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Postcards From Heaven September 28, 2009

Posted by tian in Life, Music.
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6 comments

Firstly, thanks to Emily Law for telling me the name and artist of this nice happy song I heard on the radio one morning 🙂 It’s making a bit a HIGH, haha. xD It’s really made my day. If you haven’t heard it already, it’s called ‘High’ by Lighthouse Family, a duo that unfortunately split up in 2003. 😦
LISTEN to it! =D the lyrics can be found here.

Which leads me to something else. UNINTENDED! (Muse) I absolutely love this song right now.

You could be my unintended
Choice to live my life extended
You could be the one I’ll always love

You could be the one who listens
to my deepest inquisitions
You could be the one I’ll always love

I’ll be there as soon as I can
But I’m busy mending broken
Pieces of the life I had before

First there was the one who challenged
All my dreams and all my balance
She could never be as good as you

You could be my unintended
Choice to live my life extended
You should be the one I’ll always love

I’ll be there as soon as I can
But I’m busy mending broken
Pieces of the life I had before

I’ll be there as soon as I can
But I’m busy mending broken
Pieces of the life I had before

Before you

The music video, which is very strange… and kind of hypnotising too… they look so different now compared to back when this was made 🙂 and I swear that Matthew’s lips don’t quite sync with the music, but whatever 😛

I’m only just beginning to really appreciate Muse’s debut album, Showbiz. I think it’s brilliant, although Black Holes and Revelations has still got to be my favourite at the moment. Hmmm.

It’s 1.43am and I’d better be getting to bed soon. I’m still not feeling my best, after getting sick unexpectedly during these past few days. Thankfully it wasn’t as serious as last time. So it’s finally come to this, the end of the road. The last week (less actually) of school, forever. Tomorrow (well more like in a few hours time) is the literary luncheon, which should hopefully be interesting. Basically everyone had to (either in groups or solo) dress up or make some sort of visual rep about anything in English – whether it be a theme, quote, technique – or something else altogether. It will be interesting to see what people came up with, although I’m expecting most of them to be lame. In a good way of course 😀 As an added bonus we get to see everyone dress up in boy’s uniform as well – thanks James and Joseph – which I expect to be a prime opportunity for photo-taking. Yes. :3

Tuesday is “dress up like a junior and invade the junior classes” day, which should be fun. I think teachers vs year 12s basketball has also been postponed to Tuesday as well due to the duststorm last week. Wednesday is LUNCHEON! I still haven’t figured out matching shoes and accessories. I can’t be bothered at the moment. Hrm. In fact, I can’t be bothered doing much these days. Which is a bad thing, considering the HSC’s in 3 weeks and 1 day…wait did I just say THREE WEEKS?! OH MY GAD CRAP NOOO

Bedtime now! I think the mega long post will be up on Friday, when I don’t have to go to school and before I start intensively studying during the holidays. Ugh.

The choice rests in your hands...

The choice rests in your hands...


        

Now that actually makes me want to go work…thanks Thom. Later everyone 😀

Briefly… September 23, 2009

Posted by tian in Life.
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19 comments

As one of my readers has kindly noted, I haven’t updated in 11 days. Don’t worry though, I’m very much aware of this, and blogging hasn’t been forgotten. I do believe, however, that the next post will be very, very, very long. (Lots of photos to put up! ^^ I’m excited 🙂 )

A welcome to Cloud, who has gotten a blog at wordpress: [OBJECTIONABLE] Content. May your blogging days be long and fruitful, unlike mine 😛 (okay okay, I’ll stop xD)

I can’t actually believe it’s almost the end of school. Along with that, it also feels like the end of life as we’ve known it, for the past how many years. Going to school structured our days, weeks, months and years. As a result, it frightens me a little that we’ll be leaving in about a week’s time. We won’t be able to see our friends every day, and we might even lose touch completely with some. It’s a depressing thought. And the amazing fact is, the more I don’t want school to end, the faster the end approaches. I just can’t believe this at the moment.

Which leads me to what I had originally intended to write. I suppose that this has been repeated SO many times, but sooner or later, we have to come to terms with the fact that all (good) things come to an end. It’s an unavoidable truth of the world. Without the bad things in life, there would be nothing to compare the good things to. The old must make room for the young, the night follows the day, some people die and others are born; and yet, incessantly, unyieldingly even, life goes on. We can only make the most of NOW. I think it’s important for us to realise this.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, but today is the present. Treat it as just that – a present, a gift.”

I leave you with one photo of the duststorm this morning…I’ll upload the rest when my Flickr uploads reset, so please check back for them! 🙂

The view from the station this morning, as I rush to catch the 7:00 in time for morning physics class

The view from the station this morning, as I rush to catch the 7:00 in time for morning physics class


        

Mega long post about what’s been happening, coming up soon. 🙂

Update: due to incessant squawking by a certain someone (you know who you are…), I am forced to give them a late welcome into the blogging world. So yes, I hope thy days are awful. 😛 Now, go visit “where is my mind?”. xD

Between a rock and a hard place, + grade treat September 12, 2009

Posted by tian in Life.
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10 comments

Ughhh…I’ve just come back from dinner at a restaurant and I’m SO BLOATED. AGAIN. It always happens, even if I’m not that hungry.

