Christmas as first time perceived

It’s been a year. I still remember the night I wrote down these words.

Many things have changed since then, except the fact that, I am still that seventeen girl, who hates fervently, and who loves wholeheartedly.

Bellowing Stars

This Christmas I visited my hometown Cathedral that I had never been but always yearned for.

I remembered being driven to school on Mom’s motorbike, waiting every time to come across “the Cathedral of the Alley” ( how I called it myself ) just to say “Hello” to it though never knew exactly what’s happening inside. I sometimes whispered to it, secretly, all the secrets concurrently rambling through my head. And I did speak to it while desperately piling on the belief of having someone from above patiently listen to the subtle susurrations from my heart. Yes, it did become a part of my childhood, but also this part-of-my-childhood I never dared to come.

It has been nearly a year since they finished refurbishing the Cathedral. Before that, it took two and a haft year for them to take down the building, my building, and reconstruct it. My…

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Humans of MSU (Part 4)

There are some peculiar occasions that lead you to those peculiar human beings with one-of-a-kind experiences, who would then let you see the colours that you never knew existed.

You would never want to mess with these girls (especially Nina)
Mess with Morgan (but don’t tell her that I told you that)

I met my Frisbee girls without knowing that I would go with them this far.

I received Katie’s email, saying that their frisbee’s practice was going to take place in the band fields. So I asked Sarah and Alyssa: “Let’s go and play frisbee with these girls, it sounds fun” (I still didn’t know what Frisbee was when I said that). So we went together to the band fields. As soon as Sarah saw these girls, she said: Are you sure they are playing for fun? And I was like:

I am sure it is just a practice

Eventually, only I stayed. That’s my first practice with the Frisbee team. Our team names “Bearly Fucking Legal” (by Morgan I suppose). Strangely, I am proud of this name as much as I love my frisbee girls. Since then we always have practice on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Soon I started developing the habit of doing my homework in the afternoon instead of taking a nap so that I wouldn’t have to skip any practice. (I still skipped some but they were never because of my homework)

To say about these girls, I would describe them as a unique fusion of spraying colours. They were those girls who would genuinely care about each and every member in our team and would support us no matter what, how, and when. When I was with them, I felt belonging. Every tournament with them was a learning experience for me. Our team has extraordinary players, each of them has a different strength.

Morgan and Katie are our captains. Whenever I skipped a practice, I would think about Morgan, start to feel a little bit guilty, then skip a practice. When I needed to ask something about the rules but too afraid to ask Morgan, I would go to Katie. She would never go mad at me, instead, she would explain everything to me. Morgan was a strict mom, Katie on the contrary, was an easy dad.

And there was Peyton!

Peyton is very interesting.

I suggest you go talk to her yourself.

Humans of MSU (Part 3)

Hi, I am Linh. I come from Vietnam

And that’s how I introduced myself to the new people, who then became friends of mine. Guess what? They are not just friends. They are someone you would cry with, fight with, laugh through several nights, danced with, brought you home with them, did the groceries weekly, and went on a two-day tournament in another state

Friends. Who are we without friends?

Sarah – I could write a 15-page essay about her.

Sarah, if you are reading these words, you should know that I am speechless. I hardly go speechless. But YOU. YOU!

You are so beautiful that I went speechless whenever I looked into your blue eyes. You are so kind that I went speechless whenever I was about to moan like a fat-ass cat. You are so smart that I could never lie in front of you. You are so talented that I subconsciously looked at you as a big sister (sometimes a Mom). I am speechless because I know I would cry like someone’ s going to die if tomorrow you are not here in our dorm room. I went speechless because who else would give me a blanket for Christmas. Only you, because only you know what I really need.

I could have managed myself without you. I could have lived well with another roommate. Eventually, I would find a way out with or without you. But it would not and would never be the same because it was not you.

Can’t believe we even imitated the animals’ sounds in the dark.

“I like me better when I am with you”

What should I say about Lyz? She was the first one dancing with me in our dorm room. She confused me with her spoken words, but never once I doubted her sincerity and caring side. She was the only one who made me worried constantly. She said she was strong, but she went hurting herself occasionally without realizing it, and hurting other people’s feelings without meaning to. She was also the first one who bought me a hot cup of milk. She is truly a beautiful image of the most fragile red rose bearing the sharpest thorns.

