Kayegems's Blog

NYC Tutoring

Posted in Events, fashion, style, summer wear, Uncategorized, Work Chic by kayemlin on September 2, 2011

I’m in NYC this weekend, and it has been eventful. I do miss NY sometime, but I’m loving DC so much that I don’t think I can move back here. It’s too hectic for me. Sometimes I just need to go take a breather and just stop and stare when I’m in the city. The one thing that I do miss about NY is the mix of people, and I always think about the students that I used to tutor. I used to tutor students of different backgrounds who were failing school. I was tutoring 8 individual students- all girls- and they ranged from 1st grade to 11th grade. I was so happy to have gotten that job because I felt like I was making such a big difference in the students’ lives.

I remember coming home from tutoring these kids (I was working practically as a social worker) and remembering just how happy and sad I was each time. Many of them came from nothing. They didn’t have people to support and push them hence their grades were bad. Many lived in hostile neighborhoods and were teased badly. Others were left back 3 times and told me that that it was social suicide if they were ever seen with books in their hands or a tutor by their side.

The one little girl who left the biggest impression on me was this beautiful 1st grader. I won’t tell you her name ( it is very unique and pretty) because I want her to be given some kind of privacy. She had 2 parents who were both deaf and an autistic brother. I used to go to her home three times a week and tutor her in Math and English. She was teased so badly by her peers. Her books were ripped, and she could barely write in them. She had her writing notebook duct taped in the front and inside the pages because it was ripped; she told me her parents couldn’t afford to get her more. I didn’t know just how badly her situation was. Her brother was also teased, but he was a little older and I was sure that he could fend for himself. She, on the other hand, this little bright thing, is so smart, and with the weight of her family on her shoulders and being a girl, she was sensitive to the teasing ( As any young girl would be. Even older girls are still sensitive to these things.)

This 1st grader amazed me. I sat with her 2 hours each time I came over, and we used to go to the park, sit on steps, go to Dunkin Donuts and cafes, and study. She has the street smarts of a high schooler too. A few times I took her to Dunkin Donuts, and each time I’d take her there, I’d get her a hot chocolate and a donut. Then I’d tell her to take one donut and a hot chocolate for her brother as well. She’d never let me go back in with her when I took her back home. She just waved to me by the door and went inside. I later found out that she never gave her brother the donuts or the hot chocolate. She was hiding then eating the donut and drinking the hot chocolate herself. She loved her brother so much, but she was being a little sneaky and loved treats.

One time, as I was visiting the family  on a Saturday ( one of my last days with her), I brought her and her brother treats and school supplies. The brother all of a sudden came up to me and jumped and squeezed me so hard. I thought I was going to pass out. The little girl yells out in laughter and starts jumping, ” Oh, he likes you. He never hugs anyone. He really really likes you.” I didn’t know what to do. I smiled, but I was hoping that he would’ve been a little bit easier on my shoulders. She later told me, after our 3 months were over, ” I used to get teased all the time, but since you came around, none of the girls tease me anymore. They actually want to be my friend.” 😦   I thought that was the most rewarding compliment I have ever gotten in my life. The little girl is such a gift to her family. She helps them communicate to others. She helps her mom with laundry, helps her brother and is the sunshine of her dad. You know that she is just their world. I know she could go such a long way in life, and I just hope that she has people to keep her on that track. After our tutoring session ended for good, I tried to get in touch with her, but never got a response. I tried contacting her one last time before I moved to DC, but that wasn’t successful either. I just wish that I get in touch with her soon… like be a pen pal.
Here are the pictures of this beautiful baby girl.


Old pictures

Posted in Uncategorized by kayemlin on August 28, 2011

I dug up really old pictures yesterday and thought I’d share them. It really has me reminiscing of my friends in NY, Boston and everywhere else.


The Restaurant and the American Dream…

Posted in Uncategorized by kayemlin on August 28, 2011

Hey Guys,

Here’s the video that I created on the Restaurant and the American Dream ( right before the earthquake hit). I hope you like it.



The American dream is often seen in the restaurant industry as restaurateurs persevere through all of the challenges. The American dream is still alive for immigrants who come to the United States to find opportunity for themselves and their children. Burma Restaurant in Washington DC began with one immigrant family’s hope in their new found land, America.


