too. Don’t miss it. You get to audition for the role of an adult. No more kids table behavior, time to man (or woman) up!

Do the dishes, just do it! Don’t ask if you should, just do it. If your parents have errands, volunteer yourself to go do the mundane stuff…if it’s really boring bring an old friend along to serve your family together. Over communicate with your family, and keep your word about simple things like coming back home on time after hanging out with friends. Actually choose not to go out with some buddies sometimes to actually be around the house. Stay a little longer, linger with family, even if its super awkward, you’ll never know what could come out of it. If we got up and left every time it was just a little weird or awkward, there’s not a chance for a family to grow and thrive together. This winter break, show your parents that you love them & tell them too. Be present with them. Be an adult. You’ll do great! By the time you’re done with college, you’ll have a body of work that your parents will only be that much more confidant you are ready for the real world.


Robin Van Hat-trick!

Robin Van Hat-trick!

Back in May i posted a Sad post, today i post a Joyous post! The season didn’t start the way we thought, but that is what happens when you have injuries. Today was beautiful! Watching United come from behind multiple times against a spirited Saint’s side was enthralling! RVP’s left foot was impeccable! Botched Penalty… no problem, comes back to score 2 more to take back the lead away from Old Trafford… already etching himself into United lore. I was super proud of old man Scholes putting on a clinic and reminding us all why he can still rock it at 37. Welcome to United Robin Van Persie!

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Mourning United

It’s been a little over 24 hours. It was Mother’s day and to celebrate it fully I had to partially deny the emotional free fall I was on.

But even after getting a relatively good night sleep… I can’t shake off ‘what could’ve been’

Manchester United “won” the title at three different times of the day, to have it poached away with 2 miraculously absurd injury time goals from City.

Yesterday, in my pettiness I was blaming Joey Barton for his lame but characteristic red card exit. But on the last game on survival Sunday, with relegation in the balance, how could he elbow, knee, and head butt 3 different players, and getting into fighting Mario, who was on the bench. This blows my mind! How can he be captain…the only Captain he is is Captain Volatile. Should change his career to hockey instead.

But in all honesty it’s not his fault. We left our destiny in the hands of QPR.

We must forge our own Destiny, we can never let this happen again. But Fergie has some good perspective:

“They are only young players, it was excellent for them. They’ve experienced what has happened today and they’ll be around in five, six, seven or ten years time for Manchester United. The experience is good for them, even if it is a bad one.”

– Sir Alex Ferguson




Healing always takes way too long. it’s boring, not very exciting or fun.

i’ve always had issues with my back. when i was 18 i had a slipped disc in my back. not fun at all. from countless, massages, adjustments, therapies, stretches, and exercises…i threw out my back again. This time it was the most painful and scary. I threw out my back 3 tuesdays ago, 3 days before i had to speak at a jr. high retreat in the mountains. on that wednesday, i was stretching my back by laying on the ground and my baby girl started to cry, she had woken up from her nap. it took me more than 5 min to figure out the right angle and way to get up without my back locking up or without passing out from sheer pain. that was the scary part, not being able to get to my daughter right away, good thing she just woke up from her nap and not anything serious.

so frustation is constant with pain, especially back pain, because it’s everything, sitting, standing, sleeping, it all sucks. there’s NO comfortable position, no breaks.

it’s been slow going, my back is getting better, as in no pain level black out but manageable amounts of pain, but just really sore back, still the frustration grows.

i’m learning to trust God. to sit in the silence. to not just scroll thru my phone mindlessly to ignore the pain, but to perhaps moving to embrace it just a little. one of my painful realization is that, i’m 31 now, i’ve been dealing w/ back pain and seeing specialist for more than 13 years. that’s a long time, this may always be a tension in my life. i’m going to continue to rehab, get healthier, work out. but dealing with healing and pain will be a life long thing.

to all in pain. hang in there. it’s gonna get better, not necessarily no more pain but it’s not going to define you. don’t let circumstances dictate your identity/reality.

Baby’s 1st month of life

My daughter came two and a half months early. She has been a bundle of Joy and a true gift to us. We love Abigail so much! The amount of love for her has been another level. Never knew this kind of love before. She brings us pure Joy.

We went to the NICU yesterday (day 33) and she is now out of the issolette/incubator! She is in a regular crib! That only means her timeline to come home is that much sooner! As of today she is a massive 3lbs 12oz.

Here’s a video I made for my wife’s baby shower, showing the journey of our 1st month so far.




New found respect

I have a profound new respect for nurses.

