I’m taking a break with this blog atm to work on other websites and things.
Sorry about that!
I’m taking a break with this blog atm to work on other websites and things.
Sorry about that!
I’ve been debating how to start this post off for a while now, since it feels like my first post after 3-4 month hiatus should be more exciting and interesting (or at least more thought out and edited). But since I can’t thing of anything really, here goes nothing!
I’ve gained a fair few followers since I last posted on here (which was like 3-4 months ago) so welcome to my blog new people! (wow, real professional sounding there)
I’ve been a bit busy recently, so haven’t gotten the chance to post as often as I should.
Several new updates in my life:
I’ll continue with the goals thing starting March 1, as I’ve found it to be very useful. Even if I don’t manage to finish my goals, at least I have a typed out outline of the things I need to focus on, which is great.
🎆 Have a happy Chinese New Year and great Year of the Dog! 🏮 (恭喜發財!狗年旺旺! 🐶) and I’ll see you in March.
P.s. Before I forget, the USA Mid Term elections are happening this year and the deadline for the primaries in several states are coming up soon.
If you are like me, a USA citizen living abroad, or a member of the military, you can use the Federal Voting Assistance Program at FVAP.gov to request your mail in ballot.
For people stateside, you can find the information you need here at the usvotefoundation.org or EAC.gov. 12 states even have same day voter registration, so honestly you have very little reason not to vote if you are eligible.
p.s.s I didn’t want this to end on a downer or have this post be super political but it has got to be said. The USA needs to sort out its gun problem. NOW.
It is absolutely abhorrent that these shootings continue to happen and I’m always at a loss for words when nothing gets done except for offers of “thoughts and prayers”.
As someone who grew up in Texas, I understand the pervasiveness of gun culture and get extremely annoyed when people stereotype gun owners as red necked hillbillies or end of the world prepers. A few of my close friends and classmates were gun owners who used them for hunting and sport. And this was just in Austin, I can only imagine what is like to have a gun in a more rural area. Gun culture is just a facet of life and there is little point in trying to ignore it or demonize others for it.
But something has gone wrong when you remember as an elementary kid having “unidentified stranger on campus” drills where you learn how to duck under your desk or hid in the restroom/closet while staying as quiet as possible. When you remember visiting to a Cabela’s just being stunned at just how easy for someone to get a gun. When you see in the news that another school shooting has happened and you are no longer shocked, only numb.
Gun culture and gun control are not mutually exclusive to each other. You can be a second amendment supporter and believe in common sense gun regulations. This should not be such a difficult concept to understand. Period.
So today marks the 99th anniversary of World War I Armistice on November 11th, 1918 at 11 am (the eleventh month, eleventh day, eleventh hour).
Since I don’t have a way with words, I’ll be including bits of War Poems here and there which I have always found to be incredibly powerful in humanizing the war and honoring those who lost their lives.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”
~ Robert Laurence Binyon, For The Fallen
And here is something that has always bugged me about how the USA treats the day ever since I moved to Hong Kong.
Growing up as a kid in the USA, it was seen as a very celebratory holiday.
Flags fly high (well more than they usually do, which is saying a lot considering USA schools have a flag in every classroom for the pledge of allegiance – something else that is weird about the USA if you think about it too much), discounts for veteran are given for everything and there is a general patriotic sense in the air as you celebrate the heroes fighting for our rights abroad.
There are parades, there are picnics, basically, it is a bit like a toned down 4th of July was more “soldier-ified”
I never realized the significance of that date. November 11th.
You could make the excuse that I was too young to know then, after all, I was 12 when I left.
But that excuse rings hollow.
It’s because I never had a reason to wonder. It’s a holiday to celebrate our troops, what else would it be for?
And now that I do know the importance of the date, the way the USA celebrates what should be a sacred, hallowed day feels….
Sinister to say the least.
Actually no, it’s downright disturbing.
In Hong Kong (and more former/current commonwealth countries), it is a day where you remember those who lost their lives and say “Lest we forget”
Lest we forget the devastating path of destruction conflict leaves behind in its wake.
Lest we forget the human cost of war, not just of our fellow countrymen, but of all of mankind.
Lest we forget the dangers of excessive patriotism and blind faith in those in command.
My friend, you would not tell with such high zestTo children ardent for some desperate glory,The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.~Wilfred Owens
Poppies are worn to symbolize the ones in Flanders Fields.
In class, you read war poems by Siegfried Sassoon, Rudyard Kipling, Edward Thomas, John McCrae…
Two minutes of silence were observed at 11am in the morning for reflection.
In essence, Veterans Day disturbs me so much because it reminds me a bit of District 2 in the Hunger Games. If you have built up a culture where the military is glorified to the point that the cost of conflict is forgotten, then you get people so eager to leap at the chance to fight, instead of sit down and sort through a slower, yet longer lasting diplomatic option.
So today, I will commemorate those who lost their lives, rather than celebrate the troops fighting wars.
