🍁 Autumn is here in earnest! 🍁

I was trying to come up with a witty “theme” for this month.

And…well…

You will see below  (In the next post since this is turning into a 2 parter)… XP it is a bit… Punny?

Anyways. so how did last month’s “Month of Future Career Growth”  go?

  • Create my personal website as a hub to everything I do 
    •  [Started, but not finished] So I’ve got the general outline set up, just working on typing in all of the content – especially under the portfolio section. I haven’t released it to the public yet, but it is almost done, will expect it to be out by November at the latest (don’t hold me to that though!). Sneak Preview!Capture
  • Continue tutoring English (both through the university’s CAES Peer tutor program, and my own IB merchant of Venice ) 
    • {COMPLETED} and continuing! 😀
  • Update CV – my CV is hopelessly out of date
    • {COMPLETED, See last goal page} As seen last time, I’ve finished this already before the month even really started
    • Create and maintain a LinkedIn profile/ digital resume
      • ~ Haven’t Started!~ I was thinking of holding this off until I’ve got my personal website set up, since that way there is something more professional to link to other than my personal blog here.
  • Figure out exchange plans – like actually write out a pro con list, intended transfer courses, get CGPA up (around 3.6), create an estimated cost plan etc
    • [Started, but not finished] This is going to be an ongoing goal thing, as
  • Sign up for internships, scholarships, classes, mentorships,etc
    • ~Haven’t Started!~ No really excuse for this really… need to look into this sometime soon before they are all gone

Not adding an arbitrary score since that was a bit lame XP

So…What about the extras?

  • [Extra] Improve my typing speed to 70wpm. It is ~65wpm right now.
    • I haven’t been doing this, rather I have changed it slightly to speed reading (Schulte table, apps etc) since it seems like a more useful goal
  • [Extra] Perhaps update this blog more than once a month ish, if I have the time. Maybe an update on how Carousell is going, or some how to college type post for the freshmen?
    • Nope didn’t happen, then again I’m heading into mid terms, sooo….. yeah

Anyways, splitting this up so I can stop procrastinating on revision and revisit this next week when things cool off a bit and become less crazy. So yeah!

Happy (late) Mid-autumn festival and look forward to finishing these midterms!

-Rebecca

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Daring to Disobey

I’ve been thinking a lot about The Rules lately.

Specifically the societal rules we surround ourselves with every day that go by unchallenged – sometimes for good reasons, othertimes not so much..

I guess this is a long winded, overly pedantic way of me trying to rationalise and explain why I feel so bad for dropping a class, when by all objective measures it would be the best course of action for me to take.

I don’t NEED to max out my course load and take 6 classes (18 credits) in one semester, in fact, I KNOW I would burn myself out a few weeks later when taking into consideration my commitment as a peer tutor (in both English and Science), my role as a student blogger, my non-credit German classes, my new role as an Equal Opportunity Student Ambassador, hall activities etc…

The list keeps building, yet there are only a finite number of hours in a day.

And as Malthus pointed out (paraphrasing to make an contrived metaphor):

As populations (workload) increase exponentially, while resources (time) grows linearly if at all, eventually you will reach competition and eventually, collapse.

Yet it feels a bit… wrong to do so.

Like I have just given up when this is pretty much exactly what add-drop period is made for.

I’m not sure where this feeling comes from really.

I could go with the classic “Asian Parent” excuse, but that is just that, an excuse not a reason.

I guess it is the fear of being left behind. 

Everyday, you are surrounded by messages of supposed encouragement:

  • “Push Yourself!”
  • “Don’t let dreams just be dreams”
  • “Shoot for the stars!”
  • “XYZ famous person made it while living in a college dorm at [so and so] famous university, why can’t you?”

It all creates an atmosphere of “Is that all you CAN do?”, when the more pertinent question is “SHOULD I do more?”.

And, although it sounds much less inspirational…

Sometimes the answer is NO.

Sometimes the correct solution isn’t to keep on going with reckless abandon til you crash, it is to slow down a bit, perfect what you have, then SLOWLY ramp up the speed.

Right now my gut is telling me slow the F- down.

So I am daring to disobey what society often expects of university students, and taking the time I would spend in an extra class + tutorial + homework to sharpen my skills as a whole.

