#SundaySharings: Victoria Low

12640518_10153906157829104_4221894836427957728_o-1Meet Victoria Low, an UCSD Tzu Ching alumna who graduated with a Public Health major and Economics minor this June.

Victoria is currently back home in the Bay Area. Victoria is currently back home in the Bay Area, where she is currently pursuing a career path involving health and the development of people potential. In the future, she hopes to be in a position where she can fulfill her lifelong dream to own a dog and to be able to take her dog to work.

Though she is far from San Diego now, she has helped with curriculum planning and as an MC of the 2016 English Resource & Spiritual Retreat in San Dimas and supported the 2016 TCCA Leadership Conference. She plans to continue volunteering in the Bay and also does Chinese-English translation for Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s teachings with the Dharma as Water team in her spare time.

Let’s see what Victoria has to share about her experience with Tzu Chi and specifically with UCSD Tzu Ching. 🙂

“All of humanity is family so let us love each other without being partial to any.” 所謂 “落地皆兄弟”, 人類彼此互為親人, 應相互友愛, 不要有分別心.

I think this Jing Si Aphorism fits the overall mood over these years and why Tzu Chi is so important in the United States. Everyone in this world is part of the “one big family” of humanity, and we have more similarities than differences. Similarities don’t mean we’re all the same and have to get along with one another all the time. But we can have our own individuality and cultures without exclusion of others, and that is something that we, the humans of this earth, need to figure out before we destroy this earth and we destroy each other.

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2016 English Resource & Spiritual Retreat w/ Tzu Ching Alumni that showed up

Love is the answer, and no, it is not that simple. Change happens slowly, one person at a time. I think Tzu Chi has a lot of potential to spread love across this nation through action, and the US of A has a lot of potential for creating change as a nation and internationally. Although Tzu Chi was founded in Taiwan and many in the US have some kind of Asian background, we are accepting and welcoming of those of other backgrounds because that’s not what Tzu Chi is about. Tzu Chi is about compassion towards all, including those outside our own social groups, and those whom we disagree with. Tzu Chi is about gratitude, respect, and love towards everyone. We can all learn from one another, which is why Tzu Chi has been successful internationally and will be successful in the United States.

 

“A true leader leads with sincerity and hard work, not just with competence and skill alone.” “人要真誠苦幹, 才能領導別人, 而非光靠能幹”

I graduated from the University of California, San Diego this June of 2016 and was the only executive team officer from 2015-2016 that left San Diego this year. I have been a proud member of the Tzu Ching leadership for three years, and I have done my best to lead UCSD Tzu Ching during my time with sincerity and hard work. Last school year as co-president, we challenged our officer cabinet to take on more leadership responsibility in planning and leading events. I took it personally upon myself to leave a good foundation for the upcoming officer cabinet so that if I were not there, they would have all the resources they needed to move forward. During my time in Tzu Ching, I learned to be comfortable in a public speaking role, to ask for more responsibility, and how to manage multiple projects at once. The things that you learn from being on a leadership team is very applicable to the workplace, but what about Tzu Ching is so different that makes people want to stay?

That answer is something that I hope that the new officer cabinet is able to discover and put into tangible words and action for their membership and those who they serve. The answer lies in the roots of Tzu Ching’s parent organization and the teachings and principles and is something that they’ll have to figure out themselves.

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Graduation Gifts: Completing the circle of love that we started in Freshman year when we made Tzu Ching Bears for the graduates.

 

UCSD Tzu Ching is my original Tzu Chi family, so it has been difficult for me to be away from all the exciting things that are going on back in San Diego currently. Over my four years of involvement in Tzu Ching, I obviously have a lot of opinions and advice that I could give the new cabinet, but it’s also important for them to establish themselves and learn how to deal with the consequences of actions (explicit or implicit) that they decide to take. They have amazing Tzu Ching advisors and great alumni support (which I now have the honor of being part of), so I hope that the officers and members in UCSD Tzu Ching will feel comfortable asking questions and being active in their involvement. For me, the challenge lies in learning how to let go of all of this and not being there personally to see them grow.