I’ll probably catch some flack from people who think I’m disrespecting our troops by saying that, but I believe war should always be the last option, the worst case scenario, rather than something overtly celebrated and glorified.
I just hope more people in the future (especially to my fellow Americans out there, whether you are still stateside or live abroad like me) understand the significance of Novmber 11th and choose to see it as a sombering reminder of our past.
Because those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.
Prepare for complete tonal whiplash:
I will make up a post for yesterday at a later date, was busy yesterday… busy procrastinating that is, did all the Common core essay stuff today. Will likely skip tomorrows post as well, since I have a lab due tomorrow.
Also not sure if this post is over 500 words but I’m over the time limit anyways. Will make the post look nicer at a later date. etc etc. See you on Monday if I can’t find time to post tomorrow.
Yes, I know that isn’t your real name.
In fact, since you are just a bee that lives around Centennial Garden I don’t even need to make one up for you.
But I’m doing so anyway to make me sound less crazy when I am personifying and writing a letter to a freaking insect.
Ingeborg by the way because it was the most random girl name I could think of starting with an “I” (since I assume you are a worker bee which are all female, and the letter to stand in for Insect, just because). Apidae for the taxonomical family you are in (along with all other bee species).
As for Trunchbull… well I needed a last name and your threatening buzzing around in my hair reminded me of Agatha Trunchbull’s words (clip from the 1996 movie) from Matilda by Ronald Dahl.
Hi! I’m Rebecca.
You know, that girl who shows up in Centennial Gardens a lot to help give recorded feedback about friend’s spoken English for a school project?
The one you keep following for no good reason?
Hi. I’m not happy right and want to talk, Ingeborg.
Please… sit. (or hover menacingly, I don’t care as long as you listen)
I’m not sure WHY you keep chasing me in particular, maybe it is my hair scrunchies that you keep mistaking for flowers or the new shampoo I’m using or whatever,
This is nearly the 4th day in a row now.
And its always me specifically.
Not the person I’m tutoring, not the other students near me, heck not even the dozen or so other people milling around the park at any given time!
And you have some weird obsession with my hair.
You are a vital part of our world’s ecosystem and have a job to do so you don’t starve over the coming winter months.
Maybe you are behind on nectar collection and need to work overtime.
Or maybe I’m giving you too much credit.
Maybe you just want to imitate Barry B. Benson from the Bee Movie (2007) by falling in love with a female human, accidentally altering the world’s ecological balance, before stealing a party float, hijacking a plain and saving the world’s flowers.
Or I’m galactic royalty and you are acknowledging it like I’m Jupiter Jones in Jupiter Ascending (2015).
Today, you held my freaking laptop hostage to get my attention.
You forced me and my Tutee to relocate to the stairwell of Hoi Oh Chow to continue our recording (which is much louder than the gardens).
Heck, you showed up at Happy Park today to annoy me while I walked around different booths learning about service opportunities.
(unless it was one of your friends/sisters in which case, tell her to stop as well)
Piss off, Ingeborg Trunchbull the Bee!
Stop chasing me around and messing with my hair, or… or… [Insert statement here that a bee would find threatening]!
So the word count for the following few posts will be reduced since I will be super busy the next few days.
You know because I’ve got 1 assignment, 1 lab report, preparation for 1 presentation and research for 2 final history essays.
Oh and research for exchange.
And general exam revision.
Yay stress town!
Whoop Whoop! Yup.
Anyways, I’m going to be talking about Kuhnian revolutions for my 500(ish) words today. Why? Because it has to deal with one of my assignments and I have writer’s block right now about how to structure my essay, so this is just me rambling for a bit to get the creative juices flowing.
Think of this as the equivalent of scribbling in the corner of a piece of paper to get the ink flowing again.
So, back to Thomas Kuhn and his ideas about how scientific revolutions occur (which is a weird mix of history, science with philosophy thrown in just because)
Basically, there are 5 steps to a Kuhnian cycle.
Oh and sometimes people include an extra step before normal science (called Pre-science) where scientist just begin to observe and understand the field before any laws or theories are made that are able to make advances in the area of knowledge.
To be honest, I think the model overly simplifies the complex process of scientific discovery. For example, sometimes an anomaly doesn’t lead to a new model that replaces the old, but creates a new branch of science entirely, like the creation of quantum mechanics being a new branch rather than taking over and replacing Newtonian physics. Or how revolutions in one field trigger model crisis in others, like how the theory of uniformitarianism in Geology lead to the challenging of creationism and the rise of evolution.
But yeah, interesting stuff. The more you think about it the more it falls apart except in very specific cases in physics in my opinion.
Or maybe that just because I study science and the thought that all notable discoveries can be shoehorned into a single framework just intuitively doesn’t feel right to me.
I’m not sure. 😛
That’s the problem with essays like this in my opinion. When you get to essays what get as philosophical as this, it becomes hard to articulate your stance, especially in a way where you sneak under the word count.