To look for opportunities outside of the classroom such as volunteer work

And above all, to just prove to myself that I am in control of my own destiny and which path I decide to take is mine, and mine alone, to make.

Because sometimes it is okay to buck the trend and do your own thing.

In the words of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken (emphasis mine):

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

And besides, great scores in 5 classes > okay scores in 6, GPA wise. 😛

Thanks for reading!

-Rebecca


This post was based off of the Daily post prompt: Disobey (September 12)

September is upon us…. (2017 Summer Recap pt. 1)

Well, given the epic 18-credit-hour Y2A semester has suddenly reared its ugly head, I’d like to take the time to go over the summer as a whole (which was sorta productive… ish? I mean I wish it were more, but over all not bad) while I have the chance today and this weekend.

Firstly – Need to get this out of the way, but recap on the goals

Last month was named the  “Catch up and Learning month” because I was planning on using it to get a head start on my Y2A work

How did I do?

ehhh….

Duolingo has been going well, I have broken, then continued, then broken my streak several times, but overall I feel as though even if I haven’t learned a whole lot more, at least my vocabulary set has not drastically fallen behind. Grammar needs a lot of work though, and different cases still confuse the F- out of me, but I’m working on it! Signed up for Intermediate German, Non degree course for Y2A, so overall a good summer prep.  (Score: 7.1/10)

Planning for future studies? I feel as though the month was more exploratory in nature. I went on my first ecology survey (which was pretty awesome, more on that later). Scheduling for Y2A and course selection could have gone better (again, elaboration below/ in separate post, cus boy do I want to go on a mini rant about it :P), but again, I planned and got most of the classes (but not all) that I needed. More work on for exchange, but gotten started on plan for possible German summer lang exchange. (Score: 7.6/10)

Asia WWII history + history website updates: Could have gone better. Watched some history documentaries but were either about WWII from a western perspective (The German documentary series Die Deutschen  [Eng: The Germans] is excellent, shout out to the wonderful people who have put it on youtube and added English subtitles so I can practice German listening and learn hist at the same time – names will go in the edit of the post) or about Chinese history in the 20th century (mostly cultural revolution stuff). I have reread my History EE on the Battle of HK and Churchill’s foreign policies, so there is that. History website on standby for the foreseeable future due to me needing to sort out what type of posts I want, rather than writing then getting rid of it, rinse and repeat. (Score: 5.8/10)

As for the Big Bad BIOCHEM…. Hahahaha oh boy… yeah… I really dropped the ball on this aspect. To describe how little I’ve done, I am currently listening to Khan Academy videos (on basic biochem) explaining biochem to me to try and make this not a complete wash. For real though, what the heck past me? Next to nothing over 4 weeks?! Wed am next week is my first Biochem class of the sem, so I need to kick it into high gear… NOW!(Score: 2.2/10)

Extra stuff such as coding and cubing I didn’t touch due to not even coming close to passing my bigger goals… sigh…

Man I am good at procrastinating during summer vacation…


So yeah…

Moving swiftly onward from that train wreck!

This time, I’m calling it the “Month of Future Career Growth”:

Things I will be working toward things that will improve my “personal brand” and create a “plan of action” to reach the “necessary targets for success” (aka make it look like I know what I am doing, for future employment and research opportunities)

  • Create my personal website as a hub to everything I do – I’ll slowly move to separate this blog’s content from a more professional “portfolio-like” site that I’m making now, since I’m pretty sure my future employers want to get info on me, not skim through random thoughts I happen to blog about during that time frame.
  • Continue tutoring English (both through the university’s CAES Peer tutor program, and my own IB merchant of Venice ) <- got things in the work now for this
  • Update CV – my CV is hopelessly out of date Sped up and finished Aug 31 to apply for Equal Opportunity Student ambassador. Got an Interview Sept 6!  Boo-yah! See past me? That is how The Papaya rolls when she is serious about getting stuff done! ehem… where was I? 😛
    • Create and maintain a LinkedIn profile/ digital resume
  • Figure out exchange plans – like actually write out a pro con list, intended transfer courses, get CGPA up (around 3.6), create an estimated cost plan etc
  • Sign up for internships, scholarships, classes, mentorships, lectures etc
  • [Extra] Improve my typing speed to 70wpm. It is ~65wpm right now.
  • [Extra] Perhaps update this blog more than once a month ish, if I have the time. Maybe an update on how Carousell is going, or some how to college type post for the freshmen?

