Saturday, December 28, 2013

On Travelling

I don't want to call myself a "jet-setter" but I have always been flying off to somewhere or going to a long drive to a distant city and there are some things that I have come to a realization with. These are just my own thoughts and I haven't really researched anything for facts or anything of the sort.

1) It's always better to travel with a friend/special someone - I am the type of person that will never go explore a city unless I have someone with me. I always have to have things planned out and organized. I have always been a "home-body" so there has to be that extra motivation to go and explore. There is also safety in numbers when travelling to an unknown city. It's also good to have a second person to actually decide on what to do or to problem solve - like figuring out how to take the metro or locate a point of interest. Sure there's always the GPS but sometimes the GPS likes to take you to the wrong places or at least mislead you in some way. Be careful with who you tag along with you though because although travelling together with someone is a way to bond and form special memories it could also tarnish relationships, especially when adrenaline and patience runs low when you're lost and driving/walking around for hours.

2) Bringing a smartphone and purchasing a data plan - My beloved Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has saved me several times and Google Maps is definitely a must. I purchased a sim card from Roam Mobility when I travelled to the states because I saved at least $200 on my roaming bill and I only paid $50 for 2 GB data and unlimited call/text anywhere in the US/Canada while in the states. Although a friend also mentioned purchasing a Sprint sim card and it only costs $3 for unlimited call/text/data. Having a phone with you is like having your own personal tour guide and you can always book hotels, cars, etc online.

3) If reliable public transportation is available then don't rent a car - Well I learned this one the hard way. I drove around New York City and the drive was a nightmare, finding parking was close to impossible, plus I scratched my rental car. Although it is convenient to have your own car, it would be cheaper plus your sanity would be intact if you just let other people take care of the driving. 

4) There is no place like home - I have loved the cities that I have been to and enjoyed the company of the people I travelled with. There will always be something that another city would have that my beloved Deadmonton wouldn't, but there are just some things that another city can't provide. Going to a different city and seeing the different lifestyles (both lavish and also the lifestyle with great inconvenience) made me appreciate my home. I may have to deal with freezing weather and huge piles of snow but I am comfortable and happy with where I live.

In my travels I have met different types of people. Some of them I met just by coincidence but have become good friends. I am surprised by the great generosity of people, the kindness, and the warmth that they would show to travellers and it gives me hope for humanity once again.

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Image from hunafaatravel.com

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Privilege



A recent poster campaign by MacEwan University's U-SOLVE (University Students Offering Leadership for Violence Elimination) has sparked controversy with the student body. White, male, straight, able-bodied individuals cry foul as it felt like an attack on their being. "It isn't their fault, they were born that way" as Lady Gaga would say.

Peggy McIntosh's White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack illustrates what white privilege is. Although people are saying that there is something called the "minority privilege" as well. 

As a member of the minority, I believe that it is good to be aware of our privileges and to make sure to use our privilege to help others but a message that segregates other individuals based on their race, sex, gender, and physical attributes is counter-productive.

I love Canada and how multi-cultural it is. However, I believe that everyone of us have a tendency to be racist, except we don't say it out loud for fear of being labeled "racist". Attacks on white people, saying they have everything they have because they are white is wrong. Although studies have shown that just being white will make you healthier than compared to coloured counterparts with the same annual income.

My point is, there is no point trying to bash groups or individuals in an effort to make an awareness that there is inequality in our society. Arguing the white privilege versus the minority privilege is pointless. There will always be inequality. There will always be someone that is smarter than us, more fit than us, more attractive than us, more wealthy than us, more people who have it better than us. We can't always cry out foul and scream "inequality". 

As a member of a minority, all I can do is work my ass off to become the person I want to be without holding a grudge on other people who has it better than me. Even I have some privilege, I am from a middle income family who lives in a first world country. Should I feel bad for my fortune because there are people living in poverty in war-stricken countries? It is not my fault that I am in this position, but I am able to be in a position to help others.

