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My Biography

Me with a new friend and her little sister, who Laura and I met on our spontaneous biking trip!

Hey there, People of the Internet =)!

My name is Robbieana Leung and I am currently a sophomore at Pepperdine University (that's me on the left in Vietnam, with beautiful locals that I met while biking in the Mekong Delta). I was born in Hawaii, but for most of my life have lived in Singapore and Hong Kong. Traveling the world with Semester at Sea has  not only given me amazing exposure to culture and life from around the world, but also  very interesting perspectives my own identity as an American Chinese. Hopefully my papers will give you a tiny taste of the world, but enough to excite and encourage you to be a world traveler!

At the beginning of the semester, Professor Koptiuch gave us an assignment called "Shoebox Stories." We had to pick three random objects and write about how they represent who we are. This piece explains a little more about who I am if you are bored. Or interested.

Shoebox Stories

Three things I hold in my hand, brought from home to here, are my world alarm clock, a mini coloring pencil box, and a Bible. To everyone else, they may seem like an arbitrary compilation, but it holds much insight to who I am and my life experiences. The function of my compact alarm clock is a mystery to those staring at its shiny silver exterior, and always results in bafflement. Even when I open it, people guess incorrectly, saying, “Nice phone!” How I wish I had a phone so small and sleek, but I am happy with the alarm clock nonetheless. Not only does it show me the time of the places I have lived in, which I call “kind of my home”, but it also is a calculator! Actually, its duality is not so impressive, as nothing turns me off as much as math. Yet, I appreciate its function, because nothing turns me on as much as shopping (just playing) - and a calculator is handy when shopping overseas and calculating exchange rates, and especially useful in preventing credit card damage! My alarm clock is well used - it takes the place of dad waking me up for classes while I am in California for school, and helps me keep track of the time and date while visiting family and friends in Hong Kong and Hawaii. These islands are the two places that are my “quick answer” to the question “where are you from?”

Born in Hawaii and as a Chinese, but having lived around the world and across cultures due to my parents’ jobs, “home” is a very complicated issue for me. The color pencils not only reflect my love for art and creativity, but also illustrate the colorful experiences I have encountered throughout my life. The different shades and hues, from black, blue, red to yellow, are reflection of the diversity I have seen while living in different continents, and takes a literal meaning as well. Despite clear cut labels, such “Chinese” or “Pacific Islander”, my identity on the inside is not as black and white.  I am a rainbow mutt!  My identities, whether ethnic or cultural, spreads over many different peoples, ideas and generations.  Regardless of these mixed feelings of who I am, one of the treasured certainties in my life is that I am a child of God. That’s the true core of who I am, despite my overlying identities. The simple-looking book that I carry with me is my most important source of consolation, affirmation, and hope. As I discover how to listen to the inner cries of my soul on my SAS journey, the Bible helps me to stay grounded in a higher Truth, providing me reason to allow my heart to be content with whatever I find or will not find.

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