A girl like Lyz was the reason why people wrote down that song

I love you, I hate you

Hallie, can I have another dessert?

Hallie is so quiet. I am the noisiest in our suite, Hallie is the most silent one.

But when you need some real advice, or simply when you are so desperate because your crush just told you that he had already had a girlfriend, you go straight to Hallie. At least that was what I did. She would listen to me, and I would ask her how she could manage a long distance relationship as it would be impossible for me to be far away from my loved one. “I would miss him every single day, and I would cry like crazy” – I told her.

Finally, how possibly could a girl like me end up in the same suite with such beautiful girls, inside and outside?

Humans of MSU (Part 2)

My GEP teacher asked us to write a letter to the students coming to MSU next year, so I wrote them these words…

Be kind, be generous, be honest

Kim was my GEP teacher. At the end of every class, I would stay for a while just to talk to her, to tell her about what was going on in my life, which always ended with Kim’s exclamation: Oh, you are so hilarious Linh

Yes. Yes I am

Guess what, I am one of those exceptional weirdos who would tell you that they love every single class they went to on the first semester of College. But if you ask me which one I would miss going to, without hesitation, I would say: Definitely my Geology Lab class.

There I found the pure joy of learning, and I learned while playing. I had two extraordinary instructors. I found minerals and rocks as pretty as diamonds and authentic Switchland chocolate bars. There, someone was willing to help me overcome my fear of maps, who told me “don’t worry, I wasn’t the best at maps; still, I am here teaching you guys”. In my Geology lab class, I know I would never be alone, never have to be afraid to ask about something I don’t know. There, I was excited about every single test and quiz, and I knew that I would do my best, and got a better and better grade every time. There, for the first time, I got 103 out 100 in my Map test. “I would miss you and Derek a lot. Like, a lot.”

“But next semester you would do something bigger, right?”

And there was also my Public Speaking teacher who was so passionate and thoughtful, my CIS teacher who gave me practical advice on the Final project and picking up classes for the next semester, my Geology lecture teacher who reminded me of my beloved High school Math teacher, and Oana -my Math instructor- who I believe should be awarded the Dedication prize for her timely assistance with the Wiley Homework. Believe me, Wiley is as mad as the hatter-it drives you crazy.

Humans of MSU (Part 1)

Last night I could not sleep

I could not sleep because I was thinking

I was thinking about you.

It is the end of the first semester in college of an 18-year-old girl

who loves to dance and sing

who is eager to find her own ways in life

who loves and hates fervently

who left home four months ago

and now has come back

on this Christmas Day with her family

still she could not sleep

because she was thinking

she was thinking about you

Humans of Missouri State.

To me, Micaela is a very special friend even though we no longer talk (that much) any more as we are both busy with our own schedules. I did not exaggerate when I said I could not imagine my first day in MSU without her. She was more than willing to go the extra miles to help me with all the procedures, she drove me to the malls and helped me prepare for school. She helped me reach out to the right person when I needed an answer. I felt sorry as I could not go to see her more regularly. She is one of those that I own both a “thank you” and an apology.

John and Neosha were my Grandparents here, in Springfield..

I met John and Neosha through a friend. I was eating in the Dining hall by myself and that friend of mine was eating right across me with John and Neosha. I was about to leave when he called my name, so I came and had a sit. As we talked, I was overwhelmed with emotions that I thought I had forgotten. I realized how I missed my family, my grandparents, my mom, my dad,… John taught me the very first American lesson about the False Modesty. “If you are good at something, why try to deny it?” – he said.

This is our RA

Ian is a good RA. He likes talking to people and helping people. He is a role model for anyone wanting to apply for the RA position. Thanks to Ian, I got used to the college life faster and easier.

1,2,3, I can’t count your laughter.

It was a sunny Friday, and I bet you can’t have found anything more beautiful than that. I bet.

It was the second time I volunteered in the Child Development Center. I never question the name, though I think I should, because it is no more than a place where certified grown-ups take care of the children while the children’s parents go to work, which makes “Kindergarten” a perfectly suitable name for the building. But all the small things make a huge difference, and significant differences are created by silent things.

