Lesson I Learnt from Gardening

Hello Marters and welcome back to my Bryn Mawr Blog. This is Jacqueline. My last blog is about growing your own food and in this blog, I will share with you several lessons I learnt while growing them.

You can’t be 100% prepared. Just do it!

Before I start growing anything, I watch numerous video tutorials. I was so worried that I would do anything wrong. I didn’t start until I felt I was ready, but I wasn’t ready at all. The first difficulty I encounter is to scatter the seeds evenly. If the seeds are cluttered together, then the microgreens will be crowded at one place and sparse at another. This is something I didn’t expect because in all the video I’ve watched, this process is so easy. But I later figure out how you can spread them out with your hands or use the help of a spice jar. It teaches me not to worry about a perfect start, but instead start doing it and then you will learn in the process.

Mother Nature is Generous and Forgiving.

When I plant the microgreens for the first time, I underwater and then overwater them. For the first few days, I just use the spray bottle to spray several times, which is way less than what they need. After I find it not working, I water them more frequently, thus sometimes I might overwater them. In addition, my room doesn’t have any south-facing windows so there is no direct sunlight. With a shadowy environment and various watering issues, my first batch of microgreens still turn out to be fine. They are definitely not the most successful ones I’ve grow but they are decent.

What Appears Good is Not Always Good.

As mentioned in the last lesson, my room doesn’t get enough light and I didn’t have any professional grow light. So I put my plants under my lamp. The light does help them to grow better at first but I later find them to be too leggy. After doing my research, I learnt that the light needs to be only one or two inch above the plants so that they could get enough light but also not to stretch themselves to reach for the light. This observation reminds me that what appears good is not always good and what looks bad is not necessarily bad.

Struggle isn’t Always a Bad Thing

In the last blog, I note that it’s important to keep the microgreens in a dark place until they sprout so that they could have solid root system. If they are exposed to light from the beginning, they don’t struggle to get any light and their roots would be weak. Weak root system might not be too much a problem for microgreens, but it is for plants harvest at more mature stage. For the microgreens who don’t have light for the first few days, they struggle a lot compared to those who get light from the beginning, but in the time of struggling, they build up a solid root system that is fundamental for their further growth. Thus, the next time I feel myself struggling in a difficult situation, I can remind myself of this observation and convince myself that struggle is not always a bad thing.

Recognize the Failed Attempts

During the seed starting phrase, I put two or three seeds into one hole so that at least something will come out. Having more number of seeds than the number of holes means that not every seed has the chance of sprouting and too often the one that sprouted gets noticed and the one that didn’t sprout get ignored. It reminds me to pay attention to the attempts that didn’t work out and don’t be afraid of failing.

Staying in the Present Moment

When I first scatter the seeds, I get really excited and can’t help but envisioning what it is like to see them grow. As they are growing, I couldn’t wait to harvest them. After harvesting, I try out different dishes to consume them as soon as possible. And after that, I miss growing them. In this whole process, my mindset is inconsistent with what’s happening in reality. I’m either a step ahead or behind. I always worry about what will happen next or miss what did happen. I didn’t enjoy the process. Growing plants is a reminder for me to relax and stay in the present moment: to enjoy seeing them growing everyday, to enjoy consuming them in different dishes.





My Go-To Dish for Meal Prep

Welcome back to my Bryn Mawr Blog. This is Jacqueline. As the semester starts, I want to share my favorite go-to dish for meal prep. This is not a specific recipe. I don’t like one and I never follow one. I just want to share some ideas that could inspire you to make your unique version.


