I’ve been in a really sucky mood lately. Like, serious “full-on bitch gear” sucky mood.
I’ve snapped at my parents on the phone for no reason at all. I’ve shoved my way through Asian grannies in the crowded bus. I’ve snarled at little bald babies resting luxuriantly in their shaded strollers, giving me that blank goo-goo stare.
Yes, I haven’t been a very nice girl at all.
A while ago, I listened to a podcast by Dr. Charles Stanley, in which he talks about the H.A.L.T principle: Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired.
H – Hungry
A – Angry
L – Lonely
T – Tired
He says that we are most susceptible to spiritual and emotional attacks under these four physical and emotional troubles, and I’ve discovered for myself how true this principle is.
For the last few days, I’ve been scrambling all around the city under the 90+ degree heat, a giant backpack digging into my shoulders and soaking up the sticky sweat from my back.
The backpack is heavy with my laptop and textbooks because I’ve realized that I concentrate best at the Starbucks at L.A. Live. Every minute during finals week is crucial, so I’ll do whatever it takes to get some work done. And since I’m out in the city anyway, I do my apartment hunting right after I churn out a few hours of work at Starbucks.
Probably not a very smart idea, but what else can I do without a car and a crappy public transportation?
So yeah. I’ve been incredibly Tired; I come back home and crash onto my bed, unable to move for an hour.
I’ve also been Hungry, because you lose your appetite while walking around in that intense, suffocating heat. And then you come back home, become paralyzed, and suddenly realize your stomach is eating you from the inside-out.
And then I’ve been Angry.
Usually, tired + hungry = enough reason to be angry. But mostly my anger has somehow been directed at the lack of affordable apartments in L.A. And then that anger transferred to anger at my parents’ mediocre income, then anger at myself for being an immature, ungrateful brat, and then anger back at my parents for making me feel guilty for being angry, and then…well, you get the idea. Lots of anger. Grrr.
So. I’ve been Tired. Hungry. Angry. No wonder I’ve been in such an ogre lately. At times like this, I don’t even have the energy or heart to pray and ask God for strength.
Thankfully, I haven’t been too Lonely. At least I’ve been sheltered from that one, thank goodness, because who knows what I would have done? Perhaps even throw pebbles at puppies!!? I know, right?
Dr. Stanley said that when you’re under the influence of one of these four influences (Hungry. Angry. Lonely. Tired), you should halt for real. Stop whatever we’re doing, because anything we do under any of these physical or emotional deficits can do no good in our life. After all, how many times have you screwed up saying or doing something inappropriate while you were hungry, angry, lonely or tired?
So I’m taking a break. Yes, it’s finals week and I have an argumentative research essay due next week that I haven’t even started yet. But I need to rest before I can even come up with a coherent sentence about Japanese history.
That doesn’t mean I’m giving up or slacking off. I’ve finished all my other final projects and papers. My last broadcast package is shot, scripted, edited and burned into a shiny new DVD.
But I’m learning the beauty and power of stopping (halting). A day or night of HALT can lead to a lot more days of productive work and energy.
So today, I’m going to fix my H.A.L.T deficiencies. I’m going to relax and have lunch out with a friend at a new downtown restaurant to feed my hunger and replenish my emotional and energy level. I’ll also take a moment to pray to deal with all the negativities inside me, because my spiritual level is kaput as well.
But I still have to give thanks and credit to God. I haven’t been too lovable to Him, but He’s always been loving to me. I may complain that I’m tired, but in the end He still gives me a bed to collapse into. I may complain that I’m hungry, but in the end I know there’s frozen dumplings and ice-cream waiting for me in the freezer. I may complain that I’m angry, but He sends the right message or people to me to appease my negativity.
For example, I have to give a shout-out to my buddy Jordan who is always smiling and cheerful. Her constant positivity is really inspiring, and it infects everyone around her. Because we are both Christians double-majoring in journalism and East Asian language and cultures and are in the same journalism class together, we’ve been hanging out a lot.
Just a few days ago, we invited another classmate, Kyle, and our two journalism professors out for brunch. We decided to go to Jacks N Joe.
I’ve written about Jacks N Joe before. Since I reviewed it for the Daily Trojan, Mark and Vianney Bednorz have received many other well-deserved features as well in the media. In fact, I think one of my journalism classmate is writing about them for his final project.
“But you’re our first,” they told me as we did some catching up.
Woo hoo! I was getting a bit jealous there.
So I’ve already introduced my broadcast professor Mike to you:
Sweet, awesome man. He was a little lad with suspenders during the time when Los Angeles used to have the best street car system in the nation. A huge difference from now, obviously. Sigh.
Now let me introduce to you my print professor, Lorenza Munoz:
See that intense look on her face? She is super intense. A fiercely passionate, opinionated woman who used to be a national champion swimmer. She then turned to journalism and covered all sorts of stories, including the “crazy, perverted people in Hollywood.” Love her.
I took a picture of Jordan too, but it came out dark and horrible because we were sitting directly next to sunlight. But Jordan decided to have fun with my camera and took a picture of Kyle:
And me (or the waiter’s butt behind me):
I learned a LOT of new things during our time together. For example, I learned that Jordan puts an ungodly amount of sugar into her coffee:
And then, when people (especially her mom) aren’t looking, she shakes a bit more in. I told you she’s adorable.
I learned that Kyle is super proud of his Filipino dark skin. When I offered him shade under my umbrella (we met along the road to Jacks N Joe), he refused because he wants to get “as dark as possible” to be more Filipino. I should learn a thing from him, since I’m constantly envious of pale skin.
I also learned that Professor Munoz danced with Prince Albert II of Monaco when she was younger. Holy shit. She could have had her chance at a royal wedding!
Another thing I learned: except for Kyle, my companions are petite eaters! None of them made a dent to their pancakes. The only two people to finish off our plates was me and Kyle.
Kyle got the WTF?! pancakes:
Kooky-shaped pancakes with sweetened cream cheese and berries.
Mike got buttermilk pancakes with bacon, to which he drizzled liberal amounts of syrup:
And Professor Munoz got the Tree Huggers:
Buckwheat pancakes with granola, fresh fruit and orange butter.
Jordan got Chloe’s Blues (blueberry pancakes) but I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t want to stick my camera lens across the tables in the middle of a conversation.
We talked, and I made Mike and Professor Munoz repeat why they thought we were the best class ever. No really, they said it. Out of their own mouths.
Kyle, Jordan and I were planning to treat them, but my two professors insisted they were paying since we were “poor college students.” We protested feebly, then let them pay up since, well, we are poor college students. I’ll treat them to a proper meal once I actually have a career.
And then, before I knew it, we were all hugging goodbye. *sob*.
They were my two toughest professors. Actually, a bunch of my other classmates were complaining because they’re such hard graders. One of them dropped journalism as a major (Gah, sad!). But despite that, I really learned a lot.
Not only did I learn practical journalistic techniques and skills, I’ve gained quite a bit of confidence and pride in myself as a journalist. I’ve still got so much to learn, but I’ve also learned that that’s what journalism is. You’re always, always learning something new, something different.
Any high schoolers deciding on college and majors out there? Come to USC. Be a journalism major. Take Mike and Professor Munoz’s classes. It won’t be a breeze, but by golly, I promise you it’s one heck of a ride.
Question of the Day: Halt!! Are you meeting any of the H.A.L.T right now? What are you gonna do about it?
Also, have you ever dined with your professor before? I highly recommend. Just pick a quiet, not-too-fancy place.