This post is getting a bit unwieldy with the giant wall o’ text, so I will be back with more stuff (such as the above promised Ecology survey experience, or that course registering story)

Here is a semi relevant xkcd as a reward for reading this far down!

# 773: University Website

university_website
Source & the Explain xkcd

More to come!

Rebecca

A Conclusion and Quick Update

I thought I’d put something up on my blog to explain what has been going on as of late, since the blog challenge ended rather… abruptly shall we say.

So think of this as a “bookend” to my month (almost) of writing!

Firstly, I’ve decided that I’m going to keep the challenge up, rather than get rid of it. While it may have not been the greatest sample of my writing – what with it being completely unedited, off the cuff with no theme etc – I feel as though it gives an insight to how I write first drafts, and acts as a sort of “time capsule” to my final year as a “teen”. Perhaps future me will find it fascinating, it would be such a shame to get rid of it now because it isn’t very polished, just to regret in years later with no chance of recovery.

Which leads to a second issue.

Since I have now designated this blog as my “official site” instead of my old CAS blog I’ll need to work harder on making my posts seem more professional. Not the blog challenge, since that came with its own warning, more of in the sense that it needs to be more “navigable”.

As in if I were to put this site on my CV or future business card etc, people need to be able to have a quick “snapshot” of who I am, what my interests are, my skills, personality etc. Rather than what they get now, which is pretty much me rambling about everything from assassins to geometric puzzles to dried squid.

Perhaps a “goals” bit, maybe something on my ultimate book recomendations, a better about page etc.

I’ll give myself until this years end to fix everything, since it is a pretty dramatic shift from how this blog was originally conceived (ie just random nonsense that no one would bother to read)

Other things the challenge has taught me (in a more rapid quick fire style):

  • I vastly underestimate the amount of work I can do in a day (or even in an hour) while overestimating what I can do in several (such as a week). I found this pretty fascinating since you would assume it would be one or the other, but here we are. I guess it has something to do with how long term projects are seen as “I can do later” things which leads to procrastination and a sense of having more time to waste, while short term things lead to intensive bursts of productivity. Something I’ll keep an eye out for in the future, since it seems like something that would prove to be useful in my academic life.
  • I am more creative than I first assumed, though it ebbs and flows depending on various situations. A lot of it is just getting it type out first, then editing out the issues later.
  • Sometimes the crazy ideas work out, so that is promising for my future I guess?
  • I work well with defined goals and targets to hit since it makes my day’s work more tangible.

On to the update-y part of this post!

I’m naming this August my “Catch up and Learning month”, where I will be catching up and easing into my academic work, just to get a head start on my upcoming Sophomore year of university (not sure if I mentioned earlier, but since I will be doing the equivalent of 18 USA Uni credit for both sems next year… with all the peer tutoring, non credit language classes of last year, combined with new hall activities… yeah.

Wish me luck!

Specific targets and things to do (in case lazy future me takes over and uses the excuse that there is “nothing else to do” other than idk browse youtube for hours or whatever):