2 weeks ago, my wife and I went to the hospital for a check up for my then pregnant wife who was 30 weeks in. Still early but we had just found out our little baby girl had a heart issue and needed some close bi-weekly monitoring at the hospital. During the routine check up, my baby’s heart beat fell from a healthy 135 bpm to a low 55 bpm and then just was gone…

our nurse ran back into the room, hit the emergency button, 3 more nurses rushed in, they got an oxygen mask on my wife, our baby’s heartbeat climbed up to 155 bpm. we were in disbelief and denial at first, thinking they over-reacted, maybe it was an instrument dysfunction.

the nurse acted on what she sense was a pretty big red flag. we were sent to the labor and delivery floor for further testing. our 45 min appointment became a 3 hour-long thing. during the 2nd testing…our baby’s heartbeat fell twice. our doctor told us we weren’t going home that day, my wife was to stay for 48 hours.

we were both rattled but the doctor was saying it was all precautionary, an early labor may be possible but they would just be keeping an eye on us. the baby did better overnight as my wife was given IV fluids and the next morning the doctor said we may be able to go home tomorrow.

a few hours after that, our nurse ran in because she saw from her monitor station that our baby’s heartbeat fell twice! one of them was for a nine minute stretch! The nurse for this shift was actually a 32 week pregnant woman w/ twins, she was more pregnant than my wife, but her mother’s instinct kicked in, and because the doctor couldn’t make it back in time to make the call for the move to the OR, the pregnant nurse became a General and started rallying the other nurses with sharp and strong orders. within minutes my wife was on a gurney and flying down to the OR floor.

we were both in shock. my wife was actually shaking as she was not ready for this baby to come. it was an emergency C-section so I had to wait outside. within 20 minutes, someone came to get me saying “your baby is here, she’s crying strong!” I was so overjoyed I ran down the hallway towards my wife’s OR. the doctors and nurses were pushing a movable incubator for babies, I yelled out “whose baby is that?” they asked “what’s your last name” I replied “Park!”. “Congratulations! this is your daughter!”

She is beautiful!

because our daughter was a premature baby, she had to be transported to CHOC, they have a bigger NICU. As difficult as it was to part ways for our baby for a while, we knew so far she was healthy and mom had made it out of a life or death situation. We were so thankful and happy.

I have a new found respect for nurses. not only for the General w/ twins but also the countless nurses who helped and served my wife as she recovered from her emergency C-section surgery.

My hats off to the NICU nurses as well, who take such good care of my daughter. Little Abby is in the hands of these highly trained & highly compassionate nurses for the next 6-8 weeks. We see Abby everyday, and everyday we see the NICU nurses do their job of being primary care givers to our fragile baby and so many other precious babies.

Thank You Nurses for all that you do. The things that are not acknowledged. The unseen things that you do when our baby is sleeping. The countless checking on patients when they are resting/recovering/sleeping, assisting bathroom trips, changing bedding, cleaning bed pans, administering meds, knowing exactly what each patient needs, working 12+ hour shifts, working the night shifts. Thank You.

here’s a nurse taking care of little Abby 🙂

going back to my baby’s heart issue. it’s called coarctation of the aorta. we were told she needed surgery for sure at birth. we prayed and asked our friends, family, and church to pray as well, by God’s faithfulness her coarctation of the aorta is no more! it’s been ruled out! Thank you God for being faithful, healer, and loving Father.

my baby is now back to her birth weight of 2lbs and 9oz, she is a fighter and is breathing on her own as of day 2, eating as of 4 days ago. We can’t wait for her to come home.

EDIT: She is 2 weeks old today 🙂

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World Cup: Mini-posters

Not World Cup stickers.

But World Cup Mini-posters.

I guess Mini-posters doesn’t really sound manly…but it’s much better than stickers. I told my college students that when i was in 4th grade i collected world cup stickers… i heard myself say it and quickly restated as World Cup Mini-posters.

I grew up in Singapore, and when i was growing up Panini Sticker Books aka Mini-Poster Books were what was in. This was right before i got into Dragon Ball-Z cards. OOOH i still wish i had all my Dragon Ball Z cards. I’ll bring that up on another post in the future.

So back in 1990, yes 20 years ago when i was 9 i collected Panini mini-posters for Italia 90′
When i came back from Thailand 2 years ago, while cleaning up some old stuff at my parents place i found this:

man, i was so happy, brought back a flood of memories! It was perfect timing, as the 2010 world cup was coming up. Now…i guess it’s almost all over, but before world cup fever disappears in the USA, i wanted to share some of the football heroes that i remember from my childhood. To be honest, i didn’t really follow the world cup for reals until 1994 when it was here in the USA. At that time i was still in Singapore, my dad bought a brand new 27″ tv! it was a big screen to us at the time. For the world cup he spent big money on that fat tube TV!
My bro and I woke up early to watch Korea play. They tied with Spain 2-2, tied 0-0 w/ Bolivia, and then got CRUSHED by Germany 3-2…i remember Jürgen Klinsmann, now commentator, former coach, then star player. He scored 2 on Korea…but his 1st goal was especially sick… check it out


anyways now onto positive memories:

team argentina 90'

maradonna 90'

check out maradonna then

the 24 teams Italia 90'

Ruud Gullit

It’s Ruud with his OG hair


Oh man i don’t want to be Dunga right now, hopefully he doesn’t get hurt


Romario, pronounced Homario, according to my Brazilian friends. Man he was the MAN in 94′

Roberto Baggio

Man who can forget Baggio, even though he was so good, he really lost it at the end. Poor Baggio 😦

Man he BALLOOOOONS IT! Maybe it was the pressure…maybe it was his ponytail?

Now these were hard to get, rare Gold ones:

Gold mini-posters!

Gold mini-posters!!

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane, well my memory lane at least. I hope the game between Germany and Spain will not disappoint!

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