July!

Hello Concord family!

I can’t believe July is already coming to an end! So much have happened in this short amount of time. My schedule has been really busy and time is not slowing any time soon. My brother got married recently and I got a job! It really took me a long time to find a job for the past few months, but sadly I will only be working until its time to go back to school in August. From that being said, I started a summer math program that will help me to not retake a class of mine that I didn’t earn credits in which I found really nice. Not that it will only help me for getting credits, but it will help me to improve on my math. What’s really nice about this program is that there are also no time limit or what so ever, but there is a deadline to when I have to finish on completing the assignments. So far it has been going well with little complications.

Just one more month and I’ll be a Sophomore in college! At the same time I am really excited, but also nervous. With the pandemic still around, it does make me question a lot of things and having concerns. I’m hoping the classes I registered for fall semester will go smoothly. I registered classes that were online and in person which are hybrid classes. I wonder how that will go this year and up coming year. Since my sister has graduated this year, I get to have a room to myself which I’m looking forward to because I have never got a room to myself in my entire life. Even with the pandemic, I will continue to explore of being a college student and have that experience still. Looking forward for Fall semester. 2020 and 2021!

With the time I have spent at home, I wrote a few poems and would love to share them. Poetry has been an escape for me from reality and cope with my feelings. I hope to become a great poetry writer and soon to put together a book.

With July coming to and end I hope that everyone spends it well and is continuing to stay safe and healthy. I will update you guys In August!

-Keng Thao

End of June!

Hello Concord family,

Like always, I hope everyone is doing alright and is taking good care. It has been a tough time for all of us, but we will pull through. ““Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” — Helen Keller. One of my favorite quote.

Just not long ago I finished my first year of college. Just less than two months, school will be starting again. I feel like time goes by so fast that my summer feels so short! I am really excited to go back to school, although there will be a few changes due to Covid-19. I miss all my friends and being able to be on campus again. I didn’t get to fully enjoy my first year experience as much as I did until the end, so I hope this upcoming Fall Semester will go well. During class registration I finally took a class that has nothing to do with my major or generals. I’m excited to that as well. Surprisingly when I checked my school email, I made it to the dean’s list. Which means an academic award or recognition.

With my Summer break I have been keeping myself busy doing my own things. Playing my guitar, cleaning, reading, and teaching myself new things by watching youtube videos. I am an active person, so I take walks around the pond that’s nearby my house. The view there is beautiful and it relaxes me. The weather has been bi polar the past few days. I noticed in my previous blogs I didn’t have photos uploaded at all, so I hope to take more pictures throughout my college years and share them.

Beautiful plants and flowers

With June coming to an end, I hope that everyone have a great rest of the month. I also hope to bring back more updates and pictures to show you guys! Until next time Concord Family,

-Keng Thao

Completing first year!

Hello Concord Family,

I hope everyone is doing okay and in good health. I can finally say I finished my first year in College! It has been a tough semester for all of us, especially after the Covid-19. My sister who is a year younger than mine has just also completed her Senior year of high school! I can say that my sister is smarter and much better than me when I was in high school. Proud of her and the accomplishments she achieved. I have made improvements on my grades since fall semester. I am proud and glad to see that I had more potential than I thought.

After completing with finals and school I have been home ever since. I am staying back at home until the Summer. Not a lot has happened since the day I came back from school. During quarantine time I had many zoom meetings with an advisor who helped me prepared for next fall and getting me started on class registration. Also I bought and downloaded this game called “Jackbox” which is a fun game to play with friends and families. It helped entertained myself and my siblings during quarantine times.

After months of being in quarantined, just after a few days an innocent black life was taken by four police officers. His name was George Floyd. Ever since the incident there has been many protests and riots happening the past few days. To put my opinions into this, I am upset and angry when it could have been avoided. I had to watch my City and people suffer. In times like this we should stand together and help each other. With the black lives matter out there I hope that we all can help and stand with them. I am disappointed in the law enforcement field and feel like nothing has changed since then. With things escalating and situations not getting any better, I hope that everyone takes good care and stay safe.

Until next time!

-Keng Thao

Right around the corner!

Hello Concord family!

