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

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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)

Day 25 – Clothing makers, where are my pockets?

Dear people who design clothing for a living,

Specifically the dress and skirt makers of the world, but extending to skinny jean makers who are often equally guilty of the same crime.

Why do you make women’s garments without pockets?

Seriously, I want to know. 

And don’t give me that trite answer that women carry purses and don’t need them. Because I’d at least like the option of not having to lug around a bag, when all I need for the day is a place to store my keys, phone and cash.

Not even a wallet man, just a tiny place for a phone and keys is all im asking for, I don’t even need the ability to put my hand in the pocket.

Sure, I could carry a clutch around in those cases, but they suck.

 I can never get used to them because their size means that I’m extremely likely to set it down and lose it.

Why should I need an entirely separate bag to make up for the short comings of my clothing?

Oh and fake pocket people? The ones who sew tiny areas on pants that contain the meer apperence of pockets without the functionality? 

You are the worst.

Why not just include the helpful clothing tool instead of betraying our feelings by pretending to be something you are not?

People aren’t looking at the pants and going “wow sweet non pockets”, they assume that they are just normal pockets not a bundle of deceate and lies.

You know how bad it has gotten? I now become irrationally excited when I find any woman’s garment that contain them. 

When in actuality they should be standard issue. After all, no one has ever gone, “this is an awesome pair of pants, I just wish they got rid of this weird slit with fabric attatched that I could conveniently choose to hold items in”

So to all people who make clothing for the fairer sex, please give me my dang pockets.

Signed,

Rebecca

Day 25 – Scratch that!

Like most of these posts, I’ve once again left this until the last moment to do, and therefore are scrambling for ideas and frantically typing away to meet the word count.

I have had plenty of ideas, but everytime I start typing, I have “Scratched it” by deleting the whole thing and starting over… super annoying now that I now have less time and nothing done instead of an unfinished post, but alas here we are.

Since I really can’t think of something, here is a short bullet list of the ideas I have scratched out so far:

  • The daily prompt: Tether – Was going to write about the “Tethers of my world” but it was extremely uninspired and dull. Basically a rehash of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
  • Finishing the Snacks post – I barely have time to type up this one! Ain’t nobody got time to finish that incredibly long post and find pics etc
  • Quick fire questions – I feel its too soon since the last one… Probably an irrational fear but hey, most my life is full of them, why stop now?
  • My Ultimate book recommendation list – In short, the 5 books I would recommend to anyone I would ever meet. Still might do this in the future, but adjusting it right now, adding some books, taking some off etc.
  • IB-isms – Aka. “Things IB Alumni do”. Most fitting since the IB scores just came out, but I am running out of time, and only had 2 or 3 really good ones off the top of my head
  • Infographic – Work in process, saving til day 30 😛

I should mention that with all of these, I had started typing the post out before getting rid of them… why do I do this to myself -.-”’

I sometimes do this in exam essays, which basically means I end up shooting myself in the foot by wasting time on something that I just scratch out in the end, meaning that the the frantically written thing I end up submitting usually is poorer quality than had I just left the original one XP

So yeah, instead of a decent post, you got all of the could have been’s.

Sorry about that, hopefully something more inspired will show up soon!

Basically this is me right now:

calvin_and_hobbes_creativity_last_minute_panic
Calvin and Hobbes – May 21, 1992 (Sources: 1 & 2 )

Except my problem is the doing bit that requires the panic, not the ideas bit.

Well, that was a bit of an odd post.

See you later!

Rebecca

Day 24 – Elemental Reflections (on a whole bunch of stuff)

Like the types of benders in Avatar the Last Airbender – aka the-greatest-TV-show-ever-no-joke-binge-watch-it-now-if-you-haven’t-seen-it-yet(minus energy bending) or the Classical Greek Elements (without aether), this reflection comes to you in 4 distinct parts related to Air, Water, Earth and Fire!


Air – Element of Freedom. Foreseeing implications, valuing diversity. peace and clarity. 

This section is more about my blog and the “creative freedoms” I’m giving it. 

So I really should have spilt up the snacks post into more than one like the cubing one… oh well, part of this type a day thing is learning more about making posts and blogging.

I’ll be leaving that one incomplete for now and finishing it up later when I get the time too.

Basically, anytime there aren’t finished tags on a post, I’ll get back to it later.

Since the arbitrary rules I wrote at the start technically didn’t say I had to finish a post, or couldn’t edit it later, just that I had to write something every day 😉 Again, my blogs, my rules. 

Also, the more I write these things, the more I realise there are different types of posts. Some that require more time than the few hours (sometimes minutes) at the end of the day that I have.

I feel as though the act of starting to write stuff (possibly not finishing) and editing it later is more closely inline with what I was envisioning when starting this project, rather than just 200 words of copy and paste, so I will give myself a bit of leeway when it comes to “post a day”


Water – Element of change. Going with the flow, being flexible and adaptable.

