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Sunday, July 13, 2014

GA Summer 2014 Blog Party


So on Saturday (the 12th), I attended a summer blog party.

Now you may think, a blog party? Where people who own a Tumblr blog get together and just blog like how they usually do at home except now it's in public? Pfft. Wrong!

The event was hosted by General Assembly (an NYC-based educational institution, click here for more) and in partnership with Tumblr where people and bloggers chill together and just, well, do coding, learn and design their own Tumblr theme after going through GA's Dash Platform (filled with online courses and steps) and completing the steps needed to know how to actually start doing basic HTML/CSS coding and designing, which was the sole purpose of the whole event. There were also GA Teaching assistants around whom we could ask help from whenever we would have a problem with the coding or have a question about what a particular HTML code meant. Personally, I didn't really have a hard time finishing some of the steps as I had taken ICT during my secondary school years, gaining basic HTML knowledge and not to mention that I first experienced web designing/development (well, using Freewebs) when I was a primary school-er. But that's not to say I didn't learn anything because I did, especially things about CSS because I was never comfortable with it considering its slight complication with all the specific properties/attributes and the position of the parenthesis and stuff which is pretty much a bit different to HTML.

There was also a panel of some of the most talented, influential bloggers of Hong Kong! They were JJ Acuna (thewanderlister), Jasmine Smith (dressmeblogme) and Elle Lee (elleiconlee) who were all so lovely and inspiring. I guess this has to be my favorite part of the event, seeing well-known bloggers who are now living my dream and hearing what they have to say especially in terms of achieving your goals, knowing how to be a good blogger and such. Their stories definitely brought me motivation.

Not gonna lie, I expected the majority of attendees to be people of my age since well, you know, Tumblr! Most of them were adults so my friends and I somewhat felt a little intimated as we thought they were so experienced with advanced web designing nd stuff and weren't new like us, 'till there was this middle-age man who mentioned that he's never really used the website or designed one and had just created a new one haha.

I'm glad I chose to attend this event, I learnt so much and it was nice seeing everyone who were, to an extent, like me who likes to blog and enjoys doing HTML coding and other aspects of web designing and development. Maybe, I may just try some of their courses in the future.

Melchie, I and Nicole
Elle Lee, Jasmine Smith and JJ Acuna (panel)

Till next time,

Ella

Sunday, July 6, 2014

June and Early July Happenings 2014

Hi! It's been a while since I've last posted. I've been so occupied with other stuff over the past month and weeks. With having an internship and another part-time voluntary job in the way, I never had the time to post something, and when I do, it's when I have writer's block (hah).

Ah yes, I'm no longer a student anymore. I've graduated. It's the month of July. Uni/College doesn't start until September (unless I choose to take a gap year, which I doubt I will). I haven't gotten my DSE results yet (DSEs are the public exams that determine whether you'll be able to get in to university or not). I'm still waiting. So what am I? A 17 YEAR OLD UNEMPLOYED YOUNG ADULT. (exclude the part-time job that I have. I'm trying to be funny here)

It feels oddly weird, knowing I am no longer a high school student. That chapter in my life is competely over and I can't believe I'm saying this but I truly miss it (sorry, I'm still not over it. *cue tears*). I'm practically an "adult". I'm turning 18 in, what, 5 months?! And I just recently got my own ATM bank card for work. I know it may not that be a big much of a deal but that's something that adds up to my upcoming "adult life". I consider myself like a baby taking their first step to learning how to walk, except for me it's learning how to adjust to the life where I'd have to start becoming independent and responsible.

Speaking of work, that's what I basically have been doing the whole of June and will continue until mid-July. I have (or had) two jobs which is the internship at DotAsia that I successfully completed in June, and another that is being an instructor/volunteer for Chinese YMCA, taking children to field trips and outdoor activities. The job of being an instructor for children has been such a hassle, in a good way. Sure it is extremely exhausting especially since it involves taking care and disciplining children (and secondary 1-2 students) and telling them what to do and what not to do during an activity, but I enjoy it nevertheless. It makes me feel productive and not to mention I get to participate in an activity with them. For instance, having to take them to an outdoor war military game where I was able to shoot BB bullets using a gun and get shot (most of the time...) back by children younger (and smaller) than me, or the Ocean Park trip where I was able to go without having to pay any fee and see the lovely, adorable pandas and penguins with them. The most memorable and worthwhile part of working for Chinese YMCA so far was being able to teach in my old primary school, Li Cheng Uk, where Ham and Jianne (my best friends who are working with me too, and came from the same school) had the privilege to hold a seminar on the issue of cyberbullying for kids. We did this also as part of being NetY Ambassadors after winning a competition on internet governance. It was very meaningful to say the least and seeing all the children who we once were in their shoes being so active and engaged in what we had to say felt so great. Apart from that, we also were able to reunite and catch up with our old teachers especially my favorite Mr. Lee who used to be our teacher from primary 5 to 6 :-)

The instructors of the Ocean Park field trip (lol)
On the way to the military game.
With Miss Kwan, our supervisor and Pat, from the NetY 2012 team
Li Cheng Uk's Activity Room (where we taught)
NetY 2012 & NetY 2013 Ambassadors working and teaching together :-)

Fish and Chips dish treat by our supervisor on the last day of our internship! At Ottoman Palace.