13613326_10206744836080819_7580215464646969827_oThis is not new information, but my favorite event is Convalescent Home, and what I may actually miss the most are the lovely, wonderful, and sweet seniors and being there to talk and interact with them. I miss Tenshang SB and Peggy SG, our advisors in life, so much, but I know that I’ll see them and hopefully the others along this Tzu Chi path sometime.

— Victoria

 

If you want to read other sharings by Victoria, you can find her #MeetTheOfficers post here.

 

#SundaySharings: Tiffany Ho

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Tiffany Ho is another one of our UCSD Tzu Ching Alumni :). She finished her undergraduate career as a Human Biology major in 2016 and is currently working towards her Masters in Biology at UCSD. Tiffany was one of the two “Supreme Overlords” aka Co-President in the years 2015-2016 with Victoria Low.

Let’s hear what she has to say about her experience with UCSD Tzu Ching thus far :).

It’s crazy to think that four years of college past by just like that and now I am officially part of the alumni group. Even though some people may still ask if I am a freshman when they see me on campus, I have definitely grown and learned a lot during the past four years. Coming in as a freshman, I was very shy. With my parents and family an ocean away, I had no one to depend on and had to do everything by myself. It was at this point that I was determined to change and made a pact to myself that I would become a more confident person.

Tzu Ching has been a major part of my life at UCSD and has definitely contributed to the growth that I see in myself today. Since joining the club in freshmen year and attending my first fall orientation, I have stuck with this organization throughout my undergrad. This isn’t only because I enjoy hanging out with my friends (which is also true), but also because I enjoy doing the work that we do. My favorite event overall would be Everybody Reads. It was the first event I attended (besides orientation) and has remained the event that I regularly attend.

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Ms. Ho single-handedly managing a class of 8 kids back in the day.

It gives me great encouragement to see how far my kids have grown in the last four years. They started out as first graders barely knowing how to do basic arithmetic to being fifth graders this year doing fractions and multi digit multiplications. Even though this event requires the earliest meet up time (8am), I always manage to get out of bed because I know my students are waiting for me.

Having been part of the officer cabinet and on executive team my last year, I especially appreciated all the efforts that people put in to plan every event. Even though I learned that there are difficult times, the people that I worked with made these moments pass by with less stress. From speaking to strangers about what our organization is about to presenting at meetings, I feel that I have overcome some of my barriers. Even though I may not be the best speaker and still get nervous whenever I have to present, I learned through my experience as an officer of Tzu Ching that I am capable of doing so.

12711209_10153915920624104_6549917756145364693_oThere were way to many memories these four years to choose a particular favorite one. However, I would say that my senior year has to be the year that I will miss the most. Being co-president this past year was the highlight of my college career. I learned so much from being in this role and am very thankful that I had the opportunity. Besides the mental growth I had this past year, I also met and got to know many great friends through TC, which has enriched my senior year significantly. From the spontaneous meetings/gatherings at my apartment to the late night boba runs, all of these memories will forever be embedded within my heart.

— Tiffany Ho

If you want to read more, you can also find her #MeetTheOfficers sharing here.

#SundaySharings: Roger Chou

Roger Chou (one of our Public Relations Officers for the ’16-’17 school year) is back at it again with a reflection from his Tzu Chi-filled summer :).

This year Roger had the opportunity to be a camp staff for the  2016 Tzu Chi Summer Camp (慈濟美國加州遊學營) and attend the Tzu Ching Leadership Conference in San Jose. Let’s see what this compassionate fellow has to say about these two experiences below:

Tzu Chi Summer Camp 2016

p_20160714_154152_bf       The time that I spent in the summer camp was the most fantastic experience in my life. I met a group of hardworking and creative students that impressed me in many ways. I am really grateful for the opportunity to be a Tzu Ching staff of this camp. I had never be in the curriculum team before, so it was hard for me to imagine the amount of effort that need to be put in. I learned skills that were required as a staff in curriculum team, and also absorbed tremendous amounts of knowledge from the trips and the students.

Before the camp started, I always thought that only Peggy and I would influence them. I never thought about that they would teach me knowledge beyond what was taught in the book.

I strongly agree with that I broadened my knowledge and understanding toward the city that I live in: Los Angeles. It had been around six years that I resided in LA prior to my enrollment in UCSD. I studied each place we headed to before we went there, and I realized that how little that I knew about LA. I felt kind of embarrassing that I only knew a little about LA before these students came here, so I am grateful they created chances for me to really look deeply the history and story of each place.

