Cambodian genocide survivor speaks at DSLC

first_imgTo kick off the Saint Mary’s Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference (DSLC), Cambodian genocide survivor Arn Chorn Pond shared his story of survival and healing under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. “When I was just nine years old the Communists took over the country,” Pond said. “My parents were executed and I was forced to watch my siblings crawl … to a death of starvation. It was very hard for me to feel so powerless and know that I could not help them.” While in the camps, soldiers forced Pond to partake in some of the murders. “Sometimes they would force me to help them out,” Pond said. “I was a prisoner, and they could force me to push others into the graves. If I showed any emotion with the victims I would have been killed.” Pond said his love for traditional Cambodian music, specifically the flute, helped him through his difficult experiences. He and four other prisoners in the camp started a music group; only two members of that group are alive today. “Music got me through,” Pond said. “Even today, it still helps me to heal.” In 1980, after living several months alone in the Cambodian jungle, Pond was rescued and adopted by Reverend Peter L. Pond who brought him back to New Hampshire. “I felt very lucky, but very scared at the same time,” Pond said. “It seemed as though no one in the United States understood me or where I came from.” After coming to the U.S., Pond said he felt anger, depression, resentment and even suicidal at times. His adopted father encouraged him to speak out and share his story to help deal with his feelings. “I didn’t know what it meant to be heard,” Pond said. “I never thought that white Americans would care about me, but I was wrong.” He started speaking at local churches and today his voice has been heard by Amnesty International groups, the United Nations and even former President Jimmy Carter. After he began to share his experience, Pond stepped into a new role: human rights activist. He is the recipient of many international humanitarian awards and founder of several organizations, including Children of War, Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development and Peace Makers. “I choose to sing and to start different organizations,” Pond said. “It is not easy to share my story, but it is part of my healing process. I love the work that I do now because it saves lives and inspires others. This work allows me live.” DSLC chair Guadalupe Quintana said Pond’s talk was a perfect way to kick off events for the conference because his talk will inspire others. “His story is very capturing and embodies everything that DSLC represents,” she said. Quintana said DSLC represents sharing stories that would otherwise go unheard and learning of differences that would often go unnoticed. Pond expressed the importance of embracing one’s roots and one’s own unique stories. “It is our life and our story,” Pond said. “Don’t deny your differences or your stories, because then you will be denying your culture.” Pond ended his talk by encouraging the members of the audience to go out in the community and share their voices for social change. “Do not underestimate one person,” Pond said. “Everyone has their own story to share. Everyone has their own pain. Do not spend time comparing pain, just live united. One by one you are the angel that the world needs. Go fly and be that angel.” Contact Kaitlyn Rabach at [email protected]last_img read more

Retail therapy blues

first_imgRetail therapy may seem like the perfect solution to stress, but hitting the local mall is about more than just shopping. When stressed, some people turn to alcohol, drugs or other harmful behavior patterns. Some people turn to spending money.Retail therapy may help you to feel better for a little while, but often post-purchase remorse settles in after a few hours. In other cases, guilt and remorse hit when the credit card bill arrives or when you need the money for something more important. If the resulting anxiety and depression trigger another shopping spree, more financial problems are just around the corner.Whether you can afford it or not, overspending to feel better about yourself is a problem. Compulsive spending is a form of addiction that — while not considered to be a formal psychiatric disorder — is an issue for many individuals and families. Compulsive spending can lead to financial problems and, ultimately, financial ruin. Recognizing the problem is half the solution. If you have a problem with compulsive spending, follow these steps from University of Georgia Cooperative Extension to take control of your finances and your long-term financial security. Stop using credit – Compulsive spenders typically carry a balance on at least one and probably several credit cards. Keep one credit card in your wallet for emergencies and leave the rest at home. Better yet, cut up all but the emergency card and close the accounts. Track your spending – To pinpoint problem spending areas, carry a small notebook and record what you buy, where you buy it, how much it cost and why you made the purchase. At the end of each week, review the log and look for patterns and areas in need of attention. Spend less than you earn – It may sound simple, but the key to long-term financial security is consistently earning more than you spend and investing the difference. Look for ways to reduce spending and to increase saving. Plan your spending – Know what you want from your money. What are your goals for the immediate and long-term future? How will you handle an emergency or other unexpected expense? Prioritize your wants and needs to keep spending and saving in line with your income. Once you have a plan, keep track of your spending to make sure that you’re sticking with it. Shop wisely – Use a list and avoid buying items not on your list. Comparison shop, especially for more expensive items. Compare options from different sellers and among competing brands in the same store. Use coupons only for frequently used items. No matter how good the sale and how great the savings, it is not a good buy if the item is not needed. Plan a yard sale – Compulsive spenders often have a house full of goods that they have barely used. Round up unwanted items and have a yard sale. Some items, like books, music CDs, DVDs and one-of-a-kind items, often bring better prices when sold through an online source, such as eBay. Use the proceeds of the sale to pay down debt or to kick off a new savings program. If you continuously have trouble curbing your spending, consider a support group or professional help from a trained counselor or mental health professional. For more information about how to manage your money, contact your localUGA Cooperative Extension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or view UGA publications at www.caes.uga.edu/publications/last_img read more

Ron Klain will be Joe Biden’s chief of staff

first_imgKlain isn’t a Rahm Emanuel-style ideologue. He is, and I write this with nothing but the best connotations, a true technocrat—someone who will get shit done with minimal fuss or drama. As such, he’s not beholden to silly obsolete notions of “norms and traditions” that are only wielded against Democrats, never Republicans. xAnyone who thinks that Mitch McConnell would not have changed the filibuster rules to get Kavanaugh confirmed was not watching when HE CHANGED THE FILIBUSTER RULES TO GET GORSUCH CONFIRMED!!!!! https://t.co/81DbttSrRE— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) July 16, 2018Klain also has respect among the left-left, such as Bernie Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir.The “inside left,” which includes people like Shakir, who has a Washington pedigree—he has worked for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid—sees value in urging the moderate (and elected) figures left. This group does have respect for people like Klain, a frequent and fierce critic of Donald Trump on MSNBC who, as Obama’s Ebola response coordinator, showed the world a few short years ago that the United States of America actually knew how to contain a virus.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Klain’s job will be tough, and much more so if we can’t wrestle the Senate away from Mitch McConnell in the January Senate runoffs in Georgia. But for the first time in four years, we’ll have competence in the Oval Office. Things are looking up, and will be looking even better when sore loser Donald Trump’s coup attempt fails.center_img Klain is perfectly suited for the role. He has been chief of staff to both vice-presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden, as well as Bill Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno at just 31 years of age. He led the team that shepherded the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He served as chief legal counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee when Biden served on it. He managed the successful implementation of President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus law. And of course, there’s the one gig that makes him particularly well-suited for the most pressing challenge of today—he was Obama’s Ebola czar. A COUPLE OF weeks ago, I asked  Larry Brilliant, the renowned epidemiologist who helped eradicate smallpox, what is the one message he would bring to the daily press briefing if he were president. He answered without hesitation: “I would begin the press conference by saying ‘Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Ron Klain … Covid czar.’”- Advertisement –last_img read more