I hope everyone is doing good during this pandemic. I am doing good and has been recovering from being sick as I mentioned in my previous post. I hope this pandemic end soon so I can have my normal college life back. I miss being outside and going on campus, especially that’s where I’m at the most. I have been getting a lot of support from peers, friends and families, so I’m glad I was able to pull through. Just a little on what I’ve been doing during quarantine is playing my guitar. My guitar is the only thing that help keep me company and entertain other than school work.

Looks like May is right around the corner! We are about to be in May. Time flies by quick! As final exams are coming up, I have been preparing myself in my three courses that I’m taking. In my last post, I mentioned about an event that was canceled for my Anthropology class. To do something without having to be in a big crowd, I chose to do a game stream where I spectate as a viewer or audience. What I do is watch the gamer play and take notes as an anthropologists would do. I’ve never done it before and it’s interesting. In my Literature class, I finished all my writing essays and now just a film review left before the semester end, also in my creative writing class, I have been writing fiction stories which isn’t my strongest skill, but I found it quite entertaining. Just a few days ago, I experienced zoom for the first time. I’m sure everyone knows what zoom is by now. Talking to my professor through virtually felt so weird because I’ve never called or been in a chat room before with other people. It was a great experience for me and I hope by next fall it won’t have to be online classes.

So far I have been doing online school work and taking care of myself. I’m excited for this semester to end and can’t wait for next fall to start strong and fresh again. I hope you all will take good care and staying healthy. Have a great last day of April! I’ll update in March!

-Keng Thao

April!

Hello Concord family,

I hope everyone is doing well and taking care of themselves. With the Covid-19 going on, it has been really tough and rough. Being home quarantined has not been easy for me, but I am adjusting to it. Since school campus and classes has been off limits, our courses has been moved to online schooling. At first it wasn’t easy because having access to resources can be hard for me and its harder to ask questions especially when I’m not one on one with a professor. Doing online classes for my English course has been the hardest. Other than that, I have been doing well on my classes and I hope it continues to go accordingly the way it is right now. Last two weeks of March, an event that I was to go was canceled due to the corona virus, and I was really frustrated. I prepared a lot for the event and it was for a class project that I chose to do also. Just this week April, another event was cancelled and if it wasn’t for the virus me and my group would be performing. We prepped a lot for the event, but having to understand the situation I am relief that it was cancelled.

Online classes we have discussions where Tuesdays we are required to participate on class engagement attendance, that way our professors can know who is actually following up on topics or not. I heard there is an app that professor uses called “Zoom”. So far I have not used it yet. Sadly that seniors this year, including my sister will not be walking on stage for graduation. I hope that having online classes can help me gain new experience, seeing it as a good thing and not bad.

Despite the Covid-19, there are good things with everything going on. Minneapolis Public schools are helping families with meals. The only bad news is that I have been sick for weeks and has been inside as much as I can. I hope I will overcome this sickness that I have been feeling. Nothing serious, but being sick is not great at all. I wish everyone safety and remembering to continue take good care. With the first week of online courses done, I will continue to update so stay tune!

-Keng Thao

Feb/March!

Hello Concord Family,

I hope everyone is doing well. I can’t imagine that it has already been a new month! Due to being sick I apologize for not updating for last month. I have a fever along with dry coughs and still in the process of recovering, but overall I am doing great so far. This semester is really going great for me and so is much happening, which I’m about to tell you.

This month there is an event called Midwest Asian American Student Union (MAASU). This event will be held at the University of Minnesota. (MAASU) is a conference for Asian Pacific Islanders students across the Midwest network and engage in workshops. I am glad to say that I will be participating along with other members from Mankato State University. I am excited and can’t wait to meet other people and learn more about each other. Not just having this opportunity to participate (MAASU), but I will be using this event for my Anthropology class. In my Anthropology course, I am required to do a community engagement project and I found that (MAASU) was the perfect chance for me! Killing two birds with two stones. I was worried I wouldn’t know what to do for my course, and luckily I have already registered for the event. There is just so many good news. Another good news so far this month is that I was elected to be a board member as a historian in Kinsmen! Kinsmen is a dance group here at (MNSU). As a group member, there is an up coming event that me and my team are preparing for. With so much going on, and exhausting myself out, I think everything will be worth it!