The thing I don’t really like about eating out generally (and especially in Chinese restaurants) is that the food is EXTRA OILY, in comparison to what we have at home. I guess that’s to make the food delicious (you gotta admit, oily food = yum), but it’s also pretty gross too. Especially when mum’s going on a health food campaign at home. She has a point in doing this though – if you don’t take care in maintaining your health now, you’re going to have to deal with it later on in life, with possibly worse consequences. (Which, I guess, applies to study as well. :P)

But, I absolutely HATE wasting food. Hatehatehatehate. I’m pretty tolerant of a lot of things, but I get really angry and upset when I see half-eaten food lying around. Just be happy that you have something decent (and edible) to eat. If I get something I don’t like eating, I’ll force myself to eat it (or at least share the pain with a friend xD), because I can’t stand the thought of throwing it away.

Which is when my dilemma today at the restaurant surfaced. For some reason, this particular restaurant (whose name escapes me right now) charges extra money for plastic containers that we use to take our leftovers home with. Since we didn’t have that much food unfinished, dad thought there wasn’t much point asking/paying for a container which wasn’t even going to hold that much food. But then we were all moderately full so what were we going to do with the extra food? Leave it for the restaurant staff to throw away?! I didn’t want them to throw it away, so I started eating the food despite being full. In retrospect I guess it was kind of stupid of me, since the dish itself was quite unhealthy (it was vegetables, yes, but oily veggies aren’t that great either!), and I was getting bloated, but I ate some of it anyway, simply because I didn’t want the food to be wasted.

I remember what mum said to me some time ago, in regards to this kind of thing. I think she was throwing away some fatty BBQ chicken skin (which is pretty oily, ugh), and my sister and I were expectedly upset (the skin is delicious :P). I didn’t want her to throw away the food but then she said something like, “I know it’s a waste but it’s not worth your health if you eat it”, and I guess she had a point.

I hate this dilemma though. I don’t want to waste food but I might have to forgo the unhealthier ones so that my wellbeing isn’t jeopardised. It kind of reminds me of those moral situations where you have to decide to kill one person to save 5 others or risk having all 6 die. Which begs the question… is it better to commit a crime (like murder, for example) for the greater good? (Who dictates what “the greater good” means, anyway?) Is it ever okay to commit a crime? Philosophical stuff, won’t be going into that too much right now, but definitely will in the days/weeks/months/years to come. Which suddenly reminds me of Hamlet – “I must be cruel, only to be kind”.

Yesterday was the grade treat, hosted at school by the prefects of 2008-09. At first I was reluctant to attend, but I ended up going anyway. It felt like camp, but in a surreal kind of way. Which, all things being equal, is a good thing. Since I’ve pretty much run out of my uploads this month on flickr (I’m not pro, unfortunately), I’m going to upload a few photos on imageshack and move them to flickr next month. Bleeehhhhhh. Flickr would be better if they gave us a *bit* more free storage. But I digress. Here are some photos (scaled down, click to enlarge):

After the bell: went to the common room and chilled for a bit.  I think Lucy had just finished doing star jumps on the table.  The common room is a mess, but we like it that way

After the bell: went to the common room and chilled for a bit. I think Lucy had just finished doing star jumps on the table. The common room is a mess, but we like it that way

Pizza & soft drinks in the quad!  And later, icecream :)

Pizza & soft drinks in the quad! And later, icecream 🙂

Group photo for everyone who turned up at the treat

Group photo for everyone who turned up at the treat

Watching The Hangover inside the gym

Watching The Hangover inside the gym

Leaving through the carpark, I know the shot is quite bad

Leaving through the carpark, I know the shot is quite bad

The remains of my salad after I'd eaten most of it: chicken, capsicum, beans, pesto pasta - yum

The remains of my salad after I'd eaten most of it: chicken, capsicum, beans, pesto pasta - yum


        

I ended up missing a lot of The Hangover because we went out to get dinner (still hungry after the pizza :P). When we got back it had already finished. Since there was still some time before the treat was supposed to finish, another movie was put on, Sydney White. Sydney White is the usual chick-flick kind of movie, and although we didn’t finish watching it because we all had to go, it was rather predictable. Some of the things in it were sooooooo cheesy, but it was still entertaining and hilarious to watch, otherwise.

As a side note, I HATE HYPOCRITES! Especially the stubborn, self-satisfied ones. GRAAH. Okay.

Oooh, something cool. We have two tanks of tropical fish, right, and one of them is this orange/red one called a red swordtail (so called because the males have this sword-like point in their tails). This is a good picture of the male swordtail. Yesterday one of the females had babies! (okay, wait, that sounded weird…) but yeah, she gave birth to lots and lots of little swordtails. Some of them got eaten as soon as they were born, but dad managed to rescue about 20-30 of them and put them in a separate container so they can grow up! Awwww.

