Putting An End to Human Trafficking

Ashton Kutcher on Human Trafficking

Ashton Kutcher co-founded the company Thorn, which aims to combat human trafficking using modern technology. On Feb. 15, Kutcher proposed four recommendations to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the issue of sexual exploitation. Read my full article on the link attached.

This is a personal project written and designed by Elizabeth Chan using Adobe InDesign for the layout, and Canva for the infographics.

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

Hotline:  1 (888) 373-7888 (24/7, 200+ languages)

SMS: Text “HELP” or “INFO” to 233733

Website: traffickingresourcecenter.org

K-11 Art Mall

While my family and I were staying in Hong Kong, we spent a lot of time shopping at K-11 Mall which was about a 5-minute walk from our hotel. The mall had multiple levels, tons of shops, and art everywhere!

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“Art is not what you see but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas
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“to Draw, you must close your eyes and sing” – Pablo Picasso

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Artificial Rock, made of aluminum. Piece by Zhan Wang. 
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Art, People, Nature.

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“An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t have” – Andy Warhol

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An Afternoon at Marietta Square

 

This past Sunday, Claire and I drove about 30 minutes away to Marietta Square – the main attraction in Marietta with tons of little shops, art galleries, cultural foods, and a Farmer’s Market!

I’ve only been to the county courthouse in the Square a few times to practice for Mock Trial tournaments but never really got a chance to explore the area completely. I noticed the cute shops lined up close together and the beautiful greenery in the Square. I also remember seeing a nice French cafe, an Australian pie bakery, and multiple ice cream shops. I was ready.

First, Claire and I strolled along the Square and came upon the Farmer’s Market. We saw so many delicious foods: French bakery treats, fresh-squeezed lemonade, lattes, etc. Right next to the outdoor stands, we heard the railroad sirens go off for about five minutes. It blared in our ears as we stood only a few yards away from the tracks. To be honest, I kind of liked it because it felt like a new environment, and I don’t hear it everyday.

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Marietta Farmer’s Market.

After a quick stop at the Farmer’s Market, we went to several little shops. We spent about an hour total just shopping for random things like mugs, wall decor, and jewelry. I’m in the process of redesigning my room, so it was the perfect opportunity to shop for wall decor and random nit bits.

However, I really struggled to find some meaningful quotes to hang on my walls. I searched mostly for quotes that didn’t just sound inspiring but ones that actually had substance. In the end, I found a short book with motivational quotes in it, which, I guess works too.

Then we sat outside for lunch at the Marietta Pizza Company. Claire and I shared some breadsticks covered in Parmesan, and it was so delicious – especially after walking outside in 95-degree weather.

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Breadsticks from Marietta Pizza Company.

I ordered a thin cheese slice, and Claire ordered a thick Vegi slice. When I say thin and thick, I mean it. Claire’s pizza was actually four times thicker than mine.

After lunch, we walked down the street, away from the Square, toward DuPre’s Antique Market. At first, I wasn’t too interested in shopping here simply because I was looking for inexpensive pieces to add to my room, not fancy furniture or decor for an entire home. But as I continued looking through the antique shop, I started to gather a collection of random items, and we ended up shopping there for about an hour.

Claire and I each bought a few vintage art prints for our rooms. I also bought a $7 newspaper with only two sheets, and before you freak out… It’s from February 1957, so I think it’s worth the money.

As we strolled along the Square, we found several alleyways and had some mini photoshoots!

Living with Social Anxiety

You know that feeling of anxiety before you’re about to speak in front of a large crowd of people? That feeling where your chest clumps up and your palms get sweaty as you continuously read over your lines? That’s what having social anxiety disorder feels like. Except not only do you get anxious directly beforehand, but sometimes months before. And for no major reason.

The anxious person that I am tells me to plan how things will go ahead of time. Sometimes it’s planning a conversation or just worrying about entering a room without embarrassing yourself. It may sound absurd, and I wouldn’t disagree, yet for a long time I couldn’t figure out how I could stop those feelings.