I’m so delightful that later in the camp students felt that I am part of them. This feeling of unity is so great! 13920189_281663652202890_6714459602729822292_o

Tzu Chi Collegiate Association Leadership Conference (San Jose) 2016

The National TCCA in this year stunned me so much. I learned so much and met so many amazing people. Even though I only took a day of break after the end of TCSC, I still was able to focus throughout the TCCA conference. Two things that I learned and apprehended were the meanings of “virtue” and “afflictions”.

I never really thought about “virtue” in my past years. It was always vague to me in term of definition in my mind, but it is actually easy to comprehend after several lecturers explained it. I really like the ways that they tried to explain to me, because they were really interactive and interesting.13925922_10206931467258701_5135285924896813128_o

For the term “affliction”, we were not just try to figure out what are some afflictions that bother us each day, we also try to think of how can we eliminate afflictions. We split to different groups that each had its own category of affliction. My feelings were matched with the topic that I picked. Everyone shared his or her affliction related to the category, and rest of people shared their methods to eliminate that affliction. I felt my long-term affliction had been eliminated in some way.

I am really glad to see all other Tzu Ching bodies from across the country, and I’m looking forward for the next TCCA.

— Roger Chou

#SundaySharings: Christine Diao

Christine Diao is one of our many UCSD Tzu Ching Alumni. She graduated UCSD as a Psychology Major and minor in Linguistics in 2015. Christine was our lovely 2014-2015 President or better known as “Supreme Leader” in a loving and non-dictatorial way of course.

Let’s hear her reflection of her time with UCSD Tzu Ching :).

11415550_10203045277212820_5952837851336285568_o.jpgMy journey as as Tzu Ching began when I was a freshman at UCSD, but my story with Tzu Chi started before college. When I was in middle school, my mom became friends with a SG (our lovely Peggy SG!) who happened to be a teacher at an academic workshop that my sister and I regularly attended during the summer and school year. She introduced my family to TC and some of the events that were held at the Northridge service center. Some of the events were far away from where we lived, so we couldn’t attend all the time. Peggy SG eventually moved to San Diego, and there wasn’t a Tzu Shao chapter near my hometown, so naturally lost touch with TC. I didn’t think that I’d start volunteering with TC again until I started my undergraduate career at UCSD. When they heard that I would be moving to San Diego, Peggy SG and Tenshang SB encouraged me to join the TC chapter there; I was curious about what TC would be like in college, so I willingly agreed to try it out. Being the shy and awkward Christine that I was four years ago, I was nervous about the first orientation. I wasn’t sure what to expect, what kind of people I’d meet, or what I’d gain from my time there. However, it was such a fun experience to be at my first TC orientation! All the members and officers were so genuine and easy-going that I forgot about being nervous and just ended up enjoying my time there. I remember that an officer (shout-out to Sylvia!) approached me and my roommate right after we entered the event room, which made me feel very welcomed; I think that’s one of the many great things about TC: members are always trying to connect with new people in a very sincere way.

885059_10101473965233684_1954044584_oAs time went on, I got to know the members more and started to immerse myself in Tzu Chi culture and the many volunteer events that were held. Even when I hadn’t known the members and advisors for very long, they made me feel as if I were a part of their big family. It always felt like a big family gathering or reunion every time we saw each other. There were trips to San Dimas, dinner gatherings, and holiday parties along with the volunteer events. As I grew more attached to the chapter, I wanted to become an officer and contribute more by helping with event planning and overall advancement of the organization. I came into the organization wanting to volunteer and help others, but I learned much more than I expected I would. For example, I didn’t realize that I would learn so much about sign language, Tzu Chi’s international work, and the other chapters across the nation. My college experience would not have been as meaningful as it had been if it were not for Tzu Ching. It was a pleasure to have been able to serve others through our community service events and make a positive influence through our philosophies of compassion and great love. Before joining this organization, I would have never known how powerful one idea, one person, and one seed of love could create such great blessings. My time in Tzu Ching was definitely a unique opportunity for me to cultivate myself to become a better individual through Master Cheng Yen’s teachings as well as all the Tzu Chings and advisors.