They're a bit hard to see, but you can see little fishies swimming around in the container

They're a bit hard to see, but you can see little fishies swimming around in the container


        

I leave you with an amusing and cute Radiohead picture. Thanks again for reading 🙂

If we smile, can we go eat icecream? (:

If we smile, can we go eat icecream? (:


        

Today, the 9/9/09, + UNSW open day September 9, 2009

Posted by tian in Life.
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20 comments

Okay, so I was going to do just an UNSW post, but a lot of random/interesting things happened today which I’d like to share & comment on.  So I think it’s fair to say that this is going to be another long post.  (Definitely lots of photos coming, plus more on my Flickr photostream.)

09/09/09

Hmm, I remember a similar hubbub about 07/07/07 and 08/08/08 (not any other dates, for some reason…maybe my memory fails) – I think there was even a news item on channel 7 about 07/07/07.  But I digress.

A lot of strange/funny things happened today, and luckily I happened to bring my camera along to capture some precious snapshots of them.  (I wonder why I didn’t do this earlier, and why only now when there’s 16 days of school left…)

Morning physics – not much to speak of.  The standard model of matter…just got WAY more complicated. (What exactly does a pi meson [a fermion] do?  Jacaranda says it’s the exchange particle for the strong nuclear force, but today we learned that only bosons [different from fermions] are involved in the exchange of the four fundamental forces [strong, weak, EM, gravity], and the one responsible for the strong force is the gluon, not some pi meson.  So what the hell?  Anyway.)

P1 – english.  Not much happened here, our teacher marked the roll and…left.  Okay…what the hell.  Since I really couldn’t be bothered doing more chapters of The Justice Game, and because I’d just finished a physics lesson with no break, I ended up playing Scramble and Tap Tap Coldplay on Jax’s iPhone.  Ahhhh…Tap Tap Coldplay is oh-so-fun. 😀 I got completely owned by Lovers in Japan (Osaka sun mix) on Extreme though.  O_O seriously, that is INSANE.

P2 – chemistry.  Woot!  Saponification.  This turned out pretty badly, but I still thought it was funny.  The cleaning up was rather nasty though.  SOOO much oily stuff to wash off. The photos should hopefully tell the story…

The start of the prac: hot is warmed up, copha, NaOH & methylated spirits in the beaker

The start of the prac: hot plate is warmed up, copha, NaOH & methylated spirits in the beaker

Things are going well: constant stirring

Things are going well: constant stirring

Oh sh*t: the mixture bubbled higher and higher until it overflowed, we put the watch glass on top to try and stop it, but it was too late...the watch glass is oily & a fair bit of fatty stuff is literally cooking on the hot plate.  Oops.

Oh sh*t: the mixture bubbled higher and higher until it overflowed, we put the watch glass on top to try and stop it, but it was too late...the watch glass is oily & a fair bit of fatty stuff is literally cooking on the hot plate. Oops.

My prac sheet happened to be right next to the hot plate when the stuff spilled...so some got onto my prac sheet.  Hmmm, oily paper.  It eventually went curly & crispy.  I still have the sheet.  Gotta love my incoherent scribbles xD

My prac sheet happened to be right next to the hot plate when the stuff spilled...so some got onto my prac sheet. Hmmm, oily paper. It eventually went curly & crispy. I still have the sheet. Gotta love my incoherent scribbles xD

Just afterwards: the watchglass is seriously gross by this point, as the oily liquid solidifies slowly.  As you can see we tried to scrap some cooked fat off the hotplate...

Just afterwards: the watchglass is seriously gross by this point, as the oily liquid solidifies slowly. As you can see we tried to scrape some cooked fat off the hotplate...

Taking a quick stop at the back of L6: bottles which have probably been there for ages.  Is zinc oxide really poisonous?

Taking a quick stop at the back of L6: bottles which have probably been there for ages. Is zinc oxide really poisonous?

No time to start again, so we have to keep going and hope we didn't lose anything crucial...the beaker is pretty icky now, eh

No time to start again, so we have to keep going and hope we didn't lose anything crucial...the beaker is pretty icky now, eh

Stirring...apparently, this is what the thing is supposed to look like after a while

Stirring...apparently, this is what the thing is supposed to look like after a while

What IS this?! you ask.  It's what we got after the white mass dried & cooled.  We added a blue food colouring but it turned RED on contact with the solid, and a purple colouring turned PEACH.  WTH.  After adding saturated NaCl solution, this is what we get...so much for soap, this looks absolutely gross

What IS this?! you ask. It's what we got after the white mass dried & cooled. We added a blue food colouring but it turned RED on contact with the solid, and a purple colouring turned PEACH. WTH. After adding saturated NaCl solution, this is what we get...so much for soap, this looks absolutely gross

