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)

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September is upon us…. (2017 Summer Recap pt. 1)

Well, given the epic 18-credit-hour Y2A semester has suddenly reared its ugly head, I’d like to take the time to go over the summer as a whole (which was sorta productive… ish? I mean I wish it were more, but over all not bad) while I have the chance today and this weekend.

Firstly – Need to get this out of the way, but recap on the goals

Last month was named the  “Catch up and Learning month” because I was planning on using it to get a head start on my Y2A work

How did I do?

ehhh….

Duolingo has been going well, I have broken, then continued, then broken my streak several times, but overall I feel as though even if I haven’t learned a whole lot more, at least my vocabulary set has not drastically fallen behind. Grammar needs a lot of work though, and different cases still confuse the F- out of me, but I’m working on it! Signed up for Intermediate German, Non degree course for Y2A, so overall a good summer prep.  (Score: 7.1/10)

Planning for future studies? I feel as though the month was more exploratory in nature. I went on my first ecology survey (which was pretty awesome, more on that later). Scheduling for Y2A and course selection could have gone better (again, elaboration below/ in separate post, cus boy do I want to go on a mini rant about it :P), but again, I planned and got most of the classes (but not all) that I needed. More work on for exchange, but gotten started on plan for possible German summer lang exchange. (Score: 7.6/10)

Asia WWII history + history website updates: Could have gone better. Watched some history documentaries but were either about WWII from a western perspective (The German documentary series Die Deutschen  [Eng: The Germans] is excellent, shout out to the wonderful people who have put it on youtube and added English subtitles so I can practice German listening and learn hist at the same time – names will go in the edit of the post) or about Chinese history in the 20th century (mostly cultural revolution stuff). I have reread my History EE on the Battle of HK and Churchill’s foreign policies, so there is that. History website on standby for the foreseeable future due to me needing to sort out what type of posts I want, rather than writing then getting rid of it, rinse and repeat. (Score: 5.8/10)

As for the Big Bad BIOCHEM…. Hahahaha oh boy… yeah… I really dropped the ball on this aspect. To describe how little I’ve done, I am currently listening to Khan Academy videos (on basic biochem) explaining biochem to me to try and make this not a complete wash. For real though, what the heck past me? Next to nothing over 4 weeks?! Wed am next week is my first Biochem class of the sem, so I need to kick it into high gear… NOW!(Score: 2.2/10)

Extra stuff such as coding and cubing I didn’t touch due to not even coming close to passing my bigger goals… sigh…

Man I am good at procrastinating during summer vacation…


So yeah…

Moving swiftly onward from that train wreck!

This time, I’m calling it the “Month of Future Career Growth”:

Things I will be working toward things that will improve my “personal brand” and create a “plan of action” to reach the “necessary targets for success” (aka make it look like I know what I am doing, for future employment and research opportunities)

  • Create my personal website as a hub to everything I do – I’ll slowly move to separate this blog’s content from a more professional “portfolio-like” site that I’m making now, since I’m pretty sure my future employers want to get info on me, not skim through random thoughts I happen to blog about during that time frame.
  • Continue tutoring English (both through the university’s CAES Peer tutor program, and my own IB merchant of Venice ) <- got things in the work now for this
  • Update CV – my CV is hopelessly out of date Sped up and finished Aug 31 to apply for Equal Opportunity Student ambassador. Got an Interview Sept 6!  Boo-yah! See past me? That is how The Papaya rolls when she is serious about getting stuff done! ehem… where was I? 😛
    • Create and maintain a LinkedIn profile/ digital resume
  • 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
  • Sign up for internships, scholarships, classes, mentorships, lectures etc
  • [Extra] Improve my typing speed to 70wpm. It is ~65wpm right now.
  • [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?

This post is getting a bit unwieldy with the giant wall o’ text, so I will be back with more stuff (such as the above promised Ecology survey experience, or that course registering story)

Here is a semi relevant xkcd as a reward for reading this far down!

# 773: University Website

university_website
Source & the Explain xkcd

More to come!

Rebecca

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 21 – Scampering Around Trying to Sort My Life Out (A Filler Post & Rant)

Yesterday, I said I would be doing Snacks: part 2 today, but given the title, you can probably see where this is going.

Just as a heads up tomorrow will also be a filler one, since I am going to Ocean Park with some of my school friends, so won’t be back til late (and need to sleep earlier today), so if any of you are waiting for the snacks post, see you some time after day 23 (because I really need a few days of doing nothing and relaxing right now)!

On to the prompt! Which is…. * drum roll *

Scamper (July 2)!– (It showed up earlier than normal, so I can actually do today’s prompt, rather than yesterday’s one)


Scamper!

That word just about sums up what I’ve been doing for a while now.

Scampering from one project to another, one idea to the next.

Thought after thought fills my mind without pause, from the moment I wake up to the second my head hits the pillow. Even my dreams are sometimes filled with tense situations that ask – nay – demand my attention.

I’m being pulled 90 directions, trying to make the most out of “the best 4 years of my life”.

Trying to:

  • figure out how to apply for exchange
  • look for internships
  • decide my next semester’s classes
  • type up blog posts/Camp Nanowrimo
  • list textbooks on Carousell
  • catching up on books I need to read

On and on the to-do list grows…

But above all…

Trying to figure out what I want to do after I graduate university. 

It’s not a controlled run, where there is a goal in mind and a pace to be set.

It is a frantic grasping of straws, attempting everything at once and getting nowhere.

And I am EXAUHSTED.

Pure and simple.

Because I JUST DON’T KNOW!

I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know how or what I’ll get a job in (Ecology and History not really known for tons of jobs) and I don’t know what the future holds for me!

If I did, it would be simple.

Just complete the skill tree that leads to me following my career path (which at this point, is more a meandering stream). Unfortunately, it’s not.

The fear of the unknown causing is to dart off wildly in an unclear direction right now, and I hate it.

All that build up of my life til this point and this is what I end up as.

A tense, anxiety ridden mess, reacting to things rather than proactively planning a course of action

Though now I think about it…

I guess that is the feeling that a cockroach gets when I suddenly switch on a light!

So much change has happened, but no time to plan.

In that instant, just one action comes to mind…

SCAMPER!


Thanks for taking the time to read my semi-rant 😛

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