Other than this assignment, I’ve got a lab this Friday which is on the Hill reaction (related to photosynthesis). But yeah, week 1 of November is over, and now we are slowly ramping up to the crazy exam weeks…
Oh boy, here we go!
So that should be enough words by now (just checked. Yup!), see you later!
Let me set the scene…
So I had just finished eating lunch with one of my friends (since I have an hour break between a common core tutorial I have with her and an English Peer Tutoring session) and was putting my tray away when I feel a tap on my shoulder.
The following conversation ensues (I can’t remember it word for word but this is the general gist of it).
I’ll be R, she will be G (not going to give her real name but let’s call her… Ginny because Harry Potter :P)
~Set in an HKU restaurant~
G: “Sorry this might be a bit weird but I’m sure I know you from somewhere… did you go to a CityU mooting workshop or CUHK’s summer institute or something like that during the summer?”
Side note: I didn’t even know what a “mooting” was (it’s is a mock courtroom trial) until I googled it just now. This becomes relevant later on…
R: “You mean the previous summer? Or a few summers ago? No, I’ve never been to CityU, though I went to a CUHK medicine clinical attachment program a few years back?”
G: “No it isn’t that. Huh… you aren’t a freshman right?”
R: “Yeah, wait… what did you say your name was again?” (slightly surprised she new since most people think I’m a freshman, plus my brain is registering her as someone I know, rather than a complete stranger I have never seen before)
R: “Okay, yeah I definitely remember your face from somewhere as well, plus that name just sounds too familiar”
G: “What faculty are you in?”
R: “Science, majoring in Ecology & Biodiversity. We are in different faculties though I think, you are studying something like Law right?”
G: “Wait, how did you know that? I don’t think I mentioned that earlier”
– Note: she technically did hint toward it with “mooting” but since I didn’t know what that was at the time, I was just as surprised as she was that I “guessed” right –
R: “I don’t know, just felt it was something related to that subject… Maybe we are in the same common core class?”
G: “What do you take this year?”
R: “CCST____, about scientific revolutions and…”
G: “Nope, it’s not that… and we aren’t in the same faculty or year so it couldn’t have been a general requirement or a freshman meet up sort of thing”
R: “Yeah… huh. Because I’m really sure I’ve seen you before, you look really familiar to me”
G: “Yeah I know right? This is so weird…”
R: “Well see you around I guess, need to go tutor some people now!”
So after I finish tutoring two people (went really well) and leave, my brain immediately jumps back to trying to solve this enigma.
Doubt begins to set in.
Maybe she just looks like someone else I know, that is always a possibility.
But no, that just doesn’t feel right; maybe she’s changed her glasses or hairstyle, but I’m sure I have seen her before, like over 80% positive.
Besides, I knew what faculty she was in before she told me, and her name and face are so familiar… but I just can’t place it!
At this point, I’m slowly regretting not getting her phone number in case I do actually know her and have just forgotten for some reason.
Okay, so we have established that we have met and exchanged phone numbers at some point.
Anyways, after a few back and forth WhatsApp messages (where I gave her my number since she switched phones – see! Having a nearly 5-year-old Samsung Galaxy Note 2 does have it advantages :P) we just start listing things:
Secondary schools we went to, Summer programs we did, university clubs, Extra curricular, IBDP…
Everything, anything we can think of where we met a lot of people within the past few years
We were in the same St. John Ambulance First Aid Class!
Suddenly a torrent of information comes flooding back to me (it genuinely felt like something out of a movie, like where a person with amnesia gets their memories back)
Big, general things like our instructor’s name and the names of other classmates to random little things like that fake CPR dummy we made with someone’s ipad, a backpack and a pillow we made during a practice we had outside of the formal lessons.
Something about 30 MONTHS or 2.5 YEARS AGO, that lasted maybe 24 hours over 5 or so days and my brain STILL remembered subconsciously recognized that she looked familiar, even if I couldn’t consciously recall where I met her.
We knew was something that:
So yeah the human brain is amazing, and Hong Kong is a pretty freaking awesome place to study since it is small enough where crazy stuff like that can happen!
That’s all for now, DFTBA!
P.S. Thinking about writing less starting tomorrow until Sunday since I have a few deadlines coming up. I’ll aim for 200 words tomorrow and make up the extra on the weekends. I’ll confirm tomorrow.
Okay, so its only day 6 of this thing and already I’ve hit a writer’s block.
Well, it isn’t that I don’t have any ideas at the moment, more like I have a few ideas that either need more research, need more time to write about or are dead ends (like I was going to have one talking about how awesome the Dewey decimal system was, but turns out the dude was pretty terrible, stuff like that)
Since I’m running out of time, I will be doing another 30 minute story challenge.
See here for the rules, but the basic gist of it is a randomly generated first line from this website, and 30 minutes of pure typing with no deleting.
Ready? Set? Go!