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Welcome! 欢迎!

Well, hello there readers!

If you are currently a high school student, I’m sure you’ll be able to understand the weird turn life has made in the past few years. What happened to having no responsibilities? What happened to that acceptable nonchalant attitude towards life? Now, every second of life is filled with something to do, whether it be studying, extracurriculars, or even just chilling with friends.

I’m constantly trying to add new dimensions into my life, trying out new activities, setting goals for myself and reaching towards them. Learning is my impetus. I love attaining new skills, polishing existing ones, or even just finding new skills to learn. Hence this blog.

This blog aspires to document the adventures and experiences of my high school life. I’ll be sharing my thoughts, ideas, advice, and stories about being a international high school student, balancing academic work while cultivating my life to be as colorful as possible.

So stay tuned, readers!

 

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Student Council: Indoor Campout

While opening the café was a big part of our work in student council that year, we did organize other activities. Two interesting events we hosted were the Indoor Campout and the Lip-Sync Battle.

The Indoor Campout was, essentially, a Lock-In. I proposed it to the council with the intent of strengthening school spirit. Plus, everyone loves a Lock-In. As with every proposal, I set up committees: one for administration, one for activities, and one for food. A schedule was also set up with deadlines. And there was where the problems began.

Students procrastinate. Some people work well under strict deadlines, and are able to push themselves to achieve them. Others produce quality work at their own pace. I had intended for the council to first decide on dining choices next meeting, then have the food committee set a preliminary budget on food costs and the activity committee on activity costs. After that, they’d transfer that information to administration for them to formulate a suitable fee per students and send out permission forms. My plan would take around 1 month to set up.

Deciding the dining choices took…2 weeks. Eventually, we handed it over to the food committee to settle, figuring that a smaller group would be able to reach a decision faster. After that, however, things began to move faster. The budget was handed over to administration, the permission forms were sent out, and there we were halted once again.

As a student, I confess that sometimes I would forget to bring permission forms back in. I predicted that only around half the forms would be in by the deadline. And true to my prediction, hardly any permission forms (complete with the money) were brought back in. We gave the homeroom teachers another week to collect the money, and by the end of that week, we collected the money.

Then, of course, we bought all our necessary items, set things up, and had our indoor campout! The whole process took 2 months…twice the time I had anticipated.

It turned out amazing, however. We had subway for dinner, then had a school-wide capture the flag nerf battle late at night. Although not everything worked as planned, it was, in the end, a great success.

Student Council: Opening a School Café

Interestingly enough, my perception of student council has changed quite a lot over the years. I avoided it in 5th and 6th grade (because you miss recess for meeting, and, I mean, that’s like the end of the world), loved it in 7th grade (because I was too young to take on much responsibility but felt as if I was incredibly important), and by 9th grade, it was the most challenging thing in school.

Continue reading “Student Council: Opening a School Café”

Kidsread

With all the talk on books and reading in my previous posts, I’d just like to share an experience I had in middle school. Kidsread is a competition hosted by ACAMIS for international students from grades 5-8 living in China. Students form groups of 3-5 and answer questions about the plot and context of novels. International schools from all over China would come and compete. As a bookworm, this was my dream come true. Continue reading “Kidsread”

TOEFL

Before I took the test (yes, test, I know, I’ve always categorized it as “exam” before as well), I received a lot of contrasting tips and opinions on the TOEFL iBT test. This ranged from:

(Wide eyes, scarily focused expression) “TOEFL is the scariest thing you will ever experience. I mean, the listening. You listen to a short story and you note down the important plot points, and they end up asking you what color a secondary character’s eyes are!”

to:

(Snorts) “Pssssh, you’re gonna be fine. TOEFL is the easies thing ever. Don’t even study for it!”

Yes, I had a very concrete idea of what the test was like.

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Reading Non-fiction

What I’ve forgotten to mention in my last post is the fact that I still read a lot…but most of what I read nowadays is non-fiction. Or, in other words, textbooks.

Reading non-fiction is tremendously different from reading fiction. In it, you’re not immersed in a story, you’re not relating to the characters, you’re not being transported away in another world. In other words, it doesn’t provide the emotional roller coaster that fiction does, and hence, not the pleasure either.

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On Reading

Books are a gateway to another, miraculous world. What other device can transport you across the universe to another galaxy in a matter of seconds? What other can shape-shift you into an animal, a king, a heroine, or whatever you aspire to be? When reading, I am swept away by the pages of the book, carries by the currents of the story, drowning happily in words. I am always captivated by the power of books, often reading for hours on end, curled up in my blanket on my bed, deep in the drama of a story.

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Yearbook

With the end of the school year approaching, discussions about the yearbook is on everyone’s lips. After all, one of the best traditions of the end of school (aside from, you know, ending school) is signing yearbooks. Every year, I would dedicate a good day or two to circulating my yearbook around the hands of all my friends, classmates, and teachers. Getting back a yearbook filled with signatures and personalized notes just makes me feel exhilarated, as if people actually cared about me throughout this whole year! All right, maybe not to that extreme, but it’s always nice to preserve memories of your classmates and teachers of this year.

Continue reading “Yearbook”