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

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Day 16 – Quick Letter to a Younger Me

Dear Past Me,

Specifically 16 year old me, for several reasons:

  1. You have just finished IGCSE and are starting the crazy world of IB… I pity you, and want to reassure you that: Yes you do get through it and go to university.
  2. 2014 was a pretty dang eventful year (Ebola, Sochi games, MH370 & 17, Occupy Central etc), but 2017 is… well Trump is president of the  US, the UK is fixing to leave the EU and I still have acne. On the plus side, I’ve run 10km in the Standard Charter Marathon. I’ll give you a second to recover from the shock, no I am not messing with you here.
  3. 3 years ago seems just far enough back that I could give myself good advice without causing a paradox that destroys the universe via a butterfly effect
  4. I needed something to write for this post a day challenge I’m doing on day 16. No, it is not for homework and yes, you do make a blog and write stuff to fill your summers with.

Since you probably think this is a hoax:

You own a green diary that you switch over to a blue diary on the 31st of December. You wrote down “Walking on Sunshine” as your favorite song (really? REALLY? I mean I we never claimed to have good taste in music but man…. oh wait cus from that episode of Supernatural… still though) and felt the need to tell me that your favorite kitchen smell (the heck?) is and I quote: ” COOKIES! :P” . You are in that “soo random lols” phase of my life aren’t you…

Yes I do have that diary on my lap now and am not-so-subtly judging you.

Sorry ’bout that, but hey you did call me an old fart and did write one of your pages in glittery freaking orange pen, getting the herpes of craft supplies on me… “not having another nearby pen” is not an excuse for booby trapping a diary. Jerk.

Anyways, to inject some positivity into this…

This is where I put advice isn’t it… huh. Never was any good at this, though I’ll still try (cus that is what you do dang it! You go off an try your hardest at any dang thing that comes your way.. ehem.)

*spoilers ahead I guess *

  • I don’t have any betting advice for you – just putting that out there first. Just don’t get involved with it, even if there is time travel involved
  • No, you still don’t have my life “sorted out” yet. I’m doing both by doubling in History and Biology in Uni- no no not ivy. You didn’t get in and besides would have been absolutely miserable there if you had. You end up going to HKU and having a blast so far, though don’t want to jinx it!
  • Listen more than you talk. You tend to miss a lots of things you would have noticed had you paid more attention, or lose things easily because you are so absent minded. Try to kick the habit early, it would be very helpful.
  • Your instincts are right. there are some jerks in the higher ups at school, especially after 2015 when a lot of the awesome teachers leave your school. Keep calm and carry on. Don’t get confrontational cus it is just going to get you pissed beyond belief and they won’t care. You will end up fine in the end despite some people pulling you down.
  • Keep in contact with your close friends. Even though they may go abroad to study, they still will give you good advise and their whatsapp messages will brighten almost any down day you might have.
  • Get out there more and challenge yourself more! Lots of things you try turn out well (such as that first aid thing you have been thinking about forever and finally do in 2015) and if they don’t, well you have learned from the experience!
  • Don’t stress out so much about things beyond your control or push yourself too much. You don’t turn out to be a mega super famous star actor, writer, athlete, whatever by 19, and that is fine, great even! Gives you more of a chance to spread out and learn about things that interest you. Compare yourself to yourself, not to others.

I suspect I’ve lost your attention by now so I’ll wrap this up (its getting late here as well).

Forgot to mention that the family is doing great: happy and healthy, which is the most important thing!

But yeah, hope this advice was helpful and that I prepared you somewhat for the years to come. Perhaps I will write a letter to future me some day, though that is for another time.

Good luck and all the best!

The Future 19 year old Rebecca