Okay, filtering the liquid part.  It is kind of pretty, but definitely not the blue we had hoped for

Okay, filtering the liquid part. It is kind of pretty, but definitely not the blue we had hoped for


        

After this was CLEANING which took AGES. And we were supposed to have a meeting for all year 12’s but we completely missed it cleaning up all the oily equipment. Argh. And what was the thing about getting EVERYONE in the grade to bring a date to the formal? Are they serious? :O Btw, thanks Amy for helping out with the cleaning up 😛 The experiment was quite a fail but there were lots of laughs to be had by all 🙂 (except perhaps my chemistry teacher, who was somewhat alarmed)

P3 – meet period! (aka FREE for all year 12s) second last ever, I think. I was planning to go up to Crows Nest to get something to eat, but ended up joining a large portion of our gang down to North Sydney to get Boost. MOAR photos, methinks >D

The view from the bus stop: Pacific Highway

The view from the bus stop: Pacific Highway

The classic Rufus pervy grin(TM).  Disclaimer: no damaged incurred by author for any trauma that may be caused by this photo

The classic Rufus pervy grin(TM). Disclaimer: no damaged incurred by author for any trauma that may be caused by this photo

The view from inside the bus...turning the corner at Berry St, I believe

The view from inside the bus...turning the corner at Berry St, I believe

Berry Square up ahead...everyone is busy during lunch, obviously.  And there's a subway, oporto and boost nearby, so...

Berry Square up ahead...everyone is busy during lunch, obviously. And there's a subway, oporto and boost nearby, so...

A selection of healthy wraps, yoghurts and salads...yum

A selection of healthy wraps, yoghurts and salads...yum

maFIa, hi-fiving the guardian of Eckersley's

maFIa, hi-fiving the guardian of Eckersley's

oh dear, this doesn't look awfully comfortable...

oh dear, this doesn't look awfully comfortable...

Boosts!  Rufus had the smallest one, muhahaha

Boosts! Rufus had the smallest one, muhahaha

Phantom ninjas from inside Eckersley's...Rufus?!

Phantom ninjas from inside Eckersley's...Rufus?!

Is it Doodles Noodles (as the sign tells us) or Oodles Noodles (as the outside of their shop tells us)?  We might never know, but...interesting reminder of an Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney case here

Is it Doodles Noodles (as the sign tells us) or Oodles Noodles (as the outside of their shop tells us)? We might never know, but...interesting reminder of an Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney case here

Awwww, there were 2 giant bears but one got blocked by Rufus... :(

Awwww, there were 2 giant bears but one got blocked by Rufus... 😦

Walking to the station bus stop to catch a bus back to school, and...CADBURY TRUCK?!  No free chocolate however :P

Walking to the station bus stop to catch a bus back to school, and...CADBURY TRUCK?! No free chocolate however 😛

Back at school, 8 minutes until P4, and a friendly reminder of what's to come shortly...

Back at school, 8 minutes until P4, and a friendly reminder of what's to come shortly...


        

P4 – physics, again. More questions. TONNES of sheets, phew. Pep talk by Ms Foley. Funnily enough, every time she gives us a pep talk, I feel so motivated to work, but then that wears off after a while. Time really is running out, isn’t it… wonder what I’m going to be like in a few weeks’ time. CRAP WHAT TO WEAR FOR LUNCHEON. *breathe* okay, crap, not worrying about that…FOR NOW. *stress*

P5 – free. Looked through ALL the physics textbooks in the library but none gave a satisfactory answer to my pi meson question. It’s really bugging me.

And that was my awesome 09/09/09. I guess the stuff we did was pretty mundane, but it’s not often that we get together as a group and have a chance to just do whatever and have a few laughs, so today was special in that regard. Thanks for the great day everyone ❤

UNSW Open Day

Alright, now onto what I had originally planned to post about. 😛 UNSW open day, on the 5th. This is kind of lame because it’s, what, 4 days late? Arghhhh. I’ll try and be more prompt next time, promise. 😉

Before this, I don’t remember having ever been to UNSW before, so this was a completely new experience for me (unlike USyd, in which I recognised a number of places). Decided to meet up with Amy & Amanda at Railway Square – when we met up, realised we had to go over to the Eddy Avenue bus stop instead. Guh. Met up with Callan at Central station (what is with the hairdo, man). There was a bit of a wait at the bus stop…it was about 12.30-1-ish, so plenty of people wanting to go to UNSW. The bus trip was fairly mundane, like any other bus trip. I thought the length of the journey was quite long, in comparison to USyd. I don’t like long bus trips – I get motion sickness on buses and cars especially, so the longer the trip, the more chance I have to get sick. 😦

The entrance of UNSW...

The entrance of UNSW...


