Nanowri-uh-o ~ Day #2

Short update today since I’ve had a long school day today and am going to be helping out with HKU’s info day tomorrow.

Today I’ve been catching up on the student blogging challenge commenting, since I am a bit behind on them. So cool to see all these different bloggers from around the world being creative with the blogging medium! (They are also much more consistant with posting than I have lol)

I’ve got quite a bit to do over the weekend, as I need to catch up on some of my homework and upcoming projects. In particular, there are a couple of field courses coming up that I need to read about as well as a debate for a history class I have on Drugs and Alcohol in Colonial Asia from 1750-2000.

Only need to type about 500 words today since my commentating is about 1000 words more or less (I tend to leave pretty long comments).

Still will be a bit short though as I need to prep for other things.

It will be my first time helping out with info day with the Faculty of Science, as I’m helped out before as a Student Ambassador with the Equal Opportunity Unit (handing out fliers and attracting people to our booth for hot chocolate & souvineers). It was quite a bit of fun last year, so we will see what this year brings!

I’m stationed at P4 for one of the talks tomorrow. Not quite sure where that is (since I missed the briefing due to a lab) so I’ll probably get there a bit early so I can catch up on stuff.

Literally as I typed this sentence out, I noticed there is a little word counter on the bottom right had side of the text box area… why have I not noticed this sooner? Since I’ve been copying and pasting my stuff over to an external word counter to verify how many words have been typed…

I seriously need like a tutorial for wordpress since I keep missing little things like this until I do Nanowrimo or Daily Post challenges. I think the last time I did something similar, I learned about tagging my posts so that people can actually find them in the first place.

So according to the counter, I’m at about 380 words (assuming it is accurate). I’m probably going to type up to 420 words at most, then end this post off.


  1. Because my favorite number is 42 (Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy anyone?)
  2. As previously mentioned, I can’t spend that long typing today
  3. Like my cold turkey post from yesterday has shown, when I start making lists with no substance, I’m already scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes for things to write about

So I’m just going to quit this post now while I’m still ahead. Until tomorrow!


P.s. Oh shoot, I need a title for this thing… Quick! Think of an awful Nanowrimo pun that sums up how I feel about the challenge so far!



Journey into the Mind of Someone Who Added an Extra Zero on Cold Turkey Writer – Day #1

This was written a few weeks ago, but with added info of the context behind it being written today for Nanowrimo. Basically, the bits in quotations were written earlier, I’m just counting the new stuff

So if you are anything like me you have a problem writing and getting stuff on paper.

Not like coming up with words to write, more like you feel as though you have no idea how to get started and the blinking cursor just makes you want to turn off the computer in despair before you get started.

Of course, this means you have downloaded your fair share of productivity helping apps, computer software and other miscellaneous methods to try and convince yourself that a little pain and bordom now is much better than the tired all nighter you will need to pulll to get your assignments done.

Not finished or polished off.


As in I just barely squeeked over the word count but close enough I don’t have time to edit before I need to run off and print the dang thing.

Most of the time, the downloading is an excuse to procrastinate more on that assignment you have due. It also has the added bonus of being just productive enough where you feel like you did something but not strenous enought where it is a pain to do.

But every once in a blue moon you stumble accross something that actually works, like legit helps you to focus, hunker down and just get to work typing away like your life depends on it.

For me, that app is cold turkey writer. (the app I’m using during Nanowrimo as well!)

Basically, the thing shuts down your computer until you hit a certian word count or time, before it will unlock and let you use your computer again without restrictions.

Oh and it doesn’t have spell check or that annoying AF blinking cursor taunting you. Just mocking you for not typing more….

In short, your computer goes full on into type writter mode. No side bars, no white list, no “logging onto google to do a bit of research and oops I’m now binge watching the entire avatar the last airbender series again while looking up things to do in Reckvick… Ryecavik… Rykavich…. The capital of Iceland and oh by the way i haven’t touched that book in 6 days” (which is spelled reykjavikbtw)

Bit extreme? Maybe yeah.

Effective? Oh heck yeah.

So while it is a useful program, it only works well if you treat it with respect… what do I mean by that? Well, read on ladies and gentlemen!

Here is the story of the time I f-ed up using it a few weeks ago. Enjoy my misfortune I guess 😛

So I screwered up majorly using cold turkey writer

Not that the system failed or anythign, far from it.