But then again, you have to help in a way to make other people independent. You can't just give people hand-offs, they have to work for it. Providing people money to buy necessities is a short-term fix. Instead, we should invest in businesses to provide these individuals with jobs so that they can have a life. 

Having some privileges is not something to be ashamed off, it's something to be proud of.




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Image taken from ninapaley.com
This is just my opinion

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Visit By My Daddy

It was a night shift during my preceptorship when my Daddy visited me in my dreams. I was on my break, sleeping peacefully, obviously in lala land when I started dreaming about my dad. There he was, driving us somewhere in a Mercedez GLK with missing front tires. Despite the odd combination of a luxury SUV and the missing tires, it was life as usual. It was a good dream as it felt like he was just there, just like any other normal day.

I don't know if dreams do have meaning, but any dream that has my dad in it and my family as a whole is welcomed. It was devastating how he died and we were left unprepared, dazed, and in shock. When he passed away, it was just like a terrible nightmare because it just felt so unreal. But unlike my wonderful dream of my dad driving my family and I in that Benz, there was no waking up from hearing the doctor say that they did their best and that he has passed away.

I sometimes blame myself for his death for being incompetent at being a nurse as I failed to recognize the signs of an anaphylactic reaction when it was just right in front of my eyes. But how could I expect to know that things would end that way when my dad was never allergic to anything?

It was a tragic night and a mind blowing reminder that life altering events could happen anytime.

If I must identify the silver lining to this story, I would have to say that this event in my life has made me more bolder and less hesitant in making choices in my life. I could die at any moment so I choose to do things that will make me happy. They may not be the best choices in the long term, but these are the choices that I have made so that I won't lay on my death bed saying, "I should have done that...".


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

4 Factors To Consider Before Becoming A Sperm Donor

Donating sperm is an important decision. There are several reasons a male might decide to donate sperm.  Perhaps you need extra money or know someone who is having trouble becoming pregnant. Whatever your reasons may be, it is important to consider all aspects of this decision before your donation.  This article will discuss four factors to consider before becoming a sperm donor.  Read below to educate yourself on the process and what you should think about and prepare for before you decide to donate your sperm.

Anonymity

You need to determine if you are going to donate your sperm anonymously, or not.  When deciding this, ask yourself if you are prepared to be the biological father of a child or children who might want to meet you one day.  That could be the case if you decide not to donate anonymously.  If you do decide to remain anonymous, ask yourself that question in another way. Are you ready to be the father of a child or children whom you will never meet?  Are you okay with knowing that there will be children who will never know their biological father? There are emotional factors to consider if you have not already.  While there is not right or wrong answer to these questions, you need to decide what your personal opinions and beliefs are based on the questions.  Be sure you have really considered what you are doing before you follow through with your donation.

Long Term Effects

As stated above, regardless of whether or not you decide to donate anonymously or not, there could be long term emotional effects that you have not considered.  Also, if you are donating your sperm to someone you know who is having difficulty becoming pregnant, consider the effects it might have on your relationship down the road? Does this person expect you to play a role as a parent? Will they change their mind down the road? Would you like to play a major parenting role in the child’s life?  Be sure you speak honestly and openly with the individual for whom you are donating, and consider drawing up a legal agreement to protect your rights.

Prepare for testing

Before donating sperm, you will be required to receive a number of health related tests to insure you are free from any diseases or health issues.  An extensive background check and health check will be conducted, as the person receiving your donation will want to know as much information as possible about the sperm they are receiving. Are you prepared or such tests? Do you have the time and are you will to put in the effort and be %100 honest on the questionnaires? Remember that you are creating a life that can be affected by any health issues you might have and it is important for the child and the parents to know the father’s health history.

Do your research

When you make the decision to donate sperm, be sure to do your research on the clinic you decide to use.  Research reviews and insure the clinic is up to code and a healthy place to donate.  Insure their equipment and facilities are sterile, and the legalities are in order.  Your health and personal protection are important.

About the Author

Tess Young is a writer for a health blog. She suggests finding more information on how to become a sperm donor at California Cryobank.


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