Friday, January 30, 2015

This Week | 1.25-1.30

HAPPY FRYDAY, CHILDREN!

Seriously, is it already the thirtieth? Tomorrow is the last day of January! I remember when it was the first day of January and it was sunny and I ate so much food. (Well, nothing's really changed...)

I remember when my Blogger feed was all flooded with posts about the new year, new year, new year, and I still occasionally get one about "what are you going to do this year?" and I'm just like :| because SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE. WE'VE ALREADY HAD 2015 FOR ALMOST A MONTH NOW. GET WITH THE PROGRAM.

Sorry, the hullabaloo just annoys me. You want a fresh beginning? We get 365 of them each year!

But anyway, this week was pretty good. A few bumps on the way, but, ya know, 'tis life.

NOT AWESOME
-On Wednesday, I usually have zero period for newspaper. I woke up a little late that day, so I rushed to get ready and got to school. However, when I got there and went to the door, it was all dark and nobody was there.

I had the common presence of mind to look at my phone, and guess what? There was a group text notification at the top, and it had been sent out an hour earlier. It said, "MRS. [insert name] IS SICK AND THE PITCH SESSION IS CANCELED FOR THIS MORNING."

You can only imagine my reaction to that.

AWESOME
I texted my mom, and guess where we went? 

You guessed it! Starbucks!



I had a vanilla frappuccino at 7:15 in the morning. Don't judge. I definitely needed the sugar.

NOT AWESOME
-I threw up on Monday during a run.

AWESOME
-I finished the runs on Wednesday and today either first or second on the team. I think I was just pushing myself too hard on Monday.

AWESOME
-It's Girl Scout Cookie season! We have lots of people in our neighborhood/friends who are Girl Scouts, and they're always eager to sell us their cookies...and most of the cookies are really good, too.

NOT AWESOME
-The cookies are $5 per box. FIVE DOLLARS. That is majorly expensive, considering two years ago they cost $3. What is this, inflation?

from girlscouts.org


AWESOME
-Winter Formal is coming around, and my friends are going!

NOT AWESOME
-I'm not going. We have small groups for church on Fridays, and every three weeks all the families get together and I have to watch the kidlings. Yeah. And my parents don't feel comfortable with me going, even though I want to. #turnup #badgrammar

AWESOME
-I got to chew gum in Chemistry today, because we were doing a lab that required us to chew gum :-) And since we're fifth period, the last period of the day, we got lots of extras. And it was my Chem teacher's birthday, too!

picture from wikipedia. (where else?)


NOT AWESOME
-We were calculating the sugar content of the gum as the lab. It was approximately 6 grams in total. Sugar made up 4 grams of that. The good thing is, though, I never get really hyper, so I never really crash.

AWESOME
-I'm meeting a friend from my old school on Saturday!

NOT AWESOME
-I haven't seen her in a year.

AWESOME
-I'm blogging right now!

AWESOME
-In two days, it'll be February!

AWESOME
-Tori Kelly's new song "Nobody Love" is coming out soon!

NOT AWESOME
-It's coming out on February 8th. WHAT? HOW CAN I WAIT UNTIL FEB 8TH???

AWESOME
-I have 100s in most of my classes right now.

NOT AWESOME
-Ummmm....there have only been 5 days of 2nd semester.

What was awesome/not awesome about your week?


Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday, Funday: Fog Machines and Vomit

One look at the word vomit, and you know you just gotta commit to reading this post.

I mean, who doesn't like to read a good post about upchuck every now and then? A nice high-school version of Ramona and her Mother? (If you don't get that reference, go Google "Beverly Cleary" right this instant.) 

Today's will be a short post, as I have other writings and Queen of the Tearling and Bible reading to get to...so let's get it started, shall we?

1. The Fog Machine

This morning, I was sitting in Spanish class, minding my own business and listening to my teacher talk, when suddenly BEEEEEEEEEEEENG! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEENG! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENG! BEEEEEEEEEEENG!

Right in the middle of Spanish, too. 