I actually have written more than I expected. like a good 10x the amount I set out to do (you can see where this is going can you…)

Context: I was writing a popular science article-esque blog post for a class on insect ecology, and had left it til 2 days before it was due instead of working on it during reading week… yup… nothing generates inspiration like last minute panic!

I sat down for a short writing session of just 500 words. Should take me a couple of minutes max right?

I accidently typed in 5,000…

And then clicked the button of no return, which just so happens to cover the little bit where the number is typed in…

Basically, my 1,000 word project is done, and I’ve typed the phrase “The quick fox jumped over the lazy dog” so many times (its a quick and easy phrase for me to type) that I’m about to go insane. I’ve switched to All work and no play makes jack a dull boy but after a while it just loses its subtle charm and stuff.

so now I’m going all meta talking about me stuck in this app for now in the hope that it will make a good post or something in the future… and just padding my word count.

The first thing I do as a prisoner of my computer, slavinng away typing as fast as my brain can think and my fingers can move? Describing/complaining about my situation

They really should have a bold lettered you are about to commit to like xyz letters, are you super duper sure or did you like me accidently hit an extra zero and are now regretting your life choices deeply.

Basicically instead of my new laptop I have an expensive 21st century typewritter! whoop!

except without the special dingy thing or anything that makes typing on a typewriter somewhat enjoyable. you know like the clicky bell thing or the slidding mechanism (I would look up the official name but again you know, I’m stuck with this stupid computer at the time being… Like I mean at least with the modern computer there is like a delete button which asaves on the whole needing whiterout or correction tape thing, but that isn’t really helping in my situation at the momen

Note that while there are some made up words in there, it is more or less coherent and any weird spelling or typos can be justified due to my situation. It gets worse suprisingly quickly.

List o mundo time now I guess IDK just yeah come one this is stupid, I wish there was an exit button option for the olrd turkey writer, I mean I guess there is the fact that it would sorta destroy the purpous of the whole thing but at the same time like this js jist crazy man

Let us start with 3 cus why not?

3. right now I’ve gotten to lets say about 55% of the bar filled up so I guess I have several thousand workds at the moment, of which only 1000 are my actual essya

4. this would be really good for the whole nanowrimo thing ut given how busy i am these days heck no am i writting 2,000 words well 2,667 words a day after ive spent forwver working this on like thjust ugg

5. i guess this is how writters write, just word vomit on a page over and over until they edit the stuff out at the end, i should try writting a novel….
no that is just crazy idk like i have zero writting expereince etc

6. why the heck am i numbering these things its not like the numbers od anything and just are padding words out

The typing slips as it dawns on me that I have a bunch of words left to go…  I realize that deleting words will just prolong my crazy suffering so start leaving the terrible typos in.

how the frik are there still words on this right now like im pretty sure i have typed over 1000 words from the lsat tiem i checked, then again my ee was like 4000 and that just took legitimatly forwver to finish but finish i did

I start not captializing things now as I realize that that takes a few milliseconds of time that could be spent typing. Yes, that’s how desperate I became at that moment just to get my computer unlocked.

A turing point happens as I go off to another class.

test if this disappears I am screwed….

Since it was my first time using the app, I didn’t know what would happen if the computer went into screensaver mode and shut itself off to save battery. So I left a test before I went off.

If I returned and I didn’t see those words, the shut off quit the app and all the work I did on my project would be gone. If I still saw them…

so it didn’t disappear like I first thought, even thought my computure turned itself off brilliant!

I was still stuck in a particular brand of writer purgatory… great!

I then try to get clever and find topics to type about (since my phone is unlocked and I can access the internet unrestricted through it. I try my hand at transcribing… which goes as well as you would expect

its not that i didn;t have a healthy respect for the classics the classics

okaky so I suck at transcripbugn just realize how quick people read well speak compared to houw quickly people type currently listening to austin mcconnel video on silent films which is pretty good you should like check it out and stuff lets see what else can talk about as i killltime and my fingers writting away on this thingy

It’s around this point I’m concerned about the specs for my computer….

