Author Archives:

Birthday Hat

My family and I spent the new years eve of 2007 to 2008 at Disney. Since it was such a memorable trip, we bought a happy birthday cake hat as a souvenir in one of the stores of the amusements parks.  We had yet no idea how much this hat would mean to us. On my dad’s birthday, I believe it was in the year of 2008, my mom made my dad wear the hat whilst we sang him happy birthday to him. It was seen as a joke and we thought we would only do it once but every birthday afterwards, the member of the family that was celebrating his or her birthday would wear the hat. It became our family tradition. For me, it is extremely meaningful, not only because it reminds me of our trip, but also because it is a tradition that grew with me. At some point I thought it was really silly that I had to wear a birthday hat while people sang happy birthday to me, but the tradition grew so strong within my family that it became a pleasure.

I believe that the initial idea was just to buy something to remind her of the family trip. To have an object that represents a time where all of the family was in a break having a good time together. However, it became part of a tradition because it was a birthday hat and her family thought it would be nice to celebrate the birthdays wearing the hat. It’s not something that represents a superstition, yet an idea of having a good time. At my house, we normally do the “kitchen party” as we call it. It’s kind of a surprise party (not anymore because everyone celebrating a birthday knows it’s going to happen) that happens in the kitchen as soon at the person celebrating the birthday gets home. It’s amusing and I think it’s healthy to have these jokes during birthday parties.

“yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.”

One of my favorite expressions is “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.” I remember my mom telling me this quote a few years ago and it really stuck with me. I think, we as people, me in particular, get caught up in things that have already happened to us. And I think this quote is important to just focus on the here and now cause time flies and in one moment it could all be over. And that’s why it says in the quote; today’s a gift and that why they call it present. And also tomorrow’s a mystery, we don’t know what’s going to happen. Sometimes we might get caught up in, you know, worrying about what might happen and what might not happen (pause). This quote just reminds me that it is important to treasure the time that we have in the moment with other people.

This quote, which could be seen as a proverb, shows how today is a blessing. It is yours to have at this very moment. You have control over your contemplations and your emotions. You are the only person who has the ability to relegate significance to your current conditions. Choose today what meaning you need to connect to occasions throughout your life. Try not to enable yourself to be oppressed to outsider implications forced on your from people around you. This is your gift. I believe it is important to not let you past influence your decision in a negative way. It should only bring benefits, because after all, the mistakes you’ve made in the past must serve as a lesson to you. Although I agree with the part that says tomorrow is a mystery, there are some implications towards the significance. It is in fact unknown but your current decision can have a huge impact on your future. The best way for a person to predict the future is by creating it; therefore, in my personal opinion, the future can be a mystery but it is in your hands to make it as foreseeable as possible.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

My saying is “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” I heard it most recently in my sports class. It’s actually a famous UCLA basketball coach who said it, and it’s really important to me because I think that preparation is very important in life. Mainly in sports, school, all around ethic. My dad also use to tell this in middle school and all throughout my life because it’s something that matters in any occasion. I take it really seriously and I really try to apply this to my life in every circumstance that I’m caught up.

I couldn’t agree more with this quote. I use it on a regular basis because it is the ultimate truth. If you don’t have a plan beforehand you won’t succeed. I have been in situations that I failed in achieving my goals and most of them were related to my preparation. I have heard this quote coming from Benjamin Franklin but I guess there are many adaptations of it. It is important to keep in mind that life has windows of opportunity that will allow you to succeed. Those windows might only appear once in a life time and it’s important to be ready. If someone has prepared correctly prior to the window of opportunity, one chance is enough for him or her to succeed. I’ll go back to the idea that skill isn’t everything and that preparation and dedication beats talent. Gavin is a very intelligent person and I believe that he taken this proverb to heart and applied it to his life too.

Shabbat Dinner

I have Shabbat dinner with my family every Friday night. This is a great tradition to have because you get to sit around the table and reflect on the past week as well as celebrate a religious holiday. I have been celebrating this religious holiday since I was in Pre School. We get to sit on the same seats and eat the same meals every Friday night. I believe this is important because it not only creates an incredible bond with all of your family not only in the sense of being together but also in a way that we all share our concerns and problems and get to hear from each other. We hear suggestions and apply them to our lives. It is meaningful to me because it really is a religious thing that we do every week and although I don’t consider myself to be e very religious person it helps with my well-being.

In my opinion having a family bond is always necessary. People normally grow up and with time are not as close to their family like they were before. Brendan says that he is not a very religious person but he still participates on these religious family dinners not only to celebrate the Jewish community but most importantly to have a time where the family can meet on a regular basis. I am catholic and although I believe in my faith I barely partake on religious practices. These dinners are meant to represent something bigger than religion and I think it is really important for people to have these family reunions, especially with such regularity. It is a time where they can share their experiences and ask for advice. I wish I had the opportunity to do that with more frequency.

“C’est en forgeant qu’on deviant forgeron”

Tej is a USC friend and my partner in the soccer team. I met him during orientation and he has become one of my best friends in college. He was born in Tunisia but lived the majority of his life in the United States. Here’s his proverb story:

The proverb is in French, my dad always uses to tell me this in though situations: “c’est en forgeant qu’on deviant forgeron.” It’s like if you work hard you’ll succeed, practice makes perfect. It’s meaningful because I know that with hard work I will get to where I want to be in life. Dedication will pay off. My dad always told me since I was little in Tunisia, and continues to tell me. So when I first moved to the U.S. when I was about 9 years old I didn’t speak any English. It was very hard for me and I was having a tough time with my classes and everything but my dad just told me to keep working hard. So that’s what I did and now my English is almost perfect, I have no accent. And I mean I go to USC so I guess it all worked out in the end. Yet, I still apply it to any work I do, even with soccer, which is a meaningful sport to me. The more I practice the better I will be in that sport and that’s how I helped my team to win the league championship in during my freshman year. Beating UCLA at their home field couldn’t get any better.

I couldn’t agree more with this quote. Although I didn’t understand what it meant before the explanation, hard work does pay off and practice makes perfect. In life, the more you practice, the better you become, no matter what field you choose to pursue. I have heard many people say that willingness beats skill. If someone is good at something but doesn’t put the work to succeed, the other person who might not have the skill but who works hard will be the one to prosper and achieve the goal. Coming from abroad I didn’t know how hard it would be to get into a highly selective university like USC and I think that my hard work made me achieve my dream of studying in the US. Also, I believe that coming from his father also encouraged him to work hard and to believe in this proverb because it is someone who you look up to and this makes it even more special.