 

10257976_365531226981212_7109216665027989535_oDuring my time as a Tzu Ching, I have met some of my closest friends; they were the people who celebrated the happy days with me, pulled me through some very difficult times, and accepted me even when I had made my fair share of mistakes. I feel as if I have learned something important from every volunteer, advisor, and aid recipient that I have met. Even though I may have not realized it at first, I believe that our interactions have led me to understand more on how we should treat other people as well as ourselves. As an undergraduate student, I often overworked myself and would not easily forgive myself for the mistakes I made, whether it’d be academic, interpersonal, or TC-related. My fellow Tzu Chings, advisors, and even my own parents saw this trait in me and encouraged me to focus on the better side of each situation. I realized that I shouldn’t be achieving perfection; rather, it is more important to focus on doing my best while keeping a clear view of my goals. I came to understand that I should reflect on how I can be grateful for the all situations that I encounter, even my mistakes. In addition, I realized that I too should be accepting of others’ mistakes and see them as learning opportunities to improve our bonds with each other and the organization as a whole. As I continue to incorporate these teachings into my life, I will always remember the people who led me to discover them. I am deeply grateful to have parents who supported my journey as a Tzu Ching and to have such dedicated Tzu Chings, alumni, and advisors with whom I can learn the Tzu Chi path.

 

Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read a little bit about my experiences with the organization! If you’re interested in joining TC, I recommend that you give it a try. You never know what great people and experiences you will encounter. 🙂

–Christine Diao

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(We) (Love) (Tzu) (Ching) (Bodhisattva)

#SundaySharings- Jonathan Tran

13923459_10206935469878764_6695620517429328532_oMeet Jonathan Tran, an UCSD Tzu Ching member that is majoring in Literature and has a strong interest in Education.

Jonathan joined us back in the 2015-2016 school year when he found that he enjoyed volunteering. He explored various volunteering opportunities and stumbled upon UCSD Tzu Ching. This loving fellow has an interest in K-Pop and you can probably find him dancing to various K-Pop choreographies from groups and artists such as BTS, EXO or even Psy! Not only does he dance, but he also has a musical talent of playing piano, which he consistently performs for the elderly at Convalescent Home. Jonathan is now currently a 3rd-year at UCSD and recently had the opportunity to attend the 2016 TCCA Leadership Conference this past summer.

Let’s see what Jonathan has to share about his experience at the 2016 TCCA Leadership Conference!

2016 TCCA Leadership Conference Reflection

When I think of the TCCA Leadership Conference now, I ask myself, “What did I learn?” In terms of raw knowledge, I didn’t learn a lot of new things. Most (or even all) of the teachings and guidelines were already familiar to me because I’ve encountered them before at some points in my life. But the review does help me keep the lessons fresh in my mind. Also, I did learn at least a few things from attending the conference.

14423867_1154677411244950_425876030_oI got to see for myself what Tzu Chi is all about. In my short time as a Tzu Ching member so far, I’ve been to several volunteering events. Yet volunteering itself is only one component of Tzu Chi’s mission. At the conference, I was able to participate in many activities such as Waking Up to Wisdom, for which we woke up early to start our day with Master’s teachings; formal lunch, during which we ate in silence to keep in mind the preciousness of each meal; and Secret Pusa, which encourages us to learn from the positive traits of people around us. All of these events reminded me to be more aware of our world, all the good in our world, and the potential in each of us to help our world grow. I tasted a sample of the mindful Tzu Chi lifestyle.

14203424_1154677541244937_1141039981_oI loved the atmosphere created by everybody at the conference. This was the first time I’ve been around so many friendly and caring people for nearly three whole days. I enjoyed learning from the unique stories and perspectives that were shared with me. For example, we had a workshop about how to reduce and eliminate afflictions, or things that trouble us. We shared our own afflictions and discussed possible solutions. I learned not only from the ideas my groupmates suggested for me but also from hearing about their afflictions and solutions. I could apply their examples to similar situations in my own life. I also liked hearing from older speakers who passionately talked about their backgrounds, their journeys, and more. Leon SG, a senior Tzu Chi member, joined my group during Sweet Sweet Family Time. Leon strongly admires Master Cheng Yen and has been sent on missions by Master herself. Leon shared a story that demonstrates Master’s wisdom. A foreign billionaire was moved by Tzu Chi’s efforts and wanted to make a very generous donation to the first Tzu Chi Hospital. But Master turned down the money. Many people were shocked by Master’s decision because Tzu Chi was struggling to raise funds for their hospital. The donation would have been more than enough to finish construction. Leon explained Master’s reasoning: Master believed that the best way to fund the Tzu Chi hospital is for Tzu Chi members to work together. They should build their own hospital through teamwork no matter how difficult the task would be.

