A few of the things in life that make me happy

I’ve been having a pretty shitty day, so instead of doing the things I usually do when I have a shitty day, I’m trying something new. Here’s a list of some of the things that make me happy in life.

  1. The sound and aroma of grinding coffee beans
  2. Puppies
  3. Smiling/laughing babies and children
  4. Playing my violin by myself or with other people
  5. Watching some bad (or good?) comedy or rom-com TV show or movie
  6. A friend who surprises me by doing something unexpected for me
  7. Talking about Rochester
  8. Singing loudly and obnoxiously with someone, sometimes in public
  9. A perfectly made latte with even microfoam and espresso shots that haven’t sat longer than 6 seconds
  10. The smile of someone (a patient, an old lady, etc.) that I’ve helped, even just a little bit
  11. Hummus
  12. My mother’s cooking
  13. Cuddling
  14. People’s satisfaction from something I cooked for them
  15. Hugs. Not just any hugs, though – good hugs
  16. Waking up and finding notifications on my Facebook with hilarious links or comments
  17. Learning something new and useless
  18. Clear sunsets
  19. How my skin feels right after I shave
  20. An unexpected but welcome phone call

Photo from Maniera

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I Want To Take Off My Hijab (Reblog from Thought Catalog)

Author’s note: I have followed Thought Catalog for a couple of years now, and this is the first time such a poignant article on Islam (that I’ve found) has made it through the editors. I have fixed most of the grammar and spelling errors and inserted a few explanatory links, but I leave this girl’s message intact. Any anti-Islam comments will be removed. Here is the source link. Cover photo from NBC

It has taken me a long time to write this. It is very personal, difficult, sensitive, and extremely controversial.

Sitting here, typing this, I am still not sure whether I can, in fact, put it all into words that, in some little way, express how I feel and why.

But enough with the preamble – let’s just get into the heart of the matter:
I am a Muslim and i want to take off my hijab. there. I’ve said it.

I remember the day I wore it. I was thirteen. My best friend and I had been talking about wearing hijab for a while because everyone’s been doing it. Duh. It was the coolest new thing. We decided we would soon. It was in Ramadan; after iftar, I went to her place so that we could go to our aunt’s wedding. She dressed up and put on a hijab. I decided to do it then and there. I borrowed a hijab from her mom. With both of us wearing it, we went to the wedding hand-in-hand, extremely proud of ourselves.

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Online test for my master’s thesis

Dear readers,

I am in the early stages of testing for the online component of my master’s dissertation. Before I send this out to large mailing lists, I want to make sure that all the programming in place works properly.

Disclaimer: You do NOT have to have absolute/perfect pitch, and/or synesthesia of any sort to take this test. If you do it’s a bonus, but the point is to get as many people as possible to take it!

If you have approximately 20-30 minutes to spare, have interest in absolute/perfect pitch and tone-color synesthesia, and are able to take a test that uses sound, please help me (and science) out! Here is the link:

http://psy770.gold.ac.uk/apsyn

Thank you so much!

A reintroduction

As you may have noticed, I have changed the title of my blog from The Wondrous World of Guang Yi’s Mind to Classically Caffeinated Compositions. Why, you may ask? First and foremost, I thought that the first title was boring. When I first created this blog, I needed a title, and that was one of the first titles that came into my brain – it was easy to remember, and it was somewhat descriptive of the theme I wanted going behind the blog. Now, almost a year has passed since I wrote my first introductory post, I wanted a new name that was catchy, more descriptive, reflective of the majority of the content that I write here, and very me.

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Warm-up/Preparatory Rituals

I find that there is something wonderfully peaceful and magical about watching someone prepare to do something, whether it is before a soccer player takes the field, a ballerina takes to the floor, a musician begins to practice, or a painter puts his or her brush to the canvas. There is almost a palpable anticipation for what comes after the warm-ups or preparations are complete because just from watching them, you know that you are in for a treat; they have had years to refine and hone not only their skill or art, but to practice their preparatory rituals as well.

Before I unpack, I put my case down and stretch – right shoulder, then left, flex and hold my right wrist for a forearm stretch, then the left. Bend and hold fingers on the right hand, do the same for the left. Shake it out, then open the case. Violin out, attach shoulder rest, remove bow from case and tighten before applying rosin. G major scale, 3 octaves, 2 notes per bow. Then 3, then 4, then 6, then 8. Then arpeggios. What comes after depends on my mood, but these parts are always the same.

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The infinite millisecond

Sitting on a train, you lock eyes with the most attractive person you’ve seen all week, perhaps ever. The eye contact is unintentional, and you want to look away, but you can’t. Possibilities flash through your head: candlelit dinners, walks on the beach, marriage, children, living in old age, dying in the same bed within minutes of each other. Then, one of you looks away. Less than a second has elapsed, yet you feel like you’ve lived your entire life in that moment, and that you’ve been looking into those eyes for years and years.

You walk onto the scene of an emergency. There may be one patient, or there may be three – it doesn’t matter because you’re there and you’re in charge. With enough adrenaline going through your blood, you feel your pulse and respiration rate go up: not so much that you start acting like a retard (read Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink for more on this), but enough that you’re thinking quickly and clearly. You assess the situation; you make quick decisions and run several scenarios for every patient; you create care plans for every patient and backup plans for in case they get worse. All of this happens in a span of two eye-blinks but you have everything planned out between initiating contact and handing the patient(s) over to the charge nurse at the ER.

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