I wonder if keyborads have like absolut typing thing like how many times you can jam the keys o a keyboard until it just like fails on you like just falls appart

then again people don’t well the english lang doesn’t use each letter as many times in a sentence or in the lang as others, so i guess the e would lose its springyn edd the quickest. Then again tlike just vowels in general would prob die. I thing the leas dy one is the esc key cus when is the last time poeple use it well actuall the print screen button would prob lose aka come last as well

This madness goes on for a couple more paragraphs before I start noticing something… the clicky noise of key on a key board is slightly addicting…

So uhh… I go off the deep end a bit. Lets play a spontaneous game of guess the song!

just keep typing just keep typing, what do we do we type type type

do we dooo do we doooo do do doooo di di du di dooooo di dooooooo di dooooooooo whooosh

dum dum da da dum dum da di dooooo doooo do di dooo dooooo di da do di da do di da do diiii doooo di da diiiii doooo di da dum du dum di dum dum da di

de da di du da di du dummm de da di du da di da dummmm

da da da dummmmmm da da da dummmmm da da da dummmmm da da da diiiiii

bu dida bum dida bum dida dum do do do do di do do do do do do doo di du dudu

do di do di do da du di duuummm do do di duuuum do do di duuuuum

If you guessed the following:

Finding Nemo (Dory’s just keep swimming), Doctor Who theme song, Game of Thrones, Uptown Funk, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in C minor, Bach’s Suite No. 2 Badinerie, Beethoven’s Für Elise

If so: You win.. nothing!

This is just a blog post, I don’t have prizes on offer.

Back to the train wreck, I then switch up the language cus all the English is getting a bit sore on the eyes, if you can even call what I typed English any more. Cue the German!

Hallo leute! Ich bin Rebecca und ich komme aus den USA, aber habe seit 8 Jahren in Hong Kong gelebt und studiert. Ich bin 20 Jahre alt und lerne sehr gerne Deutsch (auch wenn mein eigentliches Deutsch ziemlich schlecht ist). Willkommen in meinem interessanten Blog!

Yeah, it’s pretty bad. But I haven’t been learning it for that long… so hey, I tried my best!

Wrap this post up since it is getting a bit unwieldy. But for the curious basically the last bit of the entire thing is just me going like this:

qwe rty uio pas dfg hjk lzx cvb nmq qaz wsx edc rfv tgb yhn ujm ik, olp poiuytre kgd zxcvbn tg tyh uj ik f eyk fiyiy hasdf adsf asf asdfas dfasdf asfd af asfd sfa fasa sfdasd hpuh iuhiubpu h iqiuhiub uu pb fjqknf nnn ioeh;b

This goes on for a bit, then it goes to the next day where more of the same continues until I FINALLY MANAGE TO UNLOCK MY COMPUTER!

So yeah, that is why you should always check the number you key in before activating Cold Turkey Writer.

Or you know just use the timed version 😛

– Rebecca

P.s. And before you ask why I didn’t just copy and paste something over and over again… the app disables that as well… they really did think of everything!

Back for Nanowrimo… sorta

Hey, so it’s that time of year again where I make a huge commitment toward blog posting that I later decide is a terrible, terrible idea!

YAY!! /s

So for the unaware, Nanowrimo stands for “National Novel Writing Month” where crazy people decide to write a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days.

Which comes to 1,667 words a day.


This is actually a thing that people do.

Key point here being that its quantitiy over quality aka just type away and edit in December.

So essentially Cold Turkey writer but without accidentally locking your screen because you typed an extra zero into the word goal… (a story for another time that I’ll probably talk about when I’m scraping the bottom of the preverbial idea barrel)

Except given my previous failures and because I have school assignments due in the month so I’ve modified the challenge slightly.

Instead of working toward a fiction novel, I just post a ton on this blog + I also count all the words I write for assignments and the like.

So instead of an insanely long, single story, I’m going to be posting unconnected short things.

Note that the 1,667 words is a guideline/target so some of these posts will be a lot shorter if I have a busy day and don’t have the time to write more – but I still need to make it up at a later date.

So yeah, here goes nothing!


🗳️ How to Register to Vote, whether overseas or stateside! (USA Midterms 2018) 🇺🇸

I’m aware this topic is only applicable to a very, very small portion of my audience.

After all, this blog written by a Taiwanese-American student studying in Hong Kong, ocasionally talking about her future exchange trip to Leeds, England.

However, as I’m an American citizen (born and raised in Austin, Texas) I feel as though it is part of my civic duty to get the word out and encorage people to vote.

And while we are over 2 months away from the Midterm elections…

We are ONLY 42 days away from the registration deadline (October 9th for most states)!