Good company makes every event worthwhile, but I felt very refreshed and uplifted among all the positive people. Besides having to say goodbye too soon, the only sad part of my TCCA experience was having to choose between getting six hours of sleep each night and staying up late with friends to enjoy our limited time together. I had great company at the conference. Though it wasn’t a profound, life-changing experience, the conference did help me take a few small steps toward a better direction — a few small but unique steps that were made possible by meeting the wonderful TCCA staff and fellow attendees.

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#MeetTheOfficers: Roger Chou, Public Relations Team ’16-’17

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Meet Roger Chou, one of our officers on the public relations team.

Roger is a 2nd year Environmental Engineering major with a business minor. In his free time he likes to be active: playing basketball, badminton, or working out at the gym with friends. Roger also likes like to read and volunteer. When asked who his favorite person was, he answered that his favorite American person is Conan O’ Brian. Roger thinks Conan O’ Brian is very witty and funny. He is also another fellow dog lover.

I wanted to be a host on television show when I was little. Now, I want to be a environmental engineer.

roger2.jpgMy first impression of Tzu Chi was at recycling station at the San Dimas Tzu Chi Headquarters. Later, I joined Tzu Shao and have not stopped volunteering with TC ever since that day. I believe TC provides a platform for us to contribute to our society. My favorite aspect of TC is everyone is open-minded and respects each others belief and faith. My favorite UCSD Tzu Ching event is when we visit convalescent home. It is so nice to see each senior smile and interact with us every time we go there.

My position is public relations. I am responsible for event page set-up and inviting people to join. I decided to become an officer because I want to spread love and peace around the campus. I want more people to share their abilities to help those who need help. I hope to have more people to join us and tighten those bonds between our officers and members.

For the peace we wish for tomorrow, start working on it today.

 

#MeetTheOfficers: Yanchen Wang, Public Relations Team ’16-’17

12977008_496536123880721_5593529503311964438_oMeet Yanchen Wang, our Public Relations Team Lead for the ’16-’17 school year .

Yanchen is a 4th year Mathematics & Economics major. In his free time, you can find Yanchen cooking up delicious dishes or fulfilling his wanderlust through travel. If you asked him who his role model was, it’d have to be John Davison Rockefeller. This humble and kind fellow loves the color orange as well as cats. And if you haven’t already figured it out, Yanchen is very sociable and outgoing! It’s more than likely that if you reach out to him, he will be more than willing to hang out with your good company.

In the past I wanted to be a pilot or train driver, now I want to be a pilot.  If possible in the future, I would like to get a non-commercial aviation license and fly in the sky in my free time.

I was looking for a organization for volunteer activities and TC is the organization that I found. A little bit later after attending more events, I found out that when I spread my love, I am also being loved. Another reason is that this organization is not just volunteer org, but a family, a big and loving family. I stayed because as I said, TC is not just a volunteer org, but a big family I can trust.People in TC are just like my family members. My favorite event would have to be Everybody Reads because when I interact with kids, they are just like my mirrors. From them, I can see myself from when I was a kid.

12496496_480042975530036_407160468640184669_oThis year, I am the Public Relations team lead. My responsibilities include organizing social events for members and publishing event pages for all of the events that we, UCSD Tzu Ching, hold. I decided to become an officer because I want to be able to contribute more to TC and try my best to make TC even better. I hope to try and organize different social events, both formal and informal, to allow our members to become closer and let them see or hopefully contribute to make them feel the way I feel. That TC is not just a volunteer org, but one big family.

Do not fear making mistakes; fear only not correcting them.

No one is prefect. Everyone will make mistakes but as long as you correct them and learn from them, you will benefit from the mistakes and improve yourself.