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 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 24 – 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

Day 5- Recap (of sorts)

Like the Fates of Greek mythology, this post comes to you in three parts which constitutes a whole ( with each recap being vaguely related to the three’s roles in the myths)

( keep in mind that my Greek mythology knowledge comes from what I can remember from Percy Jackson and the Olympians + what I can google in 5 minutes, so it is probably very inaccurate and making a professor on the subject somewhere cringe… provided this blog ever gets that kind of traction, which is unlikely, but hey crazier things have happened this year, so I’m not ruling it out yet)


Clotho / Nona (“the spinner”)

aka the maiden that creates the string of life or in this case, creates the posts and on the projects I have

I’ve discovered tagging today. Well, not so much discovered as I have actually gotten around to doing it.

During that process I found one called postaday which pretty much compiles all the blogs posting every day, so I’ll be using that for this month of blogging.

I’m thinking about adding pictures in one way or another to this blog, since so far it suffers from the whole “wall o’text” thing, which makes for difficult reading (not that anyone at the moment is reading it, my view counter is still at 0)

Another group of things I’ve always meant to get started on in programming, OLL on the cube and  learning T-line short hand. Perhaps I should add it to my daily ritual, since this blogging thing seems to be going pretty decently? I’ll see..

If I do though, progress reports will probably go on this blog, since that seems to be a thing that gets me to start projects (think CAS blog in IB)


Lachesis / Decuma (“the apportioner”)

aka the matron that measures out and portions out the string of life, for me – the one that starts planning ahead for the upcoming uni semesters & figures out her direction in life

So far, I’m planning double majoring in History (B.A.) and Ecology & Biodiversity (B.S.) in university, while also going on exchange in year 3 and abroad at some time to work on my German. Which is a lot of stuff, but hey I’m going to try and take advantage of all I can here.

Still waiting for my grades for this semester since I need to know them to see where I can apply for exchange… Should be decent but it seems like it is taking forever…

There was a bug a few days ago that allowed some people to see their scores ahead of time, but by the time I got online they had patched it.

Different faculties have started posting course lists for next semester, and I am thinking about choosing:

  • History- Eating History: Food Culture from the 19th Century to the Present (HIST2077) and The United States before 1900 (HIST2015) for semester 2. Not sure about semester 1.
  • Biology – Though the list isn’t out yet it is easier since I still need to complete the pre-recs for it. Thinking about also adding a Biochemistry lab course, even though it isn’t required for this major
  • Common Core – Again this depends on the schedule so will probably be chosen last for me, but I still need a CCST and CCGL class here.

Not really sure what I will be doing after college, since while at first I was thinking about going into teaching, I’m not sure I want to spend all of my career there + from what I have read online, it is  a much tougher career than it is often made out to be with pay that isn’t that great.

Ideally, I’d be in a career that allows of flexible hours and travel, but I’ve yet to find one yet. Perhaps grad school, though again depends on GPA


Atropos / Morta (“the inevitable”)

aka the crone who cuts the thread of life, or my view on some of the characters House of Cards so far

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but currently mararthon-ing House of Cards. Currently I am on Season 2 Episode 5 (Chapter 18)

I’ll probably go in more depth later, but again we are running close to the deadline so quick rapid fire thoughts on just random things.

Frank – Gosh he is entertaining and manipulative AF. That train scene with Zoe + the recent quorum scene stand out to me… Man it is awesome to see him at work, whether

Claire – She and Frank are perfect for each other, both are manipulative and cunning in their own way that is just great to see unfold.

Blythe – love this guy, might be my favorite character, probably the only one so far that has stood up to Frank and notices his BS

Sharp – (not sure if this is correct but the new dem. party whip) I like her and see why Frank backed her, she has a can do spirit and while she whips votes in a very different way to Frank, she is just as persuasive. will be interesting to see where this character goes (hopefully

Tusk – Frank’s match for president Walker’s attention. Liked him in the earlier episodes when you could see his observant nature (Frank’s knocking on table etc), now he seems pushed aside a bit for Feng…

Feng – He’s not a native Chinese speaker… seriously it has a really thick accent and really noticeable that kinda takes me out of the moment. His assistant’s Chinese is great, but Feng himself… lets just say its for the best he sticks almost exclusively to English in his scenes

Lucas & Rachel – not sure what is going on with these, their plots seem forgettable at times, though sure they will become more interesting as season goes on.

Doug – stay away from Rachel man, just leave her alone to live out her life…

Meechum & Freddy – They are getting way to much time in the spotlight to not be key players later on

So that is all for now (this is probably the longest post I’ve written ever, I’m quite impressed!)

Until tomorrow,

Rebecca

Some Housekeeping!

As I am updating my various blogs, it occurs to me that there may be some overlap or confusion as to which each site is for. So here is just a quick overview of everything.

This website will serve as the “hub” if you will for everything (at least for now, who knows about the future). I might make this post a separate page, again depending on future stuff.

