Day #9 – An Angry Letter of Complaint to a Bee (of all things)…

Dear Ingeborg “Apidae” Trunchbull the Bee,

Yes, I know that isn’t your real name.

In fact, since you are just a bee that lives around Centennial Garden I don’t even need to make one up for you.

But I’m doing so anyway to make me sound less crazy when I am personifying and writing a letter to a freaking insect.

Ingeborg by the way because it was the most random girl name I could think of starting with an “I” (since I assume you are a worker bee which are all female, and the letter to stand in for Insect, just because). Apidae for the taxonomical family you are in (along with all other bee species).

As for Trunchbull… well I needed a last name and your threatening buzzing around in my hair reminded me of Agatha Trunchbull’s words (clip from the 1996 movie) from Matilda by Ronald Dahl.

matilda_and_the_trunchbull_by_piano_kun-d309n7n
Thanks, GreenGlassesGirl from DeviantArt! 🙂

Anyways…

Hi! I’m Rebecca.

You know, that girl who shows up in Centennial Gardens a lot to help give recorded feedback about friend’s spoken English for a school project?

The one you keep following for no good reason?

Yeah.

Hi. I’m not happy right and want to talk, Ingeborg.

Please… sit. (or hover menacingly, I don’t care as long as you listen)

I’m not sure WHY you keep chasing me in particular, maybe it is my hair scrunchies that you keep mistaking for flowers or the new shampoo I’m using or whatever,

But please:

For the love of all things holy…

STOP IT!

This is nearly the 4th day in a row now.

And its always me specifically.

Not the person I’m tutoring, not the other students near me, heck not even the dozen or so other people milling around the park at any given time!

No, it’s always ME.

And you have some weird obsession with my hair.

I get it.

You are a vital part of our world’s ecosystem and have a job to do so you don’t starve over the coming winter months.

Maybe you are behind on nectar collection and need to work overtime.

Or maybe I’m giving you too much credit.

Maybe you just want to imitate Barry B. Benson from the Bee Movie (2007) by falling in love with a female human, accidentally altering the world’s ecological balance, before stealing a party float, hijacking a plain and saving the world’s flowers.

Or I’m galactic royalty and you are acknowledging it like I’m Jupiter Jones in Jupiter Ascending (2015).

But today…. TODAY….

Today was the last bloody straw.

Today, you held my freaking laptop hostage to get my attention.

Bee
Caught in the act!

You forced me and my Tutee to relocate to the stairwell of Hoi Oh Chow to continue our recording (which is much louder than the gardens).

Heck, you showed up at Happy Park today to annoy me while I walked around different booths learning about service opportunities.

Don’t you dare deny it! I’ve got a good half dozen witnesses!

Like that’s not even part of Centennial Campus!

What the HECK, Ingie??

(unless it was one of your friends/sisters in which case, tell her to stop as well)

So yeah.

If I haven’t made this abundantly clear by now….

Piss off, Ingeborg Trunchbull the Bee!

Stop chasing me around and messing with my hair, or… or… [Insert statement here that a bee would find threatening]!

Ha!

Signed with (heavily sarcastic) love,

Rebecca

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Day #1 – Und so beginnt es!

And so it begins!

In German for the title because why not, I know how to say it (have been learning the language for about a year now) and it makes for a more interesting title. Plus the explanation bumps up my word count slightly since to be perfectly honest 500 words per day is a bit… ambitious for 30 days, but I don’t want to fail this challenge before it even really begins 😛


I titled this challenge the “ Sudo-wrimo” after the Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge I would normally do during November, where people across the world attempt to write 50,000 words in a month (see the previous post).

Note that it is spelt “Sudo” rather than “Pseudo”. Why? Well because I am a terrible speller and have always been annoyed by silent letters, so it is spelled phonetically and since “Sudo” is much shorter and reminds me of the Pokemon Sudowoodo, so hey.

pokemon-1513925_640
Couldn’t find a photo of Sudowoodo labeled for reuse, so enjoy this generic pokeball courtesy of  Pixbay

 

This entire introduction pretty much shows the tone of the rest of this challenge, very casual and not formal at all, with barely any editing – just me practicing quick turnarounds of thoughts -> words on a page/ screen, since that is quite a useful skill and I need to practice my writing skills.

I’ve been typing for a while and am still only at around 250 words…. Great….


 

Since I didn’t do an 🎃 October recap 🎃 last month due to midterms, I’ll use my remaining words to give a short overview of my classes and other things that have happened since my last goal update (not giving the course code at the moment since I’d rather not have this be one of the first things that pops up when you search “HKU-course code” )

Biochemistry – Did a midterm few weeks ago, 1 point below average so not great in the grand scheme of things, but considering it is one of my weakest subjects and I felt as though I failed it after the exam, I am pretty dang pleased with how I did.

Economic History – Got the same score in both the Book Review essay and the mini quiz (A-). Was hoping for a better score on the essay, but did a lot better on the quiz than I thought so I’ll take it!

WWII Pacific History – Finished and turned in the midterm document analysis essay, haven’t gotten it back yet, but really should not have procrastinated on it. Still think I did okay on it, but we will see.

Common Core – No real midterm, just a bunch of assignments here.

