Visiting the Hsi Lai Temple

In January I got the chance to visit the Hsi Lai Temple just outside of LA. I wasn’t sure what to expect to be honest, I had been to a few Buddhist temples before but never one this big! The people at the temple were preparing for Lunar New Year which meant lots of decorations and flower lanterns everywhere (I mean.. EVERYWHERE).

The people inside the temple working there were nothing short of SUPER freaking nice and they even gave us these little mp3 players to use on a self guided tour. While there we were informed that we could take photos anywhere outside but not inside of the buildings. We were curious about why not inside the building and the nice information lady told us that according to their religion it is bad luck to throw away an image of a Buddha. So to protect us non informed people from possibly creating bad karma for ourselves they make sure that we don’t take photos of any of the what seemed like thousands of statues.

A vegetarian buffet is available for a $7 donation during the lunch hours and you’re welcome to roam around and even try out their tea service. Even for non-Buddhist people it was a really relaxing and beautiful place to take photos and spend a couple of minutes. I highly recommend stopping by to take a look at the big gates if you happen to be in the area!


Beware the ides of March!

Did you know that the ides means middle? So the Ides of March means the middle of March. I don’t think Shakespeare had any idea of how influential this phrase would become when he first wrote it but it seems to have stuck as a day of doom.

I had a English Teacher in High School, Mrs. Fulton, at the time I ended up becoming her TA or teachers assistant. I have to say I’m not usually a teachers pet but I really enjoyed my time correcting quizzes or updating journal counts. It also gave me time to catch up on a lot of homework that I had from other classes.

When she became pregnant with her first child the next year I was her TA again… Don’t ask how I managed to TA two times for the same teacher two years in a row… (I suspect it was because I was so good Hahaha.) I think I have even heard whispers of how no TA would ever come near to my skills… XD

If I’m being honest I can’t remember very much of what I actually learned from English literature  (I do remember reading…. a freaking lot.) But what will stick with me the most was the relaxed days of being a TA, silly as it sounds. I can clearly remember walking into the room and going to my special drawer that had a file that was usually filled with my task for the day. And if it was empty I would either clean the white board or return to my desk in the back to settle down for my homework. Did I learn anything from it? Probably not that much but it did show me how satisfying it could be to be helpful to someone who really needed it.

What does the Ides of March mean to me? A phrase we learned from Julius Ceasar about a warning from some fortune teller. What does it remind me of? Being a TA.