It's a fire drill, and it wasn't scheduled, because usually our fire drills are in 2nd period, and Spanish is my 3rd period. So we were all like, What? And then the front-desk lady comes on the PA system and says, "Please evacuate your classrooms."

So we packed up our backpacks and trooped down the stairs, turned right, went down a looooong asphalt path to the soccer fields and baseball fields, caught in the crush of people, walked all the way across the fields to where letters were: A + B.

(I was sweaty by the time we got there. It's a major hike, guys.)

And then they told us we could go back to our classrooms, and by then we all knew it was a false alarm. I asked my teacher what had happened, and she said, very grimly, "Fog machine."

Later, I found out the whole story. Presentations had been going on in one of the AP US History classrooms, and one group went so far as to bring a fog machine for their theme. (Don't ask me how it fits into American history; I don't know. Maybe a conspiracy theory about how George Washington crossed the Delaware with fog machines all around him to make that picture look kool?...........Nah.) For some strange reason, the fog machine set the fire alarms off, and hence, we had an impromptu fire drill during Spanish.

Yay.


The picture is from Wikipedia, and I edited it on Picmonkey...and okay, that's not fog, it's snow, but it's close enough, 'kay?

2. My Vomiting Session: I Blame It On the Salad.

I blame it on the salad.

See, today was the first day my tennis team started training for a 5-kilometer (3 mile) run we'll be doing in about six weeks. The head coach thought we should start off by doing 1.5 miles, which is 2 laps around the sports area of my school. 

I began fairly slowly, smack dab in the middle of the pack, managing to complete one lap. Then I decided, for the second one, I'd speed up. So I sped up, just as we got to a hilly part of the route. I ran past most of the remaining people except for one girl (who's pretty fast, not gonna lie), and as the road flattened out I started to get a stomachache. A stomachache so bad that I had to stop and everyone passed me. (But it was a major stomachache.)

The thing is, I wasn't even breathing hard. I hadn't been lumbering at the back of the pack. I'd been at the front, which is one of the reasons why I blame it on the salad. My packaged Caesar salad from Costco. The one that always slightly grossed me out whenever I ate it.

Yeah. I threw it up. On the side of the sidewalk, right near the asphalt basketball courts, no less. I'd have taken a picture of it for you, but--nah, just kidding. I'm not that disgusting.

And even after I threw the salad up, my stomachache didn't feel any better. I had to walk down to the restroom, and I felt awful. It was hurting badly. 

Needless to say, I recovered. I don't have the stomach flu. I'm alive. I'm well. That was just one little upchucking session that I don't want to repeat again. (Food poisoning? Was I just out of shape? Am I just lying to myself? Whatever. It's over.)







Thursday, January 22, 2015

How To Survive Finals || a narrative from a first-hand survivor. (at least I think I survived.)

So after I finished my Chem final, I handwrote two pages full of a blog post in red pen, but the problem is my backpack is in the schoolroom, and I'm in my bedroom, and I don't want to walk over there.

Call me lazy, but maybe I just want an excuse to write a lot.

I AM DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finals are over. Over. OBVEEEERRRRERERERERERER!@!!!~!!!~!~#$r%$#$^$#^t

(those are my emotions right now)

Begone, Scantrons! Go away, tests-that-I-can't-write-on-because-other-people-have-to-use-them-after-me! You will perish until June!

*sighs*

*sobs*

VIVA LA REPUBLIQUE!

Okay, I'm done.

I'm done with finals for another--what is it? Four months? Yay!

Words can't express. 

Since I survived it (I think), I have compiled a list of Survival Tips in order to survive finals. I don't know, it may be too late, but probably somewhere in the world people are about to take finals, so whatever. Hope this helps. 




I cast my eyes against the stormy gray sky. Such was the stuff of my dreams, my heart, my soul.

For FINALS had arrived.