  • My (Rebecca’s) IB CAS Blog [No longer Updated]
    • As it says on the tin. Since I have graduated and completed IB already, it won’t be updated. It’s just there as an example of how to do CAS reflections for future IBers (as well as a badge of pride for me since it got to the front page of google :P) If only my other websites had that much love…
  • NerdyHistoryNotes Website {Not open to the public… yet}
    • A history resource website that I am working on in my free time. It was originally going to be focused on the IB curriculum, but since it recently changed, it is going to be a more general historiography website
  • NerdyHistoryNotes Blog
    • Development and Update blog for the main website. I’ll probably migrate the current weekly updates to another blog after the main website goes live, so that it is neater. Basically it it just hisoty related stuff for now.
  • A Pondering Papaya
    • My personal blog (and where you are now :P). These are just going to be my thoughts about random stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else, since I don’t want any of my opinions to be put on any of the more “factual” sites. There isn’t really a theme here or a method to the madness, more of just me talking about stuff that I find interesting
  • hKUDOS 
    • This is my university’s student blog that I am a part of and contribute to. At the moment, I haven’t published anything on it (just got accepted this semester after all!) But that will change around March of this year. (and unlike my history websites, this deadline will actually be met regardless of school stuff :P).
    • Disclaimer: Note that my reflections on “A Pondering Papaya” are not reflective of my university’s thoughts etc. My writing at hKUDOS will be a bit different from the stuff here (ie more professional, actually edited, less wild etc). Just putting the link here since it is a blog I am a part of, but there will be no overlap between the two blogs as I will be keeping my personal stuff away from my professional stuff
  • Future projects ;P…?
    • Well, not at the moment, Uni is already keeping me busy enough at the moment. But all bets are off in the summer break though!

So yeah that’s it for now, just wanted to get this out there as a way for people who happen to stumble onto her a way of figuring out what is going on 😀

-Rebecca

A New Year – A New Set of Goals!

It is 2017 and Chinese New Year is coming up so it will be a new year in two calendars!

So  I felt that it would be nice to post a few goals and things that I hope will happen during this year, some goals or any other random bits and bobs that I want to get down on paper (? website? whatever) before uni life swings into full gear with tutorials, classes, mid terms oh my! 😛

For some context, I’m typing this sitting on a sofa in the learning commons of my university, listening to a documentary ( Lucy Worsely’s ” A Very British Romance – Episode 3″) Nerdy I know but hey documentaries are cool and zone me in to writing, don’t judge!)  Today is the start of CNY holiday so no afternoon classes right now, which is why I’m free to type this.

That is a lot of rambling for something that people won’t really read so I’m not sure why I am doing it. Oh well, good writing and typing practice I guess?

So goals (they will probably be posted in a new page on my website since ain’t nobody got time to skim through this).

If you are skimming future me or other people, skip here:

Academic

  • Gain CGPA of 3.2 at a minimum (stretch goal of 3.5) – Yes that means getting an B+ average for the first or A average for the second this semester, but that is what happens when you (by that I mean past me) slack off on revision in the first Semester 😛
  • Work on German – Making this a goal since for the longest time I have started languages, then given up on them less than a year and a half later. Hopefully this time German will be the language that sticks with me (In this catagory, I mean thing like class, duolingo, listening etc)
  • Read a book a week on average by the end of the year – Both nonfiction and fiction, in class work as well as outside of class all count since I am not crazy or an English major lol
  • Write more outside of class work – I do realize this is very vague without a qualifier, but it is hard come up with a criteria other than word count which won’t work since I hand write a lot and it seems like a very arbitrary thing but this includes things like the History website, pen pal letters, blogs etc.

Welfare

  • Run that 10k! – Self explanatory really, but just exercise and run more in general. Be healthier because it will be easier now then procrastinating on this til later
  • Eat out less and cook more – This is both to save money (since I am spending way too much on uni campus food) as well as learning cooking skills since that is something that I really should learn during university
  • Sleep right –   aka limit all nighters since I have a ton of mandatory early morning science classes and lectures.

Career/Business

  • History website – Yup. ‘Nuff said.
  • Exchange planning – This is sort of related to the academic goals, but since it is less current year academic related and more of future plans, its going here
  • Volunteer more – I barely did any volunteering in the first semester. Change that.
  • Renew First Aid Certification – its 2017, meaning it expires next year. Get it renewed early since next summer, I’ll be busy with second year exchange prep craziness.

Other Fun Stuff

  • Learn OLL Rubik’s cube – Yes this is a bit less important than the other ones but I have been procrastinating on this one for several years
  • Coding/Wordpress practice – This could go into the career/buisness section as well but since that bit has a lot already, putting it here

Well,  that’s all for now!

-Rebecca

Hello World!

So this is going to be the start of my new blog, chronicling the University life adventure, events, random pondering from me, Rebecca.

Papaya, by the way, is a childhood nickname of mine, hence the blog title, as I couldn’t think of anything else that wasn’t already taken. Curse my very popular name! (Just kidding, I think it is more my lack of creativity than anything) 🙂

I am not a stranger to the world of blogging, in fact I am the proud owner another blog that I did during my IB years for CAS reflections. You might have heard of it before if you do IB, since it reached the front page of google for “IB CAS blog”.

This blog will be far less organised than that blog.

For one, I’m pretty sure no one will read this blog that is super important, unlike my old blog that was read by IB and CAS coordinators, CAS supervisors, IBO people, University admissions etc.

I mean conceivably a future employer or two may stumble upon this, but I don’t think they will care much about the ramblings of an 18 year old teen/young adult. Hopefully by the time I leave university I will have a more professional website (or, more unlikely, I will have accomplished enough by then that no one really cares about my credentials and accepts me automatically 😛 )

And secondly, this isn’t required so I’m just going to be posting whatever I feel like for the day. Given my track record for finishing things that have no deadlines, that probably means around every 3 months or so… Yup. It will be that kind of blog (for the time being, not sure about the future)

But hey, the other one helped me reach morem goals, who knows about this one?

That is all for now! See ya later.

-Rebecca