My New Favorite Place- Nationals Stadium

Posted in Uncategorized by kayemlin on August 26, 2011

So after the Earthquake hit, I went to a scheduled baseball game with a friend. Rafi had an extra ticket for me and so we went to the Nationals game against Arizona. Isn’t it uncanny that my boss and his son went to watch the game the day before? lol We were talking about the games later on the week, but I never paid attention to the game, that I had nothing to talk to him about except for the architecture of the stadium, the food and the bar. lol

You might remember my friend, Rafi from a previous post. He’s a friend of my childhood Burmese friend. They went to Tufts university together while I was at Boston University, and his brother went to the same university as me as well. lol And, I know his brother! We worked at the same college radio station, and we are both broadcasters. SMALL WORLD!


The Nationals Stadium must be my new favorite place! It’s a great place to hang out. I paid no attention to the game. Instead, I got Rafi to sit at the lounge with me while we had margaritas and watched the game on the screen. There was nobody at the stadium! It was so desolate due to the earthquake, I believe. Hope you guys get to go to a game soon. The tickets weren’t so expensive either.


Posted in Uncategorized by kayemlin on August 26, 2011

We had an earthquake in DC on Tuesday, August 23rd 2011, and it reached 5.9 on the Richter scale! It’s the first earthquake of that scale and intensity to hit the East Coast since 1897- more than a century ago. The epicenter of the earthquake was in Mineral, VA; and it reached as far as Boston and as down south as North Carolina. I was covering a restaurant shoot at that time, and as soon as I turned off my camera and put it in my bag, of course the quake hit. It didn’t even occur to me to record the quake or the people.

At first I thought it was a massive truck that came near the building and shook the restaurant, but then I felt the ground shake and saw the paintings sway too much to think that it was just a truck affecting the building. I’ve been called a pansy before, so I didn’t want people to think I was affected by it. lol I was a little dizzy though,   ( I get motion sickness. lol)   but I brushed it off- stepped outside and saw so many people in shock. I took some breaths of air, took a cab to work and was greeted in front of my building by many federal employees. I didn’t see people from my service, but was hanging out with others.

I wanted to take pictures, but there was nothing to take pictures of! lol So I took pictures of the day just to remember and share on the blog. My office building has cracks on the stairwell due to the quake. I took those pictures with my mobile phone. I’ll share those in the future. For now, you can see the pictures of the day at the Burma Restaurant ( which the Entertainment/ Feature video will be available soon). I’m bummed I didn’t get any interviews or did no story on the quake. Sometimes, I don’t know what I’m thinking. I do everything on my TO DO LIST, and when something bigger shows up, I’m just appalled and still continue doing the stuff on my list! I promise I’m not like that during interviews though! I follow up with questions, and make myself interrogate and make myself and the other person uncomfortable as well as conversational… ( if that makes sense)…I’ll share my theory with you another day.

Here are the pictures from Burma Restaurant.  It’s located in Chinatown, Washington DC  and they carry really healthy food. There are also pictures of the day when people were waiting outside right after the quake hit. Did you guys feel it? What did you think?

Right now, everyone I know is preparing for Hurricane Irene. Mother Nature must be really ticked: Earthquake and Hurricane all in one week. What’s going on?



Childhood Friends ( Burmese Friends)

Posted in Uncategorized by kayemlin on August 18, 2011

It’s restaurant week in DC, and yesterday I met up with two of my childhood friends at Madhatter in Dupont Circle. Madhatter served 4 courses for a really good price- of $35.11 . We enjoyed the food, and Madhatter served generous portions that I had to take my entree ( almost untouched) home. Madhatter’s a good place during the night as well. It’s such a good location because if you want to go dancing, you can go to 18th St. lounge or Midtown which is just down the street. We stopped by Public Bar just to chat and meet with other friends after dinner. I was so sleepy by 10 pm, and they were already making fun of me for it! I’m getting old. I can’t stay up on the weekdays until 12 or 1 am.

I’ve known the girls since I was 6 years old. I’ve had so many play dates with them. We used to play Nintendo, Sega Genesis, ( lol) and watch tons of movies together. I remember going on field trips to the museum and to the movies. Our parents are also part of the same community in NY which attributes to us seeing each other a lot ( when we were younger). I haven’t seen them in so long so it was so nice to catch up. I think we’ve all changed so much.