Looming, cloudy gray, threatening to rain on my hopes and dreams of decent grades and admission into a good college...much like the horror and despair I felt inside. Tears dripped from my eyes, in a wet cloud...my eyelashes, which were short and small because I'm Asian, catching them like the furry pine trees in the distance--in case you're wondering why on earth I'm being like this, I'm just trying to paint a picture--you know what, whatever. Here's how to survive finals.

1. GET YOURSELF IN THE MINDSET THAT YOU WILL HAVE NO FRIENDS DURING FINALS. YOU WILL BE AS ANTISOCIAL AND INTROVERTED AS YOU CLAIM TO BE BECAUSE YOU MUST STUDY

Here's the thing: during finals you are not entitled to free time. Just keep telling yourself that. Because the truth is, YOU NEED TO STUDY. Studying WILL TAKE UP ALL YOUR FREE TIME. Do not expect otherwise. All your social time with your friendy-wendys. Your 2-hour-long naps. (I still don't get why people take naps. I personally try to sleep as little as I can without bugging my conscience.) But don't worry, being antisocial is not going to really ruin any meaningful relationships--my finals lasted only three days long. So I was only in the cave for three days long (actually, four, because I had to study for AP Euro. Maybe I should count that entire week before it too, because I spent the majority of my free time typing study guides. But you don't have to do that.)



2. DO NOT LISTEN TO MUSIC. 

There are two types of studying.
One type of studying I like to call The Zone. The Zone is the ultimate studying flow you should hit. It's when you're reviewing the facts, zoned out of the real world, and all that matters is that the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis ended the Hapsburg-Valois Wars, and honey you don'ta needa care about the fact that the New England Patriots stinking CHEATED on that last football game, because who cares about Tom Brady when you could learn about Thomas More or actual England itself, because who needs New England, especially when it's full of cheaters? Sheesh. The Zone is where logarithms and the directrix and focuses come to life and when you remember how to do point-slope formula you do your own little touchdown dance right there, in the End Zone. (If you got that, you're awesome and know your football dirt. Either that, or you've been playing Trivia Crack way too much.) 



Then there's the second type of studying. (I'm getting to the music part. Just wait.) I call it the Self-Congratulatory-You're-So-Stinking-Awesome-for-Studying-So-Much kind of studying (SCYSSAFSSM) for short. SCYSSAFSSM is the kind of studying where you're reviewing your notes and bumping Demi Lovato's "Really Don't Care" in the background and thinking about how stinking awesome you are for studying and then you start imagining that bright, shiny A on the top of your paper, and the teacher congratulating you and commending you to all five of his/her periods but you aren't the teacher's pet because everyone knows you're way too cool for that. (Notice how I did not spell "cool" the right way.) 

And then you take your test and because you didn't actually memorize the material, just read about it and agreed with the experts on their marvelous opinions on gamma decay, you forget every little bitty thing you ever reviewed and that's when you realize that your studying was the SCYSSAFSSM kind of studying, and that you weren't in the Zone.

Actually, these three paragraphs have nothing to do whatsoever with music. But music distracted me from being in the Zone and kept me in the SCYSSSAFSSM mode, which is probably why the Spanish final was hard for me.

3. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO EAT.

I ate a lot during finals week. I think it was the stress. It also didn't help that we always have junk food in our house (my dad likes the stuff) so I was eating white bread (*gasps*) and ice cream and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (BEST THINGS EVER) and Cheddar-Sour-Cream Lays. I needed to, after I felt like I failed my Spanish and math finals. (Thank God I didn't.) 

4. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO TAKE BREAKS.

This may sound contradictory to Point #1. But note how I said only to get in the mindset of it. Because when you're in the antisocial, studying Zone-y mindset, a break is wonderful. But at the same time, you realize that this is a very special break and you really don't deserve this because you should be studying and so you take a short break and get back to it. The mindset is all that matters. 

But yes, you are allowed to take breaks. I took dozens of them, a lot of little ones, and studied twice as long. (Sort of.)

5. THE PHILOSOPHY: NO R3GR3TS.

Why did I study so hard? 

