Wednesday, February 10

Bryn Mawr Concert Series Fall 2015: Gallant, Javelin, & Lauv

I've been on the hunt for live music ever since my first live concert experience last summer, but as much as I enjoy live music, I'm also a very practical person. I'm not about to follow my favourite band around on their world tour or anything, but I have been keeping an eye out for artists in Philly.

When I heard the line-up for the Bryn Mawr Concert Series (BMCS) Fall 2015 Concert, I was so excited that I recognized 2/3 of the acts. Our resources are limited as a small liberal arts college, but when we do get someone, it is because of our small size that the experience is so intimate.

In fact, the second floor balcony of the Campus Center (the concert venue) was blocked off so that everyone would be standing close to each other and create a dense buzz of energy. Which is all well and good unless you're short like me and this kind of thing only leads to a dense canopy of tall people.

At times like these, I like to exploit my reputation as a photographer. With my handy dandy fancy schmancy camera in hand, I ask my BMCS connections if I can go up to the balcony, surreptitiously bouncing the camera in my hand all the while, hinting that I'd be taking pictures, giving them the idea that they could possibly use my pictures (more like planting the idea (inception)), but without explicitly committing to it. Everyone loves having pictures, so of course they say yes ;)


Monday, February 8

Mistakes and confused weather - 6/52 :)

Happy Chinese New Year! Over the weekend I saw so many Asian parents on campus, and it warmed my heart to see that they came all the way to visit their kid for this special occasion. I'm not big on celebrations myself, but it still touches me to see the happiness it brings other people.

  1. The week started off with an email congratulating me for being selected to attend the Philly Women in Tech Summit hosted by TechGirlz in April. "The summit inspires, educates and connects women in the technology industry. There will be (beginner friendly) hands-on workshops on UX (how to think like a designer), PHP/Wordpress, CSS, and talks on different career paths, like how to get investors on board for your startup. The conference will also address other areas in technology, like Exploring the New Frontiers of Technology – Using Virtual Reality for More than Games and security/cryptography."
  2. My photo got onto the Tumblr Radar and Staff Picks! (is Tumblr Radar and Staff Picks the same thing?) The photo is from Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen-Gardena when I was in LA over winter break. It's a completely average aerial shot of food taken with my iPhone.
  3. This semester I'm taking Intro to Semantics with my ex-Advanced Chinese professor (she still teaches Advanced Chinese, but I don't take that course anymore). Interacting with her in this environment is very different and I'm still trying to get accustomed to it. I'm used to seeing her in a Chinese class of about five people. It was one of the few classes I actually spoke up in because it was so small and so heavily discussion based. Despite the linguistics class being six times larger, she still expects her students to speak up at least once every class. This terrifies me, because I really, really, really do not like speaking up in large classes. For the first week, I managed to slip by, but towards the end of the third class, she asked the class a question and then especially asked for students who hadn't spoken up yet to speak up while looking pointedly at me. I stared hard at my desk, but she didn't relent. I learned my lesson and spoke up at the beginning of the next class when she asked us to review what we went over last class. Working on my participation grade this week, I spoke up in class and got the answer wrong. And it wasn't a big deal. A few other students pitched in to answer the question as well, and most of us missed. And it wasn't a big deal. It wasn't a big deal. I'm slowly making my way towards becoming more comfortable with speaking up in large classes.
  4. The weather has been so random. It was snowing during my Friday morning walk to class. Well, I think it mostly snowed overnight, and a lot of it got caught in tree branches, and when the sun came up, the snow started dripping and floating and plonking down. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the berries were bright, and winter had never looked so alive.
  5. Somehow I made it through my first lab for Intro to Data Structures. The due date was pushed back a week, but somehow I still managed to procrastinate until three days before it was due. I never would have been able to complete it in time without the patient guidance of my classmates. It was such a stressful Friday of working on my lab from 2PM to 11:30PM (labs are due every Friday at midnight). I definitely do not want to do that again, so I'm determined to get my shit together and work on my labs throughout the week like I'm supposed to.
  6. Chaverim, the a cappella group I'm in, always makes me so happy. Admittedly, there are times when I don't want to go to rehearsal, but after rehearsal I always feel so much better. At the end of rehearsal this week, I headed out to the van to go back to campus, and these four Chavers trailed behind. The view was so picturesque, so I told them to go back up the stairs and walk down them candidly so that I could snap a photo. Without a moment's hesitation, they went back up and down the stairs for me. Gotta love photo compliant people. Not pictured was a determined student waddling down the stairs with a full keg of beer a few minutes later.
  7. My high school team has just finished APAC swimming, the biggest varsity meet of the year, and a bunch of photos have been floating around Facebook--some new ones and some old ones, thanks to Facebook's "this time last year" notifications. I spent at least an hour looking at my old APAC swimming photos, which made me both happy and sad at the same time--happy because that's what I was, and sad because that's what I was. This Sunday morning, I swam for the first time in forever with Ami. It feels so good to swim again, this time without a coach yelling from deck. The only thing was that I forgot a towel and she forgot sandals. It was inconvenient, but we were amused and pleased that we hadn't had to swim for so long that we'd forgotten how to pack for it. I think we'll be trying to make Sunday morning swims a thing this semester.