Even worse, many states DON’T allow online registration for absentee overseas elections, instead requiring that a physical (snail mail) letter be RECIEVED by the county voting clerk BEFORE the deadline.

Which means that if you want to vote in the upcoming election, you really need to be thinking about sending out that ballot request form within the next few days!

Unfortunatly, it can be a pain to figure out how to register if you happen to be living or studying overseas like me. So to all my friends out there stuck in the same situtation as me, here is how you do it!

Source: Amber Zen via Pixbay

How to vote as an overseas citizen

If you are:

  • an active duty member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine;
  • an eligible spouse or family member of an active duty member of the Uniformed Services or Merchant Marine; or
  • a U.S. citizen residing outside the U.S. (<- my case)
  1. Go to
  2. Click on the state you last resided in from the drop down menu (Texas in my case)
    1. Citizen but never lived in the USA? you might still be able to vote if you’re parents/legal guradian last resided in one of the states listed here
  3. Pay attention to the 3 deadlines in the blue box (it’s different for each state)
    1. Registration – If you have never voted overseas before, pay attention to this.
    2. Ballot Request – For people who have registed before, but just need the ballot.
    3. Ballot Return – This is when you need to return the ballot it by (more on that in the future).
  4. Scroll down to the “Register to vote…” section
  5. Choose to either fill in the necessary data with EITHER the online assistant or download+print the FPCA and fill it out by hand
  6. Complete the information according to instructions
  7. Mail it to the appropriate county voting clerk (if applicable)
  8. DONE! – Now just wait until they send you your ballot in October

Here is a short video about the process (it’s a screen capture of my phone so the quality isn’t great but you get the general gist of it):


What if I’ll be unavailable/absent during the election, but will still be living in the USA?

If you would like to vote absentee, but are NOT residing overseas:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the blue “Register to vote absentee ballot” button. (top left on website, menu button on mobile).
  3. Scroll down to the “Register to vote…” section
  4. Complete the information according to instructions
  5. DONE! – Now just wait until they send you your ballot in October


What if I want to register to vote at my local polling place?

If you would like to register to vote in state:

  1. Go to this link
  2. Click on your state
  3. Click on the red “Register to Vote” link – it is the second one down
  4. Complete the information according to instructions on the state’s website (sorry I can’t give more detail, every state has a different system)
  5. DONE! – Be sure to show up and vote on November 6th!


No mater which method you use…

Register and vote!

Because this time, it’s too important not to.

– Rebecca

Source: Mohamed Hassan via Pixbay

P.s. In the future, I’ll try to keep this blog as apolitical as possible, but for now…

#BetoForTexas 😛

An Update – What I’ve been up to…

Hi Readers,

I’ve been taking some time off to rest and relax, since… welll…

I crashed and burned last semester trying to take 6 courses, many of which also had full lab components with weekly expermiments + lab reports etc.

So I was sorta ignoring this blog for a while to just get away from writing stuff that had to do with academics and school. I hope you all understand, I might go into more depth about it but that is for a future post.

But I’m back now!

With more posts on the horizon so that I can get back into a productive mindset for the new sememster coming up. Fresh new start and all that!

In other exciting news, I’m going on exchange to the University of Leeds during my spring semester! (yes during Brexit)

So if you want to know more about that, I have a new blog “Away in Leeds” that basically talks about me preparing for that trip. It will also have a bunch of stuff related to HKU university life, in case people are thinking about going on exchange TO my university.

Link to that blog is HERE! (there are only half a dozen posts there at the moment, but with much more to come – especially in 2019)

So what will happen to this blog?

This one will be more academic related and goal oriented, while the other will talk more about hku culture and exchange planning.

I’ll test this two blog format out and see if it works, but I wanted to have a separate blog for exchange stuff, so that people could just look at the stuff they are interested in, rather than everything to do with my university life.

Lastly, there will be a new post coming out tomorrow about registering to vote in the USA Midterm Elections!

(Both because it is an important topic and because I feel as though you all deserve to have more posts after such a long absence)

So see you all tomorrow!


🍀🌞A Strangely Seasonal Update…🍂❄️

So my 2-week-or-bust deadline is here, which means another post as promised.

Problem is I have a ton of vague ideas in my brain but nothing concrete to write about… which means another round of what I like to call…

“Things in parts bingo”.