Guys, this is my education. I'm 15 and in three years, I'll be in college.

3 years. That's not very long, considering how quickly babies seem to turn 3. Like seriously. How do they get so old?!?!

But high school...It's only four years of your life, but it does have a decent-sounding impact on your adult life. Like where you're going to go for college, and where you go for college helps determine what kind of job you're going to get (because a lawyer from Harvard is more prestigious than a lawyer from...well, actually, I've only heard of the Harvard law school. See? Point made.) 

Say I do horribly in school because I really don't care. I'll take a couple community college classes, live at home with my parents, work at Stater Brothers. There's nothing wrong with working at Stater Brothers, of course. If that's where God wants you to be, that's where you are.

But it's no excuse for being lazy.

It's one thing if I try super hard in school, get accepted to a really good college, and then there's a family emergency and I have to come back home to help take care of my parents. That is necessary.

It's another thing if I don't try hard at all and end up at Stater Brothers because I didn't try. 

I don't want to have to look back and think, I wish I'd studied more when I was in high school. I don't want to have regrets, that I didn't study when I could've, that I didn't give it the most I could possibly do, because I accepted everyone saying, You're young. Have fun. If I'm young and have what everyone says is fun now, I won't have fun later because I'll be too busy regretting having "fun" when I was young.

You still with me? 

I can control the amount I study. I can't control the outcome or emergencies or anything, but I can control that. And that's why I study so hard.



No regrets.

It doesn't mean you have to study all the time, or that it's the only thing in this life that matters. Have some fun, too. Don't forget Who you're doing this for. But God loves productivity and hates laziness. Don't forego studying for Chem to watch YouTube and blame it on God. 

The impact of your decisions, of my decisions, will come back sooner or later.

No R3gr3ts.

And that's how you survive finals. You're doing this for God, so you're studying hard so you can have a future that pleases Him. Sure, things will probably not go the way I plan, or the way you plan, or the way anyone plans, because, well, God is God. He does stuff. It's awesome. And yes, I will probably have regrets. I'm not perfect. I'm actually very, very, very far from perfect. 

But working hard honors God, and fruit will come from it. Believe me.

















Monday, January 19, 2015

BRUH I JUST FINISHED 60 PAGES OF NOTES AND I STILL HAVE MORE TO DO! YAY!

One of my friends always says bruh. It's funny.

I prefer bro, though. But since it's finals and my brain isn't quite thinking straight, I'll just say bruh.

DUDE! IT'S FINALS!

Can you believe it? I can't believe it! Like seriously. I remember the first day I walked to school, and it was weird, adjusting to the new people in my classes and new teachers and new class schedule and now, bam, finals. First semester over, one more to go, but THANK YOU JESUS I DON'T HAVE ANOTHER AP EURO FINAL AFTER THIS. (Because, you know, there's an AP test.)

I have a borderline B-A in AP Euro, so I've been studying as crazy as--well, a girl who needs to get an A in AP Euro--in order to snag one. I typed up a 60-page study guide in four? five? days in which all my lecture notes from the first semester found a GoogleDrive home. Then I went through all of those 60 pages thoroughly in less than 24 hours (started at 4-ish then ended at ten-thirty, then started at 9 and ended at 3:30). Yup. It's been crazy.

Oh, and on top of that? I have to do math, Spanish, and Chemistry. I'm a little freaked out about it for all of them, mostly because I don't remember anything from first quarter from any of my classes, really.

There's some good news, though!

MY MOTHER MADE SPINACH-ARTICHOKE DIP THE OTHER DAY. I have gained 2 pounds, most of which is from consumption of that. Also my lack of exercise...

I AM NOW THE PROUD OWNER OF A STUFFED OLAF. He cheers me on when I'm typing up AP Euro stuff. It's fun.

