Shattering Season(s)

Since The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin’s use and significance of the word “shattering” in the trilogy has always intrigued me but I constantly felt that I was unable to coherently parse enough thoughts together to formulate a blog post about it. As I scrolled through the 101/431 tag on the (Im)Possibilities blog, it only made sense for Abby’s post to catch my eye with her introductory blurb focusing on the earth’s shatterings in Jemisin’s world.

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Literary Judge, Jury, and Executioner

From superhero comics to children shows like Danny Phantom, America’s science-fiction and entertainment industries have thrived on the idea of giving humans (or humanoids at least) supernatural powers for decades. This trope has enticed people for generations, probably because it gives its audience a chance to momentarily escape from their troubles or simply from the normality of reality. By becoming engrossed in a world that uses humans as its subjects/heroes, the audience has the opportunity to envision the fictional setting as an alternate universe in which (maybe in another life) they themselves could have had a chance to live in. Continue reading “Literary Judge, Jury, and Executioner”


During our small group discussion around N.K. Jemisin’s characters, Andrew pointed out how intriguing the stone eaters’ range of mobility is. Although the stone eaters struggle to go down a couple steps, they are also able to move through the earth in mere instances. As Jemisin’s writing does not leave any room for simple coincidence to act as rationale, the constantly overlooked mysteries behind the origin and functions of the stone eaters leave too many puzzles for me to not make my own theories. In order to better understand the stone eaters, I’ve started to speculate a little in the biology of the stone eaters or, as I’ve coined it, petrovorology. Continue reading “Petrovorology”

Fake News

If you’re from Dr. McCoy’s ENGL 101/431 class, go back to the time you didn’t know stone paper existed. Now imagine if someone on the street runs up to you Billy Eichner style and asks you to choose which one actually exists: stone paper or volcanic lightning. Which would you choose? Sike, it’s a trick question. Both are real and amazing! While the class easily accepted the existence of stone paper (probably because we had physical evidence), others may not be so receptive.

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Quality vs. Quantity

Jumping back to Emma’s post, she questions why is it so hard for society to believe the stories of victims of abuse. I related to how Emma felt as she read Zulus and how she questioned the legitimacy of Alice’s pregnancy. It could have been the science side of me but I also had a hard time understanding the certainty of Alice’s thoughts, to the point where I forgot the violent cause of her first pregnancy. Only after I reflected upon my own reading of Zulus (as prompted by Emma’s post), did I realize my mind horrifically blocked out Alice’s trauma. Unfortunately, I also realized that it is not the only moment in which I have done so. Continue reading “Quality vs. Quantity”

The Forbidden Thought

In dystopian works (especially those set in zombie apocalypses like Zone One), the idea of the “forbidden thought,” also known as giving up and committing suicide, is so deeply ingrained and common into the setting that it is often overlooked (or at least I know I have). This is usually due to the focus on a main set of heroic characters that fight tooth and nail against these blood-thirsty zombies. However, Colson Whitehead combats this familiar theme with his very own Mark Spitz. Continue reading “The Forbidden Thought”

United We Stand

As a child, my favorite response about where I came from was “It’s the melting pot of the world,” and I still stand by that phrase today. While my race is Chinese, I consider my ethnicity to be Chinese-American. The interrelationship between these two words is what defines the very core of my being because one cannot exist without the other. Throughout my life, the traditions and values from both my Chinese home and my American education have reflected and overlapped with each other to ultimately create one well-integrated upbringing. In combination with my constant exposure to other cultures, I grew up constantly finding the middle ground to any problem or situation. Contrary to the phrase “no man’s land,” there should be no uncertainty or fear for two cultures to meet, especially in the medical field. Continue reading “United We Stand”

My Happy Place

Just like many other undergraduates, my academic career did not go without some unexpected twists and turns. Despite the stereotypes surrounding Asian American parenting (which I must say, are often true), my parents never steered me towards any specific subject during my early and later childhoods. By leaving me with the impression that they completely trusted whatever decision I made, I have always set high expectations for myself in response to that trust. In doing so, I placed myself in my own self-constructed cycle of constant apprehension and satisfaction without any proper guidance, like a rickety hamster wheel.

Unfortunately, the huge imbalance between the secondary education and the college education systems in North America almost threw me off. Even with a specialized high school education from the city, I was not prepared to enter college as a pre-med Biology major. And yet, here I am in my junior year as a pre-med English Literature major with a Biology minor and the beginnings of feeling like I am on the right track. However, do not be mistaken that I regret entering SUNY Geneseo as a Biology major. In fact, I definitely would not have gotten here without the two subjects clashing together. Continue reading “My Happy Place”