  • (Re)learn Biochemistry – I used the term (re)learn since some subjects I have leraned before, just not well, and other bits I haven’t given I only did SL in IB. Either way I am behing and my first semester of biochem could have gone better. I also have it for my first sem of Sophomore year, so whether I do well and pull up my Uni CGPA in Year 2 hinges quite a bit on this aspect
    • Method: Khan academy, IB textbook HL parts
    • Frequency: Once every 3 days at the very least, 1 hour each “session”
  • German Revision –  Put simply, I have forgotten pretty much everything I learned last year over the summer. It’s less of a priority than some of the other things on my list, since it is a non-credit baring course, but it is a long term goal of mine to pick up the language.
    • Method: Duolingo, previous notes, movies/documentaries/songs
    • Frequency: Duolingo every day (its only like 10 minutes a day come one! :P) other things 2x every two weeks, 30 minutes ish
  • Asia WWII History Recap – I have a specific course on it and another general course on society in wartime in Y2A (my abbreviations since Semester 1 of my Sophomore year is getting tedious to type out). Plus I can use my revision to work on my history revision blog (which I do realise I keep talking about but never updating… come on man
    • Method: IB history notes mainly, some historiography if I get the chance
    • Frequency: Same as Biochem
  • Planing for future studies – Included in this section is pretty much all the research for exchange, Y2A & B, future internships, updating CV etc. Just all of the paperwork things that need to get done, but I keep procrastinating on 😛
    • Method: -.-”’ N/A? just do it!
    • Frequency: Same as Biochem and Hist.
  • Coding  – This is less urgent, more of a long term future skill to develop like with German, rather than a I need to do before school starts in September kind of thing. I’ll likely be learning R rather than just focusing on HTML, since I will be doing R in Y2B for an Environmental Statistics course
    • Method: Codeacademy
    • Frequency: 2x every two weeks, 30 minutes
  • OLL & PLL Cubing – This is just a fun one 😛 Only if there is nothing else on the list or in study breaks
    • Method: online algorithms, twisty times
    • Frequency: No minimum, maxing out at 30 minutes a day.

Basically I am implementing a sort of “homeschool self learning” schedule to both get ahead in my studies and improve my work ethic in preparation for Y2AB.

So here we go! Another summer challenge! I might make a new category if I start posting a lot about this,  but for now I will be putting it under either updates of goals depending on how this goes.

Note that there will not be a Post a day style blogging for this, more of a post every weekend if that kind of thing.

Until later! Y2 Prep or Bust! 😛

Rebecca

Day 28 – My super messed up sleep schedule

Well, less “messed up” and more “non existent” at least for now, since it is summer, so no set classes or anything

But tomorrow I have to leave the house at 5:30am ish to meet my 7am morning shift at the RISE conference, so like yesterday, this post will be incredibly short, like barely over the 200 arbitrary word limit short, with lots of padding in between

(why did I set a word limit anyways? That wasn’t really smart considering I have times where I genuinely am not able to write out an entire thing aka right now. Well hind sight is 20/20 I guess)

So anyways, really tired right now after a full shift (5+ hours) of registration today, so apologies for the incoherent nature of this post. Just trying to get words down on paper- er screen- and unlike yesterday, I can’t think of any creative theme to inject some intrest into this post, so you will just be getting dry boring dull me.

How do those crazy hard working people do it though? Like can the just fuction on less sleep, or does having a consistant sleep schedule really help that much? I don’t know but that is 200 words! (tired yay!)

Good night!

Rbecca

Day 27 – Busy days ahead! (+ Parchment length thoughts)

Shorter post today since I need to get up early tomorrow for the RISE tech conference (I’m part of the volunteer team that does registration, it will be my 3rd year taking part) I’ll probably post some stuff about it later when it begins in earnest (tomorrow is just for the people setting up their booths and stuff) so look out for that in the future!

Can’t believe that I have been blogging for nearly 30 days so far, not quite sure what I will do after I complete this challenge. Probably continue posting here, albeit MUCH less frequently, maybe once every two weeks or so, though that depends on how much interesting stuff is happening with my life and how much free time I can devote to this.


I’m at around 130 words right now, so to pad this thing out, I’m just going to add a few more sentences about random things that comes to mind.

  • Game of thrones season 7 is coming out soon, I haven’t read the book series yet, but it’s on my “to read list”
  • Still thinking about next sem of college! (both the classes and exchange stuff)
  • Should have not used contractions in the bit above, but going back and editing them out now feels like cheating..
  • I wonder how many notable works in history were improved upon by their author attempting to meet some arbitrary word count. Probably not many, but still.
  • Actually, was writing things by word count even a thing before the advent of modern word processors? I mean page count I understand, but word count?
  • Oh and before that, did they do it by physical text length ala Harry Potter (side note, now that I think about it, a foot of parchment is like one side of an A4 piece of paper… that’s nothing for secondary school! why do the characters complain so much about it then? That isn’t that much, especially considering you can just write larger since the paper isn’t lined or anything..)

And on that random note, a few final words…

Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!

Rebecca

(Oh and for the curious, I’m a Hufflepuff aka the best house ever! 😛 )

Day 26 – Key Chain Janglin’ Quirks

I have a bit of a odd habit when it comes to my ring of keys that I carry.