I HAD CHICKEN YESTERDAY. JUST SAYING. IT WAS REALLY GOOD CHICKEN.
(as you can probably tell, most of my good news are food-related)

I HAVE LEARNED HOW TO WRITE 1,000 WORDS IN 30 MINUTES. My life is complete. I used to average 1k in an hour.  (I'm serious. I just wrote 1k from 3:30-4:00. Ask my computer.) Actually, I'm not sure how many of those one thousand words I'm going to actually keep when I edit...but you know what, it's good for a first draft!

I LEARNED HOW TO TAKE SCREENSHOT ON MY LAPTOP!!!!!!!!!!! I'm super pumped about this one because now I can just show you my Spotify playlist on my other blog!

I HAVE FRIDAY OFF! You will probably hear from me then as well.

Hope you have a marvelous day, and I'm off to study more for AP Euro! 












Friday, January 9, 2015

EVERYTHING IS TO BE INSANELY CRAZY || finals

If only Calming Draughts existed.

See? I almost put "insisted" there! It's already getting to me!

FINALS!

I've already had finals six times--twice in seventh, eighth, and ninth grades--but tenth grade is freaky A) because THE GRADES COUNT, and B) I have a couple of borderline grades (AP EURO AP EURO AP EURO) and I'd really like to get straight-A's this semester. And next. And next and next and next and next.

*CUE THE FREAKOUT*

I should really be writing my essay right now, but I would like to outline with you my plans for the next two weeks.

Next week is the MAJOR PREP MODE WEEK. I made a Study Guide Plan last night. I have several chapter tests next week. I will be extremely busy, what with typing up a study guide + homework + working out + studying, studying, studying.

Next week is also the week I START WRITING AGAIN. Because I need to finish a thing. (Yes, a thing--that's all you're going to get.) 2015 is a big year for me. A big, big, big, big, big year. And it must go perfectly.

At least, I hope it goes perfectly.

SO I AM NOT GOING TO POST AT ALL NEXT WEEK.

I'm sorry. I'll come back the week of finals, because I have half-days and I'll have plenty of time and no homework. (One can only study so much, you know.)

But I will be (quite literally) wrenching myself away from the computer next week and be working my tushy-wushy off. I WILL.

And if I post something next week, tell me, RCUBED YOU SHOULD BE STUDYING WHY AREN'T YOU STUDYING GO STUDY NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I need to study a lot.

It's probably one of the only things right now in my life that I can control.







Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WE BREAK LAWS + accidentally hike eight miles || Welcome to Hollywood

Just to be clear, I am not an advocate of breaking laws.


It's just that sometimes in life, you do.

LEMME EXPLAIN.

On January third, my family and another family (that we're friends with, obviously) went on a hike up to the Hollywood sign.

You know? The famous one? 


That was the best view we got, actually.

ANYWAY. BACKING UP.

We woke up super early (like, seven in the morning) and ate and stuff and hopped in the car and drove until we got to the trailhead around, oh, nine-ish. 

IT WAS CLOSED.

The trail we wanted to go on was closed!

Fortunately, there are three hikes to the Hollywood sign, so my dad was like, Oh, here's another one. It says it's steeper, but it's shorter. Let's go!

So we went.

Bro, I was huffing and puffing and stuff.


I'm slightly ashamed to say that it was the most physical exertion I'd had in, well, two weeks.


The view was gorgeous...but we were all stripping off our jackets (it's been cold here for a while now, like almost-freezing coldness) and inwardly most of us were all like, When's this thing gonna end?



The trip there lasted about one and a half miles. Ish.


Not at the top yet. Not quite sure why I was taking a picture. Maybe because the view was pretty?




We traversed mountains, hills, and such...


HERE!


The thing that kind of stunk about the trail was that it led to behind the Hollywood sign, not in front. So, uh, yeah.

I'd been imagining my Instagram picture, like me standing in between the H's legs with my arms in the air like I just don't care, but as soon as I reached the sign itself all visions of a sweet picture dissolved.

Yeah, nope.

We took some pictures atop the overlook that overlooked (well, what else was it going to do?) the city. But then there was the whole sun-positioning issue--the sun was planted in such a way that made it difficult to take a picture with the Hollywood sign in the background. 

