Extra Reading 2
Express your emotion by writing
Revisiting bad experiences is usually not at the top of our list of favorite things to do. But processing these experiences is very important for our emotional health. One way to effectively deal with our experiences is to write down our thoughts. For example, last week my best friend and I had a huge fight. Instead of yelling at her and possibly ruining our friendship, I decided to write an angry letter to her in my journal. I wrote down everything that was on my mind, regardless of how mean and undeserved my words were. Since I knew my thoughts were safe in my journal, I didn't hold back. It gave me a great sense of relief. Later, we were able to calmly talk things over and make up.
Writing down our thoughts isn't limited to solving present situations. Taking the time to examine our emotions about the past is also beneficial. At first, it may feel like you are cleaning a wound that has been left open for far too long. It will probably hurt, but in the end it will heal. Once you have addressed the feelings that have kept the wound from healing, you will be on the road to recovery. No matter when these events happened, this afternoon or ten years ago, writing about them will help you move on with your life.
So what's the best way to write? You should write as honest as possible. Doing so will help you connect with yourself better. It is similar to looking at yourself in a mirror and realizing how your face actually looks to everyone else. Think about a past event that was highly emotional for you. Write about how it made you feel and if you would change anything about it. You can even try writing a new ending. How do you feel now?
Extra Reading 3
Cities all over the world face the problem of smog. It makes the air look dirty and damages the health of residents. To emphasize and address this problem in a new way, Dutch artist Dann Roosegaarde has designed and built what he calls the world's largest air purifier. It filters smog out of the air and uses it to make jewelry.
Roosegaarde's projects usually focus on transforming city life into something beautiful, and the Smog Free Tower is no different. It is not meant to be a fundamental solution to the smog problem, but to offer an experience of the potential smog-free life near the tower - a life that is still just a dream for people in crowded cities.
The Smog Free Tower is 7 meters tall and 3.5 meters across, and it works by ionizing air. Essentially, it takes in dirty air and changes its form using electricity. After the air changes, the smog is left in solid form as dust and clean air is pushed back out. Through this process the area around the tower can be filtered until it is up to 75 percent cleaner than the original air from that city.
To attract supporters and make smog more “real” by allowing people to hold and wear it, the project presses the collected dust into tiny cubes.
People who donate 50 or more can receive one of these cubes encased in glass. For donations of 250 or more, the project gives out smog cube rings or cufflinks. Each cube holds the amount of smog that comes from 2,000 cubic meters of air. According to Roosegaarde, in places which have serious smog problems, the Smog Free Tower will be able to make more than 3,500 cubes per day!
Extra Reading 4
Last winter, my best friend, Sang-min, and I took a 5-hour flight from Seoul to Nepal. When we stepped off the plane, we saw that we were surrounded by the snowcapped Himalaya Mountains. We were eager to hike up the mountain slopes, but we also had important work to do. We were going to help to fix the teeth of poor Neplalese children.
Just like other children all over the world, Nepalese children also need to keep their teeth clean and healthy. In Nepal, however, there are just 250 dentists for all 25 million people, so many children have dental problems.
Of course, Sang-min and I aren’t trained to be dentists, but we could help in other ways. For example, we organized the lines of patients, cleaned and prepared the dental equipment, and played with the children when they felt bored.
You might imagine that we worked in clean, bright dental offices, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, every few days, we had to trek for hours on the mountain paths to set up temporary clinics for the children who lived in the remote villages. Every night after work, our backs ached, and we dreamed of taking hot showers and sleeping in soft beds. Despite these challenges, we felt so rewarded seeing the smiles on the faces of the children we helped.
On our days off, we also got to enjoy some incredible activities and sights. In addition to trekking through the Himalayas, we also took a trip to Chitwan National Park. With the help of our guide, we hiked through the jungle on the lookout for wild animals, such as leopards and black rhinos.
Without a doubt, the trip to Nepal was an amazing experience. The beautiful scenery, friendly people, and delicious food are things that Sang-min and I will never forget.