Anyway, putting work-related things aside, I was able to see the incredible Imagine Dragons at the Transformers 4: Age of Extinction premiere with some of my good friends Harris, Nicole and Sagar. I had always listened to the band especially their Night Visions album so it was all felt pretty surreal listening to them not on my phone, but rather live. I treasured this day so much not only because of that, but because Harris was about to leave Hong Kong permanently the next time for university. We've never really been tight but he was definitely someone who always was able to make I and everyone laugh harder than they could, like a ray of sunshine :-)

With the "transformers" (inside joke)...


The band was set to perform at 9pm but of course we decide to arrive just earlier...at 5pm. We basically stood waiting in line for about 5 hours (including the band's one hour late arrival on stage). The wait was WORTH it though, considering we stood near the stage being in the front, and laughing hysterically because of our lame inside jokes with each other was already enough to have ourselves entertained during the wait.

If someone were to ask me what my favorite performance was, it would definitely be It's Time which is one of my all-time favorite songs. This might sound corny but I can relate to it a lot, being about not forgetting where you come from and just staying true to yourself despite hardships. Seeing everyone jamming, jumping and singing along to the band was amazing, you could tell everyone was having loads of fun and connected with the band. The atmosphere was heating up!





By the way, coolest thing about being there?! The whole event was live and shown around the world, I mean it IS a global premiere anyway. I guess you could say...we were part of history! Mehahaha

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Writing Prompt

November 18 2013, English Class

Writing Prompt: When you’re feeling heavily stressed or deeply anxious, what is your “escape”? Explain.

I have two kinds of escape and they depend on the kind of problem or situation that I’m heavily stressed or deeply anxious about. My first escape would be the kind where I try not to dwell too much on the problem and more so, to not think too much and try to distract myself from what’s making me anxious. I try to distract myself by doing things that I normally enjoy doing such as listening to music, watching my favorite TV shows, reading…these are just some of the things that I enjoy doing in my spare time. Things that help me completely forget about the problem, anything that’s making me feel very negative. However, I would also consider this as trying to escape from the problem that’s making me anxious. I believe that whatever makes one anxious or stressed, is something that’s an actual problem that can be solved. For instance, whether it’s an exam that you haven’t studied, you’d certainly feel stressed or anxious because you know you could fail or a friend that you think you haven’t given much care for, you’d feel stressed or anxious because they could decide to throw you out of their life at any moment. Doing other things just to stop myself from feeling this way allows me to focus on something else and perhaps it allows me to have an excuse to escape from everything.

But I think that’s just an attempt to fully distract myself because for me, it’s impossible to feel stressed and anxious and at the same time, read a magazine to throw that feeling away because there’s always that little bit of anxiety that stays. It only goes away when I actually face the real problem, which is my real definition of escape. My real escape would be to stop worrying on what is making me stressed and anxious by battling the problem and take action upon. To focus on positivity and think merely positive thoughts, convincing myself that everything will go well if I take action because actual revising and studying will surely not lead to failure and making a real effort for a friend will not lead to a broken friendship.

This was written during English class in 2013 when our teacher assigned us a writing prompt. My sincere apologies if my writing sounds a tad bit awkward. (haha!)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It's a...goodbye? To High School.


I've been wanting to do a post about finishing high school and graduating but I've never really "had the time to do so", considering that the last day of school had already happened just two months ago before the public exams.

So...here I am, sitting in the dark corner on my room as I type all these out. I no longer have to get up at 7 in the morning and worry about rushing heavily to school (ironically as I just live 5 minutes away). I no longer have to wear a school uniform nor those black boring school shoes (especially them baggy, uncomfortable P.E pants that I had always genuinely disliked wearing, not to mention in the hot weather!). I no longer have to decide what to have for lunch each day before another school day comes. With all these same old, usual routines, I could go on and on...

But that's not the point, however. One thing I'm going to miss, for sure, and I might sound like a hypocrite...is the high school life itself. Sure it wasn't always fun nor pleasurable especially when you have to go sit in class for 7 hours the whole day (this may be an exaggeration) and it's worse when it's a subject you're not very much too keen on, or when you just feel so gloomy and grumpy on a certain day and you have no choice but to face people who are all up on your face (haha, nah I love everyone!). But you know, that's high school. A big part of it includes finding yourself, mingling with your classmates and best-est friends, seomwhat discovering your interests and potentials both academically and externally, knowing what you love and not love to do and the biggest aspect of all; learning.

Learning in high school, though, isn't just what you can gain from textbooks or the countless number of lecture handouts you get on your hands, but learning from your surroundings and the experiences you go through. Say, for instance, the most simplest of all and I'm certain that everyone knows and has experienced this this: failing a grade in class in test and then scoring a better grade after. What do you learn from this? Obviously, that there's always room for improvement. You learn that failure doesn't always stay but only if you have the will and effort to do better the next time, and to move on from it, picking failure as a motivation to get back up your feet. What else? You may learn that the word "no" is inevitable. You can't always get what you want and just have to accept it and move on...unless it something that you have great passion for. You may even have people that you realized later on who aren't the best or the right people for you to have. There's so much more you learn in school, all from your perspective and the way you see things throughout the years. Personally, I've learnt so much. I've had loads of ups and downs and sometimes even a breakdown at some point...but I have no regrets. They've helped me shape who I am today. And I thank the "high school life" for it.

That being said, I'm going to miss everything. The people, school, teachers, friends... I'm no longer going to walk to school and see the same faces again (which isn't necessarily a bad thing... :P). It's hard to believe that I'm never going to experience high school ever again. Not ever. Not even after I turn 50. From now on, it's going to be college/university that will follow and the adult life that I'm not even ready for because it sounds scary but the doors will open for when I turn 18.

Graduation's coming in less than a month. Say what?!