  • [ ] onion
  • [ ] garlic


  • [ ] potato
  • [ ] sweet potato
  • [ ] carrot
  • [ ] mushroom


  • [ ] white rice
  • [ ] brown rice (soak overnight)
  • [ ] lentils
  • [ ] quinoa


  • [ ] chickpeas
  • [ ] black beans
  • [ ] kidney beans
  • [ ] corn
  • [ ] peas


  • [ ] curry powder
  • [ ] turmeric powder: to add some gold color and for its health benefits
  • [ ] coconut milk: to make it more creamy

Leafy Greens

  • [ ] spinach
  • [ ] kale
  • [ ] microgreens


  • put some oil in the pan
  • chop the onion and garlic and put in when the oil is heat up
  • chop vegetables into cubes and put into the pan
  • wash the grains thoroughly and put into the pan
  • then put the beans in
    • If it’s dried beans, you need to soak overnight
    • If it’s canned beans, then rinse it
  • add water or vegetable broth
  • add the curry powder
  • cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender (meaning you can easily put a fork through the potato)
  • then add the leaf greens and cook for another one or two minutes
  • then serve with some sesame seeds or microgreens

*I love to mix several kinds of grains to add some texture.

*Add the food that need more time to cook first. Leafy greens only need a minute or two.

*You can also cook without grains and serve with noodles or any bread.

The combination is endless. Use your imagination! Happy Cooking.



Movie Review: Wonder Woman 1984 and Soul

Welcome back to my Bryn Mawr Blog. This is Jacqueline. I will share with you my two recent favorite movies: 1984 Wonder Woman and Soul.

Wonder Woman 1984

A stone can make wishes comes true with a price. For example, Diana wishes for Steve to come back with the cost of losing her power. A villain makes himself the stone and asks everyone to make a wish. The cost is that the world will end and the only way to save humankind is for everyone to renounce their wishes.

No one alone can save the world

No matter how strong or how determined Wonder Woman is, she can’t save the world on her own. She can only save the world by convincing everyone else to join her and renounce their wishes.

It reminds me so much of the world now. There is no single button to push that can stop COVID-19 or climate change, but there is still chance if every single person assumes their responsibility.

The Power of Acceptance

Wonder Woman’s speech is such a touching scene and it reminds me so much of the power of acceptance.

Acceptance doesn’t mean give up.

Acceptance is often misunderstood as giving up or not changing but it actually releases you from the uncomfortable emotions and feeling and lets you see things as they truly are. It’s only after you accept how things are in the current state that you can start to change them.

Accept what we can’t change

There are things that are beyond our capability to change, such as the childhood poverty or divorced parents, but there are things, such as beliefs and abilities, that are within our control. Recognizing what we can and can’t control boosts the character resilience and makes our lives flourish.


Joe who loves jazz died and his soul went to a place where new souls get their personalities. He meets 22, who has been there a long time and has difficulty understanding the human experience. Joe helps 22 discover passion, like what jazz means to Joe, but 22 can’t find any and only enjoys seeing the leaves fall down from the tree.

You don’t need to find THE interest.

We are so used to the narrative that someone find their one thing and then live a happy life ever after. I do believe that it might be true for a very few gifted people but it’s not true for most people. You can have no passion at all, or you can have multiple passions.

For example, I am someone who has too much interests and passions. I was interested in art history and anthropology in high school. I was and still am interested in psychology and chose it as my major. During the quarantine, I’m interested in drawing, vegan cooking and baking, and gardening. I used to think that it’s a process I need to go through so that I can find the one thing that I’m absolutely crazy about. But now I realize there is no such thing at the end and what matters the most is the process.

Learn to Appreciate Life Itself

The scene when 22 finds a piece of pizza tastes good and where 22 enjoys watching the leave fall down is so affecting. We are so obsessed with external possessions and validation, like getting better scores at school or making more money at work, and assume that we will be happy after the goal is met. But in the process of pursuing such goals, we lost contact with the present moment and forgets to appreciate life itself. I’d love to appreciate how the heart always pumps for me even though I often stay up late. I appreciate how the stomach consume whatever I put in even though I often consume more than enough. I appreciate that it’s snowing while I was writing this blog and I’m able to stay somewhere warm to appreciate this beautiful snow scene.

Lastly, even though these two movies are not the most cinematically pleasant movie, they are the products of this post-COVID era. Happy Watching.