In class, I am doing better than last semester. My grades has been looking really well and I am starting to get used to the college life. Recently, in my creative writing class we have been working on a non fiction poetry unit. I find that writing a non fiction poetry was harder than fiction. As spring break is coming up, my assignment for the past few days is to work on writing my own poem for that unit and hopefully it will go well. In my literature class we have been reading short stories of crime fiction. It’s interesting that I have never really read fiction books, but ever since I have started taking this class my interests has been rising every time we read a new book. All I can say is, I am liking my courses.

I can’t believe spring is here and thankfully the weather has been getting a bit warmer. I wish all the snow melt quickly though, it’s like the weather is always bi polar. Well, with spring break coming up, I will be staying back in Mankato instead of going back home to visit my family. It has been awhile since I’ve been down to the cities.

To end on a good note, I hope everyone had a great last month. Take care everyone, and I will update soon, so stay tune!

-Keng Thao 🙂

Spring Semester! 2020!

Hello Concord Family!

How was everyone’s new year? Happy 2020! It has been a long and tiring year in 2019. With a new year I am striving to do well and better!

Spring semester has been going well! I am currently taking a lot of English courses and one online course, which is my first online class I ever took this year. Although it’s a lot of English courses, I enjoy learning and writing. One English course I really like the most is creative writing. In this class we write poems and do exercises in free writing to help our brain get going into writing without stopping. I like how in this class we are able to be creative in our own ways where there’s no right or wrong. Recently in my Online Anthropology course, we were given an assignment where we have to think and use our observation skills like anthropologists. At first, it was strange and weird that I had to go spectate and take notes on what other people are doing and report it, but I realized I can learn so much about how anthropologists do their work in ways that we as normal people can also do. I am very happy with the courses and hope to see where it will lead me.

Into our third week of Spring semester I am performing for an event hosted by Asian American Affairs (AAA). Our purpose of the dance that me and my team are performing, is to show diversity and entertain of course. Last week our AAA hosted an open kitchen in the Multicultural Center (MCC) where they served a Hmong/Lao tradition food called Khao Phiak. A food that is serve with cilantros, meat and thick, boil noodles. It can be made in different style and ways!

Other than school, I am going to Japan in the summer! I am going together with a group that I went to Seoul Korea and China 3 years ago. Along with new members that I still need to get to know. I am excited for the trip and I can’t wait to update when the time comes.

Until then Concord family, take care and stay tune for updates!

-Keng Thao

Winter Break!

Hello Concord family!

I hope everyone had a great Holiday the past week. I had such a great and wonderful time with my family. It’s been so long since my family we all have came together. It was the first time I have ever done secret Santa where we get a person and we have to give them a gift without them knowing who their secret Santa is. I struggled a lot trying to get a gift for the person I got. I’ve never done Christmas shopping before in my life and it was really difficult, but I had fun. I would totally do it again next year!

With December coming to an end, I am glad to say the semester is over. Thinking back to the first day of college to the end of fall semester, there is a lot to reflect. Even though I wasn’t feeling too proud of myself ending the semester with grades that I’m not happy with, I am proud of finishing strong and especially not giving up. I know I can do better and I doubted myself a lot during times when I know I’m right. For a goal that I keep to myself, I will start asking for help because asking for help has always been a hard thing for me. There were many procrastinations, and anxiety moments. Even with so much difficulty, the classes for fall semester that I really enjoy learning was communication and ethnics. I realized there is so much to history that we aren’t being taught at an early age and things that is still going on in 2019. Everything that I have learned I have used it in situations and outside of school. I think it’s amazing how I can pick up things that I’ve learned in school and make it useful. I am excited to what next semester has for me. I register for spring classes and I think I will enjoy them knowing that I am taking a lot of writing essays, and English courses.

Since the semester is done, I am on winter break! Being on break has been good so far. I feel like it has been so long since I’ve been back at home. Just a few days ago I went to picked up my mom at the airport. I was excited to see my mom back from her trip. During break I have done a lot of reflecting and trying to find a job before my break ends. So far I am in the process applying at Target. Other than that, babysitting my nephew and nieces is what I do. Being an uncle is not easy, but being with them and seeing how much they have grown is an amazing thing to witness.