        

So we finally get off the bus. Free stuff at the entrance! Mostly just the bright red bag though…which I don’t really like the design of. The straps are too short, so if you’re wearing it like a shoulder bag you can’t just let down one strap to grab something from inside the bag, you actually have to take the bag OFF, get whatever you wanted, then put it back on. Gaaah. I just find that rather annoying. 😛 At least the UTS bag had an adjustable strap. Well, it WAS free, and so I’ll just accept it as it is, dodgy straps or no. xD

From the entrance, walking into the uni, it feels like one looong walkway. (Well, I guess it is.) The law building, which we came upon early in our trek, was quite nice. There’s a lot of grass on either side, with trees and random people. It was a pleasant day as well, which is always good to have.

We got free icecream (was it really icecream though? It was more like a viscous supersaturated sugar emulsion, with pink colour) from some engineering people. It was SOOOO sweet. Ugh. I’m not much of a sweet tooth, so it was a bit too strong for me. Luckily the serving was much smaller than the USyd one and so I didn’t have to endure too much sugar. Bleh. Around this area was a lot of people – there was a fairy floss place, and some various things being held. We dawdled a bit here, but then went on along the walkway, towards the progcomp building.

At the progcomp building entrance, I got a call from Anna, who told me she was lost. Oh dear. Amanda and I decided to go back and fetch her from near the fairy floss place. On the way there we bumped into Milo and chatted briefly. He was marveling at how much we’d all changed. Interesting, huh? Finally back to the progcomp building, then we go inside and upstairs where the finalists are doing the grand finals. It’s reallllly quiet here, and hardly any people appear to be around. I was too scared to go in from the back so I detoured through the kitchen-y thing and popped out of the side of the room to get a better look at the scoreboard. I took a few photos, had a look at the questions, lingered a bit, and left.

So after that we (Amy, Amanda, Callan and I) wandered around the other parts of UNSW (we also ran into Jo!): we left the progcomp building and went back onto the main walkway, and walked up to the engineering area. We had a look inside the computer science room, with the cool robots. They were sooooo cute! ^o^ There was one which was close to the goal and could almost kick the ball in, but it kept looking around itself and walking clumsily AROUND the ball. Awww! Then they released another one onto the field, which walked quickly (well, quick for those robots) towards the ball, and stood there for a bit. The first robot suddenly decided to kick the ball in, and the second one stood there looking speechless, wondering where the ball went. Then they both got confused…so cute.

First robot: hmmm, I wonder where the ball is... Second robot: I think I see a ball! *starts running awkwardly*

First robot: hmmm, I wonder where the ball is... Second robot: I think I see a ball! *starts running awkwardly*


        

After that, it was wondering around the commerce area, I believe. Bumped into some Ruse friends and talked for a while. Afterwards we went back to the progcomp building, since it was almost 3pm and they were supposed to be finishing then. There was a guitar thing going on at the electrical engineering stall (I think it was), and there we ran into Gio.

Back at the progcomp building, it was about 5 minutes to 3. And MedLawUMelb was finished, which was why Mank (lol) was wandering around the place. CCCP were also really close, at 91. I’m pretty sure I saw one of the guys in another team look like he was giving up. Didn’t seem like much time left for any major change in the scoreboard. Hmm, the seminar room was a lot smaller than what I’d thought it would be like. I had always imagined the room for the grand finals would be larger. So after a lot of awkwardness (which was all my fault, sorry everyone), we left (Callan left before this though). On the way out, there was a Jenga game going on near where the fairy floss place was earlier. It was soooo nerve-wracking! Lots of FML-ing on the girl’s part, though. xD In the end the girl in the photo managed to pull out a block. The guy after that lost.

Very tense game here - check out the part near the bottom of the tower - how unstable, wow

Very tense game here - check out the part near the bottom of the tower - how unstable, wow


        

After this, we walked out of UNSW. Didn’t manage to attend any talks though, although choco tells me that the comp sci one was quite worthwhile. Dang… anyhow, the next problem was getting back to Central among the SWARM of people at the bus stop. (And I thought the bus stop the station in the mornings was bad…) eventually managed to get on a bus, had to stand for the journey back though, since there were too many people. I get to Central and then what happens? Train comes in 2 minutes. Crap. Not going to make it. Next train 30mins at the least. We decide to get an Easy Way… Amanda got this Green Apple thing (can’t remember exact name), Amy got a Pina Colada (I think)mango milk tea (sorry, another clue that my memory is melting into mush), Gio had a grape smoothie and I had a blueberry smoothie, something I hadn’t had before. I didn’t really like it much. It was mostly just small flakes of ice…didn’t really taste any blueberry or anything. I felt kind of ripped off, and wanted a taro milk tea instead. Well, at least I know not to get it for next time 😛

Was surprised to find that a fast train which I thought would obviously not stop at my station actually did, so I ended up getting home earlier than expected. Thanks to Gio for the surprise LRLRL cd. 😀 I honestly had no idea, seriously…

And that was UNSW open day. I didn’t stay at UNSW for very long, but I thought it was alright overall. The place seems quite nice, but the thing I don’t like is the location – I’d prefer it if it was closer to the city. And why are so many UNSW cutoffs lower than USyd ones? Is it because not that many people want to do them, so they lower the cutoff to try and get people to enrol? Please enlighten me. xD

I hope you enjoyed reading this, this was much, much longer than I expected it to be. So long, in fact, that I’ve not done any homework because of it. Gaah. But if you liked it in any way, then I’m honoured 😀

I leave you with this, a photo taken & drawn on by Amy, with Phoenix Wright & The Justice Game references (obviously).