Basically, you:

  1. Pick a random number between 2 and 12
  2. Look up “things that come in [xyz number] “
  3. Assign attributes or find symbolic meaning to said parts
  4. Write about something that is related to each of those attributes
  5. ?????
  6. Profit (with a blog post that seems more cohesive than it actually is)

In the past (on a different, older blog) I have done Avatar the Last Airbender elements , Fates of Greek mythology and sorta for Blossoms as well, all to relative sucess.

So in honor of the last few weeks of my summer break, I’m doing the four seasons – starting with spring!

Spring (春 chūn) – New Beginnings & changes. Planting the metaphorical seeds for a better future.

Daily Diary progress & Habitica

I’ve been working a bit more on developing better habits, since… well let’s face it.

I’m 20 years old now and have NOT acomplished anywhere as much stuff as I wanted to do by this point in my life.

Earlier in my summer break, I decided to start keeping a diary about my life and goals. It’s not the first time I’ve done so (I have diaries dating back to when I was 12), but this is the first time I have kept at it for more than a month or so without giving up.

I honestly really liked doing it and will probably continue into the school year, since writing acts as a nice way for me to reflect on my day. I might post a bit more about it in the future!

In other habit news, I’ve also been experimenting with different apps to improve my productivity for the upcoming school semester. If you have any suggestions for apps I should check out, feel free to comment below or contact me!

notebook and black ballpoint pen
Photo Source: Maddy Zen on

Summer (夏 xià) – Joy, Vitality & Enthusiasm. Watering the positives and weeding out the negitives with whole-hearted enthusiasm

Ecology field work with Oriental magpie-robins

Over the summer, I have been doing some field work with a HKU professor’s lab, studying Oriental magpie-robins (Copsychus saularis).

Essentially, I have been going around to different nest boxes around HKU campus, checking on their status by taking photos of the nests, eggs and chicks. Unfortunately, all the chicks in the nest box this year didn’t survive, so we weren’t able to “ring” any of the juveniles. 😦

I have one last check next week (since their breeding season ends around the end of the summer), then I might continue to work with the lab doing some literature reviews, or helping out with the playback test data collection (essentially isolating the recorded OMR songs with a program called Raven).

Either way, I’ve loved the work I got to do over the break and can see myself making it into a long term career. So glad I picked ecology as my primary major! 🙂

OMR Male (left) & Female (right) Source: Shantanu Kuveskar via Wikimedia

Fall ( qiū)- Transition & culmination. Reaping the harvest from what has been sowed.

End of the first year of HKU quidditich, and the start of year two!

Basically the subtitle. So HKU has this rule that in order to become a full fleged association with the student union, you have to comply with a whole list of stipulations.

One of the requirments is that the club must have existed for 2 years without funding from the union itself, another being that at least 40 HKU students must be members. So in an attempt to make quidditch “a thing” in HK, the team have partnered with the university’s Equal Opportunity Unit (EOU) and gotten a some of scholership money to create the “Fly for Equality” project.

We’ve gotten a bit of media coverage in our first year, and are hoping to recruit lots of new people through the EOU Ocamp or the exibition match that will happen at the start of the semester. Exciting stuff though!

(unrelated side note: possible future post idea – explaining HKU/canto slang terms like “ocamp”, “chur” “dem beet” etc?)

From our latest practice. Source: HKU Quidditch

Winter ( dōng) – Rest & reflection. Storing what was gained before and contemplating what is to come.

HKU -> Leeds exchange plans & updates

Finally we come to the bit that I’m assuming 80% of the readers skimed to. To be frank though, not much has happened since I last posted.

I’ve contacted the International Affairs Office (the people incharge of outgoing exchanges) and they gave me the advice to register for semester 2 classes in case the thing falls though, and that more information will be provided later.

Bit nervous though, since I have to do everything from register for classes to get student visas all within the span of a few months during the school year. I’ve asked my other friends about it and they said the IAO focuses of sem 1 and full year people first, so I shouldn’t really panic until October.

But yeah, I’ve been doing some research about Leeds and the surounding area, specifically on museums, historical sites and botanical gardens (yup, I’m both a history nerd + ecology geek, and dang proud of it!)

So if you know of places I should visit, again feel free to comment below!

So yeah, hope this entry was somewhat interesting…

Missed my self-imposed deadline by a few minutes due to an internet issue and not saving often enough, but hey close enough!

Until next time!


Day #11 – Why I commemorate Remebrance Day, not celebrate Veterans Day

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 zest
To 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.