I have seen, been in touch, played, talked to many 4 to 5-year-old Vietnamese Children, I have visited many Kindergarten, and the experiences with the kid always remind me of my past childhood. Nevertheless, nowhere was quite like the Child Development Center. I was amazed, worried and amused when I saw kids holding hands with their “buddies,” in a row silently following their teachers, trying their best to put on their jackets and shocks themselves, calmly heading to the playground as their faces lightened up with excitement. Can you believe that? One and another, each of them brought me from this surprise to another surprise, endlessly; the more time I spent with them, the more I felt like I could be one of them – to be a child again, without much to think about.

And the boy laid down on the grass, his eyes gazed at the blue sky. Free, and undisturbed.

With two racks, girls picking up a small mountain of fallen leaves on the ground. Yellow, Orange, Red, Light. They combined, and they mingled, and they shone like nothing else. I would never forget a single detail about the children. Brown, Purple, Green, Ground. I was happier than with anybody else. Blue, Tan, White, Sky. I was counting the rainbow in their eyes and hearing millions of bells ringing through their laughter.

And then my little Batman told me that I am wearing his favourite colour. Something changed when he said that. I remembered him having been distant to me, and when I asked if he missed me, he insisted on not knowing who I was. I told him if he still kept the Hulk mask I made with him last Friday, and he said it was too tight to wear. I managed to stop before actually asking him: “Did you throw it away?”. But here he was, saying that I am wearing his favourite colour. Not “What a cute jacket!”, neither it was “It looks good on you”, but still, how remarkable it was, the exclamation.

When I was there swinging the children around in my hands, letting them put me in their “Baby’s jail,” pretending like I was a bad guy trying to catch those stealing my cage’s keys, for a moment, I thought to myself: You are a real bad girl, Linh.

A selfish girl.

A girl was so lonely that she started to seek the warmth and serenity in the innocent children. A girl wishing she could have had more when she was still a kid. A girl kept telling the child that she adored their pink jacket, their rosy bow because those make them look like princesses, just because no one ever said to her that way. A girl still remembered when she had her very first doll. A girl kept looking for the most silent boy in the class to make sure he had found his jacket and put it on before going outside.

Put on your jacket, find your friends, drink water, eat your healthy snack, go to sleep, wash your hands,… Studying abroad have taught me one thing, and that thing is to love myself. First and foremost.


Today is a sunny Sunday, and it is so beautiful that I bet you cannot find anything more beautiful than that.

Candle and Flower.

Many good songs came out during the fall break. There was one that was not published recently but caught my attention.

Nến và Hoa

Em chỉ cần nếm mùi tiền là quên hết muộn phiền

Thế nên anh làm em sao xuyến

Một lời em nói trong đêm mang tới mây đen

Vùi lấp đi cho em mất tầm nhìn

Vậy thì cần gì

Nến và Hoa

Vì em cũng chỉ đến rồi xa…

Vậy thì cần gì

Nến và Hoa

Khi chính em là một món quà.

What I like the most about this song is that it left me with so many thoughts after such good laughter. I was dancing, high on my emotions when suddenly I realised what the single was singing about. Seductive melody and appealing vocal, the content is all about materialistic love.

 Nến và Hoa –

– Candle and Flower

Another song was HongKong1.

I was baffled, puzzled, confounded, curious, nostalgic, and amused. To be honest, to explain the lyrics of this beautifully intricate Vietnamese song (or any other songs listed here) in Vietnamese, for me, would be beyond my capability.

Em bước sang ngang đợi chờ chờ một điều diệu kỳ

Như lúc ban đầu

Và giờ em khóc thì cũng chẳng để làm gì

Đâu phải cho anh chuyện tình mình mà là vì

Nước mắt em rơi, dòng lệ tràn đầy cầu kì

Vì em vì em

Why would you cry, baby?

Your tears, are they really falling for us?

Tears falling from your diamond eyes precious like sapphire

 spackle like gold

Spackle like gold

Wild and free, all I need on a desperate Sunday afternoon.

Như lời đồn

A song is good because 

you want to hear your heart louder

and louder…

And your soul doesn’t have to whisper anymore.