I noticed the interference of social anxiety in my life fairly quickly. I was afraid of walking down the hallways at school. How am I walking? Too slow? Too fast? Where should I put my hands? Do they look awkward on the side?

I also had to pause for awhile before entering a room full of people because I was afraid they would stare at me. I needed to prepare something to say or somewhere to sit once I entered to avoid awkwardness.

I couldn’t talk to people on the phone either. I feared that if I spoke in a certain tone, I would come off as rude or uninterested, so I avoided it.

I was worried to eat in front of people. I was scared that I would get judged for the way that I ate even if I chewed with my mouth closed and even if I didn’t slurp my soup. There was constantly a fear of a judgment invading my mind.

Often times, my mom would ask me if I wanted to go to the mall, and without a second thought, I said no. I was terrified of leaving the house. I was scared of running into people that I knew or simply embarrassing myself in front of others. I felt like I had to walk, talk, eat, and speak a certain way. When I thought about it realistically, even at the time, I knew it really wouldn’t matter. I knew it was unlikely that anyone would pay so much attention to me as to judge me, but I just feared not knowing. It’s like that tippy-toe feeling, just waiting for something to happen even if you doubt it ever will.

 
In my freshmen year of high school, it got worse. My math teacher randomly called on students in class to answer questions, and if they didn’t have the correct response, she would indirectly bully them – whether it was by eye-rolling or saying something along the lines of, “How do you not know this?” Honestly she never really ridiculed me as poorly as she did to some of the other students, but the possibility frightened me. I was originally in her 5th period class but asked to switch to 1st period in order to have the class earlier in the day and ‘get it over with.’ That made me a lot less anxious because I no longer anticipated going to her class as much. But this change in my schedule only temporarily solved the problem with this particular teacher. If I was put in a scenario similar to this in the future, I would be faced with the same challenge, and in this case, I was lucky to escape it. I have recognized that it is more important to overcome anxiety rather than avoid it. And I have been making steps towards recovery, but it’s a process that takes years of practice, and for me, therapy and medication.

Living with social anxiety disorder, as you can probably tell, isn’t easy. Clearly it affects every aspect of my life, social and non-social, and like most other mental illnesses, interferes with my daily life. But it is a tiny part of me. I have fully accepted the disorder that I have, but I aim my focus towards helping other people find confidence and encourage people to educate themselves about mental illnesses.

You can find this piece on the No Stigmas website here: http://nostigmas.org/blog/uncertainty?rq=social%20anxiety

Food-O-Rama

Grant Park

My mom took me and my older sister, Claire, to Grant Park in downtown Atlanta for the Food-O-Rama festival, and as expected, we ate a ton of food. When we first arrived, we made a loop around Grant Park to check out all of the food trucks before making any purchases, but after passing by a number of food trucks with grilled cheese, I had to buy some.

While my mom bought three lobster tacos, I went to buy some grilled cheese and chips, and Claire bought fish ‘n chips. Once all three of us met up again, we stood for awhile enjoying the warm afternoon and feeling grateful for the delicious foods before us. Then we strolled through the park some more and eventually landed near a line-up of cute indie booths. One of the shops had minerals of all colours, shapes, and sizes laid out; another had pieces of artwork designed on mugs and tote bags. But finally, Claire and I each purchased a lip balm from a booth called “Forest Things,” which was selling lip balms composed of organic plants handpicked around Georgia.

After digesting our lunches, we walked another loop around the park and bought some desserts, aside from my mom who went for some grilled cheese as well. Claire bought a crepe from Crepe Suzette, which in her words were, “Authentic. And just absolutely delicious.” I went for a cherry Italian Ice from Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice, and wow. It tasted like a mix between a sno cone and a sorbet. Unlike a sno cone, the cherry flavour was manufactured with shaved ice beforehand, making it ten times more enjoyable!