OBJECTION! this blog post was too long, so I didn't read it.  Geoffrey Robertson rocks my socks /s

OBJECTION! this blog post was too long, so I didn't read it. Geoffrey Robertson rocks my socks


        

I rest my case. Thank you for reading. 🙂

Father’s day, trials, RICE, USyd + UTS open day – thoughts September 6, 2009

Posted by tian in Life.
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13 comments

Before I start, I must warn you: I anticipate this to be very long.  I’ll break it up into sections so hopefully it can be more manageable to you, the reader. 😉

Father’s Day

Today was Father’s Day.  I’m not sure how long it’s been since I’ve not given this particular occasion much thought, but this time I decided to do a bit more and hopefully make my dad just a bit happier.  Why so sudden?  Recently I’ve been thinking what it means to be alive, and, rather morbidly, what death is like.  Every time I think about it, I get this nagging feeling that time is running out.  Sure, we may be going about our lives, feeling that everything is normal, but what about when the time comes?  We don’t know when people are going to die.

Take my grandma, for example.  I’m not even sure how old she is – she herself can’t remember the year of her birth.  (Aww!  It’s rather saddening but endearing too.)  Recently on the 28th she celebrated her birthday, and I thought, for someone as elderly as she is, it must be a blessing to make it through for another year.  How do we know things are going to be the same, come next year?  We don’t.  And because I owed a lot (my life, and my mum’s, in essence) to my grandma, I decided to get her a little gift to show my appreciation.  Just a bit of effort can go a long way.  Being Asian and all, she bluntly told me NOT to buy something, but she couldn’t refuse after I’d bought it and all.  I know that I just as well didn’t have to get her anything (she’s not the type of person to mind at all), but taking the time to show other people how much you appreciate what they do for you really makes them happy. (And it made me happy, too.  I admit, I cried.)

Which brings me back to my father’s day story.  I guess it was for a similar reason that I decided to put in a bit extra to make my dad happy.  Despite all the hardships that have happened because of him, and his sometimes extremely obstinate nature, when I look at the bigger picture he (and mum) has really done a lot for my sister and I.  So I got him this rather expensive silk tie from Tie Rack in Greenwoord Plaza (Tie Rack seems like a rather sophisticated British company).  A shoutout to Amy and the shopkeeper guy who helped me choose a design (I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer variety).  And, surprisingly enough, my dad liked it.

I guess the lesson here is to be happy with what we’ve got, and to appreciate those around us.  I know it’s cliched, and I know how easy it can be to wish for something different.  But what’s the point?  I realise that if we constantly want something (be it an object, different parents, a new life) that we don’t have, we’ll never be happy.  And in the end, what difference does it make anyway?  We come into the world with nothing, and we leave with nothing.  Although, I think it’s good to strive for something better, to improve ourselves (like doing better at school, or something), but we can’t let it overtake our lives.  We shouldn’t spend our lives chasing after material things or dwelling on what’s past.  We learn what we can, and move on.  But we shouldn’t waste our lives doing completely nothing either.  And when things get tough, just think, “It could be worse.”

Trials + aftermath

As all the year 12’s around the state know, the HSC trials have been going on, and most people (I’m guessing) have finished.  NSG trials were really early compared with many other schools (I think they always are), so I’ve had plenty of time to look back and reflect on that period of time.  And I received the last of my trial results on Friday, so I can now put it all behind me.

The trial exams themselves were nothing special to speak of, in my opinion.  Despite their “importance” in our school assessments and the fact that they were the next biggest thing in comparison to the real HSC, I didn’t find them any different from, say, the prelim exams.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing.  Maybe I should’ve stressed some more?  (But what’s the point of that?)  I of course did my fair share of swearing and panicking, but it wasn’t much different from a normal assessment.  It was rather upsetting that we had to redo English Paper 1 because apparently the teachers stuffed up and put in a previously seen text in Section 1 (which is supposed to be unseen texts only), but I was somewhat relieved as I would’ve gotten a second chance at trying to finish my creative. (Although I believe I did better in Sections 1 and 3 – unseen and essay – the first time around.)

My exams were fairly spaced out over a two week period (Weeks 2 & 3), so I had plenty of time to prepare.  But I didn’t. Not until the day before, anyway.  That was probably my biggest mistake.  I’d done a lot of preparation in the holidays, probably too much, because I burned out when trials started.  And all the stuff I had learned, I forgot.  Pretty stupid really.  Expectedly, all my results were (to me, some might disagree) rather disappointing.  Usually, my best subjects are 3 & 4u maths, but 4u must have been my worst result this time round.  And my best trial mark was in English, the subject which I dislike and do the worst in, all the time.  What the hell?, I thought.  I’m over all of it, though.  I see it as a chance for me to learn something, a chance to do better in the HSC.

