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Posts published in “Day: April 13, 2010”

Recalibrating

By Angie Liang

When you’re a kid, you dream of growing up. Turning 16 means you have control of your life, as long as you get access to four-wheels and a motor. Turning 18 means you no longer have to listen to anyone but yourself, although if you’re smart you’ll still listen to your parents sometimes. Turning 21 means, for most people, a real party. Personally I don’t drink, but it’s definitely rite of passage for others.

But somehow, when you graduate from college and start working, birthdays lose some of their meaning. Really, what happens at, say, 23?

As soon as we leave the school bubble, we really do have to grow up. So here I am, employed in my first job and facing the first dreaded milestone in my life: 25th birthday and the quarter-life crisis.

My generation grew up believing in ideals: Chase your dreams, follow your passions. These beliefs permeated our actions as we strove to be not only the genius, but also the dedicated athlete, volunteer, musician, etc. A well-rounded generation of dreamers and achievers.

Throughout my education I was well-versed in balancing homework, extracurricular activities, and a social life. I could work on a paper, study for a test, and still go out with friends. When it came time to leave college, I cheated the system and went to grad school. Two more years of the school bubble. Two more years to avoid reality.

Of course I did eventually make a decision. I’ve lived in New York for almost 6 months now, and my whole lifestyle has changed from the laidback Austinite to the fast-paced New Yorker. I’m working at a large public relations firm, and I like my job and my team. I like the city for all its sights and adventures, and I’ve made new friends.

Yet I still feel lost.

The quarter-life crisis exists because of this big transition in life. Every idealistic notion I had for the past 24 years was demolished with a diploma and a decision about my career. Many of us face the problem of balancing reality with passion. When we leave school, we have to start thinking about the future, which means we can’t spend all our money traveling the world, or else how will we ever afford our 2.2 kids and that house with the white picket fence?

Somehow the achiever is still achieving, but the dreamer is dwindling.

There is only one thing we can do: recalibrate. I am balancing new factors while slowly building new routines with my passions. Yes, a lot of it revolves around work, but it’s also some of what I enjoy, like exploring the culinary delights of the city, and becoming a mentor to teens.

What I’ve learned is that it’s okay not to know what you want or exactly where you’re going. Just try to have a vague idea of where you want to be, and slowly make your way to that general vicinity while trying everything along the way. You’ll figure out what you do and don’t like, and you’ll start dreaming again.

What I think I want changes constantly, but every day that passes I am learning more about where I want to be. 25 is here, and it’s not so bad. I’m looking forward to everything I will learn and experience as the years pass.

I’ll just have to keep that in mind when I approach the infamous 40.

Astros open Urban Youth Baseball Academy in Turner Park


Members of the Houson Astros, both past and present, and elected officials gathered with the community April 10 in Northeast Houston to officially open the Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy. The Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy, located at Sylvester Turner Park, 2800 W. Little York, in north Houston, opened with a special Grand Opening ceremony at 11 a.m.

The Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy is the second MLB Urban Youth Academy created and is modeled after the original facility established in Compton, CA.

The Astros Urban Youth Academy, which will provide baseball and softball instruction for boys and girls, features a show field with seating for 500 fans and dugouts and lights; one auxiliary field; two youth baseball/softball fields; 1,500 square feet of office space and other facilities. The Astros and MLB contributed a combined $600,000 toward the construction of the Academy.

Current Astros players attending were: Michael Bourn, Wandy Rodriguez, Jeff Keppinger, Tommy Manzella, J.R. Towles, Sammy Gervacio and Chris Johnson. They were joined by Astros alumni Enos Cabell, Jimmy Wynn, Larry Dierker, Ron Brand, Bob Bruce, Danny Coombs, Claude Raymond and Mike White.

Representing the Astros front office were Chairman and CEO Drayton McLane, President of Business Operations Pam Gardner, President of Baseball Operation Tal Smith, General Manager Ed Wade and Manager Brad Mills.

Elected officials attending were Houston Mayor Annise Parker, State Representative Sylvester Turner, U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee State Senator John Whitmire, State Representative Armando Walle.

McLane said the park was part of the organizations commitment to the communty. “We have two missions: to be a champion, and to make a positive difference in the community,” he said.

The Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy at Sylvester Turner Park will staff local high school, collegiate, current and former professional ballplayers to help run the different Major League-caliber training camps and clinics throughout the year. It will offer the free programs to a minimum of 2500 youths. Additional instructors, collegiate coaches, scouts, and certified athletic trainers will also work with young athletes at the Academy. The Academy will open its doors to all who want to participate from the houston area with enrollment open year-round.

New Ranchero King Buffet offers Texas home cooking


NORTHEAST HOUSTON – A complete buffet line of Mexican and American specialties is offered at the new Ranchero King Buffet on the North Freeway. The large restaurant is located on the feeder road at 5900 I-45 #135, North Freeway, between Tidwell and Parker, not far from the Gallery Furniture Store.

Owner Elias Duran runs the restaurant, with the help of a trained staff including his nephew David Santana, operations manager, Laura Pena, Marketing Director, and Chef Francisco.

Duran is a long time professional in the food service industry, with many years spent with Steak Country prior to this endeavor. His resume also includes experience with the Doneraki and Ninfa’s restaurants. Duran originally was raised in South Texas, in the Harlingen area, so he is quite familiar with that type of food.

The buffet tables at Ranchero King include all types of Texan and Mexican dishes, including steaks, ribs, and even some Southern and Italian favorites.

This story has been truncated for the web. For the full story, please see our print edition.

Former Smiley grad overcomes obstacles to become Truman Scholar


A young man from Northeast Houston, who knows the struggles of children who have both parents incarcerated, has been named a recipient of a prestigious award presented nationally.

Smiley High alumnus Devon Wade, is one of 60 winners of the nationally competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Wade is also the first African-American student to win the award.

The Truman Scholarship seeks to identify future leaders in public service, and provides funding for three years of graduate study in a field of the recipients’ choosing. In return, Truman Scholars must agree to work in a public service field for 3 of 7 years following completion of their degree.

Only two other LSU were among the finalists.

The other finalists are Reggie Galjour, Joel Raborn Wade majors in Sociology, with concentrations in Criminology and African & African-American Studies. He serves as a veteran representative and mentor for the organization No More Victims, Inc. (NMVI), which aids children of incarcerated parents.

Wade hopes to use his personal and academic experiences to expand public awareness of the struggles of these children, and further sociological understanding of the cycle that often leads these children to follow their parents into incarceration.

This year, 176 finalists from 122 colleges and universities were chosen from a pool of 576 applicants. Wade, Galjour, and Raborn are the only finalists selected from the state of Louisiana.

Wade continues what has become a remarkable tradition – the LSU Honors College has produced a Truman Scholar for five of the past seven years. The Honors College Office of Fellowship Advising was created to assist students in applying for prestigious post-graduate scholarships and fellowships, such as the Truman, Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, Mitchell, Soros and Goldwater awards.