The Poetry Snapshot: Mom

To my best friend. My love. My mother. My rock.
Everything happened so fast, I’m still in shock.
You are the strongest person I will ever know.
Now I hold on to our memories, but they seem so long ago.

Playing Candy Crush at midnight,
Teaching me to drive,
Watching Rema dance at Ignite,
You kept telling us “Live, don’t simply be alive.”

You were always right,
but I still liked to argue.
You said, “everything will be alright,”
I miss your advice.

You always put others before you,
never thought about it twice.
Now I hope you are finally at peace,
In your own paradise.

“I have cancer,” you said as a fact,
Yet you didn’t shed a single tear, you stayed intact.
Through all the treatments, the chemo, and pill,
You still smiled and had such a strong will.

You sacrificed everything for us.
You worked hard for us.
You hid back your tears from us.
But you were taken away from us.

Your beautiful smile,
Your quirky laugh,
Your ambition and drive,
I will always look up to you in awe.

You taught me to be adventurous and wild,
You were always the cool mom.
You taught me to be gentle and kind,
Determined and focused,
You said, “happiness is just a state of mind.”

I cry, I wish, I hope
that this is just a dream.
Because you, Rema, and I, we were always a team.

Now I’ll carry on your legacy.
Fulfill all your wishes.
I know you’re guiding me from above,
So I’ll be ambitious.

You lived, you loved, you laughed.
This I hope you see.
The only question I have for you is,
Are you proud of me?

Mommy you are my entire world,
You are as precious as your black pearl.
Every day I miss you more.

Signed…Your Little Girl.

I wrote this poem almost 4 years ago. However, it resurfaced recently through a conversation. Over the course of the semester, I have been posting poems that have been reflective of the environment around me. It felt right to post this one right now as I’ve been finding moments that remind me of my mom.

The Poetry Snapshot: Community

To your left,
a man with a briefcase
and slicked back hair.

His face is motionless,
as though captured in a photograph.
He keeps his head tucked down
and is lost in regret.

To your right,
a mother with a small child,
crying for care.

The mother’s eyes blink in exhaustion,
but the child commands her full attention.
Still, the mother carries unconditional love and gratitude,
for finally being able to hold a child of her own.

Nashville, Tennessee

All of you cross the street
without acknowledging each other;
without realizing how different
your paths have been.

But somehow,
right now,
you all cross the street.
For the next ten seconds,
you will share your lives together.
And then,
you will never see them again.

What a magical effort of time,
to bring together people
in such small ways.

The Poetry Snapshot: Deep Waters

Loud voices, outspoken personalities.
The glimmering attraction of success all around us.

Seems as though there is only one
right path to take in this infinite world.
One right path for people to be impressed by me.

 Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

But is that what I want people to be?
Impressive should feel good, but it feels empty.
Impressive should foster change, but it falls short.

Impress. Inspire. Impressed. Inspired.
Ironic, how similar and interchangeably,
these words are used on the surface.

But how can people be inspired by someone
who follows the one set path to success.

How can people be inspired by someone
who stays in shallow waters and
does not explore uncontrollable waves.

I fall into the spotlight of success
and feel its withdrawals.
Impressive people fade away.
Inspiration leaves a legacy.

In the Eyes of an Architecture Student: The Importance of Photography

Hi Everyone!

I’m back again this week to discuss this week’s topic: the importance of photography!

Yes, photography, as in the term corresponding to the Webster definition: “the art or practice of taking and processing photographs.”

In architecture, as you may have inferred from all of my previous posts, representation is VERY important. Representation makes or breaks our works’ proposal, and that is kind of a very big deal, even within the stages of education before a job in “the real world.” In architecture school, representation refers to everything (all types of media) you use to “sell” your work to your professor(s), and this includes the exact words you use to talk about the project, how perfectly orthogonally pinned up your work, how nice and stable your constructed models(s) are, and how sharp or effective your photographs are.

Even outside of classes, powerful photographs serve arguably more importance than how well you preserved your hand-drafted drawing(s) or even your original model(s). I say arguably because, when we apply to jobs and internships, the employers are likely to only have access to your work virtually- which makes photographs EXTRA important because that is their ONLY window into your skills and personality as a designer! Yes, employers want to see perfection and thoughtfulness in your work in the portfolio, but they also appreciate the honesty of sharpness of quality of photos- it’s a sort of stunning thing to see, even if you did Photoshop some blemishes or glue-globs out!

Photographs not only serve to simply document you work to show to employers, but also function as a very effective way to remember your work and (potentially) locate your improvements within your work. Of course, the sharper and better your image, the larger the file, but I cannot stress what pain it is to have to go back to old files only to realize I did not document the stuff well enough, and now it’s too late because my models may or may not be rotting in my basement now, very obviously not photo-worthy quality. So, in other words, after you make a model or ANYTHING (if you don’t think it’s worth remembering right now in this moment) it is safest to just check out a nice camera (Nikon, Canon, etc) and deal with a million AMAZING photos now, than to just use your phone (even that cannot compare to a really good camera) and take a few subpar images, only to realize the quality degrades each time you uploaded it to different platforms. The ideal process is as follows: make the model(s), get a good camera, yes spend time and get all angles of the stuff you’re documenting, and upload it straight to google drive for initial storage. But, I’d recommend you go through and eliminate to the images you’re going to keep, Photoshop them to the best of your abilities (or satisfaction, I guess), and save as a Tiff or PNG (or PDF if that’s an option). Fair warning though, Tiff files can get pretty big and jam up your memory, so I recommend saving as a Tiff without layers, or PNG to save memory.

Good luck to you all, happy documenting!

If you have any questions or further insight, comment! I love hearing from you all 🙂

Have a fun and safe Thanksgiving holiday break, everyone!

Ciao for now 🙂

The Poetry Snapshot: change in AA

Summer green turns into
vibrant shades of autumn.

This transition happens,
whether I think about it or not.
Whether I want it to or not.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

One morning I notice
my morning walk to class is crisp.

A brisk breeze is hitting my face
and leaves on the ground are
being brushed past my feet
as I walk by freshly carved pumpkins.

I realize I should have worn more layers.
People around me are bundled up
in their scarves and winter boots.

Something about this change feels cozy,
and I cannot help but smile.

I appreciate the beauty of impermanence.
A seasonal love, in a sense.

What a shame it would be,
if summer lasted forever.


The Poetry Snapshot: standing is falling

A step in any direction could lead her down such different paths,
that sometimes it seems easier to stand still in comfort.
Never move forward so she can guarantee not taking the wrong step.

But what happens when she takes a wrong step?

Mailbox Peak, Washington

Is it that she has to
work harder to climb up?
She reaches a dead end
and has to back track?

If the right step brings her
to the top of a mountain,
every wrong step creates a
story of lessons learned
and memories earned.

Standing still only deprives her
of a beautiful view and a beautiful story.

So move, dance, run, leap,
but do not stand still.