This is going to be about my changing views on Carousell. If you have no interest in it, skip to the next one. I should also point out that they aren’t paying me or anything like that, just my thoughts.

So earlier in this writing everyday thing, I made a post about how difficult it was to get rid of my textbooks in HK (see the post here ). and I mentioned how I was flogging it on a random app I downloaded but getting no bites.

Well, in the two weeks between me posting that and now, out of my listing of a dozen items just to test it out, I have managed to sell off 1 textbook and have deals in the works to exchange 3 more… Yeah. 

Not sure if it is the fact that school is out, so people are thinking more about buying books, I’m getting lucky with my post times (seems like more people like for things I post in the afternoon) or there are just more people being on the app now (I’ve been seeing the app’s advertisements on mini buses now, though it could just be the 

Or it might just be me, since some of my friends are having trouble selling the same books, even though they are priced lower in some cases.

Perhaps that experience selling books on amazon as a kid paid off? Since some of the really basic stuff (like ISBN numbers so people can double check it is the book they need) or how to describe the condition of a book are missing in some of the other listings I’ve seen. 

For now, I’ll continue trying to keep an open mind toward it and see how it goes! 

(By the way, if you are in HK and want to buy second hand English books, I’m Beckysbooks on Carousell)


Earth – Element of substance. Strong, persistent and enduring, facing challenges head on.

A random pondering of where I stand right now

I can’t believe I’ve gotten this far with writing. 

Seriously.

I have never done a writing project this consistently before and it continues to amaze me that this silly idea I had about a month ago to kill summer boredom has turned into an epic saga with over 24+ chapters of a uni student’s thoughts on everything from growing up and trying to find her place in the world to more random post like geeking out over cubing and being overly metaphoric about random words thrown at be by a daily post blog. 

Then again, it occurs to me that most writing projects start off with a person having comparably silly random idea (a boy becoming a wizard and going to boring school, a fantasy story involving different houses competing to sit on an uncomfortable chair, a girl in a dystopian world who gets thrown into a fight to the death etc) and going:

“Ehhh… why not? This thing isn’t going to write itself.”

Then persisting through everything to the end where the thing if finally published, often several YEARS later.

Kudos authors out there! I’ve tried doing it several days in a row, and even I started to lose hope around day 12. Which reminds me…

There was a guest post linked to a post of mine that was written by Michelle Jayne on Kasmin’s blog titled ” The Writer and the Tortise” (link here) which really resonated with me, that deals with a similar thought of perseverance and writing habits. You should check it out! 😛 


Fire – Element of power. Having the desire and drive for growth to achieve all that is possible within their ability.

This bit goes out to all of the May 2017 IBers out there, who are in a few hours about to recieve their scores and see if they got into university (including my younger brother).

Some of you will be elated about your scores, some will shrug it off, and some of you will be crushed.

This open letter of sorts is for the latter guys in particular, but applicable to all IBers and people entering university

“Where there is a will, there is a way” is a saying my former math teacher used to say.

Of course at the time it was to counter any of the (admittedly kinda pathetic) excuses we would all come up with for why our assignments were late. 

But, like most wise advise given to me, its true meaning doesn’t present itself until later.

Your score may feel like the end of the line, as measure of all the hard work you have done over the last two years. To that I say… its not.

Unlike pretty much all other exams in the world, IB is not a sprint, a few hour multiple choice quiz that is over in a flash. It is a pentathlon of suck that you are thrown into without any prior training… while sleep deprived… with CAS and TOK and a 4000 word research paper etc.

You have, over the past two years done everything from analyse translated literature, read passages in a second language, design your experiment, write a mathematical investigations, explore humanities subjects etc. And that is just the IAs. 

I speak from experience when I say that you have a leg up compared to your peers, and the first year of uni is nothing compared to IB. Everything from learning how to write a paper with proper citations, to volunteering in actives as a global citizen, to overcoming (or at least coping) with sleep deprivation etc are all skills that IB has left you with that a simple score isn’t going to show, but universities know about and consider. 

(well, except for USA unis who care more about AP and SAT. Then again you have already gotten in, so your IB grade doesn’t really matter at this point. so you don’t understand the terror of waiting til d-day)

In the end, your score doesn’t define you. 

Whether you sit down and give up, or brush yourself off and get up, does. 

I have a friend who thought their life was over when they got a 23 (later a 24 after remarking), but who still got into university to study film due to his hard work ethic, leadership skill and portfolio of work that the IB left them with.

It can be done! 

So no mater what score you get, Celebrate!

You now join our global community as an IB Alumni, and more importantly, an IB survivor 😛 ! Prepare yourself for all the lingering IB-isms, the “You know nothings” to the Pre-IB/ the Year 1’s,  silent “You poor unfortunate soul” nods you will give to the Year 2’s and the instant connections you get with other people who went through IB like you.

Good luck to all, with all your future endeavours!

 


On that note, I’ll catch you later!

Rebecca