Ecology – I went on a field course trip during reading week and IT WAS AWESOME! I’ll probably write more about it sometime later, but have started updating my formal website portfolio with a lot of photos I took on the trip. Felt I did really well in the midterm MCQ in that “the-test-felt-a-bit-too-easy-not-sure-if-is-because-I-studied-well-or-because-I-crashed-and-burned” kind of way.

So that is all for today, be sure to check in tomorrow for another 500 words in my Post A Day “Sudo-wrimo” challenge this month!

-Rebecca

 

A Very Belated Update…

So its already the end of October and I still haven’t gotten around to making that October goal post yet…

The punny goal name I was thinking of was “Braving and Overcoming Obstacles in October” or Booo!👻 for short ( in honor of Halloween of course) but:

a) that is super cheesy.., like wow…

&

b) it turns out that I spent so much of my time overcoming said obstacles (ie mountains of midterms, EOSA things, tutoring intensity, first ecology field course etc) that I never really got around to making that goal post in the first place

So this monthly goal update post is more of a “Task Completed, (though with mixed success)! Moving on”


Now normally around this time I would be planning for Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) – aka where you attempt to write 50,000 words in November (1,667 words a day) in a quantity over quality, zeroth draft just get it on paper kind of novel writing.

But honestly? I’ve got bigger fish to fry, mainly with exchange preparations and final exam preparations.

I know November is a bit early to start, especially for me, but I really need to tackle these tough classes now before they overwhelm me in December.

Specifically Biochem…

So instead this will be a bit like Fall Post a Day blog challenge, with a post a day about what I am doing/learned/studying etc, though upping the anty to 500 words a day for a total of over 15,000 by the end of the month.

👩‍⚖️🎓Rules to make this more official:📝📚

  1.  500 words a day for each day of November
    1. There is no regulation about where I write to meet the word count, provided it is not required for class work – i.e. if I write 500 words for my official website/cv page, that counts, but notes or lab reports for classes don’t
  2. Posts don’t need to be well edited, just typed out and published
  3. Topics can be chosen ahead of time and partially typed out as long as at least 100 words were written on the day the post is published.
  4. Quotes and the like don’t count in the word count – aka I can’t just post a poem as my 500 words since that I kinda plagiarism and cheating

So yeah, the theme (subject? target?)  for November is “Study Notes! Part revision, Part writing, All in preparation for December”

… Yeah not really good with coming up with names for these things, but hey practicality over style is more important on this front.

so that is all for now! See you in November

-Rebecca

🍁 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

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)

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

Day 19- Writing Self Critique and Camp Nanowrimo

So I’m reading through yesterday’s 30 minute story and….

Wow. It is stunningly bad…

Part of me wants to throw it in a black hole where it will never see the light of day or drastically change it so it doesn’t look that bad, but hey I didn’t use the delete key in the original writing of it, so the roughness of the story is understandable.

Still, I am definitely getting rid of that rule the next time I do another story challenge, since there are a lot of repeated words and sloppy mistakes that just look unprofessional.

In this critique -esque post, rather than going through and editing it word by word, I’m just going to list off some of the weird things that just don’t work in the story:

  • Too much description, not enough characterisation – Blue hair was a nice touch of weirdness but why should anyone care? It feels like I am just listing descriptive words for the sake of it, rather than any character or narrative driven reason. Show don’t tell and all that.
  • Where is the character located right now? – its funny that I didn’t notice this while writing it, but I never really say where or when she is. Theoretically, I could have written an excuse it (like she doesn’t want to record it for safety reasons or whatever) but by not mentioning how long ago it was since the kidnapping, there is like zero tension whatsoever
  • Lots of my own “isms” have snuck in – This tends to pop up in my acting (well, what little acting I’ve done at school), where I have little traits (messing with glasses, moving my hands around a lot) that pop up when I am trying to keep it together but failing. In my case, it’s the excessive use of ellipsis and commas, combined with run on sentences that just seem to never end. Oh and the use of “Yup.” since that certainly is something that has stuck around in this semi dystopian world the story takes place in… /s
  • The grammar…. – ‘Nuff said about that train wreck.
  • Where is the plot? – There is a lot of ideas present, but nothing even resembling a coherent narrative. I mean the diary thing at the end was slightly interesting, but there isn’t any reason to care about it. I seem to think throwing things out there without explaining is “mysterious” or something, when in actuality it feels like a game of madlibs with giant “Insert plot here” sections that were semi-filled without care

So basically, what I’ve learned from this trial in improv story telling is that it is pretty freaking hard to do it. Kudos to those who can by the way, though I suspect the reason the works of so many authors seems leaps and bounds ahead of mine, other than their inherent talent and loads of practice, is the editing behind it.

But since it was pretty fun while it lasted, I’ve decided to join Camp Nanowrimo for July.

Normal Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) takes place in November (which I did try it in 2016, but stopped after a few thousand words due to exams), but they are both based off of the same principle. Quantity not quality, just write and put things down on paper.

Which is a bit like what I am doing now, if you think about it.

In the regular one, the goal is to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month, but since it is the Camp and I get to set my own goals, I’m going with a half Nano with 25,000 words in 30 days, toward a story idea I’ve had rattling around in my brain for a while.

So from this point forward, the post quality may go down slightly as I shift focus over, but hey, this blog was never a shining example of good writing, just a way for me to fill up the summer months doing something more productive than binge watching youtube 😛

That’s all from me now! Catch you later.

Rebecca