So what have I learned?

  1. It sucks to know that you could’ve done better if only you’d prepared a bit more.
  2. Procrastination is bad.
  3. See #2.

What am I going to do about this?  Well, according to this Google Desktop gadget that I have on my desktop which counts down to the start of the first English paper in October, we have 43 days left.  Not much time.  But I thank the trials and the time we have now, it’s like a second chance.  A lifeline.  Hopefully before the end of this week I can finish my Chemical Monitoring & Production of Materials notes.  (You guys have to keep reminding me!)  I can upload my notes if people are interested.  (I don’t have much completed atm, just Acidic Environment & Space.)  The priority is of course to finish all notes for chemistry and physics before the end of week 8, as well as start chipping away at that large pile of 3/4u homework, AND hand write a million essays a week.  (You can see how procrastination is a much more pleasant alternative.)  I can do this, right?  Right? …

Does anyone have recommendations for a good physics textbook?  I don’t really like the ones we have at school (Jacaranda, Contexts, Spotlight, Oxford), and it seems that each one has something major/crucial missing from them.  Thanks. 🙂

RICE

My first (and last, regrettably) ever.  I didn’t take any photos! 😦 I got to meet a lot of Ruse people (you know who you are ^^), and mindblow heaps of people with the flashing shirt I got from the Easter Show earlier this year.  A certain unknown girl actually wanted to swap shirts right there and then, which was a little disturbing, but obviously I wasn’t going to do it. 😛 Went to Pepper Lunch (had never been there before, is now an ardent fan), the rice was somewhat oily, I admit, but it was delicious.

Inside the Entertainment Centre, the entire thing was entertaining from beginning to end.  The music at the beginning was a little unexpected, but I got to lol at Joseph and James doing aerobics 😛 I really liked the music after that though, really uplifting and inspiring.  (I actually cried a little during one of them, don’t remember the name of it though…)  The “Masterchef” segment was quite…strange and a bit gross, judging from the ingredients they put into the bowl. xD But funny nonetheless.  It was good how they did things to involve the audience.

Matt Chandler!  That man is an amazingly good speaker.  His talk was funny, honest and challenging at times.  They made me think about what he said.  Why is humanity like what it is now?  I’ve often wondered that myself.

Even now, I’m still not sure about many things Christian.  I hope to keep trying to understand it, though!  And one day, I might believe.  Thanks to Simon, James and Joseph for their help.  I’ll be reading your blog, Simon!

A shoutout to Simon who refuses my offer to pay for my ticket, to James and Joseph for keeping me company throughout the day, and to James for the lift home.  Thanks guys! 😀 It was awesome!

USyd + UTS open day (29th August)

Originally, I’d intended to only go to USyd, because I wasn’t really interested in UTS.  But events later unfolded that saw me going to UTS as well…

I went with Amy throughout most of the day.  We first went to the Education building to see a talk on combined secondary degrees (one of Amy’s interests – I zoned out and tried to finish some hw).  During the talk, Aditi (from NSG who went to Ruse) came in and Amy nearly had a heart attack.  I was surprised too.  It was great to see Aditi again. 🙂 But we had to part ways again after the talk, so it was kind of lame.  Next was studying IT at USyd.  Not particularly informative, I thought.  AND JAMES CURRAN WASN’T THERE.  :< I saw a bunch of NCSS people though.  It was kind of surreal.  Shoutout to Mayo, who we bumped into there. ❤

After that we went out and got some free icecream, made with liquid nitrogen and courtesy of the School of Chemical Engineering.  They had 2 flavours: strawberry and chocolate.  Both servings were delicious and decent-sized.

Waiting in the Farrell Lecture Theatre for the Dr Karl engineering talk to start.  I was pretty excited.  Rushed to get seats when the biomedical talk finished.  Saw Joseph at the talk.  The talk itself, I thought, was all over the place, but was nonetheless highly entertaining.  Dr Karl sure talks fast!  After that, free sausage outside 🙂 I considered getting 2 because I was hungry, but then thought, an extra one for me is one less for someone else, so I stopped myself.

No, this guy is not craving a sausage, nor is he related to the sausages in any way

No, this guy is not craving a sausage, nor is he related to the sausages in any way

Or maybe he’s the guardian of the sausages, come to tell me not to eat more than I should.  Whatever.  So after that, we couldn’t be bothered walking ALL the way back to the other side of the uni, so…we left.

Funnily enough, Joseph told me he saw Callan & Hargraves at USyd, so I wanted to know where they were.  Turns out that by the time we’d left USyd, they’d gone to UTS.  So guess what?  NEXT STOP; UTS.