I was wearing a see through- sheer top from Charlotte Russe with a tank top from a boutique store in NYC. The skirt was from Anne Taylor and my shoes are from Baker’s. I absolutely love those shoes, and am regretting that I never got it in black.

The girl in the picture with me, Lay, is wearing a dress from H & M and beige shoes from Aldo.

A Sunday Escape

Posted in H&M, style, summer wear, Uncategorized by kayemlin on August 17, 2011

DC has some amazing spots, and there are some amazing places in the DC,Virginia,Maryland area that you might find to your liking. I went to visit my grand aunty on Sunday and stopped by this place. Can you guess where I am? It’s in Virginia. Isn’t it beautiful? People were kayaking, hiking and rock climbing. I just wanted to sit down near a waterfall and try to meditate and smell the breeze. lol Really…

Grandaunty’s amazing. She seems happy.

What I’m wearing: a fadora hat from a cute boutique store in Ocean City, MD ; dress from H & M – I topped it off with a light blue belt, sandals and an ankle bracelet.

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Posted in Uncategorized by kayemlin on August 5, 2011

I’m hanging out with my friend / neighbor Johanna right now, and as I sit here at Starbuck’s on facebook and thinking about how I’m going to revise my scripts, she tells me she wants to create a blog and join twitter! lol Do you know just how excited I am to be a teacher? lol

Since I’ve been ahem ” single”, I’ve been hanging out with my girlfriends a lot and having so much time for myself. It has been a really good relief, although he is a great guy. Johanna is snickering and yelling at me as I’m typing, saying, “I thought we were never talking about MEN again.”

Here are some pictures from last week with my girlfriends. I wore a greenish blue dress from American Apparel- fully cotton. ( I love me some American Apparel- it just hugs your figure well.) In the picture with Johanna, I’m wearing a jean dress from Forever 21. I call Johanna mom because she’s constantly worried about me. She is replacing my friend, Eteena who used to be my neighbor and just left DC.


Burned Out from Work-My Interview with a Supermodel

Posted in Uncategorized by kayemlin on August 4, 2011

I think I’ve worked way too much this week. I’ve been up at 5:00 am every day this past week and have been sleeping in at 12:30 am. (but I do sometimes take naps when I get back home. It only lasts for 20 minutes though). So…because I’ve been so burned out, my mind is also out of touch- not to mention the trouble I’ve been in for this Libya/Burma/US relations story. I thought I heard the last of that 2 weeks ago, but still am hearing it today; but I want to be a good journalist and will be inquisitive and ask uncomfortable questions regardless of whether I get in trouble or not. I just don’t know whether I’ll be able to publish my uncomfortable questions …


Anywho, my mind keeps wandering off. My scattered brain just shoots and types anything that I’m thinking of at that moment. I blame this due to my lack of sleep. I met this amazing supermodel, Alek Wek and was so excited about it. She told me about her time in Sudan and about her transition from a Sudanese refugee to a Supermodel. She told me that she was proud to be able to accomplish a lot and that her hero in life was her mom and the strong women around her. So she gave me a kiss and a hug after we talked about Oprah and how I’ve known her since that episode aired on Oprah and how I’ve seen her on Elle and VOGUE. She responded, ” Wow that episode is old! You’ve known me for a long time.”


I’ve just been burying myself in work because it was therapeutic and just what I needed to get away from my personal stress lol , but I’m just making myself stressed more.
Here are the photos of Alek. Hope you enjoy!



P.S. She really is so beautiful in person, and her face cannot be mistaken. She has this smile that lights up a room and her accent is just so cute. I wish I can go somewhere and live there for a few months and pick up an accent and bring it back with me to the States.

House Hearing- Debt Cieling?

Posted in Uncategorized by kayemlin on August 3, 2011

I went to a House Hearing in Congress, and I rarely saw anyone there. I’m sure all the Representatives and Senators went to the beach after days of the Debt Cieling controversy. My friends and I took advantage. Although we were there for work, we snuck in some pictures. Just call me Congresswoman Kaye Lin 😉 .