🍁 Autumn is here in earnest! 🍁

I was trying to come up with a witty “theme” for this month.

And…well…

You will see below  (In the next post since this is turning into a 2 parter)… XP it is a bit… Punny?

Anyways. so how did last month’s “Month of Future Career Growth”  go?

  • Create my personal website as a hub to everything I do 
    •  [Started, but not finished] So I’ve got the general outline set up, just working on typing in all of the content – especially under the portfolio section. I haven’t released it to the public yet, but it is almost done, will expect it to be out by November at the latest (don’t hold me to that though!). Sneak Preview!Capture
  • Continue tutoring English (both through the university’s CAES Peer tutor program, and my own IB merchant of Venice ) 
    • {COMPLETED} and continuing! 😀
  • Update CV – my CV is hopelessly out of date
    • {COMPLETED, See last goal page} As seen last time, I’ve finished this already before the month even really started
    • Create and maintain a LinkedIn profile/ digital resume
      • ~ Haven’t Started!~ I was thinking of holding this off until I’ve got my personal website set up, since that way there is something more professional to link to other than my personal blog here.
  • Figure out exchange plans – like actually write out a pro con list, intended transfer courses, get CGPA up (around 3.6), create an estimated cost plan etc
    • [Started, but not finished] This is going to be an ongoing goal thing, as
  • Sign up for internships, scholarships, classes, mentorships,etc
    • ~Haven’t Started!~ No really excuse for this really… need to look into this sometime soon before they are all gone

Not adding an arbitrary score since that was a bit lame XP

So…What about the extras?

  • [Extra] Improve my typing speed to 70wpm. It is ~65wpm right now.
    • I haven’t been doing this, rather I have changed it slightly to speed reading (Schulte table, apps etc) since it seems like a more useful goal
  • [Extra] Perhaps update this blog more than once a month ish, if I have the time. Maybe an update on how Carousell is going, or some how to college type post for the freshmen?
    • Nope didn’t happen, then again I’m heading into mid terms, sooo….. yeah

Anyways, splitting this up so I can stop procrastinating on revision and revisit this next week when things cool off a bit and become less crazy. So yeah!

Happy (late) Mid-autumn festival and look forward to finishing these midterms!

-Rebecca

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Daring to Disobey

I’ve been thinking a lot about The Rules lately.

Specifically the societal rules we surround ourselves with every day that go by unchallenged – sometimes for good reasons, othertimes not so much..

I guess this is a long winded, overly pedantic way of me trying to rationalise and explain why I feel so bad for dropping a class, when by all objective measures it would be the best course of action for me to take.

I don’t NEED to max out my course load and take 6 classes (18 credits) in one semester, in fact, I KNOW I would burn myself out a few weeks later when taking into consideration my commitment as a peer tutor (in both English and Science), my role as a student blogger, my non-credit German classes, my new role as an Equal Opportunity Student Ambassador, hall activities etc…

The list keeps building, yet there are only a finite number of hours in a day.

And as Malthus pointed out (paraphrasing to make an contrived metaphor):

As populations (workload) increase exponentially, while resources (time) grows linearly if at all, eventually you will reach competition and eventually, collapse.

Yet it feels a bit… wrong to do so.

Like I have just given up when this is pretty much exactly what add-drop period is made for.

I’m not sure where this feeling comes from really.

I could go with the classic “Asian Parent” excuse, but that is just that, an excuse not a reason.

I guess it is the fear of being left behind. 

Everyday, you are surrounded by messages of supposed encouragement:

  • “Push Yourself!”
  • “Don’t let dreams just be dreams”
  • “Shoot for the stars!”
  • “XYZ famous person made it while living in a college dorm at [so and so] famous university, why can’t you?”

It all creates an atmosphere of “Is that all you CAN do?”, when the more pertinent question is “SHOULD I do more?”.

And, although it sounds much less inspirational…

Sometimes the answer is NO.

Sometimes the correct solution isn’t to keep on going with reckless abandon til you crash, it is to slow down a bit, perfect what you have, then SLOWLY ramp up the speed.

Right now my gut is telling me slow the F- down.

So I am daring to disobey what society often expects of university students, and taking the time I would spend in an extra class + tutorial + homework to sharpen my skills as a whole.

To look for opportunities outside of the classroom such as volunteer work

And above all, to just prove to myself that I am in control of my own destiny and which path I decide to take is mine, and mine alone, to make.

Because sometimes it is okay to buck the trend and do your own thing.

In the words of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken (emphasis mine):

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

And besides, great scores in 5 classes > okay scores in 6, GPA wise. 😛

Thanks for reading!

-Rebecca


This post was based off of the Daily post prompt: Disobey (September 12)

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 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