I didn’t expect the bus to stop at UTS, but it did.  Okay, let’s go visit Callan & Hargraves while I’m here…

BUT IT WAS NOT TO BE.  Callan went back to USyd for some life-threatening lecture, and my phone was dying and I couldn’t find Hargraves anywhere.  Ugh.

UTS...no, its not an airport

UTS...no, it's not an airport

While we’re there, Amy and I wandered around and looked at the sights. Compared to USyd, UTS looked positively teeming with activity. It was all rather overwhelming. The dancing downstairs was…interesting. And the food! I didn’t have any, I was getting a bit full, and plus, I felt bad.

I failed pretty badly. I didn’t get to see Callan or Hargraves, and I felt liked I’d wasted a chunk of my life. What to do next? We decided to go have lunch at Ajisen Ramen near Paddy’s. On the way there, there was an interesting man…

http://www.myspace.com/bottleman ... a pretty awesome and odd guy

http://www.myspace.com/bottleman ... a pretty awesome and odd guy

Basically, he had bottles hung up on a rack, with different amounts of liquid (water, I’m guessing?) in them, so when he hit the bottles, each made a different note. Pretty cool. And he had a basic drumkit to work with, too.

Ajisen Ramen was shortly after, not much to speak of here. RAMEN! 😀 I had a frappe, my first ever. I still don’t really know what they are. And coffee jelly tastes strange. I’m probably going back there to try their “Volcano Ramen”, which is supposed to be super chili. Yay ❤ An interesting sidenote? The receipt said “Served by Tifa” (FF7 reference) brick me if that’s a common Japanese name or something.

After that, not much time before we had to go. So – off to Capitol!

Dont mind me, Im just standin here being ninja

Don't mind me, I'm just standin' here being ninja

Amy, with her pro-ness, managed to win a small oni-like tofu, and a bear I like to call “soul-less bear”. Not what its real name is, though. But they’re so cute! … in a soul-less, empty-eyed way. And they are soooo hard to get. There was a machine with GIANT tofus, but it was near impossible to get one 😦 but, we’ve got to be happy with what we have, and so we left, a little disappointed, but still – something was better than nothing, right?


Kudos to you, if you’re still reading this now. Thanks 😀 share your thoughts or whatever, I don’t mind. Hopefully I’ll post about UNSW soon.

For now, I’m going to try and look at things more positively. Hope you enjoyed reading, and thanks again.

Every journey has a beginning… September 5, 2009

Posted by tian in General.
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So this is my n-th attempt (where n is an integer somewhere between 2 and 5) at starting and successfully maintaining a blog.  Hopefully, this time I can keep this up, although I might need constant motivation and activity may decrease as October 21st gradually approaches…

Tomorrow is UNSW Open Day, and despite the fame and prestige that seems to literally emanate from the university, I don’t feel particularly excited to go, nor do I feel that the talks will be worthwhile.  However, it’s good to do new things, and since I’ve never been to UNSW…why not?  (And there might be free stuff, too.)  I think my lackluster attitude is due to my bias towards USyd, where I’ve been to several times now and stayed at for 2 NCSS camps.  Bah at human bias.  It gets in the way at crucial times when rational thinking is needed.  Heh, conflicting perspectives much?

I hear the UNSW business faculty is quite good (better than USyd, according to well-informed friends).  Not so sure on the IT/Comp Sci part, which is currently my main interest in tertiary studies.  Until recently I thought I knew exactly what to do (BIT/BSc @ USyd), but last week I had a discussion with a friend who happened to also be a prospective med student (some of you will know who I’m talking about), and since then I’ve been considering other options.  Which leaves me incredibly unsure about what to do and where to go.  Wherever I do go, however, it will probably be either USyd or UNSW.  (I’ve been peer pressured to do Aeronautical Engineering by several insistent friends, although I’m not sure if they were serious or not. xD)

Tomorrow, (or more correctly, later today), I’ll be blogging about some interesting things that have happened recently – trials, RICE, USyd + UTS open days, and of course the UNSW one that’s happening in several hours (oh shi-, bedtime!).  Yes, I know they are extremely late but I feel I need to write about them somehow.

Also, photos from the NSG Visual Arts Exhibition 2009 will be up shortly.  I’m having some pretty poor upload speeds, and a LOT of photos were taken, so predictably, it’s taking a while. 😛 Hope those that requested them enjoy the indescribably good works.  The year 12 bodies of work rocked!  I’ll stop before I start going about how cool they are/were.  I could marvel at them for aaaaages.  (You seriously don’t want me to start. xD) Pity the exhibition was only from 26-28 Aug. 😦 Should have at least been a week long!

That wasn’t particularly long in comparison to some people’s blog entries that I’ve seen (Simon’s blog comes to mind), but thanks for reading! (or even if you did a “TL;DR”, that’s fine too :P)

If you have a blog and want me to link to it, I’d be happy to!  Drop me a message on twitter, facebook, MSN or email.  I’m just starting out, so I need to build up a blogroll of sorts. 🙂