Whenever I put them down, I jangle them in a specific way, in order to remember where I last had them. 

Which works…

Nah who am I kidding, most of the time I still manage to misplace them anyways. 😛

As my mom once joked: ” If your head wasn’t attatched to your head, you would some how manage to lose it as well!”


And sure, the easy solution to this is just to keep multiple copies of keys or whatever, but I have a certain fondness to my current set.

  • It has a plastic oval royal blue key fob with sky blue, white, yellow and light orange lettering that says : “My friend went to TASMANIA and all I got was this Lousy KEY RING!” on it, a gift from my younger brother to me after his school trip there.
  • There is the pin tumbler lock key, aka the house key, mainly light pink but covered in pastel flowers ranging from yellow, light blue and purple.
  • Then there is the sturdy utilitarian-steel, dimple key for the inner door.
  • And finally my tiny key for my locker back at uni.

I’ve used the same set for so long, that using my backup set (because I lose my keys enough to warrent a second set) feels a bit… off.

While it has the same keys (for obvious reasons, otherwise it wouldn’t be much of a spare set):

  • there are 2 key fobs: A rectangular white plastic I ❤ New York one and a Taiwan shaped wooden one with little cutouts of Taipei 101 and a Taiwan shape filled with colored beads.
  • The flower key is replaced by an aluminum on that is just red in color, so is much lighter.

I would include pictures, but if spending way too much time learning about lock picking (I really want to pick up the hobby some day, it sounds like a pretty interesting and useful skill to have) online has taught me anything, it’s that copying keys using a photograph of them is remarkably easy to do.

Perhaps in the future I’ll include it as an edit, when I figure out how to blur out the key’s cuts!


Bringing it back to the prompt…

Because of the differences in each member of my family’s key rings, you can always tell who is coming home based on how they jangle.

My mom’s keys are attached to an orange fob with a retractable line that she keeps clipped to her bag or purse.

Thus you always hear footsteps, a slight pause (with a very quite unzipping bag zipper sound), then the outer door key opening the door, a very quiet closing of the outer door (it’s metal so is pretty loud when I close it, but my mom can somehow do it so that all you hear is a faint click when the latch reengages.) Also, she always takes off her shoes and puts them in the wooden shoe cupboard before opening the inner door, so you will hear it open and close before the inner door key goes in.

My dad’s key ring… well he has a ton of keys and fobs (for work and the like) so his keys are particularly jangle-y.

Especially since he doesn’t have a set place for them, so you can always here the bag riffling sounds as he tries to locate them. He, like me also messes up the inner door key (both sides look the same at a quick glance, and like usb it seems impossible to get them in the right way around the first time) so you key the key go in, some jangling, it being taken out the placed back in after being flipped, some more jangling etc until the door unlocks. (my brother and mom are more observant and have figured out which side is which, so they rarely get tripped up with the key)

My brother’s set has a metal key fob (a gift from a friend of his with his name on it) and gets his keys out early before getting to the door.

So there are fewer pauses compared to mom or dad. The key jangling noise is also much more… metallic sounding and sound pretty different to the other sets. Also he does the thing where he opens and goes in the inner door first without closing the door, takes off his shoes then puts them in the shoe cupboard

As for my key janglin’ quirks?

Well, I’m not really sure since I don’t pay attention to them when I unlock doors, since I am usually going home tired or hot and just want to get in asap and lie down or turn on an aircon. I should ask sometime just out of curiosity. Then again how do you bring up a conversation like that: ” Wow! that sounds interesting. In other news, do I have any weird key janglling habits?”. For the most part, I guess I have some similar traits to my dad with the inner door trip up, and with my brother with the go in first, then take off shoes and put in cupboard order.


I would usually try to bring this post to some satisfying metaphor for life, maybe about how we notice more about others subconsciously and compare ourselves to others, rather than focus on our own flaws. But really? It is just a post about key janglin’ quirks, I’ll be impressed if anyone reads to this point :p

But people are still reading this… here is a question:

Do you have your own key jangling habits? Is it purposeful, such as to remember where you put them? Or is it a unique quirk you do without noticing?

Feel free to comment below with your thoughts!

And as always, see you later!

Rebecca


This post was based off of the Daily post prompt:

Jangle (July 8)