With December coming to an end, stay warm, and stay safe. I wish everyone a happy month. Stay tune and until next time! I will be uploading a lot of photos so stay on the look out!

-Keng Thao

Goodbye November!

Hello Concord Family,

It has been a really stressful month. With final exams coming up, I am nervous and also excited because I am waiting for a new semester. I wish there were things I could’ve had done better, but I will continue to work hard.

So many amazing things happened this month, where we had our Hmong culture day here at Mankato. I never knew I would be dancing and singing on stage in front of hundreds of people who came to watch our and others performances. It was a successful event and I was glad that I got to be a part of it. I also celebrated my 19th birthday. On thanksgiving break I ate with my family and they sung happy birthday for me, and my sister had surprised me with a cake that she had baked! It was a delicious cake and it took her more than two hours to prepared it. With so Many things that are stressful, I am glad that I still have other things to keep me happy and not over think too much about school.

Although, I feel like I didn’t do well this semester I feel like its a way for me to learn my mistakes and know what I need to do for next semester so that I can improved. I am so glad I was able to push through and I finally did all the presentations in my communication class. I feel like I have learned a lot in that class this semester. I had done a group presentation where it was a last presentation for the class and we talked about intercultural communication.

Back to my previous blog post I talked about two of the classes that I struggled with was Math and Biology. I had the chance to drop any classes that I wasn’t doing well. I ended up pushing myself to continue taking Biology because I believe that I can do well and get a better score on my exam if study hard enough this time, therefore I didn’t dropped any classes and I’m hoping I will do better this time. Something I want to share about my Biology class is I enjoy learning the things we are being taught and its so interesting to see how much new things I am learning that was never taught to me before. A topic that we are learning right now in Biology is about human evolution and natural selection. At first it took me a really long time to really process my head through what we were learning, but now I was able to understand it. I have to admit, at first I didn’t like what we were learning at all, until we had a lab and did an experiment between identifying differences of skulls and animal evolution. My interest has build ups a lot this semester and I hope it will continue to push me into taking another class for next semester!

With everything being said, I hope everyone had an awesome month. Looking forward to Christmas! I will post photos more on my blogs, realizing I had not put any yet, so stay tune to what is to come! I am excited with new things coming next month and that is it for now.

Talk to you soon!

Keng Thao

October!

Hello Concord Family!

I hope everyone is doing well. Time is going by so fast that I can’t believe It’s really about to be over for first semester! It has been a stressful month with all midterm exams and preparing myself for Hmong culture day and final exams. Hmong culture day is an event that is coming up where I will be participating as a performer. Many weeks have gone by, and so far I can now say that I enjoy the classes I’m taking at Mankato. As an extrovert I am glad to say that I have made a lot of friends and getting to know more about my professors. I think having such a skill as advocating really helps, especially when I need to speak up for myself. Ever since the first day moving into college and where I am at now, I have learned so much of being a college student.

It has been such a busy month, turning papers, speeches and doing presentations. So far my exams has not been going to well and the results were not what I expected to be. Out of every exam I’ve taken so far is math. On a subject that has never been my favorite or skilled at, I am starting to enjoy learning math along the way. I wish I did better on math in high school, but I am learning and growing as I take steps to improvements. With exams, I also did a speech on Identity in one of my communication classes. It was a scary, yet fun experience to talk in front of my peers and not use any written notes that we did on our rough draft. Speaking from memorization, I find it as a great method. I think it was a really great that we did because it helps make it more meaningful coming from the top of our head and not focusing too much on what to say. For my next speech I am working on an advocacy speech. Hoping I will have less anxiety than the first one.

Aside from exams, I have great things that happened to me this month. I got to meet and know more about the Japanese culture at one of the events that was led by the Japanese International student association (JIA). There were so many great performances! In high school I took Japanese for four years, but coming here to Mankato there is no Japanese language, but I got the chance to have a tutor that teaches me Japanese! With great and bad things that has happened so far this semester I am having a great time. I am excited to what is to come still and will continue to work hard.

Well, Concord family, this has been an insight on how half of my semester has been. Stay tune and until next time.

Keng!

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