I’m off to work!

Hey, it’s time to make some extra Benjamin!! (haha)

See you all later and even if you don’t see you, I wish you to have a happy Valentine’s Day!

pic: my_crews

Since when has my valentine been Mr. Franklin?

Vs.

It is the Valentine’s Day, and I know that it is the day of love. People share chocolates to whom they love and they usually go out for nice dinner to celebrate this day. Good for you those who have your valentines… I can’t wait to see those pathetic souls in facebook later today complaining how they ended up being singles and tried to be cool about it.

Okay. I am a long-time single male in his early 20s who have never spent a penny for my valentine on the Valentine’s Day for at least 5 years. Well, I made it sounded like I am a little cheap person. But as an experienced waiter who worked in 7 different restaurants over 5 years of my waiting career, the Valentine’s Day is probably the most profitable day in a year.

Obviously, I am also working tonight in my restaurant in Collegetown. And I can’t wait to get in there and serve couples with my best ability to sell as much food and wine as possible. And I think for the past 5 years, I always saw Benjamin Franklin’s face at the end of the day.

Just in case you come in for regular Tuesday 30% off deal, sorry that we don’t offer that deal for today. :(

 

Reminiscent of the last summer being a DREAM activist

Do you know what a roly-poly toy is? It’s a toy that rights up itself when it is pushed over. Its bottom looks like a hemisphere and it has the center of mass below the center of gravity so whenever it is pushed over, it wobbles and always find equilibrium upright position.

Um… yes I am an engineering student.

But let’s put the mechanism aside and really think about what it symbolizes. In Korea, people say someone is like roly-poly toy when one never gives up no matter how many time he or she failed to do something.

The DREAM Act is like a roly-poly toy. The Congress failed to pass the bill so many times since 2001 when it was first introduced, but it is still looking for another chance to move forward.

Back in June, DREAM activists successfully moved the DREAM Act forward one more time. It was the first-ever Senate Hearing for the DREAM Act. I still remember that day vividly, and in fact I blogged about it right after I got off.

Here is what I have wrote on my blog back in June.

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The day has come. Senator Durbin, a long time champion of the DREAM Act, arranged the first-ever Senate hearing for the DREAM Act. I struggled to sleep last night.

To be a part of this historic hearing, I traveled from New Jersey to DC. From Union Station, I made my way to the Hart Senate Office Building, where the hearing was held, to meet our AAPI contingent, which included representation from National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), OCA, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT). My heart was beating fast.

The long halls of the second floor were filled with students and supporters who came from all over the country. The spirit and courage of Dreamers didn’t die in the last Congressional session. I could feel the passion of students yearning to see the passage of the DREAM Act. As the line shifted forward, we realized that we were heading to the overflow room with live broadcasting of the hearing. With a capacity of 250 people, the main hearing room filled immediately and more than 150 people filled the overflow room.

The hearing started with an opening statement from Senator Durbin who narrated stories of DREAM students present in the hearing room and emphasized the urgency for passing the DREAM Act. The participation of Secretary of the Department of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano as witnesses attested to the huge support for this movement. They prepared great statements and answered questions professionally. Some critics of the bill blamed the federal government for not leading action early enough. Well, guess what? We are trying to work on it right now, before it gets even later. Let’s not be haunted by the past and look toward America’s future.

The second group of witnesses refreshingly surprised me. First, the testimony of a young, bright student name Ola Kaso from Michigan was very emotional for me in that it reminded me of when I was her age, just exiting my high school years. Ola, who was an excellent student in high school and plans on attending the University of Michigan this fall, was recently facing a  deportation order. It reminded me of the situation that I and all DREAMers have faced, and are facing right now. Members of Congress need to acknowledge the urgency and cooperate with each other.

The second witness, Lieutenant Colonel Margaret Stock, was also full of surprises for me. Personally, I have read many articles and quotes of hers on the DREAM Act and the presence of young undocumented immigrants in the military. I’ve even sent a personal email to her about my situation (though I never got reply back) and admired her for what she has done for immigrant families and her thoughts on the role of the military, especially for those young undocumented immigrants who want to serve the country that they love. Mrs. Stock shared a great deal of her expertise and experience in her testimony for the DREAM Act.

Students gather in the hundreds to be a part of the first Senate hearing on the DREAM Act.

At the end of the day, I think it was a really emotional hearing for me and the DREAMers that attended. Let’s not deny the fact that a lot of our supporters were disappointed with the Republican filibuster in the Senate during the last Congressional session. Today blew wind into the sails of hope and courage of the DREAM movement and started to build momentum for engaging this Congress in our campaign. DREAMers have been working to get moving on their dreams for more than 10 years now. We tried harder and harder and we never gave up, and it’s now time to make the real change for those who want to make difference as Americans and contributing to the country and society they know as home.