I want to make an effort to remember the little joys in life, so my 52 week challenge for 2016 is to write weekly Happy Lists.

PS: 54321.


Wednesday, February 3

George Ezra

In eighth grade math, our teacher was teaching us the difference between mean, median, mode, and range. To provide an example data set, he did a quick survey of the class. After we as a class determined that Maroon 5 is a popularly liked band, he asked us how much we were willing to pay for Maroon 5 concert tickets. As the price of the tickets increased, less people in the class were willing to buy the concert tickets. Now, I'm pretty stingy with my money, and I've never been to a live concert before, so I didn't get the point and dropped out of the bid pretty early. I probably didn't go over 50RMB, or even 40RMB. I mean yes, live music is nice, but 1) money, and 2) crowds. Wouldn't I much rather listen to music from the comfort of my room? And what was I gonna do once I met them anyway? Be friends? Nah, I'd just be a fangirl of many. Which I don't have a problem with, but I wouldn't pay for it.

Then I went to my first live concert and everything changed.


Monday, February 1

Concert, choreography, coffee - 5/52 :)

The week started with the ultimate high (see #1 below). How could the rest of it compare? How can you expect me to go back to living my ordinary life after an experience like that?? It was so hard to find the motivation to do what I needed to get done, so productivity plateaued and that only led to stress, which made for a rough week. To think that we're only two weeks into the spring semester! During times like these, I need a Happy List more than ever to remind myself of all the things I have going for me.

  1. Oh Wonder concert with Kathleen and new friends ♥♥♥
  2. I like routine. But at the beginning of every semester I need to find a new one (figuring out which classes I can nap in between, when to catch the bus, who to eat lunch with, etc.). Sometimes I have class with a friend or a few, so we'll get lunch together. Sometimes I'm not so lucky, and I'm in a class with unfamiliar faces, so I frantically ask all my friends when their lunch breaks are and see which of those fit my schedule. This week, lunch was a full table. I got lunch with a few friends from class, they brought some of their friends, we acquainted one another, and we made new friends. I really hope that we do this again next week!
  3. I'm beyond relieved that I got lotteried into my Intro to Data Structures class, but I'm still a little frustrated about it. It's supposed to be a lecture, but already on the first day we were asked to split up into small groups and work on problems. We'd hardly been taught, and I feel like I don't have enough basic foundational knowledge. I've been stressing out about the lab, but to my relief, my professor announced that he's decided to push back the due date by a week.
  4. I've completed my first week of Zumba for PE (which is just 2x/wk). I knew that I was lacking in coordination, but I didn't know I was that incapable. Who knew there was so much butt movement? Synchronizing my arms and legs is hard enough :P I'm also not so great at remembering choreography, but during the second class, there was a moment when the instructor paused in the middle of a song to tie her hair, and I was able to carry on the routine! She gave me a nod of acknowledgement and I tried not to get too excited.
  5. Georgina got me a cute lil "get your shit together" pouch from Paper Source! It's the kind of thing I'd hover over and lust for in a store but would never indulge in buying for myself. The poop emoji means so much to me, and a girl can never have too many pouches :)
  6. A new study environment really makes all the difference. I've talked about how much I like routine, how safe and comforting and put-together it makes me feel, but once in awhile it's nice to switch it up, and often that's exactly what I need. I spent Friday after class at Haverford's Magill library, which I haven't studied at for awhile, and afterwards I spent the rest of the afternoon and much of the evening at Hothouse Coffee with Georgina. And we were actually productive for the majority of the time! Type A personality incoming: I should set aside part of my weekly routine for discovering new places (in case you didn't get how that was "type A," let me point out that I just scheduled non-routine into my routine).
  7. Shazamed a song I heard playing at Hothouse Coffee called Graveyard Whistling by Nothing But Thieves, which is my current song obsession. Finding new music is the best.
  8. Lots of Japanese food this weekend! On Friday night I got beef udon at Sushi Land with Georgina and Victoria after our afternoon/evening at Hothouse, and on Saturday afternoon I got salmon donburi at Sushi Sei Express with Georgina after grocery shopping in Ardmore.
  9. Skyping with high school friends! Poonie is planning to visit over her spring break, and I'm so excited because I haven't seen her in forever. And then for the second half of that week she's gonna go up to visit Kathleen. And then that weekend we're all gonna hang out in NYC and maybe go to a concert! Last night I caught up with Anny, Courtney, and Jolie from 9:30PM until midnight despite having a quiz the following day that I hadn't yet studied for, but our Skype sessions are always so precious to me because we're dysfunctional and are incapable of coordinating between our time zones and Internet connectivity, so when we finally do, it's quite something. I literally laughed so hard I spit out water.

I want to make an effort to remember the little joys in life, so my 52 week challenge for 2016 is to write weekly Happy Lists.

PS: 4321.


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