It was at this juncture in time that some decision-making had to be done. Since some of us didn't want to go back the "hard way," the dads decided that they'd go back that way and get our cars, then meet us at the Griffiths Observatory. We--the moms and the kids--would take the flat, easy, paved three-mile trail and meet them there.

At least, we heard Griffiths Observatory. My dad later claimed that he'd meant Griffiths Park Trail Head thingamabobber, but I heard Griffiths Observatory, Dad. Distinctly heard it.


For a while, the going was quite nice. The trail was paved and shaded and cold but not too cold.


There's the Hollywood sign!


It was probably at this point in time that our perseverance started to wane. See, we'd been marching on the same flat road for quite a while. I'm not exaggerating: quite a while. 

Then we came to a fork in the road, and life began to get complicated.

See, we'd never thought we'd actually have to make decisions. We were just like, Heigh-ho, off to Griffiths Observatory we go! and followed the trail.

But decisions...decisions...decisions...

On a choice made after we asked somebody for directions, we went left.

Which went up.

We should've guessed, honestly. When you go down, you get closer to the street. When you go up, you don't. But we followed the advice of a fellow hiker and went up.


Horse plop. There was a LOT of it, and yes: I took a picture.



THE ROADS WERE ENDLESS.


Look at how far that thang is!

Sooner or later, we climbed this MASSIVE hill and found this overlook...and then realized that A) WE'D GONE ON THE WRONG TRAIL, and B) Griffiths Observatory sure was far.

It was really far, guys.

The only thing left to do was climb down this dirty, dusty hill and that we did, but it was steep. Majorly steep. I even took out my earbuds, it was that steep. 

What's more, it was a ridge of sorts--a wide ridge, admittedly, but still a ridge. A ridge that you could fall off and perish in the endless forests below.

We finally got down from the mountain and came to another fork in the road--except it was more like a six-headed fork, because there were so many options life was very quickly getting complicated. Then we asked somebody, and they seemed very confident. They said go right.

We went right.

AND GO TO A STREET!

HALLELUJAH!

PRAISE THE LORD!

YAAAAAAY!

The joy we felt was inexpressible.

Then here's what happened:

-We decided to meet the dads--who had the cars, remember--at the Greek Theater. The other mum knew where it was, so we followed her on yet another journey.

IT WAS THROUGH A TUNNEL. With cars in it.

Yes, we had to go through a tunnel with no sidewalk.

There was a ledge inside it, so we inched our way through on that until somebody said, WHAT ARE WE DOING? THERE AREN'T ANY CARS! LET'S JUST RUN!

So we ran. 



It was hilarious. We sprinted and ran and laughed and laughed.

Then we started again.

My feet were hurting--my toes had blisters--and we were all tired. So when we got to a potential shortcut, we took it. 

It was down yet another hill.


When I got down I lay down on the grass and tried to sleep.

There were public restrooms nearby, so we went there while our mothers texted the dads our location. (The Greek Theater was scrapped. I think we were all spent.)

AND THEN...

one dad came.

Apparently, my dad had gotten stuck in traffic. They'd blocked off the road leading here, and the other dad had just barely gotten through before they'd done so.

So here's what we did:


They took down the back seats and stuffed us children--all eight of us--in the back. We got plain Lays chips and pretty much snacked the entire way.

LAWBREAKING GIVES YOU SUCH A THRILL.

(But don't worry, I don't do much of it. Only in desperate situations like those.)

After, when we caught up with my dad and decided we'd had enough of the Hollywood life, we went to this pizza place where I basically drowned in pizza and water and fire. (There was a legit gas-fed fire on our table.)


THE STATS FOR SATURDAY:

  • Hiked 8 miles. (Accidentally.)
  • Was out there for a good 4-5 hours.
  • Consumed pizza. Loads of it. Plus one Jolly Rancher Candy Cane.
It was funny, exhausting, and awful all at once.

I wouldn't repeat that experience. But neither would I want to forget it.